Clan Of Xymox interview

Interview Clan of Xymox

(2009 Gitarzysta)

1. What can we expect from your new CD “IN LOVE WE TRUST”?

My very best. The album marries our past musical styles with a flexing towards the updated and modern. A couple of the songs are rather edgy with subtle aims at politics and religion, A lot of topics happened to people around me who inspired me to write the lyrics as I have them on the album. It is a fine line between love and betrayal.

2. How long did you write material on your new album and what are your impressions, feelings of recording in a studio?

I worked on and off on the album for the last three years , whenever I felt I had something to say and felt inspired to put it into music. Studios are not the most inspiring places to be creative, so that is why I work for the last 15 years in my own studio and take it outside when all is recorded. That way I feel I can produce the tracks as close to me as possible and have no obstruction by being in a too clinical setting . I have my studio available day and night so I can record whenever I feel like it. That is the way I like it the best.

3. Honestly, do you consider yourselves as classics, legends or precursors of Dark Wave? Do you feel that you are popular? Do you enjoy popularity?

It is always nice to have your own niche in the music industry. When you start a band it is always that you take your influences with into your music before you start to realize your own potential. The search for the right style or music you feel the most comfortable with took me quite a while as I experimented quite a lot with different angels and approaches toward the tracks I was writing. It is safe to say that since 1997 the unity of style became coherent and since then just slight additions or alterations came into play without drifting to far away.
I think most of our listeners accepted this given and appreciated always what I tried to achieve with each and every album. Pleasing however 100% of your fans is never possible , not for us or any band but that makes it all exciting with each new release when you get the feedback from journalists and fans of the band. When it is overall positive you know that you are on the right course.

4. How do you describe, define style of music which “Clan of Xymox” presets?

Darl Electro Goth would describe it the best I think . Having said that I feel I just make music , sounding darker then the average band you would hear on say daytime radio..

5. What inspired you 25 (twenty-five) years ago to begin your adventure with music?

Well , I was interested in music when I was 3 years old and that feeling never left. I played in local bands ( and performed ) when I was 11 years old. I DJ'd at my school parties and later in my local club and later where I used to study. I never stopped making music , but my first attempt to do all instruments and record them accordingly I started that process when I was 22 and lived in Nijmegen, NL

6. What are your impressions from last concert in Poland and when will you arrive to our country again?

I always like playing in Poland so it is a kind of homecoming for me , at least that is the way it feels. Next year we will perform again at the Castle Party ( Sunday) in Bolkow, so I am really looking forward to that show.

7. Do you know any Polish bands?

Yes , Fading Colours for example. I also made a remix for them ( and they for me) . I think they have great tracks and a great new album out.There are many more Polish bands I have heard over the years and very talented, so Poland is definitely on the map regarding music as well.

8. What is listened in Holland nowadays?

I would not really know as I haven't been back for pleasure for the last 5 years since I moved to Germany. Looking at the Dutch Underground Charts I see Emily and our album In Love We Trust are both number 1 , so I guess they still have good taste in music over there ;))

9. After so many years of work what inspire you to further work?

I think making music is a state of being, like breathing, making music is in my genes and I will never cease to do this, if not released I would still make tracks for myself , just to vent things in my life as a sort of therapy.

10. Have you achieved everything as a band what you wanted to achieve?

That already I achieved the moment I started my band. My main aim was to get my music released by a good record company and that happened 3 weeks after I sent 4 AD a demo , so i that way I accomplished my goal pretty early:)

11. During your career a few times your music has changed. Are you going to surprise your tunes by something new in your style, in your music?

No , not really . I just wanted to make a very dark Clan Of Xymox album without any current influences , meaning also no 80's influences , more a timeless piece of work. Of course no one will ever achieve this but I think my personal goals have been achieved with this album.
I always put somewhere a little twist in the musical direction , however this time it is more subtle. In a way the album is more pleasing for the fans who do not want to have a big change in style or too many surprises. I kept the music as I wanted it and thought all should sound.

12. What would you say to somebody who doesn’t know “Clan of Xymox” to encourage him or her to listen your music?

That lies not in my style. I do not want to force or convince people to listen to my music. I rather hope someone hears of their friends our music is good than that I have to try to convince people in person;)
It is so easy on you-tube or my-space to listen to bands and discover new or favorite groups , so there is a start for everyone to go and explore. If you like a band , of course try to buy the album as this is the only way to listen to a band and fully understand them , snippets and out-takes does not work for me but it gives you at least an idea if you like or might like a band.

 

 

 

 

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Clan Of Xymox
Ik maak muziek omdat ik dat graag doe...
21/04/2010, Didier Becu

Op 15 oktober kunnen we met zijn allen naar het Necropolisfestival in Brugge.

Naast The Eternal Afflict, Absolute Body Control, Santa hates you en Diskonnekted is er ook de headliner Clan Of Xymox. We hoeven deze band aan niemand meer voor te stellen en al ser iets zekers is in het leven dan is het toch weld at Clan Of Xymox steeds terug komt.

Dark Entries had het voorrecht om met frontman Ronny Moorings 26 jaar Clan Of Xymox te overlopen.

Beste Ronny, na zoveeljaar in de gothicscene te syaan, zijn er niet zo van die momenten waarbij je het gevoel hebt dat je The Rolling Stones van de gothscene bent?

Clan Of Xymox werd opgericht in 1984 en het was een jaar later dat we ons debuut uitbrachten.

Ik hecht geen belang aan cijfers en ik voel het niet echt aan als een eeuwigheid.

Ik heb nog steeds het zelfde gevoel alsof ik net begonnen ben en ik wil nog steeds de wereld bewijzen dat we met Clan Of Xymox iets speciaals kunnen brengen.

Het spreekt voor zich dat ik trots ben op al onze platen maar ik heb nooit teveel naar het verleden willen kijken, altijd mijn hoofd gericht op de dingen die moeten komen.

Waar het hem ten slotte allemaal om draait is toch het laatste nummer van een groep en het is net dat wat me bezig houdt.

Denk je dat er veel veranderd is?

De meeste veranderingen gebeuren mondjesmaat zodanig dat je het niet opmerkt.

Ik sta er echt middenin, en vanuit die positie zie je de bomen door het bos niet meer, ook al probeer ik dat te vermijden.

Natuurlijk is er veel verandert, kijk gewoon naar de technologiën en de gevolgen daarvan in de muziekindustrie.

In dat aspect is het zelfs geen verandering maar een revolutie doordat we nu zo makkelijk aan muziek kunnen geraken, zelfs het meest obscure plaatje vind je nu op het net en kun je ook kopen.

De stijlen in de muziek evolueren nog meer, dat geldt ook voor mode, eigenlijk voor alles.

Er zijn massa’s releases, je hebt een overvloed van informatie…en dan vind je iets wat je nauw aan het hart ligt en je omhelst het als een trouwe vriend.

Het is zulks een band die ik trouwens met onze fans wil, wij willen een rots zijn waar je kan aan vast klampen in de chaos die wij ons leven noemen.

Ik heb jullie vanaf het begin gevolgd en voor mij was Clan Of Xymox een muzikale uiting van een mens die verschillende stijlen van muziek deed, maar steeds donker en melancholisch…

Dat is een correcte visie want zo denk ik en zo voel ik ook alles aan.

Ik heb me nooit kunnen terugvinden in leuke deuntjes, dat kan me nooit raken zoals de melancholische dingen.

Er zijn veel mensen gekomen en weggegaan bij Clan Of Xymox.

Ben jij, Ronny Moorings, Clan Of Xymox?

Het was en is altijd mijn ding, dus ja. Op dat vlak is er niks verandert

Ik heb de groep opgericht en ik zal het ook beëindigen als de tijd daar rijp voor is.

Niemand zal Clan Of Xymox verder kunnen zetten zonder mij.

Natuurlijk is het zo dat ik mensen rondom mij nodig heb om de muziek live te brengen maar het schrijven en opnemen dat doe ik helemaal alleen.

Ik heb ook nooit verwacht dat mensen lang bij Clan Of Xymox zouden blijven, alleen zitten Mojca en Mario er nu het langst bij en ik denk dat Yvonne ook wel een tijdje zal blijven.

Ik was op zoek naar mijn eigen identiteit en tijdens deze zoektocht zijn de mensen om mij heen ook veranderd..

Muzikale experimenten zijn nodig om mijn eigen ik te vinden.

Wij weten van ons zelf dat we steeds maar veranderen, kijk gewoon naar oude foto’s en

hoe je er toen uitzag en hoe je er nu uitziet en alles wat daartussen ligt.

Mensen moeten evolueren om zo te ontdekken wat het best bij hun past en dat geldt voor

alles : je stijl, je kledij, je vrienden, uw voedsel en al de kleine dingen in het leven die er met samenhangen.

Op een zekere leeftijd ontdek je wat het best voor je is en vanuit dat punt kan je dan verder.

Ik ontdekte in 1997 wat het beste voor me was maar ik bendat toch steeds gaan verfijnen.

Ik denk dat ik nu wel op de weg zit die naar mezelf leidt.

Luister jij naar je eigen muziek…ik bedoel heb jij zo’n moment waarbij je denkt : “Laten we eens “Twist Of Shadows” opleggen!”?

Tuurlijk. Ik luister naar veel muziek ook al moet dat niet noodzakelijk de mijne zijn.

Als je met je eigen muziek bezig bent is er wel een zekere nood om naar andere artiesten te luisteren, maar dat doe je dan om te genieten.

Als je naar je eigen muziek luistert dan begin je te analyseren en kritisch over alles na te denken.

Maar ja, het voelt soms fantastisch om eens naar een bepaald nummer terug te grijpen en er dan over na te denken hoe ik me toen voelde en ik weet steeds welke track ik moet opleggen!

De meeste Clan Of Xymox-nummers hebben een klassieke structuur. Sterke melodiën, teksten met betekenis en een muzikale orchestratie.

Hoe componeer jij je nummers, Ronny?

Muzikaalgewijs raak ik meestal geïnspireerd door geluiden die mijn fantasie binnensluipen en ik beeld me dan een verdere weg in die ik opbouw met andere geluiden, en eigenlijk gaat alles een beetje vanzelf.

Het is misschien zo dat er een paar woorden zijn die de structuur van het nummer bepalen, dus ik heb wel een idee in mijn hoofd van wat ik ga schrijven.

De teksten zijn eigenlijk gebaseerd op gebeurtenissen die ik zelf beleefd heb of wat ik rondom mij heb zien gebeuren, of dingen waar je over gehoord hebt. Nu je er over nadenkt, je hebt eigenlijk altijd wel iets om over te schrijven…

Zijn er veel onuitgebrachte nummers bij je op uw kamer of dingen die je weggegooid hebt?

Bijna alles is uitgebracht maar nu ik er over nadenk liggen er hier en daar wel een paar nummers, niet dat ze weggegooid zijn of zo.

Ze passen gewoon niet op een cd ofwel is het omdat ik er niet zeker van ben.

Clan Of Xymox is altijd een groep van up’s en down’s geweest, nooit over nagedacht om het op te geven?

Wat moet ik dan opgeven?

Ik maak muziek omdat ik dat graag doe.

Het zou net hetzelfde zijn als stoppen met ademen.

Ik heb de muziek even hard nodig als de zuurstof die ik nodig heb om te ademen.

De passie voor muziek daar ben je met geboren denk ik, dat gaat nooit weg, het zit in je genen!

Wat er ook met je gebeurt, je hebt altijd de neiging om je uit te drukken, in mijn geval door mijn muziek en de teksten die daarbij horen.

Voor mij is het mijn manier van leven, zonder dat ben ik verloren.

Ik las onlangs op de website van Legendary Pink Dots dat zij het beu waren om op de vloer te slapen en Europese toernees met soms gaten van een week…

Ja, dat zijn dingen waar ik kan inkomen, het leven on the road is keihard maar dat betekent niet dat je moet opgeven om muziek te maken.

Tot nu toe heb ik dat met Clan Of Xymox nog niet meegemaakt en ik hoop ook dat het nooit gebeurt.

Ik hou van toeren zoals wij dat doen, en zolang het enthousiasme voor de groep er is kun je blijven doorgaan denk ik, natuurlijk tot zolang de mensen geïnteresseerd blijven.

Een collega vroeg zich af of het waar is dat je ooit een getalenteerd voetballer bent…

Die heeft het zeker op iemand anders, ik heb nooit kunnen voetballen (wel op café aan de voetbaltafel) en ik vind mij niet echt terug in sport. Tennis spreekt mij meer aan…

Dan gaan we maar terug serieuze vragen stellen, wat denk jij van fans die fanatiek kunnen zijn?

Zolang dat ze niet voor mijn deur beginnen te kamperen heb ik er geen probleem mee.

Fans die onze muziek volgen en naar onze optredens gaan maakt mij gelukkig.

Natuurlijk ben ik blij als er een toegewijde fan naar me toe stapt, het beste zijn die fans die een handtekening willen op al de releases die we ooit hebben uitgebracht J

Zijn er nog steeds van die gekke toestanden in Zuid-Amerika, Ronny?

Ja, wij spelen op zeer regelmatige basis in Zuid-Amerika en wij vinden het daar fantastisch!

Wij begonnen daar te spelen op het eind van de jaren ’90 en sindsdien hebben we daar een publiek opgebouwd.

Er zijn landen bij waar de fans ons staan op te wachten op de luchthavens, dat is toch het een en het ander.

Kijk, wij zijn nu bezig met enkele organisatoren om terug een toer ginder te doen maar het wordt toch harder en harder want de vliegtuigkosten springen echt de pan uit.

Dus het is al gebeurd dat sommige organisatoren ons wel wilden maar zij konden de dure vliegkosten niet betalen.

Ik hoop dat de prijzen gaan zakken maar nu met de vulkaan in Ijsland zal dat niet verbeteren vrees ik…die vliegtuigmaatschappijen zullen hun schade wel op een of andere manier terug willen….ja, ’t is altijd iets met die economie…

Hoe ga jij om met mensen die je stijl kopiëren?

Kopiëren dat is de beste manier om te vleien!

Alle muziek is relatief, er is een ongelimiteerde hoeveelheid aan noten en akkoorden, dus niemand is uniek in die zin.

Alleen de geluiden, de melodie, de structuur, het tempo, de woorden en de stem…die zijn uniek.

Een stijl hangt samen met een bepaalde smaak, en ook hier heb je variaties tussen.

Maar het is altijd fantastisch om tussen groepen te zitten die van ons houden.

Wanneer wij begonnen met Clan Of Xymox werden wij ook met anderen vergeleken en soms duiken die groepen nog eens op in recensies, maar nu trekken wij ons daar niks meer van aan.

De ene muziek beïnvloedt de andere op één of andere manier…en als wij deel kunnen uitmaken van dat proces, zoveel te beter!

Je hebt een brede waaier van nummers maar als je op een podium staat en de mensen blijven roepen achter dezelfde klassiekers, wat denk je dan?

Het zou toch erger zijn moesten we geen klassiekers hebben?

En wij zullen altijd meer en meer klassiekers hebben, “Emily” is er nu al één!

Het is altijd zo aangenaam als mensen tijdens een concert meezingen.

Een klassieker dat is een nummer dat gedurende jaren bij de mensen groeit, het blijft jaren in hun leven en eigenlijk vind ik het niet meer dan normaal dat ik die klassiekers speel.

Je bent bijna een peetvader van de gothscene, wat betekent goth voor u?

Nu ook niet gaan overdrijven hee!

Nu is gothic meer gerelateerd aan groepen die hun gitaren op een metal-manier gebruiken, wat voor mij een totaal verschillende betekenis voor het woord goth heeft.

Gothic… dat is een vage term die alle stijlen samenbrengt die naar de donkere kant van het leven refereren.

Dat gaat samen met een bepaalde kledij, wat die stijl ook mag zijn.

Het is voor mij niet meer dan een label en ik zou Clan Of Xymox er zelfs niet echt zo noemen omdat we zoveel verschillende stijlen door elkaar gespeeld hebben.

Wat is de plaat waar je het meest trots op bent, Ronny?

Altijd de laatste omdat de meest recente is en het betekent ook dat het mijn meest recente gevoelens weergeeft.

Eerst “Wild is the wind” en daarna “Heroes”, Bent u een fan van David Bowie?

Neen, dat is toevallig (schiet in de lach).

Je woont nu in Leipzig. Dat is ook niet toevallig zeker? (Wave & Gothik Treffen)

Eigenlijk is het wel toevallig.

We wilden weg uit Amsterdam en we zagen een huis staan in Leipzig, en we kenden die stad door het Wave & Gothik Treffen en we dachten “komaan, we gaan ginder wonen”.

Ik ben blij dat ik 5 jaar geleden die beslissing nam en wij vinden het hier nog altijd fantastisch.

Het is nog nergens zo knus geweest als in Leipzig!

“In love we trust” wordt door velen als de beste plaat gezien sinds “Hidden Faces”.

Ik heb ook al onze andere cd’s graag gehoord hoor.

Natuurlijk vinden we “In love we trust” het beste, maar zolang de fans het vinden is dat het belangrijkste…zij zijn mijn motor!

Ik heb ook ongelooflijk genoten van “Breaking Point”, was dat een terugkeer naar “Twist Of Shadows”?

Huh? Het was gewoon een stap voorwaarts (lacht weer).

Onze collega Kurt zou eens willen dat je de review leest van “In love we trust” op Dark Entries.

Tuurlijk goeie recensie! Hij noemde onze cd zelfs de plaat van de zomer. En 9 op 10? Als je hem eens ziet mag je hem eens een goede knuffel geven!

En wat nu Ronny, nog eens 25 jaar Xymox?

Als Leonard Cohen op een podium kan op zijn 70e, moet jij het ook kunnen!

Nu voel ik me wel zeer oud door uw woorden hoor.

Ik denk nooit na over leeftijd en alles wat daar achter ligt en ik ben zeker nog veel te jong om er over na te denken wat de toekomst mij nog brengen kan.

Ik denk dat onze generatie anders is dan die van onze ouders, wij accepteren het niet dat we ooit moeten opgeven.

Kijk naar Depeche Mode of naar The Cure, of naar gelijk welke groep uit die periode, ze zijn ouder dan 50, in ieder geval ouder dan ik en die blijven maar toeren!

En kijk dat is de nieuwe standaard in de rockmuziek : je sterft niet als je 20 bent maar je bent je hele leven een muzikant, als dat niet mooi is !!!

Tot in Brugge Ronny!!!!

 

Ritual August 2009

Interview for CLAN OF XYMOX by Paolo Bertazzoni

The opening song of ‘In Love We Trust’ is also the one chosen as first single: what can you tell us about this song? Who is named after/Dedicated to? So, who is Emily?

Emily is a fictional name , like all my songs which have a female name. It is just easier for me to write a song with a fictional name as it gives me more freedom to write lyrics for it. In the case of Emily it is a simple love song for me, describing the feeling of infatuation. Because of the length of the song and the composition it just felt straight away like a single.

Is ‘Desdemona’ dedicated to the Shakespearean character?

Yes indeed , it is based on the Othello story , but in a kinda reversed twisted way , making the vocalist the Desdemona character in a way. It is more to describe a certain forlorn feeling as Desdemona was not really an interesting character , more a victim of jealousy of some sorts. This topic of course is valid throughout the ages , so it was for me interesting to do something with it.

Still talking about the previous two points, songs like ‘Desdemona’, ‘Emily’, ‘Hail Mary’, you know, seems to be a kind of “celebration of women”, women meant like a symbol of the deepest love…just an impression?

Desdemona , a victim of jealousy , Emily is a love song and Hail Mary is not about a Mary but like in the English language you say your Hail Mary's when you are praying for something or repent. The choice of female names has always been my favorite , I guess over the years you can make a nice collection of female names being sung about;)
I do like these kind of topics but as explained above it is not every time about a concrete person and the topic might be quite something different as you would expect, it is though always when a female character is involved about certain aspects of feelings we have in us.

What is the relationship between the front cover, a picture showing a fencing mask, and the whole concept of the album? Does this mean that love hurts, so we need armor in order to protect ourselves?

Ha , you hit the nail right on the head ! That means that the artwork really is understood when you see it !. Mojca is responsible for the artwork and I think she really did a terrific job on interpreting the lyrical contents of the entire album.

Some people speak of “romanticism” and “heart felt music” when talking about Clan Of Xymox: what’s romanticism and love in your own words? At the same time, the album title ‘In Love We Trust’ sound like a statement full of hope, while the world around us is collapsing…

It is funny you should say that as "In Love We Trust" is meant exactly the opposite , so it is about the "world collapsing" around us. It is meant in a cynical way. This album was written over a period of time that nearly every close friend I have did break up. In my book 2009 is a disaster year concerning all my friends. This did not leave me untouched and had to do something with these emotions , also because I could not escape the topic even if I wanted to.
I think when people think of Romanticism in our music they perhaps refer to the slower songs on the album(s). In total a lot of songs have a very melancholic feeling which also appeals to the notion of Romanticism. I just like it this way , I do not like to write happy tunes , it is simply not in me.
Wordsworth's definition of all good poetry as "the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" sums for me all up involving the feeling of Love and Romanticism. A source of illumination of the world within, interpreting things through my own emotions....and believe me , I had a lot of interpreting to do the last year ;)

“Clan of Xymox demonstratively returns to its roots while nevertheless remaining up to date.” I imagine that it should have been so easy make it all sound like belong to a specific band with a specific identity. To me, that’s the hardest challenge for a musician…What’s your “secret”?

There is no secret if you know our back catalogue, then you will notice always a shift towards this or that. In that way I keep myself interested in making music , not fearing what this or that person might say when I go in certain directions. I know some people like this or that period or just simply evolve along with us.
The main thing and that might be the "secret" is that I just simply follow my taste in music , look for new inspiration sources and keep a fresh perspective without looking for anyone to please but my own taste. Hundred percent of dedication is for me the only way to deliver an album.
" In Love We Trust " is a reflection of my taste in music today.

And still talking about research: through the years Clan Of Xymox has revealed itself as a “mutant entity”…from the dark wave era up to the last electro goth works, quoting David Bowie you have been “searching for form and land’. So what’s the role of the word “experimentation”, to you?

To me experimentations are necessary to come to an identity. We all know from our own experiences that we change all the time , just look at old photo's , the way you looked and the ay you look now and everything in-between. People need to evolve in order to find out what suits them the best , that goes for style of clothes , food , your friends , simple things in life , you need this in order to keep your interest in living. At a certain age you will find what suits you the best and from there you can be subtle.
I discovered in 1997 what suited me the best but did not keep me from going in this or that direction a bit more. I think now I feel like I am on a path which is totally my own.

The EP ‘Emily’ includes two remixes: being a “kid of 80ies”, what your opinion about the “remix” itself, and what is your relationship with the technology and progress?

Yes , Emily is just the track to do that. I did one remix myself and I really thought that 80's feeling in the remix suited Emily the best. Contrast made another remix which also emulates that feeling , so I guess that is the natural feeling of the track.
Technology is just making life easier for me , I dread the days I had to bring all my equipment to a studio in England and was restricted to a certain timeframe to produce an album. Luckily these days have gone, technology has always been a great friend of mine and is for me simply a tool to get where you want to get.
A lot of people ( who are not musicians ) think that computers write the music for you , which is of course nonsense. It is like saying to a writer that when he /she writes a novel the computer writes it for them. The PC is just a tool , and also for writers it is a handy tool , I don't think they want to go back to ink and feathers;)

Is there a period in particular, or an album, in your “evolutionary process” that you consider the most revealing, an album that is important to your current way of working/considering/feeling music?

Yes , as cliche as it might sound it is my current album , simply because it is fresh to me and is the closest to me own taste at the moment. I never look back to previous albums, it is not important to me as I know them for such and such a (long) time , what is important is what I do in the here and now. I guess that is why I am not alone in this statement because any band will tell you that and I fully understand why they say it , just like me , I feel the closest to what I have done recently.

Back in the 80’s you used to release records through 4AD and lived in first person the golden age of darkwave music. What kind of inheritance did those days leave behind? And what about the nowadays Clan Of Xymox “incarnation”?

Sometimes I feel it is a curse following me ;) . I would like to be judged for what I do now without being looked at as a band with all this history. I know that it is impossible , but hey , you asked me..;) In a fair and just world I would like to be judged on each album seperately, ( like if we were a new band) but I guess every band would want to have the same ;)
I feel Clan Of Xymox is now for a long time the band I want to have they way I wanted it from the start. When you start a band you never know what the concept is going to be , that is why I also underwent a lot of experimental stages in order to get where I am now. The Clan Of Xymox from the here and now is the band I want and that will never change, so this line in music will remain .

AD 2009: what do you think is the main element that focuses the dark/goth musical scene nowadays? Is there anything you think has been lost through the years?

No , the opposite , I think a lot of musical styles have been added , which is a good thing. Like with everything in life it is good you have a choice. The more choice the better as the chances increase you might like something.
Because the means are there for a lot of musicians to express themselves it will only mean that the whole pallet will be broadened and that is in my opinion a very good thing.

Where is your music taking you?

to many places on the planet:)

best wishes,

Ronny

Editor: Francesco “Fuzz” Pascoletti

 

D-Side 2009

Emmanuel Hennequin

There is a global unity coming from your last records, like there was a line between them, in terms of global sound. Do you think that Clan Of Xymox has found its road or is each album considered by you like a challenge, an unknown zone ?

Yes , in a way you are right. In a way I do not start with a concept but with writing a few songs first. When I am happy about the direction I try to stay in this frame of mind. Sometimes you manage and sometimes you don't. It all depends on the period of time you write I guess as well , personal impressions and state of mind. With "In Love We Trust " I got a sudden burst of energy writing a lot of songs one after the other , so I guess that explains maybe the feel of unity whilst with some previous albums the timeline of songs were further apart , meaning you would get a diversity but not necessarily a unity as you have now with our latest album.
Any sudden changes in the music style however ,be rest assured ,will not happen in the now and future...

Are you still surprised by what you do or do you want on the contrary pursue the exploration of a zone you know and want to refine ? What were the feelings for In Love We Trust ?

My feeling of surprise comes always a few years later when I start to forget how I came to write these songs. Then often I have a feeling that I forgot how I came to create these songs;) Ask any musician this question and I am sure they would like to change little details here and there of their songs they created. Having said that I do not think it is the case with "In Love We Trust " because I took quite some time to refine the songs in the end, and when all was finished I could not hear anything which disturbed me , so I guess that is a good thing :)

 

How have things progressed on In Love We Trust ? How were the roles cut inside the band and especially, what has Mojca done in the studio ? Has she simply put an eye and given some observations on Ronny’s musical contents, or has she concretely given some writings/compositions for the new album ?

No , this time I did not need too much feedback on things as I was happy about the results and none of the songs made me doubt there would be something that needed extra feedback on it. I asked Mojca however to do a backing vocal on the chorus part for the song " Love Got Lost ".
Of course I always play her the latest version of a song , also in the writing process and her comments were in line with what I thought , so this is also important to me , because everyone needs feedback or confirmation that you are doing something right.

The rest of the band traditionally will get to hear the songs in the van on the way to a concert and I let them comment on it, so far they always gave the thumbs up , so that is also cool for me :)

You seem to have wished an epic result sometimes, like we hear on "Desdemona". When you compose an album, are you in the desire to find a balance, or do you simply obey to an impulse that gives a global result, whatever it could be ?

Actually I simply obey the song and the direction it is going . It might sound bizarre but often when you write music the music itself dictates where it wants to go, especially when you try to feel the mood. Better I cannot explain it as it is such a personal way of making and creating that can only understood by the person who is creating it. In any case this is kind of the way songs develop by themselves with me being the obedient servant;)

Why have you chosen to let "On a Mission" on the new album ? It had already been released on the Heroes single…

Yes , singles are mostly taken of an album....
and the single Heroes was advertised by the record label as a sneak preview of the album , so therefore I had to put at least one song of this single on the album :). I decided not to put Heroes on the new album and keep that exclusive. On A Mission however is a new mix and also mastered again , so it does differ a bit from the single version , so it is more an album version...

 

When two lovers work together, is there a permanent confusion between feelings and art or do you think/wish to work in a manner that "separates" things ?

My music has very little to do with my relationship. The same goes for Mojca and her artwork. We simply discuss songs and visa versa we discuss the artwork. We have trust in each other that we do not stick our noses in each other's working process. We like it that way.

What does picture for you the cover artwork made for In Love We Trust ? Who is this golden and mysterious fencer ?

It is a picture which Mojca took somewhere when we were on the road. Mojca makes a lot of pictures for later use for artwork etc. When the album title becomes clear she can go through her material and look for the right atmosphere depicting the album title. Since the topic "In Love We Trust " is a bit cynical the fencing mask symbolizes the state of war a lot of couples live in ;) fencing for their opinions and believes or their loved ones.

Even if there are some guitars on the new record, the synthetic aspects remain very present. Have you composed the new album firstly and directly with the machines or have you used some other instruments to create the bases ?

Actually the same as usual , drums , synths , keyboards , guitars and bass. It is mostly always in the end down to the mix:)

Two remixes featured on the Emily single. Have you collected some other things like this, kept unreleased for the moment, that you will publish later ?

Yes , there are some songs left from the album which I might use for a future B side. These songs did not feel like they belonged on this album so I left them out. Some I am sure are going to disagree with me when they hear them ( later ) but hey :) luckily I have that all in hand:)

A dark/gothic scene/crowd seems to have emerged and is still growing up in Peru. What kind of exchanges have you had with the fans during your last venue in Lima, and were you surprised by this effervescence around Clan Of Xymox ?

