ORDO EQUITUM SOLIS
An interview by Marcus Stiglegger, conducted for the long deceased London-based magazine EYE OF THE INFERNO. Conducted 1994 in the Scarabäus-club, Ingelheim, Germany.
OES im Scarabäus, Ingelheim, 28.10.1993. Photo by Marcus Stiglegger.
In 1990 the Italian formation Ordo Equitum Solis earned brilliant reputation with their debut-cd "Solstitii Temprois Sensus", a magical celebration of the winter solstice. They seemed to come out of nowhere, just to form another fascinating new ornament of the ritual music movement. A brief look into the booklet shows the facts: Tony Wakeford, founder of SOL INVICTUS and ex-member of DEATH IN JUNE, wrote some of the lyrics and also is guest musician on this first release, a fact that surely helped this work to become a small success especially in Germany, France and Italy. But whoever has seen OES live will agree that there are much more striking qualities combined in this wonderful band...
The beautiful magical inspired singer Leithana first appeared as keyboarder with SOL INVICTUS on their masterpiece "Lex Talionis". She also was member of the live crew on the 1990-Tour. Guitarist and male vocalist of OES is Deraclamo. Their three cds so far present a unique mixture of medieval-, folk- and ritual-elements; they use mainly acoustical instruments - guitar, flute, ritual-drums, bells - but there are also very dark keyboard parts. Some people still see in them just another Gothic-folk-group and critics tend to set them between SOL INVICTUS and DEAD CAN DANCE, but the thruth is - as always - much more complex. I talked to Leithana and Deraclamo 1993 in Ingelheim:
Eye Of The Inferno: Leithana, please tell me something about the origins of OES.
Leithana: Originally I am French. Deraclamo is Italian. 1988 we came to know each other and decided shortly afterwards to express our emotions musically.
EOTS: Were there certain bands or artists who influenced Your musical style?
L: No. We are listening to all different kinds of music, no certain artists.
Deraclamo: Right. From medieval music via classic up to popular groups. I personally prefer Kate Bush. Our music has to be like that to express our emotions correctly.
EOTS: When did the corporation with Tony Wakeford start?
L: Deraclamo knows him for a long time...
D: I met him in 1984 after a DEATH IN JUNE-concert in Paris. We talked a lot about music, took some guitars and played something together. Later Leithana and I lived together with him in a house in London for a short time.
L: At that time (1989) Tony asked me to do something on his new record "Lex Talionis". So I played the piano-parts...
EOTS: Your music contains mainly very peaceful messages. Leithana, what do You think about the more agressive and occasionally destructive texts by SOL INVICTUS? Do You identify with it?
L: I understand what You mean... (carefully)... I do not really think that the record "Lex Talionis" has a negative attitude.
D: Always when we take part in other projects - for the time we do that - we completely identify ourselves with that work.
EOTS: What do You think about the political opinions of the people behind SOL INVICTUS and DEATH IN JUNE? And how would You describe Your own?
L: We are not interested in politics. Some of our friends are left-wing, some are right-wing, I don't care...
D. There are more important things in life. Finally left-wing and right-wing fascism leads into chaos.
EOTS: Why did You stop cooperating with Tony Wakeford?
D: We still have contact, but we stopped working together for the moment. Sometimes there will probably be a cooperation again.
EOTS: Do You work - besides making music?
L: No. I can't do that. I can't work. I tried all different kinds of jobs... that's nothing for me. We also don't have a home. We live by the hospitility of our friends. We can't afford a rent.
EOTS: Do spend most of Your time in Italy?
L: The last two years we did.
EOTS: Do You have any creative side-projects.
D: Yes, for two years now we have been working on a lyric-book with artwork. But we are busy all the time and always say: We do it later, we do it later... (both laughing).
L: We can't say when it will be published.
EOTS: Are the emotions You show on the stage really so strong or is that part of Your show?
L: Both. My songs are very emotional, they have to be, and the feelings I have during the show are real. The decision to present these emotions in public is the show. Showing means showing emotions.
EOTS: How important is the magical aspect within Your work? Do You expect certain knowledge from the listener?
L: No, our audience does not have to be occult experts. We try to create pieces of music that are understandable for everyone without understanding the certain lyrics. You do not have to understand the texts, You have to get the emotions.
D: In this way we are able to use every language, English, Italian, French, Latin...
EOTS: How would You describe Your audience?
D: Mainly our audience is very homogeneous in Germany and Italy.
EOTS: You talk about the Gothic-scene... Do You like this particular kind of audience?
L: Yes, but we love all people, that like our music. That has nothing to do with scene or style. Our live-musicians for example belong to alle different kinds of musical directions...
D: I'm looking like this for years now. It's my own style. We don't care how people look like...
L: Especially on our USA-tour we played in front of an audience that isn't even used to our accoustical kind of music any more. We got on well with this, too.
EOTS: According to Your back-to-nature-appeal I am surprised that You are smoking all the time...
L: (blushing) Er, yes, that's bad for my voice, I know, I often try to stop it...
D: It's a sin!
1990 CD Solstitii Temporis Sensus (2nd ed.1994)