Luxemburg artist Jérôme Reuter, this year celebrates the fifteenth anniversary of his ROME project. The band rapidly gained a name in the neo-folk scene by the early works released on the defunct Cold Meat Industry. Rome next moved to Trisol while the music progressively evolved, touching ground with different music genres. The new album “The Lone Furrow” features numerous guest artists like Alan Averill (Primordial), Adam Nergal Darski (Behemoth/Me And That Man), Laure Le Prunenec (Rïcïnn), Joseph D. Rowland (Pallbearer) and J.J. (Harakiri For TheSky). The work is a critical perception of the world we’re living in and sounds as a sonic osmosis between Dark-Chanson and Neo-Folk with bombastic arrangements on top and multiple guest singers. “The Lone furrow” is one more masterpiece in the impressive discography of the artist.
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: More than any other album, “The Lone Furrow” appears to be Jérôme Reuter with guests/friends. What incited you to write this ‘collaborative’ album and did you handle specific criteria to work with those guests?
Jérôme: I did not really write it as a collaborative album. That idea came later. I wrote the songs and then I tried to find people to enhance and diversify it as much as possible, without changing the essence of my song. I am not letting anything out of my hands.
Q: What inspired you to write this new work and how did you transpose the ideas into music and lyrics? What have been the different stages you’d to go through?
Jérôme: I do not even know how to answer that, to be honest. Many themes on this one have been close to my heart for many years, and it just took some time to put it all in place and to see what kind of songs to even consider for tackling the subject matter. In essence, it is a very spontaneous and visceral way of writing, but I use elements that I am collecting over a long period of time…
Q: I got the impression you seriously boosted the orchestral arrangements on this work resulting in some great cinematographic passages. Did you focus on this -and/or any other specific aspect?
Jérôme: When I start out with a record, I have a vision of what it should sound like. Or rather, I know what I want to make myself (as the listener) feel. And then I use whatever means necessary to achieve that goal. Sometimes that means orchestral work, sometimes more industrial… whatever serves the purpose.
Q: Your albums are always pretty engaged and often a critical reflection about society and the world we’re living in. From that point of view I would like to know how you perceive the Covid-19 pandemic? Dystopia seems to become reality don’t you think?
Jérôme: Dystopia is a reality, Covid is only accelerating the process, in my opinion. The pandemic is one thing, but how this age of (dis)information deals with it is another thing.
Q: There’s an interesting connection to make between the Covid-19 pandemic and one of your favorite writers, Albert Camus and his legendary novel “La Peste” (“The Plague”). Do you see similarities?
Jérôme: Yes, in many ways, but more on the political side, to be fair. I think I should have that press release altered, though, cause, as much as I like him, he is not at the top of my list. I much prefer Genet and Bloy (if we stick to French literature).
Q: Because of the pandemic, artistic life has been seriously affected, but I noticed you got the opportunity to play live again. I can imagine it must be totally different from the past, but how was it for you? And what might we expect from the announced tour?
Jérôme: I am not even sure there WILL be a tour, as financially, a classic tour does not work anymore. There are just not enough people allowed in for anyone to cover the costs… Only time can tell how things will evolve. For now I am playing the odd solo show here and there, but it is really not comparable to what my job used to be like.
Q: Your album got only positive reviews, but what importance do you give to reviews? In which way a review can be constructive or inspiring for an artist? And how critical are you with your own composition/work?
Jérôme: I am very critical with my own work, so once I decide I am done with it and release it out into the world, it is not my responsibility anymore. People will hear what they will hear – it is beyond my control, and I try not to care what people write in reviews.