Lux Divina vs. Foscor
There was an interview with Foscor in September, made by my friend from Malaysia, Bruno, and now here’s another one! This a special interview with Fiar, in which he is representing both bands, he is playing in. Last month’s theme circled around the band’s stuff, now we were having an irregular talk.
As I have minimal information, please introduce Lux Divina and Foscor (the bands’ short history, releases, etc.)
I would like to talk about both the bands’ history related to me...In fact, Falke and me (Fiar) started in 1996 with FOSCOR, composing a few riffs and playing at home. We played mostly guitar ( Falke) and bass/keyboards ( Fiar). The band’s style was forged as Black Metal, because of the admiration towards the early ‘90s Black Metal bands, and because of the will to recover old values misunderstood and forgotten by new movements. The inspiration we needed was found beyond the forests and caves, in a world of a darkness conceived from the recovering of an individual existence. On the other side, LUX DIVINA started his activity at the begining of ’98 by Norax (vocals), Sergio (drums), Endymion (guitars) and Ivan (bass), with the intention of creating a band wich could play a music as intense as the bands from the Northern Black Metal scene showed a few yers before, and centered in the paganism as main theme.
At the end of ’98, LUX DIVINA recorded the first demo called “Paganature”. With FOSCOR we recorded nothing serious ‘till ’99, because we used to play only at home for ourselves...then, we got some recording material, and the ideas and songs we had in mind started to became real. That was the moment when both bands’ ways were crossed and became together, because after meeting Norax in a concert, I entered in the LUX DIVINA’s horde as keyboard-player; then the style of LUX evolved because of the keyboards including, and the whole music became more dynamic and more majestic. At the same time, with FOSCOR we started to record the main lines of the songs, and programmed the drumms, with LUX DIVINA we recorded the first professional album; we selfreleased “Occasus Caeremonia” in 2000, with pro-printed Cds in 500 copies, old sold out after a few months.
Then, Norax, became the FOSCOR’s vocalist, to sing and take care of the lyrics and the written image...a thing on which we didn’t work until then. FOSCOR was always a feeling band, only with music, with atmosphere, without vocals and words to describe what our hearts felt... With Norax the circle was closed.
“Occasus Caeremonia” put our name among one of the best in the Spanish scene, and our hard work of promotion let LUX DIVINA become a bit more popular in other countries around the world. After Endymion left the band, and after him, Ivan and Dani (the next guitarist after Endymion), because of motivation problems... after great concerts and moments with them over the years, and in the moment of finishing the composition of the second album, these members’ leaving didn’t let us work in a good rhythm and follow the normal way of LUX DIVINA. Then, last year, before summer, we reborned as a full band, with 2 new members: Falke from FOSCOR as new, playing only the guitar, and Wilkhiem ( SHEMHAMPHORASH- singer/bass-player), closed the circle and let the band start recording the new stuff. Nowadays, we are going to start the promotion of the new stuff, sending the “Promo 2003”to the labels, with 3 songs from the whole album, recorded in our studio, and showing the great evolution the band has made with these new members and as a need.
With FOSCOR we finished the recording of the whole album 2 years ago, we sent 3 songs in the “Promo 2001”, but because of some problems with one label, finally we didn’t released the full lenght when it should have been released...while these problems happened, we released a split Cd with a Spanish (Galician) band called XERIÓN, where we included the 3 promo songs, and a cover of XERIÓN as new and unreleased stuff. It was in a limited handnumbered version in tape and Cd format.
Nowadays, we are waiting for the release of the whole FOSCOR album through another label, and preparing the promo stuff of LUX DIVINA to get a good contract and release our second full album....
Sorry man, this is not a very short history...but...believe me when I tell you, it is very resumed...The main point is that in the actual time, we are the same people in both bands, so the internal problems are not as important as in the past... Now we all walk together, to look for, and get the essence and great sensations this music give us.
Could you compare the two bands? What differences and similarities do you see between them?
