DH: The Breath Of Life are now for a long time in the music business. Do you remember when and how the band was founded? Which musicians are involved in The Breath Of Life nowadays?
Isabelle : Yes, I do remember. Actually TBOL was founded after the split of the Belgian band Altered States where I did the back vocals. At that time, Phil(the previous guitarist) was playing the drum, Benoit was already playing the bass guitar and we started the band with Erwin the guitarist. Very quickly, there was a good feeling between Phil, Benoit and I. After a couple of months, Phil decided to play the guitar as he felt more comfy with it. Patrick (our formal light engineer) joined us as a drum player. Then Giovanni brought the keyboard, some saxophone and the violin. Since 1990 (?) we’ve been playing with a drum machine. Now, Benoit, Giovanni and I keep this great adventure going with Didier, our new guitarist.
DH: Do you think that things changed? Is there any difference for you in recording an album today than in the "early" days?
Isabelle : For TBOL it’s much easier now as we can do it at my home studio. It means that we are less stressed by the time and money !!!
Cz : I think that the most important difference comes from the technology. Before, you had no choice, it was impossible to avoid the big expensive studio if you wanted to record something good. Now, with the introducing of digital home studio, it's easier to make a record. That's also why you have so many bands nowadays.
DH: Your music sounds to me still dark and gothic. Which are the reasons for you playing such dark music? Is this something that comes deep from your mind?
Isabelle : To me, creating music is such a good way to express yourself. I do involve myself when I sing. It comes deep from my heart.
Cz : It's funny but I don't feel it dark. Just a little bit "darky" if you want. I would rather say that our music is melancholic, but not dark.
DH: Your new CD is called "Everlasting Souls". Tell us something about the new album. How long did it take to record the new CD and where did you record it? How did you get in contact with your new label Dark Wings?
Isabelle : We recorded this new album in my own studio. This enabled us to work in a more relaxed and comfortable manner even though the recording itself didn’t last very long, only few weeks. If I well remember we got in contact with Dark wings via Thomas Neidhardt, the producer of “Everlasting souls”. Dark Wings gave us the feeling of a Label who are genuinely interested in the artist that they sign. They also have a strong distribution through SPV.
DH: Which are the reasons for waiting so long with a new release after your last album?
Isabelle : Actually a lot of things happened within these five years. We had started working on the new album right after “Silver Drops”. As you can see on the album, we have created some new songs with Phil (the previous guitarist) In 2002, Phil left the band for personal reasons. So Didier joined the band quite quickly after Phil’s departure. But you can imagine it took some time for him to feel comfortable with all TBOL material. Then, we started with the acoustic project that we have been wanting to do for a while. We all thought it was the right moment cause we really needed to be on stage and to show another side of the band. We really enjoyed performing our songs that way. Following this, we came back to concentrate on the new album.
Cz : A lot of changes, new label, new producer, new guitarist. It takes time to make everything works. We also kept on touring during the recording of Everlasting Souls, so it was not easy to find the time to make it.
DH: I like very much the song "Lost In Myself". What is the song about? How do you get the idea for recording this song?
Isabelle : When I wrote “Lost in myself” I tried to imagine and express the strange state you could have when you meet death. When your brain keeps working a bit but your body can’t follow it anymore. We created this song as usual all together. To me, the way I sing this song is between singing and talking and we founded this interesting.
Cz : It began with a sequencer loop from Giovanni. It was something very mechanical and cold. I liked it but I wanted to put a different drum on it. Something more groovy. Finally, I made a kind of slow "jungle drum beat". It was interesting to mix this "cold" sequencer melody with this "warm" drum. After, Giovanni put a tragical violin on it and Isabel made a great voice. This track is one of my favourite too.
DH: Is there only one person writing them or do you write them all together? After such a long time, how do you have still the energy for composing new songs?
Isabelle : From the beginning of TBOL we are used to creating new songs all together, as it comes very naturally to us. When one of us comes up with a basic melody, we all help to build it up into a new song. First I create my vocal melody to the new music without thinking about any words, only letting my emotions come through. Once I am happy with the result, I add words over this melody. I guess the passion of creation gives us the energy to keep going.
Cz : TBOL is a democracy. Everyone in the band can bring an idea on the rehearsal. It's not only energy I think. It's still a pleasure to create, to build something. I just need inspiration. When I will need energy, I think that I will stop music and I will go fishing.
DH: Isabelle, you are the singer of The Breath Of Life. Are you looking forward to present the songs live on stage? Is this a special challenge for you? Are there concrete plans for a tour in Germany?
Isabelle : Yes, we have already started playing the new songs live. It’s a kind of challenge to present the new songs but not especially for me but for the whole band. You never know if the fans are gonna like it. And to be honest, I’m very curious after a show to know if people liked it or not. So far, I’m quite happy with the reactions ?
DH: "Lost In Myself" sounds to me very melancholic like all the other songs on your new album. Had there been a special atmosphere in the recording studio after such long time? Is your mood often melancholic?
Isabelle : It’s very difficult for me to analyse this. I don’t think there were a special atmosphere this time in studio. Recording has always been a great time. You have the opportunity to express yourself, try different things and listen to the result. It’s just wonderful. I don’t think my mood is always melancholic but I am passionate person. So when I feel something it’s very strong most of the time.
Cz : Yes, That's true. I'm a very melancholic person. I have to admit that I'm always turned to my past. It's like if I was always regreting something. That's maybe I like this song. But also "The bridge of Solace" which has the same kind of mood.
DH: Thank you very much for answering our questions. We wish you all the best for the future. Your famous last words to our readers please :
Isabelle : Thank you very much. I do hope to meet up with the readers very soon sometimes somewhere when TBOL is performing. Let them discover a part of my world to end up with great connection between them and the band.
Interview: Andreas Ohle