Interview with Ludovic Dhenry 

Ludovic Dhenry Projects

Hey Ludovic and thank you for your time today.

You’ve been in the music scene since 2005, how did you first get started?
I have always felt the need to create music. It was obvious to me. Like a path that I had to follow. When I was younger, I saw a video clip of Lacrimosa “Stolzes Herz”. I was blown away by this music and the imagery, all that this Gothic universe represents. I said to myself, I want to compose goth music too, because that’s what I am. I composed a lot of demo, and one day I wrote the track “Zauber – Euphoria”, from that moment I was satisfied, so I created my independent label (Neris Records) to release the record . I am passionate about Home Studio music equipment, electronic and computer music instruments. Every day, I get up very early in the morning to work on my music all day long. 

How would you describe your music?
It’s a fantasy universe, an imaginary world that I create every day. I always have images in my mind, it’s my universe. And that’s what I want to compose. I live in this imaginary world all the time, I prefer it to the real world.

My musical projects have the same “soul”, something similar that I can represent in many types of music. In this regard, I created several projects because some titles would not be suitable, according to the instrumentation.
This common substance, I will define it as Gothic. A melancholy, dark. 

What is the meaning behind your lyrics and vocal sound?
The lyrics are like little stories, events that take place in the imaginary world I just spoke about.
The sound of the voice, with the electronic Fx, represents a creature. It’s not a human who expresses himself in my songs. 

What is your process when it comes to producing music, is this something you have studied?
At first, I think about what I want to achieve, it’s like a mental sketch. Then I write the lyrics, then I compose the music in relation to the lyrics. Musically, I choose a musical scale, for example, D minor, knowing that during the composition, another musical scale may be used.

I am self-taught, I learned a lot in books, experimenting with my software synthesizer, reading digital audio software manuals. Then, to deepen my knowledge, I took classes in a professional music school, during a year. Intensive learning, whole days. It was great.
I learned music theory, and the profession of sound engineer for recording studio, mixing and mastering. 

You’re based in France, what is the gothic culture like there?
I am lucky to live on the Belgian border. Previously, there were many gothic nights and concerts. A really great atmosphere. I went there very often. Unfortunately, many of these places are closed now. But there are still some.

On the other hand, in the north of France, where I live, there are not many goth nights, nor concerts. Very little. But now, and for many years, I live recluse. I do not like the outside world. I prefer to stay in my music studio. In reality, I never leave home, and I’m happy like that, I’m really lucky to be able to live like that. 

You’ve just released your 11th album ‘Exponentia’, what is the concept behind this release?
These days, I am composing this album, it is not realized. It will be realized this year. There will be more electronic synth sounds while keeping great importance for the symphony orchestra. I worked a lot about classical music so I could compose what I had in my mind. At the time I answer you, there is still a lot of work, but a lot of songs are composed. 

What makes ‘Exponentia’ different from your other projects?
This is the project that is most important to me because he understands orchestral arrangements, and above all, it is really what I am internally. When I compose music, more club, purely electronic, or on the contrary more ambient music, then I can not integrate them in Exponentia. I like different styles of music, and it would be frustrating for me to compose only in one style. 

Where do you draw your influences from?
Many in books, novels. I read every day. It’s so pleasant. I love fantasy mainly, and adventure novels, science fiction. Also in baroque and classical music, and in German gothic music. 

What does the gothic culture mean to you and how do you think it’s changed over the years?
I think it’s something inside, that goths have in them since birth. We are like that because we have always been like that.
We love the beauty of the dark.

What has not changed in years is that we are still so badly off by people. They do not understand us, but we do not do anything wrong. They are always so intolerant towards people different from them and minorities. To answer your question more specifically, I think that in recent years, many bands tend to write less dark music. What I find unfortunate. 

What are your favourite bands/influences?
My favourite band, without hesitation, is Lacrimosa.
I also like Sopor Aeternus, Das Ich, Diary of Dreams, Umbra et Imago, Die Form, Seelenkrank… and others. These bands influenced me.
I also love classical and baroque music. It is very difficult to choose my favourites because there are many that I love. But I have a preference for Haendel for baroque, and Haydn for classical.

Are you planning any live gigs this year?
No, I devote myself exclusively to the studio.
I played some concerts a few years ago, in Belgium, England, France and Switzerland. But for the moment, no concerts are planned. 

What are the benefits and drawbacks of being a one-man band?
I am someone solitary, for me, there is no inconveignant. The advantage is that I can write the music I want without any compromise. If another person joined me for the composition, it will alter the “soul” that I put in my music. Which is inconceivable for me. 

What do you like to do outside of your music?
I am passionate about video games, especially A-RPG. I spend a lot of time, certainly too much, hmm … although no, not enough. It’s so good to be in these worlds. Video games have evolved a lot in recent years, thanks to technological advances. It has become very interesting to play.I also like reading novels, watching DVD movies, and of course listening to music. 

What advice would you give someone thinking of setting up their own band?
You have to find your own soul and set it to music. But also, you have to work, work and work, every day. Music is a complex art, there is so much to learn. 

Is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers?
If you want to enjoy music for what it really is, and to be able to get inside it, to go through the journey it proposes, you have to listen to an album from beginning to end, calmly. The current trend of listening to YouTube, just one song, very quickly, then another … does not allow what I just described. 

Many thanks