– Hello, thank you so much for answering our interview. How is everything doing right now with LETHIAN DREAMS?
Hello Sergio, thank you for this interview. We are doing great, always working on new ideas and promoting our last album at the moment, so this is a quite busy time for us.
– First off, could you tell us why did you pick the name of “Lethian Dreams” for the band? Both its origin and meaning.
The first word “Lethian” is taken from the elvish “leithian” that means “deliverance”. We wanted something original for the band name, and something that both means and represents our music, so something we got by combining English and Elvish.
– Though maybe we could label your style as some kind of Doom Metal, you have managed to create a such unique sound so; what could you say are the main musical influences for the band?
It’s difficult to mention influences, I think influences are strong at the beginning of a band, but after a few years, the band gets its own musical personality, and thus the influences are less and less present in the music. We listen to a lot of different music, my tastes include doom metal, black metal, movies soundtracks, folk music, so it’s hard to pick something in particular. I think the most obvious were the bands that influenced our beginning, like Anathema, Katatonia, early Paradise Lost, Agalloch
– The band was formed in 2002 but you have only released two full-length albums; is there any concrete reason behind this?
This is the result of the band history and the fact that Carline and I are also involved in other bands or musical projects like Remembrance or Aythis. Bleak Silver Streams got released in 2009, but actually it was recorded in 2007, and included songs composed from 2002 to 2006, it just took us a while to get the right production, the right material to record everything and be satisfied with the result. After 2007, we wanted to evolve into something that represents more the feeling we wanted to put in our music, something that was still depressive, but more ethereal and raw at the same time. So, we started working on some new songs, adding more acoustic parts to our music, removing the death vocals. So we slowly work on some new songs, releasing 2 albums with Remembrance in the meantime, and finally complete demo versions of “Season of Raven Words” in 2010, we recorded them in 2011 and released the album this year.
– In fact your debut album got an overwhelming response, both from the fans and press. Does this make you work under more pressure or is it just extra motivation?
Not really, I mean, it’s always a great pleasure to get positive feedbacks from press and fans, but my motivation comes from what I personally feel listening to my music and the satisfaction I get being able to express something through my compositions. So even if press and fans said our music was pure crap, that would not affect the fact that I would still work new songs.
Of course we knew it would be difficult after Bleak Silver Streams to keep satisfying everybody, once people like an album a lot, the follower is always a bit disappointed for them (it happens a lot to me with bands I like), I mean, either you released something totally similar and people say that you just made the same album twice, either you evolve and people say they preferred what you played before. But as I said, we don’t want to play the music people expect us to play, but we want to play the music we feel, so if we need to evolve to keep being in harmony with our work, that’s what we do, no matter how our album will be received.
– Your latest record is “Season of Raven Words”; how was its feedback like? Did it fulfil your expectations?
Yes, I’m totally satisfied with the result, this is exactly the music we wanted to create. For now we are getting a lot of positive feedbacks, so we can’t really complain.
– And now that has been some months since this effort came out; would you have liked to change something on it or to have done something differently?
Yeah, I bought a new preamp since I recorded my guitars on Season of Raven words, I could have made my guitar sound a little better. But well, if you wait to buy new material each time you’re recording an album, you release something every 10 years, so no regret about that !
– On this superb new effort you haven’t used growls. Was this something planned or just a natural evolution? Why did you think it was the right choice to use only clean vocal lines?
I think it was both something planned and a natural evolution, because our natural evolution brought us to something more ethereal for which we needed not to use any growls. This was the right choice to focus on the ethereal side of our music. On Bleak Silver Streams, growls were used to get a good balance between calm and more aggressive parts, on Season of Raven Words, we get that balance using rawer and more distorted guitars.
– In fact it seems like this vocal approach fits perfectly with the music on the album, as its more atmospheric. Was this how you envisioned the album since the beginning?
Yes exactly, this is why we felt freer to use a lot of raw, sometimes black metal riffings, knowing that with the vocals we would get something ethereal but still punchy.
– This being said, it seems like you have expanded on your own formula, which shows you are experiencing a continuous grow and development. Is this a chosen path? As I guess it’d too boring and easy to do the same over and over again.
Exactly, not only it would be boring to play the same album over and over again, but also, we need an album that represents our feeling, that represents what we are, and so the evolution was just natural. We can’t reduce our musical influences to only doom metal, we can’t reduce our feeling to only doom metal, that’s why it’s was necessary to evolve a bit and broaden our music style to add all those different elements that were missing.