Well, FOSCOR doesn’t focus his concept on paganism, but the members’ concepts are into it, obviously. We are Norax as vocalist, and Falke and me in the musical aspect. LUX DIVINA sounds like the Black Metal of middle ‘90s in Northern Europe, and with the time we have got a clear pagan sound, with keyboards atmospheres and clear voices, etc.... FOSCOR is the rawest part of all this. You have to keep in mind that I started in FOSCOR before I became LUX DIVINA’s member, and our concept was to show the darkness and feelings in a way without compromising any flag, only Black Metal...I think that the rawness of FOSCOR is a resume of all the things we live and feel, the pain and darkness as a way to create.
I don’t think the LUX DIVINA’s world is very different from the FOSCOR’s one, only that FOSCOR is the primitive way to understand all of these, and LUX DIVINA focuses its inspiration on a pagan conception, showing that... We don’t use keyboards every time as in LUX DIVINA, and the sound is more like decadence. We feel the epicism in the music, but in a decadence way, a darker one, not as contemplative and descriptive as in LUX DIVINA.
FOSCOR represents creatures of the night living in a cave... It’s a more aggressive music, I think, but as the name says ( FOSCOR’s meaning is “darkness” in the Catalan language), the darkness is our world. If I talk in musical aspects... there are some riffs similar in both bands, but the fact of having different sounds and main line compositions, make the final execution different. In the rhythm-levels, I think that LUX DIVINA’s mid-tempo shows immensity, and the FOSCOR’s one primitivism and darkness.
If in LUX DIVINA Nature is so important in the concept, and we look for the density and dynamism, FOSCOR bases his music in the individual enjoyment, apart of flags, individual as a searching, so the minimalism as essence. Well, obviously we are the same people composing in both bands, so the music comes from the same minds, and as we have clear ideas and defined style, the language and style we use is from the same school. I don’t say that both bands play different music, or are related with so different worlds.... but the emotivity and feeling we find, and the emphasis we give to each one is centered in different things.
I think that “primitive”, is a correct way to call FOSCOR’s music, first of all because we don’t like the bands wich think they could create a more unintelligible and chaothic music, more raw and evil in it. We like the melody, but getting the grim sound is FOSCOR’s need. LUX DIVINA plays Black Metal too, in the vein of the middle norsk ‘90s bands, but as the poethics and emotiveness we look for is different than FOSCOR’s, the raw and grim sound is no needed in the same way.
FOSCOR and LUX DIVINA performs Black Metal from the same school, it is obvious, but each band enfoque his efforts in different things, as different parts and situations of our lives. All the bands we are invloved in have to be image and consequence of our life values, attitudes and experiences... and if we need to “talk” with different bands, using different sounds and elements it’s like we felt in a way when we are at work, or we are with the colleagues, or a couple...the same values, but applied to different moments and landscapes. I hope you can understand that.
For example, I compose in both bands, but as I play the bass in FOSCOR and the keyboard in LUX DIVINA, the final result of this bass composition is different... this is different too. The primitivism you see in FOSCOR is because we look for it and because I play what I play there... in LUX DIVINA the evolution of one riff from me, can change the emotiveness if it’s played by Wilkhiem ( the new bassist ) or me.... at the same time if the main values are present. Do you think AURA NOIR and DODHEIMSGARD are exactly the same?? Or SATYRICION and STORM or WONGRAVEN...Well, having the same members...their style is clear and each band emphasises something different. You should listen to RHÜNE, the Dark Folk band of Norax and Falke... then you could see clear all of these...
I suspect that “Foscor” means something like darkness, but what does the name “Lux Divina” cover?
Well, LUX DIVINA is the name our ancestors used to call the light of the moon. This element has a lot of mystical connections and meanings, and as a dead body, which illuminates the night, is where our minds and spirits feel free. Anyway, LUX DIVINA doesn’t look for a dark or evil feeling as most bands. Terms as majesty, poethics, epicism, etc…are related within our music, and the darkness is a part of our hearts as a normal thing, not as a target we want to show. We chose this name, because this band is near things, which do not need to be inside a cave, as it can happen with FOSCOR.
LUX DIVINA is part of our mind’s world, and look for concepts independent from the typical ones... we play Black Metal, looking for the immensity and the poethics we have inside, to get the spreading of it. For exemple, FOSCOR (which means darkness in the Catalan language) contains our primitive and dark part, as inside a catacomb, cold and without light to see the modern world...In LUX DIVINA the Nature is a great inspiration for our compositions, as a mystical world in the night, and as the most beautiful thing, with light or without it.
