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YYRKOON (STEF)

HI GUYS, HOW ARE YOU? Fine!! Thanx. Let’s start this Interview, I will answer the best I can. Go! YOU ARE A QUITE NEW BAND IN THE METAL SCENE FOR THE MOST OF US. PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF AND YOUR BAND TO THE GERMAN READERS. YYRKOON was formed in 1995. We began with playing melodic death/ black metal. Quickly we decided to record a demo tape and one year later we’ve done „Oath Obscure, Occult…“. This stuff allowed us to enter underground metal world and to find a deal for a our first album with the label VMI. In 1998 our debut album called „Oniric Transition“ has been released. We had a very limited promotion for this stuff, but in the whole reactions were really good! We seduced many people with the variety of our songs and our sense of melody and heavy solos. After some problems with VMI, YYRKOON prefered to record again a mini-CD to find another deal and management. It has been done in 2000, with a 2 songs CD titled „Forgotten Past“, we found a new deal with a very young label : Anvil Corp. „Dying Sun“, our second full album, came with a much better production. That got the label a foreign distribution especially in Japan & Russia where we got very good responses. It has been in November 2003 that we decided to move to Denmark to Hansen Studios to record our third album „Occult Medicine“. When we came back with this new stuff, we sent a master copy to several labels, and found a good new deal with Osmose Productions, a chance for us to evolve again to new heights!! Looking back I can say that „Occult Medicine“ is a real success, many excellent reviews in magazines and metal public from abroad discovered us with our new distribution possibilities and many metal fans like our music. „YYRKOON“ IS TAKEN FROM THE ELRIC-SAGA, RIGHT? SO, WHAT DOES IT STAND FOR IN YOUR OWN WORDS AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THAT NAME? Hehe!! Yyrkoon comes from Elric Saga, that’s right, a dark heroic fantasy novel written by an american writer named Michael Moorcock. Yyrkoon in Moorcock’s writings is the name of a sorcerer. We chose to call our band Yyrkoon in 1995 for it’s original sonority and ortography… Our concept is not based at all on Elric and this novel. This is the problem when you choose to take a proper name, a lot of people imagine that the band concept is linked to the name. Yyrkoon is a name and doesn’t have any signification in french, english or even chinese… CONGRATULATIONS FOR YOUR GREAT ALBUM „OCCULT MEDICINE“. YOU RECEIVED VERY GOOD REVIEWS HERE IN GERMANY AND FOR ME IT IS ONE OF THE BEST ALBUMS THIS YEAR. HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THIS AND ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH THE ALBUM YOURSELF? We received a lot of good reactions from everywhere. This is the first time that Yyrkoon gets an international promotion. Osmose productions offer us a quality job! A lot of people from abroad are discovering our band with this album. Some of them knew our former releases that’s for sure, and I can say that the majority of them enjoy our new stuff. Some of them prefered earlier albums but those represent a minority. Most of the reviews are very positive and describe our last album as a really good piece of work… One year passed since we left the studio and no one in the band would like to change anything, we are really satisfied with the work done on this recording. YOU PLAY A REALLY GREAT COMBINATION OF BRUTAL DEATH METAL AND VERY MELODIC PARTS. WHO ARE THE MAIN SONGWRITERS AND WHAT ARE YOUR MAIN INFLUENCES? We are really heavy in solos, and more brutal and agressive in our riffs which may remind of black and death metal… I could define our music as a mixture of Cold & Melodic Thrash/ Death. „Dying Sun“ (former album) sounds more heavy because of the clean vocals on chorus. I know that we have found our style balance with experience and maturity and with this last recording „Occult Medicine“, I can affirm that YYRKOON will evolve on this balance. Very cold and dark atmospheric