Julien Of Glorior Belli Speaks Of Myths
Glorior Belli of France has been mixing black metal with blues and sludge straight out of the American south, citing New Orleans bands as a big influence. With a new album released to the world, Glorior Belli is showing fans just how far their reach into the realm of myth goes, basing "The Great Southern Darkness" on an ancient creation story. I caught up with vocalist/guitarist Julien to talk about the new album, learn about Tiamat, and gush about my hometown's muscial nature.
Buick McKane: How are you doing today?
Julien: I’m doing okay. Just doing interviews.
Buick: The album “The Great Southern Darkness” just came out. How has the response been to it so far?
Julien: Well it was pretty cool actually; the responses have been marvelous. Everybody just think we made the best mix between blues influences and black metal. Also I’ve only heard about just a very few people bitching about it, but mostly everybody is just fine and think that the album is pretty good. Pretty amazing, in fact. So yeah, pretty happy with it.
Buick: That’s great, and I really like that you use American blues influences because I’m from Louisiana, and I love it too. What bands or musicians in particular influenced it?
Julien: Well, I guess….I don’t know if you heard about it 16 Horsepower and Wovenhand; it’s two different bands from the same guy. He’s called David Eugene Edward. Very interesting, very bluesy and kind of dark country music. And with American folk music, banjo and some instruments that really make the whole thing very intense. And also the New Orleans scene with Pantera, Down, Crowbar, you know, sludge. Everything….Soilent Green. Everything that comes from there…Corrosion of Conformity also is one of my favorite bands. And I guess in the blues music, I would say Robert Johnson, Howlin’ Wolf, and…I don’t know, maybe for just a few songs, Stevie Ray Vaughn; not a fan of the whole stuff, but a few songs.
Buick: I love to hear people talk about New Orleans bands. And I really love the cover art for the album; it’s really striking and dramatic. Who made it?
Julien: We made it with a Canadian artist. She’s called Alexandra Snelgrove, and from Toronto. I think she really made it, she made a very good job at putting on paper what I had in mind, you know. I told her everything about the concept on the new album, and she took on the ideas and just started drawing it and that’s exactly what I had in mind, you know. She gave form to my ideas and that’s pretty cool.
Buick: And what are the ideas of the album exactly?
Julien: It’s all based on the concept from the Sumer-Babylonian mythology. I read a text called the Enuma Elish. It’s a text that relates the creation of the universe, basically. And from that story, we twisted it with our own views, and the curse of the dragon Tiamat…that’s actually the representation on the cover, Tiamat also, with the Earth in his claws. She’s the representation of primordial chaos, so the concept is all wrapped around it. It sort of relates the struggle between the forces of the night side, and the forces of creation. In a cheesy way that’s usually what people call the fight between good and evil, but there’s a lot more to it. The album is like a book; if you start from number one until the end, everything is related like it’s a book, it’s a story. And if you skip the song, and don’t pay attention to the lyrics, you are going to miss something. You’re going to miss a chapter. I want people to be able to read the entire story from the beginning until the end, so that’s important for me.
Buick: I like that concept of the album as one piece instead of just single songs slapped together. Earlier this year you also released a split with Creeping called “The Rites of Spiritual Death.” How have fans like the song you did on it?
Julien: The split with Creeping was….those guys have been friends with us for a few years, and they play some sort of sludgy black metal, actually. And they’re from New Zealand. So it’s pretty cool that we can play with friends and with people that also give black metal a little twist of their own. And they can make it a lot different, just like we make our black metal different. That track is something like ten minutes long, and we have pretty much some of the best elements of Glorior Belli into it, like you know, the violent and viciousness of black metal mixed with, in the end, some sort of guitar solo that is very bluesy and I guess it’s, yeah…I wanted to make some kind of conclusion to all our past efforts and that track is the best representation for me of all that we did since ten years.
Buick: Right, well do you have any plans for shows to support this album yet?
Julien: Not too much so far, but you know how these things work; you can be reached any time and just go on tour, unexpectedly. But we have one show in Canada on November 25th. It’s a festival with Absu and Inquisition. So this is going to be our first North American appearance in the whole continent. And in Europe, we’ve got, I think, four shows planned. And maybe next year if we can pull off this one, we’re going to tour in Australia and New Zealand also with our friends from The House of Capricorn; it’s the side project of the Creeping guys. So that’s going to be a busy, busy period for everybody.
Buick: Do you ever hope to make it down to New Orleans?
Julien: Oh yeah, we’d love that. I’ve never been to New Orleans in the past, and I really hope to go there. Of all the parts of the United States, New Orleans…there’s something really attractive about it. I can only judge from pictures that I saw online or from tv shows or whatever, but yeah, it’s going to be great to get over there and be able to get a good taste of the real atmosphere that’s going there, you know.
Buick: Great. Is there anything else you would like to say?
Julien: No, I hope people enjoy the record and will actually get it with their money and not just illegally download it because…I had this question earlier today and I’m still thinking about it. It was about the music business nowadays, and I think that people need to realize if they want to support their favorite band, if they want to really support us, they need to buy the record. You know, you first asked me about the general impressions about it. Everybody is just feeling that it’s great, so it’s cool. But if every single person that tells me that it’s great would actually buy it, then that would be great for me, just don’t tell me that it’s great. Go and pick up a copy and support us. That’s the message I want people to understand. It’s not about getting paid, it’s not about anything; it’s still business and if you steal the music, you just kill the band that you used to like, so that’s it I guess. See you somewhere down the road if you want to see us live. And that’s all.
Emily is an avid supporter of the New Orleans scene, often filming shows and conducting interviews with local bands to help promote their music. She also runs her own site dedicated to the New Orleans scene, Crescent City Chaos.
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