Hello there, Nice to meet you, How are you doing?
Good, my apologies, I have been answering the same questions for about 15 interviews straight now, and answers are starting to suffer from it.
Makes sense, 6th time for you guys in Greece! It’s been though already 5 years since your last live here. Are you going to deliver something special, as far as the show is concerned, this time? Last time you played for about 93 minutes. What should we expect from you on the 24th of February?
Pretty much the same. We do what we do. Sorry I don’t do promo talks. AMENRA is AMENRA. and AMENRA is what you will get, Youtube is a reference. But it can never be felt.
First album with Relapse Records, entitled “De Doorn”. How does this collaboration roll?
So «De Doorn» means «The Thorn», is that right? Are there any symbolizations deriving from the title?
The artwork made for the album consisted of 6 different thornbranches casted in bronze. Symbolizing each one of the musicians that took part in the album. We all have our own thorns that protect us from the outside world.
Another album in Flemish. Tell us a bit about that bold decision of yours to write in a language/dialect that is not among the main spoken languages in a global scale.
We were scared at first, what it would do to audiences worldwide. But I think sticking to our own heritage more than ever, portrayed us as we truly are. We are Belgian, and this is our language. Our story.
We wrote the pieces for fire rituals we had put together in our 20th year of existence. Rituals where people could join us to burn their unacknowledged loss. We scored those nights, and I wanted to address all the poeple whom were attending. Most of them spoke Flemish, so I wanted to have the most direct line possible. And that was our native tongue.
Does «De Doorn» follow the same path as «Mass VII»? For me there’s a totally different perspective.
It’s totally different indeed, hence why it’s called De Doorn and not Mass VII. Yet everything we do makes sense. The cradle of it all is us, and it’s our story we are trying to tell.
What was recording «De Doorn» like considering how different everyday life must have been for the band due to the pandemic? It affected the overall writing/recording process?
De Doorn was written and recorded before the pandemic.
Around the release of “Mass III” in 2005, you founded a collective of like-minded artists named Church of Ra. It includes friends who share a DIY ethic collaborating on various artistic projects. Could tell us a bit more about this project?
At first it was an art collective that bundled all of the friends that formed our entourage, they helped with video/graphic work/photography.. inspiration and warmth. They trly helped us build what you all know as AMENRA today. It was built by many, not only the musicians. The immense sacrifice of all crew members, every time a gain its a huge production where they fully insert their expertise n sound image and light.
It grew to be the collective name of all human beings that connect intensely with al we have ever created. Kindred spirits.
Another “first” with «De Doorn» came with new bassist, Tim De Gieter, who added a lot to your already dynamic live perfomances’ dynamic. Not only is he very energetic on stage, but he has also taken over some of the extreme vocals, giving Van Eeckhout a break when and where needed. Tell us a bit about the lineup changes since 2018.
Levy didn’t feel like playing with AMENRA anymore as he wanted to focus on himself, and his personal band Wiegedood. AMENRA is a very peculiar band when it comes to writing and recording music. There is no other band, where it is such a huge mountain to climb time and time again. And not everyone can turn up the sacrifice it needs.Tim graced us with his ever positive energy, the rest of us really can really load ourselves from his battery. It has been a blessing to have him around.
What about your future plans? Is there any new material on the way? Any special gigs?
We’re done with the special shows for now. New albus yes, tons we have so much we still need to do. The opportunities are endless.
Thank you so much for your time and this interview.
All the Best!
See you in Greece!