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Colin H. Van Eeckhout (AMENRA): Life itself needs no true explanation

Colin H. Van Eeckhout (AMENRA): Life itself needs no true explanation
BANDS : Amenra

The music of Amenra has always gravitated to an obscurity which is hard to define. Having a close-up view, one can notice that it is not only about that kind of darkness which is manifesting through the denial of the surrounding things. It is about that phenomenon which unfolds apart from the mundane conceptions, wherefore this music just seems to be obscure. Undoubtedly, the essence does not target only the black world. We are talking about that kind of music which resides in atmosphere, explosions of light, pressure and all manner of experiences collected into a style which is stated as sludge/doom/post-metal. Dealing with a very abstract side, sometimes we get curious of the artists’ thoughts that are involved in these manifestations. How do they go such a long way? Most of the times there are natural causes, but when the main character tells you about his view on the play wherein he performs, things become pretty interesting. We are happy to learn some things from the vocalist of Amenra, Colin H. Van Eeckhout. This is a good opportunity considering that the Belgian group will come for the second time in Bucharest in a few days. Marius Costache, a well-known music producer in our area organizes this event, same as last time when Amenra played in Bucharest. So, on 6th of June you will see the guys of Amenra in Club Control and below this, there is something good to read. 
Metalfan: Hello, Colin and welcome to Metalfan Romania!  How is everything going with you and your music lately? 
Colin H. Van Eeckhout: Okay... Slowly starting to write for "MASS VI" and "AFTERLIFE II" with AMENRA. We recorded some work for scores and dance performances this year. It’s an interesting world. Next to that, all of us took the time to write, record or play shows with side projects. Wiegedood just released their debut album. CHVE, Harlowe, Darak, Sembler Deah and Syndrome releases are scheduled for this year.
Metalfan: I assume that you generally get inspired from a wide range of events, facts, worlds, thoughts and so on. Can you tell us about some phenomena that had a particular kind of impact on your creation?     
Colin H. Van Eeckhout: It depends... For sure the death of family members always casts a darker shadow than anything else. Cancer, love, loss in general, existential pain, divorce, the birth of children are things that pointed me in a direction. But it is never as simple as that with Amenra.
The answer to this question is of an abstract nature. Everything is sentiment, emotion. The solitude within a social network drives us for example.
Metalfan: How works for you the idea of expressing your visions through words? I am not referring to lyrics, but simply to talking or writing something for people, like in the case of this interview. What is the use of these actions from your point of view? How much do you feel that some things need to be explained?
Colin H. Van Eeckhout: Well, AMENRA is the type of band that takes effort to understand. We need people to jump in headfirst in order for them to truly grasp the intention we have. I like to talk to people about it, ‘cause it also points us into new insights.
Life itself needs no true explanation, yet we all search for answers to unanswerable questions.
Metalfan: It is sure enough that the Amenra music evolved over time and of course, that is a natural deed. Can you mention just one thing that has changed in your way of perceiving things during all this evolution process? 
Colin H. Van Eeckhout: Not really. We try to restrain ourselves from the need to satisfy others, but ourselves. We are the true guardians of our legacy. And throughout the 16 years of our existence, we grow... As musicians and as humans or friends. Our lives change. And we work with that.
Metalfan: Is there a certain feeling that you often have after a live performance? I mean, do you feel like something is repeating at one point? When I am talking about repetition, it is not about a negative effect like conventionalism, but a constructive experience, or the adjustment of a personal philosophy. 
Colin H. Van Eeckhout: After a show there’s a sense of rebirth. Weight fell from your shoulders and you once again can breathe with full lung capacity.
Of course, there’s a form of „repetition”. For us repetition works well, the more we do something the more natural it comes, therefore technicality disappears and we are able to truly get „into” it. Concerts are best when you can truly lose yourself in it.
Metalfan: Now, concerning the Egyptian myths, how did it all start for you? How did you come to link your creation energies with the Ra spirituality and how do you translate this form of spirituality? 
