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Artist of the Week – In My Rosary

May 11, 2009 by Vanya Nikolaeva · 1 comment

Vanya Nikolaeva’s interview with the dark wave-gothic band In My Rosary

In My Rosary were formed in 1992 by the musician Ralf Jesek (voice, instruments, production) and the photographer Dirk Lakomy (lyrics) – originally to be a one-time art project. Based on their fondness for the darker side of the New Wave of the 1980s, the idea was to record just one tape filled with their own vision of how Dark Wave music could sound.

This tape was originally made to be distributed among their circle of friends, but soon some fanzines became interested in this project and that led to some record companies showing interest. In 1993 IN MY ROSARY released their debut CD “Those Silent Years”, which caught worldwide attention in the darker underground and is seen as a classic of Dark Folk nowadays – even though they were never a part of that scene at all.

Since then they have released ten critically acclaimed albums and have built up a loyal following all over the world. This is not a natural progression for them, because they never cared for extraneous expectations or market-driven presentation (an extremely important point, especially in the darker scene). They always did just what they wanted to do – and even if it sounds a little bit absurd, they still see In My Rosary as a temporary project that only comes into being for the short period of creating a musical work and disintegrates afterwards.

Which song of yours describes In My Rosary best?

Ralf: Since our style is a mixture of various styles, you cannot pick out a particular track that would describe us best. We have pure acoustic tracks as well as pure electronic ones, so which one should we point at? But a lot of people think that “There’s No Light” from our album “Your World Is A Flower” could be seen as a typical In My Rosary song. So let’s take that one.

Does the Dark Wave experience difficult times now, compared to the 80-ies/early 90-ies?

Ralf: Since the original Dark Wave does not exist anymore, I cannot answer this question properly. The gothic scene of today is very different from the Dark Wave scene back in the 1990s when we started with In My Rosary. Maybe you can say that the former scene was more pleasant, because it was smaller and concurrently more open to other things. So the whole thing was more exciting, because there was so much weird stuff to discover. The artists did not care for anything, because it was purely underground and pretty uncool for the public. Those days raves and happy dance music were hip. That has changed over the years.

This darker kind of music has been discovered by the industry and nowadays it is more like a typical youth movement, where you have to fulfil various stereotypes (clothing, thinking, attitude, behaviour etc.) to be an accepted part of it. There are medial guidelines, dresscodes in clubs, branches of business that earn money with it and so on.

An inescapable development of course, when something exists for such a long time. But to get back to us: making our kind of music was always difficult, because it is too special for a wider audience. And because we never tried to fit in the Dark Wave or (nowadays) gothic mainstream, we even had it a little bit harder in establishing our music. But this could be a typical moaning ;-) So nothing has changed for us.

What is the most important thing about IMR that you would like the fans to know?

Dirk: In My Rosary will always be a project that doesn’t care about trends or commercial success. We do what we want to do. Every album is the end but also a new start. As long as we have something to express and people are interested in our work this project will never stop.

How dark is the world of In My Rosary?

Dirk: Maybe our music and our lyrics are sometimes dark, melancholic and surreal. This is because we handle special themes like decay, fleeing time, strange love, death or nightmares. But our world is not complete dark, nobody can exist in a dark world. When we meet, we laugh a lot and make a lot of stupid, funny things. We both are very humorous persons. We see the world and the strange creatures living on it with a kind of gallows humour.

Who / Which are your greatest music influences?

Ralf: The typical ones for a project like ours: Joy Division, Fad Gadget, The Cure, Siouxsie & The Banshees, This Motal Coil and so on. The music we grew up with.

Please provide some details about your extraneous music projects.

Ralf: First there is DERRIERE LE MIROIR, a wave pop project I ran from 1992 to (theoretical) 2002 with Nicole Rellum (vocals) and Kai Kampmann (bass). We released five CDs and even got some (independent) chart entries and TV performances. Unfortunately we disbanded this project because the other ones lost interest in making music.

Second, there is GRIFFIN’S FALL, a project Dirk and I started with Martin v. Arndt of PRINTED AT BISMARCK’S DEATH. In 1997 we released a CD called “A Medicine For Melancholy”, which was “just” a fun thing. Martin once was a guest singer on a DERRIERE LE MIORIR album and because we had so much fun in the studio, we decided to do an EP CD together.

But then the record company wanted a full length album, and so we recorded one. Although we even got two so-called “club hits” on that CD, we never found the time to record a second album. We always talked about it, but obviously it never happened. But a very pleasant side effect of this project is the fact that Martin supports me on stage since then.

Third, there is LAKOBEIL, a project Dirk formed together with Tobias Birkenbeil, who had a CD release with his dark electro act DNS in the early 1990s. Dirk wrote the lyrics, Tobias wrote the music and they recorded the album “Konzept:Unverbindlich” with various singers in 2003. Unfortunately they could not find a record company to release it. And last, there is MARY’S COMIC, a more electronic, new wave based project I started in 2005/2006.

In 2007 I released the album “Perfect Vacation”, which was more like a pastime than a serious “starting something new”. During the production of the last IN MY ROSARY album “15″ Dirk suffered from a writer’s block so I got some time to try out other things. At the moment I am not sure if I will continue with MARY’S COMIC, but who knows…

What are your future music plans?

Ralf: Since we still see IN MY ROSARY as a temporary project, we never have any plans for the future. We never saw this project as something like a firm, with aims you have to reach or a time schedule. We always, let’s say, wait until we feel the time is right to create something new. Until then IN MY ROSARY does not exist at all. But at the moment we are working on the demos for a new album, although we do not know if it will really happen. This depends on our mood – just as always…

How do you see yourselves in 10 years time?

Ralf: At all events we will be ten years older. And I think that is the only thing we know for sure. Maybe IN MY ROSARY will be still around – in one way or another – who knows…

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