Foscor plays a traditional black metal. What inspired the song “Inferus”?
INFERUS (Dungeons & Caves) is the name related with the world of lonely existence as in the caves. The band’s name, FOSCOR, is the wall of darkness unfront the modern and massive world; from the loneliness travel through us, the coldness of the lanscape of stone, ice and darkness envelop us and inspire our hearts. As this cold dark view, FOSCOR’s music performs direct ideas and sensations, raw and no need of detailed descriptions.
I heard that you have got in a serious contract with Foscor. If it is not a secret, please tell me with which label? What will your next material come out be and when will this happen?
Well, since before summer we are in contact with ECLIPSE PRODUCTIONS to release the first fullenght album of FOSCOR. In fact we are in conversations and doing the final mixing of the 7 songs. The date limits, or the period we think to release it is in January or December as earliest dates.
About the future now we can’t talk, because we have a lot of things in our heads and we have to live and put our effort day by day; we have sufficient new songs and base riffs to create a second album, but FOSCOR needs to finish the mixing, and we need to work hard with the new LUX DIVINA promo 2003, mixed a few days ago; we don’t have to think at other things which we may not be able to live.
Lux Divina plays a pagan metal. What kind of music inspired this and what are the lyrics about?
Our theme is related with paganism and a sincere way to express ourselves, as a way to enter in the world of the Great Mother, who show great part of the wisdom towards which men need to grow and be better day by day.
Our lyrics are as tales where old values are present every moment...Moments of wisdom and reflective minds upon a beautiful landscape, or take part of the battle as a wolf need of blood. Loyalty, respect, honor, wisdom, value, strenght, emotiveness, etc., are values, which our lyrics and musical moments contain, because these are the things that take us to follow our way to live, as a path where our own persons are the only things important upon the Nature. We talk about the Christian damage too, but as a way to show how men have and can lose their own being and essence, to take care of things only important for a few ones full of egoism and not a sincer way to relate themselves in harmony with all the surroundings.
We are people who listen more styles than Black Metal. Black Metal is our main language, but we are open to some other sounds as Folk music, or the first doom bands, or the death metal scene from late ‘80s, early ‘90s in Europe (Unleashed, Entombed, etc.). Norax and Falke are working in an intimate music band called RHÜNE (Dark Folk), and I have in mind to make reality some compositions with the keyboard to create something as Dark Symphonies, with a lot of lyrical and philosophical contents. So bands from the medieval scene or Dark Symphonies (early Mortiis, Arcana, Raison d’Etre, Empyrium, the early folk Ulver...) are part of our world. Concerning Black Metal, all the scenes from the early and middle’ 90s, mainly in Norway: bands like Burzum, Darkthrone, Emperor, Ved Buens Ende, Enslaved, Dodheimsgard, etc. I think these are our school.
We have taken influences from all the music styles I have commented, and as for us the main thing is the feeling and the atmosphere the band can catch... if you do a great mixture of all these things, you can imagine what kind of atmosphere we would like to create to express our emotions. Our music is a window to our hearts and states... and the way to express it in the music is by the density of the atmosphere. An immense music, which could express the intense feeling: as we do in our lives, looking for a better state in every moment. Under the word paganism applied to the music or lyrics of LUX DIVINA, we have two sides used at the same time. As the clean and epic voices and the raw and grim voices, both of Norax’s, in the lyrics we use moments of contemplation of Nature and all her beauty, and others as a wolf prepared for defending.
I don’t really know Spanish underground bands. Please introduce the underground scene (labels, ‘zines, bands, etc.). What do you think of those internationally successful bands like Heroes Del Silencio or Mago De Oz?
The Iberian scene is one of the least popular bands of the European Black Metal scene, and in my opinion (and I know it is the typical thing all the people say from his land scene...) there are a few bands very, very interesting to know about. I’m a person who support all the bands who show a true attitude, and I know many of them, but concerning the feelings their music give me, only a few ones share sufficient things to be very near to us.
