Q&A With Sebastien Deruwez
Of Shiny Darkness
aug 2016
 
Q. Hi again Seb. It's been 3 years since our last Q&A and the band have gone from strength to strength. Has your current popularity exceeded your expectations?
A. Hello Andy! We are still very happy to have new fans and new people that follow our music and also to have our old fans happy with what we do. We sure do hope to continue like that. 
 
Q. You are now a trio due to Olivier Rennesson leaving the band, was it an amicable departure?
A. This decision was carefully and thoroughly thought and it came to a point that it became a necessity.  Today we are at a point that the three of us function fantastically, with each and everyone having a real and important role in the band and we are very happy like that as that was always the goal, if you know what I mean.
 
Q. Do you plan to replace him?
A. No as I mentioned previously its not necessary. Lately also we have with us in some gigs, Gianluca who is a fantastic and talented guitarist which spices up our music during our live performances. 
 
Q. Since Olivier R left the band, I have noticed that Katerina has taken on more of a front role. Is she enjoying her new responsibilities?
A. The departure of Olivier is completely irrelevant with Katerina’s role in the band. As a matter of fact on the contrary in the new album she is more on the vocals than in front of stage. 
 
Q. Your new album 'Season 4' was released in February of this year and it has been warmly greeted by your fans, old and new across the world. What was your approach to this album in terms of lyrics and production?
A. After huge brainstorming between the three of us we wanted this album to be more organic and with a huge emphasis on the warm backing vocals and we wanted to give also something new to the production so it was co produced by Geoff Pinckney and me. About the lyrics the thematic was introduced by me and the realisation of the majority of the lyrics was made by Katerina.
 
Q. The great news also was, it was released through a record label?
A. Not exactly. Its true we are working with Foundry records which is actually a label taking care of our presence in all digital platforms. 
 
Q. You've toured the album and continue to do so, is it fair to say you've added more drama/props to the live set compared to the last 3 albums?
A. If you mean that we have added a lot of visual elements in our stage setting, yes its true! Olivier Jacques has made a fantastic job about this and whenever the stage allows us we use our full new setting. When not in any case the music speaks for us! You can see our new full setting in the video of “You can travel the world” which is filmed live during Isynth IV.
 
Q. I mentioned the tour, you came to my hometown of Leeds to a gig at The Fenton. Besides the brilliant football team, we have (lol), how did you find the experience?
A. It was a fantastic night, full house warm audience, and as I cant say that Pulse were fantastic (lol) I can at least say that Berlyn Trilogy and Eurasianeyes were!! And you and Lee organised an amazing event and thank you for that.
 
Q. Your good friend H (Howard Moth of Zundapp) performed with you that night under your other project PULSE and it was a brilliant set in my opinion. Are you guys continuing to write music together?
A. Oh, yes!! We are preparing our new opus , our second album,  called Spheres. The album launch will take place in London at The Bridgehouse II, on November 19 and we hope to see you there.
 
Q. Like so many, I have the CDs, the T-shirts, the downloads! All that's missing is the DVD, but I hear there is one on the horizon?
A. The truth is there is a demand about it… Maybe we should think about it. 
 
Q. A lot of artists have been toying with the idea of vinyl and some have  actually released on that format. Are you considering it for the future?
A.Nothing is impossible.. 
 
Q. I-synth IV was another huge success for you and all involved, it has now become a date in the calendar for many electro fans. As soon as one finishes, do you put the wheels in motion and start planning the next?
A. All year long its all we talk about ! LOL. But for sure it is always a fantastic moment of sharing. For us I synth is unique and we want to keep it like that. 
 
Q. The first I-synth had a lot of fans from the UK and beyond but it seems to have become more established amongst the locals in Lille. Are there signs that the scene is looking healthier in your hometown?
A. I truly believe that I synth has really put a stone in making the scene more popular in Lille, that’s for sure and we are really proud about it.
 
Q. If you could have one artist/band perform at I-synth apart from Depeche Mode, who would be your dream choice?
A. All the bands that have played so far ARE our dream choice! We really really struggle each year to choose amongst all the amazing bands. And so far we have no regrets! 
 
Q. Your next gig is The Electro London Festival in London on September 10th 2016. I know you enjoy performing live, no matter how big or small the crowd is but you must be buzzing for this event?
A. We cant wait, as with all events we perform at. Playing live is always a huge pleasure for us. 
Q. Is there any particular artist/s that you are looking forward to seeing?
A. Yes, all of them! Always curious to listen and to seeing new bands that I haven’t seen before. So apart from performing we are very happy to be there to also watch the performances of the others. 
 
Q. You head off 4 weeks later  to Barcelona. I do believe this is your second time there now so you must be building up quite a following on the Spanish coast too?
A. It is our 6th time there!! And yes there is obviously already a following. Each year Dan Martin is organizing this gig for us and makes sure that we succeed. 
 
Q. After the Barcelona gig, Is it back to the writing table for  album number 5 in mind or has that already started?
A. We have already started. Always restless.. Many surprises on this one to come.. And one of them is Peter Rainman co producing it with me. 
 
Q. How do you like to enjoy your leisure time when you're away from everything connected to Shiny Darkness?
A.  I love travelling and I love history. So I try to combine both! I love Greece and as Katerina is Greek we spend a lot of time there! Many of the songs have been written while in Greece.  I am actually answering now from Greece!
 
