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Japanese Funeral Doom trio Begräbnis released their debut full-length album late in 2020, after a number of demos and splits. Never the most publicity-seeking or media-communicative of bands, nevertheless, Comrade Aleks tried to get a bit more of an in-depth picture...

Interview with Begräbnis.
"Japanese Funeral Doom trio Begräbnis celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, following the debut full-length 'Izanaena', released last year, after a previous two demos and three split-releases. Their material is deep and overwhelming, it's even catchy so to say, so we made an effort to get in touch with the band and find out something about 'Izanaena'. The band's collective mind and Weird Truth Productions' head Makoto Fujisjima shed a bit of light on Begräbnis..."

Begräbnis : Takashi Harima (guitars, vocals), Fumika Souzawa (vocals), Kyosuke Tanaka (guitars).

Hail Begräbnis! What's going on in your lair? How does covid quarantine work in Sendai?

There are a lot of problems here....

It's known that the band existed as C'est la Guerre from 2009 to 2011, what made you change the name? Was it connected with a change of style or concept?

It's not a change of the band name. Harima and Kyo, who are ex-members of C'est la Guerre, formed Begräbnis as a completely new band. They established their own sound and concept with their vocalist Fumika Nakazawa.

All of you play in other, mostly Death Metal, bands. What united you under Begräbnis' banner? And do you see it as a side-project or as a real band?

Both Harima and Kyo are into funeral doom and welcomed Fumika as a vocalist who had tried to find a new band to join in at that time. When they were formed, Fumika didn't know so much about metal, so funeral doom was completely unknown to her, and there wasn't any prejudice against the genre. Now, all of them are into metal and they equally devoted themselves to all bands they are involved with, including Begräbnis.

During the first years you released demos and took part in split releases - didn't you see a full-length album as a more effective way to embody your ideas? How do you see those smaller releases nowadays?

Every time, we have embodied our idea in our music. And we shared those images with great artists and created those split releases. And these releases are very important to us. As we don't need to create the stuff only with our own concept, the contrast of 2 bands in split releases made them very interesting. And the vocalist Fumika's concept on 2 split releases, the compilation album and 1st album Izanaena are connected with each other. So, those splits are very meaningful as part of the whole concept.

Your full-length album 'Izanaena' saw the light of day on the 28th October, 2020. How long did you spend writing these four tracks? What slowed you down during this process?

It's not only physical actions that are needed for composing music. I can't say how many hours we spent embodying these 4 songs, because they came from each members' past experiences in their lives, maturity of feelings and philosophy.

Can you tell about the recording of 'Izanaena'? Did you record it at a real studio or at home as many bands do nowadays?

Generally speaking, who cares if a baby was born by sexual intercourse or artificial fertilization? Izanaena is the world we created. We would like you to enjoy the work more deeply by giving the listeners' thoughts to our thoughts leading up to create it rather than thinking about how we recorded.

Begräbnis - 'Izanaena' (Full album, 2020):

What does the album's title mean? And is the artwork for 'Izanaena' connected to the lyrics with some concept?

We've already answered in some interviews, Izanaena is a word coined by Fumika, which means "spinning life." As with many artists' stuff, there are a lot of hints of the concept in Izanaena's artwork.

Do you see some traces of Japanese culture in your songs? How much of Japan is in Begräbnis' veins?

What kind of Japanese cultures do our listeners feel from our music? Fumika, who made the concept of the lyrics, digested Japanese myth, traditional language, philosophy, Shintoism and so on. Then she presented her own identity as Izanaena.

Funeral doom is a genre with not much space for innovative approaches. How do you see Begräbnis'prospects? Are you satisfied with the band's sound and aim to follow the same direction further?

Begräbnis's music is often easily labeled as dark or opaque. But we don't think that we need to trace the cliche of funeral doom's dismal images because they are meaningless in front of the truth. Funeral doom is so precious to us, so we prefer expressing "life" from our point of view to pretending to express unwanted death. At the moment, we don't think about any changes in our style, but we want to walk on our way with conviction rather than satisfaction.

All venues are closed due quarantine all over the world, how do you promote the new album now?

It's impossible to play live recently, so we sell our merchandise at some small events and promote our stuff via SNS.

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Visit the Begräbnis bandpage.

Interviewed on 2021-12-07 by Comrade Aleks Evdokimov.
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