[Interview] La Torture Des Ténèbres

La Torture Des Ténèbres has attracted attention for its productivity, its musical quality, its strong identity and the subtleties of its themes. At the beginning of this year, we gave a voice to Jessica Kinney.

L.G. : Welcome in Mithra ! Templezine, your last album, “IV – Memoirs of a Machine Girl”, is available on the label Grey Matter Productions. How did you get in contact with each other ?

J. K. : Hi + thanks for having me! Grey Matter reached out to LTDT late last year asking if we wanted to put IV on tape. Seeing how well the label’s ideology matched up with ours, we gladly agreed.

L.G. :The artworks of your albums are in a science-fiction aesthetic, with for some of them a dystopian touch. In fact, it’s difficult to avoid thinking about movies such as Metropolis ( Fritz Lang, 1927) when we see them. Do you think that the cinema is an important influence for you and your music?

We don’t draw inspiration directly from cinema, but it certainly has influenced us on a subconscious level. Our musical end products end up matching the aesthetic of vintage sci-fi more often than not.

L.G. : Dystopia, as you know it, is a literary genre. Are you familiar with novels from authors such as George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, or Zamiatine?

Not intimately, but with the current state of civilization, it’s unsurprising our music echoes similar dystopian themes.

L.G. : There is a well-known quotation from the novel “1984”: “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.” what is your vision of the future?

A civilization where independent thought is no longer impeded by omnipresent voices of commercialism and conformity.

L.G. : Your compositions are oniric but their bites are realistic… Oniric by their structurations and their atypic sounds because ; the emotions instilled by your noisy music are very close to the feeling of being captive of a social mechanism, a logic which controls the people. Are you familiar with the books of  Lewis Mumford who was an American historian of technology and his concept of “megamachine” ?

Not with Mumford in particular, but with the megamachine to some extent. The overarching structure through which society functions and into which its constituents are integrated is a recurring theme in our work.

L.G. : Your music seems to crystallize an anxious surpassing of our condition. Are you searching to express the obsolescence of the being through accession of the non-humanity paradoxically created by mankind ?

LTDT aims to explore such dehumanization as a warning against its resulting obsolescence of the being. The loss of self to the sociopolitical machine is in our opinion one of the greatest tragedies our of time.

L.G. : The title of your album “Civilization Is The Tomb Of Our Noble Gods” is interesting,  I think, can you enlighten its meaning ?  

Noble gods refers to the vast, untapped potential within each and every human being. This potential has been entombed within our civilization’s current rationally oppressive structures.

L.G. :I would like to know what is your definition of the word “ Ténèbres” ? What is behind this word for you?

Ténèbres refers to all that which is unknown, unspoken and intangible which enacts its influence upon us. The ever unknowable true intentions of others, the unspoken evils which we commit upon each other and the intangible ways in which society molds and constrains our lives. These obscured yet omnipresent influences surround us in constant darkness.

L.G. : The atmospheres  in your work have a very powerful and impressive aspect. It’s maybe a personal question, but what is your worst nightmare?

A world in which genuine human connection is entirely replaced by social conventions and unbending self-interest.

L.G. : You clearly have black metal influences, but your music is also fed by noise rock and crusty influences. Do you consider La Torture des Ténèbres a black metal band?

Black metal textures are at the core of LTDT’s sonic aesthetic, but we’ve always considered this project as something more than a black metal band.

 

 

 

FSV: Where did you find all of those samples and soundscape you are using in your albums to create such unique atmosphere? Old movies and documentaries maybe?

Vintage sci-fi films and notable historical discourses are sampled in our music, but most of our samples are actually field recordings of conversations, concerts or metropolitan environments.

FSV: In some of your songs, you seems to regret the absence of people you once know or even loved like in “Love pumps through my veins as quickly as you kiss me goodbye”. Is music the best way for you to really express all those feelings and emotions?

LTDT’s purpose is not my personal catharsis, but the project does explore such emotions, as they can result from surrendering yourself to the currents of modern society. After extensive depersonalization, you will be unrecognizable and unlovable to those you care about. Conversely, such emotions can also result from not surrendering yourself to the currents of modern society in an environment where everyone around you is doing so.

FSV: You seem to be very quiet on the socials networks regarding La Torture Des Ténèbres, no dedicated facebook page for example. Why is that? What are your opinion on socials networks such as Facebook?

As I alluded to earlier, as LTDT is not exactly a band or a commercial musical artist, we felt it unfitting to officially present it as such. Social networks are excellent tools for efficient and widespread communication, but this highly efficient and all-embracing nature make them a powerful tool for conscious and subconscious cognitive manipulation and dissemination of popular ideologies.

FSV: La Torture des Ténèbres is your personal project and you handle every part of it, musically speaking. What was your motivation to start it?

LTDT was started as a form of audio-psychotropic for the treatment of psychotic and depressive illness.

FSV: Is la Torture des Ténèbres will stay a studio project or will you think in the future to recruit some musicians with you in order to perform live shows?

Several live performances have already taken place. LTDT has had the honor of sharing the stage with Thantifaxath, Panzerfaust, Cruciamentum and many more.

FSV: Can you give us the name of some artists who are important in your life?

During the inception of LTDT, I was deeply inspired by Mories of Gnaw Their Tongues and Sang-Ho Moon of Aek Gwi, both visionary artists whose work showed me how far one could push the boundaries of musical creation. I’ve had the great honor of getting in touch with both of them recently. Val Dorr and Reuben Christopher Jordan of Ævangelist are incredibly talented musicians whose approachability and ingenious musical output have never failed to inspire me. Also very approachable and talented, Ken Sorceron of Abigail Williams and The Accuser lore has been in touch with me since before LTDT even existed. He’s always been one of my biggest musical idols, so it’s been wonderful sharing ideas with each other and learning things from him. Discussion with Ken and with Markov Soroka of Aureole in the earlier days of LTDT really pushed me to get the project into motion. Mr. Soroka’s been amazingly supportive of LTDT since Choirs Of Emptiness was released; his belief in the project and its potential accounts to a notable extent for LTDT getting to where it is today.

FSV: You are a very prolific artist since you started this musical journey with a good amount of releases now. Is the process of music composing a very time-consuming one for you?

Absolutely. I live these songs day in day out, and the end products presented on our records are the result of constant processes of compositional evolution.

FSV: What bands are you listening to right now?

Since it’s winter in Ottawa, I’m currently listening to Vothana, Axis of Light, demo-era Bosse-De-Nage, Imperial Trumpet, Xothist, demo-era Leviathan, demo-era Peste Noire and Ghaisiuan.

FSV: Thank you for your time. Do you have any final words?

Many thanks for offering LTDT this interview! And many thanks to everyone who listens to and supports our work; we sincerely hope our music can help you find solace on a philosophical and a psychological level.

La Torture des Ténèbres : Bandcamp, Youtube

Questions written  by FSV and L.G. in february 2018.

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