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Darkness leaves a person solely with itself. This state is the most rewarding for an individual. It's not herding that does the trick. It's thinking for yourself.

Interview with Solicide.

What defines Funeral Doom? Of course, slow and heavy guitars seem to be necessary, but beyond simple technical matters, it is the special atmosphere of  the subgenre that is cherished by its fans. This summer saw the release of  "Der Untergang des Abendlandes", the debut of a funeral act yet unheard of - Solicide. What this album offers goes beyond slow and heavy, it breathes a unique mood of inevitable doom and delivers the sentiment of things greater than mankind. The mastermind of this Belgian one man project, Lawrence van Haecke, talked to Doom-metal.com…


Hey Lawrence. First of all, please give our readers some background about your project Solicide. When and why did you start it?


"Solicide has been lurking in the dark for quite some time. From 1999 onwards until the early summer of 2003 this project did exist and did not at the same time. Due to me studying at the university and other stuff, the project didn’t progress during different periods. I nevertheless kept writing during those years. The songs on “Der Untergang des Abendlandes” were written during september 2002 - juli 2003. From that period and earlier writing sessions I’ve amassed the rough core that will be the second album, normally coming during the summer of 2004.

Why I started with Solicide is something I can’t really answer completely. As far as I’m able to remember I’ve always been busy with creating things and I’ve been busy with music when I got deeply into metal. Nevertheless, it is a fact that the message I try to deliver is one that’s only possible with the unrelenting slowness that funeral doom possesses."


What is your motivation for playing doom? And how did your style evolve? Did you consciously decide "I want to make funeral doom", or did this happen along the way?


"My motivation for playing doom is partially due to the fact that it’s my favorite musical genre and favorite scene. The other part is because of the feelings and message I want to deliver with my music. No other style then doom in general and funeral doom in particular fits best the things I have in mind.

In 1999 when I founded the band it was one of the many projects I had. I listened to different styles of metal. I had a project running for those I was most into. In it’s initial start the things I did were influenced by the "most original" source possible, My Dying Bride. Pretty soon, I was playing a bit slower and a bit more repetitive. The MDB traces were disappearing. When I got to know Skepticism, I knew which direction I wanted to take. From then onwards bands like Hlidolf, Dolorian and Thergothon have worked as direct and indirect sources for me.

So in fact, I partially decided conciously to make funeral doom and partially it happened along the way while I was evolving on my own."


How come doom is your chosen form of musical expression? What makes doom so unique?


"As said, funeral doom is the chosen form of musical expression because of the general feelings and message I want to convey. Doom is in many ways unique according to me. Many people see it solely as a subgenre of metal. To me it's much more than that. The diversity that rises through the many substyles - going from sludge/stoner to doom/death, going from traditional to drone, etc -, that diversity brings a complete spectrum of sound and the more negative emotions. On the other hand doom metal is unique because of the combination of certain key elements, like playing slow to very slow, the general tendency towards a kind of negative view against the world ..."


How did you write the songs? What served as inspiration?


"How I write songs, is a difficult question to answer. In another interview I compared the composing of the debut with going through three rivers. It's a bit like that. At a certain time some ideas grow in my head, sometimes indirectly inspired by weather or the world as a whole.

I write those ideas down and let them rest, until I feel I can add something to the rough core."


What are your plans for the future of Solicide? When can we expect the next Solicide release?


"At this point I can tell you that there's a possibility of three more releases that have been thought about and that have material more or less ready to be put in songs. Two of those releases are full length Solicide albums, the other is a concept split album with ...Funerary Dirge...! The next release will normally happen next summer, if all goes well. I'm not sure which release will be first. It could be the concept split album or the second full length. Both are more or less planned to be recorded and released at the same time."


What is your impression of the state of today´s doom scene?


"I think there are a lot of interesting changes coming through. At this time the funeral doom scene is expanding. The last years have brought forth a - relative - big number of funeral doom releases. I’m wondering how the evolution will progress. Experimentation in different ways is imho in order to keep the quality of this still tiny musical genre on par and the scene alive.

Another thing is the rise of Industrial Doom. One of the person I’ve talked to on the net, keeps track of the industrial doom bands and he has counted four at this moment. I’m looking forward to the possible developments within this kind of doom.

Personally, I think my vision on the other kinds of doom is too limited to really voice a steady and correct opinion about their state and condition."


