1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?
Saros : The band came up literally from nowhere. We were just two guys talking about black metal and trading some bands name all the day. At some time we just decided to rehearse together and see what happened. The line was pretty straight forward. We wanted to do something raw, rooted in bm traditions with a pastoral/medieval touch. Finally it has been a huge rush, an emergency. Nothing was premeditated, the record process has been very brutal and I think that's what we seek. The voices for example have never been rehearsed but recorded directly without any idea of what I was doing. The same thing happened to Sans-Visage for the drum. We wanted it raw, that was the plan, that's all.
2.So far you have released a demo, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical style that you went for on the recording?
Saros : Our black metal is inspired by punk in one hand and more classic black metal in the other with those melodic tremolo picking for example. We had the whole 90's scene in mind when we wrote the guitars. On "Inegalités de Bell", we also wrote very brutal riffs out of nowhere. The contrast with the clean parts is really startling and I think we like this kind of effect a lot.
We're both attracted by traditional music in one way or another. By adding some flute or classical guitars we clearly open the door for medieval aspect. It will probably be a guideline for Vipère.
Moreover, this aspect is clearly present in the drawings of Sans-Visage. And we're planning to include more medieval/legend thematics in the lyrics in the future.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band has explored so far with the music?
Saros : For now the lyrics pre-existed to Vipère and was picked in one of my notebook at the time I was recording the voices. It's mostly about depression and anxiety, the fear of aging, stuff like that. There's also a love story with a witch. The era we're in has been inspiring for me. With the sanitary confinement, the loss of certainty and fear of others ooze in the lyrics. 2 of the 3 songs with voices are in french and we want to keep it that way. "Multiface" lyrics are nearly a mistake because they are in english but it was too late, the song was record and we decided to live with it.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Vipère'?
Saros : "Vipère" is the french word for viper. It's a snake that we used to find in France when we were young. I haven't seen one since a long time. It reminds us our attachment to nature against the danger of the venom. It reflects the vicious, sneaky side of the band. Once again, it's all about contrast. You can worship an animal despite the fear that it inspires you. You can love the pastoral aspect of the viper despite the potential pain and death behind its fangs. There is also something folkish about this animal, a special meaning in the popular culture that talks to us.
Sans-visage : The funny thing is that we're both phobic of snakes. It probably means nothing but I like the way it resonates with the band name.
5.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the ep cover?
Sans-Visage : The artwork has been a delicate task for me. First I re-drawled my own way an old medieval sketch found in a book. The result was nice but it pissed me off that it was a copy... We liked it anyway and it became the backcover. For the main artwork, I drawled each part separately, logo, forest, smoke and some stuffs not used in the final result.
The frontcover evokes the deep forest far from the trails. The one where it's easy to get lost, where you find disgusting bugs or vipers. You take this way only if you don't have the choice anymore. This dark and cold forest stinks hazard and death symbolized by the smoke shaped skull.
6.Currently there are only 2 members in the band, are you open to expanding the line up or do you prefer to remain a duo?
Saros : For now we are a duo there is no doubt. The alchemy we felt while recording the EP was so perfect that we don't want to take the risk to break it now. I played in some bands but never had this perfect sensation to be on the same page. We respect each other's work and just like the same shits so much that we agree almost all the time. And even if that's not perfectly the case, we're ok to make a concession or two to make room to each other. Of course, it would be comfortable to have a drummer or whatever, but we still have a lot to explore as a duo.
And I don't know why, I always loved to work with constraints. Doing things with simply what I have in hands. I discovered that I'm far more productive with this method. I think Sans-Visage is like that too. He always arrives with a new fucked up concept that frames us but forces us to be creative with nothing. Being a duo is part of this philosophy.
7.The demo was released on 'Vetus Capra', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
Saros : Vetus Capra has been initially created to hosts or own projects. The first release of the label was the first album of Vieille Chèvre which is my side project. I believe Sans-Visage is also preparing something... So naturally we decided to create the "label" to gather the different projects under the same flag.
Sans-Visage : The mutual aura of each bands creates an emulation and we believe that the label could have his own identity. But we don't want to rush things. It will grow at his own rythm.
8.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black metal?
Saros : All reviews we had by now are pretty good. We are pleasantly surprised ! Despite the raw aspect and the short duration of the ep it seems that we have developed our own universe and black metal fans recognized that and this is what they tell us about. We have contact in Greece, Italy, United States, Australia... We have what we wanted, some feedback from the underground. What is happening now, interview, radio show, etc are just bonus for us...
9.So far there is very little information about the band except for the metal archives page, are you planning on expanding your presence in the future?
Saros : No. It's not part of the plan for now. We don't pretend to be anonymous or whatever but we don't want to expose ourself more than needed. We like to think that everything will come naturally. That's what we're doing from the begining and we would like to keep going this way.
10.When can we expect a full length and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Saros : Ahah you're not the first one asking us what is planned next. We have plans for the year I think. But we don't know so far if it will be another ep or an lp. Some lyrics and visuals are already written and drawns. A concept album is not excluded... We want the artworks, lyrics and musical aspects to work fully together. Musically speaking we will continue digging what we have initiate on Sombre Marche. We're thinking of adding probably more medieval/instrumental parts in the blend. Anyway we don't want to lock ourselves in. Maybe that nothing of all of this will happen, who knows...
11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Saros : I come from the noise/math rock scene and played in bands evolving in those subgenre before heading to black metal. The Jesus Lizard, Shellac, The Enablers constitute a huge influence concerning me. For the evil side, Paysage d'Hiver, Sale Freux, Vargrav and the 90's scene represent well my black metal affinity's but finally I listen to everything unusual. Drone music as well as french singers like J.L. Murat or G. Manset passing by contemporary classical music. These days I'm more into Striborg, Këkht Aräkh, Bones or Nuit Noire...
Sans-Visage : Personally I listen punk music since I'm a kid. I played in some punk/hardcore bands before. I have been influenced a lot by bands like Black Flag, Minor Threat, Poison Idea. Then I discovered the crust subgenre and finally black metal. I was a teenager at that time and I listened massively Marduk, Mayhem and Dissection. Today I'm still listening BM on a daily basis, old school stuff or more recent bands. For example these days I'm listening to Ifernach, Grafvitnir and Valkyrja. I also listen classical music for a few years now. I don't really know which bands had an influence on me in the composition process. The riffs were coming while playing. For a year Saros and me met from time to time to compose some riffs. And at a certain point, we throwed up all the stuff to start again. In this process, we found our way, our method to compose with two guitars. No headaches to know who is the lead guitarist, who plays the solo or the rythmic part.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Saros : First of all thanks to you for the review and the interview. It means a lot to us. As newcomers we're very proud and excited to be welcomed in the black metal circle. Despite the dark period we're in there is a real mutual aid in the scene and it's no legend.
We hope you'll heard of Vipère soon. Be sure that you'll be informed for next releases as soon as possible !
Sans-Visage : Thanks a lot to let us the opportunity to answer your questions, and good continuation.