Fleurety interview from Qvadrivivm #3 (2000)

The Court Trial

Interview: Arkadin

Our next case is the case of Fleurety vs. The People. Having been charged with the heinous crime of »musical progression and innovation,» the defendant, Svein Egil Hatlevik, standing in for Alexander Nordgaren and the rest of the criminals in the band Fleurety, enters the court room and is instructed by Bailiff Roady Skein to take the Hypocritic Oath. After placing his hands on the Satanic Bible and declaring, »I profess to speak the truth, the whole truth, or something very close to the truth, so help me Satan,» Mr. Hatlevik is instructed to sit down and await the beginning of the trial.

After several moments of silence, the honourable Judge Arkadin enters in fine robe and lofty wig. Following him are Mother Superior, dressed in a seductive garter belt, the court jester Jocundus Superiorus, and Frou Frou the dancing orang-utan. Court is now officially in session…

Mr. Hatlevik, in 1991 you and your accomplice, Mr. Nordgaren, had reportedly formed the musical entity Fleurety. Can you explain to the members of our jury why you have chosen this suspicious name and what it could mean to you? How can this Fleurety be described? Or can it be described at all?

»It was perhaps a little bit careless to choose that name,» Hatlevik begins. »However, having for a long time thought that the only charming property of the name Fleurety was its ability to make people think of names of cheap perfumes, I have managed to find out that Fleurety, at least according to less trustworthy sources, is the master of poisonous drinks and hallucinogens. Among other things.»

Was the original motive of this co-operation one of communal or personal interest? What distinct modus operandi facilitated the operation? And was there a specific »reward» to be sought for at the beginning of your tenure as criminal musicians? Remember, Mr. Hatlevik… you’re under the Hypocritical Oath.

»At that time we thought that what we did was in the best interest of mankind and all species of invertebrates. We did expect do be rewarded with not only the Nobel peace prize, but also the Nobel award for an outstanding achievement in the field of chemistry. And one of those nice Norwegian Grammy Awards that Covenant and the Kovenant received.»

The best interest of mankind?! Explain then what was going through your benevolent mind as you decided to propagandise your musical output in the form of the Black Snow demo back in May of 1993, the demo many had found offensive and controversial…

»First of all, let me correct you about the time of this alleged crime. I will not say this act was actually a crime, no matter how unconstitutional it may seem to release a demo which will give any man with a sane mind a serious (and lethal in patients with a weak stamina) case of tinnitus. Now my mind is drifting… I was about to correct you on the time of the act. The investigation of the distinguished Dept. of Apocalyptic Affairs agent Shellshock Lhomes has provided undeniable proof that the demo was actually mixed on the 6th of July of 1993.»

The members of the jury, sensing the tone of self-satisfaction in Hatlevik's voice, begin to talk amongst one another and give suspicious looks.

»This excludes,» he continues, »the possibility of a May release. Not only is this date symbolic in the eyes of the criminal black metal head, a description which can not be used to denominate the members of Fleurety at any time, past or present, but it also leads suspicion in the direction of the so-called Black Metal Mafia. The members of Fleurety cannot be blamed for this time blur/warp.»

Frou Frou, sensing the humour of the situation, throws a banana at Hatlevik and hits him on the head.

Mr. Hatlevik, going on after recovering his calm:
»Now – let’s return to the motive for releasing this demo. We had the best of intentions, I assure you. We wanted to gain the attention of a record label so that we might release an album and thus spread our music to even more people.»

Oooahs and ahhhs are at once heard from the crowd.. »Order! Order in the court!» Judge Superior repeats while hitting his gavel against his desk frantically. The jury is finally pacified.

So… you had come in contact with Misanthropy and Aesthetic Death Records to release a complete album’s worth of this questionable music. How did it happen that you came in touch with these devious entities, and what could you have possibly hoped to prove through this later complicity? Have you any scruples, Mr. Hatlevik?

»Contact with these two labels was achieved through sending tapes with our music in the mail. We thought that we thereby could get our music released in the form of CD’s. I admit this is a bit naïve…»

At this point the audience goes absolutely berserk. Judge Superior whacks his mallet violently to stifle the noise and shouting. After a few moments, he succeeds in hushing the public and the serious tone of the courtroom trial resumes.

