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EDEN WEINT IM GRAB: Against the dreariness in daily life
Alexander Paul Blake, the hidden, secret creator of “Eden weint im Grab” (EwiG), about death, poetry, german language, music-business and, of course: the band itself, an unconventional music-project, made in Germany.
For those, who never have heard the music of Eden weint im Grab (EwiG; “Eden cries in the grave”) – could you say it´s a kind of gothic rock or dark metal we are talking about?
Dark metal is a better description than gothic rock. For me Eden weint im Grab is an art-based music-project, in which i work up all of those influences of dark art, which I can suck out of the world. On my first two CDs I used primely black and death metal enriched with gothic and electronic elements, but this doesn´t mean it will be like this forever. For me the artistic freedom goes hand in hand with the freedom of styles without borders, and so the forthcoming album “Der Herbst des Einsamen” will become a trip in the cosmos far away of distorted guitar-music.
Five years ago you published the first album „Traumtrophäen toter Traumtänzer“ online as a free download for everybody. This was a very sucessfull decision. What was the motivation to start such a project like EwiG?
The motivation was in the beginning the question, if I could create a pure metal-album just alone by myself, after I grew up with this music and after all the other bands I worked with moved away from it. I wrote in my studio just songs and was surprised, how easily they flew out of me and became by themselves a unity. The result was the first album. I decided to publish it for free in the internet primely because I had made bad experiences with the music-business and I didn´t want that my music would go down in it, I wanted that everybody has a chance to get it. Alternatively would have been a release through a very small label, but this wouldn´t reach big attention. But I never expected that the gratis-download would find a so euphoric acceptance as it got. In fact, I didn´t expected anything at all.
EwiG is a very dark project, dark music, dark lyrics. What is the meaning of darkness for you? Is Alexander Paul Blake a dark person by himself?
Alexander Paul Blake is not a real person, it´s my alter ego, who allows me to dive into the black destricts of existence and to get in touch with the very dark sides of life. This doesn´t mean that I am overall a dark character. Let me compare it with an author, who walks during his writing into other worlds or who creates them, but not necessarily everything turns the inner sides out, a lot is just fantasy and construction. I can create the very dark songs even with a smile on my lips, without to fall in depressions. I paint with words and music gloomy sound-pictures like other artists do with pastel, water-colour or oil-colours. I put esthetics over all.
What kind of meaning has the death for EwiG?
Death ist the central aspect through all of the work of the band – as he accompanies the life of many people. I illuminate death with music and lyrics, and I am on the search of the sense. Death is one of the last miracles in our world nobody can look behind, and because of this it attracts me. But generally I have a positive point of view, I am not affraid of death, it is not the final end, but a bridge … where to however.
In our world rules the trivial everyday life. EwiG is quity different, does not think about social or political problems, rather stays in a zone of mysteries and dark romantism. Does our world need more secrets, romantism and non-triviality?
That´s nice said. Yes, exactly this is, what the world needs, because culture is what makes the difference between human beings and machines or animals. Nowadays everything is measured by materialistic values, and art because of art or knowledges because of knowledges seem to be worthless, if the society and the economy do not have profite from this. I think, there is a lot more than just rational materials and we can´t understand with our limited mind the real truth in our world, perhaps we shouldn´t understand. Because of this it´s so unnecessary to try to describe everything, we should better live with mysteries instead to cartography the complety world and the complete human being and to find for every little detail an explanation. What does it finally bring? Did all the technical inventions, the overflowing data-libraries and all the explanations present a better life for the mankind? Did the single person become happier? No, I think, just the opposite.
In the western society so many people are unhappy with themselves and their existence, because they don´t see anymore the sense of it all and lost the relations to the real important things. We are trained to function, not to ask, but to consum and to set a cross every few years on the right place. This can´t be all. In earlier times religion was, what gave a support and help to the people, and even I am not a friend of christianity, I watch with consternation how a big emtyness in the heads stays back after the destruction of believings through rationalism. May be because of this I try to find with my lyrics a more deep sense, I don´t want to accept the disillusioned nihilism.
German language plays a big role for you. In the booklet of the second CD “Trauermarsch nach Neotopia” one can find quotations of lyrics from german poets of the 19th and early 20th century like Eichendorff, Tieck, Novalis, Rilke, Heine. In the forthcoming CD „Der Herbst des Einsamen“ You use texts from the austrian poet Georg Trakl. What means the use of german language and the lyrics for you, in connection with the music?
