First off: was I right about where you got the name from? And if so, in what way do you translate that to the music?
JGW: The definition is correct, but the name is taken from the works of Honore Fragonard, a 17th century French veteranarian. He did sculptures referred to as Ecorche. He used human cadavers and dead animals to create his sculptures. The word is just creepy and most people don't know what it means. And it's hard to pronounce and has two accent marks. You can't be a real metal band unless no one can pronounce your name.
We opted for a logo that is legible at least.
You haven't been a metal band since a short while ago. Can you tell me something about that shift?
JGW: We started, technically in 2006, but took a LONG break from 2007-2014. A friend of mine asked me to join his metal band in 2014. I asked Wolfman (from the original Ecorche) also to join. It was a five man metal band with a live drummer. This lasted less then a year and wasn't very productive. Eventually it was down to just Wolfman and me. We continued on an used the name Ecorche again. During the metal band phase, I started listening to black metal again, which I hadn't really listened to since the 1990s. We decided to re-vamp Ecorche as an industrial band mixed with Black Metal. The original Ecorche was industrial / goth
I also hear some influences from noise music, is that intended or is that a by-product of the combination of metal and industrial?
JGW: That's Wolfman's doing. He does all the mixing. He's into a lot of really underground industrial / noise stuff. My industrial tastes are more traditional stuff like Skinny Puppy, Ministry, KMFDM, Pig, Killing Joke, NIN, Pigface, Controlled Bleeding. I write most of the music apart from the basslines and some synth stuff that Wolfman will do on the fly during recording, but he really shapes the sound and feel of things with his mix
JGW: It's a mixed bag. Traditional metal guys don't get it. Most reviews have been really positive. We've only had one bad review, where the guy just had no idea what to make of us. And even in that review it wasn't really a critique of our playing, just more that he liked metal and couldn't really understand why one song on the album was black metal and the next was goth / ambient. The last year has been wild. We went from a five man band to a two man band. And we've put out a lot of material. Some I wrote during the more pure metal period and some during the more experiment two man band period. Do the albums have been more collections of songs rather than anything cohesive. We're at a point now where all the old material is out of the way and we want to work on making something that flows from start to finish. We have one1 song in pretty good shape for our next album. Hopefully we'll be able to start recording this winter.
My first reaction was a bit of a shock too. I immediately thought about the The Soft Pink Truth album with electro covers of black metal songs and about Morbid Angel's most hated album ever. Do you think albums like those aid a bit to metalheads not taking themselves so serious anymore?
JGW: Unfortunately, as long as companies like BC Rich and Jackson continue to make pointy guitars, there will always be metalheads that take themselves too seriously. I've always really liked heavy music, but I haven't really considered my self a metalhead since prior to the turn of the century.
'God of Emptiness' is still a kick ass song, as are the Laibach remixes of that song and 'Sworn to the Black'. I think that should earn David Vincent some grace for whatever he's done recently!
Did you hear 'Illud Divinum Insanus' by Morbid Angel? The one with hardcore beats?
JGW: I saw a video of one of Morbid Angels more recent songs on YouTube - he was wearing a top hat? Besides that haven't really heard them since late '90s. And I saw Deicide a few years ago. I never really got into the American death metal apart from the band Death. Chuck Shuldiner was a great guitarist.
He indeed was. You said you like heavy music, what bands fill your CD-shelve?
JGW: Apart from the industrial stuff above, on the metal side I really like Carcass, Gorgoroth, old Cradle of Filth, Type O Negative, Paradise Lost, Urilia, Dawn of Ashes, Immortal, Satyricon. And goth stuff like old Cure, Sisters of Mercy, Dead Can Dance. Goth stuff isn't heavy, but it's definitely an influence. The Beast of The Apocalypse, The Horn and De Silence Et D'Ombre are three of my favorite newer bands that I've been listening to over the last year or two.
I like anything in A-minor key.
I can't agree more, apart from some of the metal bands, our collection seems quite similar
JGW: Awesome! Fellow Merdumgiriz label band mate Sar Nath also listens to all kinds of noisy black metal but also has a soft spot in his heart for The Cure. I think if you grew up on the 80s you have to like them.
How did you end up with a label like Merdumgiriz? To me it's a completely new name.
JGW: Sar Nath who I chat with frequently on Facebook is an Ecorche fan and introduced us to Merdumgiriz. He also distributes his stuff via Merdumgiriz.
JGW: Lyrics are mostly historical in nature. Several of the songs are inspired by Honore Fragonard (the Ecorche single) and The Grotesque II and III. Other more traditional stuff like Vlad the Impaler (Field of the Impaled). We use Hellraiser samples quite heavily. And LV-426 is based on the Aliens movies. The next album will be a concept album based entirely on Dante's Inferno.
Do you play live with Écorché?
JGW: Not since 2006. I think Wolfman wants to. It's not high on my priority list. Not unless some really cool band on a major label is like 'you guys have to play with us!' I'm not really excited to lug guitars and amps stacks somewhere for a 20 minute set where you don't even get a sound check and you end up sounding like crap.
What bands would convince you?
JGW: Probably any of the ones I've listed above! I don't really know who we'd fit in opening up for though. We're kind of a mutant without any bands that sound similar to us. I think maybe Skinny Puppy. If we to play live, that's how I would like our show to be. Lots of blood and guts and broken TVs and things all over the stage with fucked up films playing on screens behind us.
Yup! They're great live. I've been several times and I highly recommend it.
You mentioned that new songs are being written and you're hoping to be able to record in winter. Can we expect a similar direction in the music?
JGW: Hmm...hard to say. As I noted, I write most of the music, but Wolfman does the mixing the songs quite often turn out different than I initially imagine them. This next album will be based entirely on the poem Inferno by Dante. As it takes place around the year 1300, my intent is to give it very medieval sound, especially when picking synth sounds. The song I just wrote starts off using a pipe organ, which is not something I've used in the past. Whether it maintains that feel or transforms I to something completely different once the Wolfman sinks his claws into it remains to be seen. We'll just have to wait and see! Thanks for the interview!
Is there anything you'd like to add?
JGW: Wolfman apologizes for his glaring absence! He's busy tearing around God knows where on a month long road trip across the country. Thanks again!