Mass – Guitars
Ophelius – Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Today we will introduce you to Ebonylake, cult avantgarde combo that left us after one full lenght only back in 1999, now risen from the ashes with a peculiar comeback, “In Swathes Of Brooding Light”, which review is published together with this interview.
First of all, let me thank you for your kindness and for the shipping of a physical copy of your brand new album. This is very unusual nowadays, and here in the ‘zine we really appreciate each and every effort you make to ease our work supplying us with high quality material and exaustive information. Thank you, really. So, why don’t you introduce the band to our readers, maybe telling us where, when and how did you understand that it was time for Ebonylake to come back to the scene?
Greetings, We are indeed Ebonylake a unique and fine whiskey that needs to sipped and savoured not quaffed, this along with a small vial of opium and the conjuring speech of the ouija board spiralling into violent abstract surrealism. We now consist of just Ophelius & Mass from the previous line up, the only ones to survive the horrors of last voyage we embarked upon. We both take care of all musical and production duties within EbonyLake. When the previous line up completely dissolved we lost all contact with one another for ten years, during that time we wondered in a surreal state of mind and confusion, both of us yearning to return to the world of Ebonylake and continue what was not completed all those years ago. Positive thoughts and energy towards our re uniting certainly brought our paths to cross once again and the result was the rekindling of our friendships and the common goal of pushing Ebonylake to the next level musically. We have been working together on and off when we have the opportunity over the last 2 years to try and fathom out the ideas in our heads and make sense somehow of the messages weve been given from the rituals we perform. It has just fallen into this space in time and aligned at this moment, if it could have happened years ago we are sure it would have, but it was not meant to be until now.
The line-up is quite different from the one we remember… Could you explane us why?
The previous line-up ceased to be around the fall of 1999 if we recall correct. The truth of the matter is that the band at the time was more of a secret society than a band of musicians, we always strived for a yearning to bring other elements and inspiration to the palette of Ebonylake. The lifestyles we lead then pushed us the point of breaking mentally and physically and the music had to take a back seat as we strived for personal explorations into the unknown. The rituals and ouija board activity at the time certainly brought an unkind spirit into our midst and tore apart the band within a matter of weeks.
Now let’s focus on the new album… Well, the first interesting point is that this is not just a new album, since the last two lines in the booklet say that the last four tracks come from an unreleased demo dated 1997. What is the story behind these four songs?
The four songs you speak of were the original Ebonylake demo recordings from 1997 that got us the record deal with Cacophonous Records. It was not circulated or promoted at the time and alot of people have wanted a full versions of these recordings in the years that have since passed. Some of the material within these recordings are early versions of what would eventually morph into the versions you hear on “On The Eve Of The Grimly Inventive” album..ie. “Within Deepest Red”, “A Voice In The Piano” and “An Autumn To Cripple Children”. We remasterd the original tapes and we are more than happy with how they sound, completing the current stage of Ebonylake we felt it gave a new listener a chance to understand the common feelings that run through all 3 of our recordings or give the completist the full package.
Despite this mixture of old and new, the whole platter sounds very cohesive, and wasn’t it for the booklet, I would not dare to say we are listening to two different recording sessions. This leads me to say that, despite a strong difference in production (“On The Eve…” had colder and sharper sounds), your two full lenght albums move towards the same direction… am I wrong? What differences do you notice, listening to your two creatures?
We feel apart from the difference in productions across the 3 recordings “As Ghosts We Dance” 1997 demo 1998 “on the Eve” and 2011s “In Swathes Of..” this is the only alteration between one another. The same DNA is evident across all the work because the same people have written all the material then as they do now. We have developed the sound to some degree as technology has permitted us to do so in modern times. But yes we do feel a common thread runs throughout and we can be sure it sounds musically the same style as before.
“No lyrics in the booklet, ony our world view”. Though, those written lines are complex and may lead to various interpretations. How did you find the inspiration for those words, and for your world view?