That time we just did Peru . That was the second time we played with Clan Of Xymox there. Each time a few hundred people greet us at the airport as we are rock-stars or something, they have fences placed , bodyguards stand around you and there is a deafening noise of screaming girls, all very rock'n roll;)
We stayed six days so we had time to look around in Lima and made a trip outside Lima to an archeological site. The first time we were there we even had time to go to Machu Picchu, the old Inca city in the mountains.
We attract for a show a few thousand people who are packed in the concert place.
I love to play in Lima ,the audience goes really mental on our music , knows every word , singing along with each and every song, it is just great , it feels like a homecoming when we play there , so enthusiastic as people are. This goes actually for the whole of Latin America, we always come back home with these type of stories and very few can imagine that there is a huge following there. Now you have You-tube , so you can get the feeling better. In Lima I think there were as many cameras as people, and each angle of the concert was covered by a mobile phone camera;)
So far we played Chile, Brazil , Peru and Argentina. Most likely we go back early next year again.
We supposed to go to Mexico in May , o.k. Central America , but as you might know all public gatherings were canceled because of the "swine" flu. We re scheduled the concert now for September.

 

You seem to have stayed a little time in this land. How have you seen its environment and people ? What will you keep from this journey ?

Actually we stay quite long on average for a show. The first time we stayed with the whole band 10 days and saw Lima , the surroundings of Lima , went to Cusco , stayed there, saw the Valley and the Inca ruins and took a train to Machu Picchu . The train ride alone is very interesting , you see the landscape and you feel you are on a anthropological journey. This journey was something I always wanted to do but never thought would be possible. The weirdest thing is that later in life you go there but with your band and crew , you just don't dream that up:)

What kind of surprises will provide the further Clan Of Xymox live set-list ?

It won't be a surprise if I would tell you , but of course I will this time highlight the new album as well.

How have you appreciated Dope Stars Inc.’s cover of "Jasmine & Rose" ?

I knew that version for quite some time. The singer gave it to me in Milan after our show. I appreciate this kind of thing a lot as it means you inspired artist enough to want them to make a cover version . A better compliment then there's not.

Let’s talk about business, now. What brought you to leave Pandaimonium to Trisol for the European territory ? Did you find this structure too little for Clan Of Xymox and what are the concrete reasons bringing you to state that this is, at a moment, a "time for a change" ?

Well , I got actually help from Steph of Pandaimonium on this one. He has not that much time left to run his label so I was looking for a full time label at some point. So , nothing dramatic but a very friendly parting. Steph is still my dearest friend and I talk to him on a weekly basis about other stuff , like friends do...

 

Had you, at the time you were discussing a deal with Trisol, renewed some contact with the current 4AD’s crew ? What kind of relations have you kept with this label ?

none, they just keep pressing the 2 albums we have on their label, thats all. The 4ad crew is all new and I do not know any of them.

What was this spanish thing released on iTunes through the Xymox mark and called "Hypnotized" ? Has the legal battle against Contrasena Records been long before this thing was retired from the market ?

There was never a battle , the Spanish label changed the name of the band and i tunes took it off immediately after my complaint. It is just stupid or cunning or both that this label tried to rip off some (maybe gullible) fans of our band. I felt I had to warn them against this. It kinda felt like a rape..

Hasn’t this episode put some questions to you about the way music should be sold through the Internet ?

crooks you have in any form and in every place.

Does it not reveal too that the iTunes system should create some more strict control systems, especially about the copyrights, before to sell something on the web ?

In general they do , but it is up to the band and the label to control what is happening. Full control no one has , not even i Tunes ..Piracy is a big criminal business and hard to fight. Luckily I had a great contact with the legal department of I tunes who responded very fast. So I am very happy with i Tunes and the way they handled it for me.

You covered Bowie’s "Heroes" for a single format in 2007. Do you expect to re-do this kind of things in the near future or aren’t there any plans like this ?

No , in general I do not think about covers , but sometimes I guess one slips in when it feels like a fun thing to do. I actually did work on one cover and might be ending up on a B side sometime , and no...it is not a Bowie cover :)

Some recent statistics based on Google use, about the web researches about the dark music scenes, seem to say that the gothic genre is decreasing face to the general "electro" term researches (which is very general, as a term). Do you think/feel we live a period of decline for the concerned scene ? Could it be the end of a cycle ?

Well , the music style was in a way always underground. Also a lot of bands do not want to be called Gothic because a lot of people have just a pre conception about this. Under the banner Gothic often parties are held and the music played is mostly electro ebm and industrial whilst at Batcave parties the more obscure Gothic music can be heard.

For me all this is not important , you know when you go to a party like that you also will hear Placebo , Depeche Mode and lot of bands who do not consider themselves Gothic nor does their audience see them that way , it is just a stigma. I would also prefer if people would not describe our band anything with "Wave" or "Gothic "in it but people do because our style of clothing. I guess when we would put on second hand jeans and scruffy t shirts we would have been called Indie ;)

I think the scene really goes up and down in cycles but the fact remains that a lot of kids want to be alternative , away from the mainstream. This movement , consisting only a musical taste for a certain style of music within this broad scene will always attract the ones who feel they belong not in the multitude and want something else. This kind of feeling will never go away .

Thank you very much

Emmanuel

 

Dark Music Side

Yorgos Goumas


El pasado 8 de marzo, la banda holandesa de rock gótico y dark wave nos visitó en Madrid para presentar su último disco "Breaking Point" (2006) y no podíamos pasar por alto la oportunidad de charlar con el alma mater, fundador de la banda y único miembro original, Ronny Moorings. Dicho sea de paso, la banda tendrá nuevo disco a partir de otoño.Q: ¿Qué cosas vamos a encontrar en el DVD aparte de vuestros temas en directo? ¿Algún regalito en especial?


Ronny: (Risas) No vendrá ni con camisetas ni con globos ni muñequitos pero si habrá canciones ocultas (hidden tracks) y tendréis que usar el coco para encontrarlas (más risas). También habrá video clips, nuestras impresiones sobre lo que hacemos y filmaciones en el backstage, cosas así.
Q: ¿Supone este DVD una mirada retrospectiva a toda vuestra carrera?


Ronny: No, eso sería imposible ya que llevamos 20 años con eso. He decidido incluir material a partir de los finales de los '90 en adelante por que los video clips anteriores pueden ser encontrados en otras partes y tampoco quise incluir la etapa de Xymox, pero aún así creo que los fans tendrán una buena idea de como es estar en COX. De todos modos lo que más me interesaba era presentar el estado actual de la banda y donde nos encontramos, aunque ya han ocurrido bastantes cambios desde los finales de los '90 y sería demasiado para los que van a ver el DVD ver tantos cambios desde nuestros principios. Tampoco quise hacer un "Best Of" ya que siempre habrá gente que echará de menos algún que otro tema. Es imposible tener contentos a todos sobre todo con una discografía tan extensa como la nuestra.


Q: ¿Crees que hay división entre los fans en el sentido de que los hay que prefieren vuestra face
ta mas bailable y los que optan por el lado más gótico, más organico de vuestros inicios?


Ronny: Creo que ha habido más de una división entre los fans porque la banda misma ha tenido más de una faceta musical. Hemos tenido a los auténticos fans que nos han seguido hicieramos lo que hicieramos y los hay que se han estancado en un periodo de la banda y quieren que la repitamos una y otra vez. Esos últimos son los que nunca entendieron y nunca entenderán de que va COX. Obviamente nunca he dejado que otra gente me dictara que es lo que tengo que hacer y la prueba yace en el hecho que he dejado sellos en el pasado precisamente porque intentaron reorientar mi identidad musical hacia derroteros que no tienen nada que ver conmigo. Yo hago la música que me gusta y punto. Creo que de allí ha salido parte de mi fama como "odioso" (risas) pero por otra parte, por ser sincero conmigo mismo he conseguido mantener a una amplia base de fans por todo el mundo. Yo no puedo orientar mi carrera musical pensando a cuantos fans voy a perder si cambio mi estilo en cada disco. No estoy aquí para servir a la gente porque me volvería loco intentando tener contentos a todos. Si lo fuera, sería camarero en un restaurante. Un músico tiene que seguir su propia visión y si hay gente que no lo entiende no es mi problema. De todos modos, mi propia visión musical es variada y en nuestros discos puedes encontrar temas bailables y temas oscuros pero sigue siendo mi visión al 100%. Los gustos de la gente a veces me sorpenden a mi mismo porque hay fans que me dicen que tal tema es su favorito y para mi puede ser un tema muy personal que no creía que iba a conectar con la gente. En el pasado las discográficas eran las que elegían los singles pero hoy en día, con los singles en clara via de extinción, los fans tienen la oportunidad de elegir ellos mismos los temas más destacados del disco.


Q: También tienes tu propio sello discográfico...
Ronny: Lo tenía hace cinco años pero ya no, porque precisamente hoy en día la gente descarga los discos desde Internet y por eso ves que las nuevas bandas no consiguen ser fichadas por nadie. Imaginate que 500 medios de comunicación te piden CDs promocionales de una banda y acabas vendiendo solo 50. Esto es un gasto enorme que no se recupera. Era una manera de editar mis discos y ayudar también a otras bandas quienes son mis amigos o creía que valen la pena sin vistas comerciales. Ahora esas bandas se pueden dar a comocer a través del Myspace, pero el público ahora tiene que apañarselas él mismo para descubrir los nuevos talentos, ya que no hay una industria que pone las pautas.


Q: ¿Qué te parece este panorama con las descargas y la pirateria?


Ronny: La industria discográfica es el último de los dinosaurios y pronto morirá. Los músicos por su parte estan desarollando una ética del "hazlo tú mismo" igual que en la epoca punk. Como ya no cuentan con el apoyo de una discográfica se las apañan ellos para hacer su música, promocionarse a si mismos y mantener su trabajo diario ya que hoy en día vivir de la música se hace cada vez más dificil. Digan lo que digan, no se puede hacer música y tener un trabajo aparte. Yo lo hice durante un tiempo para ayudar a un amigo quien necesitaba ayuda con la contabilidad de su negocio. Yo pensaba que podría hacerlo por la mañana y por la noche podría concentrarme en hacer mis cosas relacionadas con la música. No pude porque por la tarde ya estaba muerto de cansancio (risas). Mira también lo que pasa con artistas consagrados como Madonna, Prince o Radiohead. Han publicado sus discos directamente en Internet pasando olímpicamente de los sellos y dicen a sus fans paguen lo que ellos mismos creen que valen sus respectivos discos. Habrá que ver como sale todo eso pero de momento lo que veo es que son los pequeños sellos los que se cargan con el muerto ya que si antes vendían unos miles de discos con sus fichajes ahora no venden nada mientras que las multinacionales y los sellos grandes pueden tirar todavía de su back catalogue y las glorias del pasado. El público también tendrá que pensar si lo que quiere es tener que navegar por la Red durante horas, días o meses para encontrar una banda que le gusta de verdad o contar con profesionales quienes presentarán en sociedad sus fichajes como Dios manda, con su plan de promoción, un disco grabado en condiciones, etc. Ahora eso sí, los sellos también tienen gran parte de responsabilidad por su propia extinción porque no han sabido aprovechar las oportunidades que les otorgan las nuevas tecnologías. La respuesta para salir de esta crisis es facil pero las compañías son tan cortas de miras que por otra parte creo que se merecen lo que les está pasando. La respuesta sería formar nuevas leyes de copyright y proteger al artista de las descargas ilegales con el amparo de la ley. Es muy, muy simple y la discográficas tienen los medios para conseguirlo pero por pura estupidez no lo hacen.


Q: ¿Con este último disco habéis tocado en sitios donde no lo habíais hecho antes?


Ronny: Sí. En diciembre tocamos en Rusia por primera vez, aunque ya llevaban varios años pidiendo que fueramos. Nos sorpendió la calida recepción y la calidez humana de los rusos. Este año vamos a encabezar un gran festival en Lituania, lo cual juzgando por la información en Internet tiene muy buena pinta. De todos modos somos una banda no convencional con respecto a las actuaciones en directo porque nunca vamos de gira. Simplemente vamos allá donde nos reclaman. Nunca verás merchandising nuestro ni anuncios del tipo "Gira Clan Of Xymox 2008". No hacemos giras, primero porque si creo que tengo que estar concentrado en componer no hay comporomisos de actuaciones que me impidan hacerlo y segundo porque sencillamente son los promotores los que nos llaman a nosotros. No aguanto y tampoco creo en la rutina de disco-gira-nuevo disco-nueva gira. Odio la rutina. Además como estamos constantemente por allí y por allá en lugar de hacer una gira y dejar pasar mucho tiempo hasta la siguiente tal como hacen los demás, los temas están imprimidos en nuestra mente y tampoco hace falta ensayar. No sé si este metodo está bien visto desde un punto de vista comercial... pero me da igual (risas).


Q: ¿Por qué COX ha pasado por tantos cambios de miembros a lo largo de su historia?


Ronny: Basicamente porque COX soy yo, y los demás músicos eran o son amigos quienes me ayudaban a llevar a cabo mi visión musical. Como no es su prioridad principal y puede que a lo largo del camino surgan otras oportunidades (sean laborales o pot seguir con sus estudios) tienen que abandonar la nave y yo tengo que buscar otros miembros. Ahora, eso sí, procuro que la gente con la que trabajo sean ante todo amigos o gente compatible conmigo porque comprensiblemente cuando hay afinidad de caracter y/ o gustos las cosas fluyen de manera más natural.
Q: Así que la razón por el constante cambio de la formación de COX han sido razones que no tienen que ver contigo...
Ronny: Bueno, habrá alguna que otra ex novia que te dirá otra cosa (risas).

2006 (before the release of Breaking Point)

Electra Japan

A04 Project-Elektra <project_elektra@hotmail.com>


*I noticed on the homepage that the band has moved. What caused the move toGermany?


We moved to Leipzig in Germany because Amsterdam felt like it was bleeding artistically to death. As some people maybe can remember we organized our Gotham festivals in Pardiso, -Amsterdam -to kick start a new and bigger scene to a certain success. The bands programmed were the bands we actually never were able to see otherwise in Amsterdam . We just grew tired of doing this because it did not seems to grow bigger as anticipated. Also the city is getting harder and harder to live in , too many horrible things - which made headline news -were happening and we can only see things deteriorating even further. Unfortunately it is not an inspiring place to live in anymore. ( from my point of view)
On the absolute contrast is Leipzig which is for years the capital of the Dark scene and we feel very comfortable here. The place we now live is very big compared with the small housing conditions we had in Amsterdam , where everyone practically lives on top of each other.
We live in a very big old 19th century house and the idea is that in the near future more artist will come and live in our house. We have simply more space to do the things we want to do and we are not restricted by the smaller living conditions we knew only too well from Amsterdam.


Many Artist -who released albums- live in Leipzig and my only guess is that it will be even more in the near future.
*Do you feel that the change in your physical environment has had an
influence on your music?


Most of the forthcoming album was however written in Amsterdam and only 4 songs were later finished in Leipzig , so I cannot tell the direct influence of Leipzig on my music yet, but I am sure it will be a good one. To me Leipzig feels great!*In recent years, there have been more appearances as DJ Ronny COX. How do you feel about that particular mode of artistic expression?*What are you currently spinning a lot of? What might I expect to hear from a DJ set?

I like to be able to express my musical taste in music through my choice of music with a DJ session at a club. Sometimes it is also frustrating when people have certain expectations from me ,( because they know me from Clan Of Xymox) meaning they would expect me to only like one style in music which I like and do contradict on the evening when I play my set. To me it is important that the dance floor is filled , so my set is always a danceable one. I do not play commercial music but only the underground hits/tracks. As I DJ I do focus on the more electro and EBM styled bands. That does not mean that I won't play any songs with guitars in it , I do occasionaly when the track fits.


*Could you perhaps explain the relationship between Clan of Xymox and
the artists at Xymox Control?


Most people on the label I knew somehow . Of course most people I know are creative people so it is not that far fetched that they come to me with their music works and get my opinion about it.
My latest signing The Frozen Autumn I met years ago when we had a talk with them , they were long time fans of my band and during the years I got to know them better, a friendship evolved and a logical step is trying to help them with a new label , in this case Xymox Control.
Also some people working with my band have their own projects , like Jesus Complex and Boidoir , which is the project of my Live sound engineer Damon Fries. Mario Usai my live guitarist plays bass in Sophya. So as you see things are sometimes intertwined.
I do not run this label actively though , it is more a vehicle for certain purposes than anything else..

.*Looking at the webpage stats, it would appear that Clan of Xymox has a
very broad fanbase all over the world. Where would you say is the
greatest concentration of fans in the world?


Well , that's the thing ....I think it is kind of equal everywhere because of the reason we play everywhere all the time, within proportion of course. There are always the festivals , special events etc. where we appear together with other bands.
Touring I simply love , it is a great way to meet fans all over the world and to get educated at the same time. The main thing is the addiction to the whole thing , it is the travelling , meeting people, giving all at a concert and knowing you count as a band. Of course we have our personal highlights;
I think it is that in South and Central America, it feels like we are exclusive over there. The fans are absolutely mad...it's really great how they show their enthusiasm. In those regions they just let go and go crazy, even on slower songs. A lot of people in Europe cannot imagine that there is a big interest in bands who make "dark" music, but when you go as a band you are totally stunned, they treat you there like as if you were" the Beatles" on tour.
The shows we do there range from2000 to 20.000 people ( the biggest so far). So you can't say there is no dark scene over there.
First you think " how do they know us?" but then you find out they have seen the videos on the national music channel and yes they recognize you from the video.
After a show it seems the whole country knows you. When we played in Mexico we were national news, we were on the news, our faces were printed on every national newspaper and of course the next day when we went to see the Maya temples in some remote area even an old women selling souvenirs to tourist had read about us and asked for an autograph, so that is a very strange experience, but of course a lovely and flattering one!
It is weird to walk in countries like Mexico, Peru, Chile, Argentina or Brazil etc. When you walk on your day off in town and people come up to you constantly to ask for autographs and having their picture taken.

*How would you compare the reaction of fans in a festival setting
versus a club or concert performance? Do you prefer one over the other?


No , I think you need both. A club situation is a more intimate one and the festival you need to get the thrill of playing in front of a massive audience. Both are equally important to shape the character and stamina of a band.
*The new single "Weak in My Knees"is coming out this month, and the
Pandaimonium page has a tentative release date for a new CD in
mid-April.


Does it have a name?
yes , Breaking Point


*Also, the cover art for the new single seems to be a visual departure
compared to recent releases. Does this mark a change in the band's
image or sound?


No , the image just fitted with the lyrics....."I can't face the streets , I feel weak in my knees ", in general the character is afraid of going out into town, onto the street . A big city American style can feel quite claustrofobic so it matches the feeling of the lead title track.
Mojca let herself being inspired by the lyrics , so the artwork reflects that. The colder colours also refect the rest of the EP.
If you would see the album sleeve for Breaking Point you would think we reverted in style :)
On the new album there will be many tracks people are used to get from Clan Of Xymox, the more dark atmospheric ones. Naturally also the more uptempo ones will be present , but on whole the album feel is a dark one.

*Have you ever had a chance to visit Japan? Any interest?


Never...it is pretty weird actually that we never played in Japan , even not when we had Twist Of Shadows out. I actually cannot find a reason why we never did , I guess it just happened that way. Now of course the music interest for cult bands is not that big , although many Japanese people look alternative it strangely does not reflect their musical taste ...

*Do you have any message for your fans in Japan?


yes , please listen to our albums , I am sure many Japanese will like our music.
My best wishes to all of you,
Ronny Moorings

--
2004 Best Of Album

Unruhr 2004


...ENCHANT ME, MESMERIZE ME...
Die Niederlande in den frühen 80ern: "Ziegelsteine fliegen durch die Luft, uns gegenüber steht eine Reihe Einsatz-Polizisten mit hochgehaltenen Schutzschildern. Eine schroffe Stimme fordert durch ein graues Megafon den Rückzug von hunderten Hausbesetzern und Sympathisanten, die aufsässig auf der Mitte der Straße stehen.
Im Hintergrund hallt der Sound der Einstürzenden Neubauten wie Filmmusik aus dem offenen Fenster einer jenen Wohnungen, die nicht von Zwangsräumung bedroht waren. Bald müssen wir uns in eine alte Fabrik zurückziehen, die sich neben den besetzten Häusern befindet. Die Fabrik namens "Sterrenschans" ist auch besetzt und wird als eine Art Bastion genutzt, sie ist das Herz unserer Subkultur..." Neben Punk und New Wave bestimmten Post Punk-/Gothic-Bands wie Bauhaus, Virgin Prunes, The Sisters Of Mercy und Joy Division den musikalischen Underground. "Ich wollte ein Teil der Dinge werden, die vor mir abliefen. Ich wollte eine Band haben, nicht nur nachts allein an etwas herumbasteln, das keiner je hören würde"(1). Wenig später gründete Ronny Moorings mit Anke Wolbert eine Band namens: Xymox.
In den 80ern galt Clan Of Xymox als kontinentales Bindeglied zwischen Dead Can Dance und den Cocteau Twins und schaffte es mit der Mischung aus Synth und Gitarren sowohl Waver als auch die EBM-Fraktion zu begeistern. Aber schon früh zeichnete sich ab, dass der Underground-Status für die Band zu eng war und zum Ende der 80er wurden sie heftig von den Major-Labels umworben. Clan Of Xymox unterschrieben bei Wing/Polygram, verkürzten den Namen zu Xymox und veränderten ihren Sound in Richtung eines tanzbaren Wave-Pops. Nach 2 Alben (und insgesamt über 400.000 verkauften Exemplaren) war Schluss, die Originalbesetzung der Band zerbrach, das Wing-Label wurde geschlossen und Ronny Moorings machte fortan als Xymox alleine weiter. Mit den Neunziger kam Grunge und Manchester-Rave - Wave und Gothic waren "dated". Xymox experimentierten mit Techno-Sounds, allerdings mit unterschiedlichem Erfolg (das Headclouds-Album wird leider total unterschätzt). Außerhalb von England nahm kaum noch einer Notiz von der Band, zu sehr saßen Xymox zwischen allen Stühlen. Mitte der Neunziger wurde es still um die Band. 1997 dann die Überraschung: Clan Of Xymox sind zurück, die Experimente unter Xymox sind vorbei. Ronny Moorings berief sich wieder auf seine Wave- und Gothic-Wurzeln und dem Sound der 4AD-Phase. Auf den folgenden 4 Alben präsentierten sich COX dunkler als je zuvor. Während viele alte Bands nur noch ihre größten Erfolge aufwärmen, entwickeln COX seither ihren Stil mit neuen Einflüssen aus dem Dark-Bereich fort und geben so der Szene die nötigen Impulse. Nebenbei legt Ronny noch als DJ auf Gothic Parties auf und organisiert im Amsterdamer Paradiso die vielbeachtete GothAM Party.
20 Jahre nach der Gründung brachten Clan Of Xymox am 13.09 einen Rückblick auf ihr Schaffen in Form einer "Best of" heraus. Auf dieser CD sind die beliebtesten Stücke der Clan Of Xymox-Phase enthalten, welche die Fans im Internet wählen durften. Als Besonderheit wurden die 4AD-Stücke neu eingespielt. Gründe genug um mit Ronny Moorings über die neue CD und 20 Jahre Xymox zu sprechen.
UnRuhr:
How did you come to the idea to release a "best of" album now? You already released a Live CD as a kind of best of album in 2000?
Ronny Moorings:
Actually it was a spontaneous decision, I was actually working on new material and a DVD when the question came from Steph of Pandaimonium records, reminding me we never had an album out with the highlights of Clan Of Xymox combined all in one album, and with the 20 years of our existence it would be a great offering for all our fans and also a great sampler for people who maybe want to know our music without having to buy each album to get an idea. Of course I hope they will get encouraged by this album to get further into our releases, so this might also be a good incentive.
It does not compare with the LIVE album we released in 2002, which is of course a LIVE album and not a Best Of, there is of course a big difference between live recordings and studio recordings so I don't think you can compare the two, also we are a few albums further now....
UnRuhr:
Your fans had the chance to decide alongside with you about the song selection via internet. How important, do you think, is the interaction with your fans?
RM: Interaction with the fans is very important, after all they are the ones supporting our band. Indeed we let our fans vote on our website, and judging by their enthusiastic reactions and choices I think the end result will be highly satisfactory for everyone. Of course I have a good idea of what our fans want to hear since we hear during our live songs the reactions on the songs we play and the shouted requests, so we took the majority votes for the songs to be included on the Best Of COX I re-recorded the songs from the 4AD period so it will add an extra dimension to this album, with exclusive recorded songs and some songs I will mixed again as well.
UnRuhr:
Why did you re-record the old 4AD songs? Did you import the songs in an original way or are those versions modified new ones? How did it feel to record the old songs with the new studio technology?
RM: Actually I did not change the original version. I can't blame you for thinking this because a lot of bands do change a track if they would re-record an old track. On the contrary what most bands would do I made sure I left all the atmosphere, style, beat, keys etc. intact, matter of fact is that I took great care in finding all the samples, old keyboards, my effect pedals for the guitar etc. in order to be as exact as possible if not even spot on. The only thing what I found the most important to improve was the vocals. The instrumentation is exactly the same, I only left out here and there some messy bits which irritated me on the old albums. To me the vocals were a serious point for me, I think I sing them over the years way better then when I started with the band, so in short we all win with these new recordings!
Whilst re-recording these tracks for the "Best of" album it really brought back a lot of memories for me and the realization that so much has progressed since then. The Palladium studio in Scotland where the original first two albums were recorded was in my eyes something I could not phantom, so much (expensive) equipment I had never seen. I felt like a kid in a toy store. The mixes were done in London's Blackwing studios with John Fryer being a co-producer. These studios had already then a name for having bands like Depeche Mode and Erasure always recording their albums there. Nine Inch Nails even wanted to record with John Fryer after listening to our records! Of course at the time you did not really realize what kind of an impact the albums of Clan Of Xymox would make. Now whilst recording these songs again I realized even more that the technology has progressed so much that it is possible to re-create the same sounds and moods in my much smaller studio (Torture Chamber) with my Mac computers taking a central role, not having to deal with these huge old analogue recorders no artist could ever afford to have. Technology has so much progressed since then, and I only can be very grateful for that because it makes my life in a studio much more simpler, not having to struggle with the technical limitations of those days.
UnRuhr:
What kind of equipment (synth, keys, software) do you use?
RM: The Torture Chamber is in my Amsterdam-based home studio proving that you don't need an outrageous set-up to make things happen in the music business. Today my studio is outfitted with a 2 Mac G4's. It is the central point of everything, which is quite good for running all applications. The program I use for all the writing, recording, and mixing is Emagic's Logic Audio 6.4, which I absolutely love. I use Digidesign for a sound card. The VST instruments of Logic are stunning, further I use a lot of 3rd party plug-ins from Native Instruments, Moog, M tron, Absynth, Kontakt and much more. For the warm keyboard pads I still use the Kurzweil K1000. I simply love the choirs and strings of the Kurzweil. Most of my hardware keyboards I have done away with since I rather have everything compact so I have more space. The plug ins I find much better to handle than the original hardware keyboards. Sometimes I still use a hardware sampler from Akai just for a quick result and if it works I will put the sample in the Mac as an AIFF file. My main mic is a Rode NT-2. I record all my vocals with it. It's a very good quality for a reasonable low price. Everything else I record goes straight into the computer. I don't use amps except for the guitars and bass. BMW are my monitors of choice.
Further I have of course all my guitars and bass guitars hanging on the studio wall to grab whenever I need them.
UnRuhr:
You are in the underground scene for almost 20 years now. In your opinion, what have been the biggest changes during that time?
RM: The blue print for Clan Of Xymox is still the same, the combination of guitars and keyboards & synths is all essential to me. From day one to now I held on to this formula. With the times new keyboards, plug-ins, computers basically all essential tools come out of which musicians eagerly will buy because there is always a great hunger for new sounds and technical equipment. These things you need in order to get inspired and have new ideas. So yes, I think there is certainly an evolution in my sound as I keep on updating my studio and enhancing my sound banks I certainly see a slow but sure evolution creeping into my music, to me it is important though to keep the characteristics of the Clan Of Xymox sound but also add new elements to it so it always will sound different than the previous released album.
This development is important for musicians who don't want to keep on using the same instruments all the time. You can imagine that in every two years there are a lot of plug ins to choose from. So far I think Clan Of Xymox walked a fine balance between innovation and style, so that our fans won't get alienated. Of course once and a while I think on an album there is room for at least one track to take it a bit further but in general I think change should be a gradual one. I think there is a consistent development of the sound of Clan Of Xymox, going along with the times, trying to take the best elements and combining new sounds and techniques with the typical Clan Of Xymox sound.
In my opinion "Farewell" slowly evolves from "Notes From The Underground" As the album "Creatures" was the most homogeneous album for Clan Of Xymox, the previous album "Notes From the Underground" included various styles, so it was more a typical up to date Clan Of Xymox album. I think the more Dark Electro songs on "Farewell" like "There's No Tomorrow", "Farewell" & "Cold Damp Day" are the songs which lie in the natural progression of the very first album tracks of Clan Of Xymox like "A Day", "Stranger" & "Back Door". The album has also more timeless songs, songs I could have written in whatever period such as "Into Extremes", "Skindeep", "Losing My Head", "Dark Mood" & "One More Time", (of course the songs have elements in them which only could be possible nowadays), basically the balance between tracks like this works for me.
Concerning Clan Of Xymox I think most of the time we got pretty lucky with how things went for the band. Our first signing was already with a prestigious label (4AD) which did not sign any bands for two years since Dead can Dance till we came around, which was the most flattering thing ever to experience. Even being signed away from them by a Major label was an experience I would not want to have missed. Ok, if it was all good in retrospect is debatable, but it was a good learning school, essential for the future development of COX. Indeed I would not sign to a Major again since this is not the path I want to walk. I do not have bad memories concerning the band, all what happened with the band was necessary in order to get musically where we are now. Without any of the paths being taken things might have been different so of course that is certainly not what I want.
The positive points are for one that we made the decision to leave London where we lived and move back to Amsterdam in the Nineties. There nothing was happening in a musical sense, so I could finally shake off the influences from the UK on our music at that time. Soon I rediscovered an underground scene having the dark parties which I was used to when I lived in Amsterdam before I left to London. There I realized that my heart never left this underground feeling and came slowly to terms with myself and my musical taste. From that point I felt making music again close to that of when I started with Clan Of Xymox. In Amsterdam I found the right people to join the live band so from 1997 on Clan Of Xymox was back on the right track, since then I never ever looked back anymore.
UnRuhr:
In the late 80s and early 90s it was pretty normal to listen to some live versions in Xymox concerts which were very different from the studio versions (e.g. Louise, Michelle, Stranger). Why haven't you done that since your comeback in 1997? Is it enough for you to meet the expectations of the fans, who often just stick to the well known?
RM: In that period I wanted to update songs but actually in retrospect I feel quite embarrassed about that when I listen back to these versions. I stick to the original version also because when I listen to a band playing live I would like to hear it in the format I know best from their records. So I would agree with the fans about that.
UnRuhr:
Are there any other music styles - besides Wave and Gothic - that have an influence on your music? What do you think about the whole Retro-Electro music scene like Miss Kittin, Hell, Felix Da Housecat, Ladytron...?
RM: Actually I really like the new album of Ascu (?Ascii.disko?) , it sounds pretty retro, or Sara Noxx which go back to the early 80's minimal synth sounds like the early DAF. As a DJ I also get a lot of different music sent from labels, to me the most important thing in music is that it just have to strike the right emotions in me, on basis of that I decide if I like a track or not. For me music has to have a good tune and I do not care which style it is so much, as long it appeals to me is the keyword.
UnRuhr:
Are you working on new songs for Xymox at the moment and will you be in Germany on tour with your new album?
RM: Yes, I already finished 2 songs and we also scheduled 2 dates so far for Germany this year. I most likely we will add a few more, The period of September to December are quite busy for us so we can only do a limited amount of shows since I also have quite a bit of DJ dates (& finally my holiday) set abroad.UnRuhr:
A last question about the older days: In old concerts (1985/86) you played a song that has never been released (with a long and noisy intro). What is the title of the song and what can you tell us about it?
RM: I have no idea, possibly you mean " Move the Glass" which supposed to be a new song in 85 but it just did not work in the studio to make it a proper song, I guess I just forgot about it and never tried to work it out again.
Wer noch mehr COX im UnRuhr-Gebiet will, der sollte am 16.09 zur Record-Release Party ins Eisenlager ins Zentrum Altenberg in Oberhausen gehen. Dort sollen übrigens schon Ausschnitte aus Video-Clips zu sehen sein, die Ronny Moorings für die im Interview erwähnte DVD erstellt hat. Ansonsten sind COX noch am 03.10. in der Zeche Carl in Essen live zu sehen. Pflichttermin!
-Mic-

