We All Die (Laughing) Talks New Album "Thoughtscanning" And Signing With Kaotoxin
Band Photo: We All Die (Laughing) (?)
Underground French label Kaotoxin records recently announced the addition of French-Bulgarian duet We All Die (Laughing) for the release of “Thoughtscanning” on January 14th, 2014.
We All Die (Laughing) consists of vocalist Arno Strobl and musician/composer Déhà. The duo got in touch with Metalunderground.com to explain how the project came together, what sort of sound will be happening on the release, and how it ended up being a single 33 minute song.
The two-some provided us with some true words of wisdom about creating an album (On writing the lyrics: "They did flow naturally like a pissing dog." On covering Amy Winehouse: "We made it more sexual-groove-doomish, and you just need to listen to Arno's voice to start moisting your pants.") Check out the full interview below.
xFiruath: How did We All Die Laughing originally come together?
Déhà: I just came to know Arno thanks to my German band Maladie, we discussed a bit, I gave him some unreleased music and then, he looked at me with puppy eyes "Let's make music, my friend!" It's something like that. I don't remember perfectly. I was bewitched. That man is dangerous.
xFiruath: How did you get hooked up with Kaotoxin?
Arno: Nicolas had been a good friend for years and very naturally we asked him if he was interested in WAD(L). Fortunately, he was.
Déhà : I will add that Nico's even someone that pushed me through several limits and frontiers music-wise. And even if you remove the "friend" factor, isn't Kaotoxin the best French underground label for the moment?
xFiruath: What are your intentions with this project and what sort of sound are you aiming for?
Déhà : We are aiming to do something that is part of us, separately and together, and doing it right. People know Arno for being a comedy metal artist, people know me for being ultra-depressive. Well, we can do something together which is serious, conceptual and putting our own frontiers aside and make the stuff even better by the influence of the other. Arno is, for me, one of my main singer influences along with Patton, Townsend or Galas, so I had to be better. And that was a really good challenge.
Arno: Much more than a certain sound, we were aiming to breathe depression into the listener’s ears. And that can travel through very different kinds of music such as progressive, doom, black metal… Therefore we mixed a little bit of it all with Déhà’s screams and my own vocal range to obtain that 33 minute song.
xFiruath: The album consists of a single 33 minute song – tell me a bit about why you chose to go that route and what sort of twists and transitions can be expected on a track that size.
Arno: The length of the song was no goal in itself. We just wanted it to be coherent and sound like a real song, with recurring parts and themes, choruses and stuff. All in all it pretty much works like a five minutes song, yet we took time to set up atmospheres and moods, and give them enough time to develop.
Déhà: When I am making music, I want a sort of a trip, a journey to be lived through one music track and if I want this journey to be long, I am making it long. I felt this album was supposed to be a single track, not divided, for people to understand the exercise of listening to something with no pause. Or favourite part. Of course transitions are to be expected. From dark jazzy parts to doom, or from depressive mid tempo metal to harsh blasting metal of death. We like our stuff weird.
xFiruath: Where did recording for the track take place and who did you work with?
Déhà: All the recording was done at my place, HHStudios, my humble home studio with no studio gear. I recorded all instruments there in several days, with Arno's arrangements beating my flesh like a slave. Then, we recorded all voices, same place, in another week. Florence, Arno’s ex-wife, recorded her clarinet parts there too. There was just one guitar solo, the one Alexandra Zerner did, that was recorded where I am living now, in Sofia (Bulgaria). All the rest was done in Belgium. We gave the mixing and mastering to Monsieur Frederic Motte, aka El Mobo (Gorod, Bumblefoot, Eryn Non Dae, Otargos) because he's a master firstly, and because he understood completely our album in one listen. A truly amazing music producer and I am proud to say that he really contributes to this album's finest quality. He's like the dark chocolate on some "After Eight" delights.
xFiruath: What’s happening with the lyrics on the album?
Déhà: We wrote them together. They did flow naturally like a pissing dog. We had this concept in our head since the beginning.
Arno: It’s an internal journey, a real introspection. Various thoughts that you bear when depressed. It even ends with a touch of hope, because depression is a rollercoaster: at a certain point you feel like you’re reaching for the end of the tunnel before getting back to darkness.
xFiruath: Tell me about the artwork, who created it, and how it connects to the album.
Arno: It’s a painting by our good friend Maxime Taccardi, who is probably one of the most gifted artists of its time. He paints a lot about depression, death, disease, sadness, madness. Some of his paintings are painted with his own blood. He’s got very tortured guts just like we do. I think we’ll work with him again in the future.
Déhà: It is so connected to the album as you understood the concept Arno told, so it's kind of... like when you are into self-destruction, doing it with a smile and you’re like "I will do this to your newborn baby afterwards!" Maxime is a genius.
xFiruath: You cover Amy Winehouse as well - why did you pick that particular track, and did you try to stick somewhat close to the original or radically change it to your own style?
Déhà: We stuck to the original, structure wise, but we changed it. We made it more sexual-groove-doomish, and you just need to listen to Arno's voice to start moisting your pants...
Arno: We just wanted to pay our tribute to the song and make it our way. Covers that sound 100% like the original version have no real interest. I think we achieved a proper cover that sounds like WAD(L) while still being faithful to the amazing Winehouse song.
xFiruath: Will this be a live project or studio-only?
Arno: We’d talked about doing some well-chosen live appearances and both of us want to do it, but now that Déhà moved to Bulgaria, things are going to be much more complex. Anyway, we’ve learned never to say never.
xFiruath: What other projects are you guys currently active with or have coming up in the future?
Arno: I’ll be working in 2014 with French guitar master extraordinaire Christophe Godin. Then I have this solo album with duets and covers on the slab, but I think it won’t see the light of day before 2015. We also already planned to release some new material with WAD(L), maybe for the end of 2014 or early 2015.
Déhà: Maladie's next album, Deviant Messiah's first album, COAG's next stuff as well, then you can choose between Imber Luminis, Merda Mundi, Yhdarl, Deos, Clouds, or else... I need to stop music.
xFiruath: What’s happening in your local metal scene, and have you seen any great shows in recent memory?
Arno: The last cool show I saw in my hometown (Lille, France) was Valient Thorr. I live in a town where you can attend two or three gigs a week. There are also many local bands, especially playing stoner, sludge, and grindcore.
Déhà: I must say I have two local scenes now. Belgium has Possession, the best thrashing black metal act since 20years, Emptiness, Enthroned, Atroxentis. Bulgaria has Dimholt, amazing mid tempo black metal, Vrani Volosa, exceptional pagan metal, amazing black metal band Orenda, Balkhara, vintage rock to the top, and Mass Grave, brutal blasting death metal. But the best concert I saw recently is the best concert I ever attended: Roger Waters - The Wall at Stadium Vasil Levski, here in Sofia. Like a dream come true.
xFiruath: We’re almost at the end of the year – what’s been your favorite metal release of 2013, and is there anything coming up in 2014 you are particularly excited about?
Déhà: Not to support blindly our label mates, but Eye of Solitude’s “Canto III” is the best release of this year according to me. You can also include really good albums from Exivious, Rorcal, Portal, Svart Crown, all amazing albums, and Sidious's amazing first EP.
Arno: My fave albums in 2013 have been the ones by Ghost BC, Voïvod, Tribulation, Death Angel, and the New Keepers Of The Water Towers. In 2014, I would like Triptykon to release a full length. Tom G. Warrior is one of my all-time mentors. I’m also very excited about the new Mayhem album, that’s currently being mixed.
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