The Arcane Delights Interview series goes on and this time we are hosting a band that comes from United Kingdom and states that real Gothic Rock is not dead yet. It is not only the wonderful music included on their debut Mini CD, it is the whole background behind this excellent band. Ladies and Gentlemen: Voe and Scarlet from Angels Of Liberty are here to share their dark music with you. Enjoy. (http://www.angelsofliberty.com)
Lets take a flash back in time and go back to the beginning, so I would like to know when and where the band was created. Who were the founding members. Well you know a little basic info to have the whole thing started.
(Scarlet) We both met at Whitby in the north of England. We were both creeping around the abbey. As there were no other Goths about we gravitated towards each other. (Voe) I'd been involved in Music for years but always in the background. After Xmas 2011 I spent some time putting some sounds together and started building a really old school sounding drum machine with a view to making some Goth Rock. By May 2011 we had the bare bones of a sinister new sound and a few creepy songs. (Scarlet) Voes idea originally was that we would get some songs written and then find a singer but I persuaded Voe to do the vocals.
(Voe) I'm used to Programing Drums and playing instruments but had never tried Vocals. I found it really uncomfortable at first because I'm used to being in the background. I'm happy with it now because it means I don't have to give a song to someone else and have them express it for me.
Angels Of Liberty is a really good name. Is there any specific concept behind this name? I wonder what kind of liberty is this... and what kind of angels are bringing it? Well after all please tell me: Who has founded the name?
(Voe) I came up with the name. I liked the paradox inherent in it. Its based loosely on the Greek tale of Prometheus. A man who stole fire from the gods to benefit humanity only to be killed because humanity feared the gift of fire. An Angel of Liberty would be a self governing creature of pure libertarianism not bound by any restrictions, having free expression without a need of guilt or punishment. The liberty would be total but would come with the cost of being branded a Devil by those not free or liberated. It also helped that the other names we had were completely rubbish!
Was your main goal form the very beginning to play Gothic Rock music or was it built through jamming and practice? Which bands and / or kinds of art can be mentioned as forms of great inspiration or influences for the band?
(Scarlet) It was 100% the aim from the start to play gothic rock. We dont care if its unpopular.
(Voe) We felt we would just make the kind of music we grew up with and loved and try and do it as well as we could. Having full control over a project means that I'm free to make the kind of music I want. I've been in situations where your either working for other people or have a label or A&R telling you what to do and I didn't want that. We knew from the start the kind of thing we wanted to do. From the start we wanted to create an atmosphere and a feeling we got from Goth in the past and put a our own sinister frame around it.
(Scarlet) Were also in this silly situation where Goth is now labelled "Traditional" if its Real Goth and almost anything else can be called Goth if theres some kind of dark image. That's was ok up to a point but when you go to a Goth club and you never hear any real Goth being played theres something seriously wrong. As a culture goth has taken a battering, but things are changing! Voe is always saying "Trad? its either Goth or not!". We know we aren't the only ones who like ahem..."Trad" Goth so we wanted to at least try to do something positive for them and or course theres always the young ones who missed out the first time around that want something real goth.
If you allow me a comment I would point that your music is focused on the golden music wall of 80s and 90sGothic Rock letting Nosferatu to be a serious influence for AOL. Well I can notice a magical touch of Louis DeWray in the vocals, correct me if I am wrong at the end of the day...
(Voe) Nosferatu were an important band for me. I followed them all over the UK on the rise and prophecy tours. I loved their music because it was timeless and beautifully crafted. But I also loved their commitment to Goth, I loved the fact they weren't scared to be called Goths and have a strong sense of theatre. They went beyond being a band and knew the importance of total escapism.
(Scarlet) That's it you've started him off now!
(Voe) I loved the band so much, I'm sure I probably made a pest of myself! I couldn't play a damned thing back then but I would have loved to have been in that band. Some of the older Goths didn't get it at the time. They missed out! There was also nothing that wasn't really well presented or thought out. Every part of the concept was there. They were more than just a band!
Please give us some information about your debut release “The Monster In Me”, it is an EP that presents AOL to the people. First of all tell us, how many songs does it include and where can we find it?
(Voe) Theres 5 tracks on the cd which because its the first is a little special so its also numbered and signed. Its limited to 666 copies it costs 6.66 UK pounds and is available at www.angelsofliberty.com
I really want to know where have you recorded this little masterpiece, in how many days and how many copies have you pressed?
