Hello there, how're you doing today?
Jindřich & Lucie > Greetings from the Beskydy mountains. We're still waiting for the real Spring and for some events on Spring. So exciting times!
First off, how'd you introduce and describe your music to someone not familiar with your works?
Jindřich > It is quite hard for me to describe it, because I can't distance myself from my own creation. Dark ritual muzik with mainly drone- and ambient-influences and male and female voices, maybe..? But very approximately. Soundscapes for/from our life-flow.
Your first track was published in 2011 on the Dark Ambient vol. 2 -compilation on Sombre Soniks Studios, but when was Druhá Smrt founded, and why? Was there a special reason or an event that led to it, or was there a cause that DS was born for?
Jindřich & Lucie > It was started in 2009 e.v. as an attempt to create a sonick expression of ritual practices and life-flow by Jindřich & Lucia S. (official statement). So, we just decided it was time to express the energies which we live. Frankly, we did not think specifically about why.
Jindřich > I remember that it was natural, something like "... and now let's create our ritual sound flow". It was the right time.
Was it clear from the beginning that Druhá Smrt would be heavily atmospheric and ambient-based music, or did you ponder some alternative forms of musical expression? Is (dark) ambient ambient something you listen to and explore often, or just one of the many genres of music you're into?
Jindřich & Lucie > Yes, as we mostly listen to Ritual Ambient, Drone and Dark Ambient, although we also listen to Black and Doom metal, Industrial, shamanistik muzik, ethno, film muzik, neo-classical, etc.
Are there some bands, music groups, or even visual artists or authors that you'd regard as highly influential on your work?
Jindřich & Lucie > We wouldn't like to look for any specific influences, because their effect is most likely a subconscious one mainly. Too much of wonderful Muzik...
How did you choose the name "Druhá Smrt" to label your works? It stands for "a second death," correct?
Jindřich & Lucie > Exactly. The name has its origin partly in symbolic expression, paradoxically "new beginning" for us, and it also refers magickally to "non-sephiroth" Daath. It's also the title of a novel from J. L. Borges that we like.
I've understood that you two are a couple, correct? Does this somehow show in the way your operate within the band or in the way you share the responsibilities regarding the compositions, artwork, and such?
Jindřich & Lucie > It is natural for us. We have a confluence in our life-flows, so we experience all the rituals, magickal currents, thoughts and emotions together. So when one gets an idea, it affects us both. Jindřich: muzik and vocals, and Lucie: artwork and vocals... Together: Druhá Smrt! :)
I understand if you wish to keep this one a secret, but would you like to reveal what kind of instruments you use, and what kind of methods you use to acquire the source sounds?
Jindřich > It doesn't need to be a secret. We record to DAW via audio interface mix 24-bit/192kHz. I do not use loops and everything is played "live" (in other words: in real time only... not step by step!) via MIDI keyboards, VST samplers, VST synths, sometimes real guitars, and fields recording (of course with some adjustments done afterwards).
Search for "sound" is rather given in advance due to the fact that the muzik comes to my consciousness from my unconsciousness only when the soundscape rises as a whole (so the "inspiration" for the work comes all at once), although I also welcome an immediate inspiration during recording. But, due to the authenticity, vocals are recorded only once. We do all this because we feel it is a necessity in order to transmit the energy while it's still flowing.
Your debut EP "Recurrence" came out in 2012. How did you end up with having Sombre Soniks release it, and have you been satisfied with their work so far? Have you followed how the EP has been received, and are you still fully satisfied with it yourselves?
Jindřich & Lucie > We are totally satisfied! It's amazing how Sombre Soniks Studios agreed to the release. We are very proud and honored that we could have "Recurrence" issued on Sombre Soniks. Big thanks to Priapus23 for his mastering that improved the original recordings, for his advices and for his friendship. Absolute professionalism, and we have to say that their access to artists is very motivating. We were met with only positive reactions with "Recurrence," and we appreciate the community for its approach. It was the first important step for us, for which we want to thank Sombre Soniks and all our fans. It should be understandable that we want our next albums to released via Sombre Soniks exclusively. It is something more than label for us. :)
You gave quite an interesting description or summary regarding your debut EP: "The album is an attempt to musickally channel the energy hidden in the ritual process of transformation and self-actualization in times of Eschaton. Seeking the gate that leads to the pathway of the Pandaemonickal deep unconscious source of life and death’s flow. The work of eternal recurrence." I'd have a few questions about that.
The first one: you obviously practice rituals, and I've come to understand that your beliefs play a big part in your day-to- day life as well, correct? What kind of rituals were performed while working on this EP, if you don't mind me asking? Further, are there some you'd recommend to your listeners, either to deepen the experience or to help them in some way?
Jindřich & Lucie > Yes, but to clarify: ritual approach to life involves the "ceremonies," but we rather perceive it as a "current" which we live. Rituals as a whole, and partially the other acts, are DIY... and the first phase is the revelation of one's own True Will. Inherent Dream. I wrote DIY, because I am influenced by many things, such as fringe thelema, chaos-magick, lovecraftian magick, shamanism, alchemy, archetypal psychology, etc... but the ritual acts and ceremonies are a very personal source of energy. What's fundamental, is our life-flowing...
I'm suspecting the (un)consciosness, self-actualization and transformation all refer to some kind of mental and/or spiritual awakening. When did you achieve it, and how - or is it fully an on-going process? Further, how did you originally wander into the realms of occult?
