Interview with Evemaster

1.-Hails, Jarno! What’s up in cold Suomi? 
Greetings Andreas. Actually we are having quite warm autumn although it is far away from what you have there in Spain.

2.-Evemaster is (yet) not a very well known band. Could you speak about the band’s history?
We formed this band in August 1996 and we recorded our first demo “In Thine Majesty” in the end of year 1996. Yes, we know that we did our first demo quite fast, but T.Mykkänen had some kind of picture and some ideas for this band almost two years before it was possible to form EVEMASTER. The demo itself got very good reactions from the underground and we got few interesting answers from 3 labels. All went a bit deeper with KTOK Records, so we recorded our 1st full-length CD to them in February-March 1998. A note to people who think that we used two months to record the album: We used only weekends, so it took all in all 9 days to record the album. The result was very good in our opinion and the reviews we got so far approve that as well. Here we are nowŠŠŠ.

3.-I’ve noticed that there are only two people playing in the band. How do you manage to write the songs since you two only have a microphone and a guitar? 
Yes, you are right. It’s not the easiest thing to write songs when you don’t have a real band with which you can rehearse and arrange those tracks better. All honour about our songs goes to the other part of Evemaster, T.Mykkänen, who has done all the songs, lyrics and played guitars, programmed drums and Synths. Although it took much, it is also very free to write songs by that way. I have usually some effect to the arrangements to the songs and of course I try to create something special to our music with my vocals.

4.-How would you define Evemaster’s music if had to explain to anyone who has never listened to Evemaster?
Well, I think it´s just metal with dark feeling. I would not describe it as black metal, because our lyrics are not dealing with satanism and stuff like that. We try to create music that has a lot of atmosphere with moody melodies and harmonies combined with aggressive elements.

5.-What is the meaning behind “Evemaster”? 
Eve word in our name means eve of the nightŠthe time of day, which is dark and very atmospheric like our music. We don’t our music to be called as black metal, because it is not the whole truth. We have a lot of more. Master word is just to describe that we are masters of our own music.

6.-You seem to invest much interest in your website. In how far do you think the WWW can help an underground band to be known? What do you do on the Net to promote your band? 
Yep, of course we want to put much effort to our home page, because in the future the web will be used more and more to spread the information of everything. And as we wanted to have a home page, we wanted them to look as good as possible and include as much as possible information about our band. But to be honest, web isn’t everything we have, because I think people still read more likely the normal magazines etc. We have sent a lot of promos and most of them have gone to normal paper magazines. We have on our home page everything you need to know about our band.

7.-You use many song titles in Latin. What does Latin so attractive to you?
Tomi: Yes, it really seems that way…. well, don’t know actually ’cause I haven’t thought about it really. Maybe they’re better sounding and cooler… ? Well, I have some ideas for new songs already and they aren’t in Latin… Maybe should come up with some interesting names for the next album too…

8.-By the way, my fave mankind age is ancient Greece and the mighty Roman Empire. Which is yours, and in which age and place would you have loved to be born? 
Although I like to read about ancient Greek mythogies and stuff like that I wouldn’t like to born there, because did they have stereos, CDs, computers or metal? No, they didn’t. So I rather stay were I am now.

9.-Your vocals are quite passionated and quite Swedish-styled. Is that done in purpose? Do you feel yourself to be influenced by the Swedish extreme metal scene? 
Done in purpose? No, never!!! I don’t want to sing just because I want to sound like some one else. To be honest, when I started my “vocalist career”, I got my influences from Mille of Kreator and he used to sing that way much before this “Swedish style”. As you can hear, I don’t sound like Mille, because my voice has developed during the years. I did my first projectŠI think it was somewhere in 1991. I have also noticed that voice varies a lot, because of the style of metal you singŠif you sing the songs that have a lot of emotion like our songs, it is so natural to add more emotion to the vocals as well.

10.-What are the things that inspire you to write the lyrics. They are quite “ethereal” as for its meaning is concerned… 
Tomi: The main inspiration is my own feelings about what I see and feel and think. But I can’t deny the fact that I’m a Finn and proud of it and the whole way of living here is a big inspiration for me. The whole ethereal-thing comes from the fact that I don’t want to write those straight forward, to the point lyrics at all. I try to give listeners something to think, you know?

11.-What are your views towards religion? 
I am very neutral about all of these religion questionsŠwho wants to believe something, believes. I rather just believe myself and all the things I am doing, but as I said before everybody should have a opportunity to choose their religion by themselves when they are old enough to do independent decisions, and not for example by their parents.

12.-Ok, close this interview as you like most. Kiito kaikesta! 
– Eipä kestä kiitos vaan itsellesi. (My pleasure, thank you!). Everybody that are interested in us should visit our home page from address: There are a lot of info about our band, samples, lyrics, etc. Visit there and sign the questbook. Our Lacrimae Mundi CD is available from us, send in 80Fmk/16USD to get it.


Interview with Macabre Omen

1.-Geia xara, EvilDark! Ti kaneis?

XAIPE! I`m fine thank you! just got back from England (I`m studying there) and i`ll stay here for the whole summer! I`m not really into warm weather but I think I can last with it for the next 2 months because of the ammount of women that come to Rhodes for vacation… Excellent!

2.-You are involved in some projects (Macabre Omen, Ancient Tragedy > Zine, Daimonion Productions…). Could you explain them a bit?
Aye… Macabre Omen is my band. We have released some demos from which the only one which is still for sale is “Olympus”. We also released a split 7″ with Godblood (Cyprus) via my label Demonion Prod. About my label, I have released 10 demos and 3 7″. I also have a massive mail order list so don`t hasitate to check my site for more info! Finally, Ancient Tragedy is my zine. I released 2 great issues (colored) with the 2nd one being a fine piece of art containing some 40 interviews with The Blood Divine, Impaled Nazarene, Marduk etc. Unfortunately I stopped the zine for the moment because of lack of time. I still work as a co – editor in 4 – 5 other mags / zines so that`s cool too!

3.-Concerning Ancient Tragedy Zine, only two issues have been released. > Why haven?t you released more issues? 
As I said before, because of lack of time. I still do get a lot of promo cds etc but I always review them in the other mags i collaborate with (i.e. SEVENTH SIGN mag, ILL LITERATURE mag., WINTERTOD zine, FROZEN HELL `zine etc). I also have a sub – site in my homepage with only reviews so give them a look!

4.-How did you contact the bands you wanted them to appear on the ATZ?s compilation tapes? Did all bands you requested say ?yes? to your suggestion? Did any band say “No”?
Well, i have contact with a lot of people, bands, labels etc so that`s not a problem! In the begining people weren`t that impressed and some didn`t give a shit… after the success of the 1st issue bands were sometimes beging me to get in the zine and THAT IS NOT A LIE…

5.-I’ve read by there you have a new writer at ATZ, a member of Tatir. Is it true? Please explain…
well, he just made 2 – 3 interviews and that`s it. never saw him from then!!!

> 6.-In the beginnings ATZ was just a zine for Hellenic bands. Why did you leave that idea and included foreign bands?
Just for the first issue! We wanted it to be something special and we did because people from outside got a wider look on what the hellenic scene has to offer!

7.-Daimonion Productions was supposed to be a distribution list, but now you have also begun releasing some stuff (tapes and 7″, as far as I know) Are you satisfied with the response from the underground to your releases? Which band you deal with has been more succesful? How many > copies has this band sold?
I`m very satisfied. People like my work and I appreciate what people do to me! The Keep of kalessin (Norway) demo was very successful (they have now released a killer cd on Avant Garde!), the Lethargy (Hellas) demo (no cd out on Throne Prod.), the Macabre omen / Godblood 7″ and the Drutentus (Hellas) re release demo! All the other demos sell well, and i`m sure that i will manage to sell more copies in the near future! i support all bands with the same level…

8.-You study in England. How do you manage to work for your customers since they write to Kremasti?
Hah! that`s the power of the demon in my mind… Nah, actually i`m every 3 months back to hellas for vacation, so i answer the mail with a bit more delay. My parents also come to england here and then so there`s no problem i guess!

9.-Your Daimonion Productions? website heading refers to Socrates. Why? What do you think of the ancient Greek philosophy and thought (that, as Hellenism has become the basis of European civilization, European civilization has become Western civilization and Western civilization has become the whole world’s civilization, their spirit (“daimon“) still lives…
I`m facinated on the way Socrates was thinking and making things complicated to the ones he was talking with! I also like to read books about philosophy and stuff. Plato has some nice ones and some others too. Ancient tragedies are great too and i think that everyone should read the works of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides. The ancient hellenic philosophy and thought lives only in the spirits of the true ones!

10.-Having so many underground tapes, which ten tapes / demos bands would you choose to recommend a BM fan to listen to?
ok, here we go (although 10 are not enough for me):
KEEP OF KALESSIN – Skygger Av sorg
WARLOGHE – The black Tower
MITHOTYN – promo 96
JACKAL` S TRUTH – Dominus Silvae
MOLOCH – Cutting Holy throats
DRUTENTUS – In Frigidis Silvis
WALHALLA – War over Nordland

Some of these bands already have cds but a demo is a demo and these 10 kick ass!

11.-You call Macabre Omen?s music ?melodyc and mystical Rhodian black metal?. What the hell does this mean? 🙂
Well, it means melodic and mystical Rhodian black metal! Haha! It`s our term to describe our music man!

12.-Could you tell our readers what do the lyrics of Macabre Omen deal with?
They combine personal feelings and thoughts with themes from the ancient hellenic mythology and history. Our lyrics are quite unique in comparison with other bands that deal with ancient hellenic stuff because we don`t worship these gods, neither any form of deity like the others do. Gods are for weak individuals! (Well, Alex, I don’t think the old Vikings or Hellenes were weak… …and they believed in the gods! In fact, the gods are a source of strength and might!!! -ed)

13.-I see you?re quite influenced by ancient Greece. What is your opinion on it?
It`s our culture, it was once destroyed and I`ll try to reborn it (not all characteristics though). I hate christianity… it`s the worst form of religion and you can see that by reading any part of mankind`s history!!! I`m also fascinated by the ancient hellenic art (theatre, poetry, philosophy, painting) and culture (way of living).

