Ordo Equitum Solis

 

Band Members:

Leithana

Deraclamo

Web Page: http://www.sinope.org/oes

Postal Address: OES c/o Sinope C.P. 12 - 14023 - Cocconato (AT) - Italy

Interviewer: Gordon Taylor of infectious unease radio

Interviewee: Leithana, Deraclamo

Date: 7th July 1999

When did you first become involved with music?

We started in music with Ordo Equitum Solis. OES was created in 1989 and we released our first cd in December 90 which was "Solstitii Temporis Sensus". Before that we were passionate listeners and much in underground and alternative clubs around Europe.

 

You all have interesting backgrounds could you tell the readers out there what your backgrounds have been?

We don't have that incredible background! Before our first cd, we had (Leithana) the opportunity to collaborate with Tony Wakeford from Sol Invictus. After that he collaborated with us also. Our background might be interesting and full of funny stories, but it would be too long to tell them all now!

What do you all do when are not working in the band?


Music is our main occupation. When we don't play we look after the graphic parts of the cds, the contacts, promotion and so on. There's always a lot to do, time is never enough. We spend our free time reading, listening to music or with the few but good friends left: then we let ourselves go into any sort of vice and pleasure, if our bodies are in the right mood for it.

What is the meaning behind the bands name?

The name OES was born from personal experiences. In 1989 we decided to realize something real, we felt the need to express our thoughts, hopes and despair through the music. We decided to "escape" from society and we went to live in a small mountain village on the Alps, in Italy near to the French border. The village had 17 inhabitants, including us. Most of our food was selfproduced and we warmed ourselves exclusively with wood. The place was called Paganotti (which means Little Pagans). Tony Wakeford came several times to visit us there, and we started a short but intense collaboration together. In that time and place was born a friendship that is still alive and strong. Ordo Equitum Solis (Order if the Knights of the Sun) is the description of our researchs and way of living: days full of mystical studies, readings, fields work alternated with days of orgiastic feasts dedicated to Bacchus... Order and Chaos.

 


What instruments and equipment do you all use and are there any particular instrument you enjoy the most?

We tend to use anything that produces a sound wave. 10 years ago there was much more space into the sound research, specially noises, and at that time we was much into it. Technology had somehow influenced music, and we became aware of the possibilities it could offer. But we never left our acoustic instruments. We like to have instruments, and whenever we can we buy new ones.

 

Deraclamo: I love wooden handmade instruments, acoustic guitars, luths and harps, and I find fascinating the combination of these with electronics.

Leithana: my favourite instrument: my hands. I'm not attached to any particular timber. Of course I love keyboards but I could do with any other instrument, as long as there's a sound coming out from it.

 

 

What creative process do you go through when composing your music?

Deraclamo: Music is the way that makes me feel at ease in this body, in this life. It's difficult to explain what happens when I create a track, maybe I manage to escape reality for a moment. All I can say is that I try to be as much as possible myself, and the more time goes by the more I realise that music is the only way I'm able to communicate through.

What inspires you when you write your music?

Life, life's banality, the anguishes and the rage we've got inside, the Love for Nature, the awareness that any day has a sunrise and that each of these sunrises has its own life.


Many of your songs tell a story or a set of themes, they seem to be inspired by mythology and history how do you go about writing lyric, and what subject matter do you enjoy writing about.

Leithana: I like to write about my own sensations and points of view. There's always a theme in our albums, and somehow each song tells about a different sight of the same matter. It's true we're much into mythology. I think it's high poetry. To me mythologic stories represent the trials of man: love, war, life, death, brightness and action. I think they dignify Man. I like agressivity but hate vulgarity, and what leads me when I write is the weight of the words. I use precious words in rare occasions. What I like the most is to tell between the lines by several levels. But I don't know how many persons catch it...

Are you influence by books or movies or plays.

Deraclamo: I love reading, and the more I read the more I love it. I don't watch television and hardly go to the cinema, but I love deeply and mystically the few films that I love.

Leithana: "Influence" is not the right word, I prefer to say "what deeply shaked me". My movie is "2001, space odysey", my book is Homerus' Odyssey. As you see the word odyssey is in both titles. I prefer tragedies to comedies, probably because life is such a comedy that I cannot stand wasting my free time with another sarcastic laugh. I think tragedies represent a very high form of beauty. They feed my dreams. While my body enjoys life with a laugh!

What are some of your favorite authors?

