‘Derrière Nous La Lumière’ (roughly, “We Behind the Light”) is the debut album from one-man project, Throane. It has been recommended to fans of varied projects like Godflesh, Neurosis, and Blut Aus Nord. Dehn Sora is the sole orchestrator behind the black metal madness; a graphic designer who has done work for Ulver and Blut Aus Nord among many others. We took some time with Dehn to discuss his process, his background in graphic design, and his new album from Debemur Morti.
Transcending Obscurity (FlightOfIcarus): You’ve done graphic design for a number of other metal bands. Which came first: interest in metal or graphic design?
Throane (Dehn Sora): I think, interest in metal grew before my interest in graphic design. But as far as I remember, image in general has been part of my life since my very early ages. With cinema first, interest in art might have appeared when I started to draw when I was a kid. Everything kind of crossed each other during my most developing ages. Graphic design arrived in my life and obsessions more recently through album covers. Definitively, it helped grow my interest in those techniques.
TO: Did you play any music of your own prior to working in this field?
T: Working on a design / artwork, I feel more comfortable on digging on the bands I work for. Or picking the right musical ambiance for working for someone. It first makes more sense for the inspiration. I can feel more, put all the senses in action, research, and let things grow. For more personal work, sometimes a visual can inspire a track; and contrary as well. I feel that the 2 aspects are so connected that I work on having these two arms guiding.
TO: How, if at all, would you say working with other groups has influenced your own music, especially on this new album?
T: I don’t know if I felt inspired by the bands I work with. Not in a conscious way. But I have more of a feeling of flame passing. I try my best, everyday. And connecting with some people that have higher and higher goals, working to reach them, trying things, constantly, it gives another flame to keep up with and a drive to reach other zones. In being their arms, being their eyes, it makes me grow as an individual, as a visual maker. So in the end, it does make me grow in the music composition field. We show closed doors for each other, and what happens depends on which one we want to break.
TO: What inspired this particular project?
T: The urge. The recovery.
TO: It seems you’re currently based out of Paris. Have your surroundings played any part in your writing?
T: I still feel surprised by Paris. You can pass from the most violent pile of stress to calm atmosphere of the night; anything can happen. I’m living over the idea that the same surface is built underground. I feel Paris is a fascinating place in many aspects. Maybe because I grew up in the suburbs.
I lately observed a lot: people playing the jungle game, turning into a giant mass of tension. I observed this torso bombing game, and I just wanted to let them play between each other.
It is more the fact that my usual shell turned into a prison, and that played a part in the writing of this record. The environment had its role, more than Paris as a town. The confinement. Not what is around it.
TO: I think it is safe to say that the black metal of Throane maintains an overall focus on atmosphere as opposed to outright aggression. What drew you towards the oppressive ambient aspects of the album?
T: I don’t really know. I was just in the process of putting feelings on record. So it can turn in different ways. I tried to testify a state of mind, a part of a lifetime. For once, I didn’t reflect that much on how it should be constructed. It has to be that way: ambient parts simply appeared when it needed to be more organic. Then coming back to aggression, to the primal scream. No plan behind all of this. Just direct expression.
TO: Is there a particular unifying concept behind these songs?
T: The record was built up as some kind of exorcism. From being on the ground, getting punched, over and over. Being awakened by the scent of a smoke and starting again. It can be seen as an automatic writing, something driven from beginning to end solely by knowing that “it has to be done”.
TO: Where else do you draw inspiration from? What is your writing process like?
T: Inspiration is a matter of injustice. You can spend countless hours searching, never being satisfied in the end. And sometimes, it happens in 10 minutes. And you feel this is the thing that had to be recorded at this time. So I never think about what inspires me, I cannot give any list of things. Too much to be mentioned. Days and experiences give a new way of seeing things. The process was pretty new for me. Very direct. Non-stop playing and recording. I couldn’t do anything else.
TO: How has Debemur Morti supported you in the development of this album?
T: They have been supportive since day one. They heard the demos and followed the development of this project and gave some comments; that I’ve heard or not. I feel very honored to have their logo printed on this record. They have been the hands behind my back to push me in revealing this, understanding quickly all that it was about, and I felt a real support. We ‘ve worked together for years now, graphic design-wise, and it was a nice experience to have a different relationship for the time of this record. It is a relationship I hope to pursue, on other visual projects and for Throane.
TO: What else would you like share with the viewers about Throane?
T: I hope it can be a start for listeners to grow their own visions.
TO: One last thing: if you could pitch us just one underground metal group that you think people should know about, who would it be ?
T: Wiegedood. Because they play something with the rage of the first instant.