From a common admiration and even collaboration, bands in the Black Metal scene as SHEMHAMPHORASH (the other band of our actual bassist, Wilhkiem... wait for a great album, casue in a few months they will release it for sure...), ARGAR, PRIMIGENIUM, EMPTY or AKERBELTZ have the true feeling to take care of themselves. All of them have different Black Metal points of view, but all of them with the old spirit in their veins, and could be considered as good proposals for anyone who loves this music and look for constant new sensations. Concerning Pagan scene, bands as NUMEN (you have interviewed them too...), NAZGUL, CRYSTALMOORS, BERSERK or XERIÓN, have defined their own way, as a valid one, and between the raw sound and a more direct and majestuous one, all of them are great bands.
Other scene that is well represented is the ambient one: here in Barcelona very good friends of us are ORDO FUNEBRIS and LUGBURZ (Medieval Neoclassical Music, and Dark Symphonies), who in a few months will start to spread across the world what they are showing here in Spain... a great emotiveness and quality, at the highest level. Other band is MORPHEUS, or CHAOS CONDENSED, bands or projects of Industrial Ritual Ambient Music, which have been very welcome here and in the rest of Europe. I recommend all of them, and many more with an interesting proposal, worth to be listened, so what you can expect is a scene that grows every day, and which in a few months or years may be one of the more interesting ones.
Concerning labels we can talk about such as the ex-Repulse Records EXTREME MUSIC, DEATH TO MANKIND, or VOLIAC, to NIGRA MORS or ARCANE PRODUCTIONS.
About magazines, the landscape is variated too: VAMPIRIA mag., UNHOLY CROSS, etc…, or MANDRAGORA, BLOODY ZINE, NIGRA MORS, ARHGURA mag., an unknown scene, but very talented and with a great strength for the near future.
About the bands you have commented... maybe because both bands have their own character, both have got international success... About that, maybe the Black Metal bands could learn something about what playing the music one loves means... not the music the masses or the fashion say...
Could you give us a short historical presentation of Catalunya?
Oh man...it is very difficult to resume the history of a country that starts in the Iberian times, and ‘till now has lived an intense sequence of important events.
About my land I can start talking about the great background that old civilizations left there: a lot of megalithic monuments, cromlechs, dolmens,etc, related with legends, mysticism and magic. Generally, Iberia has a lot of legends coming from her status of “finisterre”, the place where the world finished in old conceptions. The Romans arrived here and create great cities and constructions: Tarraco, or Barcino (Barcelona), as important maritim points, or Empuries, with incredible rests of Roman civilization...
So Catalunya has a very old history of events, but is only a bit more than 1000 years that we can talk about Catalunya, as consolidated nation, in a period where Christianism and Islamism hit this lands. It was in the middle ages when the strenght of this land grew more, and our conquerings (with “Almogavers” warriors as force: they were strong men, a lot of them came from Northern lands) arrived to the South, actual France, (“Provenza and Occitania”), the “Aragó” territory in the West, “Valencia” in the South, “Balears”, “Cerdenya” and “Córcega” Isles in the East, and far from here to Sicilia, Napoles, northern of Africa, and Oriental lands. It is a period of economical and cultural power, developing laws, technics and a great artistic moment: the poetry, philosophy, the Romanic art, and the Gothic art live splendorous universal moments, and as society we were the originary one of the actual democracy.
Sadly for our nation, in the Renaissance, the Castillian regal house became stronger, and the American descovering makes less important the Mediterranian control we had. After the war between France and Castilla, Catalunya starts to lose territory, and it was not ‘till 1714 when our rights and institutions where attacked and degraded because the hunger of Castillian realm. Our language was forbbiden, and our cultural decadence was completed. Thanks to our strong spirit, Catalunya became the stronger industrial zone of the Iberian peninsula, and since the middle of the 19th century a slow recovering of our own characteristics takes this land to recover the cultural splendorous moments of the past creating great movements: Modernism in architecture, graphic arts, and Noucentism takes Catalunya to the highest cultural positions. Another time, and sadly for us and the world, the civil war provokes that the dictator Franco turned in repressive the Spanish politics...and our cultural difference was forbidden with a strong attitude...
In the actual times, Catalunya is one of the most important regions in Spain, but a lot of old ways of thinking make the relation between us and the rest of Spain a bit difficult... Well man, this is a very, very resumed explanation of my land.... I think that Catalunya have had a lot of grandious moments in the history, (as the rest of Spain, but I’m talking about the place where I live...), and have had very grandious men from who we can learn a lot of things to be better each one of us.