(Voe) Absolutely everything has been done in our creaky attic by ourselves writing, arrangements to final mastering. Its about as underground as you can get with no fancy technology. I wanted it that way so we could have total control over every aspect of it to make sure we were happy with it.
Is it a label behind it or is it a private release?
(Voe) Its a bit of both in a way. Secret Sin Records was set up by a friend for us to release on. I'm pretty busy so I wanted to be able to get on with the creative side, the music and art work then hand it over and have someone else sort out the pressing, selling, delivery and finances.
In your very own words how would you describe the music trapped on this EP?
(Scarlet) Do you realise how difficult that is? A good friend in Baton Rouge said Goth 92 in a bottle.
(Voe) Creaking floor boards and casket hinges.
(Scarlet) Parchment pages and bat wings.
(Voe) A few simple dark hymns with a fatter avalanche pounding the cobwebs from your black speaker cones.
There is also a special publication that fits the EP, a nice booklet with art, lyrics and more, can you please give some info about this?
(Scarlet) The Blood Chalice book. Its really about going back to the era of things that can be touched and felt in the real world. Back in time when bands created lyric books or fanzines to accompany the music. Its something I personally miss in this world of cheap digital downloads. Its a parchment book with images and lyrics with a 90s gothic rock feel perfect for long pale fingers to explore.
(Voe) We are sensual creatures and like to hold, feel and draw on the energy of real world things. I'm a huge collector of Goth memorabilia and I take a real pride in the ownership of obscure things. I wanted to be able to give others a taste of something I myself enjoy. I remember the days of GothZines really fondly. Its not a culture that exists since the Internet so I wanted to produce things like that again even if it would mean funding it myself.
And what if I step back and try to learn some more stuff about on your actual lyrics? Your song titles and band name are great, what is behind?
(Scarlet) Its the conclusion of a life led in seclusion away from the howl of the masses. We have both reached an age where we have come to accept who and what we are but are fully aware of how others perceive us.
(Voe) We both feel at times we are in the world but not of it and that consciousness is somehow in the physical world but also alien to it. Isolation of consciousness is going to lead you in different directions from most and give you an individual outlook on existence. I like mysterious things that allude to hidden truths or grand themes. Reoccurring themes for me are dissonance between the subjective world of the mind and the objective world, serpents, ritual, hidden dimensions, the hidden hand in history, personal loss, the search for truth when there is none but what you invent, and vampires which of course offers a whole way of exploring sex, pleasure, loneness and pain. I recon we'd have to be in a Goth rock band to attempt to get away with all that!
You have decided to press A CD and release it with a special booklet, for sure not the most easy way especially if someone thinks that you can always just unload the music on the Internet and let it go. I guess that you are re presenting a special culture through this movement I am right?
(Scarlet) Yes. Its about resurrecting the good things about the past and shunning all the bad stuff about the present.
(Voe) Its like pushing a huge rock up a hill but I detest the idea of people buying nothing except a few bytes. Digital downloads would be very cheap and easy but we like to make our life difficult as hell so we can offer something that people can experience and touch in the real world. Its also the way things used to be done and part of our culture is about collecting records and stuff. It makes life more exciting.
Ok mentioning the culture stuff, I guess that there is much more stuff behind AOL than just a bunch of a good songs. You have already stated this: “Less of a Band more of a Serpent Cult, we have our sights on creating an alchemy between us and fans of Gothic Rock on a small and personal scale for the purpose of re-creating some of the magic we felt so long ago.”. Can you spread some more light (?) on your concept.?
(Voe) Magical thinking is my guilty pleasure! Staged Rituals & Music with repetition and reinforcement can offer those present a glimpse into a transcendental moment or state and apart from shamans its the one thing that Goths do best. In those moments it feels like anything can be achieved and full liberation is close, raising the serpent energy within and making the twined serpents of DNA sing in resonance. This scene only survives because of the passion of the fans and the hard work of the bands. Its the synergy between both the bands and audiences that keeps the fire alive. I'm alluding also to our desire to entertain only those who "get it" and appreciate it, shunning all others, keeping it a cult underground thing and creating a real feeling ceremony and of brotherhood. Id rather operate the band and proceedings like a secret society for a magical elite and create an intimate experience. That is after all how I perceive Goths as a magical elite, as I know of few cultures so bent on their own uniqueness, their self exploration and fearlessness of shadow!
Well I Guess that all those statements of AOL, match to the fact of confusion, misunderstanding of the fans about the Gothic Rock stuff plus the modern revisionism of bands behind the Gothic Rock scene, with many outsiders to be involved -in many ways- and many bands that musically have nothing to do with Gothic Rock to express themselves this way to sell some more copies. Are you trying to re present Gothic Rock in its original pure way?