From reports that I have here, your reign of terror was yet to end after this release and the hiatus that followed. In the periods between 1996 and 1997 you shocked the public once again after recording three tracks for a mini-CD, this time with the aid of Ayna Johansen, Mari Solberg and Karianne Horn. Were these three women key players in your diabolical scheme all along, or were they enlisted later on? Describe each of these ladies for the members of our jury.

»These women’s involvement has been purely professional. We have in no way whatsoever taken advantage of them. I know you didn’t ask for that information, but I feel quite sure that that was the question you originally wanted to ask. These women have all contributed significantly to the rate of success for our enterprises. Ayna Johansen joined us very briefly in June 1996 while we were working on the Vortex case, a very intriguing mystery that has yet to be solved. She now lives in exile, and rumour has it that she is in the United States and that she is about to marry a fitness instructor who trains Hollywood stars. Karianne Horn helped us crack both the Facets case and the I Saw Claws case that we worked very hard to solve during some very hectic autumn months in 1997. She still lives in Norway, presumably still in Oslo. Among her most distinguishing traits are her everlasting energy and enthusiasm towards everything going on in her surroundings. Mari Solberg offered her expertise in the field of forensics and saxophone in all the above mentioned cases. She lives a peaceful life, and is perhaps one of the individuals involved with the Department of Apocalyptic Affairs that has managed to combine her involvement with a perfectly ordinary life,» the defendant states in complete earnestness.

The period also included your signing with the English Mafia Kingpin, Alex Kurtagic and his squad of evil-doers who pass under the dubious name of Supernal Music. Has this relationship proved successful to your ends?

»Sometimes,» Hatlevik begins, wiping the sweat away from his brow, »it is hard to keep one’s mouth shut when it comes to your fellow accomplices. I eagerly await his testimony in front of this court. I might also wish to press charges against him for making himself guilty of the act of criminal negligence. I hope that we’ll be able to conspire more successfully as the album hits the streets and the word of its coming has spread across the neighbourhoods inhabited the apocalypse-minded.»

What were the circumstances that led to the dismissal of the other two record labels your band Fleurety were involved with?

»Aesthetic Death didn’t have the funds to support us, and Misanthropy, at the time claiming to be »the conformist’s worst nightmare» decided that, after having heard the demo version of the song Vortex (which later appeared on our mini-CD Last-Minute Lies), our music wasn’t conformist enough for their label.»

Understandable, understandable. Let me ask you now, Mr. Hatlevik. Will it be chess or checkers? The jury can’t decide.

»I’d go for Mastermind. I’ll beat your ass in Yatzy.»

Court will now adjourn for a ten-minute rest to facilitate the jury’s needs for rest, quelling of appetite and the imminent release of sexual tensions. Members of the jury are encouraged to bounce on the trampoline located in the back of the Court Room and make the necessary phone calls to pimps, prostitutes and drug dealers. The children and women of the courtroom are inspired to approach Justice Arkadin’s desk to test the density of their skulls with the judge’s gavel. After ten minutes of noise and bedlam, the chaos and hollering slowly subsides and the court is again held in session…

Ahem? Mr. Hatlevik, where were you on the night of Tuesday, January 27th, 1998?

»It’s a bit strange that you should ask about that particular date, as I personally have no recollection of even getting out of bed that day. I know that my original plans for that day was to meet Mr. Nordgaren and that we together were going to attach Department of Apocalyptic Affairs propaganda to the heels of the shoes of Hillary Clinton. And I mean all of her shoes. You might wonder how this was going to work? Well, I won’t tell you. But this never happened. There are eye witness reports saying that I have been sighted in Tangier, Rome, Zagreb and Montevideo, reportedly all sightings were at noon, and all the witnesses claimed that I was wearing a grey suit with a lotus flower in the button hole.»

In the summer of 1998 you and many other infamous members of your entourage had set forward to record a second full-length release, this time under the name of Department of Apocalyptic Affairs. Would you explain to the public what they can reasonably expect? And what precisely led to such a long delay in its coming to surface?

»Our chemists have continued the legacy of the notorious Albert Hofmann and developed an antidote against the virus called »metalatrix standardi». This antidote can be ingested as a pill or as a drink. It is made out of several mutations of the metal molecule in the sense that individual atoms of the molecule are replaced with atoms of the recently discovered chemical elements jazzinum, electronium and contemporarium (no. 137, 143 and 128 in the periodical table). Contemporarium is highly radioactive, but electronium is more active on a compact disc, and therefore more fit for this medium. The delay is due to bureaucracy. We have had great trouble founding our scientific research, which is probably due to the less popular results that our science leads to. The international court of musical ethics describe our methods like this: Imagine that the German »scientist» Joseph Mengele was an experimental musician. (Mengele, known for experiments like, for instance, trying to sew a pair of twins together in an attempt to find out whether they would become Siamese twins.) The result of his experiments would be the music of Fleurety.»

