Heathen Harvest: How did Embolus start?
Embolus: We started as a two men project, Leander and me. We were old neighbours when we were just little boys. And after some years we came to work in the same supermarket, so we started talking again. Leander was working with a project of his in the gabba and trance scenes and I was crawling around in the folk and gothic scenes. I asked Leander if he was interested in a new project in which we could combine those to totally different musicstyles.. So in the year of 1998 we made the first tracks for the Weltschmerz album; 'Life Is Over' and 'Krieg Im Himmel'.
Later on when we started to go play live we asked Andre to come and hit our drums. After the release of Bluot Zi Bluoda we wanted to create more atmosphere on stage so we asked former Statik Sky VJ Patrick to VJ for us. And so the line up was completed. Nowadays we still work in the same way ( leander and me are responsible for the music) although the influence of Patrick and Andre is becoming bigger now.
HH: Combining the music from the different scenes must have been quite ambitious. How did the public initially receive this amalgamation?
EM: People had to get used to it.
Cybergothic Scene: We were not enough a danceband for the cybergothic danceparties. Our music was in between a danceband and an atmospheric band. For example we often use long intro's to create the right atmosphere but a DJ thinks that's irritating because it's more difficult to mix such a song then another stumping song. I think we were slower to. Our beats per minute were not as fast as the cybergothic hits back then. I think people were getting to like us when they saw us playing live. I believe we are a good liveband. In our gigs you can feel nature in all it's ways, the serenity but also the fury. The tenderness and remorseless way of dealing with problems.
Folkscene: I think a lot of folk people didn't like us back then because of the electronic beats. Most of them do not like electronic beatings haha. But the paganmetal scene could appreciate us because we were just as aggressive as a viking or paganmetal band. I guess for a lot of folk people we were to aggressive. I think our latest album is not as aggressive so I think we got more fans in the folkscene because of "All Natures Child". We are not known in the trance or gabberscene simply because we never promoted our music in those scenes. Being strange for the people made us known, people think about you.
HH: Do you view yourself as an act that tries to bridge the gap between different scenes and tries to get different kind of people together?
EM: No, we do not try to get the scenes together, we try to make our own music as interesting as possible for ourselves. If people like it or not is up to them. We make music to express ourselves and get our emotions and thoughts out.
It is a good idea though but I don't think it's up to us, the people have to that themselves. It's good for some people to open their mind more.
HH: Are there any bands you feel related to musically speaking?
EM: Because of our musical combinations there are a lot of bands which we are related to and one of them is Ice Ages from Richard Lederer. I listened to his music since I was 15 like Summoning and Die Verbannten Kinder Eva's. I got swept away by his keyboardparts. If you listen to a lot of the same keyboard player, you go and play along and that has influence on your own songwriting of course. After our "All Natures Child" album people have described us as a mixture of Laibach, Hekate, Das Ich and Project Pitchfork. I am not sure if they are right, everybody seems to know except for me haha. Just listen to the music and you will hear similarities.
HH: What are the main influences to Embolus' music and lyrics?
EM: Every album had it's own some sort of subject so they all have their own influences, they all sound very different from former albums.. For example the album "Bluot Zi Bluoda" was strongly influenced by Germanic history and culture, it was some kind of martial electro. "All natures child" was focused on nature and human emotions and sounds not as aggressive as Bluot Zi Bluoda. The next album that we are working on will have other subjects and influences. This album shall again sound very different from our former albums. we like diversity, we are growing and become wiser from life so our music will develop with us. My lyrics will develop with me. The lyrics I write now carry the thoughts, experiences and dreams that I have now.
HH: Is there any kind of imagery that is typical for Embolus?
EM: I think that the cybergothic people in Netherlands see us as the typical people from Brabant. Which means friendly warm modest people who drink too much haha. I think that reflects in our music. We are typical people from Brabant and when you make music that comes from your heart then the place where you grew up and lived your whole life will be a part of your music. The only one who is not from Brabant is Patrick, the VJ, he is from Den Haag. But he fits in so well that we consider him as one of the below the rivers elite hahaha. I think that is the image we have here in Holland and we are ok with that. Some like it, some don't care and some hate us just because of that. But well we can't be everybody's friend.
HH: Who created the somewhat Celtic knotwork logo, and what does it mean?
EM: The logo was created by Kris Verwimp, known for his drawings for a lot of metal bands for example Thyrfing, Marduk, Absu, Immortal, Månegarm and Old Man's Child. The knot does not mean anything. It is just a standard knot, neverending union. The artwork from "Bluot Zi Bluoda" is also made by Kris Verwimp.
HH: Even though the albums are quite different from one another, are there also some motifs that connects them all with eachother?
EM: The main thing that connects them all is nature. I think nature is all. Everything we do and everything we feel and believe has been given by nature. Nature gave us emotions and instincts. So I believe we must honour nature just because she created us.