Orkus 2004


ORKUS-Interview
03/08/041. After 20 years of COX, what are your first thoughts about the time, you spent with the band?
That time really has flown by , so it proves that time is not an important factor when you are really enjoying what you are doing. To me it still feels like I just started the band and that I still need to express so many things through music. The live factor is equally important to me, especially because I notice that we have so many new fans who still want to see us live and do not realize Clan Of Xymox have quite a history already :)
1a. Were there some experiences (concerning COX) you never would like to make again?
Concerning Clan Of Xymox I think most of the time we got pretty lucky with how things went for the band. Our first signing was already with a prestigious label (4AD) which did not sign any bands for two years since DCD till we came around , which was the most flattering thing ever to experience. Even being signed away from them by a Major label was an experience , I would not want to have missed that either. Ok , if it was all good for the band in retrospect is debatable , but it was a good learning school ,essential for the future development of COX. Indeed I would not sign to a Major again since this is not the path I want to walk.
I do not have bad memories concerning the band , all what happened with the band and people was necessary in order to get musically where we are now. Without any of the paths being taken things might have been different so of course that is certainly not what I want.
1b. And were there some (positive) things that happened, which you absolutely needed to reach the point, you now are at?
The positive points are for one that we made the decision to leave London where we lived and move back to Amsterdam in the Nineties. There nothing was happening in a musical sense, so I could finally shake off the influences from the UK on our music at that time. Soon I rediscovered an underground scene having the dark parties which I was used to when I lived in Amsterdam before I left to London. There I realized that my heart never left this underground feeling and came slowly to terms with myself and my musical taste. From that point I felt making music again close to that of when I started with Clan Of Xymox.
In Amsterdam I found the right people to join the live band so from 1997 on Clan Of Xymox was back on the right track, since then I never ever looked back anymore.
At that time we got in contract with Tess Records who signed us on basis of the tracks which later got the album Hidden Faces, that was the new starting point for Clan Of Xymox, all was in now place to set the band on the right track again. Since then the label changed into Pandaimonium Records and broke our tradition not to sign with another label every two records:)
2. Who had the idea, to release some kind of "best of"-album? And what was your first thought, when you heard about it?
Ha , it certainly was not my idea. Steph of Pandaimonium came with the idea , he actually asked me why we never did one in the past, we actually had many successful songs released but never put them together as one album. When he asked me I was in the beginning not too enthusiastic because I was working on videos for a DVD to be released at some time in the future. But when I was thinking about it and the fact that a lot of people are interested in such an album , especially people who heard of us but never got themselves an album , first want to know an overview of the band's history or the older fans who want to have new recordings/ mixes of certain songs. So having weighed all these arguments I became actually very enthusiastic about the idea and stopped all I was doing, put a message on our site asking fans to mail me their wish list for the compilation and two weeks later I started recording the older 4AD material , digging out my old samples , keyboards , pedals etc. to get the same sounds used as then. This was a challenge , because the songs are played live a bit different , so I wanted to have the songs sounding as close as possible to the original , but with a new freshness. In my opinion I succeeded in that, so all in all I thing it is a very interesting offering with new recordings and mixes , which makes it more special than just putting songs together and name it an album.
2a. What, in your opinion, are the advantages and disadvantages of best-of-releases?
The advantages for a 'Best Of 'are that people who normally do not buy each release of a band or are just remotely interested will have a chance and incentive to buy this one because they will learn the history of the band on one record. The chance you would win over new potential fans are in this way bigger then if when they would have to make a choice out of a vast array of releases. Most of the time they would not be able to see the forest from the trees and get discouraged by the cheer number of past offerings. A Best Of album overcomes this hurdle and since there is information in the album about each track they can make a good choice of which album to buy next ( hopefully:)
The disadvantage is new fans would have not a full understanding of the variety of all the songs offered on each album , because each album consists a wide variety of songs, slower ones , up tempo ones , instrumentals etc. Because each album released in the past is carefully put together to get the optimal flow of each track nearly intertwining with each other , a sequence is disrupted when you put different songs of different periods together. Luckily I found a solution to this seemingly problem by treating the tracks and putting them together as it was a live show. At the live shows we play of course all kinds of songs from different periods so that approach seemed to us the best one , instead of for example putting them in a chronological running order based on the time period they were released.3. When it came to the point to choose single tracks to be put on the best-of-album, how were they chosen? Which criteria was used, to select them?
We let the fans vote on our website , to make it something for them. The simple rule of the one with the most votes was applied. It was great to get the feedback because the votes were evenly spread over all albums released, so it shows that people keep on following our career and listen to all albums released( and liking them :)
The tracks chosen are in my opinion close to the tracks also played in clubs or radio stations, there are of course like with any other band the kind of obvious tracks no one can ignore , so this also was apparent with the votes coming in. In a way the votes reflected my personal feeling about the chosen tracks because you do notice how people react on songs when you play them live , so in a way the votes held no sudden surprises for me in store:)
3a. A few of the songs were re-recorded for this cd. Why have you chosen to do this, changing their "original" style and atmosphere.
Actually I did not. I can't blame you for thinking this because a lot of bands do change a track if they would re record an old track. By the time you wrote these questions I suspect you did not yet get the actual album to hear so naturally you would think I would have changed it.
On the contrary what most bands would do I made sure I left all the atmosphere, style , beat , keys etc. intact, matter of fact is that I took great care in finding all the samples, old keyboards , my effect pedals for the guitar etc. in order to be as exact as possible if not even spot on. The only thing what I found the most important to improve was the vocals. The instrumentation is exactly the same , I only left out here and there some messy bits which irritated me on the old albums. To me the vocals were a serious point for me , I think I sing them over the years way better then when I started with the band, so in short we all win with these new recordings !

3b. Do you think, that some of the older fans could be angered by this "modification" of the songs?
Again , I don't think the fans mind me singing better on them :) Also I did get fans together in Amsterdam to listen to the new mixes and recordings to let them make a judgement about it. Often people think it is not possible to recreate an atmosphere but they told me that is exactly what happened. The thing what struck them the most was that it sounded all clearer in their ears. Instrumentation's which sounded muddled on the older recordings are now better audible without having an effect on the atmosphere which is so important in the music of Clan Of Xymox.
All in all they were quite impressed , which made me proud of the tracks once again!
4. When you hear some of the older tracks, how does it feel like? Are there the same feelings now flowing through your body, compared to the time you wrote them back in the eighties? Or is this now a more "distant" view on some "younger" Ronny Moorings, with totally different opinions, ideas and feelings?
It would be the same as seeing old videos or photographs, pictures get you back in your memories and are a great help to revitalize these memories. Music works in the same way, therefore it is very easy to relive those emotions by just closing your eyes and feeling these musical notes rushing in ,triggering those same sensitive strings as in the time I wrote them.
Because I write songs or lyrics after events have happened it is the same procedure. I even write sometimes new songs with reliving a feeling of 10 years ago or even longer, so it is not difficult at all for me to travel through time this way. As a musician you have to be able to do those things because life experience is the best "data" bank for writing songs , so there is always plenty left or to go back to in order to make music.
5. If you have to compare the Ronny Moorings of 1984 with the one in 2004, how would you describe these two characters? What is the difference between these "two" personalities - if any?
I like to think that I haven't changed that much, people tell me that all the time. My personality of course has changed in order that my life is way more in balance than when I left my studies in 1984.
In those days I had not too much of an idea of what Clan Of Xymox would mean to me, and I would have never expected that I would still do the band even now!
Meeting and dealing with a lot of people shapes your personality so I like to think that I am a better person than I was decades ago because you learn to see things as pretty relative. Taking yourself not too serious is something a lot of beginning artist always have to learn.Listening to people and their comments , trying to understand other's people's points makes and shapes you.
6. The music of COX changed over the years. Was this due to changing personal musical preferences or more due to new influences in the musical prefer
nces of the people and fans (I hope this sentence is understandable in English *g*)?
The blue print for Clan Of Xymox is still the same , the combination of guitars and keyboards& synths and most important , the diversity is all essential to me. From day one to now I held on to this formula.
Clan Of Xymox started as a band being on the forefront of things and I certainly not like to be considered as a kind of retro band. Clan Of Xymox always walks a different road and climbs barricades, this is an essential part of the bands history and future.
With the times new keyboards , plug ins , programs , computers , basically all essential tools come out of which musicians eagerly will buy because there is always a great hunger for new sounds and technical equipment. These things you need in order to get inspired and have new ideas. So yes, I think there is certainly an evolution in my sound as I keep on updating my studio and enhancing my sound banks I certainly see a slow but sure evolution creeping into my music, to me it is important though to keep the characteristics of the Clan Of Xymox sound but also add new elements to it so it always will sound different than the previous released album.
This development is important for musicians who don't want to keep on using the same instruments all the time. You can imagine that in every two years there are a lot of plug ins to choose from.
So far I think Clan Of Xymox walked a fine balance between innovation and style, so that our fans won't get alienated. Of course once and a while I think on an album there is room for at least one track to take it a bit further but in general I think change should be a gradual one..
I think there is a consistent development of the sound of Clan Of Xymox, going along with the times, trying to take the best elements and combining new sounds and techniques with the typical Clan Of Xymox sound.
In my opinion " Farewell" slowly evolves from " Notes From The Underground " As the album " Creatures" was the most homogeneous album for Clan Of Xymox, the previous album "Notes From the Underground " included various styles, so it was more a typical up to date Clan Of Xymox album. I think the more Dark Electro songs on " Farewell" like " There's No Tomorrow"," Farewell" & "Cold Damp Day" are the songs which lie in the natural progression of the very first album tracks of Clan Of Xymox like " A Day", "Stranger" & "Back Door".The album has also more timeless songs, songs I could have written in whatever period such as " Into Extremes", " Skindeep", "Losing My Head", "Dark Mood" & "One More Time", (of course the songs have elements in them which only could be possible nowadays ), basically the balance between tracks like this works for me.


7. How important is success for your work? Would you be able to create music, if only a small group of people would like your creations? Or is it completely unimportant for you, how many records will be sold?
Success is important to me , it gives you an idea you are on the right track in order that our music appeals to people.
It's all in the eye of the beholder.... Now , what in my eyes is success is in the other one a failure. I can't imagine Madonna would be happy with my sales and would start crying when she would have to live the life I am leading. Now in most ( majority) peoples eyes, artist like that are being considered successful.
So basically I cannot say according to the mass opinion and definition of success that I have ever reached that point.
My friends call me successful because I do what I do without having to compromise in any way. They know, because most of them have steady jobs and envy me when I go on tour or so. They feel like a slave of the wage...In their eyes I am a free person who does what he likes. Of course they idealize all this and I try to explain it is not all that rosy as it seems , that I often envy them, that I still live this life as an underground artist , which is also not easy but I would not want to miss it for the world.
Record sales are very important to me or any other artist releasing records, this is the life line on which everything hangs. If there are no sales , no one will ask you for a live show , so there won't be any shows and if this all falls away you are on the bread line looking for something else to do because you need to make a living. When you have to do another job believe me there is very little time to make and create music....luckily that hasn't happened yet but all the signs are not favourable for the whole music industry as we know it. I really do hope there will be still a future for our scene because it is too good to let things die out like it is happening right now. Anyway I better stop about this topic because I would make everyone depressed:)
Anyway, I am very grateful for the support we get from our fans and the reactions they give us on our guest book or live shows. Without them it would be all meaningless.
8. Your music is some wonderful fusion of old-school-wave-sounds and electronical melancholy - what about the future of COX? Will there be some greater changes of you style, or some new ways to be walked on?
Who can tell ? I certainly can't , I just write whatever comes up when I sit down and write. So far I have two new songs and played (I DJ-ed) one of them during my DJ set in Bolkow, Poland in-between other songs. The song is upbeat with strong accents on guitar. The people kept on dancing and some gave me a puzzled surprised look like " hey, I don't have this COX song! , how is this possible!"
The second song is a very melancholic song and so far when I played it to a few people they had a problem keeping their eyes dry:)
In general it will take me another year to write a complete album , so honestly I would have no clear idea what I'll do next, only time will tell I suppose.
9. A lot of bands put out tour-dvds with some funny and/or interesting stuff. Will there be a COX-dvd in the near future?
I am working on it. There are now 5 videos done and I will continue with it whenever. I just work on it when I am in the mood for it. I don't want it to make a tour video , but a mixture of things. With the release party some of these videos will be shown and hopefully I get some feedback on them.
10. As you look "through" the last 20 years. What do you think changed the world the most in this time? What do you think had the greatest impact on our society?
Well , the way we communicate for instance, by e mail , on our computers. I remember when I started with the band I had this commodore 64 computer hooked on a tv , typing in long code to access the computer and program. This was my first computer but realized it's potential. Soon after that I got an Atari which was for musicians revolutionary. I used the Creator program for a long time until I finally could afford a Mac.
Since the last 5 years things got really into a rapid stream , the computer getting stronger and stronger ( Moore's law) and the chips cheaper and cheaper. This enabled musicians having very strong computers at home replacing most expensive studios. Suddenly you did not have to go to these overpriced cold places to create, now we record whenever we want , having no more pressure of the record company on the budget of a studio. The data exchange between other artist suddenly became very easy , sending tracks over the internet to remix . In short the technological advance of the last 2 decades made a lot of music possible which without it a lot of bands would not existed.
The same goes for video, everyone can now be their own director. To me these things are great and would not want to go back to the days that all of these things were practically unobtainable for most bands.
10a. If you would have to describe humankind in a few sentences (lyrical, cynical, metaphorical, etc.), what would you say/write?
I have learned to look on nature, not as in the hour of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes the still , sad music of humanity.
Sartre : hell is other people
Eliot:Human kind/ Cannot bear very much reality10b. What is your motto in life? What sentence accompanies you every second of your life?
Carpe Noctem
since I like the night time the best

Reflection-2004

Nach 20 Jahren Bandgeschichte veröffentlichten Clan Of Xymox nun eine "The Best Of" CD - Grund genug für uns, mit Ronny einmal zurück zu blicken, ohne die Gegenwart und die Zukunft aus den Augen zu lassen...
re-flexion: Nach gut 20 Jahren erscheint nun dieser Tage eine "The Best Of" CD von Clan Of Xymox - wann und warum kam euch der Gedanke, dass es an der Zeit für eine solche Veröffentlichung ist?
Ronny: Eigentlich war das eine recht spontane Entscheidung. Ich arbeitete gerade an neuem Clan Of Xymox Material und auch an unserer ersten DVD, als die Anfrage von Pandaimonium kam. Unter unter der Berücksichtigung, dass wir noch nie zuvor eine Compilation veröffentlicht hatten, auf der alle Clan Of Xymox Highlights vereint sind und vor dem Hintergrund, dass die Band nunmehr 20jähriges Jubiläum feiert, emfanden wir ein solches Album auch als eine Art Geschenk an unsere Fans.
Außerdem bietet "The Best Of" auch einen guten Einstieg für Leute, die unsere Musik einmal näher kennenlernen möchten. Sonst müssten diese sich dazu die einzelnen CDs kaufen, um einen konkreten Eindruck von Clan Of Xymox zu bekommen - jetzt gibt es diesen komprimiert. Ich hoffe in Bezug auf die neuen Fans dann trotzdem, dass diese sich, sofern ihnen die "The Best Of" gefällt, auch die anderen Clan Of Xymox CDs kaufen.
An dieser Stelle muss ich auch noch deutlich erwähnen, dass diese jetzt erscheinende "The Best Of" CD in keinen Vergleich mit dem "Live" Album aus dem Jahr 2002 zu bringen ist, denn damals handelte es sich um reine Live-Versionen der Songs, die mit den Studioversionen in zu vergleichen sind.
re-flexion: "The Best Of" beinhaltet 14 Titel - nach welchen Kriterien habt ihr die Songs für diese Compilation ausgewählt?
Ronny: Wir haben diesbezüglich unsere Fans über unsere Website abstimmen lassen. Und deren Vorlieben und Wünsche berücksichtigend sind wir mit den Liedern, die sich nun auf dem Album befinden, zu einem klasse Ergebnis gekommen.
Und ist die Zusammenarbeit mit unseren Fans sehr wichtig, denn letztlich sind sie es, die uns zum dem gemacht haben, was wir heute sind. Im Laufe der Zeit bekommt man natürlich - nicht zuletzt auch wegen der vielen Konzerte - ein Gespühr dafür, welche Titel die Fans bevorzugen.
re-flexion: Wenn ich die Informationen auf der CD richtig deute, dann sind diverse Songs 2004 neu bearbeitet worden...
Ronny: Das ist nicht ganz richtig. Dieser Hinweis bezieht sich hier nur auf das Jahr der Aufnahm der CD. Ich habe die Originale der Titel nicht wirklich verändert. Ich kann dir jedoch nicht verdenken, dass du diesen Hinweis derart gedeutet hast, denn die meisten Bands verändern ihre Songs, wenn sie alte Titel neu einspielen.
Doch entgegen dieser Art des Re-Recordings habe ich sicher gestellt, dass sich die neu aufgenommenen Versionen mit den alten Originalen decken. Ich habe eine Menge Zeit darauf verwandt, wieder die richtige Atmosphäre zu erzeugen, die ursprüngliche Art des Stückes beizubehalten, den Beat und Sound nicht zu verändern.
Außerdem bin ich mit großem Interesse daran gegangen, alle alten Samples, die Keyboards und auch die Effekt-Pedalen für die Gitarre wieder aufzuspüren und diese auch in der entsprechenden Reihenfolge zum Einsatz zu bringen. Und dann habe ich bei den Tracks eigentlich immer nur den ein oder anderen Schönheitsfehler, der mich bei den jeweiligen Titeln schon damals störte zu bereinigen.
Das schwierigste an der Aufbereitung der Songs war eigentlich der Gesang, allerdings bedurfte es auch goßer Vorsicht und Feinfühligkeit, die ganzen bei den alten Versionen verwendeten Samples, ebenso die damaligen Keyboards und Effekt-Pedalen für die Gitarren wieder zu finden.
Das hat aber im Nachhinein doch recht gut geklappt und so klingen die einzelnen Tracks fast genauso wie die Originale. Da sich mein Gesang über die Jahre hinweg stets verbessert hat, konnte ich durch das neuerliche Einsingen die Titel der CD auch auf dieser Ebene noch verbessern - somit ist das Album ein wahrer Gewinn für alle Seiten, Band und Fans.
re-flexion: Gab es einmal die Überlegung, Songs aus der Xymox Ära mit auf diese "The Best Of" CD zu integrieren?
Ronny: Nein, den Gedanken gab es nicht, denn es ist ja ein Clan Of Xymox Best-Of-Album. Da haben Xymox Stücke dann nichts drauf zu suchen. Außerdem hätten wir dann eine Doppel-CD veröffentlichen und die damit verbundenen Kosten komplett neu kalkulieren müssen. Diese jetzt vorliegende CD gibt jetzt einen hervorragenden Überblick über die Art und Unterschiede der beiden Clan Of Xymox Perioden.
re-flexion: Wird es in der näheren Zukunft auch noch eine "Best Of" CD von Xymox geben?
Ronny: Hehehe, nein, ich denke nicht! Ich kann mich heutzutage nicht mehr wirklich mit meinem Xymox Schaffen identifizieren.
re-flexion: Das CD Cover der "The Best Of" CD ist sehr interessant und auch recht ungewöhnlich geworden - gibt es dafür einen bestimmten Hintergrund?
Ronny: Wie bereits bei den vorherigen Clan OF Xymox Alben, so wurde auch das Cover dieser CD wieder von Mojca entworfen. Ich habe ihr dann noch letzte Hinweise gegeben, als sie mir ihre Vorlagen präsentierte, aber eigentlich weiss sie immer ganz genau, was ich mit einem Album ausdrücken und vermitteln möchte.
Das Cover des aktuellen Albums sollte in seiner Aussage eine Art künstlerische Mixtur und Stimmungswiedergabe aller Clan Of Xymox Alben darstellen. Es sollte die verschiedenen musikalischen Perioden der Bandgeschichte verkörpern. Es hat aber unverkennbar viele Parallelen zu den ersten Alben von uns, die Marionetten wahren den positiven Schein nach außen, obwohl es in ihnen vielleicht viel düsterer und emotionaler aussieht - so wie in vielen Clan Of Xymox Songs auch.
Wir haben dann außerdem noch sämtliche Songtexte mit ins Booklet hinein genommen, was zusätzlich recht außergewöhnlich für ein solches Album ist.
re-flexion : Lass uns mal die letzten zwei Jahrzehnte Clan Of Xymox reflektieren - was waren die Höhe- was die Tiefpunkte in dieser Zeit?
Ronny: Wenn ich da nur Clan Of Xymox betracht, so denke ich, dass wir die meiste Zeit über wirklich immer Glück hatten und die Dinge sich zumeist so entwickelten, wie wir uns das vorgestellt hatten. Bei unseren ersten Erfahrungen mit Plattenfirmen hatten wir recht viel Glück, denn das erste Label, welches uns unter Vertrag nahm hatte in Indie-Kreisen schon damals einen guten Namen und als wir sodann von einer Major-Firma gesignt wurden war das auch eine Erfahrung, die ich rückblickend nicht missen möchte.
Sicherlich kann man geteilter Meinung darüber sein, ob rückblickend immer alles richtig und gut für Clan Of Xymox war, aber wir haben halt unsere Erfahrungen gemacht und daraus immer wieder für die anstehende Zukunft gelernt - und unserer eigenen Entwicklung waren diese auch nützlich.
Zum Beispiel weiss ich heute ganz genau, dass ich nie wieder bei einem Major-Label unterschreiben würde.
An wirklich negative Erfahrungen in Bezug auf Clan Of Xymox vermag ich mich jetzt nicht wirklich zu erinnern. Alles was mit der Gruppe und den Musikern passierte war notwendig, um Clan Of Xymox dort vorzufinden, wo die Band am heutigen Tage ist - und anders hätte ich es auch rückblickend nicht gewollt.
Als wirklich positiv betrachte ich unsere damalige Entscheidung, in den 90er Jahren London zu verlassen und unser Leben fortan wieder in Amsterdam zu führen, wo wir zuvor ebenfalls lebten. Es passierte damals auf musikalischer Ebene nicht wirklich etwas in London, so dass ich seinerzeit sämtliche britischen Aspekte in unserer Musik vernachlässigte und diese schließlich ganz daraus verschwanden.
In Amsterdam schließlich hatte ich schließlich das für unsere Musik so wichtige Underground-Feeling und verspürte den Drang, wieder richtig durchstarten zu wollen. Außerdem fand ich dort die richtigen Leute, um eine Live-Band realisieren zu können - und so waren Clan Of Xymox dann wieder da!
Wir unterschrieben damals bei einem Label mit Namen Tess Records. Die Titel, mit denen wir uns bewarben waren dann später auf dem Album "Hidden Faces" zu
finden. Tess Records benannte sich dann kurze Zeit später in Pandaimonium Records um und wir brachen mit diesem - unserem heutigen Label - dann auch den Brauch, nach jeweils zwei Alben die Plattenfirma zu wechseln.
re-flexion: Warum habt ihr euch 1988 von Clan Of Xymox in Xymox umbenannt?
Ronny: Um sämtliche Fans und andere Musikliebhaber etwas zu verwirren. Nein, aber im Ernst; immer wenn wir den Bandnamen im Laufe der Zeit wechselten, passierte das aufgrund der Tatsache, dass sich zu den jeweiligen Zeitpunkten auch etwas bei uns im Bandbereich geändert hatte.
Als zum Beispiel das erste Album "Twist Of Shadows" unter dem Namen Xymox erschien, hatte das gleichzeitig einen Labelwechsel zur Folge.
Als ich dann irgendwann wieder mehr zu meinen anfänglichen Grundwerten zurück gefunden hatte, spürte ich, dass dieses Gefühl sich auch anders ausdrücken und vermitteln lassen musste. Somit wechselten wir dann den Namen erneut zu Clan Of Xymox.
re-flexion: Hattet ihr damals bei der Namensänderung in Xymox nicht auch Bedenken, dass euch diese Fans kosten könnte?
Ronny: (lacht) Zur Zeit langweilen wir mehr als 250.000 Fans...nein, aber Spaß beiseite, ich weiß natürlich, was du meinst. Aber man sollte sich als Künstler nie von dem Willen seiner Fans derart vereinnahmen lassen, dass man darüber seinen eigenen vergisst. Ich denke, dass man im Laufe der Jahre seine Fans mit auf eine Reise nehmen kann, auch wenn sich das jetzt vielleicht naiv anhört.
Du musst ihnen viele Seiten von dir zeigen, persönliche aber auch musikalische Seiten, und kannst ihnen nicht immer die gleichen zeigen. Es ist eigentlich wie mit einem Buch - das legt man ja auch nicht gleich zur Seite, wenn die Entwicklung einer Geschichte nicht sofort den Verlauf annimmt, den man erwartete, sondern man liest es gespannt weiter und setzt sich mit dem Geschehen bis hin zur Auflösung auseinander.
Und so ist es auch im musikalischen Bereich, jeder Songtext, jedes Album - alles sind einzelne Kapitel von denen ich nur hoffen kann, dass die Fans diese mitleben und uns die gesamte "Reise" erhalten bleiben.
re-flexion: Wie hat euch denn die damalige Umbenennung in Xymox musikalisch und persönlich verändert?
Ronny: Eigentlich habe ich alles so weiter gemacht, wie es immer der Fall war, lediglich mit etwas mehr Geld zur Verfügung. Und eben dieses ermöglichte es mir unter anderem, fünf Jahre in London zu leben.
Das hat sich nun geändert - wir sind zurück in die Niederlande gegangen, da wir dort nun auch wesentlich bekannter sind, als das noch früher der Fall war.
re-flexion: 2002 habt ihr mit "Remixes From The Underground" das erste und bisher einzige Remix Album in der Clan Of Xymox Geschichte veröffentlicht - was waren die Beweggründe?
Ronny: Nachdem das Album "Notes From The Underground" erschienen war, kam immer mehr die Idee auf, mit dem dort vorhandenen Material noch etwas mehr zu machen. Wir wollten Leute fragen, ob sie uns diverse Songs der CD remixen würden, denn wir wurden zuvor bereits des Öfteren gefragt, warum wir denn keine unterschiedlichen Versionen unserer Songs veröffentlichen würden. Und da die Möglichkeit der Anfertigung eines Remixes im PC Zeitalter nicht mehr mit soviel Anstrengungen wie früher verbunden ist, sahen wir den Zeitpunkt eines Remix-Albums als gegeben an und realisierten den Gedanken.
Ich habe diverse Bands in meinem Umfeld angefragt und diese wollten dann unsere Stücke auf ihre ganz eigene Art interpretieren. Ich hatte ihnen noch mit auf den Weg gegeben, dass die Remixe rein elektronisch und ohne Gitarren sein sollten und daraufhin machten sie sich alle enthusiastisch an die Arbeit.
re-flexion: In letzter Zeit gebt ihr sehr viele Konzerte - jetzt eine spezielle Vorliebe von euch?
Ronny: Ich liebe es einfach auf der Bühne zu stehen und die Fans auf der ganzen Welt zu treffen. Es ist die schönste Art der Bandverwirklichung.
Und man macht sehr viele Erfahrungen, wenn man unterwegs ist. Manchmal haben wir vor 3.000 Fans, manchmal aber auch vor bis zu 20.000 Fans gespielt. Und jedes Land ist anders - die Leute in Amerika waren positiv verrückt und sie zeigten ihre Begeisterung ganz anders, als dass die Menschen zum Beispiel in Europa tun.
Manchmal hatte man nach einem Konzert das Gefühl, dass einen das ganze Land nunmehr kennen müsste. Als wir in Mexiko gastierten, waren wir das Top-Thema in den dortigen Nachrichten und Zeitungen - es war und ist einfach grandios!
re-flexion: 2004 kamen Lilah und Mario zu Clan Of Xymox - welche neuen Einflüsse und Ideen haben sie mitgebracht?
Ronny: Lilah hatte Denise eine Zeit lang abgelöst, da diese nicht viel Zeit hatte. Das hat sich zwischenzeitlich wieder geändert und so steht wieder mit auf der Bühne - und falls es bei beiden einmal nicht passt, so haben wir mit Agnes noch eine weitere Unterstützung, auf die wir zurückgreifen können.
Mario ist ein guter Freund von uns und er belebt die Band auch im menschlichen Bereich sehr. Wer auch immer in der Band spielt, der hat weiter keinen Einfluss auf die Texte oder den Aufnahmeteil - das behalte ich immer nur mir vor.
re-flexion: Was darf man denn von den nächsten 20 Jahren Clan OF Xymox erwarten?
Ronny: Wer weiss das schon. Ich denke immer nicht weiter als ein paar Monate in die Zukunft. Ich werde demnächst wieder neue Songs schreiben , dann soll es eine DVD und ein neues Album geben. Und im wenn es meine Zeit erlaubt, dann werde ich als DJ sicherlich auch noch den ein oder anderen Gastauftritt machen.

