ANCESTOR INTERVIEW

I admit that the recent actions of Sodom, the first full-length of the Thai Nuclear Warfare and just the debut album Ancestor, are three reasons why I have been watching the Thrash scene much more carefully, one I have neglected so far. And Ancestor is at the forefront here! This young team from China plays as if we wanted many veterans of the scene to play. They take handfuls of Teutonic Thrash under the sign of Destruction, Kreator or Sodom, adding to it something from the old American scene, like Death Angel and Dark Angel influences. I invite you to read the conversation I had last year with Li Meng - guitarist and leader of the band

1. Hi there Li Meng! What's new in Ancestor's camp? As far as I know there is a new album coming next year, right?

Hi buddy, I’m very excited to be interviewed by Oldschool Metal Maniac. We performed a massive tour in Asia in February for our last album, Lords of Destiny. After that, we have hardly scheduled a concert. As you said, we are currently working on our next album, but before we release that we will have a new song included on a compilation of Asian thrash metal.

2. I guess it's your very first interview for the Polish Metal press. Do you have a chance to reach European scene already? Johannes Chan from Destruktion Records is Ancestor's great supporter and I remember reading interview with you in his Bestial Desecration fanzine.

Yes, this is my first interview with Polish metal press. Previously, we were invited to perform in the Czech Republic, but during that time we were on tour in Asia. Johannes is a great guy; he’s really obsessed with the music of ANCESTOR. The interview that you mention was actually done by another guy named Jero. He owns a label called Eerie Hint Productions. The tape versions of the first ANCESTOR album and the EP were both released by him. Both Johannes and Jero are real underground metal maniacs! I'm very honored to have their support and help.

3. Let's get back to the beginnings of the band to introduce you a bit to the Polish maniacs. How you guys met and what inspired you then to start making your own music?

Hail, Polish maniacs, we are ANCESTOR, an underground thrash metal band from Beijing, China.

The band was formed in 2004 by our drummer and myself. There was only two of us at first. I recall, back in the summer of 2007, we got an opportunity to perform, so we found a temporary guitarist and a bass player to join us to complete the group for the show. After the show, a maniac fan came to us and insisted to join the band, so the duo became a trio! That was how we found our first official bass player. During this time in 2007, a true barbarian carrying a Jackson showed up and he became our guitarist. Finally, in 2009, for the first time, ANCESTOR got a complete line-up.

 

4. Your Thrash Metal art seems to be highly influenced by the old European bands, especially the ones from Germany, like Kreator, Sodom and Destruction. Do you have any memories when you listen to these for the first time? Why you have decided on such style instead of more popular US Thrash? Does your band name means that correspondence with the European Thrash godfathers?

Yes, our music is influenced by a large number of European metal bands. I am fascinated by the solemn, dark artistic atmosphere that they create. I also like US Thrash, such as the great MEGADETH, but when I heard KREATOR’s Pleasure to Kill, I knew this was the style of music I really wanted to play! Underground, brutal and aggressive! In fact, our name comes from a Chinese band called OVERLOAD. They have a famous single called The Shades of Ancestors. They were the very first Chinese Thrash Metal band.

5. Heard, that from the very beginning the band suffered from frequent line-up changes and because of that 10 years needed to pass to officially release your first material - "Age of Overload" EP. Could your recall that period and why it took so much time to stabilize the band?

From the beginning, only the drummer and I have been constant members. In 2008, we moved from our hometown to Beijing in order to see how far ANCESTOR could go. We’ve had a number of lineups - musicians came and left. In the past, this has made the band’s future unclear. The most crucial issue that we’ve collided with in the past is finding genuine, underground metal musicians. This is really difficult! When it comes to musicians in Beijing, some of them can be exceptional, skilled in technique, but they know nothing about metal music, leaving underground metal behind. As far as I’m concerned, without the underground spirit, a musician is only soulless and machine-like. The songs on Age of Overload were written and ready for recording in 2010, but at that time we went through the first major lineup change, so recording the album had to be postponed. 7 years later, in 2017, we successfully released Age of Overload on the band’s 10th anniversary.

 

6. So far you have one EP and a debut album, what was the response on both materials in China and other countries you've managed to reach? For me, and to be honest, such bands like your are the hope of Thrash scene.

Thanks for your kind words! Here in China metal fans are more familiar with US Thrash, Retro Thrash and Modern Thrash. So many of them don’t really understand what we are doing. We didn’t get much following after the release of the album. So, we were very surprised to be featured in several international metal music magazines and websites. Lords of Destiny was even included in some of their 2018 top 5 or top 10 lists. As a Chinese thrash metal band, this has made us feel more confident with the release and we consider this a huge accomplishment. Our achievements have encouraged us to forge ahead and put out even more heavyweight thrash metal assaults in the future.

7. Do you have any special memories connected with the recording of "Lords of Destiny" and concerts you gave to promote the album?

We started recording Lords of Destiny in May of 2018 with our former bass player, Zhang Jinliang. Age of Overload was also recorded by him and he did an excellent job with both albums.

The most memorable thing about recording Lords of Destiny is that Inner Struggle was written the day before we recorded it. We didn’t have any time to rehearse it. We just recorded it. On August 18, 2018, we took part in a gig called Thrashing Madness Attack, which was the official release date for the album. Then we started a large-scale Asian tour which lasted until February this year. The last stop was True Thrash Fest in Japan. There were about 50 gigs on this touring circuit, which here in China is considered unprecedented for an extreme metal band.

 

8. Could you tell me how the extreme Metal scene in China looks like? Could you recommend any bands, releases for us to check?

I don't think the way that China’s Extreme Metal is developing is proper. Many of the older bands don’t desire to continue, while the newer bands are lured by profit. These people lack an essential element of metal music—the true underground spirit. China also lacks excellent and fair metal music media. Fans no longer focused on music as before, they prefer to buy T-shirts, patches, anything that looks good and makes them seem metal. Even though I still find the Extreme Metal environment in promising. There are still some good bands I'd like to recommend, such as Dugu, Skeletal Augury, Holokastrial, Rupture, The Metaphor, Deathpact, Hellfire, Hellward, and Chaotic Aeon.

9.When talking about influences and stuff you listen to, I bet you do not limit yourself to Thrash only. What other genres are among your favourites, bands, maybe records if you like to mention a few? Are you going to add some Black/Death elements to your Ancestor's music on the upcoming record?

Besides Thrash Metal, I listen to a lot of Black Metal and Death Metal... I think the classic albums of the '80s and '90s influences every new band and will continue to do so until the day when there is no underground metal music on earth. I think the following bands are the ones that every metalhead must listen to, such as: KREATOR, BATHORY, SODOM, DESTRUCTION, PROTECTOR, POISON, AGRESSOR, DESASTER, MERCILESS, DEATH, POSSESSED, EGZEKUTHOR, TORMENTOR , SACRIFICE, DESTROYER 666, INCUBUS, DEAD HEAD, MESSIAH, MASSACRA, PESTILENCE, SADUS, SEPULTURA, NIFELHEIM, IMMORTAL, AURA NOIR and NECROMANTIA. There are too many great bands and they all have affected what music I create and the path that my life is all about. If I had to mention only one album, it has to be Pleasure To Kill. As far as I’m concerned, it's the best Thrash album ever and will never be surpassed. ANCESTOR’s next album will be more aggressive and will have a touch of Black/Death elements.

10.When mentioning an upcoming release there is a matter of tour as well, are there any plans for a Europe gigs, visiting Poland maybe?

A European tour is and has been our dream all along. If all goes well, maybe next year.

Currently, we are looking for a booking agency. Hopefully, we could take our new killer album to the underground metal scene in Europe! See you in Poland, man!

11. You are also a men behind Awakening Records, am I correct? You have already released the Ancestor's debut under this label, but also the reissue of "Gloomy Night Stories" by Inferno Requiem and Nightbound self-titled EP. Both bands are completely different, on one hand there is a Hard Rock stuff, and on the other raw Black Metal. I guess you are not limiting yourself to only extreme art. Please tell me how you got started with releasing stuff and what inspired you to do so?

 

Yes, you are right! I started Awakening Records with two friends in 2017. Both of them are 666 % pure metalheads. Personally, I prefer extreme metal of the '80s and '90stheir tastes are a lot more across-the-board than mine. So, AR’s releases are not limited to just Black, Death and Thrash.

No matter what, we all share the same viewpoint: to pursue high-quality metal music and produce high-quality records. I believe every diehard dreams of owning their own label to distribute records of the bands that they love. I had this dream 20 years ago when I was just an uninformed kid. Now I am finally realizing this dream, though there is still a lot of things I need to learn. Because of this, I would like to share my appreciation to all the underground metal music labels!

12.Now something different but still connected with the label. What is your opinion on downloading music, its digital version and the situation of the physical stuff? I think you are strongly defending the vinyl, cd, tape format and its quality.

Thank you for your kind words about Awakening Records. Yes, times are changing, science and technology are growing strong. Every new step produces both good and bad influences. When I started to listen to extreme metal, many of the older underground bands did not have their albums reprinted yet, and express delivery was not as convenient as it is today. So, it was difficult to get what you wanted. Because of this, I initially downloaded a lot of MP3s and in recent years and have been able to start purchasing these wonderful albums because they have been reprinted on a large scale.

I don’t look down upon any digital format. It’s more practical, especially when you’re on the road touring. I mean, no one wants to be lugging around tons of CDs.

I think that most people are like me. We still buy CDs, vinyl, and tapes but we also enjoy the convenience of digital format.

13.I know you are familiar with Polish metal scene, both old and new, are there any bands you like most? Do they have any influence on you when writing music for Ancestor?

Yes, I'm familiar withsome metal bands from Poland. In fact, I first became aware of Polish metal thanks to Thrashing Madness Productions. I’m impressed with EGZEKUTHOR, MERCILESS DEATH, HELLIAS, MORTAL SLAUGHTER, LASTWAR, and GHOST. The underground metal spirit and feeling of all these great bands have had some influence on my music. In general, all the TMP releases are worth collecting. In 2014, the Polish band Wolf Spider came to China. ANCESTOR had the honour to open the gig.

14.Ok, that's will be the end for now. Thanks for all the answers and your time. It was a damn pleasure to have you here and the possibility to introduce Ancestor to OMM readers. If you have anything to add, or any message to Polish Metal maniacs now it's the time. Metal regards and hope to see you soon in Poland!

It was great be interviewed by OMM. This will be a very important addition to ANCESTOR's experiences! Hail to all OMM readers! A killer show will soon be held for the Polish Metal maniacs! It's time to Rise by Sin!

  Przemysław Bukowski

Poprawiony (piątek, 07 lutego 2020 12:05)

 

IMPERATOR

Imperator, one of the most important bands in Poland's metal history, has returned. Great concerts in December 2018 as part of Merry Christless mini tour, the announcement of a show with equally famous Protector from Germany in October this year – fans' appetites are growing. Bariel, the Founding Father of Imperator, has shed some light on the reasons for the band's reunion and their plans for the future. 
 
 
Hello Bariel! First of all, congratulations on your successful Merry Christless shows. What are your feelings concerning those concerts? Have they fulfilled your vision as for the official reunion of Imperator?
 
 
 
Hi there! Thanks, yeah, I think those shows have met my expectations. There was a big chance it would all work out as we had  worked really hard before the gigs. I myself can't remember how many rehearsals we'd played. It seams that I dedicated the whole 2018 to the band. First there was the line up, we finally ended up with three new members, of whom no one had any idea. I wanted to keep the new line up a secret untill mid December. I didn't want people to speculate whether I'd made the right choices. 
You know, we had a really intense rehearsal schedule. We met three times every weekend – Friday till Sunday – at least me and Richter. Since May each rehearsal was 6-8 hours long, sometimes even more. We met 45 times during the summer holidays. I didn't really know how people would take those shows. 80 per cent of the people I talked to or whose opinions I heard were  rather sceptical. They said 'Don't do it Bariel, you're going to kill the legend.' Only one fifth of those interested would say 'Fucking awesome, Bariel, it's the right call. Keep going.' I'm generally satisfied with those gigs. We had put a lot of work in the whole thing. And in December we simply did what we were supposed to. We just played. Now we're focused on the future...
 
Since the new line up is no longer a secret, can you tell us a bit about the new members?  Krzysztof “Chris” Świątkiewicz seems to have already been involved with the band in the past, but the rest (Tomasz Nowok and Richter) are fresh blood. How did you come to work with them?
 
 
I'd had a lot of questions since April 2018 when Nergal from Behemoth spilled the beans about Merry Christless shows including Imperator. People seemed to think that was a joke as the news was published on April's Fool. They went on asking 'So now what, you, Mefisto and Carol?' I would only say 'Wait till December, you'll see for yourselves.' Mefisto played with us for some time, it was no secret. As for Carol – I talked to him in January or February 2018 and told him I was bringing back Imperator, but  I had a different idea for the drummer. Mefisto had been playing with us till August, but then it turned out the whole thing didn't really fit in his schedule. I think it had to do with the number of rehearsals I suggested, or rather expected. There didn't seem to be another way than just to play the songs over and over again. And to play them better each time, as you can always get better as a whole band. Always.  At some point all those little mistakes are only known to the band, but they're always there. So the strategy was to reduce the amount of those mistakes as much as possible. In the end things went rather smoothly, but probably not perfectly. At some point I was really happy the gigs were coming up because otherwise we would just work ourselves to death, haha. After parting with Mefisto I got in touch with Tomek Nowok. Richter knew him and had his phone number. I'll tell you about the drummer later.  Krzysiek Świątkiewicz had already played with Imperator. I mean here the year 1995. Just ask Chris and he'll remember no other episode, haha... So, the choice here seemed  rather obvious. He's a great guitar player, he's also crazy about almost the same music I've always listened to, but most importantly, he's an awesome guy. I got in touch with him in January 2018 and said 'Listen, I'm bringing back Imperator and you're welcome to be a part of it, a really important one.' The same month I had the idea of Richter behind the drums. I'd heard plenty of suggestions of drummers playing for different bands, both form Poland and outside the country. I'd also been told about top Polish, let's say, multi-band drummers, but I said 'Wait a second, I want to check one dude first – I've got a certain feeling about him.' I met Richter in June 2016 at 'The Time Before Time' beer premiere in Warsaw. He came round and asked me to sign his record. He was an IMPA fan and never tried to hide it really.  On the day II wouldn't even think of the reunion. After a while he asked me to send him the lyrics for 'Święta Wojna' (Holy War) as he wanted to cover the song with his band, Bestiality. Then, in January, I think, I wrote him 'Hey, would you play a few songs from the album on drums?' He wrote back 'I know this album by heart.' It later turned out not to be entirely true, haha. After a few months he told me 'What was I supposed to tell you then?' So I still don't know whether he knew the album so well or not. I'm not so sure, haha. Anyway, we met. In April we started practicing. I really appreciate the energy he has brought into Imperator. I made a joke once that I had been waiting with bringing the band back to life until Richter was born – he's 23. We hadn't played for 25 years. 
And as for Novock – when things with Mefisto started to go south, I knew I had to find someone right away. I told Mef what I was planning. I went to see some gig in Łódź, in a club called Magnetofon. Devilpriest with Tomek was playing there, I came round to him and we talked. On the very next day he was in Warsaw  to see how we were doing. You  know, he might have been among those 80 per cent of people who didn't really believe this would all work out. He also wanted to talk about a possible schedule in this artistic endeavour. I emailed him the papers (the songs' scores). A week later he came back with three, almost perfectly learnt songs. It was a nice surprise to us. It was fully professional. He's also brought great energy to the band. I'm really satisfied with this line up. ..
 
Why didn't you want to take things up with Carol?
 
Well, recently I tried again to remember why in late 1993, when things with Imperator started  to get really serious, I decided to put a halt to the band. There were a few reasons. The guys might remember it differently, but the songs we were making back then – the ones that have never seen the light of day, only being recorded sometime at Iabelin Studio – those songs had no tempo. They weren't fast. Fuck, what a nightmare. Back in late '80s nobody knew the term 'blast', we ourselves didn't use it in Impa. But who cares. I had always wanted to play as fast as possible, with fucking brutality. And Carol's drumming didn't have that. There wasn't really anyone to step in his shoes either back then – Docent (from Vader) had his hands full – and that was actually it. But to be fair – we made huge progress with Carol in those days, our playing improved much. We started playing slower than when Moloch was in the band, but deffinitely more accurately. And since the 'Dracula” recordings and theatre perfomances we played together for a few years. But even now, when working again on the bonus songs from the CD version – 'Love Is the Law' or 'The Rest Is Silence' I find the drums arrangements a bit weird. We're not going to change anything but now I finally realise I simply 
didn't want to play that way. Well, those songs are quite OK though. Now, for the first time, at least in a long time, I can bring up the song titles, like 'Elder Gods' or 'Your Accursedness'. I don't know if I'll ever go back to them. Without the tempo? I don't want to play without speed, it must have got on my nerves even more back then...
 
 
What's it like to come back to playing after over 20 years? What made you do that and why did you wait that long?
 
I think the starting point was that conversation I had with Nergal and Orion back in December 2017.  It was when they said it would be awesome if Imperator joined them during the next edition of merry Christless. I started thinking about it then. Just after that I got back to Łódź and found my guitar – there are no guides on how to get back to playing after over twenty years – and really, except for a few occasions, I hadn't played at all for 23 years. It was an experiment I had to conduct on myself. Back in 1995 we played a bit (meybe a few months) with Krzysiek Świądkiewicz, Mefisto and Paweł Socha of Tenebris behind the drums. Unfortunately, Paweł had to leave Łódź and the whole thing just died. Then there was this so called come back of Imperator in 1998, when I didn't even know that something was going on behind my back. It was totally unfair. I just consider it something that has never happened. It definitely was not Imperator. We straightened things up with Carol and Mefisto a log time ago anyway. To sum up: this time, in 2017, I really felt it was the right time for the band's come back. 
 
You mentioned sometime earlier some possible  Imperator shows to follow. Can you tell us more about it? I think we can agree there would be a lot of interest in those gigs. 
 