German language in lyrics was in the beginning only a trial, but it worked and gave a special character to the project. Now it´s a part like the name of the band itself Eden weint im Grab, it´s my way to compose and to sing. No deep explanation. Lyric poetry generally is very important to me. I write even outside of EwiG poems, studied science of literature and think that especially poetry has a low meaning in our fast running world. Therefore it´s very important in my music to give a bigger meaning to it. My lyrics are written in rhymes and stanzas. I used for the booklet those quotations of famous poets to intensivate the theme of transitoriness – I found it exciting to let gone poets talk about it. And, of course, it was also about it to set EwiG in a wider surrounding and to show to the listeners the names, to provoke a kind of inspiration. Well, and finally I found that the pictures in the booklet got more depth and tragedy in connection with lyrical quotations.
What is it, what make the lyrical streams of romantism, symbolism and surrealism so attractive for you? Do those streams flow – except in your texts – in your music, too?
It´s impossible to devide music from lyrics, they belong together and build a unity. I like to overdo the reality, and I like the fact that this stays against the pure rationalistic thinking. Ich would call myself a spiritual person, and in my view on the world there is so much more between heaven and earth than this, what we see and what the “god-like” science wants to explain and make us to believe. I think, the science and the concentration on profit, power and career stole a lot of magic and reduced our world to a quite grey and sad place. This is a so limited point of view, and I really ask myself how so many people just except, what science, politic and economy teach. How can people walk so unsensible through our world and ignore the voices of intuition, ignore the small miracles and wonders everywhere. I am a rebel with my words against the dreariness in the daily life.
In our society we developed in something, what gets titulated as an „economical crisis“. Musicproductions and record-labels are involved, too. A lot of music comes on the market, which sounds like copies of something, what already has been before. The courage to try new ways becomes more and more small. No more risks. Are we in a „cultural crisis“, too? Or in a time of changes or at the final end of a spiral?
I think, nobody now can answer the question, if we are in a transition period or at the final end, because we are just inside of it. But I remember that already a couple of epochs before were called as the end of it all. But it goes further on. I also regret that many musicians imitate and copy and that there is so less courage left to try unconventional paths. There are still possibilities to build up autonomous and fresh individuality. For this the no-risk-thinking of the music-industry is a real brake block for many musicians, because a long-termed buildup of individual bands does rather seldom happen anymore. I had the problem with Eden weint im Grab, too. There was a contract with Massacre Records to publish „Trauermarsch nach Neotopia“, but then I had to wait one and a half year without that anything happened, and at the end they told me, the risk would be too high, because the music would be too unconventional and it would be more easy to calculate some pure death metal. But, well, it goes about money and the record-labels have to fight for their surviving, too, so I won´t make a reproach. But the fact that nowadays there are also inexpensive possibilities to publish records, which do not have artistic or musical value, doesn´t increase the level of quality on the market. It would be good step, if music-producers would try to cultivate more self-critisism, meticulousness and courage. But I´m afraid, this problem isn´t so easily to resolve and we´ll get in future a huge amount of indifferent, average bands, who overflow the market. Thanks to MySpace, YouTube, LastFM and others, where the listener can check everything and find the diamonds for themselves. At least it´s going about the own taste, and, well, if a band, which I call average, does enthuse the audience, everything is fine.
This year EwiG will have a gig at the Wave-Gotik-Treffen in Leipzig. You said once that You struggle against live-performances. How will it be? What is the difference between EwiG in the studio with red wine and hidden in isolation and the EwiG live on stage?
I started with EwiG as a studio-project, and I didn´t looked to Alexander Paul Blake as a character on stage. He is a kind of medium, who allows his listeners to jump into grotesque parallel-worlds. Similiar like a movie or a book my work should stand alone with no artist in the center. But this is not the music-business wants: the fans want to have real persons with an identification, whom they can touch. The press wants to have concrete, clear photos, and the labels push their musicians on the stage, because this is, what the machines of production need. So I had to get out of my comfortable armchair in my studio and to accept some compromises, to reach a maximal attention for Eden weint im Grab. I try to handle it as good I can and try to give on a few special gigs a good time to the audience without to destroy the whole myth – this was my main fear. The music of Eden weint im Grab is made for a “cinema in the head” in your livingroom – but many fans have a different point of view. It was them, who shouted loudly for live-gigs. So, well, I don´t want to be a kill-joy J
A final famous closing remark?
The most difficult question at the end ;-) I thank you heartly for the support through this interview and invite all readers to have a look on www.edenweintimgrab.de and www.myspace.com/edenweintimgrab. If you want you can download there for free the debut-CD „Traumtrophäen Toter Trauertänzer“ also the EP „Krieg im Wunderland“. Small indie-bands like us live from word-of-mouth recommendation of their fans and from this that everybody, who enjoy the free download will buy in future the regular CD or a shirt. Because without a mighty label in the back this is the only possibility to keep such a project alive. I am happy about any kind of support. Furthermore there will be in this summer the release of the next album „Der Herbst des Einsamen“ with the sound around the lyrics of Georg Trakl. I am already curious about the reactions...
Author: Andreas Torneberg, Photos by Eden weint im Grab Date: 2009-05-03