Zillo 2004

ZILLO (Karin Hoog)
When and why did you decide to release a „Best-Of" album?
Actually it was a spontaneous decision, I was actually working on new material and a DVD when the question came from Stephan of Pandaimonium records , reminding me we never had an album out with the highlights of Clan Of Xymox combined all in one album , and with the 20 years of our existence it would be a great offering for all our fans and also a great sampler for people who maybe want to know our music without having to buy each album to get an idea. Of course I hope they will get encouraged by this album to get further into our releases, so this might also be a good incentive.
Please tell us more about the songs on the album! What songs will be on the album? Why did you choose these songs?
So far we let our fans vote on our website , and judging by their enthusiastic reactions and choices I think the end result will be highly satisfactory for everyone. Of course I have a good idea of what our fans want to hear since we hear during our live songs the reactions on the songs we play and the shouted requests , so I can tell you already that for sure A Day , Louise , Back Door , This World , Jasmine & Rose and There's No Tomorrow will be included.
I re record the songs from the 4-AD period so it will add an extra dimension to this album , with exclusive recorded songs and some songs I will mix again as well.

Will there only be songs from your Clan Of Xymox period or will there be songs from the Xymox period as well?
I deliberately will choose only from the Clan Of Xymox period as this is the most clear-cut period and satisfactory album releases for me. In this way I can pick on average 2 tracks per released album and it will fit on one CD. The atmosphere will also fit the best when I just stick to the Clan Of Xymox releases.When will the album be finally released?
On September the 13th , roughly the date of the very first release two decades ago. I seems like a long time but for me the years have really flown by . It proves to me that in a way time is pretty irrelevant when you enjoy the things you do.

When and where will the record release party take place?
I think our label will work on that soon , so everyone who wants to organize an event like this can contact Pandaimonium Records in Stuttgart.
Will there be a tour to promote your „Best-Of" album?
I think we will tour the way we have always done , picking suitable dates and of course highlighting the tracks on 'The Best Of". I already have commitments as a DJ made before we planned this release , so I will DJ in Chile and Peru in September. In November I will go to South Africa to DJ and have a well deserved holiday, so basically we will do shows in October and next year.
When can we expect to see you live in Germany again?
I hope to book some shows for Germany soon , we just played WGT which was absolutely great, unfortunately we had to cancel our appearance at the M'era Luna festival for August so I guess October will be pretty likely.
What´s next on the band´s agenda?
I will use the summer to further my writing of new material and alternate that with the production of a DVD. This is however such time consuming labour that I rather concentrate on that once and a while, instead of working months non stop on it. My main intrest on the moment is to write some new tunes , I made a start already and have one song finished and mixed.
When can we expect your next (new) release?
That is hard to say but I aim for new releases next year , it all depends how the writing goes. I have to be 100% behind everything , so only then it will be released.
What´s your current line-up? Did you have any line-up changes lately?
I will give you the LIVE line up since the writing / recording and performing in the studio is always done by me alone.
The current live line up is , Mojca ( bass), Denise Dijkstra( keyboards), Mario Usai( guitar) and myself vocals & guitar.
We had Lilah replacing Denise for a while because she was too busy with her education but since Denise can make a bit more time now after her exams she can do some shows with us again.
Are there huge differences between the time when you started and 2004? Can you please tell us more about your early experiences? What´s different now?Whilst re- recording these tracks for the "best of " album it really brought back a lot of memories for me and the realization that so much has progressed since then.
The Palladium studio in Scotland where the original first two albums were recorded was in my eyes something I could not phantom , so much ( expensive) equipment I had never seen.I felt like a kid in a toy store .The mixes were done in London's Blackwing studios with John Fryer being a co producer. The se studios had already then a name for having bands like Depeche Mode and Erasure always recording their albums there. NIN even wanted to record with John fryer after listening to our records!
Of course at the time you did not really realize what kind of an impact the albums of Clan Of Xymox would make .
Now whilst recording these songs again I realized even more that the technology has progressed so much that it is possible to re create the same sounds and moods in my much smaller studio ( Torture Chamber) with my Mac computers taking a central role, not having to deal with these huge old analogue recorders no artist could ever afford to have. technology has so much progressed since then , and I only can be very grateful for that because it makes my life in a studio much more simpler , not having to struggle with the technical limitations of those days.
The amount of independent labels wasn't that big as it is now , the number of labels has dramatically increased but the sales of all these labels together has decreased considerably because of the superficial policies of the entire music industry. In the 80's alternative bands were able to get even into a top 40 , now nothing is getting through , only the acts which are carefully marketed , and in most cases even created by the labels. The indies now hardly have an answer against these blatant policies , the gap between the majors and indies is getting bigger and it seems that the amount of people who still make their own choices in taste are getting less and less. In a way I think that the end of independent music is pretty close.
A lot of people think it is also because of the downloading of music which deprives labels and bands of their income . In the 80's people copied music on cassettes but had to know someone who had the album , most people however rather had their own record. With downloading you have to know no one , you just search the net and millions of computers will hold what you are looking for, music are more and more considered public files in a computer and unfortunately not valued ( by many) as something precious you would display proudly on your shelves.

You probably played hundreds of gigs during all these years. Are there any gigs you won´t forget? Any gig you´ll always remember? M´era Luna? Leipzig WGT? Or one of your shows in Central and South America? (I saw you at the Whitby Gothic Weekend 2000 - a gig I,myself will never forget because of its perfect location!)
Indeed there are so many shows I simply cannot forget , most of the time the shows you really remember are for the band the bigger festivals or extraordinary destinations. We play everywhere around the world, that is the strength of Clan Of Xymox. We play all sorts of different concerts , we play normal sized clubs, bigger venues and naturally festivals which come in all sizes and forms.
We played big festivals like M'era Luna , Leipzig Gothic Treffen , Zillo , Castle festival in Bolkow, Poland ( Warsaw , even when they were part of the East block) and numerous tours in the States which are of course always unforgettable experiences for any band, let say the highlight of touring not to forget Central & South America with as highlight a stadium concert in Mexico city for 20.000 people. The Whitby concert I remember clearly as well , such a great town with such a history behind it! One of the best Gothic festivals in the UK , that's for sure , like a mini Leipzig...
Since 1997 we haven't stopped touring, so you could basically say we are on tour for the last 6 years. There were only short periods or intervals of not going on the road for recording reasons.
In this period we've been several times all around the world, and the end of the year ( October ) we played in South America where I think we are going to be the only (alternative scene that is ) band who toured there as often as we did ( also in Mexico ) This time we went to Peru for the first time ( where only the Mission, well actually Wayne....in the end... ) played a few years ago), and it's the second time for us that we go to Chile and Argentina again. About these concerts I am very exited because these are the most beautiful countries on Earth.
I need these exotic tours to keep our my interest alive and give it the necessary variation you need in a bands existence. Of course all the dates we do are essential, just like festivals, when everything is combined it makes it the perfect mixture for me.
Our last tour in South America is still in my mind. This tour couldn't have been planned like what we experienced. It was one of the highlights of my career so far. Everything was perfect! Thanks to the promoters who wanted all to be perfect, and indeed they succeeded. In Peru at the airport we were awaited by hundreds of fans, we just did not know what was happening! It was like we were the Rolling Stones or something, cameras flashed , xymox! xymox! was shouted , our names were shouted, people trying to give gifts, security and police trying to hold everyone back! A crazy start of the tour, one minute in Peru and scenes like this already.
The audience in Peru, Chile and Argentina were absolutely great, singing along, in Argentina they even sort of " football" chanted all the melody lines along. Thousands of people attended the shows, in one word : breathtaking
Indeed , these things you will never forget!What´s Clan Of Xymox´s audience like nowadays?
The audience is the current scene , the people who go out on a regular basis and know what's going on in their town , a lot of true fans who know each and every word of the songs and of course people who do not care about trends or anything but just like our music and go to our live show because of our music.
Did your audience change during all the years? Are there younger fans coming to your shows as well?
I think predominantly our fans are of a student age , between 18 and 25 years old , of course our early fans are a bit older but they are always outnumbered by our younger new fans we got from maybe our last 2 or 3 releases, so this way everything stays vital and you never have a feeling you go to some reunion event you have so often with other bands who are around for some time guess
the fact that we draw a lot of fresh blood is that our music is very up to date and keep on being on the forefront of the scene.Any final comment?
I hope everyone will enjoy this " best of Clan Of Xymox release and I wish to thank especially all the fans who gave us their "wish" list for the album. Thank you for the interview,

Regen Magazine

An interview with Ronny Moorings of Clan of Xymox
By Jez Porat
Music Editor
It was 1985. I was 15 when one day I first came to a friend's house and what was playing in the background was Clan Of Xymox. It was the days of new wave and goth, the days of 4AD rising as a leading label; the days of darkwave, melancholy romanticism, electro beats, sequencers and moody vocalists. We all hung around wearing black clothes, boots and black eyeliner; our haircut was spiky and asymmetrical and yet again, always dyed black. This record playing on the turntable hit me over and over. It was filled with so much inspiration, intelligent atmosphere and brilliance. There were landscapes of sound and mental pictures, colors of feelings and despair. I related to this as a growing teenager in a cold world. This is where my big romance started with Clan Of Xymox. The Internet was far from reality those days. You couldn't simply press the order key and get the music sent to you from abroad. I had to ask some friends that went to London to get me a copy of the album. Clan Of Xymox and a year later, Medusa, became like the records of that time for me as a teenager. Everyone that was into the scene of that time owned a copy or at least had a tape recording of it, so we all knew all the songs by heart. Clubs were spinning night after night the songs "A Day," "No Words" and "Stranger" and I was too, from those days until this very moment. Twenty years later Clan Of Xymox are releasing their very first anthology. ReGen's Jez Porat gets personal with Ronny Moorings...
First let me say congratulations for an amazing two decades of brilliant, touching-the-heart-and-the-mind, sophisticated, intelligent and magical haunting dark music. Fourteen albums excluding re-pressings and CD-ROM games project and including live albums, remix albums and Peel sessions and numerous singles and if I may say like good wine you sound and become better... as the years go by.
Before we start I would like you to present the band members that have been beside you, Ronny, all these years. They truly deserve a huge credit.
Moorings: Thanks. Yes, it sounds like a lot if you sum it all up like this. Time really has flown by, so it proves that time is not an important factor when you are really enjoying what you are doing. To me it still feels like I just started the band and that I still need to express so many things through music. As you know I write and record all the music myself but my live members of the band are indeed very important, they help me to express my music on stage, live. Naturally, Mojca is the longest member in the band who plays the bass live, and then we have a new guitarist called Mario Usai. On keyboards live there is now sometimes Denise Dijkstra and sometimes Agnes Jasper. They alternate because of the jobs they hold, so they decide between each other when they can play live.
What was the process of choosing the tracks for your new anthology? I understand your fans were involved in the process.
Moorings: We indeed let the fans vote on our Web site to make it something special for them and the simple rule of the one with the most votes was applied. It was great to get the feedback because the votes were evenly spread over all albums released, so it shows that people keep on following our career and listen to all albums released (and like them). The tracks chosen are in my opinion close to the tracks also played in clubs or radio stations. There are, of course, like with any other band, the kind of obvious tracks no one can ignore, so this also was apparent with the votes coming in. In a way, the votes reflected my personal feeling about the chosen tracks because you do notice how people react on songs when you play them live, so in a way the votes held no sudden surprises for me.
Why did you choose not to include five original versions of songs from your early days at 4AD but to re-record them? Was that a factor of licensing?
Moorings: I just wanted to have a new recording. There would certainly be no problem licensing the material but I felt to do something more special. On the contrary, what most bands would do, I made sure I left all the atmosphere, style, beat, keys, etc. intact. Matter of fact is that I took great care in finding all the samples, old keyboard and my effect pedals for the guitar in order to be as exact as possible, if not even spot on. The only thing that I found the most important to improve was the vocals. The instrumentation is exactly the same. I only left out here and there some messy bits, which irritated me on the old albums. To me the vocals were a point for me as I think I sing them over the years way better than when I started with the band. So, in short, we all win with these new recordings!
Was it difficult for you to find a label that would give you artistic freedom? You started at 4AD then moved to Wing Records, then to Polydor, X-ult Records, Zok Records and to Tess Records (sorry if I missed anything). On almost every album you have switched a record label. Only in 1999 you have 'rested' with Pandaimonium. It looks like it wasn't easy for you to find a decent home for your music.
Moorings: There are lots of reasons to switch a label; with switching from 4AD to PolyGram was just a case of an offer we could not refuse. Also, we never had distribution in the USA on 4AD, which was at that time our most important market. When Xymox left PolyGram it was the case of a crisis within PolyGram. They had no president at the time-basically a Mammoth tanker without a captain-so since all activities were put on hold for PolyGram I saw that as a sign to move on and try something else. Zok was a label solely working on Xymox and that lasted two years. The guy turned from a sympathetic person into a megalomaniac, so it was time to leave. Luckily, Tess came up which just switched names into Pandaimonium after Hidden Faces because in the USA we switched to Metropolis. It is all a bit technical and most likely boring to go into details about labels. The main thing is that COX found a steady home base without any urge to change labels whatsoever. Steph of Pandaimonium became one of my best friends and of course you stick to you friends.
What kind of artists or bands do you sign to the label? Is a connection between them and Clan Of Xymox necessary? What are the similar motifs or elements in the music or sound of other bands/acts that make them fit to the label roster? What are the criteria you're looking for in those newly signed acts?
Moorings: So far it is bands I know and think they have musical qualities. I just help them get to the distributor and a label that can promote them the best.
Are you satisfied with the way the band remained alternative or did you want to find yourself along the years adopted by the mainstream, maybe getting signed to a major label?
Moorings: I don't think being on an independent label is a bad choice. Sure you don't get the push like you would get on a major label, but I think when people like a band they will hear about it sooner or later through the grapevine. An alternative label gives you way more freedom, and in my case having my own label gives me even more freedom. Of course, if a licensee does not like what I am doing then I don't think they would release it. So they always will have the final word. This never happened to me yet so I guess I do something right. From day one I always tried to have my own label and I did so in the start, in the middle of my "career" and since Hidden Faces, this way is I feel the best for me.
© Copyright 2002-2004 Regen Magazine, a division of REGEN MEDIA. All rights reserved.

Zeromagazine

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I Clan of Xymox festeggiano i 20 anni di attività con il loro primo 'The Best of' Cd... Per l'occasione abbiamo intervistato Ronny Moorings, incontrastato leader della band Darkwave...
1] Innanzi tutto complimenti per l’uscita della collection “The best of”. Questo tipo di raccolte rappresenta un momento importante per la carriera di un musicista. Cosa ne pensi?
Ronny : Un The Best of albums rappresenta sempre un determinato punto nella carriera di un artista. Nel nostro caso ne avremmo potuto avere già uno diverso tempo fa, ma ha avuto senso farlo adesso, raccogliendo il meglio degli albums dei Clan of Xymox e non includendo quindi tutto il materiale prodotto con il nome Xymox.
E’ stata una decisione spontanea: stavo lavorando su del materiale nuovo e sul progetto di un dvd quando è arrivata una richiesta da parte di Stephan della Pandaimonium Records, con la quale egli mi ricordava che in passato non avevamo mai raccolto in un solo cd i migliori momenti dei Clan of Xymox e realizzarlo sarebbe stato sicuramente un gran regalo per i nostri fans affezionati e al contempo un’ottima occasione per farci conoscere da chi non ha mai acquistato un nostro album e volesse farsi un’idea del nostro repertorio.
2] Solitamente realizzare un album collection che racchiuda in sé 20 anni di canzoni è un’impresa ardua e alla fine qualcuno resta sempre scontento dei brani inclusi nella raccolta. Cosa puoi dirci della scelta delle tracce?
Ronny : Il concetto stesso di un “The Best of” chiarisce la propria natura divulgativa. Le tracce sono state scelte in base al successo riscontrato nei clubs, nelle radio, nelle scelte dei dj , nelle richieste dei fans, etc. Per completare la scelta, poi, abbiamo fatto votare i nostri fans sul nostro sito web. E’ stato bello vedere come i voti abbiano coperto un po’ tutti gli albums realizzati, evidenziando quindi come il nostro pubblico ci abbia seguito in tutti i momenti della nostra carriera.
Come succede per tutte le bands, ci sono dei brani che non è possibile ignorare e ciò è stato evidenziato, anche nel nostro caso, dai voti ricevuti. Questi, devo dire, non mi hanno molto sorpreso: infatti basta fare attenzione a come la gente reagisce quando suoniamo certe canzoni nei concerti. Ho voluto che per questa collection ci fossero due canzoni per ogni album, così da “Medusa” i maggiori voti sono arrivati per “Back Door” e “Louise”, escludendo perciò “Michelle”.
3] In particolare abbiamo apprezzato l’idea di registrare di nuovo alcune delle vostre prime canzoni, dagli albums “Clan Of Xymox” e “Medusa”. Queste canzoni sono ora eseguite nel modo in cui sei solito suonarle dal vivo. Cosa hai provato quando hai dovuto tornare a lavorarci sopra?
Ronny : Ho voluto registrare nuovamente queste canzoni (originariamente registrate nei Palladium Studios in Scozia e mixati nei Blackwing studios a Londra) nel mio studio personale, la “Torture Chamber”, per realizzare qualcosa di speciale rispetto ad un ordinario “The Best of”. Dei brani originali ho rispettato atmosfera, suoni e quant’altro, utilizzando in molti casi la stessa identica strumentazione di una volta, sentendo soltanto l’esigenza di registrare di nuovo la voce.
4] Siamo molto curiosi sui tuoi primi passi. Quando nella tua vita ti sei sentito realmente un compositore? C’è stato qualche evento o persona che ti ha indotto in qualche modo verso questa carriera? Quali bands solevi ascoltare a quel tempo? Eri anche tu un “Ragazzo Immaginario”?
Ronny : Quando studiavo sociologia a Nijmegen negli anni ’80 avevo molto tempo libero, come è usuale per chi fa studi sociali; così ero molto attivo come volontario al Doornroosje, un punto d’incontro di Nijmegen. Era un posto in cui ci si vedeva, con una sala per concerti al piano inferiore e un caffè al piano di sopra, dove erano soprattutto soliti incontrarsi gli hippies per fumare e sorseggiare un drink. Molte bands importanti hanno suonato lì: specie bands tedesche che rappresentavano il Deutsche Welle, come Einsturzende Neubauten, Sprung Aus Die Wolken, DAF, Die Krupps , Geisterfahrer, e altre ancora.
Ricordo una sera gli Einsturzende Neubauten suonarono e proiettarono durante il concerto il filmato di una dimostrazione a Berlino, dove un dimostrante si scagliò verso la folla con un autobus trascinando le persone per venti metri e quindi sotto le ruote. Alla vista di quella scena, con la penetrante musica degli Einsturzende Neubauten, molte persone svennero e fu necessario portarle fuori.
La scena alternativa stava crescendo in tutta l’Olanda; così, naturalmente, molte bands inglesi innovative, sulla breccia nell’ambiente goth-wave, vennero a suonare al Doornroosje. Ricordo che mi fecero una grande impressione i Bauhaus e i Virgin Prunes per il loro favoloso appeal visivo: i Virgin Prunes montarono un vero e proprio teatro, sembrava un’autentica pazzia con tutta quella roba svolazzante sul palco. I Bauhaus si presentarono con Peter Murphy con una luce bianca sotto il mento e gli altri della band come ombre tra colori fluorescenti.
Ogni settimana c’era una band interessante da vedere, come gli Echo e i Bunnymen, i Sound, Dance Society, The Birthday Party, con Nick Cave saltellante come una scimmia da una parte all’altra del palco, Siouxie and the Banshees, i Cure (suonarono sotto il tendone di un circo), guardando, dopo il concerto, Robert Smith suonare la chitarra con Siouxie, i Theatre Of Hate, gli Eyeless In Gaza, i Black Flag, The Comscat Angels, i Sisters Of Mercy nel loro line up originale, gli U2 , etc.
Erano tutte bands non ancora conosciute dalla maggior parte delle persone ma avevano un fortissimo impatto su coloro che andavano a seguirle in concerto. La scena goth e new wave divenne ben presto il principale movimento musicale alternativo al passo coi tempi.
Anche l’Olanda generò bands che ebbero un grande effetto su di me, come i Mecano di Amsterdam, i Nasmak di Eindhoven, i Coitus Interuptus di Utrecht , i Minimal Compact, etc., e “famigerate” bands locali di Nijmegen come i Mechanic Commando e iVice.
Guardando e ascoltando queste bands capìi che dovevo fare qualcosa anch’io: volevo fare musica come loro, volevo diventare parte di tutto quello che avveniva di fronte ai miei occhi. Volli una band, invece che fare tutto per conto mio, di notte, senza che nessuno mi ascoltasse.
Dopo, registrai il mini album “Subsequent Pleasures” e quello fu il primo momento in cui la gente ebbe mie notizie…
5] Tornado al tempo in cui eravate con la 4AD, la vostra prima etichetta discografica, dove vanno i tuoi ricordi? Cosa ti manca di quel periodo e per cosa , al contrario, non torneresti indietro nel tempo?
Ronny : Fu davvero una cosa speciale poter siglare un contratto con la 4AD a quel tempo. Loro non avevano mai scritturato una band per due anni dopo i Dead Can Dance e noi eravamo gli unici fortunati. Fu davvero un qualcosa di molto speciale per me, tanto che rinunciai ai miei studi per concentrarmi sulla band.
Quel periodo non era molto diverso da quello attuale, nel senso che faccio ancora le stesse cose di allora, ma solo adesso riesco a comprendere meglio tutto il giro del business. Questo è il motivo per cui ho preso tutto nelle mie mani.
Oggi riesco ad apprezzare molte più cose per il fatto che la gente ci conosce di più; così, per i tours, viaggiamo attraverso molti più Paesi che in passato.
Avere adesso un mio studio personale e poter registrare ogniqualvolta ne ho voglia, anziché convincere un’etichetta discografica a prenotarmi un costoso studio e dover aspettare che si liberi un posto, è davvero una fortuna.
Il contatto con i fans e con le persone in genere è molto più facile che in passato, anche perché con i mezzii con cui oggi comunichiamo siamo in grado di conoscere cosa avviene ovunque nel pianeta.
Non vorrei mai tornare indietro nel tempo in un periodo in cui essere costretto a rinunciare a tutto questo.
6] Nel 1989, con un altro meraviglioso album denominato “Twist of Shadows”, i “Clan Of Xymox” divennero “Xymox”, passando nella sfera d’azione della Poligram. Dopo, la band cambiò nettamente stile: di chi fu l’idea? Dell’etichetta discografica?
Ronny : No, al contrario di quanto la gente potrebbe pensare le labels non ci imposero mai cosa registrare, lasciando tutto a noi. Le cause delle nuove sonorità rispetto alle precedenti releases sono state dovute solo ad un nostro diverso gusto e alla voglia di sviluppare uno stile nuovo.
Molte bands scelsero quella via, sentendo il bisogno di sperimentare nuove soluzioni.
7] Nel 1997 con “Hidden Faces” i Clan Of Xymox sono rinati a nuova vita. Come mai i tuoi storici compagni, Pietre Nooten e Anke Wolbert, non ti hanno seguito di nuovo?
Ronny : Semplicemente perché non l’ho mai chiesto loro. Ho sempre lavorato da solo sulle mie composizioni: scrivendo, registrando, eseguendo e mixando. Perciò chi ha suonato live con me non ha mai avuto voce in capitolo sulla parte compositiva.
Ho perso i contatti con loro da molto tempo e da allora altri “storici compagni” si sono alternati; loro sono solo i primi che hanno fatto parte della mia band.
L’unica cosa che conta per me adesso è la band attuale ed il modo con cui ci relazioniamo con il pubblico durante i tours. Il processo di scrittura e registrazione dei brani resta una mia cosa solitaria.
8] Ci sono differenze nell’approccio con cui componi le canzoni oggi rispetto alle vecchie releases dei Clan of Xymox?
Ronny : Il marchio di fabbrica dei Clan of Xymox è sempre lo stesso, la combinazione tra suoni di chitarra e sintetizzatori è sempre molto importante e da sempre mantengo questa formula.
Clan of Xymox nasce come una band all’avanguardia e voglio che rimanga così anche oggi e non sia considerata alla stregua di una “retro band”.
Con il tempo sempre nuovi suoni, nuove tastiere, nuovi plug ins, nuovi computers sono divenuti strumenti essenziali per il lavoro dei musicisti, per il fatto che oggi si è molto dipendenti dalla ricerca di nuove sonorità e di un equipaggiamento sempre più tecnologico. Queste sono tutte cose di cui si ha bisogno per alimentare sempre l’ispirazione.
Penso che sicuramente ci sia stata un’evoluzione nel mio sound parallelamente all’aggiornamento del mio studio e dei miei sound banks, così come noto una lenta ma sicura evoluzione all’interno della mia musica in generale. Secondo me è importante sottolineare come ci siano diversi elementi in più rispetto solo all’evoluzione sonora che rendono diverse le nuove composizioni dai brani del passato.
Vario sempre le mie interpretazioni vocali, cercando talvolta i toni alti talvolta i bassi, a volte ancora preferendo i medi a seconda di come sento che la canzone debba suonare. Non dico mai a me stesso “In questa canzone devo cantare così…”, è la canzone stessa a parlare al mio istinto e a creare per se stessa il vestito vocale più adatto. Fortunatamente ho un ampio range di voce, perciò per me è facile creare differenti approcci vocali. Naturalmente l’unico criterio che seguo è che la voce vesta la canzone senza dipendere da ciò che la critica voglia che io faccia.
Da tempo ritengo che i Clan of Xymox siano un giusto compromesso fra innovazione e vecchio stile; penso che a volte ci sia spazio alla fine di un album per una traccia molto diversa e che vada un po’oltre, ma in generale credo che i cambiamenti debbano essere graduali.
Sono convinto che in questi anni ci sia stato un grande sviluppo nel sound dei Clan of Xymox, diretto alla combinazione di nuove sonorità con quelle tipiche del passato.
9] Con la tua carriera sei divenuto un simbolo per molto giovani musicisti. Cosa ti senti di poter consigliar loro, specie in merito al rapporto con le labels in giro per il mondo?
Ronny : Oggi viviamo un periodo molto incerto per l’industria discografica. Se tutti iniziassero a scaricare illegalmente o a masterizzare musica io non riuscirei mai a finire un album, non ci sarebbero più labels, né etichette di distribuzione e neppure negozi di dischi. Con ciò non mi riferisco alle forme legali di download a pagamento dei singoli brani. Credo infatti che l’iniziativa presa dalla Apple con I-Tunes sia una gran cosa; spero che questo servizio, finora riservato al mercato americano, sia ben presto disponibile anche in Europa.
Comunque il futuro lo vedo molto brutto perciò ai giovani musicisti direi: “Non rinunciate al vostro lavoro di tutti i giorni!”.
10] Quali artisti senti più vicini a te nel panorama musicale di oggi?
Ronny : Molti, specie quelli che ho incontrato in questi anni nei nostri passati GothAm Festivals.
11] In conclusione, quali sono i tuoi prossimi programmi e quando potremo rivederti ancora in Italia?
Ronny : Sto lavorando in tranquillità fondamentalmente a due cose: un dvd contenente circa dieci canzoni e il nuovo album. Inoltre andremo in tour e mi dedicherò alla mia attività di Dj.
Solitamente organizzavo i GothAm Festivals con Mojca ad Amsterdam, ma adesso ho deciso di smettere perché è un impegno che ha cominciato ad assorbirmi troppo tempo. Forse in futuro questo evento avrà luogo in altre città, ma sarò sempre io eventualmente a comunicarvelo.
Mille grazie per il tuo tempo e la tua cortesia Ronny.
Ronny : Arrivederci.
[ Intervista di Libero Volpe ]

