With Opera Diabolicus a new acts stepped into the limelight just recently, but some of the involved musicians are well-known. The first album is called †1614 and it telling a story. David Grimoire, one of the founders of Opera Diabolicus. Let's hear what he has to tell about Opera Diabolicus!
The idea to start Opera Diabolicus was born in 2006 when you were at a play of The Name Of The Rose. Did you just became aware of the potential of this kind of stories?
Neither I (David Grimoire) nor Adrian (de Crow) has been involved in the stage production of The Name Of The Rose. The only connection we have to Umberto Eco's story is that we randomly met during a stage play of that production in Gothenburg, Sweden, back in 2005/2006. Of course the play itself and the location (a grand theatre) played a role in the sense that we started talking about how it would be to combine metal music with theatrical/musical elements.
But you don't stick to that story by Umberto Eco, why did you decide to write about Countess Bathory?
The decision to write a story around Elisabeth Bathory was Adrian's idea all together. We wanted something that could incorporate several vocalists, so this story worked perfect I think. Just as the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar deals with the last days of Christ, this story deals with the life and death of Countess Elisabeth Bathory.
Did you start writing songs? Or discussed the project with musicians you want to get involved?
A couple of weeks after that we met at the stage play, we had another meeting just to feel each other out and to discuss the possibility of collaboration. This meeting went very well and we felt that we had something there. It also turned out that we more or less were in to the same kind of music; King Diamond, Candlemass, Uriah Heep and of course the vocal elements of musicals.
How long did it take to write and arrange the songs?
It took more or less almost one year to write all the music and the lyrics. It was a pretty hectic period with a lot of hard work.
When did you start recording?
We started a pre-production recording in 2007 (I think it was something like that). The main production we did after that.
Have you considered doing some stuff for YouTube will in the studio? Sonic Train studios have a short clip at their YouTube...
Unfortunately we didn't record any material when we were in the studio. The clip that's available is something the producer Andy LaRocque (King Diamond) did to expose on his website. Perhaps for the next album we can do a special video diary or something like that.
You did a video for Blood Countess Bathory, why this one? Please tell us a bit about the video shoot!
Normally a band chooses the most straight forward, short and catchy tune on the album to make a video out of, but we decided to go in the opposite direction and make a 10 minute short move instead. The reason for this is that we wanted to stress the theatrical elements of Opera Diabolicus so that's why we choose that particular song. It was a very big project, but I think we, and especially the video production guys (11Frames Productions) pulled it off. All the main scenes were filmed at a 17th-century castle so all the scenery, props etc. are authentic. For an example, the axe in the execution scene has beheaded a lot of men in its days.
Back when Headbanger's Ball was to place to be played the song would have been too long... Are you glad that due to new media you aren't restricted about the length?
I haven't really given that any thought, but now when you mention it, it's probably so. The new media today gives you more artistic freedom, that's for sure. I wouldn't be too happy to shorten the video down to adapt it to MTV as they did with long videos back then.
I guess a full tour won't be easy to realize, but do you plan to do some one-off shows?
We have plans for making some kind of live shows, but of course that's too a big project. But luckily, big projects are fun and inspirational and that what makes you strife forward.
With internet and social media you will already got some feedback for the album... Satisfied so far?
The overall response has been awesome, so we're very pleased that the album has been welcomed as it has.
Can we expect to see / hear more of Opera Diabolicus? Or is it a one-album project?
We're writing new material as we speak, so there will absolutely be another Opera Diabolicus album, that's for sure. We've often heard that Opera Diabolicus is a project, but I really resent that 'label'. Opera Diabolicus should be seen more as an act / ensemble.
What's on your schedule for 2012?
As for now we're trying to write new material (it's a long process) and hopefully if the demand is big enough we can take this to the stage.
It would be cool to see Opera Diabolicus doing some special shows... And as extensive touring won't be able, they hopefully can record on of these shows...