CVLT Nation Interviews OATHBREAKER
This past year you guys released Eros/Anteros on Deathwish Inc, to some pretty high acclaim I might add. After you released Maelstrom did they approach you about going for a second LP? What made you want to go back with them?
I: Honestly, it never even occurred to me to make the switch to another label. Working together on the first album felt so comfortable and we were very pleased with the results, so it was only logical to me to continue working with Deathwish Inc. I was more than glad that they felt the same way. When we started recording, they gave us total freedom to do as we felt was best for the record and the band. The first time Jake heard any of the new material was actually when we were all together in his car after the last day of recording had finished.
What was your overall reaction after seeing Eros/Anteros on so many top year end lists, and positive reviews? Did you expect this record to have the impact that it did?
I: It’s always hard to tell up front, you know? You make the record that you – as a band – feel you should be making, you put it out there and you hope for the best. Obviously, we were convinced we had made a good record so we were quite glad to notice a lot of people agreed. It’s rather humbling, every time again, when people come up to you to say they love your band and the music that you’re making.
In my opinion, Eros/Anteros is a huge step up from the previous LP and EP. Going into writing and recording the record, were there any different approaches you guys took to crafting this record?
I: It definitely was an entire beast altogether compared to the first album. The first album was written over the course of a couple of years, separate songs that we crafted into an album. This time, we really wrote “an album,” if you know what I mean. The whole album was written in a shorter amount of time, making it more cohesive both in style and in dynamics. This resulted in an album that, to us, felt more like a finished story from start to ending.
C: Concerning the writing of Eros/Anteros, I think all of us went through some rough personal things at that time. I can only speak for myself, but by the time I was combining 2 jobs and full-time classes, working day and night to pay for my studies and being able to live by myself, this and some other stuff led to a pretty rough break up. I think the fact that the record was written in this ‘timescape,’ where we had a mutual form of being lost and maybe even hitting rock bottom, gave us the energy and strength to write this record as it is. Writing this record was a way of processing certain things I’d rather not think about anymore, and playing these songs is a form of therapy to me.
What is the meaning behind the artwork for the new record? It’s very bizarre, and is very different from a lot of album covers that have been coming out lately. It’s definitely refreshing, and I love that you guys took a different approach.
C: Thanks! Same as we did for Maelstrom, we worked with the guys of WeBecameAware for the concept and layout of the record but this time the stunning pictures of Jeroen Mylle complete the collaboration perfectly. Together we created a maypole, an ancient Germanic symbol, mostly erected around May to celebrate the return of summer and the growth of new vegetation, basically the start of a new cycle. As writing the record meant some sort of passage or transition to us, the cover illustrates the ritual that goes along with the maypole, the birth of change. We also exhibited this ritual more elaborate in the video for “No Rest For The Weary.”
The record ends with “Clair Obscur” which definitely stands out the most from the rest. Is it an ongoing theme to end the record with a song that is a complete 180 from the rest of the LP, or does it just come out that way?
I: It was more of a coincidence, honestly. We do always try to find a good way to finish the album, because it’s important that it clearly wraps up the whole album. In a way, “Clair Obscur” is quite different from the rest of the album, but I do feel it’s connected to the rest of the album.
C: To me, “Clair Obscur” definitely completes this album. It feels like the right ending, calm, a little eery. Closure.
Leading up to Temples Fest you guys will be hitting the road with Amenra, Treha Sektori, and Hessian. It seems as though you guys are hitting a lot of countries that aren’t normally tackled on an European tour such as Spain and Portugal. Are these a lot of areas that you’ve played before, or will you be hitting some new ground?
I: We covered a lot of Spain and Portugal in 2012 when we toured those countries together with Ritual, so it was nice to come back and see some familiar faces. We did play some cities both in France and Austria that we hadn’t played before, so there was definitely some new ground as well. Also, thanks to the package with Amenra headlining, we got the opportunity to play in front of a lot of people that hadn’t had the chance before to see us live.
In August 2012, we were able to play some shows together on the East Coast. How did you guys feel about coming into the US and touring over here, as opposed to the constant changing of countries in Europe.
I: Touring the US was very different compared to Europe. We only played like 9-10 shows and didn’t travel big distances, so it felt more like discovering the US scene. We definitely want to see more of the US in the future, do a proper tour.
What does the band have planned after the Amenra Tour & Temples Fest?
I: There’s a lot of stuff happening. Next big thing is the Church Of Ra showcase that will be taking place in Ghent on the 8th of June. That’s going to be pretty awesome, so we’re really looking forward to that. The bill will be Amenra, The Black Heart Rebellion, Treha Sektori, Syndrome, Hessian and us. This summer we’re also playing some pretty cool shows (ao. the Deathwish family reunion), Hevy Fest,… more details on those as they get the official announcements.
Thanks for taking the time to do this. Hope to see you guys back in the US sooner than later!