ZILLO FESTIVAL, 15 AUGUST 1998
(plays Trees Come Down '98)
Ecki : Carl, what happened after Zoon came out, we haven't heard from you for such a long time?
Carl: I think the immediate thing with Zoon was, I was unable to tour, because I had a difference with my record company in England and I was unable to tour in the way that Zoon needed to be presented. They wanted me to do it their way, I wanted to do it my way, in the end, in the end I decided if I couldn't do it my way, it wasn't worth doing at all, so I disappeared.
Ecki: I think Zoon was far more hard, and far more compact than the more atmospheric and cineastic sound of Fields of the Nephilim. The new material seems to go back more in the well-known Fields direction, is that impression true? We've just heard one track, we'll hear more later, but I think you start once again the more atmospheric thing?
Carl: Zoon had a purpose anyway, Zoon was a much darker album, it was much more aggressive to satisfy my own needs at the time. I was quite happy with Zoon, but whats happening now is that we've decided to reform Fields of the Nephilim in it's traditional way, with the original line-up, but we will still continue with our experimental projects under some kind of Nephilim title, which will be immediately happening with me and Tony -we're doing a new Nephilim album, which will be followed by a Fields of the Nephilim album, and they will be quite different.
Ecki: Can you tell me something more about the songs and maybe concept of the new album, the new Nephilim album?
Tony: The new Nephilim stuff me and Carl are doing separate to Fields of the Nephilim is more of a studio-based, experimental side of what we do, as opposed to the Fields of the Nephilim stuff, which will be the classic Fields of the Nephilim sound - we just need to have both outlets to do what we want to do.
Ecki: I think the people got it, but I will repeat it, as I think it's a bit confusing! I think you (two) are doing the new Nephilim album, it's a separate project, and there will be a new Fields of the Nephilim album later on. Why do you do this project you do now, is there a different approach, why do you use the different formats or different names?
Carl: It's a completely different approach - Fields of the Nephilim will always be Fields of the Nephilim and we will carry on with Fields of the Nephilim in the traditional way. It'll stay the same, the same line-up, the original line-up, the original four members that formed the band, and we don't want to change any direction that Fields of the Nephilim should be taking, it will follow it's natural path. The Nephilim will be much more involved in studio-based situations and hopefully fulfil a more visual aim as well which could end up in the form of more movies and stuff like that, because we need that outlet as well. Rather than interrupt that with FotN we do separate projects. But we are working on both projects at the moment. (applause)
Ecki: I'm going to ask the question I think everyone's most interested in - the new Fotn is again the teamwork of both of you Carl McCoy & Tony Pettitt; when you broke up in 1991 it was due to those so-called, famous 'musical differences', did that change and how and why did you get together again, and why do you work together now?
Carl: I wouldn't say it was musical differences. We were very busy for many years as Fotn, we were having a certain amount of success which we were quite happy with and content with at the time and we never had a break in our careers. There were projects that I needed to fulfil, I definitely had strong ideas about doing that - more of a personal ambition - and so did the rest of the band, so we decided to have a break.
(plays rough mixes of two new tracks from forthcoming Nephilim album)
Ecki: Carl and Tony I think your music is always very visionary as we heard, very cineastic, often like a very dark soundtrack. You've made references to people like Ennio Morricone and you were famous for that so-called "jungle" image. Well I think that image hasn't changed, but the music is quite different now. What visions do you have in mind when you write your songs?
Carl: Well that's a rather big question! A lot of strange visions go on in my head, so there's not anything specific that I can answer that on. I'm not inspired by much external ideas really, most of it I have to know that it's me to believe in it. Years ago obviously people like Ennio Morricone were kind of interesting to me, but that was a long time ago and nothing seems to have replaced that. We've always drawn from our own ideas and our own pictures. We're trying to explore the visual side a lot more in the future and try and give people more of a picture of what might be going on in our own heads so that they can ... see how fucked up we are!
Ecki: I think that you allow far more influences from the outside compared to other gothic bands, maybe in reference to Pink Floyd - as far as I'm concerned - like on the 'Elysium' album. I think you're far more open than other bands.
Tony: We haven't got anything to hide. We don't mind talking about what we do.
Carl: The only thing is, when we've got something to say it's only normally when we're working on a project, or we've got a forthcoming project happening. We generally don't like talking otherwise.
Ecki: Maybe this is because you live and work very remote as well. Does it have an effect on the music, surely it creates a very mystic image, because you don't talk very much to people?
Carl: No, we don't talk very much to people, we prefer to lock ourselves away and do what we do. It's the only way we're really able to remove distractions and interference.
Ecki: So you don't necessarily want to know what's going on?
Carl: No, definitely not, we don't need to know that. We'd rather time just stands still and we come out every so often and have a look at what goes on.
Ecki: Often there are big breaks between the albums, so that fans ask themselves if you're still alive!
Carl: I don't know if we're still alive, or not! We feel ok today!
Ecki: Are you in contact with your fans, do you want that contact; or maybe you think it's better to get away, to live your own life?
Tony: I think the contact with the fans comes through the music. We don't hang out with the fans, we keep ourselves to ourselves.
Carl: But, we need our fans! (Audience cheers) Otherwise we couldn't do it.
Ecki: And of course they came here today! Getting caught up with the fans - there could be some live work, the last time you've been here, Carl, was in 1996 - when will there be another tour, do you know that?
Carl: I explained why that tour was cancelled, but next year we will do some gigs and hopefully some touring. This year we didn't feel it was necessary to tour, or do any gigs this year until we had established our new product. So next year will be good for us I think. (cheers)
Ecki: One can see that you're still very, very interesting for the people. Many of your fans see you as some kind of Godfathers of the Gothic scene, do you like that term, or do you have problems with that?
Carl: Godfathers or Grandfathers? (laughter, cheers)
Ecki: Godfathers I said! Do you like that term? (bemused look from Carl) Or... ok, Godfathers or Grandfathers, I think you got it... let's put it this way, I think there's a great difference between the British and German Gothic scene, whereas in England it was more a fashion thing in the beginning, here it is more a way of life, so I think Germany is perfect for you in a way.
Tony: When we come to Germany it's like coming home with the music. It's good for us, Germany, we like the scene here. When we play here it's like coming home. (cheers)
Ecki: Thank you for coming, Tony and Carl, any famous last words maybe?
Tony: See you next year!
Ecki: Thank you being here, see you next time, live on the stage!