Deraclamo: I don't like to answer to questions about musical or books taste. Maybe because in the past it happened that I read interviews and I was desappointed about the answers. I know that it was a stupid and childish reaction, but it chocked me and everytime it stops me. There are many authors I apreciate. I'll just quote what I read in the last 20 days: Goethe, Defoe, Hesse, Dumas, simple novels that touched me, some in a good way and some in a bad one. Anyway I think any book has a certain interest, in any book there's something to learn or to think about. I like also esoteric readings...

Are you influence by any other bands and do you have any favorite bands that you like listening to?

Surely we're influenced by other bands, it's impossible to not be. Listenings are the growth of a musician; then of course these listenings need to be distillated and regenerated into something new and personal. We apreciate many bands from Sol Invictus to Death in June, Current 93, Swans and all the experimental/industrial music, then also artists like Kate Bush, Bowie, and bands like Radiohead. There are also good bands in the gothic scene that allow the survival of the movement, despite of the years and of the hostility of the media.

Are you doing any side projects?

No, we're not doing side projects at the moment. OES takes all our time. Maybe in the future we might produce other artists and write songs for others: this is the kind of side-project we're interested in. Time will say if these projects will come true, but we think they will, if we don't die before of course... (Monks say: "remenber, brother, that you have to die")...

To the readers who may have not heard much of your music how would you describe your sound?

It's difficult to describe its own music. We'd like to say that we make music we like for first. We know it would seem really pretentious to say "Oh, it's beautiful"! But to be honest we believe it, we really love our music, other while we wouldn't do it. Of course we don't pretend to be the best, and we don't pretend that the others must like it too! We don't feel offended if someone says "it's crap" because for us it's not. Tastes are subjective things. We think that our cds are quite different one from the other, and those who expect to listen to a record identical to the previous one will be surely desappointed. The music we do reflects our way on this life, so it's full of different landscapes. Music is the tool that gives us the possibility to evolve into the Matter and through the Spirit.

What Albums have you produced and have you been on any compilations?

DISCOGRAPHY

http://www.sinope.org/oes/Discography/discography.htm

 

How would you describe your fans?

We would describe them as persons who are looking for something different from what media offers. Free persons that have the conscience to have a brain and who look for their own way despite of the fashions or established things. We think our best fans are very sensitive persons, probably romantic and misanthropic, and totaly unease in this society.

What is the meaning behind the name Planetes?

That name comes from the ancient greek "astris planetes" which means "stars that wander". That's how they described the movement of the planets in the sky. Then the name was shorten and became "planetes", we still call them like that. But Planetes for first meant "wandering". We chose that name because we spent the last few years wandering around aimlessly. We felt somehow as planets that follow the force of gravity, we felt we had to get lost into the space. We don't know why we did it, even if there must have been a reason why.

How has the response been with the latest album Planetes?

It was very good, especially considering that more than 4 years had gone by from the previous cd. In our last tour there were young listeners that thought that we was a new band!

What was the inspiration behind the latest album planetes?

As we told before, the inspiration was above all the wandering and the travel. The movement. It's very strange, because we went through one of the worse moments of our lives, but the songs reflect a great serenity. That album took a while to be released, so we had a lot of time to listen to it and to make the arrangements. Maybe the inspiration was also the opposition of love and hate: when you hate what you love, you've got to go though a sort of renouncement... then after a while the clouds leave and you can hope for the Sun to shine again, and only in that moment you realise the importance of a single sunbeam... it's very hard to explain...

What was the inspiration behind such songs like "through the fog" "Furthermost" "A Stranger" "How"

Leithana: they are all personal feelings, it's related directly to what i think and feel and want to say and shout. For example "Through the fog": it tells about the impossibility or difficulty to communicate and to be understood; when you can't help building a wall with the outer world but at the same time want to communicate: I guess it's just loneliness. In "Furthermost" I feel strugled by hate and rage. A Stranger: I'd like to quote a passage of Goethe's Werther : "yes, sure, I'm a wanderer, a pilgrim around the Earth. But are you something better?". How: a reflection about my own mistakes.

How long did it take to produce?

A production is always very expensive, mostly because of the recording studio. Planetes was the album we've worked the most on, we prepared it for a couple of years, and then recorded and mixed it in about 20 days. We recorded Sostitii Temporis Sensus (our first album) in only 5 days! It's obvious that we always arrive in studio perfectly prepared.

What have you got planned for the next album? Will it be similar to other albums?

We don't think it'll be similar. Most of the songs already exist, but we don't want to say about their sound... but we can say that we're very enthousiastics about it already. We think it will be a very powerful album.

