Interview mit The Great Old Ones



Hello there, first of all, please tell our readers something about the history of your band!

Sébastien Lalanne : Hello! First of all, Benjamin Guerry (guitar and vocals) started to compose some black metal tracks back in 2009. These songs were ambient and epic and he thought that it fits well with the Lovecraft universe. In 2011 he asked Jeff Grimal (guitar, vocals), a friend, to join him in order to rehearse as a real band. They found in a couple of month Léo Isnard (Drums), Xavier Godart (Guitar) and me, Sébastien Lalanne (Bass). We recorded our first Lp "Al Azif" in late 2011 and the second one "Tekeli-li" in 2013. We played live at some great festivals like Hellfest, Under The Black Sun, Roadburn or Doom Over London and we made about 30 gigs in France, Belgium, Netherland, UK, Switzerland and Germany.

Why did you name yourself “THE GREAT OLD ONES”, with these creatures being the villains in most of Lovecrafts Cthulu-Stories?

The band lyrics are all about Lovecraft stories. The Great Old Ones are Deities who rule the world as poor humans praise them. It sounds well for dark and hypnotic music!

Why are you interested in Lovecraft at all? What makes his work so fascinating? Is/ was he better than other Horror-authors?

He is one of the main authors in this kind of sci-fi/horror stories. Some of us discovered HPL by role playing games when we were teenagers. So we read a lot of his work. His texts are full of mysteries and dreamy visions. It’s dark and horrific. The Lovecraft universe is so big and complete.

Do you prefer his Cthulu-Stories like “Shadows Over Insmouth” or “The Call Of The Cthulu” or “normal” tales like “Dreams In The Witchhouse” or “The Music Of Eric Zann”?

For me he is at his best when he writes short and dreamy stories like "The Music Of Eric Zann", "The Colour Out Of Space" or "The cats Of Ulthar".

Your second album “Tekeli-li” is out now for a couple of weeks. How were the reactions towards it so far?

We had some very good reactions globally. Some listener don’t like some elements of the music but the main part of them understand and appreciate what we intend to express with this album.

You released the album in a special-edition with multiple additional items. Who came up with the idea for that? How are the items connected to the album/ the theme of the album?

It is our Label, “Les Acteurs De l’Ombre Productions” who wanted to release Tekeli-li in a very special box full of cool items. Al the artworks were made by Jeff our Guitarist and singer. He designed, with the help of Romain from the label, a lot of stuff: Pins, posters, patches and a special edition of “At the mountains of madness” with great pictures.

One thing that comes with the special-edition is “Beyond The Mountains Of Madness” as a book. This novel is although the lyrical concept of “Tekeli-li”. Why did you pick this tale?

Because it’s one of the best! It’s dramatic, the scene of the Antarctic is really strange and oppressive, all is here.

“Tekeli-li” follows Lovecrafts story chronologically. Was it hard to write music “around” this novel?

Benjamin made a very good work at this. It was pretty hard to change the narrative angle and follow the main storyline. He used French spoken words to involve this. I think he made it fine! Musically, Benjamin, who uses to compose the most part of the songs, let it come as it is. It is quite naturally.

In most of the songs, especially in the second part of the record you succeed in illustrating the madness. Combining typical dark Black-Metal-Riffing with beautiful melody lines you can nearly feel it. Was this your goal?

Yes, of course. The black metal riffing, tremolos and blast beat are great tools to express the madness. But we also try to illustrate the dreamy side of HPL works with the melodies and the ambient sounds.

In my opinion “Tekeli-li” can be seen as a kind of soundtrack for “Beyond The Mountains Of Madness”. Would you agree?

It’s it!

Are there some other Lovecraftian work you would like to write music to?

I would love that we make songs about "The colour out of space” but we did not decide what we will do in the future. There is so many good novels.

Do you know the German band THE VISION BLEAK, who have although some strong lyrical Lovecraft themes on their albums?

I‘ve heard about this band but never listened to it. I will do definitely.

Thanks for answering my questions! If you want to add anything, feel free to do so!

Thanks to you and to all the people who support us. We hope to see you soon during tours.