Dordeduh with Dutch touch
While Dordeduh was playing in The Netherlands, I had the perfect opportunity to talk to these guys. After having some general talk with the drummer Sergio, Edmund, founder, vocalist and guitar-player of the band joins the conversation. He knows a lot more about DordeDuh and everything behind it, since he founded the band. Time for some questions!
Edmund, can you tell us a bit about DordeDuh and its music, for the people who don’t know you yet?
‘DordeDuh is a band that’s risen from the ashes of Negura Bunget. We tried to end with that band, but unfortunately, the former drummer of Negura Bunget thought he was the owner of the name, so we started DordeDuh and continued. For us it’s a new beginning, but we’re continuing on the path we already started with Negura Bunget. Pretty much the same thing, but we always try to move forward.’
And how do you feel about that? Because you’ve been a long time together, but how does it feel to add these new members?
‘Well, first of all things were based on friendship, and that should be the most important thing in every band. Music should be something pleasurable and not something stressful. We had a couple of different musicians who played live performances with us. In this way we extended the line-up, so we could use all the different instruments we also use on the CD. The way these members came into the band was really all natural.
For example Sergio, the drummer, I met when we played with Negura Bunget in the UK. He was playing there with his band as our support. He was our first choice as a drummer for DordeDuh. However, he has quite a busy schedule, so now we try to fit things together.’
And is that going well, trying to fit everything together?
‘Well, logistically it’s really difficult, since we’re in Romania, Sergio is from Italy, and for this tour we had a keyboardplayer from the Netherlands. For us, the main thing is to create the right ‘vibe’ within the band, and we’re willing to make sacrifices for that. If a person is nice enough, and he can stand me, then it’s okay, haha!’
Catch the Spirit
How do you write your music? Is it a group process or can everyone contribute?
‘So far the basic structure is written by me and Sol Faur (guitar, keys, traditional instruments). We usually sit together and write. I focus more on the overall concept, since DordeDuh is conceptual music. After that we present all the material we have to the rest of the members, and try to fit everything together. Before we go into the studio we make a final pre-production, and then we enter the studio to record everything.’
You told us that there’s a concept behind DordeDuh’s music, how do you develop such a concept, since it’s quite spiritual?
‘First of all we study a lot. Even back during my time in Negura Bunget I used to study these topics. All albums had a numerological sequence with Negura Bunget, and we continued this numerological sequence. Dar de Duh is basically an album focused around the number ‘7’.
I think the things I write about are parts of my life. One thing is to read about it, another is to write about it, but the main core is to practice things. As soon as you’re going to practice things, you’re going to understand things. That’s the first step on the path of spirituality. Many people talk or read or learn about it, but a few practice it.
If you look to the core of spirituality, you see that it’s actually about really natural things. For some people, spirituality is a way to improve, to become a better person. This doesn’t have to be true for everyone though, everyone can have a different path to involve.
Even between us, the band members, you see the differences in the band, and everyone has his own path. But with a lot of tolerance and mutual respect, things work together. Nobody thinks being tolerant is something spiritual, but to me it is.’
It seems you’ve found a perfect balance between harsher black-metalparts and these beautiful atmospheric parts. How do you keep this balance? And does this come natural?
‘We don’t really structure things like ‘now we want a harsher part in the music, and now we want something mellow’. Even though DordeDuh has a strong conceptual basis, we don’t want it to be intellectual music. We make music for the hearts, and we want people to feel it. We don’t really structure things, we just want to touch people.’
How do you choose which songs are going to be played live? Are these usually the more harsher songs, or doesn’t that make a difference for you?
‘We don’t make a difference between things. Sometimes we feel that for a kind of audience, a certain song doesn’t work. Sometimes, when different elements like stage, lighting or audience come together, it doesn’t feel right, that would be a reason for us not to play a certain song. We try to choose songs that ‘work’, if you know what I mean.
Also, our songs are quite long, so we need to take care that everything fits within the 45 minutes playing time. It’s not long, but that’s how it is this tour. Every band gets a certain amount of time so it would fit on one evening, ensuring that we’re back at the bus in time to make it to the next venue the day after. Of course we’d like to play the whole album, but we just can’t.’
How is the atmosphere on tour? And how are the relations between you and the other bands (Saturnus & The Vision Bleak)?
‘It’s great! All guys are nice, and it’s really pleasant to be with them on tour. They have no egos, and everyone try to help each other out, which is cool.’
