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Bloody Mary
Interview mit Aldebran [Bloody Mary], August 2010, mailer

Hinter Bloody Mary verbirgt sich keinesfalls nur ein Wodka-Tomatensaft-Cocktail, sondern auch eine im Jahr 2000 gegründete italienische Goth`n`Roll-Band, die in diesen Tagen ihr zweites Studioalbum “Party Music For Graveyards” veröffentlicht. Dieses entführt seine Hörer ins Jahr 1930 an die Grenze zwischen Deutschland und Österreich, wo ein wahnsinniger Wissenschaftler in den Bayrischen Alpen sein Unwesen treibt. Tiefere Einblicke in die neue Platte bot mir Aldebran, Kopf und Sänger von Bloody Mary, im Zillo-Interview.

Hei, how are you doing? Enjoying the summer days?

Aldebran: Hi, thank you, we are doing well. To be honest with you, this August was an intense month we spent working on the fall's promotional plan, related to the release of our new album. It's exciting and full of schedules, therefore we had not a summer of relax, but of hard work.

Actually why Bloody Mary and not Sex On The Beach?

Aldebran: I only drink Jack Daniel's so...no...Bloody Mary is not a Vodka cocktail, nor it's referred to Mary Tudor or to some urban legend about ghosts either. Our Bloody Mary is a “Fuckin' Mary!”. You know, an exclamation like “Bloody Hell!” We like naughty bloody women (let them be vampires, female werewolves, vicious nymphs sitting by the river in summer...we love them all, especially if they're elegant, wild and fierce; they can drink Sex on the Beach, we don't mind), so we are devoted to our Bloody Mary. She's beautiful, dirty and cruel.

Soon your new album “Party Music For Graveyards” will be in stores. Are you completely satisfied with the final result?

Aldebran: We are totally satisfied with every single note, every single music pause and every pixel in the artwork. The work for this album was monumental, long and suffered, but it was inevitable in order to obtain exactly what we had in mind. And the result is paying us back with satisfaction for all the work that had been done.

Actually your new album should have been released in autumn 2009. Why the delay?

Aldebran: Yes, it's true, but as I told you, we wanted every tiny detail to be perfect. “Party Music for Graveyards” is like an entity with a personality of its own which wanted us to do things a certain way. We have sacrificed some songs here and there and other ones...with a growing identity…started appearing in the big plan of this ambitious album. It's been a long and laborious work of research both in literature and music. We needed to represent the atmosphere of the story narrated at its best. Only through these sacrifices and strange choices we got to shape the ideal sonic carpet of this musical creature. The way we approach the creative act of artistry also refuses limits such as time. The guys at our label Valery Records are very understanding and respectful of the artist's choices and we are very grateful for this. There was no pushing. We discussed and they finally agreed on allowing this album all the time it needed to be released in a quality way. So what happened was that at some point the concept of “time” ceased to exist and this time suspension lasted until the album was finished. We were living in a parallel dimension of sounds, visions and inspirations.

To what extend does the new album tie in with the previous one “Blood´n´Roll” or does the new album completely stand for its own – esp. referring to the content?

Aldebran: Both albums are “didactic concept” albums, a narrative form which I invented – it's the garnish, the detail, the nuance which tells you the story, and the music is its soundtrack. “Blood 'n' Roll” was set in Paris by the end of the 1800, a Bohemien and debauched ambience, while “PMFG” takes place between  Austria  and Germany in the year 1930, therefore, to us, the albums are taking part of the “Tetralogy of Blood” (two more albums will come) – they are some sort of “Steam Punk Time Machine” that ferries us through space and time. 

Is “Party Music For Graveyards” a concept album so to say?

Aldebran: What differentiates our creative process from the abused term of “concept album” is that this story is some sort of a soundtrack to our music and vice versa. For this reason, we don't talk about it directly in our lyrics. It's all about the emotions that the scientist, the protagonist of “PMFG”, felt at that time. All this is what we call, as previously anticipated, “didactic concept”.

Can you please tell us the story in short form?

Aldebran: The story is settled in Germany, on the borders to Austria in the Thirties. A scientist is conducting medical research in neurology. He lives with a woman, his companion with whom he is madly in love. They live happily in a villa by the Bavarian Alps, surrounded by forests of trees. The scientist alternates his work on hikes, reading and with passion for botany and entomology – and that leads them both to spend nights dissecting insects caught among the trees and cataloging the plants of the forest. The men nourish him with spirits of strong liquor and listen to his complaints confused and harrowing. Down the valley he has relationships with women of pleasure, from whom he buys the love he has lost forever. Taverns, inns, perdition. It's in the middle of this storm when the craziest idea crossed his mind, dark and sinister. There, at 3.000 meters above sea, in a tiny church of rough stones, abandoned and in ruins, he begins to build machines to accomplish his mad project: taking his bride back to life. This is what his mind, clouded with alcohol and desperation, leads him to do. He wants to re-create her, perfectly, body and soul, her character, her sound, her hair. He's a very romantic scientist. He goes to cemeteries to exhume the bodies of young women and takes from them specific parts of their brains, glands and neural sections to restore life to his beloved. It's in this church that is celebrating “Party Music for Graveyards”. This parable about the relationship between science and passion is the vital context from where our songs took life.

What does Aldebran and Dr. Finkelstein have in common?