Since I haven't got anything confirmed for 100 per cent, I'm not going to give you any details yet, but I am talking to some people about it. You probably realise what it's like with booking festivals, how much time prior these thing need to be dealt with. A lot of people form booking agencies had been waiting for the shows in December 2018 and now they say 'Man, if only we had known things were so great with Imperator, we would have booked something for 2019, now it's going to be difficult.'  But we'll see what comes up this year. We've already had some offers for 2020. In all those years I've kind of moved away from the scene also in terms of managing things and I'm learning how it all works all over again. The infrastructure, the density, the possibility of travelling around the whole world, agencies, promoters, all the possible setbacks, people's good will etc. I need to get acquainted with it all. I'm already working on it but luckily there are some people helping me, who actually have some idea about this kind of things and who were present at the scene when I wasn't there. Let's just say that when I know anything I'll let you know via our Imperator fanpage. But I must say we're not really opting for semi tours and shows in the middle of nowhere. And there's still a lot of work to do – we're working on a few songs we didn't play in December. It might be March, April, maybe later – I don't know. We'll let you know. 
 
 
The band has come back in a totally different reality than the one you were part of through most of the band's existence. Are you considering taking Imperator outside Polish borders? No Iron Curtain is going to stand in your way as it did when you were plannig to visit Norway back in Euronymous's days.
 
Well, the Iron Curtain might be gone, but the problem remains – we've been offered to headline a really interesting festival in the US, but it turns out only I have a visa – it's the same paradox like the one 30 years ago when it was about passports. So, pardon my French, but it's fucking killing me, 'cause the realms are exactly the same. I just hope the guys will manage to prepare all the necessary documents. You know, if it were any other country, maybe except for Australia, we would have already been booked for that show. And as for Europe, even today I got an offer form a very big festival in Europe, but then again – if only the organiser had known before, we would be thinking of 2019, not 2020, which we are working on now. But, as I've already mentioned, we are talking to some people and we are plannig expantion to the West. But we can all agree that it's only been a month since the merry Christless shows. Before those gigs I didn't make any plans or even research for that matter. In my view, it wouldn't be humble – you know, the band hasn't even played their first show in almost a quarter of a century and they're already booking shows outside the country. That would be sick...
 
 
'The Time Before Time' was inicially released on vinyl only and it was at a time when the vinyl was being gradually pushed away by CD's. Since vinyls are back for good, can we expect a rerelease on a 12 inch?  'Eternal Might' was reissued wonderfully not so long ago, you yourself were never satisfied with  Polskie Nagrania's rather crude release of TTBT. 
 
It's funny you should ask about that as I actually have a contract for the reissue of 'The Time Before Time' just in front of me – I scanned it today before sending it back. It's for a very interesting label so I'm 99 per cent sure it will come out this year on a vinyl and a CD. There might be a tape as well.  It's all set, we're only thinking about the date. We'll keep you posted on that too. 
 
You came back in 2018 – that's a completely new thing. But still, some time ago you  reminded us of the band by releasing your own brand of beer as a cooperation with Piwoteka Brewery. The idea of your return must have crossed the minds of many fans back then – it seemed like a well prepared come back.With so many other bands from the past regrouping around that time made many people think your return was also possible. Didn't you really think of coming back earlier? By the way, how did you come up with the idea of making Imperator beer? 
 
We've made a few beers with Piwoteka, but the last time we actually worked on with Browar Spółdzielczy (People's Brewery). Me and the people from Piwoteka were friends and the other day I just threw an idea like 'Hey, why don't we make Imperator beer?' I wasn't really serious about it, but then, when I came round again after a week, Marek, a guy from the company, asked if I had any design or concept for the whole thing. You know, the label, the name of the beer etc. Somehow we started working on it pretty quickly. People made comments, obviously, like 'Now Imperator is going to make beer istead of music.' But I really wish for all those criticising us or other bands making their beer, to have enough courage to go for it. I doesn't really have to go well you know. And, of course, there must be a brewery that is willing to work on it with you. Anyways, people asked why we had decided to make beer and not, for instance, make new music or play concerts. I didn't really care about it much. I knew all those trolls or bitter people with their noses glued to their computer screens just wouldn't let go. But I don't think there was even the slightest idea, or even a thought of making a come back in those days. However, in all those year Mefisto (mostly him) kept nagging me about making a reunion. 'Come on Bariel, let's play. Let's bring back Imperator.' When we occasionally met with Carol, it would be the same. But every time I would say no. Maybe in 2017, when me and Mitloff made a rerelease of 'Eternal Might' – we had been working on it for quite a long time and it all went well (thanks again, Mitloff) – but it wasn't a definite idea at that time, I don't think so. Then I went to see a few gigs, thought to myself it would be cool to feel this energy on stage again. I think it might have started growing in me then – the time spent in the studios, coming round to other bands' rehearsals and meeting up with some people from the metal scene, and all those recurring questions like 'When are you going to play again? Why the hell did you kill the band in the first place?' But it was the meeting  with the guys from Behemoth in December 2017 when I really felt it was the time. 
 
 
Your come back seems a huge success  for now – the band is in great shape, there's a lot of interest in Iperator generally. But still, didn't you fear it would all come out differently? Like maybe Imperator's time is long gone, or it would be better to leave the legend where it is – in the far gone past? You yourself mentioned general scepticism among others. 
 
Man, of course! It was one of the hardest decisions in my life, I knew I was risking everything. I also knew we had to play as well as it was possible, otherwise we would be eaten alive. But I felt we had to do this. Not like 'it's now or never.' I just felt this energy growing. And it was this energy that seemed to lack in previous years – I didn't know the right people to play with, I also didn't have that energy in me. But since the final days of 2017 I felt this energy coming and coming. I knew it would all take lots of hard work. I had never felt any pressure, never thought of the time passing, the time that could finally be no more. You see, we had a band practice today, after a few weeks' break – we obviously had to take some time from each other. But we were already hungry for more. I like this feeling. You're asking if I was afraid since my decision? I don't really think so. I was so concentrated on all the preparations to make this thing work that there was no room for  fear. We needed a guitar back up, we also needed trusted people who would ride with us. I had this comfort of travelling with Mitloff and his help with this mini tour was invaluable. Tomek Pawłowski was our sound engineer and we had a great rapport with him. All it needed was just a few words to get every message across. We had everything we could wish for. It was fucking awesome. We don't have a manager, we never really did, I've always been the one who would deal with all things. So when it all started to finally work properly, there was no time for stress. 'Guys, we just come out there and do our jobs.' We were also prepared thanks to those hundreds of hours spend in the rehearsal room. I definitely had to make sure my voice was alright – you know, November and December are the months when it's really easy to get an infection – maybe I was a bit afraid of that, I knew I had to look after myself in this matter. No room for a damn cold. During this whole time of our practising we were visited by only a few trusted people. All of them claimed we were heavy as hell. It was sheer bliss, haha...
But what's also important – two of the band members are, undeniably, part of the new generation – they're tolal maniacs like everyone in this new line up. They said 'Bariel, there will be a lot of people, some of them might not even have heard of Imperator. It's hard to say what the reception wiil be like.' Then I just said to them 'Gentelmen, let that not bother us at all. We just do our thing!' It all went really well. And we're still doing our thing, we're not going to stop at where we are now. But we've got our feet on the ground and we look humbly into the future. With our heads high, but without insolence...
 
 
You performed live the legendary set, your come back is great – no doubt about that. But does Imperator of today have any bigger ambitions than to be just a voice from the past? Are you considering recording any new stuff?
 
You know, up until the shows, when we were working on the old songs in our rehearsal room, anytime a new riff came to my head and we would try it out I would say 'Damn, guys, it's awesome... but hey, let's leave this sort of things for later, after 16th  December.' Only now, since a month ago,  do I let myself think about these things. I've no idea when and how we're going to do this, but I will surely want to make something new. I feel good with it, I still have some new ideas. I can't say when – I'm not going to rush things. But there will be something. For now we're still working on some other old songs to make our setlist a bit longer...
 
Even you, today, mentioned that famous Izabelin Studio session. What seems to be the problem, why  aren't these recordings available?
 
I think there were two sessions. The thing is I have no mastertape from these sessions. It's  all only on some cassette tape, somewhere. It might be shocking to some, I know – completely unknown Imperator songs from the old days, maybe hidden somewhere on a CASSETTE! The DAT tape simply  wasn't bought out from the studio and it later disappeared. It does not exist anymore. But I'll try to find that cassette somewhere and I'll digitalise it, so it doesn't disappear completely, like the Dracula session did, the one we recorded at a radio studio in Bydgoszcz...
 
 
Final words?
 
I'd like to thank all the people who were at the shows, who welcomed us so warmly, for their positive reaction. It was the best reward we could have ever dreamt of. It gave us a huge boost and it motivates us for futher work. A big thanks goes to all those who helped us play like we did – especially to the guys from the band, without them I wouldn't be able to do anything. My regards go to Mefisto, who had put a lot of work up until a certain moment. A massive thanks goes to the whole crew that rode with us in December 2018. Thanks to you, Radek. Thanks for an interesting talk and best wishes to Oldschool Metal Maniac!
 
Thanks!
 
Radosław Grygiel
January 2019

Poprawiony (środa, 28 sierpnia 2019 19:34)

 

IMPERATOR

 
Hi there Bariel! It seems that Imperator has started writing another chapter of its story, You've already played a few gigs, including the  Merry Christless mini tour with Behemoth and  Black Silesia Open Air Festival IV, more and more shows are being announced... what's it like to be back on stage after so many years? Do you feel the same energy as in the old days? 
 
 
 
Hi. Definitely. You know, the Black Silesia show was just incredible, the audience was slightly different, more radical than at Merry Christless, as if some sort of natural selection took place. And it seems we did alright, people responded to us in a very positive way, not only during the show. It wasn't a concert in a fully packed club, as with Behemoth, but the reception and, so to say, the quality of those maniacs brought back the memories of our shows back in 92 or 93 (or even before that time) when that sort of people appeared at our gigs. Nothing was out of place. You will always see a poser here or there today, but at that festival everythinmg seemed just fine. And all those conversations with the bands from the old days – they were so uplifting. Take for example  the one with Don from Nunslaughter, who sent me their demo in their early days and he still remembered it. We had a couple of Imperator beers and chatted about this and that for a minute. In general, everyone had something good to say. 'Bariel, it was a really fucking awesome show!' We're highly motivated to face what's ahead of us, to carefully plan our next steps. By the way, the whole festival was great, really well organized, kudos to Michał Sabatowski!
 
You had a chance to share the stage with Tormentor, a band which, just like you, came back just recently after a really long hiatus...
 
True, and here's a fun fact. We were just in the middle of our soundcheck, when the guys from Tormentor arrived. One of them came to me and said they were really happy to play on the same day with us. We talked for a while, I gave him my band's T-shirt. He offered me Tormentor's and told me a story when, back at some festival in Sweden, during a heavy rain, Fenriz, yes, that Fenriz, gave him his Imperator T-shirt he was wearing at that moment so he could change his wet one. And he remembered it. You know, a nice little thing, though I've no idea where they could've got out shirt in Sweden. I still have those postal receipts from the days when I'd send Imperator demos to guys like Fenriz, Vikernes or other people who were unknown at that time in return for their bands' tapes...
 
Let's go back a few decades, to the days when Imperator was taking its first steps. At the time when you started playing you must have been one the very first bands with such a brutal sound. How did people react to your music back then?
 
People's first reactions were, let's say, not that positive. We played our first show in one of Łódź's community centres. It was either 84 or 85, I can't remember exactly. I guess it was 85 and, if I remember correctly, it was the 'Railwayman' community centre. Some soldiers from a nearby military station were invited, probably to have a taste of some higher culture. They couldn't really grasp the meaning of our show, they booed us, giggled and did not cheer with delight (laughter). 
We didn't really care and just did our thing. But things like that would happen more often. Even before gigs, when we were trying to find a place to practise, those party appointed heads of community centres would first say, 'come on, guys, play something' and then only, 'hey, that's not the way to play, please, maybe come back next year.' We had to face difficulties like that all the time, including our first show at Jarocin Festival in 1986. We sent them a reh tape. Before that me and Tomek, the guy I started the band with, attended the festival in 1985 and we really wanted to play there one day. The next year we got a message saying that our recording was interesting, but they weren't really sure yet. And just before the event we still hadn't got a final answer – maybe the letter got lost somewhere, maybe someone at the post office stole it because they liked the stamp – who knows. But I had an idea: 'let's just go there and get on the stage no matter what! It might work, right?' (laughter).  We had plenty of gadgets at the time, most people had never seen such things before. You know, spike bands – I made one with 15 or 20 cm nails after I'd seen the one of Kerry King's – or a belt I'd bought in Reich, that is in East Germany - it was original, something completely unavailable in Poland. It had spikes as well. We came round to the back door of the small stage – I was carrying my guitar, Mefisto was holding his bass  The guy at the entrance asked for our band's name, but we were not on the list so he said he wouldn't let us pass. I asked him to check again and then the other guy standing there in the back said we looked like a band so we should go and play. And so we played, hah! People's reactions were really good, the music we played was completely different from everything else around that time, so we caught them by surprise. You could always listen to speed, thrash metal, but I knew what we had to offer was just something else. By the way, this story shows what things were like at that time, how everything worked. I'm glad I could be part of it, experience it all...
 
Do you remember any other interesting stories from those days?
 
Let's take for instance the show we went to without our drummer – I think it was 1987 in Piła. Tomek, AKA Adrian, didn't make it to the train station. We had no idea what had happened to him, why he didn't come and, more importantly, what to do about it. We were supposed to headline that show and it would really suck if we didn't play. There was another band going with us there on the same train, Forst, so I asked their drummer if he could play fast and if he would sit behind the kit. 
He wasn't really enthusiastic about it, he said he didn't know our songs and things like that. So I told him, 'Listen, I'll just give you signs, for one you hit the snare and the kick as fast as you can, after another you just slow down.' This way we played for about forty minutes and everybody was happy. Yeah, you could pull thing like that back then. But it wasn't the last time a drummer failed us. We were supposed to play at Thrash Camp in Rogoźno. We were all there, we even managed to do a soundcheck. I think so, I can't fucking remember for sure. There were plenty of people, some of them had already seen us in the back so they would shout 'Imperator! Imperator!' while other bands were playing. And then Marek Gaszyński, the concert's backer of some sort, a guy from the Polish Radio, asked us if we were ready to play. So I told him we weren't ready yet as our drummer had run into the woods. 'The woods? What do you mean?', he asked. But it really happened. Moloch disappeared into the woods, do you get it? While breaking it to the audience I tried to be more subtle about the whole situation, I said something about a technical problem. We obviously parted our ways with Moloch after that. Both Piła and Rogoźno were obstacles of the sort after which you have to start things from scratch. I had to look for another drummer and, again, it wasn't the last time!
 
It seems safe to say that today the metal scene is suffering from some kind of overload. There are so many bands, every local club will offer you a small gig a few nights every week, let alone all those international tours visiting and later revisiting almost every corner of the globe. We've got fewer people coming to the shows of even the most accomplished bands. What was it like back in the 80's, when there weren't so many gigs to go to?
 
Yeah, something strange is going on, right? I remember coming to Sodom gig some time ago, they were touring with Assassin then, a band I was actually more interested in than Sodom itself. I really wanted to see Gonella and co. as I used to listen to their demos over and over again – I liked these recordings much more than 'The Upcoming Terror'. There were like 200 people there and I think it all happened about ten years ago. Back in the days when we started playing, that is fifteen or twenty years before, those bands would play for a huge crowd. And today, let's take Warsaw or Łódź as those 'circles' are especially close to me, every now and then there's something going on. It's a totally different reality now. When we went out to the people with our first shows after the reformation I didn't know what to expect. But people shouted 'Imperator!' again, it was nice. But even ten years ago I noticed those experts standing right in front of the stage, with their arms folded, their legs slightly apart, their heads held high, just judging. In the past there was just mosh, stagedive, slamdance, pure energy. It's different now, but if you can't change something, you just have to accept it, maybe even like it – that part might be hard though. 
 
I suppose many things have changed in those over thirty years since you started – the stage equipment that is now available, sound engineers or music instrument lessons – they are all available on a daily basis. But back then you could only dream of such support as musicians, am I right? What was it like in those days?
 
As for the availability of instruments and other equipment, now it's way easier than it used to be, no doubt about that. I don't want to sound like a martyr of the old days, I really loved doing what I did and I did it the only way possible. If  I had to go from Łódź to Gdańsk to buy new strings, I would just get on a train and visit Presto shop, as there was no other place closer to Łódź that would offer strings you could actually play with. Also, I knew some guys there and I had a really good friend living in Gdańsk, a real maniac. So I'd go there, having something to look forward to as well. But on a daily basis I'd use spirits, cotton wool and clean the stirngs to make them last for as long as possible. Shall I continue? In order to get my first distortion and a professional cable I had to go to West Berlin and that itself was not that easy. The border, body search – just ridiculous. It was a constant fight. There were no instruments available in Poland. We didn't expect much really, just something with strings not that far from the neck. I first used a simple distortion I'd bought from a craftsman in Łódź, on Przybyszewski St. I think. We wanted to have even the simplest amplifiers – no one would even dream of Marshal or Messa back then. I bought that first distortion in the 90's – using it was absolutely overwhelming. Today you just enter the store, you can try everything out, it's great. But I'm honestly glad I could experience it all back in the 80's, you can't just repeat that. You know, you could make a simulation of some sort, like take your aunt's guitar and lock yourself in a shed somewhere in the mountains, but what would be the point? It was hard back then, we didn't have instruments to play, a place to play, but I had this idea to play that one way, not any other, although my first songs were actually more like...  AC/DC. But it lasted only a few weeks, months maybe, until I heard 'Headhunter', an album by Krokus,  played with double kick, and that was it. Then Metallica and Slayer came, you know. I knew we had to play fast, I still think so... (laughter).
 
But you were all self-taught musicians, weren't you?
 
