Based in California (USA) Maximillian Olivier aka Council Of Nine this year released his fifth solo-album since 2014. The prolific artist got inspired by mass following and cults. The new work has been again released in Sweden on Cryo Chamber and features seven tracks dealing with dark-ambient and –cinematographic music. It’s a work with a strong visual appeal, which might possibly result into paranoiac feelings.
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: You released an impressive number of albums (plus collaborative productions) in a rather short lapse of time! How do you explain this prolific aspect and how do you see Council Of Nine today compared to the first hours of the project?
Maximillian: I am always working on projects to improve my abilities and keep myself in my creative space. There is no shortage of inspiration to say the least and I think this is why I can continue to create music so frequently. As far as how I see the project now, it is my main focus and outlet for my creativity. It has become so rewarding for me personally as I often put a lot of myself in these records. Where as “Dakhma” was the least personal of all my albums.
Q: The main theme and inspiration on your newest work “Davidian” deals with mass followings and cults, which in a way is linked to your previous work “Exit Earth”. What fascinates you in this phenomenon and what does it reveal about personal experiences, frights etc?
Maximillian: It has always been fascinating how one person can manipulate such a massive number of people, particularly people without anything to belong to. Often they are looking for validation so much that they get caught up in the most ridiculous situations. That is what interests me so much in cults. However, personally, there is not much invested. I have long since given up any desire in religious seeking and am content with my spirituality.
Q: You clearly like working with conceptual themes, which can be very personal (referring to the “Trinity”-album) or reflecting obscure themes. What do you like in concepts and does it need a specific preparation and way of working?
Maximillian: I love concepts because they are subjective, I have the ability to be direct at times if I choose and I can also leave room for interpretation on the listeners part. In regards to how I prepare, specifically with the cult series, it is rather extensive. I often become so enamored with an idea that I can alienate myself from social circles. I become so involved in the story that I must know everything there is to know… hundreds of hours of research, movies, books, ect. Only after I have completely isolated myself to this concept, can I begin to channel that into music. When I do, however, it comes so naturally.
Q: Tell us a bit more about the writing of “Davidian”, which is mixing pure dark-ambient and cinematic elements together, but still bombast and refinement? What did you try to accomplish?
Maximillian: I wanted a dark-ambient album with religious themes, however, I didn’t want those themes to be the center point. The story of the Branch Davidians is two sided. On one hand, you have David Koresh and his followers who truly believed at the end of the day that they were following their true faith in God and on the other hand was the ATF, some of whom lost their lives in a shooting that ensued after the raid on the Davidian compound. I wanted the album to have that duality.
Q: How critical can you be about your own work? I mean do you think some aspects of the album could have been improved or maybe different? And do you have some references and/or criteria when it comes to writing/production?
Maximillian: I am extremely critical about the music during the writing and production phase. I think most musicians are and I believe most have things they would have changed or have done differently. I go through many layers of quality control on my part, however, so by the time the album is released I am absolutely confident I have done all there is to do.
Q: I can easily imagine a musician always has some ambitions and/or artistic projects he wants to realize! How do you see the further developments and eventually projects/dreams you want to work on?
Maximillian: I see no end to my desire to create music, I will continue to explore many different concepts as I become fascinated. Without giving too much away, stay tuned! In regards to a dream, that dream for me has always been to become a film composer. Particularly of the horror variety and I feel dark-ambient music has a huge part in that.