Hi Dennie! I have found your band browsing an internet, and was surprised why the hell I didn’t heard you before! So, let’s start. Tell me about Saille. Why did you decide to name the band with such title? What kind of ideas do you explore?
Saille is a letter in the old Irish alphabet Ogham, meaning willow. When Dries chose the name, back in 2008, he picked it because of esthetical reasons and not so much because of a deeper meaning. The ideas we did explore have varied throughout our history, but the general ideas have always been ‘the beauty of destruction’ and ‘Saille as a teacher’, someone who reaches out to listeners, hands over topics and invites the listener to delve deeper into those topics. Our first album ‘Irreversible Decay’ was about apocalyptic events, “Ritu” handled death rites in different cultures, “Eldritch” was a selection of classical and contemporary horror literature and “Gnosis” is about the Promethean/Luciferian ideal. Pretty diverse, but with “Gnosis” we have worked towards a more complete band concept and we’ll be more consistent considering album concepts in the future.
“Gnosis ” album going to be released on March 17th via Code666. How does that make you feel? Do you feel you have put album into masses without any wishes to change something now?
The release of an album is always an amazing period. It’s something a lot of people have been working towards for months or even years, and to finally be able to show it to the world is something of magic. Of course there are things we would do different, I believe that every artist that claims “my new album is perfect and I wouldn’t change one bit on it” is either a liar or a narcissist, perfection simply doesn’t exist. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t happy with the result. On the contrary, it’s a great step towards the new definition of Saille, without simply abandoning everything we have done before!
Tell me more about “Gnosis”? Album ideas etc…
As I said, “Gnosis” is about Promethean/Luciferian ideal, more precisely the search for knowledge or enlightenment and all the dangers that quest may hold. You could consider Alexander Scriabin’s “Prometheus: The Poem of Fire” as the central piece of the backstory, although no lyrics were based directly on that piece.
The idea for the Promethean/Luciferian ideal itself was born at Nidrosian Black Mass V during the Aosoth performance. MKM’s performance combined with the fire on stage reminded me of Prometheus for some reason, so when I came home I spent hours just researching the myth, Scriabin’s poem and other related topics in my library.
Where do you take all inspiration from?
Almost every lyric I’ve ever written is based on literature. The written word has always been my main inspiration source and will probably remain so until the end of time. “Gnosis” contains songs on apocryphal texts, bible verses, and several pieces of classical literature, such as Milton’s Paradise Lost or Shelley’s Frankensten. Only things that I would actually read in my spare time and aren’t read purely in function of those lyrics. It’s easier to write about topics that really interest you.
In your opinion, what is the best way to define Saille’s sound?
We’ve tried to define our sound time after time and always fail to do so, so I tend to repeat the same piece of text I’ve written in the past:
Saille is the soundtrack to a comet smashing into Earth, the Black Plague killing off millions in Europe and R’lyeh rising from the seas. It’s the tune the Devil and his disciples dance to on Walpurgis night atop Brocken mountain and it’s the insane droning that guides the Elder Gods when they come to reclaim their rightful dominion on earth. It’s crackling of the gnostic fire that will lead us to limitless potential and the roar of a flood coming to wipe us all out. It is depression and cheerfulness, misery and hope, darkness and light.
So, are you on hiatus now, just relaxed and looking for album feedbacks, or did you started to compose new stuff immediately?
No hiatus here, we’ve already started brainstorming about our future releases, our guitarists are writing riffs and I’m researching possible concepts. We’re not going to waste any time doing nothing and if it results in having something new to show in a couple of months, all the better.
What are your main musical influences? How huge is their influence in your sound?
There’s a lot of variety when it comes to musical influences, probably because everyone of us has a different background when it comes to preferred music. Dries always had this classical influence (which very much defined the early albums), Kristof is also into funk, Reinier and Collin are the death metal guys, Kevin is into everything extreme in general and I’m heavily into serious old school and occult stuff, be it black metal, 70ies or doom. There’s some common ground in the death/black metal area, but we often even argue about the sub-sub-genres that can be found there. If you’re talking about bands, Keep of Kalessin, Limbonic Art and Tartaros were always named in the past, but these days bands like Behemoth, Shining (SWE), Watain, Emperor and even Carcass are way more important.
Is there some well-known musician in particular that you would like to use in one of your upcoming albums?
Attila Csihar, without a doubt. I’ve been pulling ‘a Mayhem’ on several occasions on the last two albums and it would be perfect if those vocal lines could be brought alive by the man who provided the inspiration, and who, in my opinion, has the best voice in the entire black metal scene. Ever. No discussion there.
What is your personal strategy for making your music heard by a larger audience?
First, make decent music. There’s a ton of crap bands out there that can buy their fame, because they’re nothing but a corporation backed brand that by coincidence generates music, but what’s the entire point in that? Decent music is key! Second, dig in the promo aspect, get familiar with social media, network a lot, get everybody in your band involved, appreciate your fans, be ready to invest in it (but make it count, just throwing around money is stupid), … Having a real band is hard work that is going to cost hours each day and, until you reach a certain point, quite some money each year. Third, be honest. Nobody likes a poser.
Do you have any other hobby beside music?
I spent most of my time with my girlfriend, both of us aiming at combining daily life with a black ‘n’ roll lifestyle. Besides that, I’m often reading a book, watching a movie or playing some horror game. I’m a fear junky, haha. And finally, I try to study some IT stuff. I program for a living and to one day be able to do this in a tour van would be a dream come true. Most of my other hobbies combine pretty great with my music, by the way.
Are you all supported by your relatives towards your devotion to music?
All relatives have been very supportive so far, I have nothing to complain at all! But in the end, the only relative whose support I really need is my girlfriend. She has my back for the full hundred percent, even though it isn’t always easy for her. Especially when I’m on the road for several days in a row, it can be quite heavy on her. But she knew what she signed up for and isn’t one of those people that ‘is totally okay with it’ in the beginning, but afterwards tries to emotionally blackmail you into quitting.
How’s the metal scene in your part of Belgium right now? Is it easy to play gigs, to buy records etc there these days?
It’s good, I guess. About 10 years ago, things went more or less to shit and a big part of the underground collapsed. Bands quit, message boards were abandoned, venues closed, … Happened all over Europe, really shitty, but I think scenes live with these kinds of intervals. Things seem to have stabilized lately though. There’s tons of new bands, several venues (re)opening throughout the country and several dedicated organizations booking shows. Records were never hard to get. Yes, there have been small/independent stores that had to shut their doors (or become creative), but there are others, like Fat Kat Records in Antwerp, that have managed to bring decent music to the masses for ages. The general attitude towards a metalhead in Belgium is pretty much accepted. Whether this is a good thing or not is beyond the scope of this interview, because I could go on for hours about that, haha.
Thank you for answering my questions, see ya on the road!
Thank you for being interested in Saille! We’re currently booking shows all over Europe and we have been doing this promo thing in the States and Canada for “Gnosis”, so we’re ready to punch the world in its face!