14.-What do you think of neo-paganism? Do you think we will be able to revify the religion of the ancient Europeans and concretely of our proud Greek ancestors?
I don`t think we can do that but we might keep a balance. Nowadays christianity looses a lot of followers so that`s something too. However, i always follow my path and try to be what i am… and not follow other organizations!

15.-You?re releasing all your works (demos and 7?) through your own label Daimonion Productions. Haven?t you sought a deal in other labels? Don?t you think it would be better to send your promos to labels in order to reach a deal? (If you have already done this, I don?t know)
Well, so far yes… but the new Macabre omen will definitely be out on a serious label! Hope we get a deal soon!

16.-Now two controversial questions…
Rhodes is quite close to our biggest enemy?s borders: Turkey. What do you think? Do you feel safe there? Many problems occur there because of the aereal and maritime borders…

I know that and I hate that! I don`t panic or am frightened by them… i hate turks because they destroyed us in the past and there`s no possibility we can ever live eaceful together. Not all Turks are the same and i`m not a fascist if i talk with an individual turk, but as a race and a country i can`t say that they are one of the best on the globe!

17.-If you were called on to join the Hellenic army in order to fight against Turkey in real warfare, would you join? Would you mind killing a person in case of warfare? Which political strategy do you think best to be applied to our relationship with the turks?
i`m not that much into politics… i`ll join the army only if i don`t have to cut my hair and if they don`t treat me like shit but like a proper individual being! I actually ahte the army because i don`t like others to tell me what to do as if being some kind of slave! i`m not an anarchist as some might think but the way the army is today is not reasonable…

18.-Ok, that?s all. Feel free to end this interview up…
Well, thanx a lot for the support! Keep up the good work from where you are! Support the true underground! It`s not that hard… there`s almost nothing left of it!


                                c/o Alex Antoniou (Evil Dark), 
                                       Agiou Ioanou 6,
                                       Kremasti 85104,
                                       Rhodes / Hellas

email :
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Interview with Ochros Iskios

1.-Hails, Iskios! To start off somewhere, could you introduce with a few words your band Ochros Iskios? What is exactly Ochros Iskios?

Ochros Iskios was started by me as black ambient / darkwave project with all music made exclusively with computers. I started the project at the same time as my black metal band HYDRA, in late 1995. I created Ochros Iskios because I felt that I had some music that only would suit with synths. But some of the Ochros Iskios music was first arranged for guitar in HYDRA, but later I changed it so it would suit in the Ochros Iskios songs. When you hear the forthcoming HYDRA demo “POLEMOS” you will recognize some music from Ochros Iskios. The influences of Ochros Iskios are quite varied but I usually say it’sa mix of N.A.O.S. and Ordo Equilibrio, judge yourself.

2.-So far you seem to have recorded 3 demos (Makedonias, Achaia and Efthanisia). Could you speak a bit on them and which are the concepts / lyrics behind them?

Basically it tells about stories about every of these locations. Eftanisia is about legends and myths from the seven Ionian islands. That’s why you can hear a litlle folk influence on this demo. Achaia is about the proud men and warriors of Achaia, that’s why I’ve got marching drums in every song of that demo.

Makedonias tells not only about Filippos and Alexandros land but also about the recent quarells with the ex Jugoslavians.

3.-Ochros Iskios is a one-man band. Why is this so? Moreover, how do you manage to do it all yourself? I know technology plays an important role in it all …

Ochros Iskios is a one man band because there can only be one Iskios. Everything is made with one computer and the most of music just comes to me when I work so then it’s just to type in the music.

4.-My fave song is “Achaian Storm”. Could you tell us how was it born, and what is the meaning of the song? Is it in any way a tribute to the legendary Achaian warriors?

“Achaian Storm” is also the song I’m most satisfied with and the main melody was something that I had played with for a while on the guitar. Then I played it on piano and realised that it was sounding very good. Later I found out that it sounded even better with marching drums. The rest of music was just something that came to me while I was writing the song.

5.-It seems to me that you’re extremely influenced by mighty Hellas. What are your feelings towards Greece?

I see Hellas as the cradle of culture and the birth of western civilazation. I don’t want to write my poltical opinion here, as I have recieved lot of shit after my statements about the Turks on Cyprus.

6.-Moreover, how do you foresee the future for Hellas when so many incidents and conflicts happen so oftenly around Greece with Turkey, Cyprus, Albania, the ex-Jugoslavian republic of Skopje (who claim to be Macedonians)?

I think that the Cyprus question will be solved some time. First of It’sa Greek Island, the Cypriots speek Greek, but in 1974 or when it was the Turks got the idea to invade Cyprus beacuse the turks of Cyprus felt threatened. Anyway if the Turks want to become a member of the European Union (EU) they will have to release Cyprus that’s said by someone, I don’t remember who it was. But when will Turkey be able to become a member of the EU? Their human rights are a joke. Military everywhere, even on the beaches. I mean how fun is it to take a swim when there’sa drunk Turk with a machine gun watching you. But Turkey and Greece will not start a war, you see both countries are members of NATO. I don’t think NATO would allow any of it’s members to fight eachother. In the Albania question I’m not so well informed so I don’t to say something in this except that there’s coming more and more albanians to Greece every day. If Albania wasn’t so fucked up as a land Greece should invade it, it was once ours. In the Macedonia question we all know how it is, these skopje clowns are fakes. They have nothing with our ancestors to do. And the idea that they wanted the sun found on Filippos coffin is a fucking joke. They have nothing to do with it. Macedonia – 3000 years of Greek civilization!

7.-By the way, one of your songs is titled “Makedonias”. It is a very repetitive and monotonous. Was it done in purpose to create an aetherical atmosphere or what?

The whole demo is very monotonous, and that’s because I was in that mood when wrote the music. I believe that music should be lengthy to get the right atmosphere.

8.-I know that you play along with Ochros Iskios in several other bands. What are their names, and what kind of music do you play with them?

Well first of all, we have HYDRA. This is my greek black metal group in which we play primitive black metal, some say it sounds like a little more melodic than Darkthrone. The remarkable thing about HYDRA is that we don’t use any keyboards, acoustic or clean guitars or clean vocals. It’s just extreme black metal. There has been various line-up changes, but today it’s as follows: Iskios-guitar / backing vocals, Dusk (from Siebenbürgen) – vocals. We are the two stable members of HYDRA, then we have a session drummer and bass player.

The second of my bands is NATTFROSSA. This is the group which I lay most of my time on. We play folklore metal with female vocals. Two demos has been released and a third will follow in the Autumn.

Then we have DIMNESS, a Death Metal project started 1993, later it turned more black metal. Nowadays we hardly ever rehearse, but it’s said that we will release a last Death / Black demo which will kick ass for the lord.

At last we have our drunken metal project FUNERAL FUCK, we play bloodcore, with bad music and musicanship and that’s beacuse we are drunk we record. Anyway it’s fun.

9.-You seem to be a die-hard black metal fan. What does black metal make so special in your eyes? How do you see the scene?

Well, I can’t say that I’ma diehard BM-fan. As first of all I’m no Satanist, I’m an Atheist and I can understand Satanists as I also dislike christians and I see those as the weaker ones. But I am a patriot.The black metal I like is (Of course) the Greek one. Especially Agatus, Zemial, Legion of Doom. Otherwise I don’t like international black metal that much. With the exception for Darkthrone (Nor) and Sigh (Jap) which are two fucking great bands. The scene is quite fucked I think with a lot of shitty bands. Anyway other great metal is German Kreator and Accept, that’s what I call metal.

10.-What about the future? What are the next moves for Ochros Iskios? Maybe looking for a deal?

Actually I don’t know for how long I will continue with Ochros Iskios as I dont feel any inspirations for making this kind of music anymore. But this will probably change when the summer’s over. I think I will send the Achaia demo to some companies, maybe “Cold Meat Industry” or something like that.

11.-Ok, that’s all. Close this interview as you like most, and may the gods be with thee.

Thanks a lot for the interview Andreas, and remember …. The Members of the HYDRA order recalls: “If you choose to criticize, you choose your enemies. “

Interview with Nightfall

Ok, here is my interview with one of the best bands in the well-known (yet still undervaloured) Greek scene. Nightfall have become the flag of their label Holy Records and their last album overpassed all expectatives, so i decided to ask these questions to Sir Efthimis Karadimas, the mastermind behind this great Athenian outfit…1.-Geia xara, Efthimis! Ti kaneis?

2.-Well, first of all let me ask you about your last album “Lesbian Show”: By the release time of “Lesbian Show” you said you expected it to sell about 20,000 copies. Have you already achieved it? Do you know how many copies have already been sold?

2.-“Lesbian Show” has many connections with sex. What are your views on it? Do you think Christianity has satanized sex because of its judaic roots? Our kinfolk Indo-Aryans conceive sex as a medium by which reach divinity…

3.-Moreover, do you think (like me) that paganism fits much better to our nature than Christianity, and that paganism helps man to live in accordance with mother Earth while Christianity (along with Judaism and Islam) is the antithesis of this “kinship” with Nature?

4.-On your website appears an article written by you on the relationship between man and the divine. Can you summarize it in a few lines?

5-In the article you oftenly refer to authors like Jung and LaVey. What are your views on them? Are you interested in philosophy? If yes, which is your favourite philosopher?

6.-What do you think of the Nietzschean idea of the “übermensch” (“overman, a man whose moral is beyond good and evil”)? Do you think it exists, it can exist, or it has ever existed?

7.-In that interview you said and I quote: “My aim is to learn everything”. Do you still wish to be omniscient? How can one try to be that?