Jindřich & Lucie > Self-actualization... It's a neverending cyclic development process, a Path without goal ("delivered from the lust of result"). This also relates to the fact that the psyche has no end either. Each additional deep archetype that is integrated by ritual activity leads to an even deeper level. But when I write deep... "As below, so above..."
Jindřich > My interest in the occult and Hermeticism stems from my interest in literature and surrealism when I was a teenager. I've dealt with some of the "magical practices" for about 25 years.
You also speak of the times of Eschaton. What kind of an end or end-times are you talking about here? A full-fledged apocalypse, or a person's physical death? Further, what are your views and beliefs regarding one's physical death - what comes afterwards, if anything? I'm assuming this "eternal recurrence" refers to this matter.
Jindřich > We don't perceive the Eschaton as something that comes as an apocalyptic event in linear time in the future, but as a time (or "time" beyond time) of transition into con-current aeons that run in parallel right now. Like an attractor which occurred after the increasing entropy of the shamed old aeon, the christian era of inflated super-ego, and in this sense I enjoy the immanentization ov a new, although maybe strange age of chaos, and the awakening of ID-Entity.
If I had to describe it literally, for me this time of transition is Pandaemon Aeon of chaos-magick that I see as consistent with the Wordless Aeon, outlined by Kenneth Grant in his books. Also, I think that it is an internal process of transformation of archetypes in the human psyche or/and the transmutation of human into in-human psyche. Eschaton also has significance for me as an "egocide" viewed from a psychological perspective as an alchemical mortification stage: change as a prerequisite for growth.
"Eternal recurrence" is like permanent development, deeper, wider... transformation through transgression beyond horizon of one's own possibilities... I see physical death as a part of "life/death/life/death/life..."-process...
Since it seems to be a theme-release, what does the EP's second track "Something Strange" refer to?
Jindřich & Lucie > It is the phase of a ritual, when after the initial invocation "something strange" comes... change, awakening of "otherness" in the Jungian sense of Self (strange to Ego), but in this case there is rather an element of "Lovecraftian magick" practice in "Mauve Zone." This question is interesting also because it leads directly to the present as it will be revealed.
What could you tell us about the EP's visual side? There's a suspiciously red landscape on the back cover, but what is the cover image all about?
Lucie > The back cover is our everyday sunset, and the front is a vision of "eternal recurrence." The basis for this graphic was a photo of a snowflake sprinkled by our blood... This hexagonal frame has specific meaning for us... The graphics were created spontaneously.
You've taken part of five compilations with an exclusive track. Did the songs' themes or the ways of creating and processing them vary a lot from the work you did for "Recurrence"?
Jindřich > I think that there is some difference between albums and tracks for compilations, but it's not the difference in the basic sound structure of the compositions - only in the length and purpose, because an album will alwaysbe more complex. Also, we take care that the theme resonates with our lives, so for us it is the same path. It's amazing to participate on nice projects/compilations. I also have to say that such collaborations like our track with Akoustik Timbre Frekuency on Dark Ambient Vol. 5 was something magickal, and for me it was very important and spiritually rewarding. Both compilations and albums are a part of the same DS current.
I've understood that you're also working on an entirety called "Daemonick Mantra." What can you tell us about it?
Jindřich & Lucie > "Daemonick Mantra" was a project of our affirmations to Four Pillars ov the Year Wheel. It was recorded for our and our fans' enjoyment and released for free. Four Mantras, Four Moments ov Cycle... So, work on it is closed.
What lies in the future of Druhá Smrt? I've understood that a CD-version of "Recurrence" will be released in the near future, true? How about live performances, do you have any of those planned?
Jindřich & Lucie > No, it won't be "Recurrence." The next step is a new CD "ukhulth" on Sombre Soniks Studios.
Something about this CD: "This ritual is not an attempt of evokation, but really is invokation. What is in ourselves, our deepest buried Id-Entity, which is not as simple as superficial Ego. What is different - otherness, and what we fear most... is our hidden self. Dark One, who dwells forgotten in the kingdom of the dead, in the realm of dreams and visions. If we want to achieve wholeness and walk to the path on permanent transformation (which is individuation), we must wake up what is dead in us. Only then we can achieve it all, together with what we have forgotten and lost. It is again an eschatonickal ritual (like Druhá Smrt muzik is) because it is about our Dark Self, risen from the alleged grave, which will lead us in the paths of the future - through the time of the end - and maybe out of time..."
... so, about live performances: we haven't got any not planned, but maybe it'll happen in the future when our children grow up a little more. Secondly, it would have to be a ritual for this specific event. A CD or a digital album can capture (as a magickal diary) an energy transmission of what happened, or a current (and soundscape is a current) which was started by a ritual act and is now flowing, but we can't usually repeat the ritual physically again. It's not our arrogance or some pseudointellectual blah, but really a mainly physical problem for us. :)
Are you active in other fields of creation than music, such as visual art or literature?
Jindřich & Lucie > No. Druhá Smrt is currently the only artistic expression for us, and we think it will remain that way.
Just out of curiosity, have you ran into any great bands lately that you'd like to bring out here? Be they either ambient or some other type of music that you're into.
Jindřich > Akoustik Timbre Frekuency, Viginti Tres Saecula, Babalith, The Grave Dominion...
Lucie > Im Dunkeln, Tamerlan...
Is there something you'd like to add, ask or advertise that wasn't mentioned above?
Jindřich & Lucie > We would just like to say: honestly, thank you all at Damned By Light for the interesting questions and for interviewing us. It has been a true pleasure. :)
I thank you for your time and wish you well on your path.