metal. Brutal death metal parts for sure, some evil thrash passages and a small tint of black metal referring to atmosphere… that’s our cocktail… Melody is really important for us that’s why our songs are so airy. YYRKOON is based upon horrific and fantastic concepts. The insane, occult and cold world. We invite fans to enter our concept, nothing more, like you do with good thrillers or movies. We add our own philosophy thru our writings, it’s primordial. Well, in YYRKOON I work essentially with Jeff, the other guitarist. I compose the whole of the riffs & music in the band I play each and every solo on „Occult Medicine“ except one on the song „Trapped Into Life“, the solo distribution is done naturally. I work first on basic ideas, after that I present it to my bandmates and we work together on the final arrangements to obtain YYRKOONs balance. Jeff often brings his new riffs to complete my job and Victo (bass guitar) purposes rhythms and linkings. This final sound is the result of our methods. For YYRKOON, influences are really diverse, we dig our inspiration from bands like MORBID ANGEL, KING DIAMOND, CORONER, DEATH, SAVATAGE, MOTÖRHEAD… but not only from the metal scene, we are also fans of classical music; J.S Bach, Rachmaninov, Bartok, Beethoven… Everything will be explained when you listen to our music, it’s a balance between brutality with arrogant riffs and evil blast-beats mixed with melodic direction brought by lyric guitar solos and arrangements. THE ALBUM TITLE (AND IN MY OPINION ONE OF THE BEST SONGS ON THE ALBUM) IS CALLED „OCCULT MEDICINE“. ARE THE LYRICS ABOUT OCCULTISM AND ARE YOU INTO OCCULTISM YOURSELF? Well, I don’t think that common medicine is occult or evil. Euthanasy, gen-technology etc etc… are not at all our preoccupation in „Occult Medicine“. Medicine encloses a lot of deviances which could become evil & occult. In „Occult Medicine“ there is a fantastic context as you could find in fantastic/ horror movies, there is some kind of supernatural tension. We don’t speak with this album about the actual medicine shown by media or of the medicine in which people appeal to look after themselves. We saw beyond that and describe through the lyrics a doctor’s madness who is trying to surpass with his own theories common results, bring the dead back to life, new human creations, hi-powered drugs… an unethic view and search which is totally fantastic, this is what the lyrics are all about. I’m fascinated by this thematic since I discovered the great H.P. Lovecraft. In the main theme of „Occult Medicine“, a mad doctor devoted to science and devoid of reason accomplished his tricky experiences. His work is not to kill!! But to find new skills and knowledge. His principal activity in his secret room is to find the formula to give life to everything (which is formerly death)… from that, necessarily, the common opinion would call him a sinner! And that’s why you find some texts in „OM“ which speak in the first place; the doctor speaks… comparing his work to the work of god… I let you discover the rest. We bring automatically our own point of view and „philosophy“ to give us up! „Occult Medicine“ is based on our fascination for medicine in general and especially for all we can imagine through it. Forbidden formulas, hidden experiences, diverse and horrible creations… Lyrically, gore for gore does not interest us, we need something more like a fantastic tension that gives a morbid tone to the whole. I can mention you H.P. Lovecraft for his excellent novel „Dr Herbert West, Reanimator“ that influenced me on „Occult Medicine“’s concept. Do we practice this kind of experiments…? Not for the moment, our mental health is ok… but… FRANCE IST NOT THAT WELL KNOWN FOR DEATH METAL. HOW HARD WAS IT FOR YOU TO GO YOUR WAY? WHAT ABOUT THE FRENCH METAL/ DEATH METAL SCENE IN GENERAL? I’m 100% agree with you. French bands start to work more seriously than before, they move abroad to record good stuffs. I can’t really tell you where does it come, but I would assimilate it to an awakening or something like this. They (we) finally understood that