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THE ARCH: "A Brumous Evolution"

The Arch is a belgian goth band, very well known due to their dancefloor and goth club hit Babsi ist tot. Actually I have not been aware of the fact that The Arch is still around, more than alive and that they have issued so many records in the past 30 years. I was surprised to see their name in last year´s line up of the New Waves Day and I was even more surprised about their great perfomance on stage with wonderful songs, so I was taught otherwise. After we have reviewed their new album XII in December 2019, we were lucky to win the band for an interview and are happy to present it. Here we go:

Bea:
How is the mood within The Arch at the moment?

The Arch:
At the moment we are quite relaxed. Because the VIII and XII records are finished. Now we just have to promote them… by performing these songs of the new album on stage. And start to write new songs to make a new album.

The Arch
"We really like to create a combination of mathematical electronics with organic guitars"

Bea:
The band was founded in 1986 and was mainly known due to the songs Babsi ist tot and Revenge Revival, that were played in gotic clubs mainly late 80s and 90s. The Nightshade team got a first live impression of The Arch at last year´s New Waves Day and was totally smashed by your stage appearance, voice and the great songs. Where have you been in the last 30 years?

The Arch:
Writing and recording songs, drinking beer, relaxing and releasing albums, enjoying beer, performing gigs, consuming beer and also being quite a bit lazy.

Bea:
How do you deal with the fact that most people only know Babsi ist tot?

The Arch:
Babsi is tot was an important song, especially in Germany, but eventually Ribdancer is our most successful song. We think most people only know Ribdancer. But also relative new songs like Eyes wide open, Bodies and Angels, Blood Crystals and Cadavre Synod are going around very well.

Bea:
Looking back at the beginning of The Arch: How did the members of the band find together? And how did you manage that the line-up more or less stay the same throughout all these years?

The Arch:
We became friends at a very young age. We were playing in different small bands during the eighties. In 1985 it melted down into The Arch. Only CUVG, Ivan and Ian are originals, but trough the years many musicians joined us and left us. After fifteen years Mr Pierre came in, to stay beyond today. We think the line ups, passing the years, involved around 10 people.

Bea:
Why did you choose this special story of a heroin addict and friend of Christiane F.?

The Arch:
It was because of reading the book of Christiane F. We were impressed by the fact that a young charming girl, named Babsi, was going deeper then down, at the age of 14. So we made a song about it. Some same stuff happened with friends of our age, who are now sleeping forever on the churchyard. We don’t want to be morality priests, but it is a transparant fact, consuming "pleasure providing matter". You will pay for it, physically and psychologically. And your close relatives will join the misery. Remember Sid Barret! You can go for it as an adult, but not really as a girl of fourteen. In our humble point of view. The seventies and in a lesser way, the eighties were the times of strange freedom. Almost everything was allowed, excepted murdering. Riding a car as fast as you wanted, sexual exercices, fighting on parties, a teacher with a cigarette in Front of the classroom, going out for 48 hours, playing music at 140 dB, it was all normal. We enjoyed the freedom but it made many victims.

Bea:
On Bandcamp you only seem to sell cds and high quality special editions but no digital downloads. What is the reason for this?

The Arch:
We have no idea. You make your songs, you release them and the rest is out of your control. It’s anarchy, irrational and unpredictable.

Bea:
Starting 1988 with your first album called A Strange Point Of You you have released six albums and a few singles/EPs including several compilations of your own songs. The labels have changed a lot, some songs were not issued on a label at all, what were the main reasons for this?

The Arch:
During the old days, Ludo Camberlin was our producer and preceptor. He released our records on the labels Anything But Records and Antler, on vinyl and CD. In 1992 Ludo stopped working with us. So we had to organize the recordings, mixing and mastering ourselves. After finishing an album, we choose the label with the best conditions. So we hopped from one record company to another…

Bea:
Your sound is very special in my eyes. The combination of electronics and guitar is well arranged so people that tend to like one or the other both get what they like. Do you have any musical influence at all and what is the musical background of the different band members?