Sure we were! Well, I have to say I did have a few classical guitar lessons at some community centre. I  played 'We're Going on a Hunt', with the use of notes, they even put me a special stool under my foot, but it didn't seem like my thing really. So I tried to work things out myself. But what you might find surprising is the fact that, later on, some guitarists would come to take lessons from me. People like Valdi Moder, who'd later become our 'Polish Satriani'. I myself have never been attracted to virtuoso style of playing, I've always been interested in rhythms, pace changes, syncopes etc. I learnt to play while practising Imperator songs and I guess there are no other songs I could play better (laughter). We used to play some cover songs, but we stopped that. Now I think playing someone else's songs is lame and you should do that only when you don't have enough of your own material. But, of course, I've nothing against anyone doing that. As I've said, we've been there ourselves. By the way, here's a funny story. We used to play 'Circle of the Tyrants' live back then and one time, after our show, some guy came up to me and said, 'Hey, Bariel, how's it possible that Obituary played your song live?'
 
Right, they put this song on their 'Cause of Death' and it was hard to get a copy with any credits back then. 
 
Exactly. And here's another one. Some time ago Richter, our current drummer, before he joined Imperator, wrote to me after we'd met at the premiere of Imperator's first beer and asked for the lyrics of 'Święta Wojna', our song, as he wanted to cover it with his band from that time – Bestiality. I sent him the words, they recorded the song and then there was this moment when I was holding Bestiality's record in my hands, with my song on the tracklist but without any notice that it was written by Imperator. But then Richter said, 'Bariel, everybody knows it's your song.' You know, total chill, I just found it funny. But on another occasion, on the other hand, there was this guy, about twenty-five, at Black Silesia Festival, who came to me and said he'd found our name reading somewhere about the beer premiere. He'd never heard us before but he was going to check us out. So you see, in a way we're starting from scratch, we have to win a new audience. Step by step, or soul by soul, we have to grab those new maniacs and drag them to our side. 
 
We know how common people used to react to your music. But what about the authorities? We can clearly see how they react now, with their voters accordingly.  
 
As I've mentioned before, playing then was a constant fight, one with the system as well. Most people have heard the story about me having to explain myself because of some of our lyrics. It went like 'One day, when the Beast rises from the underground...' You know, back then all the song lyrics had to be checked by a censor before you were allowed to play anywhere. So one time a censor asked me, 'Young man, are you singing here about Solidarity?' 'No, Satan.', I said. 'OK then, no problem, you can play.' It was somewhere in Łódź, I still remember the colour of that guy's tie. People in the street – they didn't know what it was all about. Seeing our inverted crosses they might have thought it was just an ill-formed Black Sabbath motif. If they new Black Sabbath of course. Besides, Church stood in opposition to the authorities, so all those censors, hearing it's Satan, not Solidarity, were quite content. 
 
There are plenty of ways to reach people with your music, although with the aforementioned scene overload it's easy to get lost in the crowd. How did you manage to break through so quickly in the days of pioneer tape trading? What was your recipe for becoming a legend?
 
People didn't get our music and the'd repeat over and over again, 'That's not the way to play.' You need to remember that back then most metalheads were really hungry for an alternative to the communist dullness. And that's when Imperator appeared. As our music seemed quite extreme for those times, we kind of jumped really high up on this 'underground' career ladder, despite our rather poor musical skills. I've never claimed we were great musicians. But we played very fast and that made us completely different from everything else available on the market. 'It's fucking violent', people would say (laughter). And that made us stand out. We attracted people in the days when fanzines, tapes or records were really hard to come by. We were just this weird band from Łódź, offering weird, but also, as it later turned out, intriguing music...
Tape trading, right. I think I was one of the first tape traders in Poland. I started writing with bands from the Western Europe pretty early, I used to get plenty of stuff from them. For about two years of my high school  people would come to so called Monday afternoon meetings at my place – whole crews from around Poland would visit me to read some fanzines, copy some tapes. I never set those meetings, it just kind of happened and became a regular thing. It seemed cool at the start, but at some point I had to find a way to discourage people from coming. So, instead of metal fanzines I started displaying some farming magazines I bought especially for this purpose, telling people that was the stuff I got interested in. It finally worked (laughter). Yeah, that's why I had all those farming magazines like 'Tractor' or 'Polish Farmer'. Even now, when me or other band members think something is lame, crass or just poser-like, we just say it's agrarian. But getting back to the topic, you have to remember that the flow of information was as it was, and we all did what we could. All our three demos were made kind of by accident, because an opportunity appeared. Do you get it? Because there just seemed to be an occasion! 
One time I bought a chrome tape in Pewex, it was 1986 and I paid a small fortune for it. I had to work for that tape for three day0s, doing hard chores at some greenhouses in Łódź. I decided to save this tape for an emergency. And it so happened that we wanted to play at some big event. We went to some auditions in Silesian region. They were auditioning for Metalmania 87 at that time. Someone there recorded four songs that we performed during the time they gave us. And that was our first demo. It all happened in Chorzów, in Leśniczówka (Forester's Lodge), where Dżem used to have their rehearsals. We took that tape to our friend in Bielsko-Biała, his name was Krzysztof, AKA 'Cerber'. He was another tape trader from the old days and had even better connections than me at the time. Later it turned out that after he'd heard it he spent the whole night copying that tape. He made about twenty copies and then sent them out. People from abroad couldn't believe it was stuff from Poland, from behind the Iron Curtain. And that's how it all started...
 
A few of your concerts have become part of Polish metal history, like that Jarocin show in 1986,  Białystok in 87, Pruszcz Gdański and their Drrrama in 87 or, last but not least, Ciechanów - S'thrash'ydło 91. Do you remember any other big ones?
 
As for Drrrama festivals, 'cause if I remember correctly, we played two of them, we recorded our second demo during the one in 87 – 'Deathlive'. There was an occasion, you get it, right? And we couldn't just let it go past. I also remember that during one of those two editions some football hooligans marched in and started smashing things up while we were playing. That whole fight is on tape, I've got it on a VHS somewhere, along with some songs that we played. What else, we played once with Dezerter at Hybrydy club in Warsaw. Mefisto got there on the last train and he told us he managed to get an 'E' category at a military service recruitment examination, and he didn't have to join the army. A deserter! (laughter). I think we celebrated that fact for two days. You know, it was a big thing because I was already at university so I was safe from the military service, I think he got his 'E' category in not the most honest way, and it was awesome, as being enrolled just destroyed about ninety percent of bands in the 80's. There was another cool show in Opole – even guys from TSA came up to congratulate us after our set. We had a friend in Łódź, Zielony, who'd travel with us to our shows but on that day he didn't make it to the train station. We were in the middle of our set when we saw him elbowing though the crowd, holding a bottle of Scotch and proving he'd finally arrived. We partied our asses off that night, it was awesome. When I finally got home, my mother  met me at the doorstep and asked why Marek Niedźwiecki warned people on the radio not to invite Imperator to play concerts as there would be damage at hotels. I think there was indeed time when there was a lot happening after the gigs. There was also a mini tour with Deicide, we played with Cannibal Corpse in Bydgoszcz, no one actually knew them round here at that time. Not long ago Mittloff, former Hate's drummer who's now in Riverside, refreshed my memory quite a lot while talking about old Imperator days. It was for an interview he gave for a documentary that's being made about my return. He reminded me of that one time when people walked out of the church in Częstochowa and followed me, but also why they did so and what consequences there were. Cute. There was Malbork, where we lock a whole sightseeing group from Japan in the dungeons – me and Mefisto were the most active ones after shows. We played a lot of tricks (laughter). Once, after a show with Acid Drinkers, in Bielsk I think, we plus Ślimak, their drummer, ended up at a dance in Rokendrolka club, wearing boxer shorts only. I also remember when we used their equipment in Jarocin in 1993. That was a very violent event. During our set I had to calm down that totally wild crowd  saying that if they didn't cool down, we'd stop playing. There was plenty of damage, completely uncalled for. Later on, after Mefisto and Carol left for home I stayed there with Muniek Staszczyk and Paweł Kukiz, we drank Lech beers all night because, despite prohibition, as musicians we were given some drinks. Quite a lot actually. Yeah, the 80's and the early 90's were totally crazy...
 
Which of your concerts would you consider the biggest breakthrough for the band?
 
Actually, since that show in Jarocin in 1986 we seemed to have, let's say, a safe position in the underground. Every show we played between 89 and 93 attracted huge audiences and each of them made that position even stronger. It was natural for us to spend at least an hour talking to maniacs and giving autographs after each gig. We sometimes took pictures with our fans, but  not many of them had cameras, plus collecting pictures was quite expensive at that time. It's hard to think of some turning points in our concert history, but there was one gig that really helped us realise how serious thing we'd become in the underground. We had a tour with Kat when it turned out that after our set people would still scream 'Imperator!' and many of them would walk out to chat with us. As Carol said, Kat's manager didn't like that. So we didn't continue the tour. Good years. Things were going well, but there were still some obstacles. Dziuba from Metal Mind didn't seem to like us and it was difficult to play at his shows – OK, we managed to play a few gigs with Deicide. Anyhow, each of these shows left a positive imprint. Was there a show we fucked up? Yeah, we didn't go to Strzegom because of me – I missed the train. And there, at the venue, was an agent waiting for us to sign a contract for a show in Moscow.  Slashing Death and Vader went there, I think... We didn't get to Strzegom (I'm sure I didn't) and, in consequence, we didn't go to Mocsow. Mea culpa. But besides that one thing every show was a solid one. We had some difficulties, true, like one time with Kat I didn't play guitar because of my arm injury, I just did the vocals. But it didn't matter,  we nailed it each time and had great reception. 
 
1988 witnessed an absolutely spectacular and unprecedented phenomenon – you composed and performed live music for about 60 theatrical performances of 'Dracula', starting in Łódź. How did it come to that? 
 
I think it was late 1987 when it turned out that Mefisto's girlfriend's father,  Zdzisław Jaskuła, was the literary director of Studio Theatre in Łódź. That's how our long term relation started. I remember spending the 1987 New Year's Eve at the theatre. I guess we left a mark on that 'society', we heard anecdotes for years (laughter). We met plenty of new people and, as a consequence, we entered that clique. Ździsław's wife,  Sława Lisiecka, was (and still is, Żdzisław, sadly, has passed away) a German literature translator. Many people used to come to their (kind of open) house. They were often  representatives of so called higher culture. They organised meetings with people connected with the National Film School in Łódź, poets, politically uncomfortable artists, dissidents etc. Our visits at Ździsław and Sława's place were really important to us. We would hang out there for hours, sometimes days. It lasted for a few years. I lived five minutes from them, on the other side of Piotrowska Street. I still remember those evenings when we talked or played bridge. I was still in high school but suddenly I would bet with Andrzej Wajda for a bottle of vodka – it was all so incredible. It was the middle of PRL and out of the sudden you can get out of this surrounding mediocrity with a blast. Not every high school student could mingle with people of that sort. But I think we also had something to offer to those people, we played in a 'satanic' band and some of them didn't really know how to grasp it. One day we met Merek Rakowiecki, a director – it either happened at Ździsław's place on Wschodnia St. or at the theatre. He asked if we'd like to make music for his 'Dracula” interpretation. Me and the guys eventually made those songs! We added some pinch harmonics, some bridge work, 'audio interpretations of blood transfusion and other incredible things, you name it – it was all there. We got some advance payment and six months to complete our work. We composed all the music in about two weeks before the deadline as we'd been awfully busy with consuming that payment (laughter). The premiere was a huge success, then we performed the whole 1988/89 season live during the theatrical performances. It was an amazing experience. We worked like a regular crew at the theatre – first the were six months of preparations, with two rehearsals each day, 8 hours in total. We had to remember the whole show, line by line, to know exactly when to play each part, be it guitar, drums or howling like a wolf – that was actually my part, as only I seemed to know how to do it. When the people at the theatre found out I had planned to leave to East Germany for one week, they got so stressed about it they scheduled a recording session in the Polish Radio recording studio in Bydgoszcz, 'cause there was no one else to do the howling in my absence! Mefisto tried it, but it didn't really work, Carol just didn't even want to try. We recorded everything, the whole music, at that studio, but the tape eventually disappeared – I don't hold it in my possession, not for now at least. The performances were really successful, whole crews from around the country came to see them. Sometimes one or two of the performers – and there were only big names among them, I see those people now on covers of glossy magazines, on TV or staring in films or plays – they couldn't put up with the atypical reception of those unusual members of the audience. Professor Niemirowski from the National Film School in Łódź, who played the role of Van Helsing, stopped the performance a few times. He'd say, 'Mr. Bariel, please escort your men out of the room.' then I'd say, 'Come on, people, pull yourselves together, don't be an embarrassment.' Everyone had to keep up appearances (laughter). It was fun, always after the performance we played one of our songs, or a cover like Venom's Black Metal’ or Kreator's Tormentor’. After around eight years I was approached  again by Żdzisław Jaskuła  and offered to make music for his 'Faust' in The New Theatre (Jaskuła wa then, if I remember correctly, its director). I turned him down as I had already stopped playing. Anyways, Jaskuła came to  S'thrash'ydło festival and I think we partied a bit along with Samael, or some other band, I can't remember clearly. But I do remember that on our way back with Mefisto in Zdzisław's Audi, Mefisto's 'coffin' (bass case) occupied half of the car's space (laughter).
The 'Bariel Demo' from 87 has finally been released officially. Although it's been available via  streaming for years, this is the first time you can put a physical copy on your shelf. Tell us something about the origin of this recording. 
 
Well, it's something I might have done just for fun and it came to being completely by accident – that's for sure. I never really wanted to release it, but Leszek (from Oldschool Metal Maniac) convinced me it's actually worth releasing as it is still some bit of history. 'OK, Lechu, go ahead, I have full trust in you.', I thought. It all happened like this: I was hanging out at one dude's place (Jacek – he used to record something with Kazik Staszewski) and that guy had a Telecaster guitar with DS-1 Boss distortion – it was 1987, I'd never seen things like that before. Or maybe I had but I'd never actually held them in my hands. He also had some sort of 4-track recorder, with a delay and reverb effects included. You could even plug a mic to it. I just sat there, either in his kitchen or living room, and asked if I could record something. There was also a drum machine the guy had control of. And again I'd just nod to him, like to that Forst drummer at that crazy gig, to make the drum beat go fast or slow, and I recorded guitar parts and vocals to these drum parts in one take. And that's how this so called 'Bariel 87' demo was created. It was never done officially, it just leaked into the Internet somehow. I'll just say that at that time the possibility of using such amazing equipment and being able to play and record with a drum machine were just amazing, I was really excited. I think I might have sent that tape to someone in Mayhem or maybe to  Metalion from  Slayer Mag saying, 'Dude, check this out, isn't it just ridiculously awesome?'. Maybe that's how it spread... treat it only as a curiosity, nothing more. But maybe it's worth something from a, let's say, 'historical' point of view. 
 
Comparing the metal scene from the old days with the one we have today, what seems to you the most positive change? Or is there something you really miss from those years?
 
A positive thing? It really  seems that Poland has a very strong metal scene. I'm glad bands like  Vader, Decapitated, Behemoth or Hate have left an imprint on the whole world. These crews have been around all the time, we stopped at some point.It's impossible to say where we'd be if not that decision of mine over twenty years ago to put things on a halt, or to an end – maybe we'd be in the middle of a world tour, who knows. But I've never regreted things went the way they did – thanks to that I could take part in an experiment of returning to the scene after over two decades (laughter). After so many years, when I'm finally back I can see how far Poland has gone in that matter and I pay my respects to those bands. Another great thing is that today you can easily buy instruments, sign a fair contract and go play outside Poland. The problems of today are far different from those of the past. Back then there was no equipment, let alone places to play rehearsals - now you've got all those things, but at the same time there is this overload already  mentioned, a crowd of bands you have to push your way through. But then I think that if we managed to get somewhere with this slightly different sound of ours back then, those new bands which have something interesting to offer should also be able to succeed, provided they will put their hearts in it. And that's what I wish for them. Do I miss anything from the old days? Maybe people coming up to you and just robbing you off of your band shirt, leather jacket, pins and even jeans! (laughter). Because people don't do that anymore, do they? Just kidding. But seriously, I miss the crowds at gigs, that craving and madness in people. But, again, there are so many events now. For instance, when we played along with Tormentor at Black Silesia Festival, there was Venom Inc. playing somewhere near at the same time. And that happens almost every weekend. There are gigs all the time. But we can't do anything about it, can we? Back in the days you really had to wait for a concert, you counted months,  weeks, and finally days and hours even, but that will never come back I think. Yet, on the other hand, with all due respect to events like Merry Christless that gave us a great new start after all those years, there are some of those micro festivals that help you experience that atmosphere from the 80's or early 90's again. Thanks to those die hard gigs or festivals we still have that sense of what used to be so common back then. Who knows, maybe one day more people will start coming to those events. Because once in a while the cycle ends and a new one begins... Maybe some day when Imperator has toured the world a bit, I'll give you a different answer to that question (laughter). Thanks for the interview, till next time! 
Bariel.
 
Thanks and cheers Bariel!
 
Cheers.
 
Radosław Grygiel 

Poprawiony (wtorek, 29 września 2020 09:44)

 

SPECTRAL VOICE

 
 
 
Hi there, good to finally see you here in Poland. By the way, not all the shows on your tour will be shared with Demilich. Is there one single band to replace them on the rest of the dates or are you going to be accompanied by different bands each time?
 
Hi. It will just be the local bands. Daniel from Kill-Town Bookings set up 13 shows with Demilich as that's as many as they can play due to their work schedules, we decided to continue on our own throughout the last week.. 
 
You often seem to be compared to bands from the Finnish scene (Disma, Demigod, to name just a two) – how do you feel about it? Are you indeed inspired by bands from that part of the world or is it just a biased opinion of some listeners? I guess you can't ignore the fact that you are touring with a Finnish band right now. 
 
We're definitely inspired by Finnish bands. When Paul and I started the band we wanted to capture the sound and gloomines of early Finnish scene, which was different from the rest that was going on then, with bands like Rippikoulu, Demigod, Disma, Disgrace. Also Disembowelment was a big one for us, they're from Australia and have a different sound, but  share the same vibe, this introspective element in their music. I fucking love Finnish death metal, way more than Swedish – the Finns had a smaller scene, but more varied sound. You know, Demich doesn't really sound like Demigod, Demigod doen't sound like Rippikoulu and so on. There was this sense of inspiring, but not copying among those bands and that's really cool. 
 
