It is only in a live performance that all the elements which make up Hedera helix are present.
16/03/2016, Xavier KRUTH
photos: © Bert Blondeel & Bart Vandermeersche
Hedera Helix exists for 14 years now. It is currently finalizing the new second album Pastiche: the successor to the excellent Dolce (2003). During two upcoming performances, the new tracks will be played. The first is a special set for Coalescaremonium on 2nd April and the official CD launch in Zulte on 7th May. Oscar Valerius Kandinsky Hedera Helix is known as a great erudite someone, and so we asked him some arduous questions.
Hedera Helix is better known as ‘ivy’, an evergreen and woody vine from the Ivy Family (Araliaceae). What is the actuality surrounding this highly popular plant?
It is a project that has been around for over fourteen years. Filling a gap in the contemporary performing arts? Hedera Helix is a musical mix between electro and industrial pop. Lyrically sharp and visually eccentric, with physical theater. Sometimes danceable, sometimes intimate and intense. We are six, a collective. A 'corrective' if you will.
Research shows that plants grow faster under the influence of music. Is it therefore a good idea to play music for your ivy?
The machinery is working well this time. The new CD is almost ready. Eric Van Wonterghem is busy mastering and the design for the packaging of Pastiche is also worked out. Only SABAM (Belgian copyright agency-ed.) has yet to provide proof of ‘non-intervention’ before pressing. It is really Kafkaesque, because we manage our rights ourselves.
At a mourning tribute of the Hungarian star footballer Ferenc Puskás in Madrid in 2006, Laura Benítez played a piece on cello. How did you feel about it?
You should come and see us especially at Coalescaremonium for the art nouveau set. Or on May 7 for the CD launch. For those who like the CD as a tangible music bearer in their collection: it will cost eight euros on the show instead of ten. Mild equivoque: ‘by the same token, the costs are higher’…
Dr. Edgar Berillon argued that, at the time of Louis XIV, travelers knew when they had crossed the border of Germany by the enormity of the excrement. In his book How can we ever get along with a people that stinks in 1915, he furiously criticized the Germans and their excrements. What do you think? Can we get along with the Germans?
God ‘success’... I prefer ‘respect’. A CD issue is not really important to us, even the music itself is not everything. It is only in a live performance that all the elements are present which make Hedera Helix. We took thirteen years to record thirteen songs. Time was a problem, I admit. We are all busy with many different things. Life is too short to learn one trick, right?
Did you notice that Asthma and Isthmi are the only English six letter words that begin and end with a vowel separated by only consonants?
The choice of Dutch in our lyrics has to do with a certain degree of maturation. We have long passed the Hollywood imitation phase. But I have to admit that an exotic touch is not strange to me. On Pastiche you will find one song in Spanish and one in French, and we also throw some Italian, Portuguese and Russian phrases in the lyrics.
The Doelist movement opposed the power of mayors in and around Amsterdam in the 18th century. They obtained the restoration of the guilds in their ancient rights and the ban on street trading. However, the mayor election in 1752 was a great defeat for them. What has gone wrong?
The visuals make a concert complete. A green cabbage tastes best stewed with bacon, and the whole is more than the sum of its parts. It’s all part of the project. We are now six on stage. It began with three persons musically and three for visuals and dance, but that was an absurd separation, since Elixir has no challenge, playing the piano and percussion is not a challenge for Buttercup either. It will therefore be very varied, both musically and visually.
Recent scientific research has shown that pigeons can recognize cancer cells on biopsy images. Do you agree with the use of birds for this purpose?
Last year, at the entrance of Coalescaremonium, a graceful lady who kindly asked us to deposit 40 euros. They put a plastic strap around our wrist and then we could simply stride in. Astounding. Contacts with Coalescaremonium have taken place two years ago and a part of the organization came to see us at a small festival in Berlare. The fact that they worked so hard to make everything fit made it go smoothly. And there’s also the location: the venue is theatrical and therefore it blends perfectly with what we do.
A gigantic cloud of alcohol was detected at a distance of about 6,500 light years from Earth, in a region where stars form from clouds of gas and dust. How long do you think it will take before we can exploit this cloud?
The set on Coalescaremonium is fully adapted to the theme, the location and the public, with a special French-language cover. For the CD launch, we want to focus on ourselves. We can’t ask family and friends who might be afraid of goths, to pay 35 euros to go to Coalescaremonium. It’s better to invite them in Zulte.
What are your plans for the future?
That's a weird question.
Thanks for your generous insights.
May your beans be plentiful.
De Nederlandstalige versie kun je op Dark Entries terugvinden.
DYSCORDIA • We're not afraid of different influences.
WHISPERING SONS • Whispering Sons is a young blonde woman who exorcises her demons on a stage, accompanied by a dark and often danceable soundtrack made by passionate musicians.
KRIISTAL ANN • Of course the inspiration doesn’t fall from the sky as many believe. We need to provoke it. It’s something that is similar to flirting.
ATTRITION • it was tough and dangerous to be a punk rocker in 1977. I was lucky, I could run fast.
LACRIMOSA • Without time there is no hope, and without hope there is no future.
BRING ON THE BLOODSHED • Humor is our common denominator. And everyone has a specific function in the band. We know who is good in what, and we must therefore have confidence.
SHE PAST AWAY • Writing and singing in our mother language gives us more freedom.
MILA MAR • We might record and release some new songs, we might travel the world together … Right now everything seems possible.
EVI VINE • The themes of the album run through our lives whether we're in the cities or the forest and sometimes you need to escape the sirens/asphalt to tie you back to the earth
HEKATE • I have the firm conviction that we can learn from myths and legends for our own lives and for our development.