Colin H. Van Eeckhout: There is no connection to Egyptian myths solely. We take what we can „bend” into our system. The „Ra” was merely used as a symbol for „life”. The Sun god was the „origin” to everything and everyone.
Life itself feeds us, and we should feed or fill life with the goodness within... For as much as possible.
Metalfan: What did you borrow from the religious texts and what did you bring from your inner selves into the Ra philosophy? 
Colin H. Van Eeckhout: Nothing! It has never been our intention, to "write" down our vision on spirituality, this exactly is what kills it. It should be free to everyone to explore, and use as needed. Freemasonry, Catholicism are the ones that were closest to us in our upbringing. I am sure all other religions bare metaphors and ideas or principles that are righteous as much as the ones we aim at. We aim on every religions core, with our own Heart and Reason.
Metalfan: Sometimes, you talk about a particular truth that you want to achieve through your music and the ideas that are related to Church of Ra, or through the visions depicted in the visual realm of Amenra. I do not know how to understand the meaning of „truth”.  I never thought that this word can express much. I would rather speak about „sense”, instead of „truth”, because „sense” seems less restrictive, but this is just how it works for me. Anyways, I think it is the individual perception that makes us who we are as whole, as part of a Universe that contains a lot of different elements. So, what is „truth” for you? 
Colin H. Van Eeckhout: I feel you wrong. The word „truth” expresses exactly too much. It is too grand to convey.
„The truth” is everything, everything one should be able to understand or know, in order to live a good or righteous life. Man needs to find the goodness that resides within him, and needs to live by it, as a code of honour. This is what we strive for in an abstract way.
Yet I believe that we are talking about the same thing. It is the problem with what we do, it does not translate itself in words, written nor spoken. That is why I don’t like to talk or write too much about it. I do not have the answers, no one does. It is not our task. We are merely documenting our journey, to look for that what cannot be found. 
Metalfan: Can you tell us a few words about the collaboration between Amenra and Kreng? How was the atmosphere while working for this album and what kind of feelings emerge when you listen to the staggering music of Kreng? 
Colin H. Van Eeckhout: It is by far one of the most interesting things we’ve done the last years, it was really interesting to feel and see the possibilities of a string orchestra. And what emotion could be summoned through its sounds! There is a second chapter in the works.
Metalfan: How about the collaboration with Jeroen Mylle and the ambient music that Amenra created for his film? What does this mean for your experience
Colin H. Van Eeckhout: For us it was a necessity to go further on "MASS V", and start over again. We created a vile and animalesque piece of music, which we’ve translated in film. It’s like we dug into it to find a hidden part in it. We like to experiment with our music, by reversing it, slowing it down, re-record parts, add extra layers analysing how much we can do to it, for it to change in emotion, in outcome.
Metalfan: What made you go with the acoustic transformation of some Amenra songs?
Colin H. Van Eeckhout: We had already recorded an acoustic EP in 2008, and also looked into our existing repertoire if songs stand on its own in acoustic setting. It challenges us to make acoustic music, it makes us more vulnerable than ever.

Metalfan: Should we expect a "Mass VI" in the near future?

Colin H. Van Eeckhout: No. 
Metalfan: Besides other interesting shows that you guys announced for this year, there is one of them which will mark the second coming of Amenra in Romania, Bucharest, in June. For many of us, this means wonderful news, so, in order to complete this interview, I ask you for a few words about this future show, what does it mean for you, what would you like to find here and so on. Otherwise, a message from you for all those who appreciate your work will be more than appreciated. Thank you for your time and we are looking forward for your performance in Bucharest! 
Colin H. Van Eeckhout: The hospitality we felt, during our first visit to Bucharest was unmatched. We have a connection to Marius that will last a lifetime. We’re very much looking forward to our second coming.
Photo Credits: J. Mylle, V. Maes
Autor: Gina S.
   June 03, 2015  | 0 Comments  | 12132 Views « BACK

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