Friday, 13 February 2015

INTERVIEW: Kamera Obscura

Kamera Obscura, a band born out of a freaky musical experiment. Mixing the aggression of metal with the decadence of electro within the projected universe of the imagination of some of the greatest directors in cinema.

In January 2014 the band released its first self-produced album ‘Dark Reels’ supported by a series of gigs in Paris and in December 2014 they filmed a live performance that has just been released this month.

The band features Cécile MN on vocals, Joël CBN on drums, Jean-Philippe STX on guitar and Franck No-L on bass.

Dark Reels features 10 industrial cinematic tracks:

  1. Intro (Children Of The Night)
  2. Interceptor
  3. The Last Man On Earth
  4. Flesh Eaters
  5. The Abominable Dr Phibes
  6. Terror From Outer Space
  7. Gods Of The Atomic Process
  8. The Curse Of Frankenstein
  9. Suffering
  10. I Tre Volti Della Paura

The album is incredibly detailed, dark and emotive; a really epic journey through some of the greatest cinematic masterpieces of our time.  In particular, the opening Intro and Interceptor really capture your imagination and draw you into the rest of the album. The teaser gives you a good feel for the themes and the imagery that the album evokes:

Now, one year on from the release, lead vocalist Cécile answered some questions for Femetalism about the band, their album and their new live performance videos.

Can you introduce Kamera Obscura to the Femetalism readers?

Our band was founded by Jean-Philippe and Joël back in 2006 as they were looking for other musicians into B movies, Horror Classics and Italian Giallo as well as industrial music. They started composing their first songs together the following year then decided that it would be an exciting project to play on stage along with some cool video projections, a bass player and a singer. They did a bunch of shows in Paris and the Northern France with the original line-up, eventually I came in as the lead singer in 2011. Together we started to work on new material as the band continued gigging. The current line-up is of Jean-Philippe, Franck (from Fugu Dal Bronx) and I, we are currently looking for a new drummer after Joël decided to leave to pursue some non-musical activities.

You have been described as a cinematic industrial rock band.  How does this description sum up Kamera Obscura?

Each song is inspired by a movie we dig, we use pieces of dialogues, atmosphere, sounds that echo the specific movie we chosen. On stage, we expand the experience with projections of key sequences of those movies.

Musically, who would you say are your biggest influences?

Probably Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Rob Zombie, Young Gods, Godflesh, Black Sabbath as well as Goblin, Enio Morricone and John Carpenter.

Your album Dark Reels was released one year ago this month. How have you been promoting it, and how has it been received?

Promo is always a lil tough when it’s a self-release, we have gigged, met with other bands, we’ve got a few reviews we also have an active newsletter, Facebook page, a website and a core group of cool fans who support us :)

Each of the songs on the album is a homage to cinema classics you love. Can you tell us more about which films were included?

There are some Italian classic giallo’s (Deep Red, The Whip and the body, Black Sabbath) that we love for their dark elegance, bright contrasted colours and excellent graphic fake violence, There’s the Hammer classic ( Frankenstein), the wonderfully British baroque ‘The Abominable Doctor Phibes’, some classic Zombie and Extra Terrestrial movies.

How did the writing process work on Dark Reels? (who was involved and how was the album put together?

Jean-Philippe took a lot of it on his shoulders, he recorded every musicians, mixed, mastered and even worked on the artwork. I used some of previous material and tweaked it here and there, wrote some new stuff and also wrote some new lyrics and vocal arrangements.

How do you feel the album has seen Kamera Obscura develop as a band from the 2009 Demo?

It’s a different line up so I can’t really tell because I was’t there at the time but the band is a little bit more out there now

Your live music experience incorporates video images intertwined with your music and has been described as a cinematic concert.  Is it challenging to keep everything in sync?

Jean Philippe specialises in video editing ;) so I guess it’s a challenge but we have a little advantage!

What is it about playing live that you enjoy so much and what inspires you continue to push boundaries with your performance?

It’s just terrific to see the expression on people faces! To see them dive into our universe. I think the point were we meet with the public is where we and they disconnect to let go before we all go back to our daily lives.

If anything was possible who would you most like to tour with and why?

Honestly it’s a tough call! We don’t really seem to fit in with local bands to start with so I wouldn’t know. Any ideas ?

You released some live performance videos in this month. Can you tell us more about this?

Yes ! We are super exited about this! We filmed and recorded our Christmas gig and it was a blast! We put up a playlist on February 7th which will give you a good idea of what you can expect when you come to see Kamera Obscura live.

What else have you got planned for 2015?

We are currently working on our second album, planing gigs in France and looking for our new drummer! 2015 is gonna be busy at the KO Castle :)

Thanks a lot for the interview!!! Long live to Femetalism! :)

Thanks to Cécile for taking the time to talk to us - we love Dark Reels and have been thoroughly enjoying the live performances.  You can check those live videos out here.

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Originally posted by Emma Sheridan on Femetalism.