Aldebran: Starting from the differences, if you watch close enough, Aldebran looks much better than Dr. Finkelstein: He has a great silhouette and abdomens, charming eyes as well as a deep sounding voice. Sally wouldn't run away from Aldebran and they would spend a great time together in the upstairs room. What these two scientists have in common: They certainly share a common passion for re-animating the in-animated. Although we all love Tim Burton and his incredible work, though, at the moment I feel much more fascinated by Frankenstein Junior, both for his grotesque humour and the photography, it links perfectly to the atmospheres of “PMFG”.

What did inspire you in writing the lyrics and music for “Party Music…”?

Aldebran: The lyrics of the songs of the album are the 78 rpm discs that the scientist used to listen to during the solitude of his experiments, his soundtrack. They talk about life, death, passion and all that has left a mark or a scar, every experience I had during these years. They're pretty melancholic in words, melt with crazy music, sometimes very easy, energetic and bright. That's why that huge romantic scientist likes them. Now that you make me think about it, it's like the “bright” albums of The Cure, such as “Japanese Whispers” (you know that album which has “The Lovecats” and “The Walk” on it) ...a hint of sadness soaked in irony and beauty.

Another cool Goth`n`Roll-band coming to my mind is The 69 Eyes. Did these guys inspire you as well?

Aldebran: Perhaps, because both, I and Jyrki, have a very deep and sensual voice. We had the pleasure to play with them in Bologna last year and we had dinner at a very special table with the band at the legendary “Transilvania Pub of Ice”, a common friend. However, the sound of Bloody Mary takes inspiration, and especially for this album, from the romantic music of the XIX. Century and from certain experimental sounds of the 70s. In all honesty, we do not follow the contemporary scene for what concerns music, and we try to draw our inspiration directly from the Muses of Painting, Literature and Cinema. Both male and female. We like icons, they have a strong impact on us, and we can see how artists sometimes are crazy and surprised messengers of invisible forces of love and nostalgia for a far land.

There are some really catchy melodies and riffs on your new CD. Which other elements does a song need for being a good party music song?

Aldebran: When we work on songs, we adopt a very simple method to see if a track works or it doesn't: We look at our own arm and if the hair bristles, it's always a good sign. We work on emotions, passions and we need to feel them while listening to the music we create. The emotional component is the basis on which we build all the arrangement.

As already the song titles consist of words with a negative connotation (down, fallen, fade, deathly, etc.), it`s quite hard to find the “party feeling” within the lyrics. To what extend do we have to read between the lines?

Aldebran: To read between the lines is a necessary exercise in all our work. There are various reading layers, various levels of understanding, it's up to the reader/listener to decide how deep she or he wants to go. Therefore one thing might appear as negative to distracted eyes, while it appears totally positive at a deeper look.

Are you party animals by yourself or how would you describe your own characters?

Aldebran: The party feeling and the pleasure of involving all our people, the “Bloody people” in every crazy recreational activity which we architect, accompanies us since the beginning of Bloody Mary. I would describe ourselves as shamans, who conduct their faithful ones into strange ceremonies and rituals to get closer to the most intimate essence of the Blood.

Do you also go in for graveyards and stuff in your private life?

Aldebran: I cannot find a line separating private and public life. What I bring on stage, in the albums and in everything that I create is exactly what I am. Some people can stop being themselves and start wearing masks. Such a thing is not allowed to me and I am condemned to be always and only myself, at its truest core and essence.

What does Gothic mean for you?

Aldebran: To me Gothic is a phase in the history of western art which was born in the second half of the XII. Century and spread all over Europe evolving eventually to Italian Renaissance in a continuous swing between dark and light over the passing time. Fascination with “the gothic” is, on the other hand, a state of the soul which makes you see better when it's dark and learn some very important secret lessons.
The new album was mastered in Finvox. How did you and Mika Jussila find together? And why did you choose him?

Aldebran: We consider Mika one of the greatest professionals around nowadays and he was the best man for the kind of sound we wanted for “PMFG”. We are satisfied with his work.

There`s a coversong by Ramones on your new album. But you already had published “Pet Sematary” back in 2007 on the EP “Dig Up For The Party”. Why this second release?

Aldebran: “Dig Up for The Party” was a pre-release of “PMFG”, as its title says: a sonic appetizer for this album. It featured not only “Pet Sematary”, but also three other songs which went eventually completely rearranged on the album.

Who is responsible for the amusing cover of “Party Music…”?

Aldebran: Our dear friend Marco Hasmann, he's a cartoonist who works also for Disney. He transformed into reality the picture that I had in my mind to represent the cover of “PMFG”.

How would you continue the sentence “Music is…”?

Aldebran: Music is the blood of the universe. It moves, moves you, makes you move.

Would Bloody Mary also work with Italian lyrics?

Aldebran: Probably it would, yes. It would work in any language.

How do I have to imagine a live show of Bloody Mary?

Aldebran: It´s something that you will remember forever and you could tell your children about.

When do we have the chance to see you live on stage in Germany?

Aldebran: We've been in Germany already and we really loved it. We consider the Germans as wonderful people, and there will certainly be at least a couple of shows planned soon. I'll keep you updated!

Interview: Lea S.
Fotos: Promo
Website Band: www.bloody.it
(c) Zillo Musikmagazin / Ausgabe 10/10 / www.zillo.de
copyright: Aurora Borealis 2007-2015
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