 

Synthiepop

Clan of xymox- Vom ersten bis zum letzten Tag [Synthetics 09|10/04]


Das Release Eures ersten Best of-Albums steht nun kurz bevor. Nach 20jährigem Bandbestehen ist es natürlich schwierig die besten Songs zu sammeln und auf eine CD zu packen. Wie seid ihr dabei vorgegangen?
Wir ließen über unsere Webseite unsere Fans entscheiden, damit - gemessen an deren enthusiastischer Reaktion und Wahl - das Endresultat für jeden zufriedenstellend ausfällt. Natürlich hatte ich eine Vorahnung wie dieses Voting ausfällt, da wir ja während unseren Konzerten die Reaktion zu jedem einzelnen Song und auch die Rufe danach hautnah mitbekommen. Gerade deshalb war es auch keine Überraschung für mich, dass Songs wie A Day, Louise, Back Door, This World, Jasmine & Rose und There's no Tomorrow, etc. viele Stimmen bekamen. Ich habe die Songs aus der 4-AD-Zeit noch einmal neu aufgenommen um eine extra Sicht dem Album hinzuzufügen. Songs wie Into Extremes und I want you now wurden neu-gemixt.
Ist es auch Dein persönliches Best of-Album geworden, oder fehlen einige Deiner Favoriten, da Du doch sicher gewisse Emotionen / Erfahrungen / Gefühle mit dem ein oder anderen Song verbindest?
Der Vorteil einer Best of ist ja, dass sie von Leuten gekauft wird, die sich normalerweise nicht jede CD, Single, etc. einer Band zulegen, oder nur bedingt interessiert sind. Doch mit einem Best of lernen sie die Geschichte und den musikalischen Verlauf der Band mit nur einem Album kennen. Somit ist die Chance damit einen neuen potentiellen Fan zu erreichen viel höher, als wenn sie sich zwischen einem unserer großen Palette an Releases entscheiden müssten. Wahrscheinlich würden sie dann den Wald vor lauter Bäumen nicht sehen und würden von dem großen Angebot entmutigt. Ein Best of umgeht diese Hürde und da im Booklet eine Kurzinfo zu jedem Song ist, können sie leicht eine Auswahl treffen welches Album sie als nächstes kaufen werden (hoffentlich). Der Nachteil ist, dass neue Fans nicht das komplette Verständnis der Vielfalt unserer Songs auf jedem einzelnen Album bekommen, denn jedes Album setzt sich aus verschiedensten Bestandteilen zusammen: langsame, Up-tempo, instrumental Songs, etc. Jedes vorangegangene Album wurde sehr überlegt zusammengesetzt um einen optimalen Durchlauf zu erreichen und um die Songs auch miteinander zu verflechten. Dies ist hier nicht der Fall, da die Songs jeweils aus verschiedenen Zeiten stammen. Glücklicherweise habe ich eine Lösung gefunden, das dieses Problem umgeht: Ich setzte die ausgewählten Songs wie eine Setliste einer Live Show zusammen. Bei einem Konzert spielen wir natürlich die verschiedensten Songs von verschiedenen Alben. Dieses Schema gefiel uns besser als wenn der Ablauf chronologisch sortieren wäre.
Werden auf der Best of "nur" Original-Versionen zu hören sein, oder auch Remixe, Neuaufnahmen, etc.?
A Day, Louise, Muscoviet Musquito, Back Door und Stranger wurden neu aufgenommen und abgemischt, Into Extremes und I Want You Now wurden neu gemixt. Wie Du siehst, haben wir einiges an exklusivem Material auf dem neuen Album.
Ich bin mit der Zusammenstellung sehr zufrieden, habe es auch selbst getestet als ich mit meinem Walkman mitten in der Nacht an dem Amsterdamer Kanal entlang radelte. Als ich wieder zurückwar, wusste ich, dass es einfach passt!
Die Angst gegen den Optimismus, das ist einer der Grundelemente Eurer Musik: eine düstere Atmosphäre auf der einen Seite und heitere Melodien auf der anderen. Ist dieser Tenor auf einem "zusammengewürfelten" Album überhaupt so herüberzubringen?
Eigentlich klingt es nicht zusammengewürfelt, die Songs passen einfach gut zusammen und das zeigt wieder, dass unser charakteristischer Sound und der Ansatz eines jeden Albums / Songs eine gemeinsame Basis hat, die auch auf dieser Best of wiederzuerkennen ist. Die Zielsetzung bei Clan of Xymox war während unseres gesamten Bestehens immer die Gleiche; die Kombination von Gitarren, Keyboards und Synths ist unerlässlich für mich. Vom ersten bis zum heutigen Tag halte ich daran fest. Mit der Zeit kamen neue Keyboards, Computer und eigentlich alle notwendigen Arbeitsmittel hinzu, die von allen Musikern sehnsüchtig erwartet und dann auch gekauft wurden. Alles Dinge, die man benötigt um sich neu inspirieren zu lassen und neue Idee umsetzen zu können. Genau deshalb gibt es auch eine Weiterentwicklung meiner Sounds, weil mein Studio ständig upgedated wird, obwohl sie sich nur langsame in meine Musik schleicht, aber dadurch bleibt der charakteristische Clan of Xymox-Sound erhalten.
Ist es als Leckerbissen für Eure Fans gedacht nun ein Best of zu veröffentlichen oder für diejenigen, die noch keine Verbindung zu Eurer Musik hatten und denen Ihr einen kleinen Überblick über Euer Tun geben wollt?
Eigentlich beides, für die Fans ist es toll, weil es auch neue Versionen ihrer Lieblings-Songs gibt und für die Hörer, die nicht alle unserer Vorgänger-Alben besitzen, gibt dieses Best of einen Anreiz weitere Songs von uns hören zu wollen, denn ich bin überzeugt davon, dass viele Songs dieses Albums eine Menge von Hörern ansprechen werden.
Ich weiß, dass Du genau zwischen der Clan of Xymox- und der Xymox-Ära unterscheidest. Werden auf der Best of auch Xymox-Songs zu hören sein?
Wie Du schon bemerkt hast, ist ein Best of Clan of Xymox, also werden keine Xymox-Tracks mit dabei sein. Wir hätten sonst auch eine Doppel-CD machen müssen, aber das wäre nur schwer zu bewerkstelligen gewesen. Unter diesem Aspekt ist dieses Album einfach gut dazu da, die Unterschieden zwischen den beiden Perioden hervorzuheben.
Ist das Artwork der COX-Releases etwas was sehr wichtig für Dich ist?
Absolut! Deshalb kümmern wir uns auch selbst darum. Mojca designed das Artwork und ich gebe zum Schluss meinen Segen wenn sie mir ihre Arbeit zeigt. Sie versteht genau was ich mit einem Album sagen will und welche Stimmung es wiederspiegeln soll, was ein Außenstehender nicht unbedingt erkennen kann. Für das Best of Album hat sie einen verblüffenden Job geleistet. Hat die Grundstimmung eines jeden Albums mit eingebunden und die verschiedenen Perioden miteinander vermischt. Mit hinzu kommen alle Texte zu den Songs in einem besonders schönem Booklet.
Was würdest Du ändern wenn Du die Chance hättest noch einmal von vorne zu beginnen?
Nichts. Im bin ziemlich glücklich mit dem was ich erreicht habe und alle Wege und Momente seit Gründung der Band haben dazu beigetragen, dass wir bis hierhin gekommen sind. Ich würde dies für nichts in der Welt eintauschen!
Kannst Du Dir vorstellen mit der Musik aufzuhören?
Ich kann mir auch nicht vorstellen mit dem Atmen aufzuhören, deshalb denke ich, dass ich damit nur aufhören kann, wenn ich nicht mehr atme.
Was sind Deine Pläne für die Zukunft ?
Ich arbeite im Moment an zwei Dingen, dies aber nur in einer lockeren Arbeitsgeschwindigkeit: eine DVD mit ca. 10 Songs und einem neuen Album. Weiterhin gehen wir auf Tour und ich werde einige Termine als DJ in meinen Kalender aufnehmen. Im September bin ich als DJ in Chile und Peru unterwegs. In der Vergangenheit habe ich das GothAM Festival in Amsterdam zusammen mit Mojca organisiert, dies wurde uns allerdings zu zeitaufwendig. Vielleicht wird dieses Event in einer anderen Stadt wieder stattfinden, aber ich werde dann zu gegebener Zeit davon erzählen.
Text: ronny und karina
Foto: clan of xymox

D-side

"Farewell" : Farewell to what or whom exactly ?
Farewell: " All these helpless fallen angels,Evading commonplace, Dreading a thousand nameless evils
In the dark shimmering rays, The one with all the intuition,Knows now there’s nothing gained, This cycle needs no repetition, I simply move away , Farewell affectionate brothers, you won’t see me again"
Actually I wrote this song when I was sick of everything, full of self doubt, self loathing, cynical about my future, basically in a self destructive mood wanting to quit everything and stop everything I was doing. This is the therapy I was talking about; I felt much better afterwards when I recorded the song. The affectionate brothers are all the like minded people, the people who supported me in my life, the ones I care about.
Picking album titles can be sometimes a bit daunting because of the reason people look for ( hidden) meanings in just the selected title. To me the word Farewell has something very strong, it is one of those situations we all experienced. With picking the title I have to admit I was in a sarcastic, cynical mood especially when at the time of choosing the title I had many discussions about the music industry and where it all would lead to. In my opinion still a bleak future is waiting with many bands being dropped of their label or even labels will disappear just because a sort of stale mate situation, a catch 22 situation is emerging and you see already that it affects a lot of bands.
We are now at a time that the recording industry is quite uncertain what will happen; if indeed everyone would start copying music the next time I would have an album finished there would be no record label, no record distribution, no record stores left worth mentioning, so in a way it is me choosing a title which could be a vision of the future for me and all other bands with me, that this is the time of the last albums being produced because there will be no other means left when I say release a next one in 2005.

You said to me once that you don't like to see the same people and
places forever. Does "Farewell" refer to that, the need to always move
forward ? Can we say that you always said farewell to the past and
nostalgia ?
To me leaving things behind work liberating if it happens out of free will of course. You can imagine when you don't want to spent time or your life with this or that person anymore it would be quite liberating when you actually take the step. It would create a whole new outlook and chances in life ( depending on how much time you would have spent with this person) and a chance to learn of the mistakes made in the past.
A lot of people are afraid to chance anything in their life and like to cling on to their routines and ways they go about week in week out. To me leaving things behind is almost like a necessary psychological spring cleaning, that goes even for leaving material things behind.
I learned this lesson once when I lived in Nijmegen in a beautiful building but it soon went up in flames with nearly destroying all my possessions ( luckily I had my photographs with my parents ). When I found myself a new place I felt much more free because I did not have to drag all my personal belongings with me, leaving me also not worried for my earthly possessions at all when I went away for a longer period.
I sort of kept this attitude for a long time but must confess that I've built up quite a collection of personal stuff again, hence making me more worried for them when I 'm going away for periods.These are the difficulties in life, people assemble so much in their lives and never get rid of anything.
The emotion with people parting is one of the strongest emotions and one of the most upsetting experiences, especially when one does not want the other one to disappear from their live. Huge dramas are often the result of someone leaving someone else, to me always a huge inspirational recourse, because so many people, so many different ways of handling with a sense of loss.
Of course it happened to me as well in the past so I know the feeling and I know how it can make you feel for a long time.
To me human drama is a vast resource to get inspired by.
Every band should slowly evolve, in that way you give always something extra to fans and slowly take them with you in your musical taste. ( if they are willing :) A lot of bands however have a Revolution, so did I, all of a sudden you feel this need for a drastic change, it is the same feeling as just breaking up with your loved one because you can't bear it anymore.
To me all what I did in the past was very, very necessary for me to experience in order to come where I am now. If you never burned your fingers how would you ever experience the feeling of heat.
I never been so proud in my life about the albums I made the past 5 years. To me this is the feeling is only possible if you experienced the opposite as well.


Do you consider this album as a kind of conceptual one ? It seems at least that most of the songs deal with absence or departure, don‚t they?
To me 2 years is a perfect time to write songs. This time period has seen twice a winter, summer,autumn and spring. These periods are very influential on my state of mind and thus important for creating music. It's a cycle all people are affected by, there moods alter and change. Some people get depressed when autumn comes or feel the loneliness in December when there are a lot of social activities where you might feel left out of, for example when you miss one of your parents or loved one. Before summer a lot of people get anxious because they have to think about a holiday but just split up or couldn't find someone to share a holiday with. These are just small examples how periods change your attitude and feel certain pressures in certain periods. You can also see the beauty of Autumn of course, the change of season is always an interesting aspect in life. Anyway, with all these changing factors and people around you there are a lot of personal things happening. Just think about your own life the last 2 years, what happened? Of course a lot of small and bigger things which grabbed your attention. These are the things you can go introspective and delve for these hidden treasures and make those events/feelings /thoughts immortal by putting them in words and record them.
I only write music when I feel the urge to write, to express myself as I could not express myself by other means but to put it into music. The Autumn & Winter are for me the most perfect periods because it sets the mood I like the most. Also the weather makes it easier to lock yourself up in the confines of the " Torture Chamber" as I call my studio.
The music triggers off my emotions. Most of the time I just start recording the music along with some words which come up at the same time, most of the time they don't make sense until I start listening to almost a conveyed message which I believe comes from the sub conscious, that will direct me sort of in the field of memory I have in order to start identifying with the topic I have in mind.
I never start with the words because that process of lyrics first , than the music never worked for me. The music has to set the mood for me first.
Lyrics & music are equally important to me, the music triggers the words so they are integral and related to each other, one could not exist without the other. Music & words need to form one entity and have to create one atmosphere, so even when you don't listen to the words it has to bring the feeling across to the listener.My life is stable for quite a while, if you would read my lyrics sometimes you would think that I am pretty miserable but I try to explain to people that I often get inspiration just by observing their behaviour / life or listening to my friends with their problems. These things often triggers something in me to write a song or lyrics and often I try to identify myself with them, because I did do experience a lot of emotions over the years so it is only a matter of changing the me, I or you form..
Of course I sing also about very personal things like the song "This Cold Damp Day" which is about missing someone deeply.

You like to imagine being in the mind of someone else when you write your lyrics, don't you ? Is writing lyrics has to do with the work of an actor, according to you ?


Not really, lyric writing it's has more to do with what poets do , trying to capture emotions , introspective or in a more describing ways.
A lot of lyrics were inspired by the people around me, when they split up with their loved one or wanted to or friends with self doubt, in short people have in general always problems so it is a vast source of inspiration. Naturally I also look into myself and what's going on in my life but I found that the lyrics I wrote from a personal perspective was about missing someone in a big way.You produced everything yourselves, I suppose? The same for the composition or is there any track composed by Mojca?
The recording and writing process is a quite solitary affair for me so I can't give you any rowdy stories as some bands might have when they are in the studio. I am glad that way because I just can't imagine to having to discuss and justify my choices every time I write a song. Only when I can't see the forest from the trees I go in despair to Mojca and ask her what she thinks of it. Than she simply tells me, lose this, cut that, make that shorter and in 5 minutes she is out of the studio again having given me the suggestions I was looking for the whole day long, so you need at least one person giving you the right perspective of what you're doing. For this I think she deserves a production credit, because the song (s) would be different if it wasn't for her insights and remarks.
Mojca however does not write songs, the only track so far she wrote lyrics for was the song on the "Hidden Faces" album called "Hypocrite". It was a fun thing for her to do but her real interest lies in artwork and making clothes and of course playing live with the band playing the bass. She does not like to sing live , so she'd rather not sing another song because she knows I would ask her to sing it live too :)
How do you explain that the sad and bitter side of love and relationships is so inspiring to your compositions ? Do you think, via your experience, that a disastrous relationship or love affair can inspire the most beautiful pieces of Art ?I think love is the most powerful thing which drives our species. Without it we would be pretty miserable creatures, that's why we crave constantly for love and affection . It drives us insane if we can't get to this state of emotion , a lot of people think they love someone but know somehow they are still looking for the right person, a sort of quest for the Holy Grail , you know it is there , you heard about it but you don't know where to look for it. When you've found it you know deep inside that it is a new dimension in your life....
To me these topics are subject to the strongest emotions, if you look around you than you notice how much these emotions rule someones life. It can drive people even to insanity.
So , I am just more drawn towards the darker side of life and like the melancholic chords the most.Do you think a beautiful song has to be sad or do you enjoy happy songs? Do you think you can write one or that you ever wrote one already ?


The initial intention is always to make a most beautiful album as possible, the way I go about it is that I never have a clear idea of what direction I will go until I start writing, mostly the sounds I use and like will dictate me as it were in what direction I am heading. The mood is than set very easily and the track starts to take over, dragging me totally into it and giving me the whole mind set to start creating the whole sound scape and mind set.
The writing process is never a conscious matter for me, I know I store up a lot of feelings and emotions which I have to write about sooner or later so each album is a reflection of a certain period for me.
Often I get inspired by just a single sound which triggers my imagination and make me visualize some sort of sound scape and a direction I can build towards with other sounds, as soon as some sort of order is shaped into the sound collage it will dictate itself some sort of direction. Maybe a few words will match some chord structures so I get some idea of what I want to write and what words are suitable to match the created atmosphere which sort of triggers my
emotional world. The lyrics are based on events mostly experienced by myself or what I have seen around me and of course when you think about all the things you have experienced you will have a lot to write about.
Each track I approach this way so basically what happens is that over a year of writing you get as it were four seasons and moods of my personal self translated into words and music. I never sit and start without feeling inspired or the will to look for interesting bits and pieces. Of course in the past I have tried to write because of a deadline or so but that never worked for me, I rather delay than force myself. To me music has to come from the heart and there is no such thing as dictating yourself to be creative, you have to feel creative otherwise nothing worthwhile will come of it.
To me happy songs are often very short lived , just like happiness in general, it is a short term thing. In the past I wrote a few happier tunes but in general to me the feeling of lets say, missing a person because she is away for ten days is also a good feeling, the knowing that you love someone and that she will return....

From which movie is extracted the sample introducing " There's no tomorrow " ?
It's from " Bitter Moon" The movie is about the infatuation the main character feels for his new acquired love, later grows tired of her and she of him, they both try to revive their relationship in all sorts of ways, mainly through games with people and S&M games with each other but slowly their relationship grows into one dark, sinister mental torture.
This I thought would apply to my lyrics in the intro setting the mood for the song.Could you tell a few words about " One more Time " and " It‚s not enough" : the musical and lyrical basis of their composition, the mood you wanted for these songs, why Ý ? I especially like "One more Time" and the phrase "You've got the devil in your eyes and lips too warm for
lies" ... But what do you refer to when you say "Fall into the Day" ?OK, I will tell you a few words about the songs. In general though I rather prefer people make up their own story about the song they hear simply for the reason that they would relate it to their own experiences in life.
Like in poetry , if you say something you want to say it a bit different otherwise you just rehash words endlessly, so to create sentences or moods it is to me important that you say it a bit in a different way, so with the sentence " fall into the day " could be explained as: staying up all night, get intoxicated till the break of dawn and stumbling into the light of daytime. This sentence would be too long so it became " fall into the day " :)
One More Time: To me it is a song I always could write any time, it doesn't matter what year I would live.It's about a friend of mine who sort of lost all perspective of his own life, started to get full of self doubt and got pretty confused about his future, even if he still would want to share his live with his long time girlfriend. For most people he looked always cheerful on the outside but is actually quite a closed person, so I guess a lot of things were eating him on the inside and it was a question of time that things would start to "boil up".
So , it is simply a personal song I could write whenever in life and the guitars adding of extra emotion to the song.It's not Enough is just about a person I grown tired of and just did not want to hear from again, I am sure we all have those persons in our lives and we just want to get rid of.


In general you can say that the most of the lyrics on the album touch the darker realms of life.
" Skindeep " : any similitude with The Stranglers‚ song ? What do you
mean by this word ?
It's funny, but I think the whole dictionary is already transformed into song titles, so with a title like Skindeep you can be sure someone else used or will use that title. There is no relevance to the Stranglers, to me Skindeep refers to the shallow existence of most people. Thoughts you have and how little you can discuss things with people, so it's a little song about the shallow 9 to 5 working world as seen at night in contemplation whilst gazing into the far beyond :)
As usual, you use various instruments, mixing electronic elements and
organic ones for different atmospheres. But you seem more and more
interested in electronic and maybe more danceable stuff than ever. Do
you agree ? Do you think $Remixes from the Underground$ is a " cause and
effect " to this ?
I guess you refer to the one and only song coming close in this area " It's Not Enough" which indeed has these elements. To me it is just part of Clan Of Xymox as the songs ( for the older fans) " A Day", "Stranger", "Backdoor" was at the time they came out, those songs were also at the forefront of electro.
The approach in " It's Not Enough" is totally different and people who know future pop would I think agree with me. Anyway, let's take the discussion a bit further:
Elements on their own are never original, the basic elements are: guitar, bass, drums, vocals and keyboards ( synths), it just depends how you use them.
With music you can't have the rigid thinking of " oh I can't use this or that because I get too much in this or that direction". With a thinking like that there would be never a (r)evolution in music for bands.
In my opinion every band should slowly evolve, in that way you give always something extra to fans and slowly take them with you in your musical taste. ( if you do it right and from the heart)
On the new album you'll find a wide variety of different songs, each approached in a different way but always sounding like Clan Of Xymox.
I happen to write once and a while songs like this, but also the sort of opposite ones, when I grab my guitar first instead of starting on keyboards first.
Into Extremes is for example more a Goth rock track to me and "One More Time " more a Dark Wave direction.
To me songs like this are timeless because they are made with basic instruments. I need songs like this anyway because otherwise I would get out of practice on guitar:)
The album " Farewell " in total is to me a perfect blend of different styles ranging from more the dark electro side to the more darker guitar side. People who know the history of our band would be not surprised about this approach that is followed and recognize that it is the concept of Clan Of Xymox, since the very beginning.
The way I go about writing tracks for the album is that I often get inspired by just a single sound which triggers my imagination and make me visualize some sort of sound scape and a direction I can build towards with other sounds, as soon as some sort of order is shaped into the sound collage it will dictate itself some sort of direction. Maybe a few words will match some chord structures so I get some idea of what I want to write and what words are suitable to match the created atmosphere which sort of triggers my emotional world. The lyrics are based on events mostly experienced by myself or what I have seen around me and of course when you think about all the things you have experienced you will have a lot to write about.
Each track I approach this way so basically what happens is that over a year of writing you get as it were four seasons and moods of my personal self translated into words and music. I never sit and start without feeling inspired or the will to look for interesting bits and pieces. Of course in the past I have tried to write because of a deadline or so but that never worked for me, I rather delay than force myself. To me music has to come from the heart and there is no such thing as dictating yourself to be creative, you have to feel creative otherwise nothing worthwhile will come of it.The remix album we did was just for the hard core fans from the band and the other bands who re mixed the tracks. It is more an adventurous outing for bands than anything else simply because with remixes there are no boundaries.
Most bands release remixes for the reason to give diversity to DJ's. The average DJ on Gothic party plays more electro and future pop than anything else. It doesn't mean that you as a band have to start making this type of style but at least a remix will put the attention of your band to the DJ who otherwise would likely not play the original track. The next time they might be more open minded about the original track...
Talking about remixes, we had already remixes as early as 1985 of the songs "A Day" and "Stranger" taken from our self titled debut album on 4 -AD remixed by the now famous John Fryer ( Nine Inch Nails). These tracks never left the dance floor!! Since then we always had some remixes one way or the other but in the late 90's we stopped doing them because I did not like them anymore.
The fact that we decided on this approach, letting bands instead of some " famous" re mixer touch the songs appealed to me much better. It is only possible for a couple of years since most artist now own a powerful computer being able to remix it at home instead of having to go into an expensive studio which for us nor them would be an option.
To me the remixes show how our songs would have been done if I don't get involved at all ( before that I always was present in the studio), that is for me a very interesting aspect and has a great novelty value for me.
Indeed with certain tempos, beats, synths blurting out it certainly will appeal to DJ's who play up tempo tracks at their club night. I 've seen the reaction on the dance floor when DJ's played tracks from the remix album and it certainly works for everyone!
So far Clan Of Xymox released on average a new album every 2 years which seems to be my personal rhythm and it feels natural to me.
Writing an album is a labourous task, you have to assemble ideas and certainly have a period in between albums so you can forget about the previous one because you certainly don't want to repeat yourself. So you definitely need some time in between to get the necessary inspiration for writing, especially the lyrics.
We also released after " Notes From The Underground ( October 2001 ) ( even the John Peel Sessions came out, November 2001): the remix album "Remixes from The Underground" ( May 2002 ) which required a lot of work, (even remixes sometimes need a bit of "repairs" or " polishing up" ) and the co ordination part is the hardest. Also we included a half an hour long video project which meant a lot of selecting visual materials.
Of course I had to do some remixes for some bands who did a remix for me in return as well.
Shortly after the release of the remix album we released a single as a little taster for the new album " Farewell " with the song " There's No Tomorrow" ( September 2002 ). So quite a bit was released in between this period, I almost felt that we were " overfeeding " the fans a bit with too many new offerings in a short period of time.
We toured in between the albums which absorbs a lot of time. When you play live, you need to travel a lot and when coming back of course you don't go straight back into the studio but have some time off too.
My private time is also very important to me, because I also have other activities; I put quite a bit of time in organizing the half yearly Gotham festivals in Amsterdam and took up a course in Spanish which definitely takes a whole day out of a weekday for me ( I'm too slow I think :)
Further I spent time on releasing ( for the ones who don't know, I also run our band's label ) and preparing the releases of Jesus Complex and Sophya. Jesus Complex is a project of Damon Fries, our sound engineer who wrote the album. I sing on one of the tracks called " Lost In Sleep ". A few weeks ago I was preparing the release of a Greek band called Dark Runner and of course preparing the next GothAM festival ....


Do you prefer a static audience or a dancing one ?
Well I guess I like a dancing crowd better because it inspires you on stage better. Of course we have a lot of fans just standing and listening to the music which of course is the main aim of any artist that people will bother to listen to the music in the first place.
Sometimes I mistake people when they stand , head down during the entire show and me thinking they don't like it ....only to discover that that person was in tears, that it affected her so much ....so a dancing person is easier to interpret as " they have a good time".
On average I noticed of myself I rather play the faster, more danceable songs live because it works both ways better.