we needed to use good tools to obtain a good result. French guys believe into a proper identity and want to prove it. Maybe that we are bored to be considered as shitty metal creators by the rest of the planet… well… We have bands of valour in France which know success and real support abroad and that is really encouraging for us and others. Another problem is that the frenchy public, preferred until five years before to support foreigner bands and considered very bad in the whole French scene. Today things turn simply to the opposite. YOU WERE SIGNED BY OSMOSE PRODUCTIONS. HOW IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THEM? I RECENTLY DID AN INTERVIEW WITH ENSLAVED AND THEY LEFT OSMOSE BECAUSE IN THEIR OPINION THE LABEL GOT TOO LAZY AND THEY DON’T DO ENOUGH FOR THE BANDS? WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT? The collaboration is excellent. They work very hard. They developed us abroad, that has been missing before. We receive a lot of reviews and interviews from everywhere that’s great! The deal is o.k., too. We are really glad to work with them. Hervé (Osmose manager) found us the plan to leave on tour with IMPALED NAZARENE and dates here and there. I know the problem with ENSLAVED… I talked with Hervé, he lives 100 km from me, he told me that he fired ENSLAVED and others from Osmose for different reasons. A bit strange isn’t it! Who is the liar? Future will tell us. But for the moment it’s sure that we are satisfied by what’s happening to YYRKOON. OK, YOUR ALBUM IS OUT NOW, THE REACTIONS ARE GREAT ALLOVER. SO, WHEN WILL A TOUR START? I THINK YOU’LL HAVE THE POSSIBILLITY TO DO A QUITE BIG TOUR NOW MAYBE AS A SUPPORT OF A WELL KNOWN ACT!? Yeah!!!!! We will be on tour from 25th January to 6th February with IMPALED NAZARENE and PHAZM (very good Black’n’roll stuff!) – only Osmose bands. Here are the dates in Germany: 26/01/05 Hildesheim – Rockclub, 29/01/05 Münster/ Dieburg – Live Arena, 30/01/05 München – Titanic City, 03/02/05 Bamberg – Live Club, 04/02/05 Glauchau – Alte Spinnerei, 05/02/05 Berlin – K17. That all folks! Hope to see you there guys!!!! WHAT BANDS WOULD YOU LIKE TO TOUR WITH, IF YOU WOULD HAVE A FREE CHOICE? Hummmm… MORBID ANGEL, TESTAMENT, CORONER, DESTRUCTION, BEHEMOTH, PANZERCHRIST, ABORTED, SCARVE, too many bands!!!! OK, YOU RECORDED THAT ALBUM NEARLY ONE YEAR AGO. ARE THERE ALREADY SOME NEW SONGS AND WHICH PLANS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE NEXT RECORDING? We already have new songs for the next album. We don’t only spend our time by drinking beer. We will enter Hansen studio again in October 2005. New songs are in the same vein as „Occult Medicine“. We develop again and again the different shades that identify YYRKOON. More brutal but still melodic, our balance will stay unchanged. The next album will contain some songs based on cold-horror atmospheres, others on aggressiveness and brutality… Some of those songs expose more of one aspect of YYRKOON. COULD YOU PLEASE TELL ME ABOUT THE PRIVATE YYRKOONS? HOBBIES, INTERESTS, DESIRES? Sure… Jeff (guitar) is a music Teacher, his main interest is the music like all of us. Victo is learning flamenco guitar in Spain, that’s one of his deeper interests in life… He stays one week per month over there to study flamenco with a master, I’m really glad for him, he evolves really quickly. And for me, music is my principal engine too, I’m a tattoo artist in Amiens (120 km at the north of Paris) so you see, we have the chance to live with our own passions and that is really great I think. Not without difficulties but we succeeded in it and that is most important. YYRKOON is actually our main personal investment, and we will do everything we can to render it alive. SO, AS OFTEN THE LAST WORDS ARE UP TO YOU Thanx a lot for this interesting interview, dude! I hope that you will have a good time reading it. Keep an ear on our new album guys!!! We need your support, ENJOY !! Hope to see all of you on tour !! Bye! THANK YOU FOR TIME AND I HOPE TO SEE YOU GUYS PERFORM LIVE SOON!

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