8.-Talking about culture, which do you think is the reson why we all Greeks feel so much pride of our blood? I know that by mythology we’re descendants of our fathers the gods…

9.-By the way we speak on gods, in “Macabre Sunsets” you have a song dedicated to “those who didn’t betray the Byzantine empire by leaving it to the hands of a fake god” (more or less, since I don’t have the booklet here right now). What does this sentence mean? Do you consider the Greeks who converted (or were converted) to Christianism as “traitors” since they abandoned the elder gods? Who do you blame for bringing Christianity into Hellenia?

10.-In an interview with Italian mag Grind Zone you said: “The Greek civilization doesn`t exist due to Catholicism”. Could you explain this sentence? Did you really mean “Catholicism” or simply “Christianism”? I know that before the cismas (Arrianism, Orthodoxism, Protestantism…) Christianity was homonymous with Catholicism (I’m sure that you, since you are Greek know the meaning of the word “Catholicism”…). Moreover, which Christian branch is less bad: Orthodoxism, Catholicism or Protestantism?

11.-Let’s change the topic. As far as I know, you belong to the so-called “Temple Of The Vampyre”. Could you explain what is that about?

12.-What do you think of legendary band Rotting Christ? Do you see yourselves as in competition with them in order to be the band number 1 in Hellas?

13.-Rotting Christ have played in America. Will we ever see Nightfall in the other side of the Atlantic? Have you thought about it?

14.- By the way we speak on playing live, do you like touring? Are you still underground enough so as to travel by van / coach? Do you like it? Any anechdota to tell our readers? 

15.-Unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to see you live in my hometown Barcelona. A couple of months ago, though, it was planned to play in Barcelona and then in Madrid, but finally you only played in Madrid with Avulsed and another band. How was the gig? What do you think of the Spanish audience? Can you point out the best European audience? Why? And the worst one? Why?

16.-By the way, the rating I gave to “Athenian Echoes” in the reviews section in my webzine was 9.9 with this closing comment: “They don’t reach a 10 because perfection is impossible”. What do you think?
YOU’RE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! (Hehehe… Well, it was well deserved, really! -ed!)

17.-Let’s finish this exhausting interview with kind of a game: Say a short comment on each of these geographic places:

Ilioupolis:OLE TOO!
Mount Olympus:THE REALM…
United Kingdom:OPEN MINDED?!

Weird, huh? Yes, my interviews are very particular…

18.-O.k., that’s all. Evharisto, file Efthimis 🙂 Please close this interview….



Entrevista con Gunther Theys (Parte I)

Bueno, aquí está la entrevista que le hice a Gunther Theys, mi auténtica alma gemela, de mis dioses particulares Ancient Rites, posiblemente (junto con Burzum y Necromantia) la banda más inteligente del black metal. Esta entrevista fué definida como “la entrevista perfecta” y la mejor entrevista de la historia con Ancient Rites en la web oficial de la banda belga, así que lo que tenéis aqui es un auténtico lujo…

Hails, Gunther! Cómo va eso en Bélgica? 
Saludos Metallykon! Cómo va eso en Bélgica? No tengo ni idea! Hace un mes que estoy en Alemania trabajando con Ancient Rites en el nuevo álbum. Nuestro productor está en Internet así que éste es el único vínculo que tenemos con el mundo exterior. El chico responasble de la página web de Ancient Rites y del e-mail me va envíando el correo recibido. Por la noche chequeo los mensajes recibidos así que aquí estamos.

Bueno, no es necesario decir que dado que estáis grabando vuestro nuevo álbum estos dias algunas preguntas se referirán a eso, así que… Antes que nada, sabéis ya el título y la fecha prevista de lanzamiento?
El título del CD es “Fatherland”, y saldrá en junio.

Qué hay de las canciones? Cuántas canciones teníais ya compuestas cuando entrasteis en el estudio, y en qué dirección van? Sabéis ya títulos/conceptos? Hay alguna mejora, arreglo o concepto que valga la pena que sepan los lectores?
Por supuesto que teniamos material preparado cuando entramos en el estudio pero mucho de él ha sido rearreglado. Nuestros productores son músicos de mucho talento (que trabajan en un campo musical completamente diferente del nuesto), y son muy exigentes. Cada nota debe chequearse dos veces. Realmente es un trabajo duro, pero absolutamente vale la pena! Estoy conveencido de que es una manera bastante inusual de trabajar para los músicos de nuestro estilo. Habia un buen presupuesto de estudio, lo que se ha traducido en un tiempo casi ilimitado para grabar. Se pasa un montón de tiempo en los detalles. Como sabes, tenemos una nueva formación, los nuevos músicos tienen mucho talento y aman sus instrumentos, así que esto se refleja obviamente también en la composición. El sonido y la producción es el mejor que hemos tenido jamás. Siempre intentamos mejorar con cada lanzamiento (sin renegar del material previo de A.R.) y creo que lo hemos conseguido de nuevo. Se ofrece mucha más variedad. Los conceptos son aún típicos de A.R., dedicados a la historia antigua y medieval y al lado oscuro. Todo se presenta de una manera más profesional y madura. Me gusta el hecho de que tenemos partes medievales en las mismas canciones mientras que en el pasado estos toques sólo estaban presentes en las intros, outros e intermezzos. Las canciones son más compactas. Algunos títulos de canciones son “Fatherland”, “Dying In A Moment Of Splendour”, “Rise And Fall (Anno Satana)”, “Aris” (el antiguo dios de la guerra griego), por mencionar algunos.

Sobre la grabación misma, cómo va? Podrías decirnos cuánto tiempo pasaréis en el estudio? Estáis satisfechos con el presupuesto de la Mascot?
Como dije antes, realmente fué un trabajo duro, frustrante a veces incluso, pero eso nos empujó a niveles musuicales superiores. Dado que no había la presión del tiempo creo que no tenemos ninguna razón para quejarnos del presupuesto. Supongo que aún pasaremos una semana más en el estudio para la producción.

Aparte de tocar en Ancient Rites, también tienes un proyecto paralelo llamado Danse Macabre con Magus Wampyr Daoloth, Sothiris de los Septic Flesh y Mortiis (ex-Emperor). Hay nuevas notícias? Cuál es la situación ahora mismo de la banda, y cómo lo hacéis para escribir las canciones dado que vivís en tres países diferentes?
Las primeras canciones de Danse Macabre fueron grabadas en Atenas con Sothiris y Magus hace algunos años pero nunca vieron la luz del día porque el sello para el cuál las grabamos cesó de existir. Por un tiempo el proyecto estuvo congelado pero yo sabía que la saga continuaría. Mascot se interesó por sacar un CD full-length así que cuando el guitarrista Jan “Örkki” Yrlund de Finlandia (ex-Prestige / Two Witches / Lacrimosa) se unió a Ancient Rites le pregunté si le gustaría continuar el trabajo con Danse Macabre, se mostró de acuerdo y pronto entranmos en el estudio en Holanda para completar el álbum. Varios músicos invitados aparecieron durante la grabación. El álbum de Danse Macabre saldrá el 13 de abril. Encontré interesante la idea de colaborar con músicos que nunca se han encontrado. El álbum se llama “Totentanz” (En Alemán, “Danza de la muerte” -NDR) y salió muy bien, lejos de nuestras bandas principales de Metal, pero la esencia (la oscuridad) es la misma. Danse Macabre es nuestra manera de expresar diferentes instintos musicales, otro tipo de oscuridad. No es un problema el que vivamos en otros países, encaja pefectamente con el carácter transeuropeo de Danse Macabre. También actualmente en Ancient Rites hay músicos de diferentes países que deben viajar muchas horas cada semana sólo para los ensayos: un guitarrista vive en el norte de Holanda, el guitarrista finlandés vive en Amsterdam, nuestro teclista de sesión es de origen griego/austríaco. La dedicación que una banda necesita. Mortiis no participa en Danse Macabre, con él tengo otro proyecto que está congelado durante un tiempo. Su contribución está preparada pero está por el momento en espera en Grecia.

Ya que hablamos de MWD, qué piensas del EP de los Necromantia “Ancient Pride”? Y, en general, qué crees de las bandas que mezclan música folk con un pensamiento ultra-nacionalista?
Aprecio el trabajo de Necromantia por su originalidad. Demasiadas bandas hoy en día se copian las unas a las otras en nuestra escena e incluso llegan lejos! Por lo menos Necromantia es una de las excepciones. En lo que respecta al folk y al nacionalismo, es un poco natural que cuando uno toca múica tradicional se refiera a sus ancestros. Yo también siento orgullo cuando pienso en mis ancestros, las tribus celtas y germánicas o el Flandes medieval. No creo que sentir un cierto orgullo por la propia cultura tenga que llevar a odiar otra cultura. Por ejemplo mi cultura difiere mucho de la helénica (tú crees? Ambas tienen el mismo origen indo-europeo!!! – NDR) pero eso no me impide apreciarla y alabarla también. Todo el mundo es hijo de su gente y lo veo como una cosa positiva el cultivarlo pero esto no debería llevarse demasiado lejos. Por supuesto que uno se identifica con ciertas culturas más que con otras. Por ejemplo creo que es una lástima lo que sucede en Oriente Medio donde los fundamentalistas/terroristas musulmanes masacran a todos los que no encajan con su causa. Así que asesinan terroristas, sin embargo lo encuentro incluso aún más extraño cuando incuso masacran sus propios pueblos, donde vive gente islámica! Siria o Egipto tienen una historia tan rica, y brillantes civilizaciones de hace miles de años, una lástima que hoy en día estos países (por mencionar sólo dos) estén tan guiados por la religión. Realmente impide el desarrollo. No siento ninguna simpatía por esto porque se lleva al extremo. Cuando viejé al Norte de África, hace unos años, ya sentí la animadversidad hacia mi. Obviamente no encajaba con lo que ellos tienen en mente (por suerte! -ed!)