Did you know all the other bands beforehand?
‘A lot of the guys from the Vision Bleak I met during my time with Negura Bunget. And we already know half of the crew. We’re especially fond of our sound guy. He actually played with DordeDuh as a keyboard player, so he knows what the sound of DordeDuh is. He’s part of the family.’
How do these kind of tours come together? Since it’s quite an unusual package with the Vision Bleak, Saturnus and you.
‘Well, I actually work as a booker for Prophecy. The Vision Bleak decided to go on tour, as a headliner. We tried to find bands that are stylistically different, but there is at least some common ground. For us it’s also important to know the guys we’re touring with. We already knew the Vision Bleak beforehand, and we knew that they were quite cool guys. We only heard good stories about Saturnus, and thus it came all together.’
You use quite a lot of unique instruments. How do you find them, and how do you decide if you’re going to use them in your music?
‘It’s pretty simple. In every tradition there are some really interesting instruments. We like to experiment. We like to take the instruments from the original context, which is usually a folkloric context, and bring these instruments to an unusual context, it’s just an experiment.’
And are these instruments all typical Rumanian?
‘Yes, most of them, and they’re also typical for certain regions in Rumania. For example the long pipes we use are typical for the western parts of the mountains. On the east-side you can find these kind of horns as well. They look similar, but they sound totally different.’
How do you choose these instruments? Is it solely the sound, or also based on how you can fit it within your music?
‘Somehow it’s like that. The mountains where we found these long horns are also my favorite mountains. The last time we went there, which was a while ago, they used these basically to communicate with other mountains. We took it from this context and integrated it in our music.’
Now for something completely different. Do you believe in fate, or in coincidence?
‘I don’t believe in coincidence. I believe you attract people, events and stuff. Everything in the universe is about attraction. If you have a certain ‘vibration’ you can attract things. Not only good things, but also bad things. But what is a bad experience? It’s something you react with, but why do you react to it? It’s something that shapes you as a person.
I think ‘coincidence’ is just, and allow me to use this word, is just a superficial way to qualify the lack of intuition.’
To what kind of music do you listen to, and do you take influences from that into your music?
Sergio, the drummer was the first to answer: “For me, I listen to quite different music than for example Edmund or Jimmy. My favourite band is Jethro Tull. I listen to a lot of progressive 70’s music. What I like more is for example King Crimson, Genesis, Frank Zappa. I also like modern music, for example ‘Everything Everything’. It’s a weird pop-band from England. And yes, I bring my own drumming style to the music of DordeDuh. Little by little it’s getting to make a difference. People come to me and tell me that they also like the band because there isn’t just a metal-drummer behind the drum-kit. I bring all the things I learned from other styles with me to the music of DordeDuh. However, it also works the other way around sometimes. Last I was playing with a Jazz bigband, and I played a blastbeat. All the guys were turning around and looking at me like ‘what the fuck are you doing?’ haha!”
Edmund takes over and continues from there. “For me, it’s quite interesting since I’m a sound engineer in my daily life, so I listen to a lot of music. Music is my job, so, to be honest, at home I don’t listen to much music any more. If I listen to music, it’s music like Dead Can Dance, Brendan Perry, etc. When I’m home, I want to calm down, so this music is ideal for that. I also love soundtracks a lot. In terms of metal, I really liked the last album of Ulcerate, it’s an Australian death-metal band and it kicks ass!”
What can we still expect of DordeDuh in the future?
‘Nothing. Expectations is maybe the wrong word. When people are expecting something, and it doesn’t meet the expectations, it’s already negative. Especially in DordeDuh, we’re a band that like to experiment a lot. It’ll never be as you expected.
When recording the first album, we had a pressuring time, because quite a lot of time passed when we split with Negura Bunget. In some way, people expected the album to be more like ‘Ohm’, the last Negura Bunget album. However, people don’t realize that ‘Ohm’ was already composed in the beginning of 2000. In the meantime we changed as people. We could definitely not write a new ‘Ohm’ album. We’re a different band, with a different approach. I like the thing that we’re gaining more and more musical maturity.
We hope to do something new and unexplored for the next album. Do some things that will surprise people.’
The last words are to you. Is there anything you still want to say to the readers of folk-metal.nl and your fans?
‘At first I want to thank you for the opportunity to talk with your readers. If they want to explore unconventional things, and to follow what we’re doing, maybe it’ll speak to their hearts.’