DE PROFUNDIS – interview (English)

de.profundis_logoInterview with Craig Land, Shoi Sen, Roman Subbotin, Arran McSporran and Nick Tingle – DE PROFUNDIS.

 

 

Could you please introduce yourself? And tell us also please what do you do in the band.

 

Craig Land: I’m Craig and I’m the vocalist.

 

Shoi Sen:  Shoi, I am guitarist.

 

Roman Subbotin:  Roman, I’m the guitar player.

 

Arran McSporran: Arran, I play bass.

 

Nick Tingle:  I’m Nick, I’m the drummer.

 

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You have been in Poland about a year ago, right? Can you say something about this performance?

Craig: Yeah, nobody came…

 

Really?

 

Craig: We were on tour with the black metal band from Norway called Ragnarok and a band called Noctem from Spain. The promotion was very poor throughout the tour. We played in a decent size venue in Gdynia but there weren’t too many people so it was unfortunate.

 

So it wasn’t a good gig?

 

Craig: We don’t care how big this audience is, we play as best as we can. If there’s one person or if there’s 30 thousand people, it doesn’t make any difference. For us it was a good gig ‘cause we played well. There were just not many people to see it.

 

Let’s talk about how it all started. How did the band get together?

 

Roman: In 2005, so it’s nearly 6 years ago, I responded to the advert that Craig posted up, so me and him got together. He had a name for the band, De Profundis, and eventually we found all these other guys. We’ve had this line-up for about 2 years now, I think we’re happy now with the music. We’re finally able to express what we want to do musically, because, (I think) in the beginning some of the drummers that we had couldn’t play things that we wanted them to play. Nick can play the things we want him to play, it’s good. Well, sometimes :D…  So yes, I think this is a very good line-up and we can play some progressive extreme metal.

 

Craig: We’ve achieved something in 5 years, I suppose. We didn’t release a demo, we decided we were going to release an album straight away.

 

‘Beyond Redemption’, yes?

 

Craig: Yes. So after about 2 years we recorded that and released it ourselves and then we signed to Kolony Records.  We released ‘Bleak Reflection’ with this current line-up and now we’re busy writing for the 3rd album. We’ve done a couple of tours, we’ve played to some pretty big crowds so far so it’s going quite well.

 

What’s the meaning behind the bands’ name?

 

Craig: Tha bands’ name ‘De Profundis’ means ‘from the depths’ in Latin. ‘From the depths’ is a phrase that could means many different things to many different people.  So it could be depths of your feelings, it could be depths as a deep heavy music. It has many different meanings and I thought that with a name like we have. we don’t sound like we play any specific genre of music. So we can really play anything with a name like that. And that’s why we’re kind of exploring. The better the band get to know each other as musicians and songwriters the more we’ll be playing around with different kinds and genres and different styles and who knows, we’ll see what happens. Hopefully people will take from the name what they like.

 

Who mostly composes the music?

 

Craig: Well, we all do. The guitarist normally will sit in a room and write. But the guitarists normally come up with a riff or a melody and bring their ideas in, and as the band we sit on a riff, put it all together, like making LEGO I suppose. We see what bits fit, what bits don’t fit, how we change things. Over a couple of weeks we’ll have a whole song written out and then I take the song, when the arrangement is all done, and  I write lyrics to it, at the end, when all the music’s done.

 

Shoi: Roman and myself have been coming out with lots of ideas. The thing that is very good about this line-up is that rhythm section adds a lot to the arrangements, which I think really makes the songs really more interesting. We played a couple of new songs tonight and in lot of these songs we had the riff, but the way to go, it had a lot to do with these guys. So it really is a team effort, not just one person writing.

 

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And who writes the lyrics? What is the lyrical content of your music?

 

Craig: I write the lyrics. On the first album I tried to write about the meaning of existence basically, deep meanings. The second album was more a concept album about a person who loses his will to live so ends up killing himself, so not particularly happy. The third album that we started writing at the moment is even more personal stuff which is just theories about myself. People will take from it what they want but I think if you write lyrics from your own perspective you always gonna write the best lyrics rather than just make stuff that’s not really you. I find it really difficult to write the lyrics because I spend a lot of time sort of going through it and making sure that I say a lot without saying too much. I struggle to write lyrics, especially because on that stage the music is written and the music is normally really good and I have to try and do as best as I can and it puts a lot of pressure on me.

 

What is the hardest part of songwriting?

 

Nick: Well, I thing that song structures. Slicing, combining riffs…

 

Craig: …and making sure that music fits together and it flows comfortably from one part to the other because we use different time signatures and it’s sometimes very difficult to make the song flow. We sometimes want to show maybe too much, that we’re good musicians and we also have to bear in mind that the song needs to be listenable and someone needs to be able to follow it. And making sure that the song does that from start to finish is the tough part.

 

Which band mainly influenced De Profundis music?

 

Craig:  Who do you think we sound like?

 

Well, maybe Opeth, a bit? I mean construction of the songs.

 

Craig: I would say that Opeth was quite a big influence.