Aparte de Danse Macabre, tú también participaste como músico invitado en el álbum de los Thou Art Lord “Eosforos”. Cómo fué? También compartistéis un split 7″ con Thou Art Lord que fué sacado por la Molon Lave Records. Cómo fué de exitoso? Por otra parte, sabes por qué desapareció la Molon Lave Records?
Pasé un montón de tiempo en Atenas y en una ocasión estaba jusnto a Mika de Impaled Nazarene. Conozco a la mayoría de la gente relacionada en la escena helénica (desde el rock hasta el grind), así que la gente de Thou Art Lord nos preguntaron si apareceriamos como invitados en su álbum. Realmente fué muy bien., en el estudio las voces tanto mías como de Mika fueron tomadas en dos intentos. Ahora los Thou Art Lord están buscando discográfica, así que me preguntaron si podía hacer algo por ellos. Así que contacté con nuestro sello, espero que firmen con ellos porque realmente valen la pena, aunque al final no depende de mi. George (Osmak, el chico de la Molon Lave -NDR) realmente era un gran chico. Bebimos un montón juntos, así que le echo un poco de menos cuando estoy en Atenas. Él llevaba esa tienda de metal underground en el centro de Atenas donde organizaba fiestas de bebida y comida durante las horas que abría. Una locura total. Una vez estaba tan borracho que empezó a destruir su televisión e la tienda y lanzaba su máquina de fax y al final asaltó su mesa con un martillo. Esa fiesta realmente explotó, incluso vino la policia. Recuerdo que una vez compró toneladas de confetti y estúpidos sombreros y organizó una fiesta de carnaval por todo lo alto en agosto, a las tres de la tarde en su tienda! Sólo éramos tres invitados y toda la gente que entraba en la tienda se podía unir a la fiesta. Recordamos ese split EP por él porque nos ayudó a organizar nuestro primer concierto en Atenas y realmente se preocupoó de nosotros. Aún éramos una banda muy desconocida (con sólo una demo y un split en la calle) pero él se arriesgó a llevarnos a Grecia donde acudieron unas 400 o 450 personas. Molon Lave era un sello muy rientado al underground asíq ue decidimos apoyarla un poco y estuvimos de acuerdo en grabar una canción para él sin dinero de por medio. Eran los dias en que los valores del underground aún importaban, mucho antes de que el black metal se convirtiera en una moda manufacturada y basada en principios comerciales. George decidió acabar con la Molon Lave y con su tienda porque durante 10 años había intentado que las cosas funcionaran, realmente hizo mucho por el undeground griego, pero nunca vió ningún progreso. Su distribución nunca mejoró ya que las compañías más grandes controlaban el mercado y el se encontraba como clavado en su pequeña tienda sin ver sus esfuerzos recompensados. Era un inmigrante esloveno que no había estado en su casa desde hacía 10 años. Un dia me dijo que lo dejaría todo y que se mudaría a los Estados Unidos después de visitar a su familia en Eslovenia. Nos dijimos adiós y deseamos que nos vieramos de nuevo. La última noticia que tengo de él era una postal que recibí de Eslovenia diciendo “Hola, hijo de perra, saludos desde casa!”, después se marchó a los Estados Unidos y nunca más he sabido de él. Intentó levantar una discográfica ahí pero me parece que no le fué bien en un país donde el underground está incluso más desecho. Una lástima. Era un chico albsolutamente divertido, un poco loco pero el mejor amigo que uno pudiera imaginar, por lo menos para mi. Siempre listo para una broma… (o dos).

Antes de sacar el split 7″ antes mencionado vuestro primer trabajo como Ancient Rites fué la demo de 1991 “Dark Ritual”. Sin embargo, en vuestra bio se dice que los miembros de Ancient Rites están en el undereground desde los primeros 80. Es verdad? Qué hicistéis entre 1982 y 1991? Tocásteis en otras bandas? 
Los Ancient Rites fueron creados a principios del ’89. La demo salió en 1990. Los fundamentos de la banda radican en 1987/88 cuando Philip (nuestro primer guitarrista que murió en accidente de coche) y yo tocábamos con distintos músicos para empezar una banda que al final nunca funcionó ya que esa gente no estaba interesada de verdad en nuestro estilo. No debemos olvidar que el Black Metal no era nada “guay” entonces, era lla época del hardcore, los días de la Bay Area. Una banda vestida de cuero con cruces invertidas y letras satánicas no arrastraba a nadie. Es verdad que empecé mi carrera musical en 1980. Toqué en distintas bandas pero nunca llegamos a ninguna parte aparte de unos pocos conciertos. En el ’84 intenté formar una banda llamada Necrophlia (ya sé que no es un nombre muy original) y toqué con varios músicos pero la formación nunca se completó y los constantes cambios de line-up tampoco ayudaron nada. Nadie estaba interesado en el underground belga y demasiado jóvenes e inexpertos como para buscar músicos en otras ciudades. Era un sentimiento de aislamiento total. Entre 1980 y 1984 toqué en bandas extremas del underground, eran unas letras muy misantrópicas combinadas con un sonido que podría ser comparado a los primeros Discharge, primitivo y brutal. Aún me gusta esa clase de material. Los miembros de Ancient Rites vivian en otras ciudades e intentaban hacer sus cosas pero tenían que encarar los mismos problemas. Es es xtraño ya que frecuentemente íbamos a los mismos conciertos pero nunca nos encontramos ya que nunca habíamos sido presentados. Me acuerdo de haber estado en uno de Sodom en que Walter tambiénestaba pero no nos conocíamos. Hoy hay músicos de Ancient Rites de diferentes países: el guitarrista Erik (ex-Inquisitor) vive en el norte de Holanda, el guitarrista Jan “Örkki” Yrlund (ex-Prestige, Lacrimosa, Two Witches) es de Finlandia aunque vive en Amsterdam y nuestro teclista de sesión es de origen griego/austríaco y vive en Holanda. Todos nosotros debemos viajar horas cada semana para ensayar pero es posible hacerlo debido a nuestra dedicación y a tener coche. Hubiera sido imposible hacerlo sin tener vehiculo propio y sin tener la reputación que tenemos en la escena. Ahora los Ancient Rites son conocidos y eso facilita el atraer músicos de donde sea.

También pareces ser un buen amigo de Mika Luttinen (voceras de los Impaled Nazarene). Puedes hablar un poco de tu relación con él? Es verdad que oficiaste de padrino en su boda? Nunca pensé que un enfermo cybersadosatanista como Mika se fuera a casar… Fué la boda por la Iglesia de Satán o qué? 
Pareces estar extremadamente bien informado!!! Eres miembro de la Seguridad del Estado o un detective privado? (Bueno, Günther, ya sabes, yo también llevo mucho tiempo en el underground… -ed) Sí, fuí su padrino de bodas. No se casó por la Iglesia sinó en el Ayuntamiento [De dónde? De Helsinki o de Bélgica? (Mika es finlandés pero vive en Bélgica…)] Después hubo una fiesta con sólo 5 personas invitadas (incluyendo a la pareja de recién casados). Mika está enfermo pero nos llevamos muy bien. Él simplemente no le importa una mierda lo que la gente pueda pensar de él, tiene muchos enemigos a causa de esto pero no le importa. Hace dos dis él estaba aquí en Alemania en el estudio con nosotros para aparecer como vocalista invitado en el remake de nuestra antigua canción “Fallen Angel”, decía que su aparición nos costaría muchos fans. Mika pidió esa demo en 1990 yle molaba mucho así que pensamos que sería interesante pedirle esta canción.

Me sorprendió el leer que tú hacías de pintor y de diseñador de ropa. Podría explicarnos esto? Me pregunto si tú eres también quién diseña el merchandise de los Ancient Rites… Aún lo haces o ya puedes vivir de la música? 
Ganaba mi buen dinero haciendo eso pero ahora Ancient Rites necesita toda mi atención. Mi posición finaciera no es tan buena como antes por haber elegido la banda pero algunos sacrificios deben ser acometidos. Hice la portada de “Dark Ritual” y diseñé el lay-out del EP “Evil Prevails”. También hice la primera camiseta de los Ancient Rites. Hoy aún diseño el lay-out de las camisetas pero prefiero usar el trabajo de otras personas, especialmente el creado hace siglos ya que eso encaja perfectamente con el carácter de nuestro trabajo. Autenticidad es lo que vamos detrás de. La mayoría de los artistas modernos no son capaces de atrapar esa atmosfera oscura (incluso de miedo) como los maestros antiguos. Esos pintores medievales realmente VIVIERON esa época y estaban influenciados por la superstición, el miedo (a las epidemias, a las guerras, a las enfermedades, a una corta esperanza de vida…) así que ellos realmente podían insertar mejor ese mundo en sus pinturas. Vivir de nuestra música? La industria de la música está organizada de una manera que los que primero reciben dinero son los promotores, los sellos y los distribuidores. En nuestro anterior tour europeo sólo nuestros roadies y la gente del merchandise cobraron! A veces ganamos dinero, a veces lo perdemos. Es un riesgo tocar en una banda como la nuestra. Somos profesionales pero nuestro estilo no es suficientemente popular como para vivir de ello. “Sad but true”, para usar las palabras de una banda que de verdad gana millones! Ha ha ha!!!

Interview with Gunther Theys (Part II)

14) Let´s speak of B.M. in general. As a veteran person with such a massive background in the underground, how do you see the European scene in general? (bands/gigs/zines/fans). What do you think of the American B.M. bands which try desperatly and comically try to look Skandinavian? Do you share the idea many people have that B.M. can only be played in Europe because of our long, deep, rich history? 

