If you’ve been on any metal forum over the past few months then it’s highly likely that you would have come across the name Saille. Maybe you’ve checked out their latest video? Or maybe you’ve read a review (like this one) about their forthcoming album, “Irreversible Decay”? Either way, this band definitely seem to be infiltrating Metal’s underground one website at a time. And, with an album like “Irreversible Decay” to promote it’s definitely worth giving them a go.
After reviewing the album and then playing it obsessively, I caught up with Dries Gaerdelen and Reinier Schenk and bombarded them with a few questions…
Lou: Hi! Thanks for agreeing to this interview! Just for the benefit of anyone who has yet to hear about Saille, please could you let us know who is in the band and what each of your roles is?
Dries: Hey to you! Let me present the band for you:
Jonathan Vanderwal – Leadvocals (The Archest)
Dries Gaerdelen – Keyboards (also in The Archest)
Gert Monden – Drums (In-Quest)
Reinier Schenk – Guitars (Fleshmould)
Yves Callaert – Guitars (Ycon)
Didier Vancampo – Bass (Fractured Insanity)
Lou: How long has the band been together?
Dries: Originally Saille was indeed nothing but a one-time project for me, but during the recordings my homerecorded demos came to life, they had become full songs, with real drums, guitars etc. At first only Gert (drums/In-Quest) and Jonathan (guitar+vocals/The Archest) were involved. During the process in the studio Jonathan and Reinier both start to work on me, claiming it would be a shame if it ended by the time the album was ready. So, the whole idea of bringing this on stage grew while actually recording the tracks. The atmosphere was great between us and it all somehow connected. Eventually I went with them about the whole bringing-this-on-stage-issue, but as a matter of fact it wasn’t that hard to convince me. I had been playing with the idea myself. We went searching for additional bandmembers and recruited Reinier (guitar/ Fleshmould), Didier (bass/Fractured Insanity) and Yves (guitar/Ycon). Now we’re a real band, everyone is doing his fair share, so the project is no longer a subject for discussion.
Lou: Which bands have had the biggest influence on your overall sound?
Dries: I’ve been listening to black metal like forever, but I like classical music just as much. I don’t know if I’ve been inspired by bands like Keep of Kalessin or Limbonic Art for instance, I do like them a lot, that’s for sure. In a way I think it’s been the other way round: I think I’m more inspired by Elend and Mussorgsky, but added the black metal ingredients.
Lou: I’ve noticed that you’re all involved in different bands, do you find it difficult to split your time between those other projects and Saille?
Reinier: So far it has been no problem, since we’re quite new as a band. We also made clear agreements beforehand. We have a joint agenda for gig and rehearsals. Sometimes it’s a puzzle, but it’s not like we’re in million-bucks bands –we’ll manage.
Lou: What does the name Saille mean?
Dries: Saille is a letter, a symbol in an old Irish alphabet, the so called “Ogham”. All letters in this alphabet were depicted as a type tree. So Saille means willow (“Salix”) and was not written, but carved in trees and stones. It was this combination, carving something beautiful, that I liked. It’s also a short name and it fit the music. In the mean time we already found a village in France by the same name and apparently it has something to do with stallions and semen too.
Lou: Reviews for your debut album, “Irreversible Decay”, have been popping up all over the place (including on Loucifer Speaks!). What has the general feedback been like?
Dries: Well, to be quite honest, we never expected this. All reviews are very positive and the scores given were extremely high. Like I said, it all started as a project. Now we’re doing gigs, interviews, photoshoots. The past two months were busy, to say the least, and the cd hasn’t even been released at this point! It’s an exciting ride, but we also seem to be ready for it – so bring it on!
Lou: What sort of things are talked about in the album’s lyrics?
Dries: I’ve been searching for a subject and I fell for “The Beauty of Destruction”. All the lyrics are about the destruction of our planet, by the forces of nature itself. No matter how terrible a disaster, there’s always something wonderful about it. How it looks or how strong it is or how it ends. Of course that’s also something to be heard in the music; the intensities and the differences between the fast – and the melancholic parts for instance.I wanted to capture that idea both musical and lyrical. It also shows in the artwork.
Lou: When will the album be available to buy? Where can we purchase it from?
Reinier: The cd will be released and distributed by our record label Code666. It can be ordered at their site or at our own site: saille.be. It should be in your local (metal) store too, I hope…Streetdate is March 4 2011.
Lou: I think that the whole album has a real ‘cinematic’ feel. If the album was to be used in a movie soundtrack, what kind of movie would it best suit?
Dries: Euh, never thought about that, but it would fit a documentary of nature’s disasters with lots of erupting volcanoes, fires, rocks and stuff like that. Come to think of it…..maybe we should use a projection of all this during our shows.
