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Interview

Konvent Discusses Debut Album "Puritan Masochism," Equality And Lyrics

It's an exciting time to be a metal fan. All over the world, we're seeing bands emerge and performing excellent old school metal from various sub genres. One country in particular that seems to have a thriving scene right now is Denmark, perhaps previously best known for producing Mercyful Fate and Lars Ulrich. While some young Danish artists are a few albums deep into their catalogue now, one who has just come on to the global scene with their full length debut, "Puritan Masochism" in Konvent. I recently had the opportunity to put a few questions to the band, who had some very interesting insight into the album, their history, equality and much more.

Diamond Oz: Congratulations on the release of "Puritan Masochism." I must say that I'm loving the record. It was the first I've pre-ordered in nearly ten years! So far, how has the response been?

Julie Simonsen: The response has been overwhelming. We didn’t expect it to go so great and that so many people would actually buy our music that we’ve worked so hard on. We are beyond happy!

Oz: I'm interested to know, where did the title of the album come from?

Julie: The title ‘Puritan Masochism’ (which is also the title the first single) is about how everyone has a tendency to do things, or thinking things that actually hurt us, but we keep thinking/doing those things because we feel like we have to – in order to fit into something or to live up to some imagined expectations. And sometimes we keep doing these things without even realizing it because you just go on autopilot. It’s sort of our way to say that we don’t have to live like that.

Oz: There seems to be great variation in the band's lyrics. "Chernobyl Child," from your demo for instance, I saw described by Heidi as "the closest thing to a fairy tale" in the band's catalogue. When it comes to lyrics, would you say it's important to try and keep things grounded or to have fun toying with different fantasies and scenarios?

Julie: We’ve always wanted not to be too literal with the lyrics, so that the listener could create his or hers own universe and meaning. But in general you could say that the lyrics on the album is about losing control of your life and yourself, and just dealing with the more hard times in life.

Oz: Another notable thing about the album was the tracks "Ropes Pt. 1" and "Ropes Pt. 2." What is the concept behind "Ropes" and why was it split into two parts?

Julie: Ropes Pt 1 is about being close to someone who’s going through a rough time and trying to help them, while the tables are turned in Ropes Pt 2, where we hear the “depressed” person’s point of view, and how difficult it is to recieve help by their loved ones.

We wanted to write two songs in the same scenario, while splitting it up to deep into both sides of the story.

Oz: I was very surprised to discover that only Sara had been in a band before Konvent. When Konvent began, how confident were you about the future of the project or was it essentially formed to just have fun?

Julie: I was actually also in a band before Konvent, but joined later in Konvent.

When we started we just knew we wanted to play heavy music. We never imagined that it would blow up so fast and become such a big part of our lives. We have definitely learned a lot about being band, because it takes a lot of work and there’s much more to do, than just to play music. But we just love being able to get our music out there and we’re so happy that people wanna listen and follow us on our ride into the music industry!

Oz: Something else very striking about "Puritan Masochism" is the bleak cover art. What is the meaning behind it and how well do you believe it represents the album?

Julie: Puritan Masochism is the title for our first single from the album as well and it was the first track that was finished for it several years ago. The song is about how us humans have a tendency to put ourselves in situations where we don’t feel good enough. With this song we’re hoping that people will identify and question their habits of doing that. We felt like this would be a great album title because it was something we really resonated with!

Oz: It seems that right now is the perfect time for Konvent as the world is seeing many great metal bands emerge from Denmark like Myrkur and Baest, while also much of the best metal seems to be coming from female bands/musicians such as Nervosa, Burning Witches, etc. How helpful was the Danish scene to Konvent and do you believe that metal has reached the point where men and women are treated equally?

Julie: The Danish scene has been very helpful. There’s a lot of funding that you can apply for and the other bands in the scene are usually really great for advice with the more admin and practical kinda stuff. The metal fans in Denmark are also very dedicated to showing up at the concerts and supporting the local bands, which is really awesome!

I don't think we have reached 100% equality yet. We’re still getting labeled as a “All female doom band”, which we think is silly since it really shouldn’t matter. “Female” shouldn’t be used as a genre. But we just hope people are showing up at our shows because of our music, and not because of our gender.

Oz: I was devastated when I found out I wouldn't be able to attend your show in London. What are the touring plans for the rest of 2020 and do you have any dates set to return to the UK or visit North America?

Julie: We have In Flammen and Gefle Festival in July and then we’re coming back to the UK in November to play at HRH Viking festival! And many more exciting things to come.

We don’t have any dates planned for the US, but we would love to go someday!

Oz: Thank you very much for taking the time to speak with me today. Good luck with the album!

Julie: Thank you for wanting to do an interview with us! It means a lot to us. Have a great day!

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com since 2007 and a metal fan since 2001, going as far as to travel to other countries and continents for metal gigs.

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