-It is an advantage having a historical background but interesting music can be found in the USA as well. I agree there are too many American bands who comically try to look and sound Skandinavian. Recently I read an interview of an American „B.M” band (I will not mention any names) and of course on the pictures you see them with their make up and plastic swords. In the interview they even said „Well we are an American based act but some of us have Norwegian blood”! Except for the Native Americans (Indians) everyone in the States is descending from immigrants. That is fine by me but why pretending to have Norwegian blood only because of playing in a Where is the pride? Also in the States one finds Death Metal acts with totally uninteresting lyrics directly taken from a horror book or splatter comic, Glam rock never was as horrible as it was in the states, even many Heavy Metal bands there are ridiculous (spinal tap!) or not even Metal at all. But still the US scene offers interesting bands too who try to find an own identity. Unfortunatelly these bands who „comically try to look/sound Skandinavian” can be found EVERYWHERE in the world, also the non Skandinavian countries in our very own Europe are polluted with bands who claim to play „True Norwegian B.M.” I think it´s unfair only to accuse American bands of imitating the Skandinavian sound. Even checking my own Belgian scene is enough to detect too many „Skandinavian” clones. I would like to take it a step further even and probably many will hate me for saying this but I believe that even Skandinavian bands who imitate the sound of the most popular Skandinavian bands are uninteresting. EVERY band should try to find an own identity no matter where they come from. There is nothing wrong with influences but plain imitation I cannot stand. I realise I might sound too nostalgic for many of your readers but at least the first generation of B.M. bands all had an own identity. VENOM sounded different from HELLHAMMER who sounded different from BATHORY. Today you have a majority of bands imitating or 1) non atmospherical „puristic” B.M. such as IMMORTAL, DARKTHRONE etc or 2) More mainstream and keyboard orientated acts such as CRADLE OF FILTH. I have nothing against the original ones but the clones really are spoiling the scene and often even are very successfull. Even more ridiculous is they don´t only imitate the music/lyrics but also the appearance! That is why I respect acts such as ARCTURUS that much because at least they dare to experiment and come up with something else. –

15) About the B.M. scene, one of the most known one is the Norwegian. Many criticize it callen them „clowns” and „buffons”, but I personally think that the happening that took place there gave B.M. a boost for all the European scene., not only for the Norwegian one and that´s why, leaving aside the violence and the murders, we should be thankful to them. Do you share my views? 
– We always had a very good relationship with the Norwegian scene. I know the people in IMMORTAL, ENSLAVED, MAYHEM, EMPEROR to mention a few. There always has been mutual respect, they appreciate the fact we do not imitate their popular sound and are an ancient band with an own identity. Sure the Norwegian scene gave B.M. a boost, no doubt. The murders and church burnings have contributed to this fame but also their music is good and that is what matters at the end of the day. –

16) Talking of Europe, during your career you´ve worked in the four corners of Europe and had relationships with nearly all countries in Europe: Belgium, Norway, Germany, Hellas, Finland, Holland…Having had so much experience, are you anti- or pro- the European Union? 
– I speak about five languages and understand a bit of some languages I do not speak. I feel at home everywhere in Europe and am interested in every country´s culture/history. Since I travel a lot the „open borders” policy of the European union is convenient and practical for me. I know for certain countries with a less stable economy the European Union is not always an advantage. Also I think that each country has to keep it´s own identity (that is also why I support the idea of a Flemish Republic) but I´m not into politics and my heart tells me all European countries should collaborate closely in the end, gather their forces and stand as one as a world power. I love Europe, every place of it and I think I could be labelled as a European „Nationalist”. One of our sound engineers said I am because on tour I try to speak to the crowd in their native language, at least a few words. On stage I mention the splendour of the countries´history and feel sympathy for it. As I said I´m not a politician and I think every land has to keep the own culture but the IDEA and FEELING of a United Europe, standing as one, appeals to me. On the forthcoming album there´s a track entitled „MOTHER EUROPE”, that should say enough. –

17) Having travelled so much, let me ask you a somewhat curiosity: which European country would you recommend a B.M. fan to visit considering three main points 1)Sightseeing 2)Metal clubs 3)Price of the beer. Girls are obviously taken in consideration… 
– SIGHTSEEING: Every European country has it´s own charm and particular atmosphere or history so I cannot point out one place. METAL CLUBS: Hellas (Greece). Athens has a lot of Metal bars/pubs and big Metal clubs where hundreds of people are banging their heads like maniacs. In Greece ancient bands which are almost forgotten in the rest of Europe (or never really were popular) are still played in the clubs. 70´s cult stuff such as DEMON, ANGELWITCH, OSTROGOTH, TANK, BLACK WIDOW. Also 80´s underground still is celebrated but even modern underground is played in the clubs. All sorts of Metal can be heard. Athens is a headbanger´s paradise. I remember the first time we played in Athens we were taken by the members of ROTTING CHRIST to several clubs. Couldn´t believe my eyes, we immediately got drunk and woke up the next morning with a hangover and a pain in the neck of banging too much. Also Athens has many Gothic clubs. Brilliant nightlife. PRICE OF THE BEERS: In Poland I got extremely drunk and payed almost nothing. The ONLY time in my life I had a black out. One of our roadies and I went there and visited a club where we drunk lots of beer bottles and suddenly they ran out of stock because usually their customers didn´t drink that much. May be it was a club were prices were too high compared to the average Polish salary? So we started to drink all kinds of Whiskey, Vodka. The club had two floors. At one point I went to the other floor and actually believed I was in another club! That drunk I was. Next morning I told our roadie I prefered the second club we went to, he told me we never had left the club. Embarrassing indeed. But a great time I had! GIRLS: beautiful women can be found everywhere. But South European women I really find great looking (Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Hellenic) with their dark curley long hair and deep dark eyes. May be it is an attraction of opposites since I am blond/blue eyed. The past seven years I only had relationships in the South of Europe. I also relate to the attitude of the South European women. In my country many women are quite materialistic and have this tendency of trying to dominate their partner, also they are less interested in art, literature or their own traditions. For almost five years now I have a relationship with a Hellenic girl who is living in Athens. –

18) Ok, let´s go back to more serious subjects. Some years ago there was this idea of playing a full ANCIENT RITES cd with medieval instruments. Has this idea been casted away or you still wish to accomplish it? 
– When I have something in mind it will happen sooner or later. Only it is a bit too soon with only two albums out to come up with a classical cd. Something I very much like is that on the forthcoming album we really have medieval influences INSIDE some of our songs. In the past we transformed some of our Metal tracks in medieval music („Echoes of Melancholy”, „Fallen Angel”) or created medieval intro´s, outro´s and intermezzo´s. Now we have taken it a step further which totally fits to the concept of ANCIENT RITES. There even is a complete song on the new album which is Metal but very Folk inspired with totall classical parts in the middle. The track is called „13th of November 1307″ and deals with the mystical Templar Order. Nevertheless be sure one day this classical/medieval album of ANCIENT RITES will be in the shops. It took me years to complete a DANSE MACABRE album but finally I have accomplished it (of course I couldn´t have done it alone, do not understimate the impact of the involved musicians). The same will happen with this classical A.R. album. No doubt. –

19) Throughout these years you´ve kept playing in A.R. while other members have come and gone. Why has it been so difficult to maintain a stable line up? Do you see yourself as Belgium´s Chuck Schuldiner? Moreover, can we think of A.R. as your personal project? 
– Belgium´s Chuck Schuldiner? That´s a good one! There even is a joke circulating in the scene on this topic. Some say they should organise bets or a lottery on who will be on stage with A.R. every time. When guitarist BART left we worked for a year with session guitarists. We had Erik (who now is permanent with us) from Dutch INQUISITOR, Mikael from Swedish LUCIFERION, Mike from Dutch PENTACLE, Raphael from Belgian CRUCIFIRE. Later Emil of Swedish SWORDMASTER, Blakkheim of Swedish KATATONIA and Chris of America´s BLOOD STORM/ABSU offered us their help. Of course session guitarists have schedules with their own bands that´s why on the same tour the crowd of each country almost saw a different line up on stage each time! In Spain the people saw us with another guitarist than the crowd in Italy, the Portuguese audience saw a different band than the German or French crowd. Holland was over the top: we started the set with Erik of INQUISITOR and Mikael of LUCIFERION. After a while Mikael left the stage, Erik continued on his own. Halfway the set Erik left and Mike of PENTACLE came on stage. After a while both Erik and Mike were on the stage. The audience didn´t know who was who anymore. Well A.R. is a bit of my child because after all I created the band with Philip. But since about seven years also drummer Walter is a permanent factor in the band. The reason why it is so difficult to maintain a stable line up is because we demand TOTAL dedication. A.R. above everything else: work, family, relationship, private matters. It almost sounds like a sect ah ah! I remember I was celebrating my birthday together with my girlfriend in Athens (this was planned long before) meanwhile a concert was organised in Belgium so I bought an extra ticket to return home and sacrificed the whole plan. This summer I ended up in hospital and had to be operated. A few days after the operation I was on stage headlining on a festival in Holland with still plastic tubes inside my body. Felt absolutely tired and doctors had recommended rest because the whole healing schedule wasn`t completed but I went on stage anyway. Walter seriously damaged his hand at work but he was playing the same week anyway. Guitarist Jan Yrlund had a plan to celebrate his birthday with his partner but last week I told him there was a concert abroad so he had to cancel everything. Soon we will tour Europe several times again and in between seperate concerts are planned in and outside of Belgium. Meanwhile we are spending more than a month already here in Germany on the recordings. It really affect private life. Relationships end because of this or you start to lose contact with old friends. At the same time playing in a band like A.R. doesn´t really offer money or enough security but still we put it above a job. Not many people are that fanatic (crazy?) to sacrifice EVERYTHING. We also tell every member that joins us that whenever he´s unable to play a concert he immediately will be replaced by a session musician for that particular tour or concert. When the reason for absence is acceptable the musician will keep his permanent place in the band though but no matter what happens no concert or tour will be canceled (unless promoters cancel it). Philip was one of my closest friends ever. He died a few days before a concert, we went on stage anyway and dedicated our set to him. We wanted this, his parents as well and above all HE would have wanted it too, never met such a fanatic and dedicated person like him, Walter and I still miss him and keep the same attitude/spirit alive. We demand it from the other members as well. Or the friendship soon is over –

