|Three months before the release of Buried Silence, the third Ice Ages album, I had the honor to interview Richard Lederer, the brains behind this dark electro project. It will have taken him eight years to offer a successor to 'This Killing Emptiness', so let's not waste more time,
|Hello Richard, how are you currently ?
I am fine. I have more energy and creativity than ever before. Music comes almost automatically.
The new Ice Ages songs were created very fast and meanwhile I even work on new Summoning songs.
Normally I make a rest after finishing a project but this time I simply could not stop the creativity,
I think it was because of the long unwanted pause which I had the last 6 years which during the time where I was not able to make music due to bad luck. But now I get all the lost creativity back.
Cool to hear it ! Well, as Ice Ages is almost unknown in France could you tell us the story of your one-man band ?
Ice Ages is surely the most unknown project of me, but that does not mean that it is the less important one for me. All my projects have the same importance for me. But I think that making harsh electronic, but yet melodic music, is simply the less popular style nowadays. But the idea for Ice Ages is as old as the idea for Summoning or Die Verbannten Kinder Evas when I got my first synthesizer 13 years ago. I started creating tracks, some sounded more classical, some more electronic.
Later I started to divide those styles and the more classical ones rather became Die Verbannten Kinder Evas or Summoning songs, while the more electronic ones became Ice Ages.
Ok and how can you describe the music of Ice Ages ?
Ice Ages is a pure electronic music with distorted vocals. The music shall transport a very dark and cold mood and rather cause associations to a dark future world than to any present or past world.
Its melodic and rhythmic at the same time but does not use any kind of classical sounds. The tune sounds are pure wave manipulations, while the drum sounds are noises also created by sine or saw tooth waves, no drum samples used at all.
And I also take care to add many layers and never make the rhythms to simple, although they are quite slow they never consist on a simply bass drum - snare pattern as used in normal rock music - everything is multilayered. I think films like 'dark city' or 'matrix' probably suit best to the mood I try to describe.
Yes, I have noticed that ! Meanwhile Buried Silence seems a little different compared to the precedent releases, do you think of continuing in this way ?
Well, albums naturally sound different from release to release, especially if there was such a long pause between them, but I never intend to sound different. I think difference should always come naturally and actually while making the songs I did not notice that some sound changed. Just after I finished the album and listened to the old songs I noticed that the new ones are harsher, more distortion on the voice, and a general more noisy sound.
Precisely, I notice that the voices are somewhat different on this third album ! On the second one they were a little more black whereas on this new one it sounds more mechanical !
Yes true, but thats rather a difference between the mixing than the singing style, its just more electronic overdrive, and as I said, I was not aware of that. In my memory the voice of 'this killing emptiness' sounded like the new voice, but I think it was just necessary to make the voice in that way, due to the higher noise factor of the drums and also tunes. It was necessary to increase the noise for the vocals so that they dont sound to human in comparison.
Well, regarding the artwork I can see that
it's completely different from the original idea and even more compared to the 'this killing emptiness' cover ! Why did you choose this cover precisely ?
The rights for the original picture I wanted to use were to expensive, so I searched for an alternative and
found a fine photo of a concrete bridge which I then manipulated by changing the shape, adding contrast to the patterns and giving the colors a cold icy feeling. By adding a cosmic background I wanted also to integrate a more futuristic element to the picture.
The main purpose for a cover is for me to express the music. When I look at a cover I would like to guess what the music could be. For example even the most impressive tree, forest or landscape as cover would not mean anything for me as it would not describe the music of Ice Ages at all. I need to show things that are cold, dark, hard and dead not to be in contradiction with the music.
If I remember well, Buried Silence is the first Ice Ages album completely recorded by computer ! So how was the recording process ?
Yes its true, but actually only the recording process was done with the computers, the synthesizer sounds were done with normal hardware synthesizers. This time I went a step further and unplugged all my old hardware synthesizers and replaced them by software synthesizers (mainly by the brilliant Reaktor 5).