What is Clan of Xymox line up today? Will there be the same one for the
next tour?
We did a lot of dates in 2002 and only some performances this year in Europe ( to break the habit of sitting in a studio ) but not too many because I wanted to finish writing the new album " Farewell". In the May period however we did a 7 date tour in Germany where we promoted the album " Notes From The Underground". These were the last shows to promote this particular album.
Since 1997 we haven't stopped touring, so you could basically say we are on tour for the last 6 years. There were only short periods or intervals of not going on the road for recording reasons.
In this period we've been several times all around the world, and the end of the year ( October ) we go to South America where I think we are going to be the only (alternative scene that is ) band who toured there as often as we did ( also in Mexico ) This time we go to Peru for the first time ( where only the Mission, well actually Wayne....in the end... ) played a few years ago), and it's the second time for us that we go to Chile and Argentina again. About these concerts I am very exited because these are the most beautiful countries on Earth.
We need these exotic tours to keep our own interest alive and give it the necessary variation you need in a bands existence. Of course all the dates we do are essential, just like festivals, when everything is combined it makes it the perfect mixture for me.
I never believed in the classic way most bands do things like: recording, releasing and than a tour of a couple of weeks and start the cycle again. I think you need a lot of input during your writing process and a good way to get this is going on tour and talk a lot with people.
All aspects of having a band I find equally important. You write to get your feelings out of your system, record them so you won't forget them and tour to see if what you do is enjoyed by your fans. The whole process is very dynamic and can't be put into words like hard or easy.
I like all parts involved because that is what a musician does: write, record and tour ( ok, some don't tour :)
The most gratifying is for me the moment I have the new album in my hands and when we play the new songs live to get the immediate response of our fans.
The LIVE line up is unchanged :) , we toured for the last 2 years with the following set up:
Ronny Moorings : vocals /guitar ,Mojca : bass , Denise Dijkstra : Keyboards , Paul Whittlesea : guitarWhen and where do you start the " Farewell Tour " ? Your next gig in
France ?
We are talking about a Paris show at the moment, so hopefully in November this year ... we start our new show with a warming up show in Enschede, The Netherlands and the week after we go to Barcelona and at the end of the month we start our South American tour :)

What and who can we expect for the next Gotham? When will it be exactly
?
So far it has been twice a year ( March & September) that we organize GothAM in Paradiso in Amsterdam .The next one will be the 27th of September 2003 with two stages and 7 bands, act(s), etc..
The set up is as folowing : 4 bands in the big hall of Paradiso and 4 acts upstairs in the smaller venue.
Inbetween bands we have several acts and after the bands we have a dance night with several DJ's.
Inbetween the two floors we have a market with different shops .
The festival is organized in such a way that there is always something to do or to see. With most festivals you have to wait for the next band to start which I always found quite boring. At GothAM we have many small acts inbetween bands, video art projection, lots of small shops with clothing or make up stands etc, so basically everything to anyones hearts desire. After the bands there is a four hour dance night with light shows and video projections.
Last GothAM I played records together with Marcel ( also DJ and GothAM organizer) where we had to formula of a DJ battle, so basically he plays a track and I answer on that with another track which is suitable. In this way you get a very interesting set :) The coming GothAM we will DJ again.
I keep now always time available to do these festivals because I can't imagine Amsterdam without them anymore....
Now we see a lot of Gothic festivals coming up in our country, clubs also organize concerts which normally would not touch this type of music, so over here we cultivated it pretty well I can say now in retrospect.Bands who performed at the GothAM festivals so far were: Covenant, VNV Nation, Clan Of Xymox, Suicide Commando, Mesh, Morthem Vlade Art, Deine Lakaien (accoustic), Diva Destruction, Faith & The Muse (accoustic), God Module, The Fair Sex, Das Ich, Diary Of Dreams, Feindflug, Frozen Autumn, Cinema Strange, La Floa Maldita, Tactical Sekt, Fading Colours, Elusive, Other Day, Whispers in the Shadows, Sophya, Angels & Agony, Jesus Complex, Monolith, Malaise, Perfidious Words,etc etc.Is there any recent band you‚d like to make us discover in the next
Gotham ?
Yes, I think not too many people would know Killing Ophelia, Schneewitchen & Predella Avant. I am sure everyone will be very surprised by these acts and their music!Of course an absolute must is FATM, I really love their new album!Bands:
Running Order
Downstairs
Faith and theMuse
Lights Of Euphoria
Technoir
Predella Avant
Upstairs
Killing Ophelia
Thanacid
Rotersand
Schneewitchen
At the first (and last) gig of Morthem Vlade Art in Paris, the audience
and the band had the good surprise to see you and Mojca enjoying the
show. Is this something you still do easily for a band you like, I mean
doing so many kilometers to see a performance?
Yes, when I think a band is worth the bother I go, it doesn't matter where they are really ( unless on the other side of the planet ). That night in Paris was a great one as I am a big fan of MVA, so I was really anxious to see them perform. They played together with VNV Nation which we are friends with, so the whole night was one big party to all of us.
Is Mojca still responsible for the artwork?
Yes, I really admire her style and concepts to capture the moods of albums she designs. I prefer working with her on the Clan Of Xymox releases because that way I know the mood of the album is beautifully captured. Mojca has already quite a big roster of releases she's done so far. For people who are interested in all her work can have a look at her site, the link is on our home page or that of GothAM.


Ronny Moorings

Zillo

1) Within the last two years
you were very, very busy with releasing "Notes From The Underground" and
"Remixes From The Underground" as well as with touring a lot. From where do you
take this energy and when do you find time for writing new songs?
We toured indeed in between the albums which absorbs a lot of time. When you play live, you need to travel a lot and when coming back of course you don't go straight back into the studio but have some time off too.
My private time is also very important to me, because I also have other activities; I put quite a bit of time in organizing the half yearly Gotham festivals in Amsterdam and took up a course in Spanish which definitely takes a whole day out of a weekday for me ( I'm too slow I think :)
Further I spent time on remixing other bands ( when I have time ) signing bands ( for the ones who don't know, I also run our band's label and license the records to Pandaimonium ) and preparing the releases of Jesus Complex and Sophya. Jesus Complex is a project of Damon Fries, our sound engineer who wrote the album. I sing on one of the tracks called " Lost In Sleep ". A few weeks ago I was preparing the release of a Greek band called Dark Runner and of course preparing the next GothAM festival ....
To me a period of 2 years is a perfect timeframe to write songs. This time period has seen twice a winter, summer,autumn and spring. These periods are very influential on my state of mind and thus important for creating music. It's a cycle all people are affected by, there moods alter and change. Some people get depressed when autumn comes or feel the loneliness in December when there are a lot of social activities where you might feel left out of, for example when you miss one of your parents or loved one. Before summer a lot of people get anxious because they have to think about a holiday but just split up or couldn't find someone to share a holiday with. These are just small examples how periods change your attitude and feel certain pressures in certain periods. You can also see the beauty of Autumn of course, the change of season is always an interesting aspect in life. Anyway, with all these changing factors and people around you there are a lot of personal things happening. Just think about your own life the last 2 years, what happened? Of course a lot of small and bigger things which grabbed your attention. These are the things you can go introspective and delve for these hidden treasures and make those events/feelings /thoughts immortal by putting them in words and record them.
I only write music when I feel the urge to write, to express myself as I could not express myself by other means but to put it into music. The Autumn & Winter are for me the most perfect periods because it sets the mood I like the most. Also the weather makes it easier to lock yourself up in the confines of the " Torture Chamber" as I call my studio.2) How important is the experience of touring for you regarding finding the input for writing new songs?
To what extent do the reaction of the audience have an influence on the sound of the next record?
Since 1997 we haven't stopped touring , so you could basically say we are on tour for the last 6 years. There were only short periods or intervals of not going on the road for recording reasons.
In this period we've been several times all around the world, and the end of the year ( October ) we go to South America where I think we are going to be the only (alternative scene that is ) band who toured there as often as we did ( also in Mexico ) This time we go to Peru for the first time ( where only the Mission, well actually Wayne....in the end... ) played a few years ago), and it's the second time for us that we go to Chile and Argentina again. About these concerts I am very exited because these are the most beautiful countries on Earth.
I need these exotic tours to keep our my interest alive and give it the necessary variation you need in a bands existence. Of course all the dates we do are essential, just like festivals, when everything is combined it makes it the perfect mixture for me.
I never believed in the classic way most bands do things like: recording ( for 3 years non stop) , releasing and than a tour of a couple of weeks and start the cycle again. I think you need a lot of input during your writing process and a good way to get this is going on tour and talk a lot with people.
All aspects of having a band I find equally important. You write to get your feelings out of your system, record them so you won't forget them and tour to see if what you do is enjoyed by your fans. The whole process is very dynamic and can't be put into words like hard or easy.
I like all parts involved because that is what a musician does: write, record and tour ( ok, some don't tour :)
The most gratifying is for me the moment I have the new album in my hands and when we play the new songs live to get the immediate response of our fans.
It has however no influence on how I write music. Touring just affects the songs which I think we should play live and which ones not , because of the immediate feedback it is quite easy to make these desicions.
Outside opinions are very important but not a guideline to how I write my songs. I always want to innovate the sound a bit and if this is appreciated than I know I did the right thing. A band can only exist with the fans standing 100% behind the music so that is very important to me. I could not do it without our fans . It can however be no consideration whilst writing music because those same fans want you to come up with music which is personal to your own heart and they will put that trust solely in my hands. Judging by the reactions we get by fans on our message board they must be pretty happy with what came out from Clan Of Xymox.
The same goes for the press, it helps a lot if the press gives extra attention to a band, the public notices those things, so if the press likes it it is also an extra moral boost for the band because most musicians are very uncertain about themselves so a little help is always appreciated I think. In the end when the release of the new album becomes public property it becomes vulnurable and open to all sorts of different opinions. It is therefore very important that you know already before it's released that the album was made to your best of abilities and gave it all to reach that point. More you can't do.

3) In the mid of the 80's you began your career with releasing two albums on the famous 4AD-label. To what extent are you still keeping something from that era in your music?
From day one when Clan Of Xymox was formed I combined guitars with synths, this was the sort of blueprint to write music. The styles of Clan Of Xymox kept changing during the years with a lot of experiments but always a definable sound you could easily recognize as Clan Of Xymox .
So indeed it is not that easy to categorize us , I prefer the term Dark Goth Electro , that sort of covers all the ranges Clan Of Xymox moves in. Many songs have a danceable beat , very club friendly tracks but also very moody atmospheric tracks .
Farewell is part of the natural evolution and progression of the sound of Clan Of Xymox. I wanted it to sound fresh and new, I do not want to repeat what I already did but I also want the songs to be recognizable that you would instantly hear it's Clan Of Xymox when played in a club. So basically the album is different but part of the natural progression of Clan Of Xymox.
With these basic elements for Clan Of Xymox ,the way I combine and layer the instruments you could say that it's our own style and most people recognize that as someting typically of Clan Of Xymox.
To me this approach is intergral to Clan Of Xymox . The songs ( for the newer fans) " A Day", "Stranger", "Backdoor" was at the time they came out at the forefront of electro , and as contemporary they were then I believe the new songs are like that but with the difference that I live in 2003 so the sounds and samples etc are in the 2003 version.
With music you can't have the rigid thinking of " oh I can't use this or that because I get too much in this or that direction". With a thinking like that there would be never a (r)evolution in music for bands.
In my opinion every band should slowly evolve, in that way you give always something extra to fans and slowly take them with you in your musical taste. ( if you do it right and from the heart)
On the new album you'll find a wide variety of different songs, each approached in a different way but always sounding like Clan Of Xymox.
I happen to write once and a while songs sounding more like ( dark) electro , but also the sort of opposite ones, when I grab my guitar first instead of starting on keyboards first.
Into Extremes ( track 6) is for example more a Goth rock track to me and "One More Time " ( track 5) more a Dark Wave direction.
To me songs like this are timeless because they are made with basic instruments. I need songs like this anyway because otherwise I would get out of practice on guitar:)
The album " Farewell " in total is to me a perfect blend of different styles ranging from more the dark electro side to the more darker guitar side. People who know the history of our band would be not surprised about this approach that is followed and recognize that it is the concept of Clan Of Xymox, since the very beginning.
The way I go about writing tracks for the album is that I often get inspired by just a single sound which triggers my imagination and make me visualize some sort of sound scape and a direction I can build towards with other sounds, as soon as some sort of order is shaped into the sound collage it will dictate itself some sort of direction. Maybe a few words will match some chord structures so I get some idea of what I want to write and what words are suitable to match the created atmosphere which sort of triggers my emotional world. The lyrics are based on events mostly experienced by myself or what I have seen around me and of course when you think about all the things you have experienced you will have a lot to write about.
Each track I approach this way so basically what happens is that over a year of writing you get as it were four seasons and moods of my personal self translated into words and music. I never sit and start without feeling inspired or the will to look for interesting bits and pieces. Of course in the past I have tried to write because of a deadline or so but that never worked for me, I rather delay than force myself. To me music has to come from the heart and there is no such thing as dictating yourself to be creative, you have to feel creative otherwise nothing worthwhile will come of it.

4) What were the reasons for you to change the name into XYMOX then and why did you come back to the original name of CLAN OF XYMOX at the end of the 90's?
To confuse you and the rack jobbers in the record store.
OK, every time we changed the name it was a sign there was a certain change for us.
So since the album " Hidden Faces " ( 1997) I feel it connected better with the 4 AD period, so you could say it was the 3rd album of Clan of Xymox.
" Clan" means a close-knit group united by a common interest or common characteristics and Xymox is the name I wanted to give myself as a Pseudonym way back in the early eighties, but later I decided just to use my own name. I liked Xymox so it stayed. Xymox is a bastardised version of the word Zymotic, Hence, Clan of Xymox
Our fans understand the difference between the Clan Of Xymox and the Xymox period. Basically musically the Xymox period was on a Major label, made "lighter music" and Clan Of Xymox is the darker side on Independent labels. ( Pandaimonium & Metropolis)5) Since your "comeback"-album "Hidden Faces" you were constantly working on a very special
sound, that you call "Dark Goth Electro" Do you have an explanation for your fascination for dark music? What kind of artists did have the most significant influence on your own music?
To me personally happy songs are often very short lived , just like happiness in general, it is a short term thing. The darker side just attracts and appeals to me better , it is more a question of taste. Indeed I use more melancholic chords, they just sound more dramatic and appeal to me more than the " happier" major chords.
My life is stable for quite a while, if you would read my lyrics sometimes you would think that I am pretty miserable but I try to explain to people that I often get inspiration just by observing their behaviour / life or listening to my friends with their problems. These things often triggers something in me to write a song or lyrics and often I try to identify myself with them, because I did do experience a lot of emotions over the years so it is only a matter of changing the me, I or you form..
Of course I sing also about very personal things like the song "This Cold Damp Day" which is about missing someone deeply.The initial intention is of course always to make a most beautiful album as possible. The way I go about it is that I never have a clear idea of what direction I will go until I start writing, mostly the sounds I use and like will dictate me as it were in what direction I am heading. The mood is than set very easily and the track starts to take over, dragging me totally into it and giving me the whole mind set to start creating the whole sound scape and mind set.
The writing process is also never a conscious matter for me, I know I store up a lot of feelings and emotions which I have to write about sooner or later so each album is a reflection of a certain period for me.
Often I get inspired by just a single sound which triggers my imagination and make me visualize some sort of sound scape and a direction I can build towards with other sounds, as soon as some sort of order is shaped into the sound collage it will dictate itself some sort of direction. Maybe a few words will match some chord structures so I get some idea of what I want to write and what words are suitable to match the created atmosphere which sort of triggers my
emotional world. The lyrics are based on events mostly experienced by myself or what I have seen around me and of course when you think about all the things you have experienced you will have a lot to write about.
Each track I approach this way so basically what happens is that over a year of writing you get as it were four seasons and moods of my personal self translated into words and music. I never sit and start without feeling inspired or the will to look for interesting bits and pieces. Of course in the past I have tried to write because of a deadline or so but that never worked for me, I rather delay than force myself. To me music has to come from the heart and there is no such thing as dictating yourself to be creative, you have to feel creative otherwise nothing worthwhile will come of it.
Outside influences are than everything I encountered before the period of writing , it could be a certain smell or a certain book , thought, movie , anything really.


6) With which ideas and conceptions did you start working on "Farewell"?
To me leaving things behind work liberating if it happens out of free will of course. You can imagine when you don't want to spent time or your life with this or that person anymore it would be quite liberating when you actually take the step. It would create a whole new outlook and chances in life ( depending on how much time you would have spent with this person) and a chance to learn of the mistakes made in the past.
A lot of people are afraid to chance anything in their life and like to cling on to their routines and ways they go about week in week out. To me leaving things behind is almost like a necessary psychological spring cleaning, that goes even for leaving material things behind.
I learned this lesson once when I lived in Nijmegen in a beautiful building but it soon went up in flames with nearly destroying all my possessions ( luckily I had my photographs with my parents ). When I found myself a new place I felt much more free because I did not have to drag all my personal belongings with me, leaving me also not worried for my earthly possessions at all when I went away for a longer period.
I sort of kept this attitude for a long time but must confess that I've built up quite a collection of personal stuff again, hence making me more worried for them when I 'm going away for periods.These are the difficulties in life, people assemble so much in their lives and never get rid of anything.
The emotion with people parting is one of the strongest emotions and one of the most upsetting experiences, especially when one does not want the other one to disappear from their live. Huge dramas are often the result of someone leaving someone else, to me always a huge inspirational recourse, because so many people, so many different ways of handling with a sense of loss.
Of course it happened to me as well in the past so I know the feeling and I know how it can make you feel for a long time.
To me human drama is a vast resource to get inspired by.
A lot of lyrics were inspired by the people around me, when they split up with their loved one or wanted to or friends with self doubt, in short people have in general always problems so it is a vast source of inspiration. Naturally I also look into myself and what's going on in my life but I found that the lyrics I wrote from a personal perspective was about missing someone in a big way.


7) You said, that you are always trying to keep the best things from the previous album for the next one. What kind of things did you like to transform from NOTES FROM THE UNDERGROUND
into the new album?
I think I was more talking about a feeling, all I can say is that it feels like a natuaral progression to me.
Every band should slowly evolve, in that way you give always something extra to fans and slowly take them with you in your musical taste. 8) The title "Farewell" can be understood as a final album. I hope, that's not the case. Or do you sometimes think about to stop making music?
First of all I think you should not take my lyrics so literal as they appear in print. To me I said in my entire life farewell to a lot of people and of course that might relate to a situation like that , but also I have like anybody else sometimes the feeling to change my life , do different things and just leave.
This feeling got triggered when I had discussions with friends about the future of music , about the future of having a band and releases. We got to the conclusion that the music business future for bands who do not make popular music looks bleaker than ever, you hear about so many bands having a very hard time, especially with people rather copying records than buying one ( which makes the label and the artist not very happy indeed) This inspired me to write about basically leaving everything behind and to go away....Picking album titles can be sometimes a bit daunting because of the reason people look for ( hidden) meanings in just the selected title. To me the word "Farewell" has something very strong, it is one of those situations we all experienced. With picking the title I have to admit I was in a sarcastic, cynical mood especially when at the time of choosing the title I had many discussions about the music industry and where it all would lead to. In my opinion still a bleak future is waiting with many bands being dropped of their label or even labels will disappear just because a sort of stale mate situation, a catch 22 situation is emerging and you see already that it affects a lot of bands.
We are now at a time that the recording industry is quite uncertain what will happen; if indeed everyone would start copying music the next time I would have an album finished there would be no record label, no record distribution, no record stores left worth mentioning, so in a way it is me choosing a title which could be a vision of the future for me and all other bands with me, that this might be the time of the last albums who will see the light of day because there will be no other means left when I say want to release a next one in 2005. 9) What's the meaning of "Farewell" for you? Did you quit with some important people in the last
years?Did you quit with some things in your life?\
Farewell: " All these helpless fallen angels,Evading commonplace, Dreading a thousand nameless evils
In the dark shimmering rays, The one with all the intuition,Knows now there’s nothing gained, This cycle needs no repetition, I simply move away , Farewell affectionate brothers, you won’t see me again , you won’t hear me again"
Actually I wrote this song when I was sick of everything, full of self doubt, self loathing, cynical about my future, basically in a self destructive mood wanting to quit everything and stop everything I was doing. This is a sort os self therapy ; I felt much better afterwards when I recorded the song :) The affectionate brothers are all the like minded people, the people who supported me in my life, the ones I care about.
I did quit a lot of things in my life:) , the most imporant change for me was when I decided not to write my thesis for my Media Study , so I never made it to be a Doctor in Media Studies :( I simply could not let the chance go past to record an album and tour. I always thought it would last just a year or 2 and than would move on , I was wrong because here is another release :)
10) Some grooves in "Losing My Head" reminds me at John Carpenter's "Escape From New York", the drums in "Dark Mood" at Danny Elfman's music for Tim Burton's "Planet of the Apes". Do you like film music? Would you like to score a film? And if so, what kind of picture would you like to work for?
Yes, I like film music , the Cold Meat label I think releases a lot of good filmic music. Of course I like writing filmic music as well , I did so a while ago , which was released on the CD ROM game "Revenant"by Cinematix. At home I have piles of instrumental songs which I never released. I like to make instrumentals but I only want to apply one in Clan Of Xymox when it suits the mood or set inbetween tracks to create a musical "pause".
I don't think I could write deliberately for a movie , it requires a special discipline which I think I don't possess. Ecerything has to be in a certain place and time . I rather write music and let itself dictate where and when a tempo should go up or where the drama starts increasing.
Of course many movies use sometimes an existing track of a band and this could work just the same.
11) "Farewell" is an album
full of various moods and styles. How important is it for you to come up with a
multi-layered sound, different atmospheres and arrangements?
That is very important to me. I think there is a consistent development of the sound of Clan Of Xymox , going along with the times , trying to take the best elements and combining new sounds and techniques with the typical Clan Of Xymox sound. We built up a loyal fan base over the years and are one of those fortunate bands who can rely on them throughout the world. Of course Clan Of Xymox will always be there for them and I do my ultimate best to deliver every time my best album ever. This is my aim and I indeed hope that everyone will like the new album as much as I do.12) Is there any keysong for you on the album, one song, which stands in a sense for all the other
songs?
I would have to say that it's the song "Farewell" since this is also the lead track and the album name :) In a way I would say that I rather think in albums than in terms of one song represents it all. To me all songs are so different from eachother that I could not pinpoint one as to say :" this represents the album".
13) How do you bring together music and lyrics? Is it always easy to find the right music for the
mood of the lyrics?
With starting off with the right sounds the atmosphere for the song is set pretty fast. From there you have a clearer idea in what direction the song should go. For the lyrics past experiences are always a big resource , but also others peoples problems are an inspiration to me.
Often I get to hear all these heartbroken stories , relation problems or I spot funny behaviors of people , these are all the ingredients you can use to make a song that much more personal , because it relates to something or someone you have in mind. I rarely tell the person though that it's about him or her but I am sure they would recognize themselves anyway :)
My life is stable for quite a while, if you would read my lyrics sometimes you would think that I am pretty miserable but I try to explain to people that I often get inspiration just by observing their behaviour / life or listening to my friends with their problems. These things often triggers something in me to write a song or lyrics and often I try to identify myself with them, because I did do experience a lot of emotions over the years so it is only a matter of changing the me, I or you form..
Of course I sing also about very personal things like the song "This Cold Damp Day" which is about missing someone deeply.
The music triggers off my emotions. Most of the time I just start recording the music along with some words which come up at the same time, most of the time they don't make sense until I start listening to almost a conveyed message which I believe comes from the sub conscious, that will direct me sort of in the field of memory I have in order to start identifying with the topic I have in mind.
I never start with the words because that process of lyrics first , than the music never worked for me. The music has to set the mood for me first.
But in the end lyrics & music are equally important to me, the music triggers the words so they are integral and related to each other, one could not exist without the other. Music & words need to form one entity and have to create one atmosphere, so even when you don't listen to the words it has to bring the feeling across to the listener.14) What are your next plans
about?
We start our new show in September and at the end of the month we start our South American tour: Peru , Chile & Argentina We will play in Europe and early next year we are planning ( again) a 5 date tour in Mexico and go to the USA after that.
That's all! Hope to read from you soon!
Dirk Hoffmann

Orkus 2003


1.    Two years have passed since the release of your last full-time album ÑNotes from the Underground„ ˆ without taken the ÑRemixes„ in account. Why did ist take such a long time ˆ in terms of the music-business - to come up with a new album?
You mean " why did it take such a short time? ". In the music business, at least the big labels don't want a band to release a new album every year but rather once in 3 years. So far Clan Of Xymox released on average a new album every 2 years which seems to be my personal rhythm and it feels natural to me.
Writing an album is a labourous task, you have to assemble ideas and certainly have a period in between albums so you can forget about the previous one because you certainly don't want to repeat yourself. So you definitely need some time in between to get the necessary inspiration for writing, especially the lyrics.
Like you said we also released before the album "Remixes from The Underground" which also required a lot of work, even remixes sometimes need a bit of "repairs" or " polishing up" and the co ordination part is the hardest. In the meantime we also released a single with " There's No Tomorrow", so I guess you don't want too " overfeed" the fans either.
Touring in between albums also absorbs a lot of time. When you play live, you need to travel a lot and when coming back of course you don't go straight back into the studio but have some time off too. Private time is also important, but also other activities. I put quite a bit of time in organizing the half yearly Gotham festivals in Amsterdam and taken up a course in Spanish which definitely takes a whole day out of a weekday for me ( I'm too slow I think ) So having summed up all the above I think it all went pretty fast in my opinion, it could have taken way longer if it wasn't for the fact that the songs just came pouring out ...
Come to think of it, most bands actually release a new album once every 4 to 5 years ....
1.1    Have there been some important changes for Clan Of Xymox (COX) as a band in this time?
if you mean the live band no, it is so far pretty stable in our camp, we did quite a lot of touring since the last album and are only anxious to promote the new material. For Denise it will be a bit harder because she starts a new study and that will be harder for her to fit in the live shows as well.
1.2    And have there been some important changes in the life of Ronny Moorings, that reached and influenced the album in some way?
My life is stable for quite a while, if you would read my lyrics sometimes you would think that I am pretty miserable but I try to explain to people that I often get inspiration just by observing their behaviour / life or listening to my friends with their problems. These things often triggers something in me to write a song or lyrics and often I try to identify myself with them, because I did do experience a lot of emotions over the years so it is only a matter of changing the me, I or you form..
Of course I sing also about very personal things like the song "This Cold Damp Day" which is about missing someone deeply.
2.    As mentioned above, two years is a long time in the ways of the music-business as it is today. Many bands push out one album after another, sometimes the span between the outputs is not even a whole year. What do you think of this „evolution‰?
Well, you said it ! not me :)
I don't know about what music business you talk then because most bands I like take way longer. Anyway taking you up on this discussion I think 1 year for writing music is not healthy for bands. You can't deliver something decent I think, it must be a half hearted attempt and most likely driven by financial motives which are not the best conditions to write music ( some band are forced to do it because of their lack of sales ) which supposed to be spontaneous, free of time pressure and full of inspiration. Most bands tour an album so maybe the ones who don't have some more time on their hands but still I think it is asking too much of your fans as well.
Every release of an album is considered an important one for a band and time only will add to that importance
2.1    What do you think of the music-business as a whole?
I don't care about the Major companies too much, their vision is very limited and I am disgusted with their latest experiments to create " instant bands on delivery", meaning they target each segment on the market with a kind of " Frankenstein " proto type of manufactured act, which must appeal according to their marketing department to a certain ( sub) culture.
The main complaints about the industry comes from this area , saying that they don't sell enough records etc. But fail to see their own short term policies that it will work against themselves on the long run. The last decade saw already Major companies being bought by the other Major companies, reshuffled, people kicked out, new people dragged in and this will keep going on until there is just 1 big company left manipulating all of us. Now basically they are in despair failing to see where the real music lovers are.
Of course sometimes they sign a good band but I surely will question their loyalty to any of them because only hard figures or targets are set and have nothing to do with the actual band they are trying to promote.
If it works for the band than it is alright, but most bands are completely unhappy on a Major, they have constantly the pressure and the fear of being dropped. Most of the time they have to make such expensive music videos that it is impossible ever to earn that back from just normal record sales. If it doesn't work for a Major they just pull the plug, consider it a write off and move on. It is just too cold and calculated in my eyes.
I am fortunate enough to have a friend running an INDEPENDENT label in Europe. I met Stephan of Pandaimonium first when he worked for Tess Records and we took an instant liking to each other. With him I also discuss the state of the nation, the state of the music industry and we came both to the conclusion that the future looks pretty bleak for most of them.
More and more labels, distributors even major labels get into difficulties. In the end it will all affect us if there is no change of attitude towards music in general.
There are various reasons for it, most people point their finger to home copying but I think there are more reasons. Most people have only so much to spent, they have their Internet, mobile phone, play station, DVD and all the other costs of society like rent, food etc. No one earns enough to keep up to date with all mediums so they have to make decisions about what they want to spent their money on. Since there are not too many good releases per year of bands for example the music industry is shocked that not enough records are bought, but I think it is also partly the fault of bands releasing 1 album per year ( which can't be good), but bands are forced to do this because they also have their mobile phones, play stations, DVD's and their computers to maintain and update.
I think if the amount of releases would be a bit less everyone gets more time to know a record and would be looking out for a new release. The market I find is pretty overfed with a lot of (un)known releases but the labels all expect their band to sell a decent amount of copies.
We saw the trend of Major companies signing up the big bands of the indie scene and failing miserably. Most bands need to realize ( like I realized in the 90's) that an independent label is far better for your long term career instead of having the power of a Major behind you for just 3 weeks per album.
Also I see a glimmer of hope in the Apple i-Tunes approach of letting people download songs and the artist getting payed for it, it works out way better for the artist and the consumer. Also in Europe we still have to learn to order records direct from the label by the Internet, in that way the record is much cheaper and more affordable. In the USA it is already pretty normal but in Europe there is still some apprehension to giving out a credit card number whilst no one has a problem over here to give it to a waiter whilst he goes to the back of a restaurant....go figure..


2.2    Is it still possible for a musician/band to create art in this world? Or asked in another way: What factors do you think stand against the freedom of an artist in the music business today?
Todays major standards for calling someone an artist is when a kid gets picked out by some record producers, let him sing a song of a in house producer and appear in front of programs like Starmakers. When the single comes out most likely this kid calls himself an artist and the next time his creative input will consist of choosing the song from a range of producers to include in the kids brand new album. OK, I just want to highlight the experiments, the blatant borrowing of ( fashion) styles by these types of Starmakers pure and alone for the need of sales, exploitation in extremes , they could not care less if it was anything else. This is one side of the extremes but it sets a parameter for the future.
These are the type of things real musicians have to endure and makes them sick to the bone just to watch all the crap shoved into our faces by the likes of MTV.
For me personally I think every artist should just do what they need to do and that is following their own taste and opinion. In general the more opinions artists listen to the more confused they will get about their direction, that is why most of the time the first album of an artist sounds the most true because they had time to work at the songs following only the bands vision and no body's else's. The problem always start when a label wants to change a band into something else and basically make an artist doubt their self worth.
It is of course too easy to point a finger at record labels because there are a lot of artist out there who would do anything for huge sales and media coverage. Most of the time music lovers will see through an artists attempt to change direction solely for financial gain.
If an artist does not get the freedom to release the music they want then either they should question the label or themselves.
To end on a positive note is that I do think the alternative scene gets stronger by the day and that people get more involved and committed to the scene, that is the only way to stay independent (of mind).