The following people have been implicated in working with you in the Department of Apocalyptic Affairs. I will mention each and would like you to give me a short summary of their involvement and relevance to our case. Now remember that you are under the Hypocritical Oath, Mr. Hatlevik, and that you are obliged to feign honesty to the best of your ability. The list is as follows:

Einar Sjursø: »He was hired because of his extreme efficiency and accuracy as a sniper. And he played the drums on one song.»

Carl Michael: »Also a sniper, but less efficient and accurate than Einar Sjursø. But what he lacks in accuracy and efficiency he compensates for in humorous killing patterns. And he played the drums on one song.»

»Maniac»: »Was engaged in this mission because of his skills as a public speaker with dishonest and immoral propaganda as his field of expertise.»

»Hellhammer»: »The third sniper hired for this project. His unique technical skills combined with a good grasp on the chemical properties of jazzinum made him an obvious choice when we needed one more sniper to complete our crew. And he played the drums on one song.»

»Sverd»: »His involvement with the project is purely coincidental. He just dropped by one of the days while we were planning the direction our project was going to follow from that point. In spite of himself he was persuaded to do dirty tasks that we didn’t want to do ourselves. What is meant here is that he played an improvised solo.»

»Garm»: »Along with Knut he played an important role in the co-ordination of the project. He also made one public appearance in our absence. Of course, all he said was a lie.»

Carl August Tideman: »He was hired to perform random acts of violence. His weapon: an axe.»

»Knut»: »Not only was he one of the chief co-ordinators, he was also the manager of the chemical laboratories during the project. And he played a very nice guitar solo.»

»Vilde»: »Another propagandise of ours. She didn’t know what she was doing, but she did it extremely well. She did some singing as well.»

The incognito bass player of the band Ephemera: »His name is Per Amund Solberg. He has been involved with our work since our 7” EP that we released in 1994.

»By the way, you are forgetting some of our other assistants. We have Heidi Gjermundsen, James Morgan, Tore Ylvisaker, Mari Solberg and Karianne Horn as well. However I am not obliged to fail honesty in their cases, so I won’t.»

The court has handed over the evidence to our leading investigators and scientists, and our suspicions have been confirmed. Hatlevik and his entourage, on their Department of Apocalyptic Affairs CD (Supernal Music 2000), have taken what they have done on their prior item, Last-Minute Lies, and twisted and stretched it to criminally absurd proportions. This time the songs are scattered into 7 pieces of what one may call a »progressive» and sometimes even »psychedelic» nature. As Hatlevik, whose vocals are this time kept exclusive to spoken word and sardonic howls, had spoken, the elements of jazzinium, electronium and contemporarium were found in gross abundance. But according to our scientists, there were other odd entities involved as well, for which we are still in the process of discovery. There is even, for instance, an electronica track called Barb Wire Smile, something unheard of for Fleurety, and we found Maniac’s vocal performance on the dangerously titled Shot Gun Blast was especially amusing.

But to continue…

Literature, television, avant-garde film – is there something that influences Mr. Hatlevik predominantly in the actualisation of his creativity, an artist or form of film making? Is there some ideal that he is searching to make concrete through his visions, some kind of destructive and subversive goal?

»I am of course inspired by words and images, but I do not have the psychological insight to determine whether the music we make is inspired by visual impressions or sensory deceptions. However the ideal of something completely logically coherent has of course been implanted in my mind via the written word. And it is this ideal that controls the structures of the songs that we make. At least when I’m in charge.»

Hatlevik looks around at the jury staring at him open eyed and continues again,
»I know that Mr. Nordgaren is less concerned with this than I am, but at least he understands what I’m talking about. And that’s more than I can say about most other musicians around. We have developed unique musical vocabulary, as do everyone who plays together for a while.»

The scarcity of Fleurety’s early products makes them fairly difficult to evaluate for our jury. What is the defendant’s opinion on the matter of refurbishing old material? What does he feel of nostalgia in music?

»I used to have an aversion against re-releasing old recordings but I found out that if people want to buy it, there’s no reason to not make it available. I am personally very glad that most of Elvis Presley’s music has been re-released, otherwise I would have to listen to his records using a record player that I haven’t got. Now I can just put the CD in the player and everything is pure bliss.

