BIOGRAPHY: Shadeworks is the one-man project of Arnaud Nicolas (current drummer of Belgian Metal band Icy Winds and ex-Obsidian). Solo recordings started back in 1998 (under the name of Icy Winds At Dusk) with the first demotape " Endless Snowfields ". That instrumental was nothing but a rough sketch of what was to follow... Anyway, it got some favourable reviews in underground zines and some copies were spread around the world. Two years later, the project changed its name into Shadeworks, the underlying idea being : to make something more professional, though still weird. The second demotape " Lights Hiding in 8-D Architectures " was recorded in May 2000. It had a better sound quality and got very encouraging comments in a lot of zines, magazines and webzines. Some tracks were also included on underground compilation tapes. The brand-new " Sooty Limbs " demoCD has been recorded in April 2001 on a digital 16-track home studio. The female vocals were performed by Icy Winds' singer Fae. A huge promo-campaign will be developed in order to complete Shadeworks' excellent pressbook and find a label interested in releasing the project's first album. .....

Answers by Nicolas Arnaud after the recording of "Sooty Limbs"





Lost in the sands of time...

-Why was this project born? Didn't you have enough space in Icy Winds?
Actually, Shadeworks saw the light before Icy Winds... So it's not about me being frustrated with my band as one may deduce. It's just about me loving to create complete, personal and coherent songs all by myself. Both the band and the solo-project represent something I enjoy and I would even say that those are complementary situations. I cannot imagine myself without one or another...

-Are you recording anything new with Icy Winds? Very different from Shadeworks?
I am the main composer in Icy Winds. So it's pretty obvious that there are quite a lot of similarities between both bands. Anyway, it's not a tyrant-driven band. I mean, Fae (our singer) brings her own lyrics, which by the way are part of a whole nice big concept, and then we try to work on some melodies together. Also, I like the musicians to adapt a few parts that match with the way they feel the songs. Synths are especially concerned here since I'm not that good at playing piano as a professional is... But shortly, no, there's no big difference in the way both bands sound in their entirety...Except that Icy Winds' music is largely female vocals only so Fae gets more space to experiment, to be more expressive. In Shadeworks she brings out exactly what I ask her - and very professionally indeed - for the sake of the compositions.

-You were also Obsidian's drummer. Did they split up or just change drummer?
No man, I went away. Things were not going so well from a musical perspective and I also didn't like the way things were handled by our management. The people were not bad, but I just felt we were not surfing on the same waves and I left. That same day, the solo guitarist and the singer left too, so I guess they came up with a totally different line-up. I have no news anymore from them, so I guess they've become Rockstars behind my back, haha!

-How long did the songwriting and the recording+mixing take?
This is the funniest part... A friend of mine lent me his 16-track recorder and when he did, I had only one and a half song finished in my head. Then, he told me he needed his machine back 6 days later, so I did all the rest in that period. I wrote the tracks, I played them, I recorded them on that crazy don't-fucking-know-how-to-use-this-shitty-machine... Fortunately I was inspired. At least, I guess I was...

-Is there something you'd like to change or improve on this CD after a year and a half?
Yeah. Vocals. Fae did a hell of a great job. She did it all in a few takes and they were cool (though she still thinks she made some little mistakes... she's a damn perfectionist...). But my vocals suck a little bit. I mean, on some parts. I also mixed them like a total amateur. But hey, it seems that most of the people like them anyway, so it's not so big a deal...

-Have you found any interesting label offer?
I had a few great contacts but they all asked for more and it was not the right time to ask me that. In fact, I've been terribly busy lately since I'm slowly entering the music-business area and it really takes a lot of time. So, I'll probably start my own label and release my first album later this year. I hope everything will be all right...

-Have you ever played live with session musicians?
No, I haven't. And I'll probably never play my Shadeworks songs live. It's just a studio-project. Maybe we can pick a couple of songs and rearrange them with my band, Icy Winds, but I'm not sure that this is going to happen...

