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Hreidmarr and Valnoir (Cosa Nostra Club)

Interview with Hreidmarr and Valnoir from Cosa Nostra Club
by Harry Papadopoulos at 16 December 2007, 12:45 PM

Strange name, strange sound, strange artwork. But if you give a chance to their music (and you should), it will be difficult to get them out of your head. COSA NOSTRA CLUB are here to stay with their second album, L' Hymne A La Joie, and ready to make some ears bleed. Hreidmarr (vocals) and Valnoir (bass) are answering our questions and talk, among other things, about the past, the present and future of the band. As Hreidmarr said: Lets dance quickly before the Apocalypse.

Greetings from magazine! First of all, congratulations for your latest album, L’ Hymna A La Joie! Can you give us a small bio of CNK for our readers?

Hreidmarr (vocals): We started off in 1996 as a pure-evil-raw-teenage-Black-Metal band. We released two rotten demos, played several chaotic gigs and in 1999, the band was put aside due to our busy schedule and some lineup problems (to tell the truth, Heinrich and I couldn’t bear anymore the other talentless dickheads in the band)…The band’s real rebirth came in 2002 with the release of our debut album, Ultraviolence Uber Alles, on the late Kodiak Records label. But due to a lack of steady lineup (we were a two-piece band, back in those days), we weren’t able to support the album on stage. Then, because of several problems such as the label’s demise, the band was once again put aside, unfortunately.

We started working on new material during 2005, I don’t really know why, but we came up with a lot of twisted new ideas. And of course, when I left ANOREXIA NERVOSA in December 2005, Heinrich and I immediately came up with the idea of resurrecting CNK, this time for REAL, making it our top priority. COUNT NOSFERATU KOMMANDO thus became COSA NOSTRA KLUB, two new members joined the fold and here we are, with our fuckin brand new album, L’ Hymne A La Joie!

To tell you the truth, the first time I saw the cover of the album, I thought it was a strange one for the kind of music you are playing. Whose idea was that particular concept, who made it and is there a symbolism behind it?

Valnoir (bass): We cannot imagine an album, or any kind of creation, without a global approach. I had the original idea of the concept, but it has been realized by our crew of unpaid Mexican trainees. A few died during the elaboration of this artwork, it was very intense, but they had no choice because we got their passports.

In fact, this cover is a faithful visual retranscription of the feeling emanating from the music and the album title itself. It’s a pure explosive demonstration of parodic totalitarian art. You thought it was strange and unusual? Well, what would be the aim of an artistic expression if you content yourself with recreating something that has already been done a thousand times before, something that would not inspire any kinda surprise nor reaction?

Mixing and producing an album like yours, with so much samples and all that guitars, keys and programming can be difficult…Who is behind the production of the album and what’s the name of the studio you did the recordings?

H: The album has been produced by Stefan Bayle (ANOREXIA NERVOSA) and recorded at the Drudenhaus Studio, the same we used for every Anorexia album. It was pretty difficult to mix, you’re right, there were soooo many tracks! But we took the time to work on every detail and Stefan was very involved, very dedicated, he did a fantastic job, actually. I love the way the album sounds, it’s very huge and powerful, with this larger-than-life side, still it’s pretty far from today’s clinical standards…

Classic music, symphonic music, Metal, electronic, EBM…You were able to bring all those different kinds of music together. We know that Hreidmarr was a member of ANOREXIA NEVROSA, a - let-s say - symphonic Black Metal band. What are your other influences as a band?

V: Well… Hunting, riding, eating meat, red wine, tobacco, 30’s haute couture, wet stone investing, slicing the arm of right-wing philosophers with knives, urine drinking, failed homosexual experiences, vintage amps, sleeping with darwinian transexuals, being in Bangkok during a military putsch, refusing tours with MAYHEM, censorship, puking in glasses. Being elegant, being arrogant, being Parisian.

Your album is out since 12th of November in Europe and the 20th in U.S.A. Not a long time that hit the stores, but what is the feedback you receive from your fans and the press, magazines, webzines? How are sales going during these first weeks?

H: The sells are going pretty well at the moment, but many fans were waiting for this new album, especially in France, so we have to wait and see what happens in the long run, before considering ourselves as filthy millionaires, haha! The feedback from the press is fuckin amazing; it’s far beyond our expectations, very good reviews, many cool interviews, even in foreign big magazines, which is surprising, ’cos we were almost unknown outside France… I think people appreciate our approach, which is pretty uncommon in the Metal scene…
V: In France, young and old people are burning everything to show us their joy, and their love for our album: Joy! Joy! Time for joy!.

The promo CD didn’t have the lyrics of the album so, can you tell our readers what is the general concept behind them and with what issues deals with? What influences you to write? Furthermore, what is the concept of the band as a whole?

H: There is not a real message, we’re not a message band, we ain’t no fuckin RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, eheh…. But I would say that the main point of this album is a very cynical view on our so-called modern world and all its paradoxes. We’re living in a world which created fascism, communism, nazism, nuclear bomb, mass murderers, ethnic cleansing, etc, and we’re so pretentious and proud of our superiority on the past, that, in a way, we refuse to face reality.