Q. The band is 6 years old now. How would you describe the band's current status in the world of electronic music?
A. We are just trying to be honest with our fans and write good songs.. After we do not really care to position us somewhere in the world of electronic music.. its not one of our primary concerns. 
 
Q. You've released four albums and they all have their own identity for good reasons. If you had to name one track from the four albums  that makes you sit back and think 'Wow', which one would it be?
A.I think I would say “Grant me one more day” , at least for the moment. 
 
Q. A mention for your dear friend and manager, Mr Lee Sargent. Is he smoking a big cigar and driving a Rolls Royce yet, or is he still living the life of Rock n Roll and sleeping in the back of his car ;-)
A. We are all rich for sure! Rich from our friendship! Lee is a valuable member of our team has always been and will always be. 
 
Thanks as always Seb for the music and your support. Is there anything you would like to add?
A. Just feel the need to thank you for your continuous support, not only for Shiny Darkness or Pulse but in general for the support you offer to all us artists and bands and for the more without expecting something in return, in other words thank your pureness and honesty. 

Q&A WITH SEB OF SHINY DARKNESS

aug 2013

 

Q.. Shiny Darkness formed in 2010 – What took you so long?

Seb.. Basically this was a solo project in the beginning. I wanted to restart making music and I started with experimentation with Electrocaution and then formed Shiny Darkness by producing my first album, 'Lighthouse' in which, Katerina wrote the lyrics for 2 songs,So far so close” and “ Not Human”.

 

Q..I have to mention the beautiful Katerina. She is your manager in France but she is also a backing vocalist for the band. Was this is a mutual set up or did she suddenly find herself adding vocals to one of your tracks?

Seb..It came naturally, while working on some songs. I had the idea and it worked out well.. So she will be more present in the new album...

 

Q.. Yourself, Olivier Jacques, Olivier Rennesson were old school friends and years later you came together and produced 'Lighthouse' Who decided what musical direction the band were going in?

Seb..As I mentioned, Lighthouse, was written and produced by me in the beginning. After when the time came to present the album live, I asked from Olivier Jacques and Olivier Rennesson to join me on stage. With both of them we were playing together when we were young.

 

Q.. Your 2nd album 'My Angel Has Spoken' was lyrically deep and powerful in places. In Lille, yourself and I discussed briefly the lyrics to 'Moments'. You said it was a personal song about a time in your life. Was 'My Angel Has Spoken' an album reflecting moments in your life?

Seb..All my songs reflect one way or the other moments in my life. For me in a song the lyrics have equal importance to the music.

 

Q..What is your usual songwriting process? Is it a joint effort or do you like to be alone in a quiet environment?

Seb..The basic skeleton of the song is done in solitude, and yes a peaceful environment is needed. For the third album I have changed a little bit the process as, after I form the songs I am in the studio with Dragan, from XMS, and we enrich the songs together...

 

Q..The new album 'New Substance' will be launched 0n 7/12/13. Why did you name the album after a band you were in as a teenager?

Seb..Indeed the album will be launched in the UK, at the Bridgehouse, on December 7 and we are very excited about this night. As for the name of the album, many reasons, one including the fact that some songs were inspired by this period.

Q..What is your favorite track off the new album and why?

Seb..For the moment my favourite is the last we have mixed! As we are still on the process it’s very difficult to answer this question now!

 

Q..Mother is the first single from the album to be released 9/9/13. Why 'Mother'?

 Seb..It’s a very strong song with a very strong, even if not happy, story behind it.....

 

Q..There is a Synth Revival going on at the moment with so much new and exciting raw talent coming through. Who has caught your ear of late?

 Seb..I don’t want to name specific bands as I don’t want to forget anyone, but many many have caught my ear lately and the synth revival you mention is making me really happy.

 

Q.. A lot of bands will admit there isn't a lot of money in music sales for bands trying to break through. What is the key to a bands progress and survival?

 Seb..Love for music.... That’s what motivates us and keeps us alive. When someone is touched by your music and your songs, it is the food you need in order to survive! We also have to thank the DJs who have supported us, Dave Charles, Skerat, Rob Harvey, Phil Marsh, DJ PK, Paul Randell & Johnny Normal and all the bloggers, photographers and especially our fans who spread the music of Shiny Darkness. Without all these people it would not be possible.

 

Q..Dragan, A musical genius from X Mouth Syndrome has been working on the album with you. What ingredient does he add to the Shiny Darkness sound?

 Seb.. Dragan has been mixing and mastering on the new album. Together we have add beat and bass etc...

 

Q..I met a gentleman named Lee Sargent who is your manager in the UK. How did your paths cross?

 Seb..We met during one of our gigs in London, at the Courtyard Theatre, through Katerina, who was living in London at that moment. We were naturally attracted, and one thing led to the  other and now we are more than proud to have him as our manager and also a very dear friend!

 

Q.. i-synth I – What a blast!! I-synth II already confirmed for 24th - 26th April 2014 with the return of Spacebuoy, Tenek & X Mouth Syndrome were recently confirmed as an additional act. Can you give me any clues as to who else is/might be part of the event.

 Seb..Be patient Andy., maybe by the time you publish this interview you will have more clues :)

 

Q.. What is the thought behind the new Shiny Darkness logo?

 Seb..Opposites - Good, evil , male, female... kind of like Shiny Darkness

 

Thank You Mr Deruwez. Pleasure!