INTERVIEW WITH FARIDA LEMOUCHI OF MOLASSESS
Farida Lemouchi is known for the works with The Devil’s Blood. When THB dissolved, it took a while until a new band feat Farida Lemouchi was launched called Molassess. The six piece released the debut album THROUGH THE HOLLOW on Season Of Mist. Here is the interview with Farida Lemouchi telling about how the band started and of course the album.
Interview and live pics by Arto Lehtinen
How’s it going in the Molassess camp at the moment?
There is finally some perspective and we’re working towards our hopefully first show since Roadburn. During the lockdown, we have worked on new material. We are very eager to finally hit the road, and let it all out.
THE FOUNDATION OF MOLASSESS
When The Devil’s Blood disbanded in 2013, but you didn’t rush to form another and new band in the right way. It took some years until Molassess came about . Did you want to take some time off from the whole music business and have a break before launching Molassess?
It was not that I wanted to take time off, it is just something that happened. I really needed to concentrate on the more important things in my life at that time. After TDB disbanded, it was time for reflection and contemplating. There was no need to rush.
As for Molassess, how did everything start out after all ? Did you after all feel that you were ready to continue the music-making after The Devil’s Blood when you started working on Molassess ?!
Well, when Walter Roadburn asked some of us to join and write material for a one-off, it felt like the question that needed to be asked, and we all were at a time and a place in life it fitted perfectly, so yeah, I was ready. We all were.
How did other members end up to Molassess ?
Well, as I said, some of us were asked, other collaborations were taking place, so it was very obvious that they would step in.
Did you already have a certain vision and thought of how Molassess is supposed to sound or did you develop the approach and style of Molassess when composing and writing the material !? Which artists and bands kind of have influenced you anyway ?!
It’s all a very natural process and it’s about taking with us all of our musical pasts to create this sound. I guess without too much thinking about what it should be.
As for the name, where did you get an idea to name the band Molassess ?
The last song I worked on with my brother was called Molasses and is very dear to me for many reasons. The symbolism is in the sticky substance itself. Bound by sweat, blood and tears…It holds things together.
THE DEBUT GIG AT ROADBURN
Roadburn has always been a strong supporter for both The Devil’s Blood and now Molassess. Frankly I witnessed Molassess for the first time at Roadburn when you played on the main stage and the same thing with The Devil’s Blood. How did you feel when getting on the main stage of 013 with Molassess for the first time ?
I felt many things, but most of all joy. To get out there with new material at that stage, at that particular time was magical.
I assume it was quite logical for you to carry out a debut gig at Roadburn, how did this come about ?!
In the beginning, it started off as a one-off. But along the way, it was clear to us that it had to be more than that. For that reason alone it was almost obvious that it had to be Roadburn. As many things in (my)life, things turned out like that. Not really a plan that we worked out.
Live shows of The Devil’s Blood were usually described as ritualistic experiences. How would you describe shows of Molassess what the people could expect from it ?!
It’s hard to answer that question, since we only just played one show till now…I guess we have to find out.. I think it is not up to me to describe it, it is up to the people who attend a show, only they can experience it as an audience. What it is to me is something else… And I have to find out.
WORKING ON THE ALBUM
The debut album by Molassess is called THROUGH THE HOLLOW. What’s actually the meaning of the album title ?! Could you tell a little bit more about the art used on the album cover?
It can mean different things at different times. Looking back at the process a lot of it is about carving a path that leads you back to your true will and purpose, taking with you what you need along the way. The artwork was made by Max Rovers. We gave him the freedom to work with whatever he felt. He was involved in the process from the beginning, so he was really in tune with what was happening. And very close to the band and family.
How would you describe the songwriting as well as recording processes? Did everyone come up with ideas and riffs? How did the writing and recording processes differ compared to your era in The Devil’s Blood ?!
There is no comparison with TDB. We are different in every aspect…Mostly Oeds and Ron come up with riffs and ideas, and as a group we work on that, everything open for input from everyone. Oeds and I are the ones who exchange ideas, words, feelings and turn them into lyrics.
As far as your lyrics are concerned, who is mainly responsible for them and what kind of topics are you inspired to write about?
As above.. life, death, everything in between, I guess
Did you have any “leftovers” from the era of the Devil’s Blood when entering the studio to record? Or is every song purely new ones just written for Molassess?
Only “The Devil lives”, it was written by SL. We made it ours. All the other material is written by us.
There are nine tracks on the THROUGH THE HOLLOW album. Could you give a short description of each song?
I really do not feel comfortable doing that. I don’t think it’s very helpful for anyone to explain a piece of music or lyrics. Or a painting or a book. I think the piece stands for itself and it’s up to the listener or viewer to interpret and add their own feelings or meaning to it. That is total freedom and that is important… More important now than ever, if you ask me.
I can’t help asking about your favorite song off this new record and why is that?
They are all equally important to me, as I am in there, there is a piece of me in every second..Through the hollow was the first song we have worked on, Oeds and me, so that is a special one. “The Devils lives” was one my brother started once so that one is special too.
After all, are you totally pleased with how the album and songs turned out ?! Or are you able to find some issues which could have been carried in a different way ?!
If you put something under a microscope you can always find something that you maybe don’t like or could be better… At that moment that was what we’ve created, what we could do ( keeping in mind that we all did the best we can) nothing more, nothing less, so yeah, very pleased.
INKING A DEAL WITH SEASON OF MIST
I was a bit surprised you signed a deal with Season Of Mist. The single “Mourning Haze / Drops of Sunlight” was released by Van Records and your previous band was on Van. Frankly what made you choose Season Of Mist ?!
Sven and we decided it was a moment of letting go and move on, sometimes you need to let go and find new ways. This was the time to do that. For the record, it was all in good spirit. We respect and admire Van, and we are happy to have found a new partner in SoM.
What kind of expectations and wishes did you have about SOM when you decided to ink the deal with them ?! ? Is it a long-term deal with SOM ?!
Whatever you can expect from a label. We wanted to get out there and we wanted to record our album in a certain way (that was very important to us) SoM was willing to support that. We have a deal that suits us. You never know for how long anything is…
I can’t help asking when The Devil’s Blood got catapulted into an immense level of success in a short time. Were you surprised that all of a sudden you were gigging in every corner of European countries ?! What kind of plans do you have to conquer the world with Molassess?
There are tours lined up, but it keeps on being pushed back with the current state of the world. So we have to see if it will all happen, but the will is there.
Thank you for your time in doing the interview. I wish all the best for Molassess and hope to see the band on stage sooner or later. Any last words and comments to conclude the interview ?!
Thanks for your interest and your time! just that it’s time to open up the world again so the energy can flow!
The Official Molassess Site