segunda-feira, 23 de março de 2009

Interview to Ben Christo and Chris Catalyst from Sisters of Mercy (English version)

For our internacional readers, we now post the English version of the interview to Ben Christo and Chris Catalyst from The Sisters of Mercy.

Portal Gótico has given everyone the opportunity to be involved in the making of this interview by means of suggestions to questions.

Portal Gótico intencionally decided not to ask the same twenty-years old questions.

For that matter, we can refer to:

a) the Side-Line interview to Ben Christo (November 2008) :

SideLine: And, euh, any idea when we finally can see a new release of The Sisters Of Mercy? […]
BC: No idea. Sorry!

b) the Sisters of Mercy official site's Frequently Asked Questions (of the boring kind):

Hmm. Why don't you release studio albums more often?
Because we don't have to. We are not like most bands, who are slaves to their accountants, their record company, their agents or the media, all of whom like to dictate the rhythms of a band's career - for their own purposes. […]Because (unlike most bands) we do not believe in putting out an album with only two good songs on it. Because, at the moment, the record industry is a complete self-destructive shambles anyway.

We had other questions (mainly political ones) planned because the interview was to be made to Andrew Eldrich, but both guitarrists replaced him. They were very kind and received us backstage.

Chris also told us, later on, that they enjoyed the concert and the crowd ("We really enjoyed the Lisbon concert, it was a fabulous and beautiful venue, and great audience. They seemed to like us, and we most definitely liked them").


We are from Portal Gótico, a Portuguese gothic website and we would like to thank you for giving us this interview!
So, you have been in Lisbon before right? Are you enjoying it?

Ben: Yes.

Chris: Yes, and it’s really hot which is nice. I was told that is hotter than normally is, so it’s good. You’re not used to it in England.

You have being touring in USA and now in Europe, how has it been like?

Chris: How has it been like?… It’s been… brilliant! In fact I really like being in Europe, I like being in America, I just like to be anywhere from home but it’s been … good gigs, good crowds, all the gigs go very well, so…

Ben: Yeah, It’s been really enjoyable this time round, maybe a little more so than the last tour that we did in 2006, just I think because we work together now as a band a lot better.

How was your last concert in Madrid?

Ben: Madrid, two days ago… Strange! Was good, the crowd were brilliant but we had to move to quite a small venue because the main venue was closed down or something like that.

Chris: Yeah, the license was revoked.

Ben: So we were there playing on a quite small stage, and we just…on ten or eleven gigs on bigger stages and suddenly it was very hard to get in to the mindset of thinking actually everything was really closed now… I can’t move in the way I used to, I kept standing on things, pulling on things. It was really a good gig and the crowd was really nice.

Chris: no, it was good apart from one guy

Ben: no, it was quite a good … there was a guy at the front that shouted abuse at Chris

Chris: I had to jump into the audience and have a little chat with him.

In live appearances, the Sisters always use lots of smoke. Does the smoke get in the way? What do you think?

Ben: Well… It works a lot better lately than I think it has before because in there it’s a very good atmospheric device, so we can kind of create silhouettes and the shapes on the stage, and it can work really really well, but it happened a few occasions where we haven’t seen what we were doing but we kind of learn a new way of playing, of seeing when you are dealing with that kind of thing on a regular basis.

What are your favourite SOM songs to play live?

Chris: I don’t know… I do like the new ones, the new ones are fun because we contribute to them but when I think the older ones I would say Dominion, Temple of Love, Vision Thing because they’re the ones the crowd…

Ben: Me, probably Dominion as well, First Last and Always, I never really liked the original version, cause I do like that first album but it was one of the songs I thought it was a bit boring and used to skip it. I think the new version that we do it’s more exciting and still retains the original feelings, I think, so I enjoy that one and…

Chris – Ben said that, not Chris!


Ben – I like Summer, which is one of the newest songs and probably Lucretia as well

Chris – Yeah.

Ben, You have joined the Sisters of Mercy in 2006, what has changed in your life since then?

Ben – ah…

Chris – tied your hair..

