In its two decades of existence, DAWN OF ASHES has been a dark electro band and then became melodic black metal band. The last few years, this experience gave birth to an entity that mixes its extremes and industrial influences. Scars of the Broken, Kristof Bathory's last album (review, in french), is taking a really dark and personnal turn. Afer making us dance to the apocalypse or theatratical demonic invocations, DAWN OF ASHES expresses humain despair. The artist tells us more about this intimate darkness.
Scars of the Broken is out today on Artoffact Records. You can get your own copy on bandcamp.
Scars of the Broken is a much darker album than your previous ones. Did you suffer from isolation during the pandemic?
I actually was fine during the pandemic. The content of this album had no impact due to the pandemic. This was an accumulation of past events and issues that I have been working through. I am definitely in a better place but have been down that hole and I had to figure out how to pull myself out of it. All the lyric content in this album is real and raw from personal experiences.
Would you say that an artist "has" to be a little bit "broken"?
Art is an outlet for some sort of emotional expression. I think every artist is broken in some way or form. Pain creates the perfect artwork.
Do you think that your creative potential is at its best while you're having a really bad period or after that, once you've healed enough to be stronger?
Definitely creates some of my darkest and deepest work. It’s just emotionally draining during the process.
I always found DAWN OF ASHES kind of fun. Dark, but fun : many of your industrial songs are danceable and, as a horror fan, I find comfort in horror, it's cathartic. But there is neither comfort nor fun in Scars of the Broken. Were you tired of this fun part ?
Not at all. I was suffering and I wrote this album because I had to do it not that I really wanted to. This album was for me personally. I enjoyed writing it but it was emotionally draining.
Do you see a link between the name of your band and what you're talking about in your album ? Like, I don't know, being reborn from your own ashes ?
Everything that consist in DAWN OF ASHES is a piece of me, so yes the name relates to me in so many different ways. The name has an emotional evolution to it within itself.
I find the sound very raw on Scars of the Broken. What did you want to create with that kind of production ?
That was the goal. I am giving the words a secret part of my life and displaying my vulnerability. I wanted to create a therapeutic album but also have something that will resonate with others. I want people to feel it not just listen to it.
Have you ever had second thoughts about wearing make-up and costumes for your videos, since the album seems a bit more intimate in its own way ?
The makeup is also a part of me. It’s another form of artistic expression that compliments DAWN OF ASHES’ music. I think I would be uncomfortable without doing the theatrical side of DOA.
There's a good balance between all the kinds of music you've done, between old school sounds and more modern things. Do you sometimes miss the times when you were 100% industrial, or 100 % metal ?
Not really. I think that DAWN OF ASHES has been experimenting to achieve the sound that is what it is currently. It took years to find the perfect sound and I am very happy with it.
I know you're also into horror films. Have you seen some great things lately that you'd like to share with us ?
Antlers is probably the best Horror movie that has come out in a long time.