Where have you toured, are you planning any up and coming tours?

We're just back from a tour in Germany, Holland and Slovakia. We personally think it was the best tour we ever did, we really enjoyed it. We don't know when our next tour will be. We guess it'll be around May next year. In the meanwhile we'll do concerts here and there. For example we'll do an acoustic concert (only acoustic instruments and no amplification) next month in Germany, then in October we'll make a "normal" date in Northen Italy. After that we'll be quite busy with the recording of the new album, and then we'll see.

What country did enjoy touring in?

We like touring anywhere, wherever there is some interest for our music. We love the stage, we love playing, we love the stress of the tours, and each concert seems to be the first one, we feel many emotions. Any venue has its own spirit, and any stage is interesting when people are happy or curious to listen to the music. The same for the countries, it's not wise to generalise.

What gigs did you enjoy the most and what was the audience response?

We think the response of the audience depends a lot on the place and venue. There are places where people go to a concert but behave as in a fashion show, and there are places where people just want to listen to some music and have fun. Of course we prefer the second kind of audience. Anyway we always make our best and give the most we can during concerts. If we played well and the sound was good, we're happy. If the response was good, then there's no word to describe our happiness.

What gigs did you not enjoy?

For example we didn't enjoy one date in our last tour because of the audience, which was really ignorant and rude. For the really first time we thought: we finish our show and take our money. Another gig we didn't enjoy was a long time ago when we was touring with another band: we started the concert and after a while realised that everything on stage was totally disconnected... we started improvising an intro while plugging in things around. It's very funny because after many years we had the opportunity to talk to someone who saw that concert and he said to us "the intro was so long.." !!!

Is there anything special incorporated within your performances?

Nothing that particular, in the past we used to carry objects like huge fire places to burn the incense, candles and so on. Now we only put our flag on the back of the stage. We prefer to be more essentials, we go deeper in the interpretation of the songs. We don't want to catch the attention of the audience because of the things happening on stage but because of the music, exclusively the music and the interpretation. Of course it's much more difficult for us to be "nude" like this, it's much more work, but it's very excinting to seduce the audience and to, somehow, make love with it.

When you have a performance what goes through your mind when you are on that stage. What is it that you feel. What sort of emotions do you go through when the eyes of the audience are on you?

Deraclamo: before I go on stage I'm totally nervous, I always feel this sort of fear like the first time. I'm unbearable, and the more I'm restless the more i feel anguished by various technical problems. Then when I go on stage I feel at home, I feel as just born, and when I listen that I play well I have the best sensation one can have. To cross the audience eyes gives me an emotion of inebriating complicity, a sort of extasy. But when I play not good I feel like a mess....

Leithana: it's hard to say because I think of many things at the same time: I listen if the sound is ok and if the song preceeds well and at the same time I control the distance between my mouth and the microfone, while I search in my mind for the words of the lyrics and play the notes of the keyboard, then maybe I've got time to look at the audience and see if they're listening, maybe I cross the eyes of a girl that looks at me in a strange way, I feel touched and look somewhere else, so i have a look if the sound engineer is behind his mixer or if he's gone to the bar to have a drink, then suddenly I feel thirsty... and it goes on like that. At the end of the concert I'm tired to death. This is the activity of the body, but during all the concert my soul is for the music.

Have you produced any music videos or films?

Yes we've produced a video "OES in Russia". It's a live show we did for the Russian television. Actually it's not available, but we'll release it again next year probably. We've never produced music for films even if we'd love to. What we're not much into are video-clips: we think that somehow they are the death of music, because they create a not-removable link between the music and the image, and there's no more room for personal fantasy. We think music should be something that frees fantasy and imagination; anybody listens to a song in a different way, so there can't be an image that works for all listeners. It's a shame to kill music that way.

What are your future plans?

We just released a mini-album called Signs. It contains six songs. Signs is a collection of rare songs, most of the songs are unreleased, the others tracks very fews had the opportunuty to listen to them. We're very happy with this cd, we think it's a good release and a pleasant listening. Then next September we'll release a compilation of our back catalogue. It'll be a double-cd containing some songs extracted from all the cds before Planetes (our back catalogue is not available anymore, or at least not available in an official version). This compilation will be interesting for all those who have never heard to our previous albums. Then after this in February 2000 we'll release our new album. Then hopefully a tour, and then we'll see...

Is there anything you would like to say to the readers?

Vulnerant omnes, ultima necat. [they all injure, the last one kills] related to hours.