Esben and the Witch - Photo by James Webb

Photo by James Webb

It’s been eight years of silence around the rather mysterious fellows of I LOVE YOU BUT I’VE CHOSEN DARKNESS. That’s like a whole lifetime in terms of pop-music. With one self-titled EP in 2003 and their debut record Fear Is On Our Side as their only full-length to date, you can’t say that the guys with the precious bandname did everything to build up a legacy back when they were last releasing music. But with their post-punk and wave infected indie-rock they had quite an impact on the 00’s music scene nonetheless. This band felt like the shadow of the big ones, INTERPOL or EDITORS; the spotlight-darkness bands of that time. And unlike those, ILYBICD dissapeared as quick as they came up, avoiding the usual forced developments that a critical public is eager to see. Now they’re back with their new album Dust and it very much feels like it’s 2006 again. Which was reason enough for us to ask bass-player Edward Robert a few questions about where they have been, where they’re heading to and of course: darkened studios.


Okay, let’s start with the obvious elephant in the room and the most important question. Eight years – where the hell have you been?
It kind of flew by didn’t it? We (obviously) don’t have a particular sense of urgency regarding the release of new music. In that time we’ve all been living our lives, starting and raising families, working, etc.

Was such a long hiatus planned?
Not really. We’ve always taken our time as a band, so it isn’t terribly shocking that it took this long to finalize and release another record.

Was there an initial moment when you decided you were ready to get back into the game?
No, just a slow gradual development and completion of this next batch of music.

Do you as a band had any difficulties starting up again? Finding the right chemistry again?
We never actually stopped, just slowed it down quite a bit – there could be months between band-related discussions or work.

‘Dust’ feels like you haven’t changed your formula at all. Was that one initial goal?
We just kind of do what we do. Its difficult to steer the music into a particular direction, so the writing or approach isn’t really based on a goal or set of goals other than the enjoyment of doing it.

How would you compare ‘Dust’ to ‘Fear Is On Our Side’? Which differences do you see? What are the similarities?
Its hard to bring any sort of objective description to the music since we’ve spent so much time with it already. I guess the new record is a bit more warm and natural sonically where Fear Is On Our Side was more cold and mechanical. By my ear it is pretty easy to tell that it’s the same band.

What do you need to get yourself in the mood to record such music? Do you darken the studio?
As a matter of fact we do. No windows – no daylight ever.

Are you still choosing darkness over love?
One can’t un-choose darkness.

What does the future hold for ILYBICD? Do we have to wait for a third album until the next decade? Could this be a clever release strategy (see recent releases of APHEX TWIN, DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979)?
Who knows? None of this was ever planned… Maybe we’ll put out another album in 6 months.

We’re all about hope and passion. I can sense a lot of hope in your music. Even in its darkest and most desperate moments. How important is it for you to find hope within and through moments of desperation?
We do our best just to let the music happen. You can’t avoid bringing certain baggage to the process, but you can attempt to make music you objectively like regardless of any type of outside influence. To be honest, I’m not sure we could change it even if we really tried.