IESCHURE is like a dark and powerful spell, cast with as much strenght and passion as its music reflects. Lilita Arndt is the mastermind of this one-woman black metal entity who has kindly answered the following questions. Enter The Shadow...
I began to listen to Metal music when I was a teenager. I listened to that bands that were very popular that days. Later I became more interested in true underground music and this path led me to Black Metal.
Before IESCHURE you had an acoustic project called Embrace of Hedera. The project is dead now but if I´m not wrong “The Castle on the rolling hill” is available on tape again. What can you tell about the concept and music of Embrace Of Hedera?
It is my old acoustic project that by its concept is far away from Ieschure. I created that songs during 2007-2011 and recorded in 2015. They were released as the split and then separately on CD. Recently Ephemeric Productions offered me to re-release it on cassettes with the new design. I found that it was a good idea. Embrace Of Hedera is a melancholic dark romantic music of acoustic guitar and clean female vocal.
IESCHURE was born five years ago, what was on your mind when you started it?
I wanted to create my own Black Metal music where I could be a mastermind.
How did you end up choosing IESCHURE? Can you tell about its meaning?
The meaning of word IESCHURE is related to occult things and the meaning of this word is realy important only for me. I choose this word after the whole album The Shadow was finished.
Who designed your cool logo? Tell me about the symbolism of the snakes and also about the winged mermaids that sometimes accompany it.
The logo was designed by my friend Sergiy Fjordsson from Moloch. A Serpent is a very deep symbol. It is impossible to write all about it in the interview. It’s an entity which can give power and wisdom but also brings death and damnation. It is related to reptilian brain, the oldest part of human brain responsible for primitive instincts. The basis of life and the duel force which stays closely to the demonic worlds.
All feminine images I use for Ieschure are about the dark side of female nature. Also they embody the idea of Darkness as it is.
In 2017 you recorded your first full length The Shadow, how do you look at it now
I think it is a good work and I put my soul and passion into this album.
There is a wide range of sounds and styles on the album like elements of old school black metal, doom metal, ambient…What were your musical influence? What are the records that inspired you the most?
I listen to various kinds of music not only Black Metal. But I think that the main influence on my ptoject was made by Burzum. I think that his music embodies the ideas of misantropy and loneliness in the best way. I like very much early Urfaust and Behexen with the raw black metal sound. Also I was impressed Rotting Christ, My Dying Bride, Opeth.
I was amazed by your vocal performance, not only for the great mix of powerful and harsh screams with melodic clean voice, but also because I found your vocals very theatrical and expressive. Are you influenced by any particular singer or style?
For screaming I was influenced by vocals of classical Black Metal bands. For clean vocals I get inspiration from not Black Metal music: Battle Of Mice - the album “A Day of Nights” (my favourite female vocal) and Kidneythieves.
Do you have a favorite song from the album?
All songs from the “Shadow”are my favorite ones.
Is there any concept running through The Shadow?
Yes. This concept can be easly understood when you look into the booklet of “The Shadow” (release of 2017 year by Iron Bonehead Prod.) I used the images from Tarot to each song. The pictures characterize the essence of every song of the album. In general whole “The Shadow” is about Death and Darkness, about Occult Path in the Labirinth of human life.
What philosophies, ideologies, or literary works have contributed most significantly to the thematic content of your lyrics?
I read a lot of literature. The biggest influence on me have the ideas of A. Crowley and G. Gurdjieff.
How did the deal with iron bonehead initially come about?
I was looking for a label to release “The Shadow” and wrote to Iron Bonehead with request for release.
My other releases (two EPs) were released by another labels. Also «The Shadow» was recently re-released by Hammer Of Damnation with another cover art and together with additional two tracks from «Cold stars of eternity».
You´ve been busy last year delivering two releases, the first one being cold stars of eternity. I was instantly enchanted by the title track, but both tracks are very atmospheric and melodic, yet full of rawness and despair. Very focused on guitars and expressive and varied vocals and no drums. Please tell me your personal vision and/or description about this two tracks.
