FULL MOURNING: An interview with Dorian Lecter


Interview by Arianna Govoni

In a music environment that surely needs a shake inside its wall, it’s nice to see that there is some new gem that needs to gain more attention and recognition from both the fans and International press. This is the case of Full Mourning, a completely new project invented by the brilliant mind of Dorian Lecter. Labeled as “Seance metal”, this one-female band now introduces itself to the world with its first single, “Beyond The Veil (Not Martha)”, a song that anticipates Full Mourning’s debut album, that soon will be done with the works. So what this new project is about? What kind of music does Dorian offer the International audience? What shall we expect from her? All the questions now have their own answers in this in-depth interview.

Hi Dorian and welcome to Femme Metal Webzine. It’s a pleasure hosting this chat with you today?

Dorian: Hello- thank you so much for having me!

Let’s start out our chat with a very basic question: would you mind introducing Full Mourning to our readers?

Dorian: Full Mourning is my “band,” so to speak. It is a project that I love dearly and am very excited to share with the world. It centers around themes from Victorian Era mourning culture and combines my love of that era with my love of music and theater. Ultimately I’m hoping for it to be an immersive experience for fans and others like me.

On Wednesday, August 14th, your first single, “Beyond The Veil”, will be released. This is a very important date for you, would you mind telling us the reason why did you opt for this date in particular? Is there any particular meaning or reason behind this choice?

Dorian: Absolutely! The August 14th release was something I decided to do because of a Victorian memorial piece I have in my home. A few years ago my husband purchased this beautiful piece for me, and I hung it above my keyboard. As I was writing what would end up being this album, I felt very inspired by the piece and it actually is the sole reason for the concept. The woman it was made to commemorate was named Martha and her date of death is listed on it as August 14th, 1895 so it felt like the perfect release date since she inadvertently helped me so much. If anyone ever asks why I say “we” when I’m talking about the band or who is in the band, I tend to say that Full Mourning is me and Martha.

The lady in black, hidden by a black veil, is a figure that often arouses a lot of curiosity. I guess that this lady is somehow Martha, the character of the story. Is this the main character of this concept album? Would you mind telling us something more about it?

Dorian: Actually, the woman in black is just me! When I started creating the concept of Full Mourning I decided I wanted to perform in Victorian mourning wear, so that is the reason for the black veil in the photos. Martha actually is not the main character of the album- she is the main character’s obsession. The central character is the one telling the story in the album.

What has inspired the birth of “Beyond The Veil”?

Dorian: If I had to say something else aside from the Martha memorial inspired “Beyond the Veil,” I would have to say it was my love of the Victorian Era and the culture they built around death and mourning. It’s such a rich part of history and I just find it very fascinating and poetic..

The single anticipates a concept album whose theme deals with some topic we face daily in our lives, like obsessive and sick love, death and insanity. These topics are, somehow, related to something you’ve experienced or are they just simple topics that have inspired you to write the music and the story?

Dorian: Yes! I would say they’re all very important themes in the album. I definitely (thankfully) have not personally experienced anything that is at the level of what happens in this story- it’s purely fiction inspired by things I enjoy.

I’ve always been a lover of concept albums: indeed, I like a lot to dig into the stories that lie behind the records, I like to fully discover and understand the characters, the stories, and mainly how the story will end up. I’d like to ask: what have been the most difficult task in writing this concept/story?ù

Dorian: I also love concept albums and have wanted to try my hand at creating one for a very long time, so it’s wonderful for me to be able to kind of dig into this for the first time with someone like you who appreciates them. As far as what has been the most difficult part, I would say that for me it has been fitting the story into lyrics and putting it to music. I love the story so much, so sometimes I just get anxious because I want to make sure that I do it justice and that the story comes across well.

I know that maybe I shall wait for the official release of the debut, but will it be revealed what lies behind the black veil?

Dorian: As far as the literal black veil goes, it is just me behind it. For those readers who may not know, “beyond the veil” is a term used to refer to the unknowns of the afterlife. So, as far as whether or not what lies beyond the veil in this story is revealed…yes and no. The answer is there but it may be in a more subtle manner.

The debut album is still in the making so I’m forbidden to know how the story will develop, but will there be any continuation of the story or will it only told in this first record?

Dorian: That’s a great question! As of now, I have no plans for this story to carry on past one album but it has taken on a life of its own more than once throughout the writing process, so who knows. I do already have a different idea for a second (most likely) unrelated story for another concept album, though.

Your music influences go from Carach Angren to the great composer Hans Zimmer. Is there any artist or band who has brought you to forge this music background of yours, very particular, sinister and unique in its own way?