If I’m well informed, there are some antagonisms/differences between Catalans and Spanish. Tell us something about this.
There are a few levels of this understanding, I think. As a musician in the Black Metal scene, the main problem is only the distance we have between our friends, making it difficult to be in contact, and go to play to their cities over Spain, with their bands, and share great moments of comradeship.
The underground scene is great here, we are in contact with a lot of members of another bands, and when we have the opportunity to meet, because of a travel or a concert, we feel proud to be in this world of “darkness”. This is the problem with our friends... but in general terms, and being serious, the main problem between these two lands is the bad comprehension many Spanish people have about our reality and national feelings.
Of course I’m talking in general terms, but as the general terms are the power of the fucking Government, the problems go to limits that generate angry situations. In the ‘40s, after the National War, started a tricky/delicate situation between the different autonomous regions, and the importance of the differences between Madrid and Barcelona, as the capital of the most important ones became stronger. This is a fucking situation generated by the politicians, just like now, but there are a lot of fucking peolpe full of stupidity that think Catalunya and his peolpe are enemies of their Spanish unity. This is shit!!!
Of course that I defend my land because I’m proud to have my own culture, but as it happens with the Basque Country or the Galician fields... we have a different culture and language from the spanish one, and this is a thing that a lot Spanish people don’t understand; they think that we speak another language to fuck them, but this people don’t understand that we defend our essence when we feel attacked and the normal days we speak different and think different because we are different...
Well, I think this is too long to explain it in this space; the main thing I would like to say is that I’m proud to have intelligent friends over the whole Spanish fields, peolpe that talk of the spirit’s purity and essence, people who respect the difference because this difference is interesting, because we are sincere with our attitude and way to live... people that don’t think that the most important things are material objects, or that money talks....
People who don’t take part of the stupid world masses, and have their own feelings and ideas; they respect me as I respect them as individual ones, because of their attitude and sincerity, not interest and falseness.
Barcelona is the center of Catalunya and the center of the European football. Do you like football? Do you go to games? Do you support FC Barcelona or Espaniol?
Yes man, Barcelona is the capital (city) of Catalunya; is the biggest provincial capital of the 4 ones that comprehends Catalunya. Catalunya has 6 million of people, Barcelona (province) has 3 million, and Barcelona (city) 1,5 million...well, numbers at least...
And about football, yes!!! I have been an FC Barcelona supporter for many years, as I go to the stadium very often; so about football or sports in general, I like to see a lot of them, and more if F.C. Barcelona plays there: I’m very proud to be a part of a great club in all the sport disciplines (basket, football, hokey, handball...).
With R.C.D.Espanyol, the relation is of a big rivalry, because we are city neighbours, but the BIG rivalry is with Real Madrid...there are more than sportive matters...Madrid, as the historical Spanish capital, and Barcelona or Catalunya as the connection with Europe...
It is not only “hate” in the sport, there are a lot of historical successes that have provoked that competition between clubs and cities: for example, in the Civil War our country was repressed because of having a different culture, language, and a way to think in general terms; then clubs or elements as F.C Barcelona represented the maintaining of a great part of the Catalan culture, as a symbol of the land... it is a stupid thing to give to a football club the status of a cultural... icon, but when stupid things (as the Real Madrid winning cups because of the dictator “wish” or help, or repression in other forms) could happened... it is normal that many Catalan people have in the F.C Barcelona a very important element of discussion between two strong cities.
There is a phrase to describe F.C.B. very clear that can help people understand the Catalan character: “Barça is more than a club”- it suggests the emotive way to take care of things. Catalunya is a great place where many people had showed their talents through the years...and many of these things are so important for people as it is the best thing. If you put this reflexion into our theme, the black metal... well, you can imagine the importance we give the music and our bands...Is a way of life.
Tell me something about Spanish women; we consider they are fiery lovers. Is this so?
Well...it is obvious that the Latin character in general terms is more passionate than the Northern people’s. So Spanish women, or Italian ones for example, it is true that have a different sensuality or way to show their femininity than other women. Anyway, nowadays I think you can find a fiery girl anywhere you could go... isn’t it??