20) Let´s speak on A.R.´s lyrics. Many seem to deal with the typical B.M. topics such as Occultism, Satanism…What do you think of these doctrines? Nowadays mainstream trend in B.M. is Paganism, What are your views on it? Do you consider it alright to fight against Christianity to bring the ancient European´s religion? 
– Of course we deal with topics typical for the genre but I like to think we have a different approach. We do not write about demons or stuff directly taken from the NECRONOMICON (which is interesting literature but remains fiction) like many bands do or invent over the top names for so called evil forces. When I travelled the Sahara desert by camel and horse (which was a great experience) I saw the remains of an ancient city and entered the temple of Baalberith where in ancient times children sacrifices took place. Immediately it was an inspiration which resulted in the theme of the intro on our debut album. I think reality often is darker and more cruel than fiction so why should I invent horror stories when history provides centuries and centuries of gloom? Sometimes we present Satanism in a symbolic way when we refer to biblical characters such as Lucifer but it always has a deeper meaning. In those cases we use names known to the Christian world to mock their beliefs, like „fighting” them with their own weapons. Our label received protests from a Turkish community in Germany because we mentioned the poisoning of moslem profet Mohammed in our „Blood of Christ (Mohammed Wept)” track. I studied a bit on the koran to detect the weak points, same with the bible. Be sure it is more effective than a simple „Fuck Christ” or „Fuck Allah” slogan. Also I think we focus a lot more on history than most other bands in our scene, it is a lifetime long fascination of mine which reflects on the lyrics I write. Concerning Paganism, as I stated earlier I think it makes more sense than imported religions, it is connected with the traditions of a people. If people wish to believe in Santa Claus, Donald Duck, god or allah that is fine by me but I do not like it when they try to force their ignorant fairytales down everyone´s throat. I ONLY believe what I see. –

21) Ok, that´s all. Thank you very much for standing this long and heavy interview. Last words are up to you… 
– It was a marathon indeed Andreas. Will your readers really read all this? The pleasure was completely mine because of your intelligent questions and the fact you were extremely well informed. On the 31st of may we play together with DEICIDE, BRUTAL TRUTH and SIX FEETH UNDER in Spain (Barcelona) I believe. Hope to see the people we´ve met last time we played your country. Take care, EVIL PREVAILS! –



Interview with Gunther Theys

1) Hails, Gunther! What´s up in Belgium? 
– Greetings Andreas! What´s up in Belgium? Haven´t got a clue! For one month I am in Germany now working with A.R. on the new album. Our producer is on internet so this is almost our only link with the outside world: The guy responsible for the A.R. page and e-mail address keeps on sending us the received mail. At night I check out the received messages so here we are. –

2) Well, needless to say that since you´re recording your new album these days some questions will refer to this subject, so…First of all, do you know the title and the foreseen date of release for the new cd? 
– Title of the cd is “FATHERLAND”. The album shall be released in june. –

3) What about the songs? How many songs did you have already composed when entering the studio, and in which direction do they go? Do you already know titles/concepts. Are there any improvements, arrangements or concepts worth to be known by our readers? 
– Of course we had our material ready when entering the studio but lots of it has been rearranged. Both our producers are very talented musicians (who work on a completely different musical field than we do), they really are demanding. Every single note has been double checked. It was truely hard work, but absolutely well worth it. I am convinced it is a way of working which is quite unusual for musicians in our style. There was a good studio budget available which results in almost unlimited studio time. A lot of time is spent on details. As is known we have a new line up, the new musicians are very talented and dedicated to their instruments, obviously this reflects on the songwriting as well. Sound and production are the best we ever had. We always try to improve with each release (without rejecting the previous A.R. material) and I believe we have succeeded again. A lot more variety is offered. The concept is still typical A.R., a dedication to ancient/medieval history and the Darkside. Only all is presented in a more professional, mature way. I like the fact we actually have medieval parts in the songs itself sometimes while in the past these touches were only present in the intro´s/outro´s and intermezzo´s. The songs are more compact. Some song titles are „Fatherland”, „Dying in a moment of Splendour”, „Rise and Fall (Anno Satana)”, „Aris” to mention a few. –

4) About the recording itself, how is it going? Could you tell us the time you´ll be in the studio? Are you satisfied with MASCOT´s budget for this record? 
– As I said earlier it was really hard work, frustrating sometimes even, but it pushed us to higher musical levels, Since there was no time pressure in studio I believe we have no reason to complain about the budget. I guess we´ll be spending one more week in studio for production. –

5) Besides playing at A.R. you also have a side project called DANSE MACABRE with Greek B.M. godfather Magus Wampyr Daoloth, Sotiris from SEPTIC FLESH and MORTIIS ex-EMPEROR. Are there updating news? What is the situation right now in the band, and how do you manage to write the songs considering you´re from 3 different countries? 
– The first DANSE MACABRE tracks were recorded in Athens with Sotiris and Magus a few years ago but they never saw the daylight because the label we recorded it for ceased to excist. For a while the project was put on ice but I knew the saga would be continued. MASCOT were interested in releasing a full lenghth album so when guitarist Jan „Örkki” Yrlund from Finland (ex- PRESTIGE/TWO WITCHES/LACRIMOSA) joined ANCIENT RITES I asked if he also wished to continue the work with DANSE MACABRE, he agreed and soon we entered a studio in Holland to complete the album. Several guest musicians appeared during the recordings. The DANSE MACABRE album will be released on the 13th of april. I found it an interesting idea to collaborate on an album with musicians who never even met each other. The album is entitled „TOTENTANZ” and really turned out fine, far away from our main metal bands but the essence (Darkness) is the same. D.M. is our channel to express different musical instincts, another kind of darkness. It is no problem we live in other countries it fits perfectly to the transEuropean character of DANSE MACABRE. Also in ANCIENT RITES nowadays there are musicians from different countries who have to travel many hours every week just for rehearsals (one guitarist lives in the North of Holland, the Finnish guitarist lives in Amsterdam. Our session keyboardplayer is of Greek/ Austrian origin. This dedication a band needs. Mortiis is not involved with DANSE MACABRE. With him we are working on another project which is put on ice for a while. His contribution is ready but for the moment stocked in Greece.

6) By the way se speak on MWD, what do you think of NECROMANTIA´s ep „ANCIENT PRIDE”? Moreover, what do you think of those bands which mix folk music with an ultra-nationalist thought? 
– I appreciate NECROMANTIA´s work because of it´s originality. Too many bands nowadays are copying each other in our scene and even get away with it! At least NECROMANTIA is one of the exceptions. Concerning Folk and Nationalism: it is a bit natural when one plays traditional music one relates to his/her ancestors. I too feel pride when thinking of my ancestors the Celtic/Germanic tribes or medieval Flanders. I don´t think feeling a certain pride for the own culture has to lead towards hating another culture. For instance my culture differs a lot from the Hellenic one but this doesn´t prevent me from appreciating and praising that one as well. I love to travel and learn about a people´s history/culture. Everyone´s a child of his/her people and I see it as a positive thing to cultivate this but it shouldn´t be taken too far. Of course one relates to certain cultures more than to others. For instance I think it´s a pity what is going on in the middle east where moslem fundamentalists/terrorists are slaughtering everyone they believe unfit for their cause. So they murder tourists, however I find it even more strange they even slaughter villages of their own, where islamic people live! Syria or Egypt have such a rich history, brilliant civilizations thousands of years ago, a pity that nowadays these countries (to mention only two) are guided by religion that much! It really prevents development. For this I feel no sympathy because it is taken to the extreme. When I travelled to North Africa, a few years ago, I already felt the animosity towards me. Obviously I didn´t fit to what they have in mind. –

7) Apart from DANSE MACABRE, you also performed as guest musician THOU ART LORD´s album „EOSFOROS”. How was it? You also shared a split 7″ with THOU ART LORD which was released through MOLON LAVE RECORDS…How successful was it? By the way, do you know why MOLON LAVE RECORDS dissapeared? 
– I spent a lot of time in Athens and on one occassion I was there together with Mika of IMPALED NAZARENE. I know almost everyone involved in the Hellenic scene (from rock to grind bands) so the people in THOU ART LORD asked us both if we would appear as a guest on their album. It went really fine, in studio the vocals of Mika and me were done in two takes. Now THOU ART LORD are searching for a label, they asked if I could do something for them. So I contaced our label, hope they will sign them because they are worth it. It´s not up to me in the end. George of MOLON LAVE really was a great guy. We drank a lot together, so actually I miss the guy a bit whenever I´m in Athens. He used to run this underground Metal shop in the center of Athens where we organised drinking/eating parties during the opening hours! Total madness. Once he was so drunk he started to destroy his TV in the shop and threw around his fax machine and in the end he attacked his desk with a hammer. That party really escalated, police came and everything. I remember once he bought tons of confetti and silly hats and organised an over the top carnaval party in august, at three o´clock in the afternoon in his shop. There were only three people invited and everyone who entered the shop could party along. We recorded this split ep for him because he helped to organise our very first concert in Athens and really took good care of us. We still were a quite unknown band (with only one demo and one ep released) and he took the risk to bring us to Greece were actually about 400/450 people showed up. MOLON LAVE was a very underground orientated label so we decided to push him as well a bit and agreed to record a track for him on a non profit basis. It were the days when underground values still mattered, long before Black Metal became a manifactured/trend guided by commercial principles. George decided to end with MOLON LAVE and his shop because for almost ten years he tried to get things going, he really did a lot for the Greek underground, but he didn´t see any progress. His distribution didn´t improve because bigger companies controlled the market and he felt kind of stuck in his little shop day in day out without seeing his work rewarded. He was a Slovenian immigrant who hadn´t seen his home for ten years. One day he told me he would leave everything behind and move to the States after visiting his relatives in Slovenia. We said good bye and hoped to meet again. The last thing I heard from him was a post card from Slovenia saying „HELL-O, You son of a bitch, greetings from home”, later he moved to the USA and we never heard from each other again. He tried to start a label in the States I believe but it didn`t work out in a country where the underground is even more spread. A pity. Absolutely fun guy it was, a bit crazy but the best friend one could imagine, at least to me. Always in for a joke (or two)…

