Taken from Metal Maniacs :
Fresh off the cusp of their latest release, “Archaenae Perfectii,” we had an opportunity to inquire about CELESTIA’s most recent offering and some of their thoughts about the French metal scene. Indulge…
CELESTIA is based in Avignon, a location steeped in history, magic and religion. Have you always lived in Avignon, and if so, do you believe your home has an influence on your music and upbringing?
Noktu : CELESTIA was based in Avignon back in the mid 90’s but Avignon is not my native town. I just used to live there for about five years. I do believe that your home must have an influence on your artistic expression. I think that someone who lives in Iceland will not have the same views as someone from Africa. I think there are obvious differences between cultures. This makes them more or less interesting. I am influenced by what surrounds me even if this is unconscious sometimes. Human beings are still a great source of disgust and meanwhile an inspiration. I have studied the collapse of our actual society for quite some time now and I must say it brings emotions from time-to-time.
In the past you have worked with Neige of ALCEST. Both ALCEST and CELESTIA have had a long presence in the underground and both bands have followed a melancholic path of expression in your work. Do you believe France takes credit as the epicenter for styles of ’shoegaze’ black metal and blackwave music?
Noktu: Neige never worked for Celestia and I don’t think this creature has anything to do with Black Metal underground values. This guy is playing commercial rock music and I am playing Black Metal. The only common point is that we are both French. I think we must make the difference between what you call shoe gaze and Black Metal. The shoe GAYze may have been an influence for Alcest but it is far from being an influence for the rest of the French Black metal movement. Also shoegaze is a British music, we never had many shoegaze bands here. Alcest is just playing commercial music to please his myspace teenage listeners and his music label. Please do not compare us with him. It’s kind of insulting. You should compare Celestia with the old French BM scene…bands such Bekhira, Belketre or Osculum Infame are more the kind of music we are playing I think. I would like to mention also bands like Sacrificia Mortuorum and Epheles, you could compare them with Celestia. But please not Alcest, he has absolutely no respect for all of us.
The website, “From the Dust Returned” (www.fromthedustreturned.com) eloquently describe your new album, “Archaenae Perfectii” as “…slowly sucking the life free of it’s mortal prison.” Do you believe this successfully represents your work? Is your ambition as an artist to set a mood or to entertain?
Noktu : All reviews about this new album I have read so far were really weird. People haven’t really understood our message and our music I’m afraid. They compare us with shoegaze French crap. What’s wrong with them? Did they discover the French Black Metal with Alcest or what? People who do reviews like to show how they write English well. They like metaphors and such kind of things. I cannot blame them for that, but I’d love to read reviews from people who will have read and understand my lyrics. There is much more to say about that than doing poetry and using metal archives as support to write a review. I have no real ambition. My “career” in this scene is almost over now. I have done this album with passion and I have tried to spread a mature message based upon my own vision of life. I have studied local myths and old religion such as the Cathars. These subjects cannot really attract the metal brainless masses or people who enjoy bands ala Nachtmystium. I have failed, that’s a fact, but I am so satisfied by the outcome of this new album.
What is the primary objective of your work and how do you see CELESTIA evolving in the future?
Noktu: I play for me and I play a music that I enjoy to listen to myself. I don’t play to please some music labels or to follow some trends. I am conscientious that I am playing a kind of music that is not really enjoyed nowadays. Anyway, our style is too unique to be placed in one category. That’s why these journalists fail to understand our music and concept maybe?
But who cares anyway? I fail to see any evolution. Celestia will remain apart from any trend and aside from any metal business. If we do another album, it will be because we will have composed new good songs and especially because we will have something to say. At the moment, I am not playing any music but I like to wander around places where a certain inspiration could grow in me. So I cannot guarantee that it’s completely over. I tried to end this project already but I failed several times. I know that many people would like to see me disappear but I think I will have to be sorry for them for quite some time.
Any final words for our readers?
People from Finland will have the chance to see us live in two weeks. I myself would like to come and play again in the US. But we’ll see…