It took you five years to release a full lenght album, although you had released some rehearsals, a crushing demo and some splits on the way. This time can be seen either as long or short, depending on many factors. How do you personally see it? I mean: the music you make is very dense and structured, it clearly does not come to life overnight – how would you describe your writing process?
 
Well, the demo was just me and Paul, I played the drums, guitar and did the vocals, Paul mainly recorded the guitar leads and some synth parts. At the beginning we were specifically trying to do a Finnish style band, to recreate the sound of Abhorence, or such and such band from there. We had always wanted to tour from the first day we started the band, so when we got Jeff and Morris to join the band and with a full line up we did a tour, but it was me and Paul writing the music. We started working on the full lenth album in 2014. It was still the two of us handling the majority of writing, but this time also Jeff and Morris had some riffs and arrangements so it was more like a group effort. It was very positive, four guys creating music made the sound wider – instead of two guys obsessed with Demigod sound it was four having their own ear and ideas. I don't think five years is a long time. We all have jobs and homes, so in my opinion it's better to take more time and create something more solid and cohesive rather than release an album every year or two with just two good songs on it. But you know, sometimes the music does come overnight – Paul  once came to the practice with a song he had made the previous  night – Terminal Exhalation of Being – and we didn't almost change anything in it. Sometimes inspiration just strikes, at other times you have to work with the song. But what matters is that everything remains natural and organic. 
 
 
Everyone knows you're involved in some other projects, though Spectral Voice is your priority band. From your own perspective, do you think your involvement in other endeavors contributes to Spectral Voice or do you rather see it as exploring other music genres and a thing completely unrelated to your work in Spectral Voice?
 
Well, most  bands I play in are metal acts anyways, so it all depends on how you define 'related', but what matters here is that none of us would ever bring a riff that was made for another band, but it didn't work there or the other way round – not a single idea meant for SV would go to another project. The mindset and mental focus are strictly dedicated to each band so there can't be a lot of crossover. Well, some projects that I'm in are electronic or noise bands – they're unrelated musically, but it's moreless similar outlet in trying to capture the same energy. So, most of my projects are trying to seize the same thing, but in different ways and with different results. I think that could be said about most everybody in SV.
 
You desribe yourselves as a secular band, but your lyrics, although definitely more of a psychological rather than religious nature, seem quite spiritual. Could you tell us something more about them? What are your inspirations in that matter?
 
 
True, the lyrics are definitely not religious, as none of us are religious, though each ofu s has their own spiritual outlooks and beliefs. I try not to impose mine on others, but one big inspiration for me would definitely be Austin Spare, an English occultist who used psychology to break down  the barriers of mundane reality. He calls it atavistic resurgence. Also Carl Jung, who believed that within the collective unconscience we tap into the currents  and energies that are archaic, timeless, completely outside and acasual to any human domain. It's all very inspirational to me and it opens multiple universes to explore and see what lies behind the veil of our existence. Then there is Yung's outlook on dreamscapes and how your dreams can be reflective into your reality – that has also fascinated me. I've had recurring dreams since I was a child, really vivid and intense, really scary dreams that have definitely left a mark on me. So that's some of the inspirations, there are also my own visions of outer dimensions and inner realms. The lyrics of Spectral Voice are quite personal so they might be rather abstract for an average reader but that's OK for me, as those lyrics are important for me alone, not for the band to present its filosophy. It's not like I'm having a spoken word discussion with the audience every night, it's more like a chance of getting into the same mindspace as when you're writing the song. The lyrics are like a spell you set each time in the same way, otherwise the words will not work. They help recapture certain landscapes and emotions thanks to witch I can present the spectral aura of the band. 
 
All SV members are involved in multiple bands or projects,  some of them (Blood Incantation for that matter) seem more occupying than others. Don't you think that due to this state of affairs the band might not use its full potential? 
 
It hasn't been a problem so far, those guys are all dedicated to their craft and what they are trying to do with their lives. There are no schedule conflicts, we're all open to what offers are  available for each band. Both Blood Incantation and Spectral Voice are busy bands touringwise – SV do four to six weeks tours in the States, the last European tour was six and a half weeks – we like touring for sure. But it's not like I feel like I need to be on a tour, when Blood Incantation is touring there is no animosity, like 'SV could be on tour now, but they are instead.' I think when the time is right, the time is right. All members are dedicated, both bands practise twice a week, so we all make this our lives and it never conflicts with our schedules because we have the same schedules. The other guys are crazy, they played a 3-week tour with Blood Incantation ending at Kill-Town Festival and started a SV tour there as well. After the show they just got into another van with other gear. They just love doing it and that's the key thing here – if there was one single person who doen't really want to be there in that van, the whole band's energy would be lost and that would compromise everything. Also, I don't think we'll ever be a band that replaces musicians – if anyone decided to quit, it would probably be the end of the band. The way the band works is a very specific formula of all four individuals, in case anyone were replaced, it would be extremely hard to recreate that chemistry. 
 
You took over vocals after Casey Hogan's departure. Why did he leave and why did you, a drummer, decide to take this responsibility? It can't  have been the first option that popped in your head, you know what I mean.
 
It was actually somehing that simply made sense. When Casey left the band we were all in really good terms, he almost always goes on tour with us, he does the merch and sometimes joins us on stage to sing some songs, but he left the band simply because he didn't really want to do exactly what we were doing. In the beginning of the band it was all more rigid sonically, but he wasn't really sure about the aestethics and the presentation of the band on stage, also the touring at the time... When he left, we talked about it. At the time it was still only Paul and I, and it was me who wrote and composed the placement of the lyrics so it kind of made sense. So instead of finding a person to fill the void I just tried it and, although it was hard at the start, it became an integral part of our band. It was ust easier for me to sing my own lyrics than for anybody else to sing another person's quite personal words. And I said to myself, that if Chris Reifert can do this... also at that time I thought James Reed, the drummer from Revenge, did the vocals on stage as well, so, shit, if they can do this, why not me?
 
Not even a year has passed since the release of Eroded Corridors of Unbeing, I guess we'll have to wait a while longer for another full lenght. What are the bands plans for the nearest future?
 
Yeah, we have a split coming up with a band from Seattle, a 10 inch, then we'll start working on a new record, but I can't say when that will happen. Matt from Dark Descent Records is very open with whatever we do, he says 'when you're ready, just let me know.' He's been our friend since before the band started, we hang out a lot so it makes things easier. I really want the new album to be out, but it just has to be the right thing. The more the band exists the more we realise that we don't really need to be writing a song every two months to be on top of any schedule. Sometimes we try to write a song and it sounds good, but then we come back to practice another time and it sounds a little stale - the essense and atmosphere have to be there so the filter is very high for what will pass through. So that will probably make for a slower process, but we also devote a lot of out time to it so it doesn't have to be that long. We'll see. 
 
Thanks for the talk.
Absolutely, thanks. 
Radosław Grygiel
Foto Live Kazimierz Ździebło i zdzieblo.com.pl
 

Poprawiony (niedziela, 10 lutego 2019 08:32)

 

KRIEGSMASCHINE INTERVIEW

 

Apocalypticists, the brand-new album by KSM was out on October 21, 2018. In my view, tis` a good reason to inquire M about some details in connection with this very recording. I also allowed myself to ask about MGLA who are going to provide us with their new album quite soon. Ok, no need to waste our time. Lads and ladies, please read on.

Hello M. It’s been nine years since we spoke. A lot has happened during those years. I think that the premiere of KRIEGSMASCHINE`s latest album as well as MGLA`s forthcoming recording are good reasons enough to talk about your music. Can we start?

1. Exercises in Futility was released four years ago. Same for Enemy of Man. So much and so little time has passed, indeed. I am sure that you`ve been quite busy over the last four years, am I correct?

As for MGLA, we played live during that time. We did almost 100 shows in three continents over the span of two years. Of course, 100 wouldn’t be a shocking amount if we were a proper, incessantly touring band but for an independent BM group this number seems quite impressive. In December 2017, we suspended playing live. We`ll resume in March 2019. In the meantime, we stealthily recorded and released KRIEGSMASCHINE`s new album and are currently working on MGLA, too. As previously, we`re dealing with all the components ourselves, I mean we compose, record, release and distribute our music on our own; so, we`re quite busy but can’t complain, really.

2. Apocalypticists by KRIEGSMASCHINE was released in late October 2018. This album is much slower than your previous recordings. I would say this stuff is more atmospheric and one can clearly notice how much KSM have progressed over the last four years. As artists, you still have a lot to say. What Apocalypticists features is hardly comparable to what other bands can come up with these days. How difficult is it to write/compose original music presently?

To make a pure black metal album was one of our goals, however, using a different foundation by contrast with standard BM recordings. Due to this unorthodox approach, blended with this very overwhelming atmosphere of the whole recording, repetitive arrangements and so on, I, in result, expected Apocalypticists would be given a much worse reception than it actually did. I was “pleasantly” disappointed, so to say.

3. To say the least, the way Apocalypticists` has been recorded and sounds is, by all means, stunning. All the elements, all the minute details have been meticulously elaborated and worked on. I am curious to know how much time you guys spend on rehearsing/working on music before a proper recording session takes place? How often do you rehearse, in general? Do you work on music at home alone and bring rough versions of songs to your rehearsals or does the music get done while jamming and rehearsing together?

Thank you for your kind words. The first phase of working on a new album begins when we start gathering up ideas the moment the previous recording is complete. It takes, usually, a couple of years; after which we take a look at the basic, raw material we`ve brought forth, select what we need, work on further arrangements and keep writing and adding new parts. This phase takes some months. While working on Apocalypticists we didn’t rehearse at all. It all was pre-produced, so to say; I mean we worked on rough versions on a computer, those versions featured previously recorded parts, and when we had the song structures ready, we started the proper recording of tracks. KRIEGSMASCHINE is nowadays a purely studio band and its music is created “in layers”, I mean after we had recorded drums and lead guitar tracks, we composed and recorded additional parts of guitar and bass lines, then worked on vocals and so on. It went quite smoothly; in total, from the very first recording day to final mastering it took us three months in total.

4. I am wondering why so vital people like you guys certainly are, are able to create such gloomy and dark music. What inspires you to play such sinister sounds?

We create music which mirrors our inner self, which is based on and shaped into forms that interact with ourselves. These very specific parts of our inner selves aren’t manifested by musical activates exclusively. We strive not to, at least.

5. The KSM`s new album was composed by you and another guy, without Destroyer. Does it imply Konrad ain`t part of KSM any longer?

That’s correct.

6. I can still remember the time when KRIEGSMASCHINE used to play live a lot. MGLA, on the flip side, was a studio project. Now, it’s the other way around. Does it mean we`ll not get a chance to see KSM play live again in the future? I would say to play the whole Apocalypticists album live may arduous a task indeed.

Well, if this happens it will take place in remote future. First off, to do so, we`d have to regularly rehearse the album songs for a couple of months and ought to expand our line-up, too. It won’t happen in the next months, for sure, maybe even years.

7. While working on Apocalypticalists you guys were also busy with MGLA`s new album. Can you please spill the beans and tell us some more about band’s forthcoming stuff? Is it going to be in the vein of your latest album or should we expect something new and revolutionary?

We`ve elaborated a particular black metal style of ours and this style hasn’t completely dried up yet. We don’t expect any drastic volte-face to take place.

8. When MGLA`s new album is out, you will embark on a European tour together with REVENGE/DOOMBRINGER/DEUS MORTEM. Can you please tell us some more about this tour? Where are you going to show up? When exactly are you starting off?

The tour starts on April 27 in Berlin and will feature 19 gigs in Central-Western Europe, mostly in Germany, France as well as four live shows in Poland. All the participants have known and respected each other for years. The enterprise itself is a bottom-up project, including Steve who was responsible for our previous European tour with AOSOTH, as well as Mintaj of Left Hand Sounds, who`s been helping us out with organizational issues since the beginning of this year. We prefer to get our hands dirty but to stay independent with no heavily breathing tour agency supervising us; an agency run by a bunch of dynamic yuppies, skillfully adapting to trending requirements imposed by contemporary music industry. In other words, by sneaky rats.

9. You`ve already played live in Europe, USA as well as Australia. Are you going to show up in other Asian countries, like Japan, for instance, too? Are you going to partake in other events apart from the above-mentioned tour with REVENGE?

So far, we`ve got nearly 40 live shows confirmed. This year, it`ll be Europe only. In 2020, we`ll focus on other continents. Japan is planned on our way to Australia. South and North America will follow, that’s for sure.

10. Apart from KRIEGSMASCHINE/MGŁA you also are busy with recording other bands` music. Tell us about your recent doings, please?

My studio work is restricted to working on bands that belong to my friends. I am so busy with my own shit I have no time to run a full-time studio. In 2018, I cooperated with OWLS WOODS GRAVES, DEATH LIKE MASS, LVCIFYRE. The DEUS MORTEM`s new album is almost done and fully mixed. Also, there is something going on with MEDICO PESTE`s new stuff,

11. While chatting some time ago, you mentioned you had quite a number of ambient ideas you would like to record. Is it going to be another chapter of ARCA FUNEBRIS or something new?

I have recorded a lot of ideas but I have no time, motivation or interest to work on these, finalize these and release. In the recent years, I finally managed to enter the world of modular synthesizers, with the focal point on DIY and if time allows, I am going to realize a couple of ideas connected to generative music, which stands for self-generating where my role will be located somewhere between being an engineer and conductor. Stylistically, it can be considered dark ambient or some heavier forms of death industrial/power electronics; or somewhere in between – it all depends on my mood or what part of a day it is.

12. Let’s get back to Apocalypticists for a moment, shall we. I would say this album is very drumming – oriented. Was it your initial idea to expose this instrument that much or did it just happen on its own?

Yes, that’s correct. I would say that since Enemy of Man was out, KSM has become more and more rhythm oriented. The main idea wasn’t to make the drums sound as loud as possible but to base the structure of an album on other types of rhythms – different from blast beats and double pedal. In other words, to create a black metal album devoid of what I call a fundamental, rhythmic BM structure. MGLA is more conservative in this context. Riffs and vocals are of utmost importance, the aim of the percussion section is to provide a proper pulse.

13. A lot of great music to show up in 2018, for sure. Any favourite, stunning albums you can recommend to us? Is it black metal only or some other types of music, too?

Frankly, I don’t follow what’s new too much. I did enjoy CLANDESTINE BLAZE`s new album though. I also got to like FUNERAL MIST – did take me some time, I must say. As for BM I used to listen to KATHARSIS` World without End and BURZUM`s Hvis Lyset Tar Oss alternately and those two were enough for me. Plus, industrial, experimental and modern music. I tried to catch up with a number of older items too. To relax I listened to a lot of Obituary of the Americas by GENOCIDE ORGAN.

14. These days, we witness a number of spectacular reunions. TORMENTOR is back, Tom Warrior reanacts HELLHAMMER`s songs live. What is your view on this matter?

I have no view, whatsoever. It is because my perception of music is based on the 90s music. I have no sentiment about earlier stuff I mean it aint strong enough to get me interested again in it. Well, if Vikernes feels like reactivating his band in 5-10 years, I will surely have more to say.

15. Many ardent black metal fans claim black metal must correspond to Devil himself. What do you think about such an approach? Your lyrics don’t deal with Satan too much, I would say. If ever, indeed.

Indirectly yes, not mentioning the very Name. Because it, indeed, narrows down the issue, automatically. In my view black metal must be based on an emotional foundation as well as conceptual or ideological one. If these aren’t present, well, this sort of music becomes popular music which is beyond what I am interested in. Both as receiver and creator.

16. Over the years, black metal has evolved a lot. Frankly speaking, it doesn’t resemble the music it was in the beginning. Is it good or bad that this genre has changed so drastically.

First off, due to better distribution and increased availability, BM has ceased to be a niche kind of music. And thus, at least for an average listener, it`s become just another music genre. In result, many elements of black metal have penetrated pop culture, be it through inspirations other artists operating in other fields draw from BM; like aesthetics or symbolism, music arrangements and so on, then placed in totally different context. This is the tip of the iceberg, so to say. I mean these artists have learned about the most popular bands only; which doesn’t imply these bands are most important. For a person who originates from black metal underground, his natural reaction is somewhere between doubt and revulsion. Yet, statically speaking, we are a minority group. As for BM`s stylistic evolution, well, this is metal`s only subgenre where, I would say, new, interesting and inspiring things appear, constantly. Bearing in mind that black metal was supposed (all along) to be an anti-mainstream type of music, different from anything around there might be, well, I prefer looking for new ideas than listening to tribute bands.

17. Time to wrap up, I guess. If you want to add anything for our Old School Metal Maniac Magazine readers, feel free to do so. Thanks for your answers. Take care.

Thank you.

 

By NecronosferatuS

Poprawiony (niedziela, 10 lutego 2019 07:39)

 

DEMILICH

 
 
 
 
 
 
Hi there, it's good to see you finally here in Poland, or actually on a tour for that matter. It's your third show so far on the road with Spectral Voice, how has it been?
 
Hi. Well, Copenhagen Kill-Town Death Festival was very packed – personally my best gig ever, then yesterday's Hamburg was also full, although it was Tuesday, so it's been great so far.
It's the beginning of the tour but we we've played some shows with Blood Incantation before so we knew it would be easy with these guys as two of them were already familiar. 
 
 
How did you end up on one tour anyways? The two bands deffinitely make a fine combination on stage, but you clearly come from different worlds, two different continents to start with. How did you get together?
 
The tour was put together by Daniel Abecassis from Kill-Town Bookings, he said that Spectral Voice was going on a tour and he offered us to joined them. I agreed because I really liked their music – although it's  quite different from ours, this combination simply made sense. I actually don't like when there's too much of one kind of music at a show, you know, people would say „I've had enough of this kind of mentally disordered music (laughs). 
 
Even you yourself often point out the noticible growth in the popularity of Demilich over the years. How do you think, where does it stem from? Since back in 1993 a lot of great stuff has been recorded, probably even more technical (that being one of your major features) – Why do you think people more and more often go back to what you created back on Nespithe?
 