8) Before releasing the above mentioned split 7″ your first work as A.R. was 1991´s demo „DARK RITUAL”. However, in your bio it is said that A.R. members are in the underground since early 80´s. Is it true? What did you do between 1982 and 1991? Did you play in any other bands? 
– A.R. was created early ´89. The demo was released in 1990. The foundation for the band was in 1987/88 when PHILIP (our first guitarist who died in a car accident) and I were playing with several musicians to have the band started but it always went wrong because the people who joined weren´t really dedicated or interested in our style. One mustn´t forget B.M. was totally „uncool” back then, it were the Hardcore/Bay Area days. A band in leather with inverted crosses and Satanic lyrics didn´t really draw any crowd. It is true I started my music career in 1980. Played in several bands but they never went anywhere apart from a few gigs. In ´84 I tried to form a band called NECROPHILIA (not a very original name I know) and played with several musicians but the line up almost never got completed and the constant line up changes didn´t improve the situation either. No one was interested in a Belgian underground B.M. band and we were too young and without car so we couldn´t search for musicians in other cities. It was a very isolated feeling. Between 1980 and 1984 I played in extreme underground bands, it were very misanthropic lyrics combined with a sound that could be compared to early DISCHARGE, primitive and brutal. I still like that kind of stuff. The A.R. members lived in other cities and tried to do their thing but faced the same problems. It is strange we often visited the same concerts but we never met because we simply didn´t know each other, I remember hanging out with SODOM back then, also WALTER was there but we were not introduced. Today there are musicians in A.R. from different countries even. Guitarist Erik (ex- INQUISITOR) lives in the North of Holland, guitarist Jan „Örkki” Yrlund (ex- PRESTIGE, LACRIMOSA, TWO WITCHES) is from finland who moved to Amsterdam and our session keyboard player is from Greek/Austrian origin and lives in Holland. All of us have to travel hours every week for rehearsals but it is possible because of the true dedication and having a car. It was impossible to achieve this without own transport or a reputation in the scene. Now A.R. is known so it is more easy to attract musicians from anywhere. –

9) You also seem to be a good friend of IMPALED NAZARENE´s screamer Mika Lutinen. Can you speak of your relationship with him? Is it true that you were his wedding´s godfather (best man)? I could never thought that a cyber-satanic-sado- masochist sick as mika to marry…Was it a wedding by the Church of Satan or what? Some gossip please… 
– You seem to be extremely well informed! Are you a member of State Security or a private detective? Indeed I was his wedding´s godfather (best man). He didn´t marry in any church but at the city hall. Afterwards there was a party with only five people (including the married couple). Mika is a sick guy but we get along really great. He simply doesn´t care about what people think of him, he has many enemies because of this but that´s ok. Actually he was in Germany in studio with us two days ago to appear as a guest vocalist on the remake of our ancient demo track „Fallen Angel”. He said that his appearance would cost us many fans. Mika ordered that demo back in ´90/´91 and was totally into this so we thought it would be an interesting idea to ask him for this song. –

10) I got astonished when I read that you used to work as a painter and a clothes designer. Could you explain this? Bearing that in mind, I wonder if you yourself design A.R. ´s merchandise items/T-shirts/gadgets…Do you still do it or can you now earn your living off your music? 
– I used to earn good money because of this but now A.R. needs all my attention. My financial position is not as good as it was because of my choice for the band but sacrifices need to be done. I made the „DARK RITUAL” cover and designed the lay out for the „EVIL PREVAILS” ep. Also my art work was used for the first A.R. T-shirt. Today I still do the lay out for T-shirts but I prefer to use other people´s artwork, specially artwork which is created centuries ago because it fits to the character of our work. Authenticity is what we are after, most modern artists are not able to catch the same dark (fear even) atmosphere as the medieval masters did. These medieval painters actually LIVED those times and were influenced by superstition, fear (for cruel diseases, civil wars, plunderings, very short life expectation etc) so they could better put their world into a painting. Earning our living off our music? The music industry is organised this way that first promoters and labels and distributors get the money. On our previous Europe tour only our roadies and merchandise people got payed! Sometimes we win money, sometimes we lose money. It´s a risk to play in a band like ours. We are professionals but our style isn´t popular enough to earn a good living. „Sad but true” to use the words of a band that actually earns millions ah ah! –

11) By the way, could you sell us the sales figures of every work you´ve released since the beginning up to now? About the new cd, how many copies will be pressed? 
– I don´t know how many demo´s we actiually sold. The first printing (a few hundred) sold out throughout time. The first printing of „EVIL PREVAILS” (about 600) sold out fast, so we printed another 600 who sold out as well. WILD RAGS RECORDS released the same sessions in the USA with different cover/pictures and printed them on 1000 copies I believe, they sold out years ago too according to Richard C. Mauricio of WARMASTER released the „EVIL PREVAILS” sessions as a split lp in Colombia (600 or 700 copies? I don´t remember) and they became a collector´s item for already several years now. The split ep with THOU ART LORD was printed several times (don´t know how many George printed) but they are sold out as well. Even in his very own store they couldn´t be found anymore for a longer time. Concerning our full length albums? Don´t have a clue! As you surely know (since you seem to be extremely well informed!) AFTER DARK RECORDS released our debut „THE DIABOLIC SERENADES” but ripped everyone in the scene, including us and each other off. The first 1000 sold out fast. I believe they printed 1000 more who sold out as well. Because of their dishonest behaviour they owed money to OSMOSE who took over „THE DIABOLIC SERENADES” and started to print and distribute the album. Don´t know how many they sold. In Poland MORBID NOIZZ took over the record as well (all business transfers we had nothing to do with) and I don´t know how many they printed and sold. Today MASCOT is printing and distributing the album, I HAVE NO CLUE ANYMORE. Fact is we invested our money in this album, WE payed for the studio, artwork, pictures, mastertape but we never got anything back except a first payment. Concerning „BLASFEMIA ETERNAL” (everyone writes „BLASPHEMIA” but we on intention used the Spanish grammatica which no one, except the Spanish speaking, seems to understand) I only know we sold about 5000 copies within one week in Belgium and Holland. Our label informed us it keeps on selling but I have no details. MASCOT prints without limits, I know for sure there already have been two printings of „BLASFEMIA ETERNAL” because on the first version (much to my regret) the lay out person made mistakes in my French lyrics! At least now the album is available with no mistakes which indicates the album is already printed twice. –

12) Now kind of a game as a break in the middle of this long and indepth interview: I provide you with different words/names and you´ve got to bring a short comment on every one, ok? Here I go: 
– Interesting. I´m into games like this.

VENOM: Fantastic. When they released „WELCOME TO HELL” back in ´81 I knew this was the kind of „music” I wished to play. „BLACK METAL” is one of my „all time faves”. I think their reunion is only because of the money which can be understood but a pity nevertheless.

SATANISM: So many different ways are possible of celebrating Satanism. I relate to certain philosophical aspects like the cultivation of the own inner powers and all (positive and negative) aspects of one´s personality. Personally however I am without any god, my approach is not of a religious kind but philosophical.

NIETZSCHE: Great personality. I relate to many of his statements. Full concentration is needed when reading his works which is always nice, it pushes a person to higher intellectual levels, no matter if one agrees or not.

KWIK: How do you know this? It is one of the biggest newspapers in Belgium which can be compared to gutter press like the English „SUN”. We were headline story two weeks in a row when hell broke lose everywhere and the Satanic Terrorism thing started. In Norway the killings started (and KWIK heard about the fact we know the involved people) and also in Belgium church burnings and grave desecrations started which were organised by our following. State Security was on our back and everyone in the country knew we were the first and only band in the Belgian scene, the center of it all so to speak. Declared public enemy number one in the country. Of course they made things look a bit worse to increase the shock effect.

VARG VIKERNES: Creates interesting music. He used to spread A.R. flyers while Eurony- mous sold the „EVIL PREVAILS” ep in his HELVETE shop. I think the murder on Euronymous was an unnecessarry thing, after all they used to work together. Was it about leadership? jealousy? Money? Mutual Threats? We´ll never know and it is not our business anyway. But when people belonging to the same cult start killing each other something definitely is wrong. I am always into diplomatic solutions and never losing control, outbursts I dissaprove. There are situations when it is impossible (when one´s life is endangered) but normally I settle for diplomatic solutions.

COMMUNISM: As in all political systems there are good and bad aspects. In practise systems have this tendency to fail in the end.

FASCISM: As in all political systems there are good and bad aspects. In practise systems have this tendency to fail in the end.

IRON MAIDEN: Together with MOTÖRHEAD (my fave HM act: „ACE OF SPADES” is the essence of Metal and Rock´n Roll), JUDAS PRIEST and BLACK SABBATH the top of Heavy Metal. I really loved the first two MAIDEN records and also „Numder of the Beast” (with Dickinson). Respect them a lot. Never liked the joke METALLICA used to do during their „RIDE THE LIGHTNING” tour, they always played a part of „Run to the Hills” out of tune to insult MAIDEN. At least MAIDEN remained METAL throughout their career and METALLICA USED to be great.

MANOWAR: I like „BATTLE HYMNS” and „INTO GLORY RIDE” but I never really related to the image/attitude of the band. Like the pictures with stuffed falcons or some of their lyrics. It sometimes seems a bit too naive and over the top. But I appreciate their technical skills.

