Gothic Text files Dead Can Dance Interview

Dead Can Dance Interview

From: supermo@Nyongwa.CAM.ORG (Muhanned Al-nuaimy)
Date: Wed, 20 Oct 1993 02:11:52 GMT

Some people were asking about the new Dead Can Dance album. It's called Into the Labyrinth. It's an all new piece that they put together over the course of the last nine months. Personally I find that it's almost, but not quite, as good as Aion. Some of the songs have almost the exact same structure and tricks. And like on Aion, Brendan Perry keeps popping up and singing his own dull lyrics (sheesh, I wish he wouldn't keeps doing that).

It's definitely worth buying if you're into that stuff.

On the same subject, I interviewed the band last Friday. Perry absoluley loathes giving interviews, and Gerrard won't give them, but 4AD managed to convince Perry to set aside a couple of hours for Canada; I was assigned ten of them (thats right, they were giving 10 minute interviews about their life's work... sick isn't it?)

Anyway, half an hour before the interview I got a call from the PolyGram head office saying that Perry was exhausted and wouldn't be giving any interviews, but would I mind talking to Lisa Gerrard? Would I?..!!

Anyway, I interviewed Gerrard for over 20 minutes (She felt that it was impossible to encapsulate all that work into 10) and realized why she doesn't give many interviews... She can't speak succinctly. I realized just how bad the situation was when I got around to writing the article that afternoon. She rambles on for ages and it's very difficult to pull a decent quote out of any of it.

I have included my last edit of the interview below, althouth the final copy, which is due to be published in this week's HOUR magazine, contains a couple of minor cosmetic changes. You luck people get to read this before the rest of the world; I hope you appreciate it :-)

A freind of mine is transcribing the interview to be released on the 4AD mailing list. I'll get a copy from him and post it here when he's done. It's quite a bit more informative than the article below, even if it isn't as well written <g>.

Dead Can Dance

"Silence is so important when you're working," says Lisa Gerrard, Dead Can Dance's enigmatic chanteuse. "You must have periods where you don't hear anything, just to reflect on you've already done. Otherwise you traumatize your relationship with the piece that you're working on."

The haunting soundscapes that Dead Can Dance weave have become so demanding in both their conception and execution that Gerrard has little time to listen to anything else. Then of course there's the punishing schedule to contend with. After 15 years and seven albums together Gerrard and her partner Brendan Perry have built themselves a tremendous following, and when not on the road playing sell-out shows, they're either writing the scores for movies and plays, holding singing and percussion workshops, or working on the next album from their homes on either side of the planet.

Gerrard's home is in Australia and Perry's is in Ireland. Between them lies a planet-full of culture from which they cull the influences of their music. Reaching deep into the crypt of time they pull out influences from ancient traditions both Eastern and Western, dusting them off and piecing them together, before bringing the result to life with a puff of their own musical magic.

One of the results of the great distance between the two musicians is the presence of two distinct faces to their work. Gerrard sings without words, while Perry writes and sings English lyrics and rarely do both their voices grace the same song. Instead of sounding schizophrenic however, under the therapy of the music the two characters are woven together, giving a greater scope to the album on the whole. Despite their growing repertoire of recorded material, most of their material has never been recorded. Gerrard and Perry create much of their concert right on stage, spontaneously weaving tapestries of scintillating sound. "We always have a basic structure for a piece of music," explains Gerrard, "but we encourage the musicians to elaborate on whatever they feel at that particular moment. There's a definite conversation happening on stage. I think it is very important for us as creative musicians, to instantaneously describe any energy that is visible at that time."

Those moments Gerrard reserves exclusively for their live performance. "There are some pieces I would never want to record, because I don't ever want to imprison them with permanence. I want them to be subject to change. In a sense they measure where you are musically at that time, and that reveals yourself to you."

Dead Can Dance @ Sale Pierre Mercure Oct 24th. <In Montreal>