-Do you think it's a good moment for Gothic Metal or maybe only for extreme Metal?
I don't know what to say... I think there's quite a market for both styles and I'm glad about that because there's nothing sadder than a dying style....

-Tell us sthg about the Belgian Metal scene. Is it as lively as in Holland?
Both the Flemish part of Belgium and Holland have a very interesting scene but Wallonia (French speaking part of Belgium) tremendously sucks. I don't know exactly why, but it seems that all the guys who live down south act like wiseacres, but to tell you the truth, most of them are just lazy pigs who have a lot of blahblah theories but who cannot align 3 notes without being just boring. There are a few newcomers in the extreme Metal scene, but I'm still waiting for something better than our "famous" Enthroned...

-Have you written any new songs? Does Fae help you in songwriting a bit now?
As I told you, Fae writes all her lyrics for Icy Winds. But for Shadeworks she just interprets mine. It's my whole concept and I don't want an external writer to interfere with it. Of course, Fae does help me with some grammar tips or some phrasings to make the words fit the music better from a rhythmic point of view, but I usually bring all the stuff...

-Are you thinking of releasing a 4th demo or what are your plans for 2003?
If you hear about a fourth demo, it would mean that I didn't find the necessary financial means to record my album... No plans are made at the moment. I'm just kinda praying for the money to fall from the sky, haha!

-Can we consider Shadeworks a concept?
It is a concept indeed. But most of its parts are independent of each other.

-How are your songs born? And what're your lyrics inspired by?
The songs (including lyrics) normally come out in one piece. It's not a collage. You know, most Metal bands start with a riff, then, they find a bridge, a chorus and the singer comes at the end. I couldn't do that. To me, the most important thing when one writes a song is its meaning. So it has to be coherent from the beginning till the end. I'm personally inspired by dualism, parallel worlds, dreams... Stuff like that. It's not a revolutionary concept, but it's just the way I feel...

-Do you consider yourself a melancholic person or is it just a reflection of sensitive people like you (and me) to this uncertain future on the verge of self-suicide?
Looking at the bright side of life doesn't make it happier all the time but I wouldn't say that I'm a melancholic or a suicidal person. And you're right: the future is kind of uncertain. A lot of people find refuge within themselves at times like that. I'm more kind of half and half... Still I can be very weird to some. Just ask my wife...

-Are you inspired by cemetary art?
I'm interested inall beautiful things including life, death, stones, trees, skies, whatever... It just depends on the mood I'm in when I stare at something... For the back cover of "Sooty Limbs" for example, Fae took me to Breendonk, which was a concentration camp. I took a few pictures there. With all due respect for the people who suffered and died in there, I must admit that I enjoyed the atmosphere of it. Don't ask me why, 'coz I don't know myself...

-What are your fave old and new bands? And what bands from Belgium would you recommend?
I usually copy/paste the answer to that question but I'll just tell you a few names that are slipping into my mind right now... The Provenance, Demimonde, Suffocation, Arcturus, Brave, Stonehenge, Katatonia, The Who (the mighty "Live At Leeds" still kicks ass!), IQ, Coroner... I guess you know who are the old ones... About the Belgian bands, well, let's name Serial Butcher, Dagorlad and Icy Winds. Ooops, sorry...

-You have time to answer all interviews and e-mails?
Yes. I think it's a total lack of respect when one does not answers his E-mails. I can understand that some people do work a lot, but still...

-Take all the place you wish for a final message/greeting to your (Italian) fans.
Greetings to you man, and thank you very much for that killer review you wrote about my demo. I really appreciated your kind words. I just wanted to add that I'm also running and
In case someone would like to contact me, here's my E-mail address: E ragazzi, mi raccomando, se volete scrivermi, non abbiate paura. Io vi rispondo anche in italiano.

Thx for the killer intie and mutual collaboration,

22 rue Reniers 1090 Jette - BELGIUM

Beyond Webzine:

Arnaud Nicolas, All instruments, voice
Fae, Guest female vocalist

Endless Snowfields (tape 1998)
Lights Hiding In 8-D Architectures (tape 2000)
Sooty Limbs (CD-R 2001)