I think it's because in those 25 years no one has done it exactly the same, although I have heard some bands imitating us – it was actually kind of funny to hear someone doing it better than ourselves (laughs). But in general, I guess it's because people think it's really good music, but also, as I've often heard, many of them really like to relive that era of music, so reaching for Demilich recordings allows them to go through those times once again. 
 
It's your third reunion (so far) and it seems you've never been active longer than this time – it's been four years since 2014. You reunited back in 2005 to record some songs to go along with the compilation of your demos as well as to play some shows and to disband again in 2006. Then you came back for a short while in 2010 – why did you split again so quickly? 
 
The first reunion back in 2005  was just to kill the band properly – we hadn't really disbanded in 1993, we just withered away. We also really wanted to  finally tour the USA as it didn't happen  in 1993 – there were some plans back then but we simply weren't interested in playing anymore. Also, back in 1993 I kind of promised my old friend who runs a festival in Northern Finladnd that we would play there but we didn't, so he kept nagging me like „You said you were going to play at my festival...” Then, a couple of years later, I thought again we could try and come back. People went on suggesting we could do some shows, we also thought we actually liked playing concerts, so sure, why not be that idiot who has killed the band a couple of times and brings it back to life again. And we did for just one show (Jalometalli Metal Music Festival). 
Why did it take you so long to finally rerelease the demos? You must have had some offers during those past years.
 
Well, after we broke up in 1993 I didn't see any real interest in Demilich and then, five years later, I came round to our local heavy metal pub and saw our photo up there. The owner said „Shit, you're from Demilich, you've no idea how many people love you here.” I thought then that things had apparently changed a bit. We even did some rehearsing until 2000 but didn't really feel good with the whole thing. So, we were planning to finally release the demos in 2006 but I had some trouble with closing things back at the time – I wanted this release to be a proper boxset, with some new recordings, but it just didn't happen back then. Years flew by and then Svart Records contacted us and said they wanted to do it with us, and so we did. 
 
 
I guess everyone who at least once heard Demilich would love to see the coming of new album. You've been round again for four years already. Do you think there's a chance for us to hear anything new from you? You did make a new song for tthe session of 2006, why not make a whole new album?
 
Well, it was actually very hard to make that one song as I expected so much from myself. I'm really satisfied with it but it was a really horrifying trip. So  making a full album felt, and it still does, really hard. But I have started composing some songs so we'll see. But then again, if the music, which I'm sure is going to be good, does not seem like a great continuation to Nespithe,  it will have to go  under a different band name. 
 
The name Demilich comes from the world of role-playing games you yourself claimed never to have really played. How did you come up with it? And why did you change the name from Deformity? Oh, and how do you actually pronounce  the name Demilich?
 
Well, I actually looked the pronunciation up but none of the three possible options (ch as in 'chance', k or h) seemed more correct than any other. I myself use all of them, depending on the year. Currently I think I'm in the Demilich (ch) era, or k, hell, I don't really know (laughs). As for the name change, at some point I realised there already was a band called Deformity and wanted a name that really no one else had. Once I went to see a friend of mine who lived in  Southern Finland and he had this rulebook for Dungeons and Dragons. I started going through it and suddenly shouted „Fuck, this Demilich is a great band name!” I had some doubts as I wasn't really into fantasy but this Demilich seemed like a cool character so I decided to go with it. 
 
What about your musical activity beside Demilich? Metal Archives says you are still a member of Winterwolf, to my knowledge - a band started by an ex-Demilich member Tommi Hoffren. Years ago you also mentioned a guitar/computer project called The In-God Camera. What happened to it?
 
We've just recorded a new album with Winterwolf which will be out in March 2019. It is an easy listening but it also has some Demilich vibes there, yet it's mostly done by Tommi – I just bring my own spices there. I was also in Jess and the Ancient Ones (Finnish Occult Rock band) but I dropped out as I wasn't really capable of playing traditional jamming. The In-God Camera has changed its name but it's still there and you will hopefully hear an album soon. I have tbuilt the songs and now just have to start recording. It's going to be interesting stuff. 
Finnland has had great bands like Putrenance, Demigod or Adramelech, to name just a few. Yet your scene has never got so much recognition form the world as, for instance, the Swedish one. How do you think, why? 
The Swedish have always known how to make polular music, also in death metal, and I always liked their bands more than ouf Finnish death metal groups. In Sweden they could always make songs that were poppy and snappy while in Finland you could mainly hear the sadness and I think that was the main problem back then – I think people in most countries didn't really want to listen to sad music, they were more into cheerful songs that were good for headbanging. 
 
How strongly do you identify yourself with the Finnish scene? It doesn't seem that you have shared the stage with Finnish bands too often while playing shows even in Finnland.
 
We started at the time when Demigod and Sentenced put out their demos and we also wanted to do something similar. But at the same time I loved Pestilence and Bolt Thhrower so I wanted to incorporate some of their style into my music. But you cannot escape the Finn inside you. 
As for shows, back then there weren't really that many shows available and we were active just for a short moment  – we had a concert set ready in the beginning of 1991 and from September 1992 I was completely forcused on the album, so we only had a year and a half to play shows.
 
Most people who are going to see you on this tour have never had such an opportunity, it will be a 'dream come true' for many death metal fans – so the appetites are groing. What are your plans for the future? Any chance to see you on tour some time soon?
 
We'll see. After Southern Europe we might go to South America as we've never been there..Touring and touring only would be much easier but I'd really like to get myself into making this new album - I so much don't want to be this 65–year-old clown who still plays the same album during his shows. But as I've said, if it's not good enough to follow Nespithe, there won't be a successor, just an album under a different band name – I actually already have that band. 
 
Final words?
Yeah, I just remembered what happened after our (supposed to be) final show  in our hometown back in 2006 when I was going to kill the band again. I went swimming and I suddenly got a cramp in my leg. There was this voice in my head saying „come on, you know how to handle this, just swim using one leg”, but there was also this other voice saying: „Yeah, this is a really cool way to kill the band – just die after your final show!”
 
Thanks for the chat!
Thanks, cheers!
Interview  Radosław Grygiel
Foto Live Kazimierz Ździebło i zdzieblo.com.pl

Poprawiony (niedziela, 10 lutego 2019 08:35)

 

DEKAPITED INTERVIEW

DEKAPITED is another interesting  band which represents mighty Chilean  metal scene. And since Defense Rec released their new EP this year, I considered it to be a reason enough to find out what’s new in Chileans’ camp. Enjoy your reading.

1. Hello and how are you? Well, long time no see! How you’ve been since we talked last?

Long time brother! I've been fine, always making music. Also on tours and working on my bands and projects, DEKAPITED and INVOCATION SPELLS.

2.Well, the reason we`re chatting right now is your new EP which I happened to get from your Polish distributor. This CD features a bunch of live tracks plus four brand new studio cuts with this ‘Evil Dead’ movie cult intro. This is a really stunning stuff, but not long enough! Please tell me why you guys haven’t opted for a full length instead, hey?

The way in which we create is based on EP-LP-EP-LP order. We opted like this, because in that way we are able to put out our material constantly. To make an EP requires half less work and costs than an LP, and since 2 years ago we changed formation. We wanted to shape some record and now we are working on the next LP!!!

3. ‘Sin Misericordia’ was originally released through Suicide Records in 2017 and re-released through Defense Records with extra live tracks from your gig with SLAYER. Can you please tell us some more about it? Thank you.

Yes, there are also the editions from El Salvador, China, and soon Mexico! The only version that brings the live tracks played in SLAYER’s gig is under Defense Records. And the truth is that we are very happy that Defense can launch and distribute our new EP in Europe, as well as our previous album "Nacidos del odio".

4. How did it feel to be able to share the stage with such a cult outfit which SLAYER surely is? What other bands have you played with? Which gig has been best so far?

The year 2017 was incredible for us!!! We could play with SLAYER-TESTAMENT-VENOM-EXUMER-VIOLATOR-NERVOSA. It would be a dream year for any band!!! In previous years we also played with TOXIC HOLOCAUST, TOXIK, RATOS DE PORAO and WARBRINGER, but without a doubt SLAYER for us is of the most relevant bands to play with!!!
The best part was the way we got there! Since people chose us as a Chilean support band for SLAYER! There were no tricky things like are usual to happen in South America... So very happy for the support of the people that was also reflected in our show!

5. ‘Nacidos Del Odio’ was out three years ago. Are you going to record any new stuff this year? A full length perhaps?

I was thinking that during this year I should dedicate myself to the creation of the LP album, to be able to record in 2019 and to do some tour around Europe soon!

6. Here in Poland there`ve always been plenty of people who`ve always been into the Chilean scene. Me too, man, I have always revered the bands from your side of the world. Just the sheer amount of bands is strikingly huge, how’s it possible there are so many good bands in there? I think it is a safe assumption to say, that if you`re from Chile you must be either a football player or a metal music musician. Is it really so?

Ahahaha,  yes, I also feel that here in Chile we have the best metal bands currently! And the issue of quantity is also given because many musicians usually have 2 or 3 bands. The truth is that the potential in Chile is very good, too many good bands! Here is the essence, here are the roots, here is the hatred!!!

7. What is so awesome is 99 per cent of your bands hail the old school metal approach – in result, all the stuff coming from your country is characterized by the lack of over-polished sound. That’s amazing man, and pretty hard to achieve these days. How easy/difficult is it to get such filthy, putrid sound?

Yes! many bands look and prefer the old sound!!! This is where the essence and the magic of metal is! We do not like the bands that have modern sound or riffs; here, metal is aggressiveness, rage, hate! We are defined in 100% by a rustic sound! We look for that and we like to be and sound like that! Many members of bands also have home studios where they make their records. Others prefer more complete recording studios, but are also looking for the old sound! Using old equipment too! Drums of 90s, amps of 90 era.. etc.!

8. Talking about your latest EP, well it features a really nice front cover. Who`s responsible for this infernal fire?

The designer is Elias Tormentor (elias art) from Chile, fifth region of Valparaíso. Also responsible for the art of our first EP ‘Contra iglesia y estado’. It is as simple as the man devastates with pencils! he understands very well the concepts/ideas and what the band is looking for! He knows how to take the paper! A great artist!

9. Your music is undeniably defined as thrash metal. Yet, one can sense how devilish it also is! Do you believe in the existence of this horned deity?

We do not believe in any being, neither good nor bad. We believe in the badness and the capacity of the people! Let's say that it moves us more the earthly world, the rotten things of the current life! How they consume us... The goal of this living death societies! Believe only in yourself!

10. Every part of the world is characterized by their own myths and legends, with local gods, deities and demons of course, too. I am talking about the pre-Christian times certainly. Most of the Chile’s population is Roman Catholic so tell me some more about your local devils, demons or evil spirits, please.

In Chile, the whole mythological part is located in the south of the country, specifically in the island of Chiloe, where there are many characters such as pincoya, cai-cai-vilu, invunche, caleuche, trauko, fiura, carbunco, etc. An example is the story of the trauco, which are known for seducing women with their eyes, throwing their breath into their dreams and seducing them to leave them pregnant.

 

11. I am pretty sure you listen to a lot of music, don’t you? Any bands from Poland you know/like?

Yes! I know TERRORDOME with whom we have a split CD! I also know ACID DRINKERS, DECAPITATED, VADER, BEHEMOTH!!! Fucking killer bands!!!

12. What do you want me to wish DEKAPITED this year, huh?

Play live! Compose and make the next LP in silence! And always be aware and receiving new offers! New tours, dates, etc.! We are available!!! Just contact us!

13. Thank you very much and please feel free to add anything you like!

Cheers from Chile Leszek!!! Thanks for the killer support for DEKAPITED! I see you in Europe hell soon!!! We stand in fight!!! Support bands, support shows, support scene!!! Buy stuff of your favorite bands and keep in touch!!!

Best regards bangers!!! Aggressive and cursed thrash metal!!!

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Poprawiony (wtorek, 15 maja 2018 11:03)

 

FORCE OF DARKNESS INTERVIEW

The Chilean scene never ceases to amaze me. Since I can remember, their underground has always had a lot to say. And most importantly, it had its own unique character, combining extraordinary layers of energy with incredible passion, determination and unlimited devotion. That is why I am so eager to reach for the achievements of Chilean bands, because it is a guarantee of real emotions; here there is no falsehood, pursuit of fashion, just 100% real and heartfelt playing. The hero of our today's interview is the extremely gifted FORCE OF DARKNESS, more and more recognizable in the world! Ladies and gentlemen, I give you this amazing interview with FORCE OF DARKNESS!

  • Hello and how are you? What’s the weather like in Santiago/Chile?

Hells! I am just fine, nowadays it is hot as hell!! We have summer now here.

  • Well, I will tell you I have always been interested in this very particular fact. Some countries has had a long tradition when it comes to their underground metal scene whereas others have not. Just take a look at former West Germany for instance – where, at a particular time and place, there formed a bunch of great Teutonic thrash bands (MINOTAUR, DESTRUCTION, POISON and so on); by contrast, in neighboring Luxembourg or Belgium there were, indeed, very few! Another example would be Norway and Sweden with plenty of amazing bands whereas Denmark or Iceland has always had relatively a very small number of bands. And so, I want to ask you what is so special about Chile (and its people) that your scene has always been able to "spit out" evil bands of highest caliber and neighboring Argentina or Uruguay ain’t… at least from the European point of view.

Very interesting question, I think there are several factors that influence this kind of musical expression_. First, this kind of music started in places where normally there was repression and/or urban centers where a new identity could be generated in order to differentiate oneself from the rest of the population, as a way of escape and expression_ associated to a rebel feeling and the need of a new identity.

In the case of other countries (I mean the ones which are not the style originators, like South America), factors like access and music distribution of those originating countries have an influence, as well as the search for a new identity representing rebelliousness and response to the oppression, either religious, political or social, ruling the environment. I mean that if you live in a society that is constantly oppressing you, you have to react to this “attack” in some way, and there are too many ways to react. I think that the Chilean society has some kind of “psychological claustrophobia”, just for the fact that we are very far from the rest of the world and we got strong natural frontiers (Dessert, Ocean and the Andes Mountains).

When the metal movement was on its peak,  Chile was under a military regime but at the same time there was a strong influence from the USA regarding fashion and trends. In that context, the propagation of a style like metal turns faster, compared to what happened maybe in Argentina, where the war conflict with England affected the influence of British bands and English-speaking bands in general, which to my understanding caused its propagation to be slower and stayed more into “rock” influences.

  • How did your perception of metal music form? When did you switch from being just a mere passive listener to an active musician? Was it, well, a natural process, I mean you had listened to and soaked with music, so to say, that you realized you needed to express yourself and add something personal to the genre or was it a purely spontaneous decision which, with time, resulted in a number of bands and recordings?

I think it became a natural and spontaneous process, I mean obviously first you liked the music and followed it many years to the point you dare try to play an instrument. Later becoming a sort of “musician” takes much more time because of the practice  that it requires to achieve a decent composition and proper songs.

At the end I believe in a constant motivation to create your own songs and sound, this is why there are always new bands spawning metal year after year.

  • How is Santiago as for its metal scene? Bearing in mind how many bands there are, every second citizen of this city seems to be involved in some metal music-related project. Ha-ha. But hey, seriously speaking, is the scene tight and healthy, I mean it all involves committed people who support the scene on a daily basis? How is it compared to what it was before? Is it better or worse now? How is Santiago as for playing live and rehearsing?

Santiago is a big city (at least for us), and yes, there are a lot of people involved in metal, but as you may imagine also a lot of posers, false people and wannabes trying to create an image based on social media and cyber shit like that.

For metal sake I think is better now than 20 years ago in a lot of ways. I mean today you can find several metal record stores with quality and quantity. 20 years ago most of records stores only got the mainstream bands and basically from big labels.

We got a very healthy scene in terms of gigs, and mainly a lot of bands that are playing in the most diverse kind of metal; from death, heavy, speed, black, and everything in between and some of those are very good and serious acts. As for playing live,  actually we don’t play very often, only 3 to 4 gigs a year, and most of them not in Santiago.

 

  • How is the rest of the country compared to Santiago as for the metal music (gigs, promotion, labels etc.)? Is it the city of Santiago which is the most important area?

Yes, actually in Santiago lives almost half the population of the whole country, but when it comes to Metal there are several important places, at least, regarding underground metal. It is a long country and in general most of band are in the concentrate in the center and south of the country, some other important cities are Valparaiso, Iquique, Temuco, Valdivia, among many others.

  • What’s the main difference between metal in Chile and the rest of South America, for instance from Brazil? And from Europe in this context? Is there any point in trying to compare all these scenes to each other?

This is no expert opinion or anything like that, but nowadays I see in Chile we have a great variety of metal genres (from heavy metal to furious black metal) whereas in other countries you only get to see a particular specific genre highlighting from the rest…

I think there is no point to compare, only to enjoy the differences. I mean the German metal v/s Czech metal or v/s Greek Metal, etc.. They are all different and all are great, every country incorporates its own vision, passion, sound and particular atmosphere.

  • Is Chile a good place for a metal band? How about moving to Europe for instance? Would it help as for promotion, playing live or just the opposite? Would it kill all that spontaneity the Chile’s bands have?

In Chile there are great underground bands but we also have a lot of poser shitty commercial bands nowhere related to the real underground (like in all countries I think), but the reason for living in metal may vary a lot from person to another, since not only it depends on your musical likes, but it also, and most importantly, depends on how you manage to combine and to strengthen your musical likes with your own ideology and take it to the next level… 

Lately Chile has become a very strong country when it comes to metal music. I think because in the past, there were awesome and strong bands as well that help forge a healthy scene, probably because of being at the end of the world and somehow, being away from most of the trends of the open world forge our sound and vision… so in a way, that contributes to a very particular style applied to metal.

Moving to Europe would definitely help the band it terms of promotion, exposure, playing live, etc. somehow, living in a different country would obviously affect a band, since it changes the environment of people, so that may influence other aspects as well but is not all written, I mean always depends on the bands members and the ideology behind the bands.