The words in the booklet are two short stories we both wrote and combined, when we put pen to paper these words just flow out. We frantically scribe down the words as though in some kind of possessed state of mind, almost as someone else is writing the word through us and channeling the energy… using us as a human mannequin to do the puppeteers bidding and work. The inspirations come after many late nights of Absinthe fuelled seances and ouija board activities and long walks upon the savage coastlines in the foulest of blustery storms. It is intended that the reader makes up there own mind and conclusions on the inner words within the booklet and let thee music speak to them.
And what about the music itself? What is your first inspiration source? And what bands do you feel you owe something, if any?
The inspirations come along the same way musically as they do lyrically. The other states of mind we reach when controlled by the puppeteers hands or seances in the grand ballroom of the Manor after banquets and orgies of the flesh. Again the music seems to be channeled through us from another place or time perhaps. We do listen to a wide variety of styles of music but these may inspire us to write rather than influence what we write.
I would define your sound very nervous and “patchy”, is this a right idea? Moreover, is it a choice of yours, let’s call it a research, or just the way music flowed from your minds?
The sound we create is very schizophrenic, nervous, uncomfortable, abstract, horrific, sublime and beautiful. We attempt to paint a vision in the mind musically of another time long forgot. When the process of writing starts we hold on to the reins and let it take us for the ride, and that can lead to some horrific scenarios and nightmarish visions when left alone in a darkened room when the skeletal birds do gather in alarming numbers. The maze takes many turns and can abrupty change at any given time, that is the adventure in itself not knowing where the maze will take you.
Who are Ebonylake in their everyday life? I am very curious about non-artistic aspects of musicians, often they are strictly related to their compositions.
Everyday life is Ebonylake, a journey towards a larger understanding of conciousness and spirituality. Every experience we take on board has some reaction within us and projects back towards Ebonylake in some degree. The understanding that the world you are born into, the world you are programmed and conditioned to be obedient within is not the reality that exists at all.
We have been vastly mislead as a human race by those whom wish to eliminate all our freedoms and expressive values, the true nature of humanity has almost collapsed into a quagmire of ill educated violent people controlled by pantomime religious views. A shift from the age of Pisces into Aquarius may enlight some, but humanity is on the verge of collapse and total domination right now and the furure is very bleak if things continue as they are.
What shall we expect from this band in the future?
Our plans are to finish another album sometime in mid to late 2012 if time permits and things move along in the right direction. One thing for sure is that it will not take 12 years for album number 3 to surface. We have irons in the fire and rough ideas planned out for the 3rd album which from early sessions are baring much fruit to date. So the future is mapped out to some degree but not set in stone so to speak. It will happen when the time is right for both of us. And one thing we shall continue to do is push the envelope in every direction we have touched upon thus far, and expand the Ebonylake sound and vision to the next levels of sonic dementia and mental torment..the ghosts shall speak again through our tongue.
Talking about future, any plan for live gigs?
We have spoke at great length about the possible venture into the live arena, production values and set lists..obviously our plan may currently exceed our financial situations but plans are somewhat afoot. Also we have to assemble a live working unit to actually play this material in a live situation, which in itself would be a gargantuan task but not impossible..So again we shall see where the cards fall on this matter.
Another banal question, but again, very meaningful: the five albums you could not live without?
To narrow such a wide scale of music to 5 albums is very difficult..it is an impossible task to do that but i could put endless lists together. However i shall list several albums i listen to on regular basis at the moment: the new Devils Blood album “1000foldepicentre”, Blood Ceremony “Living with The Ancients”, Ghost “Opus Eponymous”, Esben And The Witch, Jex Thoth/Sabbath Assembly and various classical composers ancient and modern.
Excuse me for the time I stole you, and thank you very much for your kindness. Yours are the last words for our readers.
Thank you for investigating the bizarre world of Ebonylake and taking an interest. Keep your eyes open and ears to the ground as a new movement stirs .Violent Abstract Surrealism.