2.3    COX seems to be totally unaffected by the trend of even more releases with a less and lesser quality and a more and more orientation towards mass-compatibility. How do you manage to stay true to yourself, to your style and your own goals?
Because I learned that lesson also the hard way when I signed to a Major in the past. Even having said that I always was concerned about my artistic freedom and negotiated that in the contract. With the albums we've made for the Major there was never an A&R person sitting in the back giving his ( in my case her) approval or disapproval for the songs. We also could choose our video directors studio and record producer. It's because you deal with so many aspects on such an enormous label you automatically get so many opinions about your music and subtle comments which will make you doubt anyway. You start believing their goals, not yours. Of course the aim of a Major is to sell millions whilst I would already be happy with way less.
Having this experience behind me it is very easy to understand that the only way to make music is just to follow your own personal belief and no body's else's. To me it is very satisfying to follow my own course and account only to myself for each album I made.
Of course there are many factors you can get frustrated with, because I am not saying that it is all Paradise in Independent land, but so far it seems the only way forward for bands and their long term future.
3.    And when speaking about goals: what are your personal goals, the goals and philosophy of Ronny Moorings?
The word" goals" sound like a managers term, that is why I do music, not to have those goals and targets to fulfill. I just take things as they come, I also rarely book entire tours in one go for that reason, it reeks like work, working on an assembly line. To me each concert has to be 100% and the only way to do this is to do things in decent proportions. My philosophy in live is definitely that I do not want to spend my life chasing unobtainable dreams but rather live my present dream today.3.1    And what about the goals of COX as a band? Are there some goals you want to reach with your music, is there a message in your art? Or is music an expression of your inner self?
My music is more personal therapy than anything else. To me, locking myself up in my studio means a sort of escape to my inner world and sanctity and let stored feelings out I did not even know would be present. 3.2    At the time you choose your style of music back in the 80s ˆ the mix of electronic elements with guitars, the mix of melancholy with danceable beats -, was this an automatic process, an expression of your own musical preferences, or was this more a „constructed‰ process?
At that time it was very simple, I had two synths, a rhythm machine, guitars, a bass and a 4 track, so as you see the combination was already present so it came naturally. You can hear the first attempts to do that on the album "Subsequent Pleasures" which was Xymox's first limited release.
4.    What do you think, if you look back over the last years, makes COX what it is today? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the band?
There were a lot of weaknesses in the early 90's when we were going under the banner of Xymox, but since the start of Clan Of Xymox back in '97 there are no weaknesses left for me, because I learned a lot from past mistakes For me the Clan is going stronger than ever. My vision is well defined for the band ( the way I want to sound) and I think the strength is that for each new album I try to surpass the previous one and give it all I've got in me.4.1    COX' style changed from time to time a little bit. What do you think today about this „evolutions‰?
Every band should slowly evolve, in that way you give always something extra to fans and slowly take them with you in your musical taste. A lot of bands however have a Revolution, so did I, all of a sudden you feel this need for a drastic change, it is the same feeling as just breaking up with your loved one because you can't bear it anymore.
To me all what I did in the past was very, very necessary for me to experience in order to come where I am now. If you never burned your fingers how would you ever experience the feeling of heat.
I never been so proud in my life about the albums I made the past 5 years. To me this is the feeling is only possible if you experienced the opposite as well.4.2    Were there any things you did or did not you regret today and are there some things you are very proud about (having the band in mind)?
It's good you say having the band in mind because there are so many things I am embarrassed about ( but would not tell anyway)
Well I could wished that I should have done this or that but that would change everything, a whole different path would have been taken, so you would get into a parallel universe and I rather stay here where I am now.4.3    Same as above, but with the person Ronny Moorings in mind.
The same answer applies for myself as well
4.4    Do you think younger bands have it easier or harder today than you had it nearly twenty years back? And why?For bands it has never been easy nor 20 years back nor today. To have a band still requires the same as always, taste in music, your own style, determination and a lot of luck finding the right label. The only thing which is easier is that a home studio is now way cheaper than it ever was, so demo's can be recorded in a professional way if you are a bit knowledgeable with the programs,
but it would not change a good tune, even on a 4 track you could do a lot of creative things, so I guess it just boils down to creative input.

5.    What is your muse or your inspiration for doing music over such a long time?
Ha , every time you keep on mentioning " long time" , to me 2 years just fly like it was yesterday. Anyway,
the initial intention is always to make a most beautiful album as possible, the way I go about it is that I never have a clear idea of what direction I will go until I start writing, mostly the sounds I use and like will dictate me as it were in what direction I am heading. The mood is than set very easily and the track starts to take over, dragging me totally into it and giving me the whole mind set to start creating the whole sound scape and mind set.
The writing process is never a conscious matter for me, I know I store up a lot of feelings and emotions which I have to write about sooner or later so each album is a reflection of a certain period for me.
Often I get inspired by just a single sound which triggers my imagination and make me visualize some sort of sound scape and a direction I can build towards with other sounds, as soon as some sort of order is shaped into the sound collage it will dictate itself some sort of direction. Maybe a few words will match some chord structures so I get some idea of what I want to write and what words are suitable to match the created atmosphere which sort of triggers my
emotional world. The lyrics are based on events mostly experienced by myself or what I have seen around me and of course when you think about all the things you have experienced you will have a lot to write about.
Each track I approach this way so basically what happens is that over a year of writing you get as it were four seasons and moods of my personal self translated into words and music. I never sit and start without feeling inspired or the will to look for interesting bits and pieces. Of course in the past I have tried to write because of a deadline or so but that never worked for me, I rather delay than force myself. To me music has to come from the heart and there is no such thing as dictating yourself to be creative, you have to feel creative otherwise nothing worthwhile will come of it.5.1    Do you think that Ronny Moorings will sometimes burn out of ideas or inspirations and say farewell to the music-world?
Who knows, who could tell that anyway?, it's practically impossible to predict inspiration. The only thing you can do to "fill yourself up" is to experience new things in your life, talk to people and in general read a lot so you trigger your imagination on all fronts. So far I always succeeded in having no problems with writing about all sorts of topics. The music comes always automatically, I don't need a lot to get myself going. Most of the time I start with an intro which sets the mood for me.
With choosing the title Farewell I sort of had the feeling people would interpret as a message to them saying that I would quit but to me it just refers to the album lead track Farewell which is about " quitting" and leaving things behind :)
5.2    And when this would happen, what do you think would be the reason(s)?If this would happen I would say it would be not my fault, the music would be still there, but only for myself to listen too. It would simply mean that the records I make are not released anymore.
Indeed this year is the bleakest period in the Music industry, people not buying records because of the recession and if that continues a lot of labels can not exist anymore, hence the artist on the label would not have any means of releasing new material. Some would say: well just put it no the web so we can download it and burn it but they forget an artist needs also to make a living, if this is not the case the artist will have to change their live so drastically there would be no time for making music. So far our fans have been very loyal to Clan Of Xymox and I do not have any reason to complain but it makes you wonder
when you hear from a lot of bands how bad things are for them.
I would say to everyone to back their favorite band, buy their record and leave that game boy alone:) read a book....
6.    If I remember right, you compose the songs, but also write the lyrics. What inspires what in this process of creation - is your music influenced by the lyrical contents or does the music alone carry some inspirations for writing specific kind of words.
The music triggers of my emotions. Most of the time I just start recording the music along with some words which come up at the same time, most of the time they don't make sense until I start listening to almost a conveyed message which I believe comes from the sub conscious, that will direct me sort of in the field of memory I have in order to start identifying with the topic I have in mind.
I never start with the words because that process of lyrics first , than the music never worked for me. The music has to set the mood for me first.

6.1    Has some part of these two ˆ lyrics or music - a stronger meaning to you than the other?They are equally important to me, as I said above the music triggers the words so they are integral and related to each other, one could not exist without the other. Music & words need to form one entity and have to create one atmosphere, so even when you don't listen to the words it has to bring the feeling across to the listener.
6.2    If you would lose the ability to create one of this things, either you lose the ability to compose songs or you lose the ability to write lyrics, what would be the harder fate? And why?
It would simply mean there would be no song. Sometimes I write a beautiful intro but I can't go further because it did not trigger anything present in me, so I just move on to the next thing and let it rest because maybe in a years time it will trigger something new...I never get hot and bothered if things don't work instantly, you just have to look for your own right mood and frame of mind.
7.    I don't know if you are aware of the fact, that COX is the „Act of the month‰ in the Orkus-Magazines september-issue. Is this an honour to you, or have such „titels‰ no meaning to you?
We were act of the month with the album " Creatures" in the Orkus and now again with "Farewell" which of course is an incredible honour to me and my work because it means Orkus likes the new album I've done and considering how many albums come out per month I consider that a very big compliment from Orkus. So thanks :)

7.1    Is the feedback of fans, friends and the press an important factor for you, to measure the quality of COX?
First of all I nver release anything which I think should not be released in the first place, I put a very high standandart for my music and let it be criticised by Mojca first. She gives me comments which I take to heart as I appreciate her taste in music very much, secondly you need always someone close to you who understands you with what you're trying to do and say with your music.
Outside opinions are very important but not a guideline to how I write my songs. I always want to innovate the sound a bit and if this is appreciated than I know I did the right thing. A band can only exist with the fans standing 100% behind the music so that is very important to me. I could not do it without our fans . It can however be no consideration whilst writing music because those same fans want you to come up with music which is personal to your own heart and they will put that trust solely in my hands. Judging by the reactions we get by fans on our message board they must be pretty happy with what came out from Clan Of Xymox.
The same goes for the press, it helps a lot if the press gives extra attention to a band, the public notices those things, so if the press likes it it is also an extra moral boost for the band because most musicians are very uncertain about themselves so a little help is always appreciated I think. In the end when the release of the new album becomes public property it becomes vulnurable and open to all sorts of different opinions. It is therefore very important that you know already before it's released that the album was made to your best of abilities and gave it all to reach that point. More you can't do.

8.    Last months „Act of the month‰ stated the new generation of youth as the „Generation Destruction‰. In his opinion the young people destroy nature and things without having any clue why. What is your opinion concerning this, and what do you think of this statement?
Well, if this is true they must have had it from their parents, the flower power generation, who continues with a very destructive line of policies everywhere on the planet. Their example makes that kids don't really care about anything.
The beauty about the Dark scene is that they are pretty intelligent and sensitive people, so there is some hope ..
My feeling is that people in general are destructive by nature and always were through our history, it's only at times we hide it a bit better than other times when people let it out, reaching a kind of boiling point through years of frustration, with all the horrible consequenses following.
Throughout history the older generation has always been very pessimistic about the next one and most of the time always been proven wrong in the end. I guess it's just a sign of old age, nagging at younger people:)
9.    The new album „Farewell‰ is again a very funereal, melancholic and emotional deep-reaching work. How came this album into being?
10.1    Have you needed some special mood to write on the songs or some special time? Or is the „production‰ of a song independent from any such factors?To me 2 years is a perfect time to write songs. This time period has seen twice a winter, summer,autumn and spring. These periods are very influencial on my state of mind and thus important for creating music. It's a cycle all people are affected by, there moods alter and change. Some people get depressed when autumn comes or feel the loneliness in December when there are a lot of social activities where you might feel left out of, for example when you miss one of your parents or loved one. Before summer a lot of people get anxious because they have to think about a holiday but just split up or couldn't find someone to share a holiday with. These are just small examples how periods change your attitude and feelcertain pressures in
certain periods. You can also see the beauty of Autumn of course, the change of season is always an interesting aspect in life. Anyway, with all these changing factors and people around you there are a lot of personal things happening. Just think about your own life the last 2 years, what happened? Of course a lot of small and bigger things which grabbed your attention. these are the things you can go introspective and delve for these hidden treasures and make those events/feelings /thoughts immortal by putting them in words and record them.
I only write music when I feel the urge to write, to express myself as I could not express myself by other means but to put it into music. The Autumn & Winter are for me the most perfect periods because it sets the mood I like the most. Also the weather makes it easier to lock yourself up in the confines of the " Torture Chamber" as I call my studio.

9.1    Had you any new methods of working or did something in a totally new way than before?
I never really changed my method i.e. I try to write a song as if I never wrote a song ( in my life) before... I do not think in terms of " I need such and such verse and such and such chorus" or " this chord goes well with that chord".To me the approach to see what happens if I do this or combine this sound with that, gives me inspiration every time in a different way.
Of course there are some methods, I do start with looking for sounds which would trigger my imagination and set a certain mood, from thereon it will be open to any approach, even to the extend that is can all end in chaos, then a delete button is a good thing to have. 9.2    What are the differences between „Farewell‰ and older works in your very own opinion?
Farewell is part of the natural evolution and progression of the sound of Clan Of Xymox. I want it to sound fresh and new, I do not want to repeat what I already did but I also want the songs to be recognizable that you would instantly hear it's Clan Of Xymox when played in a club. So basically it is different but part of the natural progression of Clan Of Xymox.
9.3    Is there a song, that has a special story to tell ˆ with regard to his creation process?
The recording and writing process is a quite solitary affair for me so I can't give you any rowdy stories as some bands might have when they are in the studio. I am glad that way because I just can't imagine to having to discuss and justify my choices every time I write a song. Only when I can't see the forest from the trees I go in despair to Mojca and ask her what she thinks. Than she simply tells me, lose this, cut that, make that shorter and in 5 minutes she is out of the studio again having given me the suggestions I was looking for the whole day long, so you need at least one person giving you the right perspective of what you're doing. 10.    Both lyrics and music are very dark, sad and sometimes depressive. Is „Farewell"an expression of the inner self of Ronny Moorings, of his view of the world or do you have other sources of inspiration?
A lot of lyrics were inspired by the people around me, when they split up with their loved one or wanted to or friends with self doubt, in short people have in general always problems so it is a vast source of inspiration. Natuarally I also look into myself and what's going on in my life but I found that the lyrics I wrote from a personal perspective was about missing someone in a big way.10.2    The two songs „There's no Tomorrow‰ and „It's not enough"sound a little bit more positive, due to the more heavy electronic soundelements, but in their inner lyrical content, they are as dark as the rest. Is this opposition ˆ existing in all of your songs at a varying degree - an intended element of your style?
14.    „There's no tomorrow"is again full of nihilistic elements, but you take another perspective, that of love.  With „Lose my head‰ there is another song of painful love and lovesickness (if this is the right word in english). Are these experiences and feelings of your own?

Ha :) There's no Tomorrow is pretty dark to me although the rythmn is deceptive. It is about someone ( in the I form, not me ) who feels his relationship has come to an end but still want to try to salvage it but does not get the same response back although the other person feels just as rotten as he does. The song is based on 2 friends who went through this phase.
It's not Enough is just about a person I grown tired of and just did not want to hear from again, I am sure we all have those persons in our lives and we just want to get rid of.
To me the positive songs are the ones I sing about how much I miss someone like in the songs Cold Damp Day & Losing My Head. I think in a way that is a positive feeling because it just confirms how much you love that person.
But in general you can definately say that I like the darker realms of music yes.

11.    Why do you have chosen the track „Farewell‰ as the title for the whole album? To whom or what do you say farewell? (it would be nice, if you write a little bit more to this question, even if it is an absolute standard-question)
11.1    What meaning does the title of a cd has to you? Is it an important part of an album? Does it contain a message or something else of importance?
Picking album titles can be sometimes a bit daunting because of the reason people look for ( hidden) meanings in just the selected title. To me the word Farewell has something very strong, it is one of those situations we all experienced. With picking the title I have to admit I was in a sarcastic, cynical mood especially when at the time of choosing the title I had many discussions about the music industry and where it all would lead to. In my opinion still a bleak future is waiting with many bands being dropped of their label or even labels will disappear just because a sort of stale mate situation, a catch 22 situation is emerging and you see already that it affects a lot of bands.
We are now at a time that the recording industry is quite uncertain what will happen; if indeed everyone would start copying music the next time I would have an album finished there would be no record label, no record distribution, no record stores left worth mentioning, so in a way it is me choosing a title which could be a vision of the future for me and all other bands with me, that this is the time of the last albums being produced because there will be no other means left when I say release a next one in 2005.

12.    In the song „Farewell‰ you talk about „affectionate brothers‰. Who are theses persons? (only if not mentioned again in your answer to 11.)Actually I wrote this song when I was sick of everything, full of self doubt, self loathing, cynical about my future, basically in a self destructive mood wanting to quit everything and stop everything I was doing. This is the therapy I was talking about; I felt much better afterwards when I recorded the song. The affectionate brothers are all the like minded people, the people who supported me in my life, the ones I care about.12.1    The verses „the one with all the intuition / knows now there's nothing gained / This cycle needs no repetition / I simply move away"show some nihilistic tendencies, also the verse „there's beauty in decay". Can you explain this a little bit? Are you a nihilistic person?
Ha, ha, yes very. I am pretty morose at days, that's the best time for me to retreat in my studio and bug no one with my moods ( only on record later:) It's how I felt at a certain time and further I do not want to explain it too much because that would only harm the other interpretations our fans could have.12.2    Speaking of nihilism: Do you like books like the „Tin-tin drum"(in Germany it is called „Die Blechtrommel")? There is presented a similar view of the world.
Yes, but in Die Blechtrommel it's only from a small perspective.:) There are a lot of books around which will give you a good foundation for looking at the world, like your own Herman Hesse or Huxley who had it absolutely spot on when he talked about that large site where everyone was dancing on Soma ( xtc ), mindlessly.... to the repetitive beat..
13.    „Cold damp day‰ is (as I see it) a song about longing and yearning for the loved one. All other things in live fade away in comparison with the need for this one special human. Is this how Ronny Moorings sees and feels love?
Definitely, I am full of self pity and love to indulge myself into that. 14.1    Can you please tell me where the samples used in „There's no tomorrow‰ come from? And in which way they correlate with the song?
It's from " Bitter Moon" The movie is about the infatuation the main character feels for his new acquired love, later grows tired of her and she of him, they both try to revive their relationship in all sorts of ways, mainly through games with people and S&M games with each other but slowly their relationship grows into one dark, sinister mental torture.
This I thought would apply to my lyrics in the intro setting the mood for the song.
15.    „Dark mood"is partly an instrumental song, a dark sound scape, again with samples. What idea stood behind this song?
the music set the mood in the beginning so I just elaborated on that theme and kept the lyrics quite short and effective
5.1    And again: Where did you take the samples from?
Simply from my sound banks deeply hidden in the bowels of my Mac plus my synths and EX sample sources
16.    „One more time‰ and „Into extremes‰ both have a more „wavy"or „dark wavy"sound as the other songs. Are there some special reasons for this?
Yes, I happen to write once and a while songs like this when I grab my guitar first instead of starting on keyboards first. Into Extemes however is more a Goth rock track to me and indeed One More Time Dark Wave.
To me songs like this are time less because they are made with basic instruments. I need songs like this because otherwise I would get out of practice on guitar:)
11TH A verse of „One more time"reminds me of my ex-girlfriend: „ the day never ends / when they carry you on hands / but no one knows how you suffer / see you, call it a day / see you in dismay / when light comes and the night's forgotten‰. This suits perfectly to her, as she always looked happy outward, but in her life was a never ending cycle of suffering ˆ she was sexually abused over 5 years long by her stepfather. Are such associations between your lyrics and own experiences from the listener okay for you, or do you think this takes your words to unwanted or unpredicted extremes?
Of course that is ok, that is exactly what I want to achieve with my lyrics, that the listener can apply my word to their own experiences. I would hate it that there would be only one interpretation possible.

16.2    I had a long conversation with another journalist a few weeks ago about the gothic scene, and we both realized, that a lot of the people in the scene have a „black spot‰ in their past, some cruel experience, that turned them away from „normal"society, making them say farewell in one or the other form. How do you see this? Could this be an explanation why there is such a great love for dark and melancholic music? Or do you think this orientation towards the underground should have political motivations.
I think most people have some dark spot in their lives, one of course more than others. Of course this is not limited to a Goth scene. Actually the most normal looking people are the biggest weirdos, look at the types who have been convicted for all sort of crimes like mass murder etc. They were all so called looking " normal " no?
The dressing sense of people goes hand in hand with their love for music and style, that always was and always will be. The only thing is that dressed in black looks more extreme than other music styles. ( In the 60 's everyone thought jeans was extreme :) In my eyes dressing extreme is putting on non matching colours like orange and green with brown shoes. Those people think they are the happy types, and indeed I cannot disagree, to me they look like clowns:)
The way I see it is that the dark scene is more sane than any other scene :)17.    Can you give me explanations of the contents of „Courageous"an „Skindeep", please?
Courageous: about a person trying to make most out of his life by acting on it
Skindeep : the world as seen at night in contemplation whilst gazing into the far beyond :)

18.    Who is the female voice on „Losing my head"? Its a sample used from one of my choral sample discs and as far as I know not used by any other artist

 

Gothic Magazine Oct 2001

 

thomasthyssen INTERVIEW with CLAN OF XYMOX


01. Hi Ronny! Phew, it´s been a while. I just listened to your new album for the - I guess - 87th time and it really kicks ass. How long did
it take you to record the album and how did the name "Notes from the Underground" come across?
The initial intention is always to make a most beautiful album as possible, the way I go about it is that I never have a clear idea of what direction I will go until I start writing, mostly the sounds I use and like will dictate me as it were in what direction I am heading. The mood is than set very easily and the track starts to take over, dragging me totally into it and giving me the whole mindset to start creating the whole soundscape and mindset.
Each track I approach this way so basically what happens is that over a year of writing you get as it were four seasons and moods of my personal self translated into words and music.I never sit and start without feeling inspired or the will to look for interesting bits and pieces. Of course in the past I have tried to write because of a deadline or so but that never worked for me, I rather delay than force myself. To me music has to come from the heart and there is no such thing as dictating yourself to be creative, you have to feel creative otherwise nothing worthwhile will come of it.
When I finished the album I was just going through some old demo's and I had a sudden urge to make "The Same Dream" a bit more up to date. When Sonja of the band SOPHYA came around the house I asked if she would sing a few lines in the song so in a way I keep the sort of tradition to so in the end it became a bonus track on the album. 02. How would you describe the musical evolution from "Creatures" to
the new album? Are there any significant differences in your opinion?
"Creatures" was a different direction to me , the making of a soundscape with nearly all songs relating to each other, in short a very homogenous dark album I never attempted with Clan Of Xymox before, to me a most successful album. Having done such an album I found new instruments such as an electric mandoline, vst plug in synths etc. to give me a push in more directions as I went along, I think that is the beauty of getting and letting new instruments into the studio and hence creating different moods and songs.
With "Creatures" I stuck to same instruments for the whole album , so therefore you get a very homogenous feel, this time you get more the feeling of diversity.
03. The album itself is very long. How did it come that you wrote so
much material for one album? Why did you include "At Your Mercy" on the
album as well, although it has already been released on the preceding maxi-cd.
Just for the reason that I felt it should be on the album, the 2 other tracks which were on the single were remixed for the album and the remix of Liberty was exclusive for the single.
We won't be releasing singles though as I think it is a medium which is not of these times anymore, so I value the completeness of an album.
The total length of the album is somewhere around the 66 minutes but it is because I included " The Same Dream" , this was a song written in 1993 but I never released it or thought about releasing it. When I finished the album I was just going through some old demo's and I had a sudden urge to make "The Same Dream" a bit more up to date. When Sonja of the band SOPHYA came around the house I asked if she would sing a few lines in the song so in a way I keep the sort of tradition to so in the end it became a bonus track on the album. 04. You played the M´era Luna festival this year. How were your
experiences?
It is always fantastic to play on M'era Luna or any other festival, the shear crowd in front of you listening to your music is always breathtaking. When we started it was completely full up till the end. We played already two new songs from "Notes From The Underground" for the very first time so we were all quite nervous about that. When we finished our set we were completely exstatic as we played and felt great. We started in the afternoon so we had time to see a lot of bands till the end.We stayed the next day as well so basically we were enjoying ourselves..
05. Will there be any further maxi-cd from the album?
No , but at the moment a lot of different bands and artists are re mixing the songs from "Notes From The Underground". It is the first time COX are giving all tracks of an album out of hand to be re mixed entirely. I don't know if it is going to be danceable mixes or interpretations of the artists as I leave them naturally complete freedom in what they are going to do. I prefer however that they put their own signature on the track, so basically COX sounding like the artists who are remixing.
06. What´s your personal favourite from the album?
I have to admit that I like "Anguish" a lot since it marks something special in the album.
Thanks, I consider "Anguish" as one of COX's most epic tracks so far, in those terms it captures the whole mood of the album tittle .
07. Will there be an accompanying tour to the release of the album?
I write whilst we also do concerts in the meantime , in between concerts we release a new album and so on. In this way our fans get up to date with what we do and when it's time we change our set with new songs. I try also to avoid long continuous tours as I find them hampering the joy of playing live, also for us a concert has to be a special event. In this manner you can tour for years as we have done without having the feeling of being exhausted. 08. I guess that "I Want You Now" is going to be the favourite pick of
djs worldwide from the new cd. Could you explain the theme of that song
to us please?
Hi, hi, hi ...."I Want You Now" , the title speaks for itself I think ......
09. Hopes, plans and dreams for the future?!
I rather live by the day.....but of course I hope everyone will enjoy the album as much as I do.
10. Thanx a lot Ronny... again! ;) Hope to meet you again sometime,
someplace! All the best!
Thomas Thyssen for GOTHIC Magazine

Internet Interview

How do you write your music?

I write the music and words at home and later record and perform the music in the studio. During the writing process
I will show songs to Mojca and ask her opinion and I think she is always right with her comments and criticism in the early stages
of the writing process. Of course I never agree at first but have always to admit in retrospect she was right.
So basically I rely a lot on Mojca and if she likes what I wrote than it passes the test for me to record it later for a record.
Even from the beginning of Clan of Xymox in 1984 I always wrote music and words on my own so I never seen the reason to change my habit.
I just feel more comfortable writing on my own without having to explain myself or what I want to anyone else.

Sometimes I get inspired though, like with Jasmine and Rose, for example Rui played a certain rhythm, Mojca played the bass and I played the guitar, that was a sort of "jamming session" that inspired me to go to my workroom later to work out the idea further,
so indirect there is always an input or even certain situations I encounter during touring, visiting new countries, talking to, or observing people might inspire my lyrics etc.

Also I think I approach music still in the same way, I start with music like I never wrote a song in my life before and most of the time I don't even know what I've played and I do not want to know, so I rely very much on what I hear and let the progression of the music dictates how the song is going to work out.
Whilst writing music I just follow my emotions and don't care about it's impact later on.
With writing new material I am always looking out for new sounds which will trigger my imagination in the right direction.
The combination of synth sounds ,guitars, noises and everything suitable makes it for me interesting to write new songs.

I just like songs with that dark mood , for me, tracks have to have atmosphere , a good tune, tension, emotion and matching lyrics.
The main thing in music is that artist always try to find other ways to approach things. The development of all sorts of technological instruments
or the use of forgotten instruments are a big help in that. It gives you greater freedom to express your inner world without being too dependent
of other people to interpret your ideas.
I like the diversity, but I have to admit that I am quite rigid in my taste of music.


And how do you record the album ?

Like I said everything is first done in my home studio, till it is completely finished. After that I will go to a proper studio
to put the tracks on a professional format and nearly dump all the material from the computer and my 12 track
(which contains all the live played instruments and vocals) on to tape. That is the recording stage, than with the songs recorded on tape
I'd go to the mixing studio where all individual tracks are mixed, little will be changed and will sound only better than my demo versions
in respect of sound quality and spectrum.

For the recording stage I need an engineer to physically push the recording buttons and making sure the signal gets properly on tape.
Adrian Hates (Diary Of Dreams) White Room studio in Dusseldorf is perfect for that.

For the mixing stage I always need a good mixer with the complete knowledge and understanding of a studio and its equipment,
in this case again John Rivers, who has his own studio in Leamington Spa, I need his expertise as mixing on a professional mixing board
requires a lot of knowledge of how audio and circuity really works. John knows exactly how I want to have a mix and completely understands
my perception of how Clan of Xymox should sound.
During the mixing I only suggest things if I think it should sound in a particular way.


Creatures sounds more consistant than "Hidden Faces". How would you explain this?

Hidden Faces was written over a period of three years with ample material to choose from. I wrote in more different styles and even wrote
enough material for an instrumental album. I simply chose the tracks which I liked the best and would highlight different
aspects of Clan of Xymox, dark wave, industrial, ambient instrumental pieces and gothic rock songs.It feels more like a compilation of tracks.

After recording of Hidden Faces a different period for me set in, we started playing live a lot and I got more and more aware in
which direction I wanted to go and felt most comfortable with.

Creatures is written in between one and a half year of touring and the writing process is different than the others as each time something
occurred or caught my attention,I translated this almost directly into music, thats why it sounds like the most homogenous album recorded by
Clan of Xymox ever and as far as I can see also the darkest one to date.You can simply say this was my reflection
and inner mood after the release of Hidden Faces.

From on writing the first track I already knew and felt the direction of Creatures, the running order on Creatures is
nearly a chronological running order of the way the music was written and all tracks I wrote are used for this album.
( I still have tracks left of the Hidden Faces period but to me they felt not suitable to add to the Creatures album.)

As you know Clan of Xymox always delivered an album with a hybrid combination between keyboards and guitars,
only the overall atmosphere this time is much darker than the previous releases. As far as I can see this is the line
I will follow for the future as I feel this suits me the best and feel the most comfortable with; the dark side of Clan of Xymox !


The guitars are on "Creatures" very important, is that going to be your ' new direction'?

This is an album you can't judge by hearing it a few times, you have to listen to it quite a few times to fully grasp
what is happening and than you will hear the vast amount of layers of keyboards working together with the guitars.

Like from the start of Clan of Xymox with the release of our self titled album in 1985 on 4 AD we always combined
these ingredients keyboards and guitars and again on Creatures like all the other previous albums this is the case.