If you talk about bed matters... I can’t compare man...je, je... I only know about Catalan girls...je, je... but about sensuality and sensual movements and attitudes, be sure here you will find a lot of inspiration.
All these things are depending on the country you live, because here in Spain we consider (as a thought...) the Italian women more fiery than our ones... and from the things I have listened, the Italian men consider the same about the Spanish ones...well, now I say, and don’t you think the Brasilian ones can be more fiery than ours for example?? All this opinions and matters are topics that the tradition and the time has create...
Do you like Pedro Almodovar’s movies?
Sincerly I have to say that I don’t have a bad opinion of Almodovar’s movies, but he is one director between many more...His last movies are good ones, not because of the stupid Oscar the fucking U.S.A Academy gave him...but for the real stories he explained, and the good roles some of their actors made. This is an objective opinion, casue I prefer another kind of movies... for example Julio Medem’s movies.
His movies are more contemplative, and have a clear distance between the Spanish reality…in Almodovar’s movies you can see some topics of the Spanish people that I don’t like too much; better said, I prefer something more distant than the common things. Medem’s movies are more philosophical, and with a great photography and the choosing of places to make the action happen. I like cinema... but I’m not a great follower of the work of each director, I prefer to center my atention on musical themes, philosophical themes or architectural ones: Art in general, and music especially.
What do you think about ETA’s activity? Do you consider terrorism to be a solution to anything?
Buff... this is a very delicate theme, man; and very difficult to explain in a few words. Apart from ideologies and political considerations between Spain and the Basque Country (themes and problems near to the Catalan situation...), I think E.T.A. is a group of cowards that kill people from the back, and steal money from his own people not thinking of the true or the best thing for their country. I repeat, I don’t want to consider nothing more... you have asked me about E.T.A., so here you have my answer.
About terrorism as a way of solution to problems, I only can say that I hate all the attitudes that don’t bring the things face to face...so the terrorism is the perfect example of a coward act. If you asked me about war... well, if both parts agree and have the same conditions (difficult thing...), go on man!!!
Maybe is a very idealistic way of thinking... but if I have to hit someone, I prefer to use my hands above other things. I hope this answer is easy to be understood.
Please give a comment on this thought of F. Goya’s: “Damn it! A man who starts living among people will never void enigma. And if he doesn’t want it he will have to go to the woods and mountains. Anyway he will learn there that life is enigma itself.”
If I understand well the meaning of these words... and sorry but it is a bit difficult to understand it in English, I think that to live in society or with people, the relationship between them makes this “man” incapable to get a lonely reflexion of his life, the sense of it and how to understand the meaning of existence...
I think that the influence of the mass is very hard, and to get the minimum internal peace to get this state of conscinence is more difficult that being in a mountain or only think about it...
There are different levels of this problem in a man’s spirit, the question is too difficult to accept, and more difficult to find the final answer. The role of each man inside the world and Universe needs a very hard reflexion...so a good answer could be to accept you as you are, as a part of the great organism that represents the Great Mother; between men, or in society, the question can be as hard as concerning the whole sense, or can be reduced to the relations between men... a thing a bit easier to be answered.
Both things only depend on the spiritual strenght, and the enthusiasm to live every moment as the main one. Only if the people accept the main rules: life and death at last; can be found a sense for all the relations... in masses or, and in the end with ourselves. Sorry for the answer, cause I think it is a bit enigmatic, the problem is that to explain my ideas in another language is more difficult.
What do you consider to be missing from this interview? What would be the question that I haven’t asked and you want to answer it? Please do it!
Sorry Mirgilus, but at the moment I don’t know very well what could a missed question be... I think my answers are a bit repeating themselves in some moments...especially in philosophical and feeling themes.... so another answer could be related with a resume of our concept of the Black Metal scene in general, and what’s our opinion of this world and movement: attitude.
Our main wish is to get the best sensations we can with our music, and spread a message a bit different of the actual point of view: look for the true spirit, with us and with this way of live... not being part of the masses.
Thanks Mirgilus for your support and great patience waiting for my answers. Follow that way man, sincere and seriously. With people as you, the scene could grow stronger day by day, I’m sure... All the best!!!