Dorian: I think I can trace what I’m doing now back to a few albums/bands that I feel really impacted me as a teenager. I would say the main ones were Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge by My Chemical Romance, Dear Diary, My Teen Angst Has A Body Count by From First To Last, Nightmare Anatomy by Aiden, Sing the Sorrow and Decemberunderground by AFI, and Alesana. All of those bands had a lot of darkness, angst, theater, violence, and poetry in their music around that time and I just loved it. As far as music goes, I also think Danny Elfman’s scores can be credited- his work with Tim Burton was always very intriguing to me as a child and teen. Beyond music there were writers like Edgar Allan Poe and Oscar Wilde who I also think helped lead me to this place with my own art.

Your music is labeled as “seance metal”. Let’s suppose that we need to explain it in a very detailed way to somebody who has no familiarity at all: how would you describe your music to the metal lovers,  in particular to those people who are more into the extreme current?

Dorian: I actually decided to call it Séance Metal because I wasn’t sure if it really fit anywhere and wanted to avoid stepping on any toes or calling it something that might end up being a misnomer. If I had to describe it, I would say it has a cinematic quality and draws heavily on Victorian themes and imagery. It employs keys, strings, and horns as well as some heavier guitars and drums, and there are both clean vocals and screams.

Innovation is often seen like something “strange”, especially in a music environment that is more and more connected and fond of those music genres who work and bring more money to the table. In your opinion, what do you think to have more than any other band out there? What’s your biggest strong point, if there’s any?

Dorian: That’s a bit of a tricky question because that’s just not something I really think about, to be honest. Music is not a competition to me- I believe there’s more than enough room for everyone, so I’m really not sure what I have or do more than anyone else, if that makes sense. I think that might be my strong point- focusing on just doing what I love instead of trying to compete or intentionally be something.

Nowadays it’s pretty rare to see a “female fronted one-woman” inside this music business. The only name I could reconnect of right now is Myrkur, a very talented artist who has been very criticized but who’s also very admired. What has pushed you to this decision? Why haven’t you thought of forming a real band?

Dorian: In the beginning I did want to try to find musicians to start a band with but the more I looked and thought about it, I thought it might not be the best option for me. With Full Mourning being the personal, theatrical concept that it is, I really love being able to maintain creative control, and it became a concern to me that having functioning band members would cause me to lose some of that and it would be more of a collaboration. So I opted to do it alone with guidance instead of opening it up to other members. However, I would love to bring musicians in at some point to play for me live.

Reconnecting to my previous question, did you manage to record all the music by yourself or did you work with some external person? What could you tell me about the recording process?

Dorian: No, I did not record the music by myself. I write and compose the songs, either record a piano demo here in Nashville with a producer/consultant I see at Marcin Bela Education, or I create a demo in GarageBand, and then I send that to producer Chris Collier, who is also a multi-instrumentalist. He gets the tracks ready and I fly out to him to record the vocals, and he does all the engineering, mixing, and mastering.

Waiting to discover more and more concerning this first full length album, I’d like to ask you what will be your future goals and if there’s anything you would love to do musically, professionally or, why not, personally?

Dorian: I do have a couple different goals. The first is definitely a dream goal- there is a label I would love to work with specifically because of the owner/President of A&R. He’s been a favorite of mine for many years, and I appreciate the way he approaches his work and think his label could be a good fit for me and what I am doing. I would also love to become a film composer and score primarily horror films, which has been a dream of mine for some time now.

If I’m not mistaken, I guess you have a great passion for horror movies and everything connected to horror. You also aspire to compose horror scores. Where does this passion of yours come from?

Dorian: I do! You know, I’m not entirely sure where it comes from. My parents were not horror fans and I wasn’t allowed to watch horror films growing up- I had to sneak them when I was home alone. The first score I remember really falling in love with was not a horror score- it was actually Howard Shore’s score for The Fellowship of the Ring. I was 11 and listened to the CD all the time. I think it was about a year or two later that I watched the first horror movie I remember watching, which was Cherry Falls. It is not a great film by any means, but it stuck with me and I think that sort of fueled my curiosity and interest in horror. As I got older I was exposed to horror films that are more atmospheric and I feel that my love of film scores and horror intersected at a certain point, and the desire to score primarily horror films was born.

Dear Dorian, thanks a lot for this space. Waiting to discover more about your first album, we wish you all the best and we call you to speak in order to share the final words with us! See you soon!

Dorian: Thank you again so much- I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to speak with me, and I look forward to speaking with you again in the future!

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