OFFICIUM TRISTE (Eng.)

– Hi, thanks for your time. What are you currently up to? How is everything doing right now with OFFICIUM TRISTE?

Hi Sergio, thank you for this interview. Currently we are enjoying ourselves with all the great feedback “Mors Viri” is getting. We just did a cool show in Vienna and we are currently looking into possibilities of doing some more shows this year.

– First off, you’ve been 6 years without releasing any new material so, has this supposed some kind of sound evolution and in the band in general, both as musicians and composers?

Well, we did release some new material in the meantime. We had our 15th anniversary compilation album “Charcoal Hearts – 15 Years of Hurt’ released in 2009, which contained some new and re-recorded songs next to some older sold out material. Next to that we released a split CD with Ophis. That one had 2 new songs as well, although they were recorded after we recorded “Mors Viri”.

As far as the new full-length is concerned, we had some line-up changes since our last full-length “Giving Yourself Away”. Of course this had some impact on the sound and compositions. For instance our new drummer Niels has a specific style and I think that has its impact on the overall sound. Next to that the input when it comes to writing songs is different too. In the end it still is very much an album written by the complete band but the basic ideas for songs come from more persons. For instance guitarist Bram, who has been with us since 2007, brought some great ideas as well as Lawrence our bass-player. This all resulted in this new album, which is more varied even when we still kept the basics of Officium Triste in tact.

 

– And how are you feeling releasing now a new album after several years? Do you feel some kind of liberation? Excitement? Pressure?

We are happy it is finally out. It was a long journey. We started writing in 2010, we recorded in 2011 and we had the album mixed and mastered in Sweden in 2012. It was finished in the summer of 2012 and then we had to look for a label. Our previous contract with Displeased Records was finished and that label stopped as well. So we finally came to an agreement with Hammerheart and then we had to wait a bit more for the actual release. Since we were very happy with the way the album turned out you could say it was a bit of a liberation to see it finally released.

 

– Getting a bit into this new record; would you please mind to elaborate a bit on what do some of its lyrics deal with?

It’s all about different subjects. The opening track “Your Fall From Grace” deals with addiction. “The Wounded And The Dying” deals with war and the way governments treat their soldiers. “Like Atlas” is about dealing and struggling with the pressure of life that some people are confronted with. “Burning All Boats And Bridges” is about radically changing your life. “Your Heaven, My Underworld” is about a different point of view when it comes to life and someone trying to put pressure on another when it comes to living that life. So it’s basically different subjects but nothing really happy or uplifting.

 

– And what did you want to reflect with its cover artwork?

We wanted to go back a bit to our first album “Ne Vivam” so we chose a Latin title once again and the artwork reminds a bit of a headstone and the girl on the cover reflecting the actual meaning “the death of a man”.

The inside of the booklet has artwork that more or less reflects the topics of the particular songs.

 

– After giving «Mors Viri» some spins, I could say this is your most mature album in all aspects, as it really diverse, for instance. Was this something you were aiming for?

Our aim was to make an even better album than the previous ones. We always want to make heavy and melodic music, so that’s what you can always expect from us. As I mentioned before the input came from more band members, so it is obvious there’s a bit more diversity. We’re very critical on our own music so it has to be good and everyone has to approve. Other than that we didn’t really give it a lot of thought. We simply want to make great music.

 

– Melody seems to play an important role on the album, providing a really melancholic feeling. Do you compose based on your own thoughts and emotions?

Melody always has been an important factor for us, so it will always be present. I am positive that thoughts and emotions have an influence on the compositions. I have to stress though that we are not melancholic, sad or heartbroken all the time though.

 

– Keyboards also seem to have a stronger presence this time around, specially on the mix. Did you really want to get this strong keyboard sound or was it just due to the production process?

We have been using keyboards for a long time now and they add a lot to the overall sound and atmosphere of the songs. Giving the keyboards a more dominant part in the mix adds a lot to the result. So it was deliberate to have them more present.

 

– Tunes as «The Wounded and the Dying» show you aren’t afraid of broading your horizons and experimenting with elements outside the Doom/Death standards. Will you explore different sounds like this further on future records?

It’s a bit too soon to tell but with more people involved in the composing parts I think we will experiment a bit more. Then again we always have. On some of our older albums there are some more upbeat songs with a more death metal vibe. You don’t want to keep on writing the same song over and over again.

 

– On this CD you have included a cover for ANATHEMA’s «Sleepless», recording during the recording sessions. How did this arise? And what other songs would you like to cover?

Actually this cover isn’t part of the album; we just recorded it during the same session. We made it available online just because we thought it was cool to record this song. We used to play it live a lot back in the day and it is one of the coolest songs ever.

This song also sounds different as this one was mixed fairly quickly by Martin our keyboard-player and the album was mixed by Ronnie Björnström in Sweden.

We have talked about covers when we recorded our 15th anniversary album in 2009. Back then we decided on “Love Like Blood” by Killing Joke. Other tracks that were mentioned were “Space Oddity” by David Bowie, “Stay On These Roads” by A-Ha or The Cure’s “Charlotte Sometimes”. Personally I’d like to do a cover of an old Katatonia song one day too. But it’s not a thing we really give much thought, writing our own songs is what really counts.

 

– All this about «Mors Viri» being said, how could you describe it in just 3 words?

Heavy, melodic, emotional!

 

– This has been your first opus with Hammerheart Records. How has everything been working with them so far?

So far, so good. It’s been too short of a time to really reflect on this cooperation. The good thing is we know the guys fairly well so this makes things all a bit easier.

 

– And finally; what are your near-future plans?

Getting shows booked and getting out there to promote “Mors Viri” on stage. We also already have ideas for new songs so hopefully we can record a new album a bit sooner this time.

 

– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.

Thank you for this interview. We appreciate it.

I hope your readers will take the time to check out our music and we hope to see you in front of the stage when we’re in town.

Keep updated through www.officiumtriste.com and www.facebook.com/officiumtriste.

Sergio Fernández

sergio@queensofsteel.com

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