  • Is it cheap and easy to travel over/through South America? How difficult is it, logistically and financially speaking, to fly/drive over from Chile to Brazil for instance, you know, to see some bands play live? The reason I want to know is here in Europe it is relatively easy and inexpensive to travel from one side to the other thanks to no-frills airlines and short distances. Also, it is a tradition here to go to other countries for so called summer festivals.

It’s a lot more expensive and difficult, actually I have only traveled (by air) once to see a live act to another country (Brazil actually), and it is not as easy as it is in Europe because of the distance and the offer is a lot worse. As I stated before, in Chile we are very much away from other countries and to travel by car is at least 3 days driving (almost non-stop driving).

  • In Europe, "cult" would be bands like BATHORY, SODOM, SARCOFAGO and so on. Is it the same in Chile or what?

Yeah, it’s kind of the same bands are the godfathers of the underground metal movement. I think it’s something going beyond borders and timeless classics that will remain forever as the originators…

  • Here in Poland, what we call "cult" bands are such crews as IMPERATOR, KAT, BETRAYER, old VADER or old PANDEMONIUM. How about Chile in this very context? Which Chilean bands are deemed cult among young metal UG maniacs over there, huh?

Yes, those Polish bands are bloody great and certainly come of them “cult” bands, as well others great bands as Exorcist, Magnus, Merciless Death, Mortal Slaughter, Scarecrow, Turbo, Xantotol, Armagedon, Egzekuthor, (Early) Hazael, among many others. Here we got our cults and classics too; acts like Pentagram, Atomic Aggressor, old Sadism, Totten Korps, Rust, old Torturer, old Death Yell, Darkness, Dominus, Inverted Cross, among many others…

  • And beside the above mentioned bands, any other you know from Poland? Any old zines too? How about other East Euro bands – ROOT, TORMENTOR, MASTER`S HAMMER, CRUX?

Of course those East Euro bands are great inspiration for us. I personally really like many bands form East Europe. The ones you mentioned are my favorite ones along with Tôrr, Aria, (early) Korrozia Metalla, Kryptor, Kruiz, Pokolgep, Amon Goeth, Assessor, Evil Blood, Tudor, Antichrist (hun) etc.. Also great band from other “exotic” places like Abhorer, Impiety, Nuctemeron. Pentagram (Tur), Heller, Annathema (ser), etc.

  • What is worth mentioning is FoD was formed back in 2001 but have released just two full length albums plus some demos, compilations etc. Personally, I do like such an approach, I mean it shows you`re focused on quality not quantity and are not trying to catch up with NUN SLAUGHTER, ha-ha. Isn’t it the right approach, to produce a small amount of well-executed and well-worked on stuff, what you think? Don’t get me wrong, NS is a good band, but flooding the scene with plenty of recordings of questionable quality seems flimsy. I would say one could compile maybe 2-3 full length album worth of all they`ve released.

Every band has its own way of composing. For instance, even though FoD has not released many LP albums during its lifecycle, all the songs created since the demos and ep’s and the albums are all different, so it’s been a reflection of arduous work as well. Also we believe that every song has its own aura an magick, thus recording again the same song corrupt it and changes it primal feeling.

I think that it all has to do and depends on inspiration, energies and other aspects…

By the way, nowadays we are recording our 3th album, so beware of this new revelation.                                                                   

  • FORCE OF DARKNESS have, so far, cooperated with a number of labels. Your current label is NUCLEAR WAR NOW from the USA. Tell us some more about this cooperation, I mean, are you guys happy with it and does it look the way it was supposed to. Inform us a bit on the previous labels of yours, DEATH DIVISION RITUALS or PROSELYTISM. Why did you split your ways? Were those contracts "one-night stands" (ha-ha) so to say, or you weren’t too happy with promotion etc.?

Actually, NWN is Wrathprayer’s current label, and since we produced “The Wrath of Darkness” split with them, we decided to work with their label, based on the edition we all had in mind… it doesn’t mean we are signed to that label. We have been currently working with Iron Pegasus from Germany, and also Hells Headbangers from the US in our latest releases.

Regarding the old labels we worked with, we will always show our gratitude for the importance they had at that particular time, and for their support given to the band.

  • I have always wondered why people participate in many different bands at the same time. For instance, does it mean, in your case, that FoD is not fully what you expect a band to be as for fulfillment of your ideas which, in turn, you utilize in other bands, like HADES ARCHER for instance? Please tell us some more about your other bands and projects you’re part of. How similar or different are these when compared to FoD (musically, lyrically etc.)?

Force of Darkness has its own and strong ideology and music genre, which means that even though many elements can be combined for our music creation, there are some boundaries within its identity, and as individuals, if one wants to innovate or simply try other elements in music, parallel bands is a valid option for us.

Similarities or differences? I think it is better to form your own opinion by listening to it.

  • Your music radiates with a huge dose of dark energy; one can surely feel how strongly the band is dedicated to music and how sincere they are. It is not just the stage-related image but an everyday element in your lives too, right?

Well, what we can comment here is that the band is committed to its ideology and its music, and we are evolving along with it with every step we take. Individually, each one has its own ideology, which is later merged collectively. The composition sometimes takes too much time because we need to be inspired to do so, is not just playing…

  • How do you cope with your everyday existence as this existence is of primarily Roman Catholic character? Your ideas and behaviour seem a bit different from these peculiar to the religion of the cross, right?

In South America the Spanish conquistadores brought the Christian faith, with all the shitty dogmas and belief moral systems, but that crap happened in more places around the globe, but to summarize, our culture is a mixture of internal and external traditions, which have been developed and embedded to the future generations.

Nowadays, being against Christianity and its lying system, it’s always complicated to cope with Christian morals in everyday life in a country ruled by Christian religions, and the new tolerant currents that invades us.

Since they’re embedded in our surroundings, government, etc. and they always try, directly or indirectly, governing people’s lives,  normally the best is just to ignore it and live our lives based on our ideology, and practicing our own values, irrespective of what other people may think. We don’t care about them as long as they don’t get in our way…

  • To me, the Chilean scene seems to be adored by devil, no doubt about it! Plenty of devil-inspired bands over there! FoD is the name that perfectly reflects what your music is all about! It reeks sulphur and hell itself like fuck! How do you get inspired? What inspires you?

We are very far from everywhere in terms of distance, which is probably one reason why the music sounds more ‘classic’, and as you say, it’s also to do with our mentality.

The left hand path is much present in extreme metal in our country, not only the devil but also occult forces, evil, witchcraft and other relevant subjects. We get inspired by the darkness as a whole and all its aspects, which encloses many fields within the left hand path… That is later mixed with our personal and collective ideology and then put into dark hymns.

  • Do you believe in any unnatural forces? If so, how do you think The Horned Lord looks like?

There are always forces and entities surrounding our lives and sometimes influencing us directly, so of course we acknowledge their existence… I don’t see the Devil (even though depicted) as the typical image with red skin, big horns and an arrow tale, but the icon itself may take many forms as we are all energy and a powerful entity can always become something else.

  • Well, some form of Gnosticism perceives Lucifer as a positive deity who is on friendly terms with man. Yahve was, contrarily, an evil and sly demiurge, the tormentor of the human race; quite the opposite of what the church claims. What do you think?

What I see generally is that most of these terms  (good/evil  or positive/negative) are used for one’s own convenience, and it is basically driven by one’s point of view – what is good for you may be evil for others and vice versa. For me, it’s all about the energy being transformed into different states; of course, since somehow we got the ability of thought we usually question everything, where we are coming from, what was or is our purpose in this life and so on, but most of the time we forget that our existence resulted from energy being transformed from another state, and we are just evolving from it and after our life cycle is over until we transcend.

Nowadays there are different views regarding Lucifer, “positive” and “negative”, depending on who is behind the relation of the subject. According to religions in general, mankind was meant to serve and obey the god(s), so on this point Lucifer represents an interesting concept of rebellion and questioning and disobedience that may inspire individuals to break their imposed chains of faith and free from their ways of ignorance and subduing…

  • Maybe it is not Lucifer, Satan or any other infernal creature that is responsible for all the evil there is? What power is it then? Or maybe it is man himself who is? It is always the easiest way to blame others instead of yourself, right? How do you see it?

We wrote some lyrics related to this matter several years ago and we have unearthed them for our forthcoming release. The song is called “Genesis of Evil”, and basically it reflects that evil is in our essence, and through the ages we blamed to the “gods” or “devils” for our disgraces, with different names along the years and cultures. I think there is something very real behind all this, and we have been masked it with different stories, names and archetypes in order to avoid our true devilish savage nature.

  • Your mythology is very colorful when it comes to presentation of gods. I was looking for some analogy to Lucifer, the one who brings light (or Satan, the ruler of Hell), but these myths doesn’t feature any of these. All I found was Pillan, the god of war who is able to unleash any cataclysm one can think of, and who rules over evil spirits. Does your culture not feature any hell- or demon-related deities? I am asking since even in the Mayan mythology there are demons like Ahpuh for instance.

Well, most of the pre-Hispanic traditions where banished and disappeared in the colonization process. So very few traditions, legends, poems, and script_ures resist the pass of time.  We certainly have more, but mostly are from the southern regions of Chile, I recommend to check some creatures like Cai-Cai Vilu, Trauco, Invunche, Pincoya, fuira, among many others.

  • What does the moment of death mean to you? The end of our existence or maybe the start of the journey to another world?

Well, death is obviously an important topic for us since it represents the end of an energetic cycle, and at the same time, the starting of another process, which is the rotting phase behind it… Spiritual death is even more interesting basically for its dark relationship with the soul annihilation and the chaos force pulling all the pieces together, taking back everything which belongs to it…

At the end death is something which sooner or later we will embrace, and, of course, the end of our conscious existence… Beyond life is a veil we can only speculate, but I think there is a plain beyond our carnal jail.

  • Have you ever heard the expression_ than hell itself is where we’re now in. How do you see it?

Yes, we’ve heard that expression_ many times. I believe it depends on how you view the world you live in. Nowadays some people are convinced the current world is hell or a test and depending on how you live it, you will have a reward in the afterlife. That, in turn, becomes a massive control system through fear so that the flock is not carried away… Personally, I don’t care about it, I’d rather seize my life as much as I can based on my ideals and my path…

  • Blood has always been a very important element used in religious ceremonies as well as occult practices. It is sort of a "spiritual currency" one can use to contact with spiritual forces; to strengthen the bond between man and deity or for other purposes too. I am not talking about human sacrifices or torturing animals but conscious bloodletting one can do in the case of certain rituals. How important is blood in your religious rituals?

Blood is always important, but there are other ways as well to connect with the spiritual world… I guess it will all depend on what kind of ritual is being performed and it respective purpose.  More reasons on this would be personal, but sometimes bleeding allows you to have an insight to the bearer of life (blood) and to take heed to how easily it can vanish if freed significantly. Basically blood is the fluid that gives us both, our life…and death…

 

  • What is your view on the following issue: replacing ritual blood with ritual art when making sacrifices? What I mean is to use your energy, time and effort to project it on a particular issue so you can achieve the same aim? Blood has always been a strong link between our world and the spiritual one – the bloody symbols were the light the ghosts use to navigate through up to our world. How do you see it?

On this I have nothing to comment rather than the acknowledgement of projection and suggestion based on symbols, which may assist the magician in achieving his or her goals. Blood can be an instrument, but is not the most important.

  • Ok, let’s get back to music, shall we? NUCLEAR WAR NOW did, last year, release a split with your country mates WRATHPRAYER. Can you please tell us some more about this recording?

Hell yeah!!! That split is one aspect we wanted to materialize when we reviewed the possibility to release it with our comrades from Wrathprayer since it combined two elements which were part of both the band’s names, and we saw that we could create something unique when it comes to an energetic manifestation… the result is The Wrath of Darkness!!!

This release I see not as  a “split”. For me it is a collaborated work within two entities in league with the dark.

  • The band is almost 18 years old. A long time, indeed. How do you perceive all those years? Are you happy with where you are now? How can you assess the contribution to the underground you`ve done, thanks to your music?
     

We are really satisfied and proud with what has been done and accomplished with Force of Darkness, and also with the evolution of the band and its energy beyond. As far as the band’s contribution to the underground is concerned, we only have a small idea based on personal experience and from all the support from the bangers in different places we have visited, but a third party involved in media may have a different view… What we can say is that the music style and energy of Force of Darkness has developed an unique match, so its materialization is an interesting contribution to the underground.

  • What does playing live mean to you? Is it a sort of ritual? I am not talking about the physical act of playing live, stage decorations etc. but its spiritual, hidden meaning?

For us playing live is a necessary ritual the band has to have, but we don’t identify ourselves as a band that plays much. We believe it is important to play live though, to keep the band’s spirit running and to share our energy beyond, through our metal music…

 

  • Your music is strongly influenced by hell itself as well as the old German scene (mid 80s). I can only suspect old KREATOR, SODOM, POISON or RUNNING WILD are still very important to you guys, am I correct?

You are correct on those bands as influences, but because we feel that in that time metal was made in a different way and passion. But there are many more influences for sure!!! Mostly heavy metal, black metal, death metal, thrash metal are part of our musical influences, and we could name a lot of bands we normally listen to, but the range varies a lot (among the ones not named above… Mayhem, Dissection, Satan, Angel Witch, Bathory, Sabbat (jap), Living Death, Slayer, Absu, Mortuary Drape, Tormentor (Hun), Infernal Majesty, Sacrifice, Order from Chaos and many, many others…)

  • If you could travel in time, where would you like to go and why? What would you change (in the world’s history) if you could?

If that would be the case, I would change nothing, but would like to witness the ancient events occurred in Sumer, Egypt, Mesopotamia and other civilizations… it’d be interesting to see how they lived and how their spirituality was and what sort of contact they had with the deities they worshipped… I’d like to see where ancient history was lost and the big lie was established…

  • Ok, that’s it, I think. All the best and thanks a lot for your amazing answers. Hails to the FORCE OF DARKNESS horde. Anything to add for our readers? Feel free, the floor is all yours.

Well, first of all, thank you very much for the support to the band. We are currently recording our third album and a new ep, both to be released this year (you will hear from us very soon…). We’d love to visit Europe sometime, so if there is any interest to make it possible, any interested tour related entity may contact us to our band email ( Adres poczty elektronicznej jest chroniony przed robotami spamującymi. W przeglądarce musi być włączona obsługa JavaScript, żeby go zobaczyć. ) or snail mail (P.O. BOX 17, Santiago 58 (Sucursal Grecia), Santiago, Chile, South America) and we will see what happens!!!

SICVT ERAT IN PRINCIPIO, ET IN SAECVLA SAECVLORVM…. DARKNESS SHALL PREVAIL!!

HAIL TO THE DARKNESS!!!

Paweł Wojtowicz & Leszek Wojnicz-Sianożęcki 

Poprawiony (piątek, 04 maja 2018 06:22)

 

NEKROMANTHEON INTERVIEW

Nekromantheon is one of those young bands in which I see great potential. Their work, strongly inspired by the oldschool scene of the eighties, captivated me with its power of expression. Necromantheon carries the fire of old glory of the Metal gods with extraordinary fondness, passion and devotion. For this reason I decided to bring you this unique band from Norway. Ladies and gentlemen, before you NEKROMANTHEON.

1. Hello and how’re you. Well, NEKROMANTHEON formed 13 years ago. A long time ago, eh? How do you see all these years now? Are you happy with what you`ve achieved so far?

Hello! Things are good here, right now I’m on my way to Portugal and the SWR Barroselas Metal Fest. 13 years, huh? Time flies, it doesn't seem that long. I guess I'm pretty happy with what we've done so far, but the best is yet to come.

2. Rise, Vulcan, Spectre was out six years ago. It’s been a long time since then, don’t you agree? I am pretty sure you guys have been busy with OBLITERATION, is this a correct assumption? How easy/difficult is it to deal with both them bands? And those aren’t the only ones you are involved in, huh?

Yeah, there's a constant, yet subtle battle for priority between the bands, as the members can obviously fully focus on only one band at the time. But we do have a good understanding and agreement in regards to rehearsal time, material etc, and we're not in a hurry. After “Rise…”, OBLITERATION released their “Black Death Horizon” album, and have just finished recording yet another album. I've recorded a new album for FLIGHT, and perhaps one for AUDIOPAIN too, we’ll see. We've also been touring a bit, both with NEKROMANTHEON and OBLITERATION, and I've done a bunch of tours with DEATHHAMMER. At the most I played in four different bands, now it's down to one and a half/two. Between jobs, families and life in general, it's hard to find more time to play music, even though we’d like to.

3. I do hope your silence is the proverbial "calm before the storm" and you`ll attack with your new recording soon, eh? Are you actively working on any new stuff, hey? Your lyrics have always dealt with mythology, how about this time?

Have no fear! We have about six songs ready for the new album at the moment, so we only need a few more before we can start recording. The lyrics aren't all done, but so far they are primarily concerning the esoteric, the subconscious, religion and decay. I try to maintain the concept with Greek and Roman mythology where possible, but sometimes it's better to just write whatever comes to mind.

4. Has you band name got anything to do with the (ruins) of the city of Parga in Greece which (located by the Ionian Sea)? This was the place when one was able to call forth ghosts, really! Have you been there yourselves? How does it look like? How did you like it? What kind of experience was it?

Yes, we took our name from that temple. We even went on an excursion there in 2009, to gather inspiration and impressions. The band photo on our “Divinity of Death” album is taken in the main chamber of the temple, if you wanna see how it looks. It was a great experience to wander in the river Styx towards the temple of the dead, definitely something we’ll remember forever.

5. Do you believe in after-life? What happens to a human soul after a human body dies?

There's really no such thing as a soul, and the mere idea of an afterlife is absurd for me.

6. And why the Greek mythology not the Nordic one?

Well, first of all, the Norse mytholoy has been the primary concept for waaay too many bands already, especially folk/black metal bands. We didn't want to be just another band who sings about ragnarok, and I was very interested in Greek mythology early on. They myths are timeless, deep, and often contain a profound wisdom. I want to express my thoughts about current topics using the timeless language of mythology, and the Greek myths are perfect for that.

7. Metal and devil combined together seem like a perfect blend to me. And this blend always result in something (sonically) good, for sure! What do you think?

