Then, circa Spleen and Ideal
Gazette: I was surprised at the speed with which things progressed from the announcement of a new Dead Can Dance album to Anastasis’s actual arrival. Why do you think it happened so quickly?
Lisa Gerrard: We dedicated ourselves to the fact that we were going to do it, basically. We tried to do two albums together previously, and we’d written quite a lot of material for the first one. And that didn’t surface because we just didn’t feel that we picked up the thread that we usually pick up. The work was really beautiful — there was nothing wrong with it. In fact, I really think we should revisit some of it. But previous to that, Brendan and I had always lived in a very close proximity to each other. We spent a lot of time reading books and poetry, and introduced each other into different worlds of music and instrumentation, instruments, timings, rhythms — the whole thing. So we’ve always had that very strong connection in common with art and our interests in art. We’ve got very similar tastes and interests. And we hadn’t had that time together. We’d been apart. And we didn’t realize at the time, but when we got back together to do an album, because we hadn’t had that rich texture of philosophy, and all those things that have inspired us to want to write a certain way, we didn’t feel that we were completely convinced. And we thought, “Well, there’s no point. If we don’t feel convinced, we’re not going to be convincing anybody. Let’s forget it.”
And then the next time we tried again, we thought, “Well, we’ll go on tour, and at the end of the tour we’ll be able to put some pieces together.” It was a disaster, because we ended up having a row. So that took another bad turn. There was a lot of mischief. There was a lot of people creating mischief, and it really affected us and it really affected our relationship. And then at the end of that, about five years went by. There was the Australian bushfires and Brendan thought that my property might be on fire — and he was absolutely right, because it was — and he contacted me and said, “Are you OK?” And then we started chatting and thought, “Why are we starving each other of our friendship? It’s so precious to both of us, and we’ve known each other since we were 17 and worked together since we were 17. Why are we doing this when we get on really well and we’ve allowed other people to affect the things that are between us?” So we started to rebuild a dialogue. And this time, because of the Internet, we were able to rekindle those shared interests again and go back and forth and share. And so that communication gate was open to such a point that when we got together to do this album, we were able to continue that thread and pick up the thread. It’s only in retrospect now that I’ve looked back and thought, “Well, that’s why we couldn’t do those other two: because we didn’t have that.”
Read the entire interview w/ Lisa Gerrard @ The Montreal Gazette