Ben – Yeah, tied my hair… I think in terms of guitar player…

Chris – new trousers…

Ben – Yeah. in terms of guitar playing, I’m sort of … before I was more of just a metal guitar player, and being in this band has helped me to understand a little more about playing as a part of the band and about space and about the importance of every part of the band process. Before I did have a good understanding but I kind of used to bring to the band more of a metal sound what isn’t really what the band is all about.

And what about you Chris, what has changed for you?

Chris – I don’t have to work a rubbish job anymore for people I don’t like and I feel incredibly lucky and privileged to be able to just do music for a living and not have to worry about everything else, you know not to worry about getting up on the morning and go to work and concentrate on music.

Is it easy to work with Andrew?

Ben – Yeah. It’s harder to work with him! (pointing to Chris).

Chris – He’s a very interesting character.

In this world tour, what was your Favourite audience? And why?

Ben – So far?

PG – Yes.

Chris – That’s a really difficult question to answer.
Ben – I think it would be more like… I can think of five, four five really good ones.
Chris – Yeah, New York, Berlin
Ben – Berlin… I liked Barcelona
Chris – Barcelona, Yeah New York… All righ, Top Five, in no particularly order:
New York, Barcelona, Berlin,

Ben – Paris? Paris was good apart from the floor
Chris – Number Five: São Paulo from 2006.
Ben – Yeah, but only from this tour.
Chris – Top six: New York, Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, Amsterdam, Belgium

And what do you think about the gothic fans? In your opinion, do they have an important role?

Ben – I just think there’s no real difference about people who come from a gothic background, a rock background or a punk background. It’s just how enthusiastic they are about music and it’s one of the bands that some of the songs means so much to some people and when we look out to the audience and see people enjoying it so much because the songs are so important to them, I think it’s really cool regardless of the background, of the musical background of the people.

Chris – Yeah, cause we see a lot of kids at gigs, a lot of metal or punk kids, older people, younger people.

Ben – It always surprises me it’s such a wide range of age… of people and type of people who comes to the gigs, because I don’t think this band has a gender, it’s almost its own gender that appeals to a lots of different types of people.

What can you tell us about The Doktor Avalanche?

Chris – It is a very evil and twisted man. (laughs) You wouldn’t like to get to the wrong side of him. (Laughs)

Ben – Very reliable, consistent (laughs), punctual, always in time and… a great friend.

Ben, last year you were in Wave Gothic Treffen with Ayin Aleph. Have you ever been in that festival before?

Ben – No, I haven’t. It was my first time there. It was a quite cool festival, there was some incredibly, strangely, wonderful dressed people there from cyber and also…

PG – Victorian…

Ben – Yeah, yeah… amazing! Really really interesting to see

What did you like the most?
Ben – I don’t know, I was only there for one day, played, you know with all complications with sorting out musical stuff. I didn’t get to see much of it, just played the gig and went to see Paradise Lost later on, which was all right. But it was a really weird venue where the stage seemed to be a massive aircraft hangar.
I didn’t see much of the festival at all, so I don’t really can make a judgment on it.

Ben, you have a band called Night by Night, and have you already released an EP?

Ben – We done some tracks but we haven’t officially released, it’s been available to on the internet to download.

What can we expect from Night by Night this year?

Ben – I’m thinking about getting enough material together to record another EP, maybe an album. The plan is do more songs, do more writing, play more gigs, maybe get a proper released album.

What kind of music or artist are you currently listening to?

Chris – This band (pointint to shirt) Sky Larkin, my friends fromn Leeds, what else… Sorry and Sinatras, a boston punk band, new Kaiser Chiefs album is very good.
I was listening Deftones last night…

Ben – I listened recently to a couple of ac/dc albums, ones that I have on cassette, and get again more recently on cd. I went back to see if I liked anymore now, I didn’t.

Chris – (laughs)

Ben – There’s a really good band we saw in Munich with Sky Larkin called Johnny Foreigner, they are from Birmingham, England… I’ve got their cd and I really enjoy that.. aside that… I like Nihil, a band you certainly never heard about because they split up.

Chris - I Like Trains…

A final word for Portal Gótico readers and Sisters fans?

Chris - It’s pretty difficult thinking of something witty to end an interview so I just say thanks for your support!

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