For me the new software solutions have a better quality and are far more flexible than the old hardware solution and I was more free in sound than ever before while in the past I had to take the built in samples of the hardware synthesizer and just has limited options to manipulate them and make something new out of them. Meanwhile I could deal with far more tricky frequency and ring modulations techniques (I could continue with that for hours, but I know I would only bore non synthesizer experts).
Yes I guess ! Then, concerning the writing process, I notice that the lyrics are not written by you but by Grom ! Nevertheless, is this you who selected the topics of ?
No I left all decisions to grom, even the song titles, I can express any feeling I like with music, but I really have problems expressing anything with words, I like to discuss and talk for sure, but it if comes to poesy and using words more like colors etc I simply feel totally 'naked' so I am happy if any other person can do that job, and as I know grom already since the beginning of my musical activities and already met him a several time despite the long distance (he lives in Siberia) I know him and know that he has the right attitude for that music. So I always trust him. Only sometimes I mention some things like 'no, that lyrics sounds to real, or, I dont like some words' but normally everything is decided by him.
But then from where do you find the inspiration for the music ?
Actually I dont need any external inspiration. I can make new music on any place anywhere as long as I have my synthesizer around. Musical creativity comes step by step for me, first I get a good bass sound or drum sound then I play simple things with it then I loop those simple ideas and add new stuff to it, so step by step the music grows until it finally becomes a full song. Often I stop a song because I think its already finished but some weeks or even months later I find new layers but normally the main song is finished within a few hours. Well thats the principle for electronic music for me its not like in a band, its more like 'constructing' a song, but that does not mean for me with less feeling, just another attitude towards music, that often makes
it so hard to understand for metal fans for example where music is rather a result of the body of the musician than of his mind.
Ok ! Do you play always alone concerning this kind of music ? I see that you made a remix for Acylum ! Do you just respond for some requests or do you enjoy to collaborate with other bands ?
Actually I never ever did a remix before and never thought about that. Actually I was quite surprised when I got that remix offer from Acylum, first because I never got any offer like that, and second because it was from Acylum (because I bought the first CD of that band a year earlier and considered it immediately as far the best I bought in the last years) so it was a great pleasure to get an offer from a musician I really like, and also a great pleasure to hear that I was an influence for his music.
I guess, so it was a special and unique demand ?
I dont know if it will be my only remix, but actually I got into that way and can imagine doing this again.
Btw I notice that with Silenius you did not play gigs (question of choice) but you did for Ice Ages ! how can you play a entire gig alone ?
Well for electronic music its not so unusual. Surely Ice Ages is not the best live act on the world I guess,
but I think for many people just the fact to see the singer giving everything he can to the audience is enough.
Sure, but then in which point it's different from Summoning, when you said that you don't like to play live because it don't correspond to... your ideology ?
Well first of all, even if I would like to perform live with Summoning it would not be possible because Silenius would never go on stage, he is to lazy and passive for that, and second I think that its more possible for Ice Ages because it does not represent such an epic fantasy world, so you dont expect any orcs or hobbits on stage or anything that makes the world of Summoning.
So do you envisage a series of gigs to promote this new album ?
Not series, just if someone really would like me to play live Ill do it, and as I know a guy from Romania since many years I probably will play in Romania.
but I guess in Paris Ill be the only one !
yes most probablyJ
So how do you see the future for Ice Ages ? as always ? you don't know in advance ?
Yes, I never think about the future, I can just say that my new songs came so fast that after I completed the album I realized that I forgot to complete two song fragments that are actually very fine so the next album will not take as long as the last one.
Ok ! Now a major question for me ! From where the name Ice Ages comes from ?
As you can guess : not from me
It was from Ashley from the wave band 'Whispers in The Shadow' where I once played bass for the first two albums and as I am lyrically such a untalented person I asked others to find a name for it, and it only took him 10 seconds of thinking until he got that name. For me it described the mood of the band perfectly.
Well ! Thank you for answering my questions ! Is there something I forgot ?
No I dont think so, everything necessary said.
Ok ! thanks for your time !
Nothing to thank
Thanks for the interview.
interview réalisée par Katla