»Nostalgia? If people want to be nostalgic, it’s fine by me. I very rarely feel nostalgic in any context, but I guess I will when I get old and my life gets boring.»

Have there ever been any live performances to date, or will there ever be? What is the band’s view of playing live?

»There has been something like ten live performances in the history of Fleurety. These took place from 1992 to 1996. After that we have not been able to play live, as we are not a band; we are a bunch of people. And the composition of the bunch of people varies all the time. The only thing constant is the dynamic duo Nordgaren/Hatlevik. I do not know any longer what would be the ideal conditions for a Fleurety concert. I had strong opinions about that several years ago, but as the idea of Fleurety standing on a stage slips further and further away, it’s getting harder to imagine what it could and should be like.»

It would appear to us that the lyrics of Fleurety’s latest two releases are written in what some may call »post-modern» fashion. Is Mr. Hatlevik or Mr. Nordgaren students of the Dadaist School of Linguistics? Are you familiar with the technique of individuals like Tristan Tzara and Kurt Schwitters?

»No. A lot of people insinuate that our lyrics are influenced by Dadaism. I deny any knowledge of this direction and any relationship to it. I swear on the lives of any children I might have that I have never heard the names that you mention.»

Now, now, Mr. Hatlevik, was it a conscious decision to no longer write lyrics in Norwegian?

»Yes. The meaning was to start writing lyrics in English so that everyone would understand that they were incomprehensible.»

Bailiff Roady suddenly interjects and adds some words of his own: »The conversation between Gil-Gilad and Goat Herder in the rumour section on the Fleurety Internet site is especially amusing. I can’t help but ask if there really is some kind of exigency of joining the military in Norway? Are certain people exempt while others aren’t?»

Roady is obviously a very ignorant individual, as he refuses to read anything but the most abstruse literature on metaphysics he can find and thus has absolutely no practical knowledge whatsoever. He cannot even brush his teeth without first reasoning the existential validity of the toothbrush he is using. How would you answer his question, and what suggestions would you have for Roady?

Hatlevik: »The rumours that I managed to find on the Internet seemed to have something to do with my cutting my hair, I think. Anyway, I have not done military service, I never will, and as far as I know joining the army is something very rarely done by people connected to the black metal scene. My advice for Mr. Roady would be to start watching television. It will rid you of any questions. Or you can do like me: You can have a delete button installed on your neck, just behind your ear. Just mark whatever troublesome thoughts you have in your head for deletion and press the button. But I do watch television more than occasionally.»

Bailiff Roady, enchanted with the fact that he is being overheard: »Could objectivism somehow be reconciled with the transcendentalist philosophy of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Margaret Fuller?»

»If you insist – I’m not a philosopher. By the way, is this a question from a university exam?

»I once had a question on an exam going like this: Can the linguistic theories of D. Lewis be seen as a synthesis between the theories of H. P. Grice and J. Searle. Could you please comment that, Mr Roady? Or are you maybe just an armchair philosopher?»

Roady shrugs his shoulders and goes back to his armchair to rest.

Tell the jury Mr. Hatlevik, would it be safe to call Fleurety »hippies»?

»Ehm. I would prefer being called »extremely long-kneed person who has sex with such invertebrates as molluscs, earth worms and cockroaches» to being called a hippie.»

What final words do the defendants have before the verdict is declared? Do you plead insanity?

»I would like to remind the jury and of course the judges of the universal law of deceased band members: When a member of a band dies the number of records sold (N) is increased by the following formula:

N=3D10x101x1001xNumber of records sold before the death of the band member.

Therefore I should be given a capital punishment.»

Session is adjourned for the members of the jury to make their decisions. After several hours of deliberation, Alexander Nordgaren and Svein Egil Hatlevik have both been found guilty by a majority vote of 665 to 1 of innovation and disrupting the otherwise healthy stagnation of a musical genre. Later that very same evening, the court trampoline is found torn apart, the judge’s gavel is stolen, and the perpetrators, Nordgaren and Hatlevik, are found missing from their cell chambers. Both are presumably still at large, armed with impenetrable lyrics and an inexorable desire to disrupt conventional patterns of predictability… they are dangerous criminals. I repeat, dangerous criminals. Exercise extreme caution if found!

Ei kommentteja:

Lähetä kommentti