Your debut was released on NULLL Records which is run by Stijn Van Cauter, and you also recorded in his Temple Libitina Studio. How did this co-operation happen?


"The root of this co-op lays in the days when I was the session bass player for Pantheïst's demo. '1000 Years' was recorded at the Templa Libitina. From then onward, I knew Stijn. I also had an idea about what he could do. When I had a relative stable vision about the first album, I contacted Stijn and asked him if he wanted to record the album. During the recording Stijn
offered me the possibility of releasing "Der Untergang des Abendlandes" through his label, NULLL records."


Please shortly explain the concept of Solicide and its debut "Der Untergang des Abendlandes".


"The name Solicide means 'murder of the sun'. The sun is to be taken figuratively as a source of light. For people there are many 'lights' in their lives, e.g. the church, the nation, the culture, etc ... All those lights - like the sun - blind people. On the other side, there's darkness.
Darkness leaves a person solely with itself. This state is the most rewarding for an individual. It's not herding that does the trick. It's thinking for yourself.

This general concept is adapted on the history of the Occident (only Western Europe). The Western culture is such a light. People should be able to detach themselves from it, but they can't. Nevertheless this culture is dying. The Occident has lost its world domination and runs behind the facts constantly. More and more elements from other parts of the world penetrate
this globe. Those elements are mostly American, because the USA is the main partner of Western Europe and also the strongest part of the world at this moment in time.

The destruction of the Occidental culture will be a big shock for many people. Their social and individual structures of life will suddenly disappear.

Every Solicide album will tell a tale which will fit in with the general concept of the bandname."


You used several languages in the lyrics. Why's that?


"Some things just sound better in other languages then English. The title of the album "Der Untergang des Abendlandes" - which is taken from the book of Oswald Spengler - would be "The fall of the Occident' in English. To me, the English version sounds not as convincing and not as good as the German one. Next to that, I just write some things in other languages. The lyrics for
the first song "SINtflud (dag der gramschap)" where written in two steps. First the English part and then the French. I wasn't aiming consciously at using two languages in that song. The words grew that way into a coherent unity."


What are your personal musical influences for Solicide? And what do you listen to at the moment?


"The musical influences for Solicide are Skepticism and Thergothon indirectly and Hlidolf and Dolorian directly. Those are the four most important for the first album. The second album will hold other influences.

At this moment I'm listening quite a bit to Black Sabbath and Type O Negative when working on my thesis. Next to those two bands, there's been a lot Thergothon, Zaraza, Beyond Black Void, Hlidolf and Moss, when I'm not."


Please tell me about your new project "on the eve of Aral"!


"Thanks for your interest!

“on the eve of Aral” is a collaboration between Arne - a friend of mine- and me. The idea for this project grew when we were talking about our own musical projects. I have my funeral doom project Solicide. Arne’s style is electro jazz. Because we had total different backgrounds we thought we’d try to let our worlds clash into each other and see which fruits we could reap. We created a concept first, being the nuclear and industrial world we live in today.

At this moment that we have almost finished the first song ‘Kursk’. Through the writing process we’re getting a better idea of the things we’re going to offer. We bring a mixture of funeral doom, industrial influences, ‘Aphex Twin’-like beats and jazzy instrumentation.

So far the reactions we have had are positive and encouraging, which meant a lot for us, because the ground we’re walking on is for both of us partially unfamiliar."


What is your outlook on the world/ today´s society/ humanity?


"I think we're living in a dualistic world. First of all, a small part of the world has practically all the things they can wish for, the big part doesn't. Next to that, the power to destroy this small speck in the wide black sea of space is in hands of many people since half a century. In some ways, it's just like in earlier times.  There's always a kind of danger and fear lurking around the corner.
The pitiful part is that we - humankind - still act like the first Cro-Magnons: You hit me, I'll hit you.


I think the friction the West (as a whole) is causing around the world, could turn out disastrous for at least big parts of the world. Of course, then we haven't commented on the disasters that have already happened through the world domination of  the West ...


To cut the cake and divide the parts, I'm not having any positive dreams of the future of the whole of mankind. I think we're doomed eventually."

Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer my questions. The last word is yours:


"Well, I hope that doom-metal.com will continue to do what it has done so well for all time it exists: support the doom scene, just because of the music! Secondly, people interested in Solicide may visit Solicide's DooMain at http://solicide.doom-metal.com ..."

Visit the Solicide bandpage.

Interviewed on 2003-10-14 by Oliver.
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