Lou: Will you be touring to promote this album? If so, will you be paying a visit to the UK? Go on, you know you want to! I think you’d go down great at Bloodstock or something!
Reinier: Of course we want to, the UK is great. If any promotor, festival or club invites us over, we’ll be happy to cross the channel. I’ve done gigs in England before and every night was a blast. Bloodstock would be awesome – do it!
Lou: Is it difficult to recreate this music onstage? I only ask this because you have such a big and powerful – and damn majestic – sound! It can’t be easy, right?
Dries: It’s the 21st century, nothing’s is impossible. 95% is entirely live. For specific intro’s and intermezzo’s we use the technology like everyone else. We have to be alert, especially the drummer who is obligated to follow a clicktrack. We had to figure something out, but we managed.
Lou: If you had the opportunity to tour with any band, who would it be and why?
Reinier: Man, there are so many bands we would like to accompany… Any opportunity is new to us. Let’s grab the opportunity first. It doesn’t even have to be a black metal band, I like death metal just as much. And there’s plenty of death bands in the UK!
Lou: What equipment do you use?
Reinier: Ah, the gearfreaks department… Both Yves and I use a Marshall EL-34, Engl cabs and some FX processors and preamps naturally. Boys and toys… For guitars: I use BC Rich USA and Gibson and Yves uses Ibanez mainly. The keys: Dries plays Roland XP-80 and Roland G-800 synths. Our bassman Didier plugs his Spector, Mayones or Ibanez into Ampeg-gear and our drummer Gert beats his Adams drumkit and Sabian cymbals.
Lou: Do you have any tabs available? For instance, I’d love to learn to play “Overdose of Gray”.
Dries: Yes. I will arrange that for you.
Note from Lou: THANKS!
Lou: Other than your music (obviously!), one thing that has really impressed me, is the way that you’ve promoted yourselves online. It seems that I can’t go onto a Metal forum any more without seeing at least one thread about you! Haha! Promoting the band in this way must have taken a vast amount of time, but have you started to see results from it? Have you noticed a significant amount of people checking you out from those sites?
Dries: This is the era of YouTube and Facebook – it really helps to promote the band. Since I’m an IT-engineer I’m also promoted to promowhore and I’ve put quite some time and effort to bring this band and the music itself on the net, wherever possible. It seems to work, like you said – it’s everywhere and the revenue is immense, all for the best, no complaints. We did a video: there was an opportunity to actually make one. We thought it would be fun to make a video with friends of ours and put it online to get the band in the spotlight. Well, we had a lot of fun, but it all turned out to be a lot of hard work as well! Anyways….it’s a way of introducing ourselves to the world.
Lou: The album art is beautiful and really compliments the music. Who created the art?
Dries: The Polish artist Michal Karcz created it. I’ve been searching for a long time to find someone who would be able to actually show the theme “The Art of Destruction” in his artwork. Personally, I like almost all Michal’s work. In this case, the tree on the front shows the power of surviving the forces of nature, which sounds more like poetry than how it’s screamed by Jonathan.
Lou: You’ve already released one video to further promote the album, but do you have plans to release any more videos?
Reinier: Plans? We didn’t plan anything, we’re on this rollercoaster and we bring our ideas to life, when there’s a possibility of realizing it. We made one video and it went well, considering the non-existing budget. We will probably make another one if we get another chance, if we can do it better. There will be a live-video online of one of our songs in a short while, we’re waiting for the audiotracks.
Lou: What’s next for Saille?
Reinier: The foremost important issue for us is the worldwide release of the album next month. Meanwhile gigging and showing our ugly faces to the world. Presenting ourselves. But we’ve noticed Dries has started making new demo’s for the next cd already. The atmosphere of the new recordings is darker, heavier too, and still carrying the same ingredients. I’m thrilled about the high pace this band’s having. No dull moments thusfar.
Do you have any messages for the readers of Loucifer Speaks?
Reinier: Well, I liked this site I never heard of before, so many thanks for your interest in us. More great metal zines and sites like Loucifer Speaks, please! And if you could possibly do something about it: bring us to the UK. Thanks for your time and interviewing us.
Check out the Saille thread on our forum
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Theudho vocalist/guitarist Jurgen recently recorded guest vocals for a new Gorath song. This song will be featured on Gorath’s forthcoming fifth album which is expected to be released in the first half of 2011 through Twilight Vertrieb.
Jurgen has also written some lyrics for the album and this continues an ongoing partnership between the two bands. In 2008 Jurgen contributed lyrics to the “Misotheism” album and both bands shared a split demo in 2004. Gorath band leader Filip has played bass on the Theudho albums The Völsunga Saga” and “Cult of Wuotan, and also played live with Theudho in that time.
A trailer for the upcoming album can be viewed below.