Interview with Semen Datura (Conrath)

Infernal Masquerade: Thanks for the interview, and let’s get started with the question:

I.M: What is the main concept behind picking the name: Semen Datura? What is the overall ideology behind the band?

Conrath: The name is our metaphor for 'origin of the night'. Datura are plants of the solanum family, for example the 'Mandragora officinarum' which is known as the plant of the witches. The term 'Semen' is Latin and means the essence you put into the earth, the origin of the plant. The main concept is to express the darkness of ourselves. To explore the depths of our nightly character. It's more a destiny than a concept.

I.M: Playing Black Metal like thousands of other bands, what do you think makes Semen Datura standout from the rest?

C: First. We don't play Black Metal like thousands of other bands...people should listen to the songs on our websites and, if they are able, read our lyrics. Second. The fact that we exist since 12 years and release our third full-length now speaks of the true serious will to one night stand. Third. Our album is released by a label that stands for strong quality and art.

I.M: What are the main influences you’ve had in the process of crafting of you very interesting Black Metal sound?

C: As we started with the band our main influences were the second wave of European black metal. The mystery, the rawness and the true will to explore new bring something to a higher level. Over the years I note that there is lot more inspiring stuff than dark metal music. Photographs of Michael Ackerman for example or architecture like the works of Zaha Hadid, Writers like Herman Hesse or music like Portishead or Joy Division. All this is impressive and is given you a special feeling. Later, by playing guitar or rehearsing, you can put this energy into the music. That's a kind of inspiring nucleus into a continuum of blackness.

I.M: Your latest release “Einsamkeit” showcases 10 tracks of very diverse music. How do you compare this album to your previous releases (musically and lyrically)?

C: Each album has an own identity. The main character is always Black/Death Metal but there are four years between the they are different in the detail. First full-length “this love is dead” shows a young band that loves dark metal music and tried to develop an own style. We used a lot of elements like female vocals, clean vocals, a lot of melodic lead guitars and...yes, maybe to much for somebody. The second album 'Vineta' is very different to the first one because the band split after “this love is dead” and bass player Nakhar and me wrote the second one alone in a long period without rehearsing as a complete band in the practice room. So the album is well structured, full of dark energy, cold and technical. The concept is about the island Vineta, that sunk in the Baltic sea because of greed and selfishness. A bit similar to the Atlantis story but with a straight regional (German/European) relation. The new album “EINSAMKEIT” is our Opus Magnum. It shows a more mature band that has created a own way of expression. We worked very organic in the practice room with a fixed drummer and very focused.

We were not about to make another Black Metal album. We were about to express atmosphere, melancholia, pain, hope, fury. But we have a metal background and so it's naturally that the output black metal or dark metal.

I.M: What is the concept behind “Einsamkeit”?

C: The main question is “What has pushed me so far away from the light and were is the way out”. The lyrics are more personal than in former times, to explore the depths of inner self. It was necessary because I walked a strange dark path the last years. The album was like a therapy or a important diary for me. EINSAMKEIT means something like isolation. An isolation that is a part of your character, an isolation in the modern world and in the middle of the masses. Isolation is sometimes very beautiful and refreshing and sometimes the isolation is destroying you like a hammer. You have to find a's totally important to find a balance.

I.M: Any touring planned in support of “Einsamkeit”, both in Europe and the USA?

C: We plan to do some shows in Europe. It depends on organizers. We're not this kind of band where you can bang all the time and get drunk. But if there is real interest we will do all to make an event happen. We like to play live and we are able to play live. I was never in the USA and I think it's impossible that a German underground act play a us-tour...I fear it's a little bit unrealistic. Furthermore I'm not the person that have thousand friends worldwide and is networking all the day. The name of our new album is not just a phrase.

I.M: Having formed since 1997, where do you see Semen Datura going in the next few years?

C: With “EINSAMKEIT” we reached our personal “top of the mountain” so far. This album is what we always wanted to do. I found peace with the release and now the priority is to do a good promotional job. For me, the “EINSAMKEIT” album stands for itself...alone and forever. I'm nut sure about the future.

I.M: Its too early but, have you guys started thinking about the next album yet?

C: We've already wrote some new songs and ideas but there is actually no plan to work consequent on a next album or something. You are right if you say “It's too early”. In addition to this term we could imagine to do a song for a split or a sampler. And...a dream is to realize a vinyl edition sometimes...maybe the album, a single or an EP. I like the black disks with big's a unique feeling, true and essential.

I.M: Anything else that you want to add for your American fans, and fans in general all over the world?

C: Thanks for the interest in our work.

I.M: Thanks for the interview and good luck with the album promotion.


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