A part what is in our nature is being proud of what our forefathers did. They created the world where we live in now. My freedom is given to me by them. And I like the pre-Christian Germanic history the most. The culture, the politics and their believes. So I like to sing about it. A lot of people are ashamed of our Germanic forefathers. If you honour them then you are a nazi. I think that is bullshit because being a nazi is a political way of thinking and feeling. Honoring your forefathers is a way of showing respect to them and honoring the way they had to fight for having a proper life. Without all the luxury we have now in the western world. Which only creates a bigger gap in between nature and man. Did you know that in the big cities of the Netherlands only 2% of the little kids ever go for a play in the forest. They never come there with their classmates or their parents. How must you teach those kids not to use too much energy so you don't destroy nature with it. You can't because they never see nature. if you ask them where milk comes from , then they say: "the fabric dude". It comes from a cow, you little pointdexter wannabe!!!!! It's frustrating but that is just the reason why I can write about nature and Germanic history.
HH: You're quite committed to nature. How do you try to make a difference, besides writing songs?
EM: I am very committed to nature. I have always been ever since I was a little boy. But I think a lot of kids were I grew up with. I was raised in a small village in the southern part of Netherlands and all around this village were forests. It was an open playground.. Nowadays I try to use as very little energy taken from oil or gas and I eat as much as possible biological food. I also want to go to school again next schoolyear to become a ranger. I studied for becoming history teacher but I am glad I quit. History is great but being a teacher sucked big time. I am also a volunteer for a big state-company who takes care of the forests.. Besides all that I also see nature as a religion (not in any wiccan way or whatever just on my own way) which makes me to live as close to nature as possible. So I think I do a good job
HH: The song 'Shave Your Head' from you latest CD "All Natures Child" is a weird song about a partner that has cheated. What motivated and inspired you for this song?
EM: I was wondering why the Dutch women who slept with the nazis in the times of war, were shaved. And I found out that in the far past in these regions the woman who cheated on their husbands, were shaved and dumped into a swump nearby the village. I live in a very swampy part of the Netherlands so I thought it could have happened here a lot. I made a story around these facts and "Shave Your Head" came out. I added a thought that maybe some guy would regret it. That he dumped his wife just because of the custom and not because he really wanted to kill her for her shameful actions. Just follow the other sheep is not always the best way to live your life haha. But most people really like to live like that.
HH: In the song "The Source Of Our Land" from that same CD you directly direct your lyrics in one of the last lines towards 'Rune'. Who is this Rune?
EM: Rune is my little daughter, her full name is Rune Silvi (magical ruler of the forest). She was born a month before the release of the album, the same day actually as the photoshoot. I wanted to make a song for her to give her some advice for living her future life. The lyrics tell my way of thinking about life. My girlfriend (and the mother of Rune) Suzanne (who has also played the German flute on the album) also wanted to say something for Rune, so we made the outro "All natures child". The child that you hear crying is Rune when she was three weeks old. The song is about the relationship between mother and child when the child is still in the mothers womb. Suzanne also makes the statement that we are born out of nature, we are all natures child. And that is a very important lesson we want to give to our daughter Rune Silvi.
HH: In what ways did becoming a father changed you?
EM: It changed me a lot. I had to grow up very fast. A little child depends on me now and that is a big responsibility. I started to think about the future of my family and me. Before that I was only thinking about the past and now I know that is a wrong way to live. I also got interested in politics again. I want my daughter to have a very pleasant youth in a perfect world. I know that is impossible but I want to get as close as possible. When she is older and she is looking back on her youth I want her to think that it was one full of love, laughter and health and I am working hard for that.
HH: What can we expect from Embolus in the future?
EM: That is a surprise haha. Well we want to make it different from the other albums. It will be aggressive again and we will add another music style to it (next to the Electro and the folk). Which one it is? Surprise surprise!!!!!
We have two new songs on the Embolus Myspace . They are without lyrics because then the songs will be different when the new album is out. Which will be before the summer months.
We have played all around Holland now and we are working hard and waiting and hope for an opportunity to cross the borders. We have learned so much with all the gigs we did here in Holland at big and at small parties and festivals, we know how to play with the crowd, we know how to party and we know how to touch your feelings of joy, pride, hate, hope and love. We want to spit out our propaganda on foreign ground.
HH: "All Nature's Child" was released by yourselves. Are you going to continue that way, or are you considering a deal with a record label?
EM: We are going to do it ourselves as long as we don't have a recordlabel. We are looking for one but it is hard. I guess you have to be very good and very lucky to get one. As I said in the previous question, we are working very hard and one day we will find that luck to get a label.
HH: Do you have anything left you wish to share with the Heathen Harvest readers?
EM: Thank you very much for this interview. I hope you all come to a gig of Embolus soon and come drink a beer with us haha. For all the bookers please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org, we are ready to cross our borders and we are looking for gigs in other countries. Watch out for the next freezing album of Embolus, coming in late spring.
Cheers to ye all!!!!!!!!