Interview with Colin van Eeckhout
Hello Colin and thanks for taking your time to answer our questions.
For a relative small blog like ours it is a great honor, to have this small interview.
If you look up the definition of art in a German dictionary it is said that „Art is creative designing with the help of different materials or the ways of language or sounds in examination nature and the world.“ What would be your definition of art and does it differ from a definition of the art of Amenra?
I don’t really think defining things makes sense. You always end up narrowing it down, and never do the idea any honor. Art is such an abstract concept, that I will not even try. It’s something that needs to be felt, not understood.
Art is constantly changing and so do its creators and constellations. Since everyone at our blog is also a huge Oathbreaker fan, one of the burning questions is: Is Caro a permanent member of Amenra from now on? Will she also be on tour in Europe?
Not that I know of. All I conclude is that Caro was a part of this album. We’ll see what the future brings, nothing is planned yet. We’re not the kind of band that strategically plans its steps in the future. We do whatever we feel is right at that specific moment in time.
Did your new label Relapse Records have any impact on the creation of the album? How can a label help creating your art?
None at all. We wrote this album without having “ a new album” in mind. It was very liberating. I guess a label could help certain bands that lack creative ideas. But luckily we carry our own artistic load. As to my knowledge labels are sought for in function oftheir professional and logistical help.
Did the whole Corona-Circumstances release creative potential or hinder it?
Both. The first months we felt somewhat paralyzed, but then we found our way and ended up being more creative than before. We finished all the things that were laying around, and kept on writing for Amenra and other projects.
De Doorn is entirely sung in Flemish and you already explained that prevalent masses as well as the locations where these were held influenced the decision to do so. What exactly do you connect with this language or language that is used to convey art in general?
There is no real language to art. It belongs to everyone, therefor it does not answer to a certain language.
As already mentioned, De Doorn is completely sung in Flemish and your touring mates in Europe, Envy, sing in Japanese. What do you think is a better gateway to art: Understanding or feeling? Why in your opinion?
As to sound I would say feeling, as to poetry I would say understanding and feeling. The question is too broad again. Questions about art have no real “answer”. Only opinions or impressions. Whatever it is that we are doing. Its something that needs to be felt first in order to be understood. There is no “better gateway” to art.
When listening to De Doorn I get the feeling, that your acoustic interpretations of your songs are now combined with your heavy studio songs. Was this done on purpose?
We just write as it comes. Theres no tactical planning going on.
You changed the label, had additions to the line-up and the MASS-naming ended. Is this some sort of new beginning for Amenra and do you plan to continue in this direction after De Doorn?
It’s a continuation. We don’t plan ahead, like I said. There is a place and time for everything. And decisions are being made as the situations occur. All in due time.
Thanks a lot for your time! Stay safe and see you on tour in Germany!“
|Album: De Doorn|
|Genre: Sludge, Post-Rock|
|Release Date: 25th of June, 2021|
|Released via Relapse Records|
|Cover Artwork © Relapse Records|
“Die wichtigsten Dinge im Leben sagt man leise” (The most important things in life are said quietly), this is a quote by a German Hip-Hop-Band called Antilopen Gang. This is a thought that came to my mind when I listened to Amenra‘s new album De Doorn.
When seeing Amenra live (acoustic) last year, there was this moment when “The Longest Night” was played, where everyone seemed to hold their breath and simply stayed as silent as possible, even after the last note was played. You just felt the weight and the sincerity behind it. A lot of moments on De Doorn reminded me of it.
When you want to see things that are somehow obscured or in a dark surrounding you nearly close them to see more focused. Then a bright flash of colors is thrown into your eyes. That is what it is like listening to De Doorn. Colin’s whispers are an integral part of this album. You need to listen very closely to understand something, even if you can’t understand Flemish, but then this big, massive guitars push you against imaginary walls. Colin once said in an interview that his mother-tongue allows the album to reach another level of intensity and it is goddamn true.
The opener “Ogentroost” starts in an ambient way, like you have heard on the Flood of Light-Soundtrack, and after round about 4,5 minutes the guitars and Colin’s scream cut through the calm. But not only Colin can be heard, the Church of Ra fan will surely recognize the additional female vocals on this song, it is Caro from Oathbreaker.
Caro is a more than welcome addition to the Amenra line-up. Hearing her scream on “De Evenmens” my first thought was: this works out so well. Her screams add so much more intensity to the already oppressing atmosphere of this song.
Every song of this album in an opus magnum in its own way. “De Dood in Bloei” is the only song shorter than 8 minutes and serves as a little breather. “Voor immer” closes the album in the same way “Ogentroost” started it. Half of the song is spoken words with a tender background instrumentation, until this massive wall of guitars washes over the listener and screams upon screams crash into each other until the song turns more and more distorted and finally ends in fading and fuzzing .
De Doorn leaves the listener floored. One couldn’t imagine that Amenra could get even more challenging, but this release proves that wrong. Silence and Sound never sounded so good put against each other.