 

Roman: I think you’re right in that. In terms of structures they had a big influence on me personally, because when I first heard them there was no one else who was arranging music the way they do, so I will say yes. But I don’t think we write Opeth’s riffs.

 

Craig: We all listen to really wide range of music. I personally like a lot of black metal, some oldschool death metal and extreme doom metal, but especially these two guys (Nick & Arran) are very heavily into the progressive stuff of 70’s.

 

de.profundis_a.bleak.reflectionHow is the new stuff different from ‘Beyond Redemption’?

 

Shoi: There’s a lot difference. You can hear it’s still us, and I think because the line-up was different we did a lot of exploration since then. It’s definitely faster, there’s more variety and also when I joined the band ‘Beyond Redemption’ was already half written, so by the time I came we did the second album, so I could bring in my own ideas and influences in it. And now the third album is a lot more different. We’ve already had a few people who listened to the new material, and everybody’s saying that you could hear that this line-up has been together for quite some time now, because of the way everybody’s playing. We pretty much know what we’re doing. That’s the same on stage. It’s because played a lot together for last two years.

 

Craig: Also when we started, when I had an idea of forming a band I wanted to play sort of extreme doom metal but I never had anybody joining the bad who was into that kind of stuff. When Roman and I started the band he was listening to really melodic stuff, In Flames, Opeth, that kind of stuff, so straight away we were always writing melodic stuff. On the first album we were trying to make it as doomy as possible, on the second album we’ve just decided to play whatever we thought like. There were no restrictions. The more comfortable we get with each other and songwriting, the more that’s gonna be like it. We’ve just decided to play progressive extreme metal rather than any other because you can play anything in that.

 

You’re rather a new band, established in 2005. Where have you been until now?

 

Arran: We were in India last November. There was a tour of India. And we were also in Europe this time last year. We were playing in Poland, Austria, Germany, Holland, France, Romania as well, Portugal, many places in UK, most of the places in Europe. We’re playing another 8 countries, we haven’t played on this tour, so there will be another 8 countries to add to the list, so there’s gonna be quite a big list.

 

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What are the best and the worst things about being in a band?

 

Roman: Well, it probably depends on your mood, the best part is being around with these guys and the worst thing is also being around with these guys. The best part is playing music every day, but the worst is playing the same music every day. It’s like we all do it because we really love it but it’s quite difficult, it’s not an easy life being a musician, but we all love it.

 

Craig: I think being on the road is difficult, but it’s also a lot of fun. The guys in the band are like my best friends, so yes, we do get on each others’ nerves but  we’re basically  like brothers. We all love each other to death! We love making music, I think the worst part of being in a band is the business side of it. Shoi does most of it actually, dealing with promoters, dealing with people, with everyone who doesn’t actually  make music, that wants a piece of you. That’s really hard work and you see very little results out of that. The whole music side is pretty much a joy but the whole business side is rather horrible from start to finish…

 

Shoi: It’s a hard life, being on the road, having maybe half an hour of fun and than the rest of the day travelling and it’s not easy , we’re being away from home and all these things…  Touring is like you’re on the road and after a few days you’d like to go home, but when you’re home you’re thinking when is the next thing. So it’s not easy, but it’d be all right. We enjoyed ourselves tonight, the set was good, first gig of the tour.

 

Could you tell us something about the metal scene in England?

 

Craig: Metal scene in England in terms of people coming to shows is quite disappointing. For a city like London you’d expect to be a rather interesting metal scene, but there isn’t. It’s quite small, and other places in England are even smaller. The scenes are very, very small, and promoters don’t do very good job in promoting. People mainly go to see rather pretty famous bands, they decide to go to some festivals than to shows. But in terms of the bands the UK is getting a lot better. There are many upcoming bands that started to get names for themselves and getting some respect. But a couple of years ago that wasn’t a case. England has always been good for metal. That’s a birthplace of heavy metal – Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and all the death metal bands of the late 80’s and 90’s… But from about a mid-90’s to the whole 2000 it just kind of died. Lately there are some good upcoming bands. I would suggest people keep an eye on UK,  because there are some good bands and they may surprise some people out there. Believe me or not but it’s a bit hard being from the UK.  I think at the moment there’s a monopoly for the Scandinavian bands at the market. Well, everybody want Scandinavian bands or the bands that sound like Scandinavian bands, all the bands that play folk metal, especially in Germany. You cant’s see too many UK bands on the road, being honest, out of our lot, bands that we know, we’re probably the only band, apart from one other band that I have in mind, that actually managed to go out UK properly, so it’s not easy.

 

Do you want to say something to the fans, to the world, whatever you want?

Craig: Well, just support heavy metal, go to shows,  buy CD’s if you can, rather try not to download. Just keep metal alive, “cause the bands need you, guys, more than you need us”, that’s for sure.  So keep supporting us, so we can keep playing metal.

 

Thanks a lot.

Craig: Thank you.

 

[Adam Dzwonnik, technical assistance: Marta Kasprzak]


De Profundis, www.deprofundisband.com, www.myspace.com/deprofundisuk