The Black Heart Rebellion has been turning heads for some time now; armed with a their third release “People, when you see the smoke , do not thinks it's the field they're burning”, this band from Ghent, Belgium, is continuing on their own path. Passionate about their music and aesthetics, making sure that each element that forms The Black Heart Rebellion is progression. A path that has crossed with fellow city inhabitants and like-minded souls of the Church Of Ra. RMP Magazine recently had the chance to delve a little deeper into their strong conviction and what THBR makes what it is now.
- The Black Heart Rebellion sounds self-explanatory but still: what defines ‘a black heart’ and how does it ‘rebel’?
I don't think it is that easy to define.Maybe what bounds us together is that we are very eager to create something that actually matters, although to us. We do not see this band as a ‘job’, nor as a way to spend our free time, but as something that actually has to happen for the five of us. From the moment we get on a stage or start playing the music, we realise what it's all about.
- For the new release you're working with Ghent-based record label and shop Consouling Sounds. What led you to them?
I guess we met each other at the right time in life. The people at Consouling are just like us: 100% dedicated with what they are trying to achieve. They don't manage their label and shop from a commercial point of view only, the passion for music and the search for likeminded people brought us together I think.
- Your previous release “Har Nevo” was a shift in sound compared to your earliest work “Monologue”. Has the band sailed into new territory with the latest release?
With “Har Nevo” we succesfully discovered new ways to express ourselves. The use of different instruments and the way of singing learned us we should never stop with questioning ourselves, and always try to improve what we do or why we did something. With the new record we started from those main ideas that had been formed after recording “Har Nevo”. So we went further and deeper on some of those items, to create the sound that felt right to us.
- The Black Heart Rebellion has gained close ties with the whole Church of Ra, including bands as Oathbreaker, Wiegedood, Amenra and Syndrome. You've played shows together and toured together.How did this kindred connection come forward?
The same as for example the connection with Consouling; we share a same interest in expressing ourselves through music, video art, photography. The output, as in 'the music itself', is just the result, not the main goal. It is the way of creating the music, of 100% giving yourself to the music that bounds us.
- You've toured Russia with some of fore mentioned bands, a country that doesn't receive too many Western bands. How was the experience?
Great, we met people who can actually be really grateful with what we are doing.We met some people who came from the upper north part of Russia and had to drive for two days to come the concert in Moscow!
- You had records released in Japan with the previous albums and even played Japan. How does a Belgian band end up in Japan?
Just by an amazing guy who is named Kimiyuki! He had the guts to release our music in Japan just by hearing it on the web, and putting a lot of time and money into it. After that he asked us if we would be interested in performing the music live. Some months later we were actually sitting on the plane to Japan.
- For the new album I've noticed pictures flying around where it seems you are in the process of making a video. Could you let us in on what's coming?
The song deals about a feeling of disconnection of something that has always been very evident. It has a feeling of solitude. We tried to do the same with the video. We started from some sort of scenery that should feel very familiar, but yet you start looking to it from other perspectives. Nothing is what it seems.
- Arts and its various incarnations seem to be close to the band, TBHR has even provided the musical background to a theatre production. Any plans in the future to do more collaborations with other artists?
It would be nice to write a soundtrack someday. Movies have always been a big inspiration for us during the writing process of the songs. To write music especially for a specific movie must be quit inspiring.
- The visual aspect of the band leans close to other Church Of Ra's projects, from dark to light and back seems to be a central theme. How do you see the aesthetics of the band?
I think we are a very visual band. We try to create images with the music we make, so it is evident that we put a lot of effort and detail in the actual visual output of our music, like the artwork of the LP or CD, poster design, and so on.Just like the music, an image can bring a certain overwhelming feeling. We try to find or create that feeling that goes with the music.
- Most band members hail from other long-gone bands, but are there any current projects that are gaining ground or about to emerge?
Right now we are focussing on the new record, and the coming months we will be very busy with live shows. So in the near future there won't be any side activity I suppose.
– David Marote