If I would only use synths we would sound too much like the thousands of bands working only in this narrow field of music.
For me it is really important to have our own sound and this combination works the best for me and what I want to achieve musically.

How is touring for you?

So far I can say touring for Clan of Xymox is very successful as we draw good crowds and played nearly
everywhere accross the world .We only stopped playing live of course during the recording of" Creatures"

Our highlights were the Zillo festival 98, Gothic Wave treffen 98, Mexico and the Convergence Festival 99
in New Orleans. This summer we will do again festivals which I am looking forward to, for example in Belgium; La Dour, Eurorock ,
the Night of the Abyss and in Poland Castle Festival, Brazil ,Argentina and Chili , the Doomsday festival
with Type O'Negative etc, also I know already we will do the Gothic Treffen in Leipzig in the year 2000!

This year I don't want to play as much as before because we hardly took a break from touring since the release of Hidden Faces.
Everyone needs a holiday/ break so we will take some time off this year.


Convergence V claimed you as possibly the biggest band ever to play their festival.  Do you feel you have
reached that kind of permanent mythic status  over the years (such as Dead Can Dance, for example)?

I can't say that, as I am too close to what Clan of Xymox is doing. To me everything we are doing seems
a natural state and progress of the band.
The fact that I keep making music is maybe what people perceive as reaching a sort of status , whatever that means.


The light show during your concerts deviates from most bands, why is this ?

Our light technician comes from a theater back ground and does not want to give a "cliche- rock -concert- circus -lights -flashing -all- the -time "
sort of show. She wants to create moods and pictures, and since I have seen the shows back on video tape I think she succeeds very well in that.

It means sometimes that not everyone is in full lights and are sometimes portrayed , outlined as shadows, silhouettes.
If you pay attention to the lights you will see that every song has nearly its own colours and distinct atmosphere.
We give her complete freedom in the way she wants to do the lighting and we are very happy with the result.
Sometimes people want indeed 110% lights on all the time on every person so they can see everything all the time
but thats I am afraid not in the light technicians philosophy.
To me she distinguishes herself from the run of the mill light technicians by treating lights in a very unconventional way.

How important is internet for you ?

I think it is very important to keep our fans informed as our home page is run by us and we are not dependent
totally on magazines  for up to date information. The most important feature for people will always be
the touting schedule as we know first where we are going to play.
Although our home page is extensive I would like to put so many more things on it, like old articles, reviews etc.
But it is a lot of work to put this on the page as you have to type these articles in and so far no one feels like doing that,
so we only publish things which are already in the computer format.

What I especially like is when people all over the world send in photos of concerts or back stage situations etc.,
we try to use them as much as we can (as long as those files don't use too many bits.) or give their opinions / reviews of the concerts,
comments on our new releases, It is very important to me that we are in close contact with our fans.

We have someone taking care of our home page a fan of the band named Hans Beutick, who I give relevant information
and he works it out in his own time. He knows a lot of Clan of Xymox and can answer most
of the question people ask us. (Most questions are anyway answered on our homepage if you look for them (FAQ)

Why is there no Clan of Xymox live album?

Just simply because we never got to it , but the French magazine Elegy released one live track "Muscoviet Mosquito"
in their issue of May 1999 of the concert in the La Locomotive in Paris 98.

One day we will though!

Do you have videos?

Yes, we made : A Day, Muscoviet Mosquito, with Clan of Xymox and with Xymox we had videos of
" Obsession", " Imagination ", " Phoenix of my Heart ", " Reaching Out ", "Spiritual High" and "Wild is the Wind".
The last three videos I absolutely hated, it is of course that London period I dread now so much.

To me the most decent videos are A Day, Muscoviet Mosquito and Obsession.
They capture the music very well and are the most imaginative.

All videos were only used for TV purposes and are not released commercially. The only one you can buy in a store is
" Muscoviet Mosquito " on the " Lonely is an Eyesore " Compilation of 4 AD.

We are planning to make new videos , for now I think the best way to see our band is to visit our live shows.


**********************************************************************************************

Melody Maker,
May 27 1989 Page 40 and 41
Shadow play

Having left 4AD Last year, the Euro Dreamscape architects have now produced an album on an even grander scale.The Stud Brothers ascend
mount Olympus to talk to a band who still disregard reality and dare to fantasis their way through life.
" Have we started already?"
We're too quick today, too keen to pare down the introductions and jettison the usual polite preliminaries. Ronny Moorings' slow soporific tone suggests
he'd rather this weren't an interview at all. In fact it seems he'd rather pretend this was just one of those uncomplicated occasions where strangers can exchange
confidences secure in the knowledge they'll never meet again.
We press the point home. This is work. The interview. We play the journalist, you play the rock'n'roller.Simple.
he's bored by the claustrophobic dullness of the fact.Xymox are about to be huge. Of course they always have been huge."Medusa"
(released three years ago on 4AD) was an endless open gallery of sound, a beautiful ruin, a soundtrack to the fall of Atlantis. "Blind Hearts", their last single,
was a requiem for a doomed love-affair where the shriek of a soul singer and the hollow strum of an acoustic guitar embellished Moorings weird understated angst.
The last time we spoke, Moorings had just discovered his songs had been used to score a Dutch documentary celebrating the beauty of natural disasters.
Earthquakes, hurricanes, that sort of thing. The idea pleased him immensely.
Xymox have always been huge.It's just that now they're about to be popularly huge.They've spent the last 18 months trotting across the globe
(they ought really to have been orbiting it) being chased by every record company you'd care to think of. Last week they released "Obsession" on Polydor,
a single that will seduce you just as surely as it has Europe's clubbers.
Now they release the magnificent "Twist Of Shadows", a lustrous, black,crystal trip into the fantastic. It's Xymox apotheosis. Where "Medusa" was in danger of sounding maudlin,"Twist Of Shadows" is classically tragic, a splendid Eldritch super-gloom.
We tell Moorings nothing of this. Remember, we play the interviewer, he plays the rock'n'roller.
So you were touring.
"Yeah"
When you were on the road, did you fish for sharks from your hotel bedroom?
"Huh?"
You know, did you blow up people's toilets, sleep with Japanese groupies, that sort of thing.
"NO."
It comes out in capital letters, followed by an apologetic little laugh.
"No, it's just on the road, isn't it.It's terrible really because the more you're on the road the more you start thinking about being on the road.
You even start thinking about writing songs about being on the road. You start turning into Jon Bon Jovi. I never used to understand a word he was saying,
now I'm beginning to feel this sort of helpless empathy with him."
That's weird. Very weird. You think of Xymox and kind of imagine young, angst-ridden men and woman huddled in dark rooms, pondering the unthinkable,
discussing the unmentionable.
We can't really see you sitting in a van.
"Yeah" says Ronny, "but that's the thing about touring. At some point you've got to sit in a van. Or a vehicle of some description. We do our best to kill
as much time as possible.We read a lot and I sleep a lot. It's the only way you can really dream."
So dreaming's important?
"Definitely."
"Wow."
Exactly, exactly.But how important is reality?
"I'm not sure.I do know there's too much of it about."
Way too much.
"Twist Of Shadows" is our month's great escape, maybe our year's great escape. It's Xymox's dream, their respite, their 45-minute, 10-track parole from
apparently perpetual incarnation. Like other dreamers, like the Cocteaus and AR Kane, Xymox are said to be meaningless.
That's wrong.They're messageless.
Maybe they just intuitively know it's pointless to challenge the rock realists hard unpleasant, impenetrable truth. Music's not a syllogism, not a piece
of deductive reasoning.In fact, the best music's necessarily unreasonable, either an escape or a selfish,arrogant, mad reading of the facts. That takes ambition
and a certain sensitivity, a belief not just in the improbable, but the impossible. And for that, disrespect for the mundane is not enough, disrespect is just
New Model Army or Poison. It's disregard that counts, massive insensitivity towards the mundane.And Xymox is up there on Olympus, charting its triumphs
and tragedies, living in narcotic soft-focus,knowing there's no point in walking when you can soar. Their selfishness is prodigious, they live perfectly deaf
and invulnerable amidst the cries of the real world. They dare to dream.
"We love to live in our own little world, building up our vision of things. We don't feel any responsibility towards life in general, we never have to worry
about how important weekends are.I've always been like that, I've always tried to do as little as possible.I still don't like grown-ups and
I can't bring myself to think about work or planning a family or anything responsible, I just like to get on with what I am doing. That's what's good
about travelling, you can just get up and go away from everything. I avoid newspapers and books about politics and current affairs, I think that's where
reality starts. I can't really deny I get older every day, but I still hate the idea of growing up."
Impossible though, isn't it? As soon as you lose your virginity, that's it.Grown up.
"Yeah,I suppose so.I suppose it's Xymox's contradiction. I sing about love affairs and relationships and things and that's all pretty grown-up."
Would you like to live forever?
"I don't think so, no."
So how would you like to die?
"Not too painfully, I hope."
Pain's exciting though.
"Other people's maybe, and from a distance.It's funny you should ask that because my grandmother, who was 93, was convinced she'd be able to
cope with death.Her mind was prepared, her mind really wanted to die, but her body refused to give up so she spent six weeks in agony,
going through the aggravation of death. There's no easy way out."
Wouldn't you like to die dramatically?
"Dramatically?Yeah, that would be brilliant, wouldn't it? I think ought to want to die dramatically and imagine all their friends standing
around talking how dramatic it was."
Do you take drugs?
"No, certainly not."
Have you ever?
"Yes, but they're self-defeating. You take them, go out to have a good time, get a terribly intense and end up talking drivel to an idiot for five hours.
It's a bit of a waste. There's so much more to crave, so much more to be obsessed with."
Like what?
"Oh God, er, I'm obsessed by relationships, by the constant misunderstanding, by the fear and desire.It's almost as if at the beginning of every
new relationship you're a virgin again."
Are you a difficult person to get along with?
"I think so, yes."
Do you tend to act in relationships?
"It's getting a little philosophical this. Do I act? Invariably, yes. Everyone does it all the time. Like now I'm playing the dreamy musician.I think
though the border between acting and being myself is extremely vague. I don't really feel it's a matter of choice, I think we often need to be reminded.
Recently we were lost in Germany and a friend of ours went up to a young couple to ask directions without realizing they were in a middle of a row.
The girl was crying and the boy was in the process of leaving, or at least of making her and everyone else think he was leaving. Our friend asked directions
and the boy immediately, unthinkingly swapped roles, he became polite and efficient. So it was like our friend had shattered the illusion, changed the script,
brought the two of them back together. In a way it was beautiful, in another it was tragic.Perhaps the boy ought to have left her."
Is acting ever dangerous?
"Not really. Though, having said that, there's a guy who lives near me who's totally into a sort of Kung Fu. he's been playing the part for so long that
now all he can do is shout and fight dustbins. But that's okay, I find it quite amusing.
Do you ever over- act?
"I think sometimes you have to. When I am singing I'm definitely over-acting. But I think that 's crucial to music. Robert Smith knows that,
Morrissey knows that. It should never be unassuming, modest."
On this album and the last you often cast yourself as a romantic loner. How much of that is real?
"I don't know how much is real. I do like being on my own, especially in strange cities. It's unpredictable, it's not always nice and it also allows
you to indulge in some healthy self-pity."
A bit like dreaming?
" Absolutely."
Two of the songs are named after women.Are they women you know?
"Well, on the whole when I name a song after a woman, it's because I like the name. But in case of 'Clementina' it was title-less until
I went to my grandmother's funeral. For some odd reason they sang the same requiem we'd sampled for the song and I started thinking how the track
would suit the funeral. So I named it after her. You don't get more than one opportunity to make a gesture like that."
Moorings would probably go along with Oscar Wilde's maxim that to avoid suffering we must become spectators of our own lives. Actually we forget to ask,
but that's pretty much what Xymox are about. And also, if you believe Wilde, pretty much what romance is about.
Xymox deserve to be worshipped. Better than, when you listen to "Twist Of Shadows", you feel that you do too.
So kneel and be exalted. You're beautiful and you know it. We love you when you suffer.

**********************************************************************************************

Melody Maker, January 30,
1988 DREAM MACHINE
Four weeks ago the Stud Brothers made 'Blind Hearts' by Xymox their single of the week. After a month of searching they finally
tracked down the band's elusive singer Ronny Moorings

S
omeone recently stated that Xymox were "brilliantly soulful". How thoughtless. How characteristically lazy. Xymox are anything but
soulful. Xymox are anything but soulful. Xymox are Dutch whereas soul is quint essentially American. Xymox belong to a grander heritage,
an European heritage. They have a sense of the mysterious, the inexorable.
Soul, like America, is ever changing but monotonous, its changes all alike.
Xymox are five, soul is always one. "The Soul Man". Soul is Otis Redding, or Marvin Gaye or Big 'Retha. Soul booms imperiously,
masturbation masquerading as truth. Xymox melt. Xymox aim higher.
"Blind Hearts", their recent single on 4AD, a single we didn't hesitate to reward with uncustomary, therefore meritorious praise,
left truth behind. It was emblematic of a group who'd freed themselves from the drudgery of realness, the stifling dinkum of orthodoxy.
"Blind Hearts" illuminated their previous work by confining their momentous soundtracks to four magnificent minutes.
The fathomless hollow guitars that had swept over "Medusa", their last album, the samples and synths that spiralled upwards and downwards
towards a beyond , an outer inner space, and the galloping drums were distilled.
"Blind Hearts" is Xymox's vortex, the eye of their hurricane, what Ennio Morricone would call the imperative motif, a reminder and a
sign-the elements of their soundtrack reduced to a perfect trailer.
"A lot of people say our songs are suitable for films and sometimes I agree, sometimes I don't. It depends on the song. Some of our songs are really soft."
But there's a certain grandness, a certain "epic" proportion.
"Yeah. I know. They once used "Stranger" in an American cop movie or something, a kind of 'Miami Vice' but I
never expected that. I couldn't really understand it."
American cop movies? A staggering idea if you think "Beverly Hills Cop", if you think "The Heat Is On" but, with some imagination
and divesting yourself of all that unnecessary snobbery, think "Crockett's Theme", then think "Flood Two" by the Sisters
and you won't be a million miles away.
"Yeah, why not. If people think the music's suitable then I don't mind. They also used 'Stranger' in a Dutch documentary about natural disasters.
Obviously a documentary about Jan Hammer's haircut. But, seriously, with Xymox we're left with the impression that their seamless
soundtracks are a way of finding pleasure in life by falsifying its image. That's to say with each hymn, in every sweeping chorus,
by every majestic note they falsify reality, attenuate it, make it otherworldly and devine. They suit natural disasters-avalanches,
sandstorms, hurricanes and volcanic eruptions. Natural disasters never seem real but with Xymox their unreality appears meaningful, choreographed, artistic.
So then, Xymox are truly soul-less. Pure post-punk. Non-documentary. Only determining the degree to which life has been spoilt
by the extent to which they falsify it. As with the church, when Xymox are confronted by something dreadful they'll merely build a bigger cathedral,
not to a house the pain but to escape it. Xymox sound pious because they've discovered that piety makes the world more beautiful,
more romantic, more awesomely dramatic.
"Well when we present ourselves live the set-up is quite like a rock'n' roll band. Don't laugh. We have a drummer, a keyboard-player,
a bass and me as a frontman with a guitar, so it's quite like a rock 'n' roll situation. We just want to be a band on stage."
But it's bigger than that. Aren't Xymox decadent, dramatic, drama queens?
"Not really".
But don't they make the most of things? Should something fairly bad or fairly great happen to them, don't they turn it into a crisis,
don't they panic and scream and run around a lot?
"Yeah, I think everyone does it to a point. Obviously I can't write a dramatic lyric without experiencing something dramatic."
Is there a compulsion? How serious are they?
"Very serious. We want to make music for our lives. I would never quit Xymox just because I had something else to do.
Well, Xymox is my life in a way. Everything I do is for Xymox. My daily schedule is guided by Xymox."
So is Xymox the soundtrack to life?
"Yeah, I think so. Well, to the extremities of my life, let's put it that way, because it's not really my life."
Are Xymox sexual or romantic?
"We can be both. The dance-tracks are sexual, I suppose, but more often my lyrics are about dreams and nightmares. But only the most interesting ones."
Xymox could never sink into normality.
"Well, if I write something and I think it's too normal I skip it so, in a way, I've got a super sensor in my mind that means I always end up with something dramatic."
We always seem to come back to dreams in a way. And late nights."
Xymox 's super-sensor, their dreaming, their searching for a dramatic calligraphy means that ultimately, they will conceptualize sentiment,
give it context, and sentimentalize concepts. This duality leads them to transform emotion, render its mysterious, indefinable. With Xymox,
because of their cinematically, imageless, anchorless soundtrack, we feel at vertiginous heights or unimaginable depths.
Theirs is the architecture of escape.
"I think we take people into a certain atmosphere...That's really vague, isn't it. That's what I hear anyway. People have told me our records
make them cry. Especially when they're having a bad love affair. I think that's the most important thing about music,
to appeal to some emotion. If you can achieve a certain rhythm-feel and you're able to move people at the floor, I think that's great.
And if you're able to move people away from their daily lives that's beautiful too."
Xymox succeed because their glorious (self) deception is habitual and uninterrupted, They've chosen an illusion that appeals to a Grecian
temperament and embraced it with a passion.
Soul tells us that if we prefer illusion to reality it's because all decent realities have so far eluded us, left us in the lurch.
But soul, that depends for its credibility on a soberness of judgement, has forgotten its imagination is all out of focus. Xymox dream, dream sharply.
Xymox would say that all illusions are art and that it's only by art that we live at all. In other words, life is the art of being well-deceived.

**********************************************************************************************

Darker than a Bat

Just before their departure to the US for a tour I did an interview with
Ronny of Clan Of Xymox. Their new album, Creatures, has been released and
that's certainly a good reason to talk to one of the biggest bands in the new wave scene.
PJ : Soon there will be a new CD by Clan Of Xymox. When I did an interview
with you a year ago you told me there will be new music as long as there is
inspiration. Aren't you afraid there will be no more inspiration one day ?
R : No, I don't make music because I have to, but because I think it is
necessary for me. Like writing down feelings, music is a form of
translating feelings and thoughts for me. The fear of loosing that feeling
would be the same as ever being afraid to die.
PJ : When will the CD be released ?
R : April 6th.
PJ : Is it going to be the Clan Of Xymox we know or are you trying to bring something new again ?
R : This time it is about the dark half of Clan Of Xymox. Instead of
combining a lot of styles, like the last record Hidden Faces, this time I'm
trying to integrate one style from the beginning to the end. The theme is
people, their character, memories, loneliness, agression, fears, … , all
the things in people that make their personnality.
PJ : Do we have to look at the music as one entity and not as seperate
songs ? Does every song has its own place on the CD again ?
R : Everyone is free to programm the CD as he want s, but I don't see why they should do that..
PJ : On Hidden Faces I heard things like ping pong balls. Are you going to
include things like that again?
R : When you listen to the music and the lyrics there is always something
to discover. I work with a lot of layers of sound and sometimes that takes
a lot of your ears. The keeping discovering of new things in the music is
of course only for freaks.
PJ : The music of Clan Of Xymox is complex. Can you explain that ?
R : I make a lot of sounds myself and when I put those sounds together
there is a new interaction of those sounds. The using of keyboards,
synths, a variety of sounds for drums (I make another kit for every song),
guitar and bassguitar make that it sounds complex. This approach was taken
from the beginning.
PJ : Do we get a varied CD again with moments of rest ?
R : Yes, there are peaceful songs like Creature, All I Have, an
instrumental song Without A Name but there is also action with Jasmine and
Rose, Crucified, Taste Of Medicine and such.
PJ : What were your influences while making the album ?
R : Human relations are an inexhaustible source for inspiration. Just
things you see around you or things you go through.
PJ : Are all the lyrics taken from your personal life ?
R : Yes, it ussually happens very close to me.
PJ : In the new wave scene, the changes are quite extreem, from EBM to
electro, from Gothic to gothic metal. How do you see the developpement of
Clan Of Xymox in that scene ?
R : As always, we try to do our own thing. I don't like to be in a scene
but a band is always labeled as being some kind of style. All is going
well with the band and I'm honoured with the idea that people are following
the band very closely for so long.
PJ : Clan Of Xymox is around for very long. Aren't you afraid to end up
like The Rolling Stones ? How long do you think to continue ?
R : It's better to end like The Rolling Stones than go and sit behind the
window and look outside when we're old. OK, serious now, I can't and don't
want to look in the future concerning the songs. Songs that every fan of
Clan Of Xymox want to hear (some of them) will be played and untill now I
still like doing that, of course together with the new songs we want people
to hear. My experience is that when you don't play those songs a lot of
fans will be dissapointed.
PJ : A lot of bands are doing remixes these days. What is your oppinion on
that ?
R : I don't like remixes at all. When a song is good for me I see no
reason to let someone make a remix of it. It is a hype of the recordlabels
and food for the DJ's. Furthermore, I don't know a lot of peopel who buy a
CD with 24 remixes of the same song and really listen to it.
PJ : You really like the internet. Do the fans have to go and get the
pictures and lyrics from there again ?
R : Yes, that is the reason why we don't put the lyrics in the booklet.
Our fans can get the lyrics and other information on our homepage.
http://www.cybercomm.nl/~xymox/xymox.html
PJ : To end, can you give a reaction on the actuallity and does it
influence your music ?
R : I try to escape from the actuallity as much as possible. I really
don't like reallity.

**********************************************************************************************

Entrevista (por Alisson Gothz)
( in portugese)

........Desde 83, o Clan of Xymox tem se mostrado como uma das mais modernas e interessantes bandas da chamada cena "Gótica",
onde jovens desiludidos com a hipocrisia da sociedade castradora em que viviam procuravam uma saída atraves da expressão de seus
mais íntimos e obscuros sentimentos, buscando um individualismo que, ao invés de fechá-los em seu próprio mundo, abria suas mentes
para um outro universo, mais denso, mais profundo e mais sensível.
........O Xymox conseguiu através de sua música criar a trilha sonora perfeita para estas pessoas especiais, uma música que era puro
sentimento, não daqueles sentimentos baratos, mas sim daqueles que arranham ...
........A banda também ajudou a definir toda uma geração de músicos com suas melodias limpas e belas, de uma simplicidade e sutileza
que nos leva aos campos holandeses e seus moinhos de vento, de onde surge Ronny Moorings, líder e mentor de todo o projeto.
........Mesmo no Brasil, o Clan of Xymox deixou há muito tempo de ser uma banda conhecida apenas do público gótico, tendo atingido
um público bem mais abrangente com a reputação de uma excelente banda de rock.
"Para mim, o Brasil é um lugar muito distante! Eu conheco um pouco de música popular brasileira que toca em restaurantes.
Infelizmente desconheço o cenário alternativo daí."
........Apesar de seu grande sucesso dentro da cena gótica no mundo inteiro, a definição de "banda gótica" parece não entusiasmar muito
Ronny... porém, um fato inegável é que a banda foi e tem sido muito copiada e utilizada como inspiração para dezenas de bandas da
cena.
"Eu seria a pior pessoa que poderia descrever que tipo de música eu faço. Mas se formos levar em consideração os termos aos
quais já fomos associados, seria algo como "Dark wave, gothic, industrial, melancólico .... "
........Sobre a música alternativa atual, Ronny tem até que se interessado, apesar de que toda esta "popularidade" do techno e das raves
não parecem ter exercido muita influência em sua ideologia...
"A atual cena "gótica" esta produzindo grandes bandas como Faith And the Muse, Morthem Vlade Art, Malign, Diary Of
Dreams e várias outras. Já a cena techno e rave eu detesto. Para mim são um bando de idiotas sem cérebro usando chapéus
idiotas, tomando drogas e dançando a noite toda... absolutamente fora do meu interesse."
........Depois de um longo silêncio, que sempre causo desespero em seus fãs (já que os ultimos trabalhos de Ronny não estavam à altura
de suas melhores criações...) ele retorna com seu Clan of Xymox oficial e solta um novo álbum, com nova turnê e novos projetos.
"O melhor momento pra mim é sempre o que precede o lançamento de um novo álbum, então estou ansioso para que em abril
ocorra tudo bem e que nosso próximo álbum, chamado "Creatures", seja lançado! Fora disso, a música do Xymox tem sido
utilizada em dezenas de documentários, "Stranger" foi usada no filme "Hitchhiker" nos EUA e fiz também trilhas para dois
jogos em cd-rom, chamados "Total Mayhem" e "Revenant". Então como pode ver, nossa música é multi-funcional! "
........Ronny mantém pessoalmente o site oficial da banda, e também mantém contato com seus fãs através dela. É através da página que
as sugestões de músicas para o set list da atual turnê estão sendo levadas em consideração. Para Ronny, o melhor da internet é mesmo a
interatividade com seus fãs, envolvendo uma troca entre os dois lados, banda e público.
"Na verdade, apenas surfo na internet quando estou atrás de algo. Fora isso apenas checo meus emails bem devagar, mas
acredito que a internet é ótima para colocar-nos em contato com nossos fãs e para que eles saibam das novidades da banda,
turnês, etc."
........Apesar de sua atual turnê estar passando pela America Latina, nenhum convite para o Xymox aparecer no Brasil foi feito até agora,
o que é uma pena, pois com certeza seria um show com casa lotada e com muito $$$ no bolso dos promotores do evento. Mas apesar
disso, Ronny nos deixa com um pequeno recado, que apesar de não resolver nossos problemas, pelo menos nos deixa com uma pontinha
de esperanca ...
"Espero vê-los em breve!!!!!!!!!"
Os vestígios da solidão podem muito bem ser encontrados em palcos de grandes concentrações humanas, como nas grandes
metrópoles, onde envoltos pela massa, muitos estão perdidos, isolados em seu mundo interior, rechaçando, através da fuga, toda
hostilidade humana contraída através do convívio social.
......Existem aqueles que são diferentes em sua maneira de enxergar o mundo, que não se conformam com a estupidez, a ganância e a
frigidez que envolve de maneira cancerosa os que vivem ao seu redor...
......Quando, em 1983, Ronny Moorings e Anke Wolbert se propuseram a montar uma banda, sua pretensão conjunta era a de criar uma
musicalidade acessível, onde o baixo marcante mesclava-se às texturas melancólicas de guitarras chorosas, acordes de violões e teclados
atmosféricos que se sobrepunham às batidas dançantes, criando uma moldura própria para letras que abordavam as relações humanas,
seus medos, suas rejeições, desesperanças e ilusões.
......O produto, à primeira vista não parecia inovador (e nem era), já que o New Order ocupara-se de ser o arauto deste estilo, isto sem
contar que tal sonoridade era mera evolução para o som de várias bandas como o Human League, Ultravox e principalmente para o
grupo, talvez percursor do gênero, The Durutti Column.
......Mas o que fez destes holandeses uma das bandas mais extraordinárias de sua época, foi a sintonia com a sensibilidade das pessoas,
eles conseguiam (a exemplo do Echo & The Bunnymen) criar a harmonia pertinente aos crepúsculos, aquela coisa meio que enternecida,
tocando num ponto do ser humano que ele mesmo desconhece, dando vazão ao seu lado poético.
......Em 84, Pieter Nooten adentra ao grupo, completando a trindade que deu seus primeiros passos no mini álbum "Subsequent
Pleasures", reeditado em 94 + versões demos, para comemorar os 10 anos da banda. Em 85 lançaram o álbum homônimo "Clan Of
Xymox" pelo selo 4AD formando, ao lado de bandas como Cocteau Twins, Wolfgang Press e Dead Can Dance, a segunda família de
maior importância no cenário alternativo dos 80, já que a primeira era a do selo Factory. No ano seguinte lançam o fantástico "Medusa",
já desfrutando do titulo de "Cult Band" favorita entre os europeus, e talvez entre outros povos após a participação na coletânea "Lonely Is
An Eyesore" em 87.
......Incentivados pelo seu produtor Ivo, assinam com a "Wing" um dos muitos selos pertinentes à polygram, resultando no trabalho "Twist
Of Shadows" (89), onde a banda deu indícios de que seu som inclinaria (erroneamente, como se viu depois) para uma proposta pop,
voltada para pistas, como se pode ouvir em "Phoenix" (91). O fato é que com "Twist Of Shadows" o Xymox (que abandonara o "Clan
Of") alcançou a marca de 300.000 cópias vendidas, em parte graças à fama obtida com seus trabalhos
anteriores, além do próprio álbum ser muito bom.
......O parcial fracasso junto ao seu antigo público acentuou-se com "Metamorphosis" (92), "Headclouds" (93) e
"Remix"(95), além dos Ep's lançados no intermédio dos mesmos. eles haviam perdido o "feeling", e mesmo
agora, após o retorno à cena com "Hidden Faces" (97), há quem enxergue só uma ponta de oportunismo,
diante de músicas que sequer chegam a reciclar o que a banda concebeu em seus primórdios, atirando para
todos os lados, buscando se firmar em um novo cenário que, em parte, cresceu devido à influência de bandas
como o próprio Clan Of Xymox... Mas há quem veja esta tentativa de ressurreição com bons olhos, pois o
trabalho não é de todo mal, porém os tempos são outros e, a exemplo de outras bandas, talvez o atual Xymox
esteja mais para o "Born For Bliss", projeto de membros do grupo que não chegou a vingar frente aos fãs.
......O Xymox sempre remeteu-nos à um intrigante processo de nostalgia, e de certa forma há uma insana
"justiça poética" pesando sobre eles atualmente, esperemos pelo futuro, quem sabe uma dia voltem a afinar seus
acordes e a desafinar certas parcelas de nossas emoções.
http://members.xoom.com/_XOOM/sepiazine/clanofxymox.htm


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