– Moreover I’d dare say the sound on this new “Season of Raven Words” is more complex than on your previous “Bleak Silver Streams”. Due to this, could you say this new opus is or has been a challenge both for you and your listeners?
I can’t really answer for the listeners, maybe that was a challenge for those who only listen to doom metal and that were disappointed to find folk and black metal influences in our music. For us, there is always a challenge : to make something as good or better as what we previously released. We would never release an album if we thought it wasn’t as good or better as the previous one. In term of composition this album is more complex because we used less elements in the music, so each instruments is really important. It’s easy to use 3 harmonised guitar leads and 3 keyboards tracks and get a good atmosphere, but it’s a lot more difficult to use a simple keyboard and a single guitar lead and finally get a deeper atmosphere.
– Leaving the musical part of the album aside; what’s the concept, or what are some of the main ideas, covered this time around?
This albums mostly deals with nature and feelings, Carline often uses descriptions and metaphors of the natural world to express deeper feelings.
– All this being said; how could you describe “Season of Raven Words” in just 3 words?
3 words to describe it musically : depressive ethereal metal
3 words to describe what’s behind the music : nature, appeasement, feelings
– The band basis is built up upon yourself and Carline, anyway throughout your career you have worked with different musicians. Do you feel more comfortable as a duo?
Yes, even if we have worked with different musicians, we have always been the main composers; this is really how we can work. In any case, I think a band is better if there’s only a few people or a single person involved in the composition, with no compromise, otherwise, if you involve 5 persons in the compositions, everybody put his own feeling, and you finally get 5 different feelings, which results in something a bit incoherent. Of course, except if you find people with the exact same feeling, but it’s really really rare. I know Carline and I have the exact same feeling, and after working together for 10 years, we are now even more complementary, that’s why we are always composing as a duo.
– In fact both of you have been working together for over a decade now, and not just with LETHIAN DREAMS, but also with REMEMBRANCE. Due to this I would like to know how the songwriting process uses to be like for you. Have these years of relationship been something positive for you musically?
We don’t have any defined song writing process, it’s different for each band, each album and each song ! Sometimes Carline and I compose the guitar together, sometimes she composes a guitar line and I add the 2 guitars, sometimes she composes a whole riff and I compose the next one, sometimes she composes a whole song and I compose of whole song…There’s so many combinations of instruments we use first, who composes what first, that’s almost infinite, and that’s how we manage to compose so many different songs without getting repetitive.
So, of course this is totally positive, we would never have got the same result if we hadn’t mixed our ideas.
– You are now working with Orcynia Records but, do you think if you were working with a label as Season of Mist for instance, French as well, you would bee even more successful? Anyway I guess working with smaller companies may have positive things as well, as not being just a number for them.
Sure, labels like Season of Mist are quite big and it would be a real plus for us to release an album on such a label, both in promotion and distribution, but they never showed any interest in singing us, and I’m too old to start sending demos to labels and hope to get signed…it was ok when I was twenty and when I had more free time, but now I think it’s a waste of time, I don’t want to send demos to labels, wait their answer. I prefer spending that time in composing new songs. I like making music, and I don’t want to waste my time in the musical business…if I have a few hours to spend, I’ll always prefer spending them playing the guitar and composing a new songs than writing emails and sending stuff to labels. If a label is interested in signing us, we are always open to proposals, otherwise, we are perfectly happy with Orcynia Records and will keep on releasing further albums on it.
– It seems like in French there’s lately a huge Black Metal scene but, how is the Doom Metal scene out there?
Actually, I don’t really know, I’m not really in touch with the doom metal scene, I almost never go to concerts, especially as there’s no city around where I live, so no concerts, so it’s hard to follow what’s new on the scene.
– And finally, what are your near-future plans?
We are working on a lot of different things at the moment : we have found a drummer, and started rehearsing, we still need a bassist, but I hope that in a few months we will be able to perform again ; we have already started working on a new album. Also we recently made a video of an acoustic version of our song Wandering, it was really pleasant, so I think we will work some others acoustic adaptations of our songs.
– So that has been everything from our side, thank you once more for taking your time. If you now want to add some final words; feel free to do it.
Thanks again for the interview, it was a pleasure answering your questions. Don’t hesitate to join our Facebook page to keep in touch and be informed about our latest news.