Monday, June 6, 2016

Mhonos Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?

The situation is special, Frater Stéphane left Mhönos about one year ago to focus on his solo project, and the band decided to keep on playing without him, so we chose to answer the questions separately.

Frater Stéphane :

I left Mhönos. Now I live through another project called N.K.R.T located in a rather special register described by some as « Black Metal purely organic, without almost anything electrical, halfway between Dark Ambient and ritual ». I play alone in concert and a first album almost fully recorded will be released by the Russian label Nomos Dei productions on the day of winter solstice in 2016

Mhönos :

Mhönos has been very active and productive these last months and is about to record the next album called « LXXXVII ».

The LP version will be released by Dead Seed Productions.

After a year writing, we started playing gigs with the new line up in the middle of 2015.

2.How would you describe the musical sound of the current music?

Mhönos :

Mhönos is first of all the gathering of 6 very different individualities. Each of us has his own background and all of these aggregate to create something unique beyond any well conceived directed line.

The result is not easy listening or comfortable as it doesn’t follow any existing musical scheme.

In a few words, Mhönos’ music is dark, harsh and obsessive.

Frater Stéphane :

About Miserere Nostri, I think we could speak of a liturgical construction based on the use of the bass and vocals, accompanied by keyboard. The sound is influenced by black metal of the early 1990s, particularly regarding the keyboard, but also the music of the Tibetan monks and some Asian shamanic traditions. Bands like Sunn O))) and Earth have been great inspirations for the textures of bass guitars.

The dominant idea was to build a minimal genre, around minimal human and instrumental formula, leading to destitution, introspection and organized around a symetry between darkness and light.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?

Mhönos :

The lyrics of the new Mhönos album are our masochist interpretation of psalm 87 of the Ancient Testament.

Frater Stéphane :

A part of Miserere Nostri and Humiliati lyrical topics was based on existentialist reflexions, influenced by the readings of authors such as Emil Cioran, Yukio Mishima or Albert Camus, except Alveus Terra piece which deals with more esoteric themes.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Mhonos'?

Frater Stéphane :

The name comes from ancient Greek Mhönos "μόνος" which means "single, unique". Mhönos was then completely conceived as a solo project on the recording. The meaning behind the name was an invocation of the psychological isolation and introspection, to meet a quest for spirituality in a world where everything is competition and ego masturbation .

5.Originally the band was a solo project, what was the decision behind hiring a full time line up?

Frater Stéphane :

After the first issue of Miserere Nostri in 2009, I was invited to play Miserere Nostri on concert and I was interested by feeling high volume trance between multiple layers of voices, drones and bass and martial percussions and - I admit - attracted by the temptation of a need of recognition, completely opposed to the subjects advocated in lyrics. I've contacted some friends who brilliantly joined the project to turn it into a real band.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?

Mhönos :

The music of Mhönos is a collective experience, so each musician represents a small part of this whole thing. That means our music drives each of us into many moods from introspection to catharsis. Mhönos is a live experience, from rehearsals to recordings. We don’t aim at delivering any particular feeling, every one faces his personal reaction during our shows.

Each concert has its own atmosphere due to the venues, the bands we play with, the reactions our music generates to the audience which are often very different.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?

Mhönos :

Our next show will take place in our home town where we haven’t played for almost 2 years now. This will be the last step before recording our new album this Summer.

Some gigs are planned for next Fall.

8.Recently ZANJEER ZANI Productions re-issued your 'Misere Nostri' album, what are your thoughts on the final product?

Frater Stéphane :

Zanjeer Zani is a serious and irreproachable label, aesthetically demanding. The re-release of Miserere Nostri home is excellent. The new artwork created by Samuel Antonin is beautiful and the disc that was sold out is reborn in the best conditions.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your recordings by fans of dark and underground music?

Mhönos :

Feedbacks are mostly positive and come from different musical underground scenes.

Devoted and passionate people from different labels came to us to release our works, which seems to be the best feedback we could expect.

10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

Mhönos :

Currently, we’re focused on the next album. Once it will be recorded, we will watch it dying on stage.

When this cycle is achieved, we’ll congregate and see what may happen.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

Frater Stéphane :

About Miserere Nostri, the main « band » influence was clearly Burzum. About Humiliati, tibetan ritual music played a big role.

Mhönos :

As we said before, we’re 6 individualities with too many influences, naming all of them would be endless.

12.How would you describe your views on Occultism?

Mhönos :

Occultism is what remains when human nature is facing the fear of the void.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Mhönos :

Ad Majorem Dolorum Gloriam

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