As a child, the decision to choose music first as a release and then as a medium in which to express myself was very natural...
I grew up with music and the songs and bands I listened to provided a background to my life.
Music can be very powerful and can stir the soul. A 4-minute track can take you back to places you have been or lead you to places painted by your imagination… it is more instant than say, film or books.
My musical career began by playing guitar with numerous punk and post punk bands; the only one worth mentioning is ‘Flowers in the Dustbin’ (1982) whom I left to front ‘Toms Midnight Garden’ (1983), which sort of progressed, into ‘While Angels Watch’ (1985).
While Angels Watch London 1986


Cynical?… Maybe – I like to think that I’m a realist… but with the loss of innocence and the balance tipping greatly towards all that is wretched, my outlook is pessimistic, albeit with an optimistic slant…  we should be happy that things cannot go on for much longer the way they are. The bottom line is that the human race is like a slug sprinkled in salt, writhing, slowly melting, each minute closer to nothing. All we can do is be together, as comrades, at the end of it all.

As far as the name is concerned, it originates from a dream I had about the apocalypse. Also at the time we were doing photos in graveyards (just after Death In June’s Nada! came out!) and of course all these stone ‘angels’ were ‘watching’ over us (ho, ho).  The name has grown to have additional significance to me and rather than go into depth here try the following link:

The last work I did as While Angels Watch was actually in 1991 (10 years ago), and if you look at other artists then maybe that isn’t so unusual.
I have never ‘marketed’ While Angels Watch until now. I’ve just been happy to do what I do and listen when the mood has taken me.
The intensity of the material I was writing became too much for me. I was exhausted, and to speak about these things in any depth would be to breathe life into demons that I battled hard to defeat.
While Angels Watch, 1991
  Between 1986 and 1991 there were 3 cassette releases. I am interested in the idea of releasing a double CD of this material sometime in the future… when the funds are available!
Details will be published on the website,, in due course.
  I believe my music has developed with me, and along the way has reflected my interest in different musical branches, i.e.; some of the earlier material has a more electronic feel, and some of it is more guitar orientated.
However, the inspiration to write comes from something much more primary within my psyche and remains constant.
  I have always been the nucleus of W.A.W.  I have usually sought assistance from one other individual and I did ask Patrick Leagas this time round, because one of his talents is creative percussion. However, he has been very busy with his own projects so it wasn’t to be.
I am always open to interesting collaborations… one of the classic albums of my generation, ‘Swastika’s for Noddy’, is a great example of successful pooled resources!
Dev, 2001
  Pat yes / Gary no.
  I do not know whether my music would interest WSD, as I have not approached them.
  I believe Mr Wakeford approved of the arrangement.
I had already recorded ‘Heroes Day’ for the demo tape ‘Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate’ so no, I did not consider any alternative songs to record for the Cynfeirdd CD as the song had already ‘chosen itself’.
It is very unusual for me to record a cover version and is a mark of respect to Sol Invictus… just as the song itself is a mark of respect to those it was inspired by.


  Yes, I have recently approached a small number of labels that I have respect for. The feedback that has resulted so far (October 2001) has been positive… and I can confirm that there will be a spring 2002 release.
  Not personally, but I am familiar with most of the artists taking part and am looking forward to hearing it.
  I think Yann must have read your review of the promo tape and appreciated your description of my work…He wrote to me describing this compilation. I was very interested in the inspiration behind it and the proposed presentation and immediately knew which song I wanted to record for it. I asked Yann to trust me to provide something suitable – which he gratefully did.
This release has brought together eleven bands from around the globe and the arrangement of the eleven tracks on the CD flows perfectly, providing the listener with a real treat.
Heroes Day - Louis Lenoir
  When Ian Read used to sing with Sol Invictus I thought that his voice complimented Tony Wakeford’s extremely well and was important to the band. When the two parted company, and this is only my opinion, I think it took both bands a couple of albums to produce something musically outstanding again. I appreciate Ian Read’s work very much and thought that ‘Birdking’ was an exceptional album.

If Ian would like me to contribute, I would happily do so, but that question should be directed his way.  I can, however, reveal that Ian will provide vocals on a track for the forthcoming While Angels Watch album.

My relationship with Ian is that of friendship. We lived together in the mid 1980’s… oh heady days!
I admire Ian and the amount of work he does… In no way could I, or would I, claim to have an equal understanding of the runic mysteries and magic as he.
I have always been interested in the magical world… the everyday one rarely interested me as a child. The first books I read concerned myths & legends, time travel, spirits, which I read to a backdrop of Hammer horror and film noir. As I grew older I craved more practical literature that might aid the realisation of some of my more passionate fantasies and with interesting results... all I would say is be careful what you wish for!
I no longer practice magic (k) and haven’t for some years and I have never been part of an order. My interest defined a very lonely journey both rewarding and terrible. “To know the tears of the world…”
  I am ashamed to say that all I have heard from Karl Blake are his very worthy contributions to Sol Invictus.  Rumour has it that Karl can be quite an uncompromising chap, and it would not surprise me if this were the main reason that he does not command a wider audience. I am sure that those he reaches do not underestimate him but only respect him more.
  I did not notice it on both accounts.