If to say briefly about concept of these two songs the main thing is that they are focused on the process of dying and after Death existence. The first song “Cold Stars of Eternity” describes an atmosphere of funeral, when the life is gone away, the last Good Bye to the past. The second track “In The Waves Of Darkness” shows the step into the unknown territory of the next life. I used no drums in the second track because into my mind such a method makes an idea of formless, cold raging Waves of Darkness more clear.
Les Fleurs du Mal Productions did a limited release on tape which is now sold out, will there be a second pressing? Any plans for a 7” vinyl release?
I think about this. Maybe 7’ vinyl version will be soon.
The second release is “Phantoms of God”. What inspired the cover art concept and the album title ‘Phantoms of God’, who are they?
The title and cover art (with Eve and Serpent) are closely connected with the lyrics of songs, that are about religion, about “good” and “evil”, about injustice and delusion. In general the whole concept of album is the process of death of all religions that takes place nowadays.
The tracks are more aggressive that the ones on “Cold Stars…” It keeps the atmosphere and the coldness but it also adds aggression and the drums are more present this time.
Yes, these two releases are much different from each other. In Cold Stars Of Eternity in spite of the grim concept I tried to keep some sense of weird sad humor (the “strange” theatrical photo on the cover art, experimental drums on the first track). In Phantoms of God there is no humor, more aggression and sarcasm (exept the last acoustic lyrical track). Also in this release I worked with the mix studio and the session drummer. It was new experience for me that I never did before.
The closing track is an acoustic piece, is it somehow a reminiscence of Embrace of Hedera?
I created the acoustic track also in “The Shadow” as the Intro (Shadows from the Great Beyond) . So acoustic guitar is a part of Ieschure too.
Phantoms is available on tape, through Jems Label, who will release it on vinyl next year, can you give some details about this edition? Will it contain different or expanded artwork?
It is planned to be 12 LP one sided vinyl with screen print on side B. It will contain the same 3 track that were on cassette version.
Tell us about your songwriting process, do you always follow the same formula?
The first what I do is many improvisations on guitar at my home studio. I record various ideas then later I listen to them again, after this if I find some ideas interesting I rerecord them with drums and another instruments. The big part of time is taken by the lyrics writing. I can rewrite it many times and do various improvisations of vocal to find the most interesting version and then rerecord all in the final variant.
Do you have any vision of how your music will evolve in future releases?
I will experiment with melodies and vocal with keeping evil Black Metal atmosphere. I think I will continue to play raw sound and also in some releases will work with a mix studio when it will be better for the concept of a concrete track or a whole album.
You have collaborated in recordings of other bands, of all the collaborations is there one in particular with which you feel proud or satisfied?
Each collaboration gave me nice experience in vocal. The most memorable for me were the singing in Detention and Restless.
What is your opinion on the current Ukrainian scene? Any bands out there that you feel a particular affinity with?
Musicians are people and people are very different. There many music bands and projects in Ukraine who create really true underground music, who give the top priority to music itself but not to own greed for fame or useless snobism. But of course there are some another persons to which I can not feel respect. It is a long and borring theme. That is why I try to have my own path and keep some kind of independence.
What´s the strangest place and the most shocking place you have been?
Places never shocked me… Maybe situations and people, but I can not say this about places. Maybe I did not find such place yet.
What are in your opinion the highlights releases of the year?
Among the releases of 2020 which I heard I like the album “Apostol” of Czort. They are from Poland as far as I know.
I did not visit concerts for few years. For me personally the best way to listen to music is to listen to it in my headphones. That is why I did not suffer much during quarantine without concerts.
Do you want to say some words regarding the global situation or the situation in your country with the covid?
It will end some day and usual life will be continued.
What are your current future plans?
I have a lot of musical material which I want to finish. I work on this now.
Thanks for taking the time and all the best to you and IESCHURE. The closing words are yours…
Thank you for support!