(Voe) Theres always been a large gap between those actively involved in the scene and the general public. The general public have no idea what Goth is apart from all the usual cliches which are spoon fed to them by the media. Most people are incapable of exploring things in any depth anyway so will gloss right over Goth culture. I loved the way Nosferatu took the Sisters and Bauhaus and then went right back to the original literary gothic society, weaving myths with really dramatic melodies. That to me is distilled essence of Goth. We wanted to go right back to 92-93 and pick up the thread to see where we could go with it ourselves. We've tried to present it as we heard and felt it but there are differences; its now 2011 and my coffin comes packed with conspiracies.
Do you think that fans of today knows what Gothic Rock is?
(Voe) Didn't Rosetta say that real Goths are old? And That was some time ago! Id imagine some of us older ones do. The problem is each generation perceives what Goth is in a different way. Personally i'm only interested in what it was to me and others of my generation who were actually there and young ones who'd have sold their granny to have been there.
United Kingdom was once the mother-land of Gothic Rock scene. How the things are today down there?
(Voe) People here have always talked about Goth being in decline while its been going on around them in some shape or form. The big bands like The Sisters, The Mission and the Nephs still gig. We've still got Nosferatu but also Grooving in Green and hopefully a new album from Witching hour that I'm waiting for. Things were a bit crap for a while with all the EBM but I think the United Kingdom has still got a great Goth future ahead of her. However I'm really blown away by a lot of things happening else where though. Greece is where its at at the moment with bands like Opened Paradise. Greece looks like the best place to be for Goths right now.
Tell us about your soon to be out Hidden Hand Fanzine. Well this is another part of your stuff that takes me back to Nosferatu.... What will be included in the zine? Only musical stuff or what? When shall we expecting it?
(Voe) The Hidden Hand was due out at the same time as the EP but the musical side took precedence. Because of the release of the Tape, CD and Blood Chalice book it had to be put on ice. Rather than do a regular Goth zine we've now decided to give it out with copies of the next EP and then take it from there. We wanted to do it to accompany the releases in the spirit of the 90s scene.
There was a limited tape already given away by the band. It seems that you are really missing the good old days.
(Voe) Indeed, the tape was never sold. It was given out free. Some people had been making a real noise posting our video and talking about us. I decided to release a tape that would be extremely limited as a way of thanking people who were first on the scene offering support. Many of them became really good friends. I've been a recluse for so long and I've been really genuinely touched by the kindness. I still collect tapes now and when I find ones i've been after for years I still feel that magic I did in the 90s. I wanted to share a little of that feeling with my new friends by creating something like that specifically for them. There are only 25 numbered copies!
How difficult or easy is it to re present the special atmosphere of your music on stage? Have you done any shows so far? Do you plan any new ones?
(Scarlet) We feel less is more with Goth atmosphere. A bit like with good horror movies. Were not planning on lazers and pyrotechnics.
(Voe) I've played in bands before so theres things you learn. One of them is keeping it simple & sub mixing so you replicate your sound regardless of who the in house mixer at the venue is. What we are planning is to put out another 2nd EP then a full album and Gig to promote it.
Do you believe in any form of God? Good, Evil or to any religion in general? Your statement about the “Serpent Cult” may help me to fit you straight to the Dark Forces... Or not?
(Scarlet) Our statement has a two fold nature. On the one hand it hints to the way we are not seeking mass appeal preferring it a cult affair. On the other it is nod towards ancestry and the hidden function of "junk DNA".
(Voe) I don't see people defined by their religion but by their actions. I don't see good or evil as forces existing objectively outside of our subjective human view point. I believe man creates his gods based on his own needs. As people differ so they will fall out over their gods and that is something I detest. Because people argue and fight easily over myths it makes it easy for a few to impose a tyranny on our everyday lives and life for the enlightened is dangerous. Those who rule us do not care what we believe only that we slave for them to keep them in power and stratified above us. If I had to create a god it would a be a god of fire and fascination as the only thing I follow is what I find fascinating. I don't believe anything of any consequence can be done without first facing your shadow but Light and Darkness mean something different to me. To me light is all that is known, all information thus far discovered. For me living in light would be stale. I would rather explore darkness because darkness means all that is unknown or not explored. It offers new possibilities for learning and insight and via the act of knowing darkness light is created. Darkness to me is not something to fear but the unformed, the is to be, the tomorrow and its more interesting than the past or what is already known.