An Interview with Jacques Saph of Virgin in Veil

If you’re a fan of deathrock, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Helsinki based deathrock band Virgin in Veil. Although the band formed just four years ago in 2015, they have released two well received full length albums, an EP, and toured on four continents. Virgin in Veil is Jacques Saph (Vocals/Bass), Suzi Sabotage (Synth/Backing Vocals), William Freyermuth (Drums), and Veikko Jokelainen (Guitar).

Earlier this year, they released a video for Darkness At Noon from their upcoming album “Permanent Funeral”. In anticipation of their upcoming album, we interviewed frontman and songwriter Jacques Saph. Click play on the video above, and enjoy!

Your forthcoming album, “Permanent Funeral”, will be your third full studio album. One thing I love about Virgin in Veil’s lyrics is that you don’t sugar-coat the problems you see. What difficult topics will you be tackling on Permanent Funeral? Can you share any experiences with us that inspired some of your upcoming songs?

Jacques: Early last year, I finally got my mental health treatment back after being off it for like three years, and it felt like a rebirth. So I sat down and took a look at all those years I've lived under the insidious control of my mental illness. This is, more or less, how I started writing “Permanent Funeral”.
The new album deals a lot with mental disorders and negative thoughts one can find in their own mind. Therefore, I think that “Permanent Funeral” is our darkest release so far.

The instrumentation for the video you released for “Darkness At Noon” off your forthcoming album is a bit more melancholic than what I’ve come to expect from your discography so far. Especially regarding the synths. Can we expect more tracks like that?

Jacques: Definitely. Actually, “Darkness at Noon” is the fastest song on the whole album, and the one that sounds the most like our previous works. Most songs on the new album are slower, with more prominent synths than before, but with that same raw energy we've displayed on the first two albums.
Also, this album has a more ambient and experimental approach, with longer songs, different time signatures and uses many samples and sound textures.

Virgin in Veil’s Jacques Saph at Wave Gotik Treffen 2017

Virgin in Veil’s Jacques Saph at Wave Gotik Treffen 2017

Looking over your past tour flyers, Virgin in Veil and Masquerade are often on the same event lineup. Do you find it challenging splitting your creative energy between two touring bands?

Jacques: It's very convenient, as both bands have the exact same four persons in it, to play two gigs during one night. It can be exhausting, but we're pretty used to it so that's not really a problem.
Splitting the energy between the two bands can be more tricky, especially when they are at the same time working on a release, for example. But we have our own guidelines, for example Suzi is the driving force behind Masquerade and I'm that of Virgin in Veil's...  being organized helps a lot.

Deathrock definitely seems to have a much stronger presence in South America compared to the US and European music scenes. How do you see deathrock fitting in with the goth/wave/post-punk revival we’re seeing right now?

Jacques: Yeah, nowadays in Europe, it's all about poppish post-punk and minimal wave. Deathrock used to be a big part of the goth scene around 15 years ago. At the time, there were many great bands and lots of related events here, but not so much anymore, so it's wonderful that the genre still has some popularity in places like South America or Japan.

What’s your favorite country to tour in? Which one has been the most memorable?

Jacques: Tough question, we do have lots of good memories from touring, as we have already visited almost 15 countries on three continents. But yeah, last year we played in Japan with Phaidia, which is one of my favorite bands, so this was definitely a highlight.
We came to Tokyo for three gigs, and we really didn't know what to expect. It turned out that all our shows were packed, many people knew our music and audiences loved the gigs. So basically, it couldn't have been any better than this.

Photo by Utut-Tuuli Jussila ( Left to Right: William Freyermuth, Jacques Saph, Suzi Sabotage .

Photo by Utut-Tuuli Jussila ( Left to Right: William Freyermuth, Jacques Saph, Suzi Sabotage.

You’ve participated in the “Goths for Sophie” calendar initiative which donates all profits to the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, and back in January you had a fundraiser for Puffy Paws Kitty Haven in Florida (right in our part of the state! Thank you!). Do you think it’s important or essential to not just protest through music, but to actively devote your personal time and resources to causes you believe in?

Jacques: Whether we like it or not, we live in a capitalist world, and therefore, money is always needed to support causes you believe in. Most of our songs aren't political, but we try to help making this planet less of a shitty place. We have played charity gigs for shelters, animal and human rights associations and also used our own birthdays to create fundraisers as well as giving the profits of our album sales to various causes. It's not much, but playing the music we love and at the same time raising money for causes we believe in is the way to go. Actions speak much louder than words.

Thanks again for your time! I’m really looking forward to Permanent Funeral. I love what you guys are doing.

Jacques: Thanks for your interest in the band and for your kind words!

Follow Virgin in Veil on Facebook and their website for more news and updates, and check out their previous releases on Bandcamp!

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