The Arch:
We really like to create a combination of mathematical electronics with organic guitars. We all have our favorite band, a long list of new wave bands, so called progressive rock bands, punkbands, and so on. Stuff like Joy Division, Sex Pistols, The Fields of the Nephilim, Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy, The Cult, Drab Majesty, Pink Floyd, Bowie, Nick Cave, Tool, Nine Inch Nails and so on.

Bea:
You have released your new album XII on 11th October 2019. How was the reaction to it so far?

The Arch:
The album is going very well. But as always, there are unexpected tendencies. And also, as always, we think about aspects that could have been done better. But we believe this is an universal experience of every musician. On the VIII and XII album, we receive most credits on Blood Crystals. Also on an experimantal song The Cadaver Synod with the combined voices of CUVG and Blaine L. Reiniger who also performed some violin acrobatics on the song. Actually, this song is born, out of a discussion we had about a fascinating composition of John Cage, 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence… nothing to hear at all. So we decided to make a song with periods of silence in it. The text is about an absurd trial in the Vatican, around 1.111 years ago, just before the pornocratic period, the Saeculum Obscurum.

At the other hand, there is the song Enogold, going on, far less then we expected. Once again, there is no control about it.

Bea:
Compared to former albums, has there been any difference in your songwriting and working process regarding your recent album XII?

The Arch:
We started in 1985 on a 4track analog Teac Portastudio 144 cassette recorder. We switched to an Teac 8track analog reorder, later on a Teac 16track analog recorder, and so on. Nowadays, creating songs is completely different because of the digital revolution with endless possibilities. No limits about the number of tracks, the use of instrumenst and FX processing. But the core remained the same, distillating sounds, songs, texts, atmospheres, out of our phantasy.

Bea:
One of the songs on the current album is called Blood Crystals, a very catchy tune. Like many of your songs they appear to be very dark. Ok, that is surely typical for goth music, so is this the only reason or how much of it results from personal experience?

The Arch:
Like Babsi ist tot, Blood Crystals was triggered by reading a book. The second part of the Millennium chain of Stieg Larsson, absorbing the fascinating character of Lisbeth Salander. The song is about being burried without being dead. You realize your situation and you try to escape in a convulsive way. In a dark, ubiquitous anguish, you feel your blood crystalizing in the mud. You hear sounds of your childhood and see a fast replay of your life. No one hears you, no one knows where you are, no one can help you. It’s up to you!

Bea:
When was your first contact with the goth scene and how was it in Belgium at that time?

The Arch:
What is the start date of the Goth scene? We don’t know? Rock, punk, new wave, goth. It’s a brumous evolution. We believe we were attracked and attacked by the goth scene from the hazy beginning. At the end of the eighties, there was a lot of money circulating in the Belgian music scene. Because of the financial gains, caused by an almost forgotten branch New Beat. It was a commercial genre, but we think all Belgian musicians enjoyed advantage, because there was so much money going around to invest in music, labels, studios and so on.

Bea:
For a change we now come to a different issue besides music. Due to bushfires in Australia with a massive negative effect on animals and humans, I am personally heartbroken and more than often think about the problem regarding climate change. How strong does this matter affect you or how do you think about it?

The Arch:
Actually, we have to make a song about this concerns, because we care a lot!!!

Bea:
Do these or other political issues influence your music and lyrics?

The Arch:
Inevitable. If it is not consciously, then it will be unaware.

Bea:
And finally, what are your hopes and expectations for the future of the band?

The Arch:
First of all we hope to play our new album as much as possible around the world. And we hope to continue with creating music and texts, out of our jamming phantasy, as long as possible. Until we will be buried, hopefully not alive.

Websites:
www.thearch.eu
www.facebook.com/thearchband
thearch.bandcamp.com

Art des Interviews: Email
19.01.2020 by Dark80
THE ARCH in unserer Banddatenbank

Blättern: Vorheriger Artikel | Nächster Artikel

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