Interview with Dead Souls Rising… By Tzina Dovve (DJ Lady Davinia)…

Dead Souls Rising… A dark goth band/act emerges on the French underground scene in the early 90’s captivating goths around the world with its haunting dark melodies and alluring female vocals… After years of silence these gothsters rise from the grave ready to take the goth world by storm once again… Main members Sebastien and Alastrelle talk about their early goth days, their reformation and the pandemic, new album and new project and much more… An interesting and intriguing insight on what this dark goth duo is all about… Dead Souls Rising… By Tzina Dovve (DJ Lady Davinia)…

Tzina: Welcome to Absolution. Dead Souls Rising are a band/act that emerged on the French goth scene in the early 90’s and, as I understand, after some line-up changes took a break from the underground scene for some years. How and when exactly did you form and who are the current members of the band?

A & S: Hello and thank you Lady Davinia for welcoming us to Absolution! Indeed Dead Souls Rising was born in Lyon (France) in 1993. We were originally three members : Pascal X, Sébastien and Alastrelle, then quite quickly the group continued as a duo with Sébastien & Alastrelle from 1993 to 1997. From 1997 to 2003 several line-ups followed one after another. From 2003 to 2019 there was a very long break, then in 2019 the two original members of the band re-formed Dead Souls Rising and are the current members of the group.

Tzina: As I understand Dead Souls Rising made a comeback in 2019 with the release of your third full-length album ‘Isadora’ (a little before the pandemic). What prompted you to return to the goth/dark/alternative scene after your years of silence? Can you elaborate…

A & S: The desire to re-form the band came naturally as we both missed making music together. When we started to composing again, we found the same ease of creating songs as when we were 20 years old. The songs from ‘Isadora’ came together very quickly and that motivated us to pick up Dead Souls Rising where we left off in 1997.

Tzina: What is the story behind the band’s name? Why the name ‘Dead Souls Rising’ in particular? Is there some sort of symbolic meaning behind this title? What does this title mean to the band?

A & S: The name was in homage to Diamanda Galas who is fascinating. We can find the symbolism that speaks to everyone in this name, an elevation and a deliverance. ‘Dead Souls’ is also a Joy Division song title which we love.

Tzina: Your music is quintessentially dark with some distinct melodies and captivating female vocals. Who has been the main songwriter in the band during your early years and now? How is a Dead Souls Rising creation brought to life? Where do you derive your inspiration from to write such dark melodies and what are your main influences?

A: The main composer all these years has been Sébastien. Alastrelle sets the melody of the song (in French we say “en yahourt”) and then come the lyrics. Sometimes we switch roles by giving each other ideas. In general, Sébastien sends me an idea and then it evolves little by little depending on the melody and flow that I suggest to him, so it’s a super interesting way of working. It’s great to be able to work remotely by sending files to each other. Our inspirations are diverse and varied but I think it’s the music we listened to as teenagers that remains. So yes, we are children of the 80’s and our musical tastes are Post Punk, New Wave, Cold Wave, Goth and Rock. My two biggest influences in terms of female singers are, unsurprisingly, Siouxsie and X Mal Deutschland.

S: I still like the groups that created the dark scene (Bauhaus, Joy Division, The Cure, Siouxsie, And Also The Trees etc…), but on the current scene I prefer Post Punk bands in the tradition of The Murder Capital and Fontaines DC or artists like Jehnny Beth, Nadine Shah or the noisy sound of A Place to Bury Strangers. I certainly forget a lot of artists that I admire though.

Tzina: Dead Souls Rising have a few releases under their belt with two full length albums in the 90’s, ‘Ars Magica’ in 1995 and ‘Scented Garden’ in 1997, the live album ‘Clepsydre’ in 1999, the comeback album ‘Isadora’ in 2019, ‘Miroir Illusions’ in 2022 and most recently ‘Black Out’ in April 2023. How have these newer albums been received by your fans and music press around the world, ‘Black Out’ in particular? What is this album all about and what makes it different to your other releases? Can you elaborate…

A & S: The albums have been well received by the public and fans. Our latest ‘Black Out’ (available on our label Mysis Records) was composed during the pandemic, so it is more tortured and sometimes cold. Its theme is madness and mental illnesses such as anorexia, split personalities, depression and burn-out etc… ‘Black Out’ differs from our other releases as it is also more synthetic and electro.

Tzina: As I understand you have also released some singles from this album with accompanying videos on YouTube this year, your most recent the song ‘Burn Out’ which only just got released. How important are videos to Dead Souls Rising? Do you think the visual side is as fundamental as the music side to a band? Can you elaborate…

A & S: We have always attached importance to visuals, whether in terms of covers, photos or the aesthetics of our video clips. We try, on our own level, to offer original visuals that are different from  previous ones. In our latest music video ‘Burn Out’ we integrated contemporary dance as well.

Tzina: Dead Souls Rising have always been an active live band over the years with a number of performances around Europe. What do you enjoy most about playing live and what is one of your fondest memories from a live show? Are there any plans for any upcoming shows in the near future?

A & S: Playing live is magical and we like to create an atmosphere both theatrical and visual. Meeting our fans is also very pleasant! A memory from the 90’s was when we opened for Project Pitchfork, a band which we were very much fans of at the time, was super exciting!

Tzina: As I understand you participated in a few livestreams after your comeback including ‘Goths For Sanctuaries’ in 2022. What are your views on these livestreams and the virtual world that played a huge role in the music world during the pandemic? Are Dead Souls Rising a big part of this virtual world?

A & S: During the pandemic, many bands had become attached to this virtual world, just like us. We enjoyed participating in a few livestreams including ‘Goths For Sanctuaries’. We will soon also be offering a great remix of one of our songs for ‘Goths For Sanctuaries 2023’! We hope you will spin it at parties 😊

Tzina: The past few years has seen a large number of new bands emerge on the underground scene around the globe. Do you believe there is some sort of goth revival happening at the moment? Do you follow the scene? Any particular bands you admire?

A & S: Yes, we follow the scene closely or from afar, thanks to social media networks. A lot of new bands are emerging and the dark scene is doing quite well with a lot of events and concerts being scheduled. It is simply great!

Tzina: As goth veterans from the 90’s how do you view the underground scene of today? Do you think it has changed dramatically over the last thirty years? Can you elaborate…

A & S: We are witnessing a revival of the 80’s and 90’s, with lots of bands scheduled to play and our idols are re-forming their bands and touring around the world again. It’s true that this is very pleasant and we have the privilege of seeing them again after 20 years ! What has changed a lot though is the movement is better known and has grown throughout the world. There are lots of young bands emerging and it’s pretty great!

Tzina: What are your ambitions for Dead Souls Rising in the future? As I understand you also have a new side project under the name of ‘Polarlicht’ which just released the debut single ‘Claustrophobie’ (Claustrophobia in French). Can you tell us a little about this project. What can your fans expect from you in the near future?

A: The Polarlicht project you are talking about is Alastrelle’s side project with one of her friends  Marx. I invite you to discover  their universe on their FB : ‘Claustrophobia’ will be part of Polarlich’s EP ‘Unforgotten Dreams’ on all download platforms.

A & S: Our plan for Dead Souls Rising is to continue making music!

Tzina: Thank you for your time… Anything else you would like to share with your fans?

A & S: We would like to thank our fans for their support and for those who want to purchase our latest album ‘Black Out’ it’s here. Thank you Dear Lady Davinia and long live Absolution!

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