Hell yes. Rock and roll is the devil’s music, for sure. You can't make good christian metal. But that doesn't mean that all you have to do to make good music is to sing about Satan - the music needs to have the devil’s power in it.

8. Your both albums are out through High Roller. Is We`re Rotting ep 2007 going to be re-released in the vinyl format? I am pretty sure plenty of maniacs would love to have it on 12``ep in their collection…

Yeah, it's actually been released on vinyl a few years ago, but sold out pretty fast. Duplicate Records is re-releasing it very soon, though. With bonus tracks!

9. How do you like vinyl releases? Do you listen to music in the vinyl format? What is your view on this current craze, I mean, the fact people have "re-discovered" vinyl as medium?

We all prefer listening to vinyl, and always make our albums for the LP format, considering which songs goes on what side, etc. I like the fact that vinyl is coming back, because it forces the listener to pay more attention to the music, and listen to the whole album instead of just skipping songs with the remote.

10. So, between your debut album and Rise Vulcan there were some "non-standard" split releases out. Can you please tell us some more about those recordings?

We were contacted by Relapse Records for a 7” series they made called “Speed ‘n' Spikes”, so we recorded two short tracks which turned out to be some of our favourite live songs. After that, we did a split with fellow norwegian thrashers AUDIOPAIN (that was before I joined the band). Lastly, we did a song for what was supposed to be “the new überthrash", a double 7” split called “Nekrothrash”. All the split songs are being released as bonustracks on the aforementioned “We're Rotting" re-release.

11. Back then, you guys played live a lot (with AURA NOIR, MAYHEM and so on). Such a pity you didn’t make it to Poland! Well, tell me whether there weren’t anyone here in Poland to invite you to come over and play live? At least one single gig, for fuck`s sake? I am sure you are aware there are plenty of ardent, diehard head-bangers willing to see youse live here in Poland.

I've never even been to Poland, and would very much like to come. I hear the headbangers over there are some die hard sons of Satan, but noone ever asked us to come. Please tell your promoter to contact us, so we can make it happen!

12. Your music is, in a word, a homage paid to old school thrash/death metal; fast and expressive music in the old-school vein. Damn, it is effin awesome, your stuff, so people oughtn’t to be surprised to hear strong POSSESSED, DARK ANGEL, SLAYER or KREATOR influences in it. How did it all go off? How did you get to start playing this kind of music, hey? And why and how did you go beyond just being a mere listener, I mean you started to create this kind of stuff? Please tell us some more, thanks.

Thanks for dropping those names, that's exactly the bands we want you to think about when you hear NEKROMANTHEON. We actually started playing black metal influnced by DARKTHONE, but as we started to discover more and more of the classic thrash albums we kinda shifted direction because we were inspired by the aggression in their music. At the same time, we wanted to keep the grim and evil feeling from the black metal sound. We just started jamming, and here we are now.

13. Please list the five most important albums that have shaped your music taste?

Ugh, difficult question. There are so many important candidates, but if I had a gun to my head, I would probably have to say:

SLAYER - Hell Awaits

DARKTHRONE - A Blaze in the Northern Sky

AUTOPSY - Mental Funeral

AURA NOIR - The Merciless (maybe not their best album, but very important for me)

KREATOR - Pleasure to Kill

14. Well, yeah. Norway stands for black metal, no doubt, but for some other genres too. In a word, a plethora of interesting crews who seem to be thriving in a broad spectrum of different music styles. You know, like your own projects, as well as GOUGE, DEATHHAMMER, CONDOR; and AURA NOIR of course, who’ve been active for the last 30 years. Why is it so? Why have there always been so many good bands in Norway? Seems like every second guy over there is involved in a band of some kind.

I wish I knew the answer to that question, but I'm afraid I have no idea. It might be that the music scene is so small, so that everybody who's involved will get influenced by everyone else, and likeminded people have no difficulty finding each other. Growing up so close to inspirational figures such as Fenriz and Apollyon was very motivating for us, as we could see that even a normal guy from the small town of Kolbotn could make this wild music.

15. When listening to your music, it stuns me how energetic your stuff is. Damn it, I am sure when played live your music blows fans` heads off. It`s pure head banging, this music of yours. I am sure you play music but also like to go and see bands play live too? Any good concerts you been to lately?

There's a new black metal band from Oslo called NACHASH, who did a really great show together with HENRIK PALM from Sweden. Check them both out if you have the chance! Also, NATUR from New York and ANTICHRIST from Sweden always deliver the goods.

16. I am pretty sure you guys "waste" a lot of time listening to metal music in a really maniacal way. What do you prefer? New underground bands which are aplenty or some sort of metal excavations, I mean digging in the past and discovering old, forgotten bands which, pretty often, recorded just one or two materials and disappeared? Anything you`re obsessed with these days? An album or a band….

I like both equally, but after digging for many years, I feel the most precious gems have already been found. How often do you stuble across bands like PARABELLUM, POISON or NECROVORE, you know? Nowadays I have a major kick on newer bands like MALOKARPATAN and VORUM.

17. Do you know of any other bands from Poland beside VADER and BEHEMOTH?

TURBO is great! And isn't KAT from Poland? What other bands do you recommend for us?

The VADER demos are insane, by the way. They still blow my mind every time I hear them.

18. Have you listened to JUDAS PRIEST`s new album – Firepower? If so, how do you like it?

I listened to a few songs, but I have trouble finding it interesting. They don't sound very inspired anymore, I’m sad to say. The feeling from the old albums (I prefer 70’s PRIEST) are gone.

19. As for JUDAS PRIEST; IRON MAIDEN, ACCEPT or SAXON aren’t these the very few old crews who are still fighting? Well, alas, these days, many "metal tycoons" have slowly been leaving us. The first lineup of MOTORHEAD (with Lemmy of course) is all gone, Ronnie James Dio is gone too. ACDC`s lineup is crumbling down as well. Time is merciless, isn’t it? Still, their music heritage is undeniable. These metal gods are immortal. But is the music created (by young bands) these days going to be immortal too? What do you think?

You're right, these guys will be eternal gods of metal, regardless of what they are doing now. I find it hard to believe that the bands of today will make as much impact, because we're all inspired by MAIDEN and MOTORHEAD in some way, and they have already made such a huge mark on the way we listen to and think about music. Maybe some bands will stand the test of time, but it's hard to tell which.

20. Well, we`re living in quite disturbing times, don’t you agree. The Islamic expansion is getting more and more palpable, in Scandinavia too, I presume. Is it a serious problem over there, huh? I would say what is going on in Norway now is similar to the Christianisation of Norway in the ninth century. Is it dangerous? How does it look like? How do you deal with this issue?

Despite recent immigration from muslim countries, atheism is on the rise in Norway, and for the first time the non-religious outnumber the religious people. I don't fear muslims any more than I do christians, but of course all organized religion is a serious threat to a functioning society. The best way to deal with it seems to be to encourage critical thinking and secularism.

21. Ok, that’s it, I think. All the best and thanks a lot for your amazing answers. Hails to the NEKROMANTHEON horde. Anything to add for our readers? Feel free to add anything you feel like, the floor is all yours.

Follow the white rabbit.

NecronosferatuS

 

MATTERHORN INTERVIEW

MATTERHORN has been conceived in late fall of  2012. The story incepts in the suburb of Zürich, where the bandplayed on instruments for the first time. Morbid, Nekrokingand Tim Tot then have deeply bound for equal interests leading to limitless voyages and try-outs in music; aiming to play the most evil and heavy music, sincerity strengthenedeach other’s will to master their newly needed and started instruments and getting away from being musical novices. It seems to be a certain decree that the band stays in the formation of a trio with no line-up changes since the beginning. Regardless whether awkwardly situated personal states or the surrounding negativity would hinder the stiff climb, all other personal paths were quit. They strictly defined their conception and semblance until the direction of MATTERHORN has crystallized out, deeply embodying the Metal-DNA to an original form to fit very personal songs dealing with lyrics attempting to be the purest achievable at the time. Rehearsing each day has shown clear results: Eventually, their musical understanding, also emotionally, would’ve grown-up to new, broader and a more integral and differenced views of their music. Violently running through a harsh and radical process of rewriting and quashing most of their material, MATTERHORN came to be a permanent vision of life – as the very first professional musical actualization for the band’s members. A crass release: Without leaving any demo or EP behind, the three reached the need to exhaust the past with a debut full-lenght

After having shared the stage with acts BÖLZER & URFAUST on their first professional live show, the trio was trained to record the first album being entitled « Crass Cleansing». Personally allegorical for the longed relief, and artistically as a synonym for the latter days. The band entered the Studio Nord Bremen in late September 2017. The debutant act is a product of what the band was working on for years, what they anticipated the most. And at the time of recording, the group could not have possibly done anything other – violently strove for recording a classic as an aggressive youthful rebellious start to blast them all away. Searching for darkness and heaviness in diverse and sometimes almost morbidly comic shades, the constant search for more exceptionalism is their sheer life purpose.

Yet unsigned, the group intended to release « Crass Cleansing» as a limited first version on their own; due an urgently required relief from its horned matter, for reaching out and already being enabled to storm the stages to shake the world heavily! After breaking out of isolation as quite a solipsistic band, the group measured with reality for the first time and thus became delusional with an immense enthusiastic drive: The music was still less heavy than needed for fitting with their dark personal content, the second coming will be much more ripe – the newer material already shows the band’s capability to advance towards an outstanding and inventive group – The Future is already conceived and begotten!

« Crass Cleansing» will be advanced to completion by two remarkable bonus tracks ‘Crass Cleansing’ and ‘Bydying’. MATTERHORN’s further future will seamlessly continue after the release of Crass Cleansingin 2018, ensued by live appearances and their second full length, to be scheduled for early 2019. Infinitely variable ways of the deepening darkness and new approaches are conceivable.

 

1.Hello. Frankly, I was surprised to get your promo stuff in the vinyl format. Does it mean Crass Cleansing will be finally out on vinyl too, which is, in my view, the noblest of media?

The vinyl will be out byend of May and available over Iron Bonehead Prod. Looking forward for this interview, it’s anappropriate replacement behavior and I already start to feel less agonized now having this confrontation in your killer zine! Haha! Hope it’s not getting mistaken for being dogmatic nor moralising.

2.The noblest of media is vinyl, no doubt about it! Of course, this is the music itself not the media this music is on, which is of utmost importance, right?

Today’s youth defines itself rather with the playing device than the music I guess. It would be the only reason for the shitty sound they adore that I can imagine. So it is with the media too, for me, if the music is good I like to listen to it in any way.Mostly when I’m out, therefore not in physical form.

3.Further, these days, old and classic media like tape or vinyl are back. These releases are really professional and look awesome. Seems like time has come full circle; in other words, people have understood that mp3 or other electronic types of media are kind of "soulless", hey?

Also it sells better than mp3.

4.Is there anything better or more pleasant than listening to music from vinyl, holding in your hands this huge envelope with cover art and the lyric sheet, during this very special ritual? This is the best way to waste your free time, don’t you think? Still, music played live is even better, I think, hey!

Or you can have a band, hey…?!In that case you don’t have time to waste, and anyway surely not with music. That’s not even possible. When I do listen to music it’s mostly because I don’t want contact in any form, shut off the world and the people around. So there are likely some occasions. It’s important to listen to anything and I’m thankful for all the music in the world for inspiration, likeHante or Le Mystère des VoixBulgaresor my most recent metal findings,Panphlage or DNS.

On the other side, when your life is full of consuminglymusic day in day out, you too start to appreciate the gratitude of cheerful silence.

5.Well, I will tell you man I was really excited when I got your Crass Cleansing as this stuff just reeks of CELTIC FROST influences which I fucking love! They are true gods of deadly metal! How did you start your obsession with Warrior and his crew? You`ll have to admit these guys are one of your main influences, right?

Yes sure, but if comparingends up inbeing disabled tolistenthoroughlyto our very own music, then I find it rather reducing. I say that because we often hear this and think that it simply belies all other aspects and our own expectations. And it too, belittles Celtic Frost for you must have not understood their work truly to compare it to ours. But other than this it’s a big compliment to us, being associatedwith a band we love andfeel to understand deeply.Needless to say, that we are huge followers of this unique group and can only wish to reach their greatness. And if we may share a similar artistic intent or so it can be resulting in similarities, like the similar emotions we evoke, but they just aren’t really aging and getting old too, or?

Also, CF is simply part of the game, I mean that there are only few bands that aren’t inspired by them–it’s relating to the very basics of Metal. What is way more remarkable to name would be for example VedBuensEnde, Arckanum, Mortuary Drape or Type O, or non-Metal related music like DutchHardcore, Feindflug or ambient stuff from Akira Yamaoka or anything from the black scene that is deeply inspiring to us.Although, most of the inspiration comes from the inside.

Our newest material already shows, that on our second album, one can find more inventive and advanced songs.The band would be for nothing if we would stop working on our very own style and sound etc… A lot of people would like that, but we hate it. Who wants to be that guy that is taking credit for others' achievements? We were too solipsistic and isolated in our cellar to realise that people may connote our album with other bands…

6.How do you like Tom`s TRIPTYKON by the way?

Not everything appeals to my liking,which isby the wayapplicable to many other bands too. Also there aren’t many albums where I like each single song on itand I find that they haven’t done that yet–for me personally, that’s an important quality. But still, I was rarely thatshattered emotionally as I was during their performance, when relating to the pain reaches the climax and ‘Winter III’ starts to play...

 

7. METALLICAhave recently put up on their website Procreation of the Wicked(performed by RobandKirkin Switzerland in 2018). Did you see them live by the way?

We have seen it on screen lately in our band room. We weren’t there, as we’re not the typical Metallica fans. I have found it done very poorly. He even misspelled the band’s name. I think these people just do what their PR-assistant is telling them just to appear more likeable, and giving the locals the feeling of beingunderstood and that they’re interested, but that’s what sharp tongues may say…I see, this is going to be a Celtic Frost interview thou.

8. As for me, I was depressed when I was checked out the link to the above mentioned song. Well, seems like even biggest stars can fuck up such masterpieces as this immortal Procreation of the Wicked. Well, it is nice such guys as METALLICA want to cover a song like this one, but the way they did it wasn’t too good. Didn’t do CFany good, for sure.A hard lesson for METALLICA, don’t you think?

Like what I said before. I must admit that I never really got into Metallica anyway (alas) and that I’ve seen worse. There’s a video of them performing ‘Nothing Else Matters’ and it seemed all too obviousto me that they were using autotuneor something. I think it was the Arènes de Nîmes show they played recently. But it seems also that no one cares too much about that too. People eat everything these days. Look at us …

9. Do you perform cover songs when playing live shows? What are your favourite ones? Spill the beans, please.

No, we only play our own material. But I can tell that we are very eager to perform a cover soon, but it would have to be our very own interpretation and an unconventional rendition of the song. If we will have time on stage and the situation requires it, then of course we play such a cover.

Telling you that a cover of a Snakefinger song will be on our second album which is begotten in 2019, being entitled ‘Humanima’,is not given too much away.The other content will anyway halo overthis little announcement. So there we hav it, the special info spoiler part, haha...

10. You guys formed in 2012 but haven’t recorded anything until March 2018. Why did you decided to record an album instead of a demo or 7 inch for instance? Are you happy with the final result?

Not really happy but less cramped. And more drifting into the deepening darkness, as the result is way less heavy than expected and needed to fit our content. But we became delusional with an immense restless drive to create something more inventive and relevant now. The punk and youthful start has its eligibility due to the material that arose from when we were young and we’ve always found it to be cool to have it this way. On the other hand we wouldn’t have had an option as well to be honest, as we still can’t play or call ourselves musicians yet. But we’re happy about the fact that we’re not strained nor debilitated under the ballast of old material which is finally justbygone.

11. This album is self-released. Does it mean there was no label interested in releasing such awesome music? Or was it pure intentional, you know, to stay independent to the max?

Neither. We did it how we’veenvisagedlike it would function this way, so to say we didn’t know any better,speaking of a band that was really isolated and turned inward at that time. But we knew we would need something that would introduce the band properly and that we just would have one chance not to fuck up someone’s first impression. We didn’t want to be a band like any other around us, that only rotates around itself–not to get into the circle of local heroes, we wanted to skip a lot of what leads to nothing. But also we paid the price for having not recorded a demo and thus can’t rely to a spectrum of experiences and ripening... We always knew that it had to be a full-length. Unconventional maybe, but we needed something real to take with us on shows.

12. The booklet of yours is really impressive and features some concert photos. Tell us about your recent shows, will you? Do you play live a lot? What bands have you played with by the way?

Our last concert was when we were opening for Bölzer and Urfaust, which we consider to be our first real show. This was where we were near to what we are now. We’ve played two more times before that, but with a very different set and it was not to be taken seriously. I mean even less seriously.

13.the Swiss scene, not as big as the German/Teutonic one, has always been (since the 70s) very influential when it comes to extreme metal; and found a very good starting point for heavy metal – like KROKUS for instance which attracted attention of metal brothers from all over the world. same for the bands from the 80s - HELLHAMMER/CELTIC FROST, CORONER, MORDOR, CARRION ,SAMAEL; these bands are well recognizable and pretty renown among fans. And even these days, there are plenty of good, original bands in Switzerland–TRIPTYKON, DEATHCULT, BOLZER and you of course. In a word, old school metal in Switzerland is doing really good. Tell us some more about your scene, please.

Unfortunately I can’t say anything about the scene, because I’m notpart of it (alas). But the question is anyway if a scene nowadays is actually still necessaryand important at all, because it has not the same duties like back then. But like I said, what do I know… Like all outcasts are talented observers, I too have seen too much to become keen on getting part of anything anyway. But you’re right, there are many talented young bands arising, way more than what you mentioned.

14. Well, summer means summer metal festivals plus some smaller or larger live events. Are you going to show up at any of these?

There are some things planned yes, hopefully we will. Would be great the Polish metalheads would have us too!

15. Talking about the master Warrior again. when Leslaw Dutkowski interviewed Tom bout HELLHAMMER as their blood insanity ep was about to be released, Tom mentioned briefly he`d like to reactivate HELLHAMMER for some live shows, in a purely non-commercial way, of course, with a bunch non HELLHAMMER related musicia ns which would take place at the site whet the old bunker was located. Youknow, the bunker in which the band used to rehearse in the 80s. There is some new building now. Do you have any more info about all this?