People are convincing themselves to live in a cool and tolerant society, and especially in western countries, where the human rights are the only law, the new God… Although in fact, this society is probably more violent and obscurantist than back in the middle-ages…What is really modern democracy in the end, apart from bad hidden fascism? Basically, we just try to make people open their eyes, and think by themselves, still we try to do it without annoying them with some boring post-experimental-emo-progressive shit. We were directly influenced by books and movies like Brave New World, 1984, Fanrenheit 451, Soylent Green, and by French prophet Maurice G. Dantec. Big Brother is everywhere around you.

Since we are talking about the lyrics, there is something I would like to ask: In your second track, C\[osa] N\[ostra] K\[lub], you impulse the listener to get in the Klub. What is that Klub you want your fans to join?

V: As a gentle friend of us said : you have two choices : being in the cockpit or being under the tank tracks. The Klub is a metaphor for the fabulous romantic and decadent universe we live in. It’s like being refined, self-centered, creative and excessive, or just going on with your sheepy life, just being …usual. We simply urge people to live – in the Oscar Wildeian meaning of the word.

I think that this is a question that everybody has asked you, but its inevitable not to: With all those different kinds of music we can find in your album it is difficult to determine what kind of music you are playing, if we want it to put it under a label. I know that music don’t need labels but many readers want to know what they are going to listen. How about symphonic electro Black Metal?

H: I don’t see any connection with Black Metal, at least in what we’re doing since 2002…On the album’s promo sheet, our label, Season Of Mist, described us as something like Wagner-like electro Metal, and I think it’s a rather good description which suits our music and attitude quite well.

Any plans to release a single for L’Hymne A La Joie in the future? Or a video clip for any of the tracks? Moreover are you planning a limited edition CD for the album with some bonus material?

H: No single planned at the moment, nor limited edition CD (in this case, we would have released the limited edition before the regular one, not after!). But a video clip is planned, we already started working on it with the director. Visually speaking, we’ve a pretty precise idea of it, everything is already story-boarded, but would be quite hard to describe it here…

There is another album that was released in 2002, Ultraviolence Uber Alles. An album that as far as I know, is unable to find. It is actually sold-out and not re-pressed anymore. The only songs I listened are the ones on your profile at MySpace. Are there any thoughts to re-release that album?

H: We’re currently thinking about a re-release of Ultraviolence Uber Alles, yes, which will probably come with a new mastering, updated artwork and some remixes by some beautiful people…But we first have to wait, ’cos, of course, it will depend on our label and on the commercial success of the new album…

 You are a band from France. Just like in Greece, not many bands are well known to the public from your country. Moreover, you are not playing easy listening music. Do you think that you can go one step further and be known to more people on the planet? Did it help the thing that Hreidmarr was the frontman of his previous band?

V: ANOREXIA NERVOSA was pretty well-known in many countries around the world, and many fans were waiting for something new from Hreidmarr, after the band splitted-up in 2005…So, of course it helps. But basically, we try to become emancipated from this ANOREXIA thing, we’re not like hey ANOREXIA fans, take a look at this, it’s Hreidmarr’s brand new band. We’re just doing our thing, trying to avoid any kind of compromise, and right, we’re very ambitious and kinda megalomaniac, still we’re lucid, we know how it goes in the XXIst century’s musical scene…

Even though it is difficult to play this kind of music live, are there any plans for a tour in Europe or the U.S.? And if yes, are you planning to visit Greece? Another thing I would like to ask you is if you have ever thought to play live with an orchestra?

H: We’re currently rehearsing a lot and preparing the live shows…I guess we’ll start touring by the beginning of next year. We already have some cool propositions, and quite good connections within the scene, we have the coolest line-up ever, with the sickest French motherfuckers, so I’m pretty much confident about the band’s live future, eheh… Would be nice to find a cool band we could open for on a big European tour. I spent quite a lot of time with the guys from ROTTING CHRIST on tour (hail to them!); would be awesome to play some gigs with them in Greece!

About playing live with an orchestra; it’s not really our thing, we don’t consider ourselves as musicians, more like just symptomatic players of post-modern degeneration of art and culture.

Are there any other projects that any member of the band is involved right now, and - if not - are there any ideas for one?

H: Our drummer Sylvicious is a former member of the French EBM band TAMTRUM, and acting drummer in the French electro-punk band PUNISH YOURSELF. Valnoir is running the French design agency Metastazis, which is responsible for all the new album’s artwork.

For the end, I know it is too soon, but I would like to ask if you have anything ready for your next album. Any ideas or ready instrumentations?

H: Yes, we have already tons of horrible new ideas for the next one! You know, we spent something like two years on this one, and we recorded it in February 2007, so right now, we cannot wait working on new stuff! Heinrich has begun to work on some new instrumentations some days ago…

Thank you for your time. Last words belong to you. Anything you would like to add or anything you want to say to Metal Temple fans?

H: Thank you very much for your support and for this cool interview. Lets dance quickly before the Apocalypse.


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