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DVNE's Victor Vicart: "(These times) are challenging for sure, but we’re pretty flexible as a band, and we managed to make the best of it. It allowed us to work on some live sessions and really up our game live."

Interview with Victor Vicart from DVNE
by Daphne Minks Daly at 26 June 2021, 7:58 AM

DVNE is a Metal blend of many different styles, including Progressive Rock, Metalgaze, Stoner Infused Sludge Metal, and Doom. Metal Temple writer Daphne Minks Daly recent got the chance to chat with guitarist, vocalist and keyboardist Victor Vicart to talk about their newest album, and some other subjects. 

Hello! Daphne from Metal Temple, here. First, let me say thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions about Etemen Ænka. It’s a mind-blowing album that crosses so many genres. With that said, my first question is about Dvne’s sound. It's truly unique and refreshingly different. Can you tell me what some of the band members’ earlier genre influences were?

Hi Daphne, and thanks for having us. We all listen to a lot of different types of music, including heavy music but also pop, hip hop and electronic music. That said, our early influences are definitely rooted into heavy music. Dan used to play in a grindcore band for years, Dudley used to play in an indie rock band and I used to play in Doom bands.

But when we started Dvne, the music we started putting together was much more influenced by the early 2000 US sludge and progressive sludge scene. Bands like Kylesa, Baroness, High On Fire and Mastodon were particularly influential to me at that time, while our drummer Dudley was really into Gojira and Tool. But as it is for now, we find inspiration from tons of other bands and artists in and outside the metal scene.

How do you think those influences have affected your sound as a whole, and then specifically with this latest album?

Our early influences really shape us as musicians, so they will always be present in our music to a degree. But I think Etemen Ænka is as much influenced by what we’ve been listening to more recently. Synths were a big addition to this album and it’s something we wanted to do because we really like electronic music, modern but also old school stuff like Carpenter and Goblin which is super synthy!

Etemen Ænka has a profoundly thought-provoking concept. Was that the vision, or should I say, the brainchild of just one member? Or was it a collective effort?

This was a collective effort. We wrote the concept before entering the studio and the artwork was created prior to the recording too. We had the general direction of the album concept done together, then Dan and I wrote the lyrics together.

Dvne is booked for some seriously thrilling shows happening as soon as December! How are you feeling about getting out and gigging again? Will we get to hear some songs off Asheran?

Well we’re about to announce more shows for 2021, which is super cool. We might drop a couple of tracks from Asheran for longer shows.

On that same line of thought, what has been the most challenging aspect of releasing this record and not being able to promote it in a live arena due to COVID? (Especially a release as anticipated as Etemen Ænka!)

Challenging for sure, but we’re pretty flexible as a band, and we managed to make the best of it. It allowed us to work on some live sessions and really up our game live. Filmed live sessions are pretty tough going as they don’t leave much room for error. They are also a great way to see what works and what doesn’t, so we’ve learned a lot over the last year.

You filmed ‘SI-XIV’ during COVID and nevertheless, the results are stellar. What were some of the biggest obstacles you had to overcome during the shoots?

Travel restrictions were a nightmare, and they are still a nightmare to deal with. We work with a lot of my friends in France, and we had tons of flights cancelled because of covid restrictions.

There are so many international musical styles that play an integral part in the uniqueness of Etemen Ænka. Where do those elements originate from, and what made you choose them for this record?

We listen to a lot of music from many different styles and from many different countries. We also really dig our history and ancient myths which often lead us to use some musical elements from traditional folk music from places like the Middle East for example.

The band’s name is derived from Frank Herbert, of course, and science fiction writers have been a roadmap of sorts for your creative imagery. Which writers do you think have been the most influential overall?

In the way Frank Herbert mix science fiction with mystical and fantasy elements is definitely a big inspiration for us. I also feel that the set up of Dune, in the desert of Arrakis was something that really resonated with us.

Now tons of other writers and artists have been equally influential to us on our concept story and artwork choices. Guys like  Alastair Reynolds, Iain Banks, Philip K Dick to name a few. But to be honest, we find inspiration from the work of Miyazaki and Giger equally inspiring, and we always keep researching new sources of art we can get ideas from.

Can you talk a little about the cover art for Etemen Ænka? It’s such a beautiful stand-alone piece, but pairs perfectly with the entire concept of the album.

Marald did the whole LP artwork. We had this initial direction of a front cover that was only showing the embellish side of a society myth while the inside of the LP would showcase the hidden side of this myth.

I remember a very important visual reference for me was “The Beethoven Frieze” by Gustav Klimt. But then Marald went further with the initial concept and had this dual portrait concept which was mixing a bit of that Klimt style for the front cover with a much more Giger vibe for the inside cover.

If one were to put together a “Science Fiction Start Pack sponsored by Dvne,” what would it have to have in it?

“Dune” (the novel), “Nausicaa Valley of the Valley of the Wind” (anime), “Warhammer 40K” (board game)

What can fans of Etemen Ænka expect next from the band? Will there be a continuation of this album's concept, or is there already something new brewing on the horizon?

We’re working on the next album and as with all our album concepts, we will be continuing to expand the universe we’ve started building with our first two albums.

Thanks again and I’ll be anxiously awaiting a Dvne performance in the United States!


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Edited 04 December 2022

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