We’re apparently not them, how am I able to answer this?

16. Well, to please their fans, TRIPTYKON have been performing more and more CELTIC FROST/HELLHAMMER tracks. I don’t know about you but to be able to listen live to such tracks as Necromantical Screams, The Usurper , Circle of the Tyrants, Into the Crypts of Rays, not even mentioning HELLHAMMER`s tracks is something exceptional. Tell me man, what is so special about these tracks that they`re still so powerful, and can, after all those years, have a huge emotional effect on fans?

If a song passes the judgement of time it is because it has a relevance for every generation from anew, one can always project his own ghost and way of thinking onto it. I think the huge emotional effect is linked to the narratives, history and bond due the fact that fans of CF’s work are extremely faithful, maybe the most loyal too. Now they live from what isgiven andwhat haspaved the path by a band that wrote these songs in the 80’s.

17. Well, time to wrap up. What do you want me to wish MATTERHORN in the future?

That we will stay ourselves. That cliché spokesman advice became suddenly important and got a total new meaning to me when we’re facing to join the game, which can affect what you do, or how you behave yourself immensely. Like that whole image and promotion things, we can’t relate to. After our shitty show at the Chaos Ritval, a young girl was interviewing me about why we would not go for having a facebook appearance and building up an image etc. like all the others. I didn’t knew what to say because we never thought of it. Of course we had to learn how it works and apparently we also have a facebook page (Arrgh), only because we didn’t want to be to cool to have one. What is very important to us now: We want to prepare a good live set / favorite jokes list for shaking the world heavily.                                            

18. All right. Thanks a lot for your answers. Anything to add to our Polish maniacs? Take care.

What we want to say to you is thanks for having us in your mag and for the interview. Hope it’s not misinterpreted too many times as one big joke. Don’t laugh at us for we are just bad persons. We hope to delight our Polish friends when giving them ourmany reasons to die.

-Morbid

NecronosferatuS

Line-Up: 

MORBID – vocals, guitars, NEKROKING – vocals, bass, TIM TOT – drums, percussion

Links:

http://crass-cleansing.com, https://www.facebook.com/CrassCleansing, https://matterhorn.bandcamp.com/

Contact:

MATTERHORN

P.O. Box 318 CH-8603 Schwerzenbach

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Poprawiony (środa, 02 maja 2018 06:33)

 

HOLOCAUSTO INTERVIEW

Holocausto is certainly one of those bands no one who is into the old school stuff could ignore, for sure! Since their participation in the historical Warfare Noise compilation and their debut, the excellent and controversial “Campo de Extermínio”, they are godfathers of War Metal and one of the oldest extreme bands from South America. After some experiences with different musicalities in the 90’s, they stopped for some years and came back in full force in 2004, with the basic “De Volta ao Front”, but it took more 12 years for them to find their ideal sound again. Now, after the release of “War Metal Massacre” by NWN in 2017 and with their original line-up alive and kicking again, they are ready to conquer the world with their tank of destruction. So, it’s surely worth stopping what you are doing now to read what they have to tell about their past, present and future. With, the mighty Holocausto!

 

  1. Hello, Rodrigo! It is an honor to be able to interview one of the members of a seminal band like Holocausto, whose history surpasses the 30 years and is intermingled with the genesis of the extreme metal in Latin America! Are you all right?

Rodrigo: It's a pleasure and an honor to give this interview to OLDSCHOOL METAL MANIAC, comrade Cristiano! We stand firm in this increasingly obscure third world country and in this increasingly intolerant and belligerent world! We are in war!!!

  1. Well, how is it for you to be here after so much time still answering interviews to talk about something you've created as a teenager? I think it's kind of a personal victory to realize that your creation from that era still makes a big noise in the extreme music scene, right?

Rodrigo: It is a motive for a huge pride to know that a work that we have created continues to be revered to this day and above all in a still relevant way. It has been 30 years since the beginning of Holocausto and the world has not changed much at this time, terrorism is still present, wars continue, as well as killings and genocide. It is almost incredible how we evolve in technology, science and other fields, but in the field of understanding between nations we do not move on!

  1. By the way, how old were you when you started Holocausto in 1984? What about the other members of the band? Back then, did any of you imagine the band would have such an impressive longevity?

Rodrigo: We were between 14 and 16 years old, and we honestly did not know if we would be alive the next year. We were young people from the outskirts of Belo Horizonte and all social problems affected us. We had nothing. It was hard times when there was a kind of curfew in the city. There were no people on the streets after a certain time of the day. There were the lack of jobs, the police violence, and so we gave a kind of FUCK OFF to all of this! Without hope ... without fear !!!

  1. At that time, having a band was a kind of youthful dream, even though we thought it would last forever. However, this has become a reality for bands such as Holocausto, which have been able to continue fighting, although with a huge effort, in the underground. How do you see this situation?

Rodrigo: As I said earlier, we were young people marginalized by the extremely religious society of our state, we were invisible and oppressed by the government and music provided us with an opportunity to shout loudly in protest of this daily oppression. At that moment, music was our life!

 

 

  1. By the way, what are the differences between that Rodrigo in his teens and the Rodrigo of today?

Rodrigo: There are many differences, my friend, the accounts of the abuses are beginning to arrive, the occupations and consequent responsibilities are greater, but I still try to keep intact the cultural and musical resistance.

  1. Talking about the past, I find that only a few people know about the origins of Holocausto with a group called Asmodeu. Can you tell us about the beginning, who were the members of the band, if recorded something etc.? How and when did this band turn into the Holocausto we all know?

Rodrigo: Asmodeu lasted very shortly, just a few rehearsals and we never recorded anything. Basically it was me, Valerio Exterminator trying to play something like Hellhammer, Venom, Bathory with some guys ... I remember all sorts of crazy guys coming up for the band's tests, including an ex-guitarist and a drummer who had just left from the madhouse!

 

  1. The Minas Gerais scene at the time was very prolific (even today, in fact), as far as the São Paulo scene. However, it seems to me that the MG scene was more brutal, more influenced by hardcore. Do you agree with that? What other elements would have contributed to this difference?

Rodrigo: I totally agree with you. The references of the punk bands from Finland like Rattus, TervetKadet, Riistetyt, also Discharge and Sacrilege from England and even the punk of the periphery of São Paulo, like OlhoSeco,Brigada do Ódio, Ratos de Porão were very present. We were also too fucked up, we had nothing, the future seemed a very distant thing and I think that contributed to this sonorous brutality.

  1. Which bands did you hang out with at the time? In addition to the "big" ones (Sepultura, Sarcófago, Mutilator, Chakal, Witchammer etc.), there were many other smaller, but equally powerful groups like Anarchus, Sepulchral Voice, Placenta, Insulter, Megathrash ... What led BH to have so many bands like that?

Rodrigo: We got along well with everyone but it's also worth mentioning Aamonhammer, Freax, Attack Epiléptico, Prepúcio, RIV, Impurity, Offensor and Exterminator among others. In my view, it was a rebellion of the youth against the establishment of an ultra conservative and religious city.

  1. Well, Warfare Noise compilation was a major landmark in the history of the international extreme metal scene and certainly it was very important to Holocausto. How did the invitation to participate happen and how do you evaluate this importance for the band?

Rodrigo: At the time, we shared the rehearsal place with Chakal in a rotten garage in the Alípio de Melo neighborhood on the outskirts of BH and Korg (Chakal’s vocalist) worked at Cogumelo Records. He introduced us to João and Patty and from there came the invitation to make a demo tape. We recorded the song “Massacre”, that is one of the last compositions of Marco Antônio, our bass player who died drowned in a camp on carnival. The result was devastating and so we were called to record Warfare Noise.

 

 

 

  1. At that moment, you chose to sing in Portuguese, something you also maintained on the first album, the legendary "Campo de Extermínio". Why did you prefer to use your language instead of singing in English, something that was already common among the bands of the time? Likewise, why did you decide to switch to English on the next album?

Rodrigo: It was very natural to sing in Portuguese, because I could not speak English. From the beginning it sounded very good in the rehearsals and we decided to keep it. In the next album, it was another aesthetic, another project in which we wanted to show that we were not nazis, so we chose to sing in English.

  1. The debut album was very influential for most of the scene, including for me, both in the musical and visual aspect. I even wanted to have those hairs that you had on the back cover, hehehehe! I guess you did not even think that this album would have such a big impact and probably you didn’t even bother about it. Am I right or did the band already have a professional ambition at the time?

Anderson: You are quite right, the band never imagined that this album would be so successful and become a classic. There were no ambitions to grow professionally, but only to enjoy the moment and create the extreme songs, to present chaotic shows and to show the brutality of this work alive.

  1. What I think that is cool about that moment is that, although the Minas Gerais bands were walking similar paths, each one had its own sound. To what do you attribute this uniqueness to each group?

Anderson: Yes, at that time each band had its influences and its way of seeing and living the world. Maybe our social conditions influenced a lot, because not everyone had the same conditions as having good instruments and so the songs were created with what was available at the moment.

  1. What did you hear at the time of the first album? In other words, how did you come up with such a peculiar musical formula? Was it the product of these same influences or that famous lack of experience, which often contributes greatly to originality?

Anderson: We listened a lot to Slayer, Sodom, Discharge, Destruction, DRI, Black Sabbath, Motorhead and so many other bands of the time.

Rodrigo: I believe that not being able to play was a very important factor for the development of that unique sonority.

 

 

 

  1. Certainly, you must be already tired of talking about the Nazi polemics that involved the band because of swastikas and lyrics of the past. Anyway, could you tell us a little bit about this? What did the use of swastikas mean to you? Currently, do you think it would make sense to keep this symbol associated with the kind of metal you make?

Anderson: We used that look only to mirror the theme of the “Campo de Extermínio” album and also as a way of protesting against everything and everyone in the world and it is also worth mentioning that at that time it was not prohibited as today in Brazil. The prohibition only happened in the new Brazilian Constitution, signed in 1988. Today there is no sense in using swastikas, because we are also talking about war in its more general sense, the horrors of wars.

  1. Did you ever have problems because of this gratuitous association with Nazism? Are there people who today believe that Holocausto has something to do with this stupid political vision?

Armando: Although we accepted an invitation to play in Germany, despite the fact that they feel ashamed for the old Nazism, they managed to understand that we do not make any apology of Nazism, but rather we just report old events of World War II.

Anderson: In Brazil, even today some people think that Holocausto is a Nazi band and some shows were canceled because of this kind of rumor.

  1. Another polemic that is, in a certain way, associated with the theme of wars is that of who created the so-called War Metal. In my opinion, the first band to speak openly about the subject in the extreme scene was Holocausto, with no shadow of a doubt, but not everyone agrees. What do you think? After all, when did the term "war metal" start to be used?

Anderson: Well, Holocausto,since its original formation, always talked about wars and, because of that, Mark, Chaka’sl guitarist, gave name to our style like War Metal and this term persistsso far.

Rodrigo: It is worth mentioning that we were very influenced by Sodom's “In The Sign of Evil” and also by “Antes do Fim”, by DorsalAtlântica, that already used war themes in their songs.

 

 

 

  1. The next album, "Blocked Minds", featured a more thrash metal sound and many people understood (including me, I confess) that there was an attempt there to achieve the same success achieved by Sepultura. Today, decades after that, I see this issue in a very different way. So, I would really like to know what motivated this change and how you see that issue nowadays.

Anderson: The departure of Valério would be one of the reasons, because the new guitar players entered with new proposals to make a different sound and from there we changed even the way of singing. Today the type of music proposed by “Blocked Minds” has become more up-to-date in terms of sonority.

  1. Why did not "Blocked Minds" achieve the same success as the "Campo de Extermínio"? Likewise, the subsequent albums also did not have the same popularity. Was the public not yet prepared to absorb the musical proposal of Holocausto?

Anderson: We believe that people did not like to change much and the music has changed so much that it seemed like another band.

  1. There was even a clear aesthetic change in these later releases, right? To what do you attribute these changes?

Anderson: It was nothing more than new experiences only to see what could happen.

  1. In 1993, after the release of "Tozago as Deismo", the band decided to quit its activities. What happened at that time that tookHolocausto to an end?

Rodrigo: Actually we ended up in 1994, when we completed 10 years of band and basically it was a feeling of frustration and impotence, because there were many disagreements with the record company.

 

 

 

  1. Well, despite the end of Holocausto, you did not quit the music, right? Can you tell a bit of this experience of playing in bands like pexbaA and others in the meantime? Do you think this musical diversification has contributed to your personal and musical growth?

Rodrigo: At that moment, I decided to set up a collective of anti-music called EscolaMineira de Disfunção (EMD) and to continue searching for new ways to play.pexbaA is one of EMD's projects and it also lasted 10 years and recorded 3 albums.

  1. After more than a decade without playing, what led you to resume activities with the Holocaust in the 2000s?

Anderson: It was a very casual encounter and the idea to play again just came up or at least try to play. From that point on, we were gradually recovering the sonority of the 80's.

  1. It seems that, after experimenting with a series of different sonorities, you wanted to go back to basics with "De voltaao Front", a rather objective album, so to speak. Why?

Anderson: We were trying to rescue the point where the original formation had stopped. “De voltaaoFront” was the beginning. Nowadays, with “War Metal Massacre” we hit the point of origin.

  1. Speaking of other projects, I know that you also play in the hardcore band CertoPorcos, which makes an amazing music! Could you tell us a bit about this band for the readers who have not heard of it yet?

Rodrigo: CertoPorcos is a band I formed with my childhood friends. We always met and played some punk bands like RDP, Cólera, OlhoSeco, Spermbirds, Flipper. So we started to compose our own songs with a metalpunk sound. We released our first album “Hate 666” by Cogumelo Records and just released a split with Agathocles.

  1. For you, has hardcore always been there, side by side with metal, among your preferences? In fact, does it make sense to separate these two genres, considering that both seem to have influenced the extreme scene equally?

Rodrigo: Yes, these references are of equal value to me. In fact, I am an aficionado for music, be it blues, rock, heavy metal, industrial, as well as erudite music, jazz and avant-garde.

  1. Well, last year, "Campo de Extermínio" turned 30 years old! It's quite a landmark, right? What do you feel when you realize this and all the relevance of this record?

Armando: “Campo de Extermínio” portrays the gathering of efforts of musicians of the classic musical line-up of Holocausto. This musical essence continues today in Holocausto, because currently we are with the same line-up, Rodrigo F., Valério Exterminator, Anderson Guerrilheiro and Armando Nuclear Soldier, and always in a continuous process of improvement in all aspects of the band. Holocaustoconcerts today recapture the energy of the 80's, the look of the 80's and the musical brutality of that time in the present day. In other words, when we look back, we observe a time when the most extreme bands of extreme metal emerged, we decided to continue with the same sound and the War Metal theme.

 

  1. And how did the invitation to record "War Metal Massacre" happen, which another masterful record in the career of Holocausto? Why the decision to go back to the band's musical roots? Did the return of the original formation contribute to this decision?

Rodrigo: First, there was an invitation from Nuclear War Now to participate in an edition of the NWN Fest in Berlin. Hence, came the idea of releasing new material from the band. As a result of fate, we were able to join the initial line-up that recorded the compilation Warfare Noise and so we decided to re-record the 3 songs recorded by this line-up in 1986, which are Destruição Nuclear e Escarro Napalm, from Warfare Noise, and Massacre, the first official Holocausto’s composition of the demo-tape, and we recorded 3 new songs with the same line-up in 2016.

  1. I imagine that the old fans enjoyed this comeback, but I also see that there are many new fans celebrating the music of Holocausto. Isn’t it crazy to see people that were born years after your first records to be here today enjoying the band, including these old releases?

Anderson: A lot of the audience is formed by people of our time that go to the shows to go back to the time, but the interesting thing is that there are a lot of kids that are appearing at the shows and enjoying it a lot.

  1. After so many years involved with the underground, how do you see all the changes we have been through since the old days? What is worse now and what has improved?

Anderson: What really improved was the better access to musical instruments, which was more difficult at the time. What got worseis the segmentation of the scene and so the total audience has fallen a lot in terms of numbers.

  1. You've been doing some live concerts in Brazil, right? Are there any plans to go to Europe either? Is there any chance of playing in Poland? I'm sure the Polish would love to see Holocausto live, hehe!

Anderson: We are preparing a new album and, of course, some gigs have happened. Europe, whenever we can go, for sure we will be there! As for Poland, we still hope to play over there, it would be great!!!

  1. I read in another interview that you are also recording a new album. How is this process? Will the music follow the aesthetics of "War Metal Massacre"?

Anderson: We are preparing the songs and it will really be in War Metal style, but the intention is to do better.

Rodrigo: The new album will be called“Diário de Guerra”. Some song titles, such as OcupaçãoHostil, Prisioneiro de Guerra and Pelotão da Morte, reaffirm our purpose in making an extreme War Metal album! It is practically composed and being arranged to enter the studio in the second half of this year.

  1. Why do you think it is still worth continuing in this underground life to this day, considering all the difficulties of maintaining an extreme metal band? After all, do you think it was worth facing all the adversities?

Rodrigo: Personally, for me music is as essential as breathing. It is my addiction, my “alcohol” and it keeps my sanity. It has always been difficult and it still is in the present. I do not regret anything on this path and I would go through it all a thousand times.

  1. Finally, I would like to repeat a question I have asked most of the bands I interviewed, especially the bands that already have a legacy. How would you like the Holocaust to be remembered in the future?

Rodrigo: As one of the most extreme bands in South America!

  1. Well, thank you so much for your attention, my brother! I leave this final question open for your last words or for something that you find important to add and that I did not ask.

Rodrigo: We thank you a lot, Cristiano, maniac of the fucking Necrobutcher and Antichrist Hooligans! Thanks to OLDSCHOOL METAL MANIAC and all the metalheads of Poland! The war tank marches again on the war front! The victory will be ours!!!

Cristiano Passos

Poprawiony (wtorek, 15 maja 2018 11:12)