Last week I listened to Nick Cave for the first time (I borrowed a compilation CD from a friend for the purpose of this interview - I liked the ballads) and would agree that there is a similarity of style – however, it is purely coincidental.
I guess it’s not very trendy to say these days but Joy Division were a big influence in my life, especially during the early 1980’s.
Although not many people would see it in my new compositions, in the earlier material they would probably notice some similarities.

I have not arranged this with the Tursa camp yet. Unfortunately there have been some problems taking up my time and energy lately and all the live stuff is on a back burner for the moment.
  I am pleased to announce that there will be a full-length CD released on Cynfeirdd spring 2002.
I will be recording this at Matt Howden’s, Redroom Studio and am very much looking forward to working with him – he has come up with some suggestions that echo my thoughts - even if it means travelling to the cold Northlands... I am sure it will add to the atmosphere!
The release will include ‘proper’ recordings of the 4 tracks on the demo tape plus new material.
  Whatever I could tell would surely be surpassed by the contents of his site. So without further ado…

Sister of the Sea - Louis Lenoir
Thank you for your appreciation Stéphane … it is motivational to be mentioned alongside those bands… I need a lot of motivation!!

I usually start composing a song on my acoustic guitar… I have a rule of thumb… if you can make it sound good on an acoustic guitar, it will sound even better once the other instruments are there! At the moment I prefer writing two or three different melodies over a primary melody. This allows me to use different textures (by using different instruments). Once I get started it all falls into place fairly quickly... the complete process is very subconscious, quite magical.

I pick up the guitar when I need to create appropriate music to accompany the lyrics that I have written…
What gets me off my backside to write the lyrics are situations or events that effect me deeply or things that I see as true injustices… or a yearning/aching for something… or sometimes I just want to tell it like it is – or at least how I see it.

There are books… but if I am to name but one, then the first that springs to mind is ‘The Little Prince’ by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  The answer(s) to this question are complex because to deal with them one must discuss the roots of the multi-level political and cultural issues/problems that are prevalent in Europe today.  This would mean an essay!

You mention people that copy each other and all vote for similar politicians… for example, Europe has an excess of  ‘do-gooders’ who earn a lot of money by creating politically correct fashions that are then taken up by the respective governments and in turn by the media, suddenly it’s European law and is then indoctrinated into the general population.  In general, I cannot see anything ‘good’ about what these people ‘do’ at all – only confusion and persecution of the ordinary man.
But this is only one small point out of a big melting pot – and after all, I am but a humble musician… any opinions I have will serve no purpose here - my outlook, action and attitude find there way into my songs, which in turn (of course) are open to interpretation.

I have never been a royalist and don’t consider myself to be one of Queen Elizabeth II’s loyal subjects, although I can appreciate the tradition and heritage of a Royal Family from an historical viewpoint. I must admit to feeling a bit sorry for them actually - whatever role they may have had in the past, it is now redundant.
  I chose it instinctively… it has the right essence.
Dreams of falling, falling angels, the feeling of falling, falling countries, falling race, falling governments, etc, fall (the season) - we are in the autumn of our times and the winter nears.
  I am not well travelled, but have always been drawn to the South of Italy and Napoli in particular. For a reason I am yet to discover.
  I am interested in architecture, but only as a voyeur!

Old ruins and stones I love. I enjoy standing amongst ruins and stones, letting the experience wash over me. I have also been in some old buildings and experienced rather uncomfortable feelings.
Statues provide me with a different kind of appreciation - of beauty… of spoilt beauty… sometimes imperfection, and sometimes it is the imperfection that is beautiful.

If I had more time photography would fill it…. and I know I’ve got a novel in me somewhere!
  The time traveller in H G Wells’  ‘The Time Machine’
Dev, 2001
  If you don’t know your self you cannot develop. To know your self you must start with your beginnings. But if you mean maintaining 100% racial purity (in its most pure form inbreeding!) then no, I don’t think that’s particularly realistic or important.

I think it is important to preserve your culture. In England we have a multi-cultural society and the ethnic groups all appear to preserve their culture, whatever their racial origin. It seems to me that a growing amount of English people no longer remember what their culture is and as a result are either ignorant racists, “Americanised”, or mad PC lefties!

Aha, you have saved the most difficult question until last!

I honestly cannot tell you 5 favourite albums ever because sometimes on an album you will get 3 outstanding songs amongst 9 average ones… I can give you an idea of 5 artists who have had a big impression on me over the years (in no particular order):

The Doors
Joy Division
Scott Walker
Marc Almond
Velvet Underground
Last 5 albums bought

Get Ready   New Order
Wolf Pact    Boyd Rice & Friends
Recoil    Sixth Comm
No Angel    Dido
Brown Book (Re-release)  Death In June

I don’t get out a lot…
Thanks Stéphane for your ongoing interest and support.




While Angels Watch
BM Falling
London WC1N 3XX

Web :

Heimdallr webzine, Stéphane F. , Novembre 2001