LACRIMOSA: Ah ah! Our guitarist Jan used to play in this band. He´s in the next room may be I should call him? Life can be strange. When we toured Europe last time we were filmed by German television. Later on I received a video tape of this music program and also LACRIMOSA was featured. There I saw Jan for the first time on the „COPYCAT” video clip and I truely liked it. Also the RUNNING WILD drummer was involved. A few weeks later an advertisement in Dutch AARDSCHOK magazine was placed by a guitarist who searched for a band. The advertisement did not say anything about the past of this musician. Our guitarist phoned the guy and he came to our rehearsal to try things out. Afterwards we found out it was the same guy who played on the video I was watching some time before. Also he used to play in one of the first and most known Finnish Speed Metal bands PRESTIGE. That´s typical Jan: modest all the way, an attitude I like a lot.

ISRAEL: From a political point of view they are not always correct, sometimes they have an occupation policy. But I respect their well organised secret services and the fact that a small country like Israel can survive surrounded by enemies. I am not a supporter of SADAM either but I also respect his dream to restore the Babylonian Empire. I can respect without having to approve everything if you know what I mean…There are always two sides to every coin and I have this tendency to go into things a bit too deep so I usually end up without really chosing a side.

PAGANISM: Makes more sense to me than imported religion. I took part in a traditional Germanic/Celtic Pagan feast some time ago to celebrate the season`s change. I like the fact that this huge circle of people (of all ages) hold on to traditions of our ancestors, as if the son of god never arrived if you catch my drift. Why turning to a god from the middle east? A celebration of the own traditions and nature is more natural.

FLEMISH-WALONS Belgium is divided by language borders. In such a small country three groups of people are living each in their own region. I belong to Flanders (Flemish/Dutch speaking) which is the majority, than you have the Walons (French speaking) and a minority of German speaking. We have seperate governments and often it causes problems. Belgium is created by the French speaking upper class and they used to oppress our language/community. Today the Flemish community is the strongest (above all in economy) and a Flemish independant Republic is what certain parties have in mind. The French speaking politicians do not like the idea because of economical reasons. A seperation would have a negative effect on their economy (because money of Flanders is now also used to help their community). I dislike the lack of respect towards our Flemish language and that they turned Brussels (which is situated in Flanders) into a French speaking place, now they wish to take this same policy to the villages/cities surrounding Brussels. I have many friends in the French speaking community as well, but I try to speak their language it never is the other way around. I see Flanders as my country, not Belgium although I have nothing against the French community. On the other side of our country the same is happening between the French and German speaking community. The communities put graffitti on top of the road signs which are written in the other language or destroy the weapon shields of each other´s community where the language borders are situated. It is a schizo situation. Only positive aspect is I know how to speak the three languages.

CHRISTIANITY: An imported religion from the middle east. Here in the North of Europe Christianity is losing it´s strength. The majority of the people who still go to church are quite old.

ISLAM: A different story. Fundamentalism is increasing and imported to Europe by immigrants. Recently the Moslem community in my city were responsible for the closing of the only Metal pub there was in my region. The pub was situated where they live and they dissaproved of the „unholy, decadent character” of the place. Our mayor who wants to be over the top „politically correct” thought it was a sign of good will to the Moslem immigrants to close the place down. It is a pity that the Islam religion has this amount of influence on the cultures of the middle east. This way intellectual development will never be achieved. It is a danger.JESUS CHRIST: One of the countless profets there were throughout the history of mankind. I think he must have had a perfect management or the right public relations to have that much influence on humanity, even to this very day. Hope ANCIENT RITES will find the same manager.


13) Right, back to „normality”. In an interview for Spanish Metal mag METALI- K.O. you said that BURZUM attacked NECROMANTIA and that ROTTING CHRIST and IMMORTAL can´t stand each other. I had no idea about this, so, could you explain? 
This was many years ago. Well I remember Magus (NECROMANTIA) told me while I was in Athens he received a threat or something from Varg. Ex- ROTTING CHRIST bassplayer Mutilator once said that during the ROTTING CHRIST/IMMORTAL tour there was some tension between the bands. But it was a funny thing I remember, I believe on the tour bus one of the ROTTING CHRIST members was that drunk that he puked on the bag of an IMMORTAL member and it had a bad impact on the atmosphere, ah! ah! No big deal really. Besides concerning this BURZUM versus NECROMANTIA thing: I believe ANCIENT RITES was one of the very few non Norwegian bands Varg DIDN´T threat so… May be I mentioned this in the interview after a question concerning the relation between B.M. bands. It were different times and a certain kind of paranoia was going on in the scene back then. But we never interfered with those situations. I know most people in the scene personally, also IMMORTAL and ROTTING CHRIST and they are great guys. Probably it wasn´t even worth mentioning. –

The interview goes on here.


Entrevista con Gunther Theys (Parte II)


De paso, nos podrías decir las cantidades vendidas de cada uno de vuestros trabajos desde que empezásteis? Sobre el nuevo CD, sabes cuántas copias se publicarán? 

No sé cuantas demos hemos vendido. El primer printing (unos pocos cientos) se ha ido exhauriendo a través del tiempo. El primer printing de “Evil Prevails” (unas 600 copias) se vendió rápido, así que imprimimos otras 600 que también se agotaron. Wild Rags Records también lo editó en los Estados Unidos aunque con una cubierta y fotos diferentes, en mil copias creo, que también se agotaron según Richard. Mauricio de Warmaster sacó las sesiones del “Evil Prevails” como un split LP en Colombia (unas 600 o 700 copias, no recuerdo bien), y devenieron una pieza de coleccionista durante años. El split EP con los THOU ART LORD no sé cuántas copias hizo George, pero también se vendieron todas. Incluso en su tienda no se podían encontrar. Sobre los full-lengths, no tengo ni idea! Como seguro que sabes (ya que pareces estar extremadamante bien informado!), After Dark Records sacó nuestro debut “The Diabolic Serenades” pero estafó a todo el mundo en la escena, incluyendonos a nosotros. Las primeras 1000 copias se vendieron rápido, así que imprimieron 1000 más que también se agotaron. A causa de su deshonesto comportamiento debían dinero a Osmose, que por eso imprimió y distribuir el disco. No sé cuántas vendieron. En Polonia Morbid Noizz también sacó el álbum (nosotros no tenemos nada que ver con estos transfers entre sellos) y no sé ni cuántas imprimieron ni cuántas vendieron. Hoy Mascot está editando y distrubuyendo el álbum, pero no sé nada más. El hecho es que invertimos nuestro dinero en ese disco, NOSOTROS pagamos el estudio, el artwork, las fotos y el master pero nunca recibimos nada aparte del primer pago. Sobre “Blasfemia Eternal” (todo el mundo escribe “Blasphemia” pero era nuestra intención usar la grammatika española que nadie, excepto los que hablan Español, parece entender), se vendieron 5000 copias en una semana entre Bélgica y Holanda. Nuestro sello nos informó que el álbum aún se vendía, pero no tengo detalles. Mascot imprime sin límites, sé seguro que que han habido dos printings de “Blasfemia Eternal” porque en la primera versión (para mi lamento) la persona del diseño cometió errores en mis letras en Francés! Por lo menos ahora el álbum se puede conseguir sin errores, lo que indica que álbum ha sido editado ya dos veces.

Ahora una espécie de juego como descanso enmedio de esta larga y en-profundidad entrevista: Yo te proveo de distintas palabras/nombres y tu has de hacer un breve comentario sobre ellas, de acuerdo? 
Interesante. Me gustan este tipo de juegos.

VENOM: Fantásticos. Cuando sacaron su “Welcome To Hell” en 1981 supe que ese era el estilo de “música” que deseaba tocar. “Black Metal” es uno de mis discos favoritos de todos los tiempos. Creo que su reunión es sólo,por el dinero, lo que se puede entender aunque es una lástima.

SATANISMO: Hay tantas maneras diferentes de celebrar el Satanismo! Me identifico con ciertos aspectos filosóficos como el cultivo del poder interior y todos (positivos y negativos) los aspectos de la personalidad de uno. Personalmente sin embargo no tengo ningún dios, mi acercamiento no es religioso sinó filosófico.

NIETZSCHE: Gran personalidad. Me identifico con muchas de sus aseveraciones. Se requiere una concentración total cuendo se leen sus trabajos, lo que siempre está bien ya que empuja a una persona a niveles intelectuales superiores, no importa si se está de acuerdo con él o no.

KWIK: Cómo sabes esto? Es uno de los periódicos más importantes de Bélgica, y puede ser comparado con a prensa amarilla inglesa del tipo “The Sun”. Fuimos la historia titular durante dos semanas cuando todó explotó por todas partes y el Terrorismo Satánico empezó. En Noruega los asesinatos habían empezado y los de Kwik oyeron que nosotros conocíamos a esa gente. También en Bélgica los incendios de iglesias y las profanaciones de tumbas fueron llevadas a cabo por nuestros fans. La Seguridad del Estado estaba tras nosotros y todo el mundo en el país sabía que nosotros éramo la primera y la única banda de la escena belga, el centro de todo, por así decirlo. Fuimos declarados el enemigo público número 1 del país. Por supuesto que hicieron aparecer las cosas un poco peor de lo que en realidad eran para aumentar el efecto de shock.

VARG VIKERNES: (Único miembrode la banda black metal Burzum, encarcelado por incendiar varias iglesias y por asesinar a cuchillazos a Oostein “Euronymus” Aarseth, líder de la banda Mayhem, propietario de la tienda de black metal Helvete de Oslo y propietario del sello Deathlike Silence Productions. Varg consiguió así convertirse en el cabecilla de los terroristas satánicos noruegos que desde 1992 han convertido en cenizas más de 30 iglesias por toda Noruega, sucesos que se han repetido también en otros países de Europa como Alemania, Polonia o la propia Bélgica. Ahora Varg Vikernes -a quién aún le quedan 20 años de condena- dirige desde la cárcel el Norsk Hedensk Front, una organización neo-nazi que lucha por la vuelta del paganismo a Noruega, algo parecido al ultraderechista Hellenic Pagan Front griego que también intenta devolver el Cristianismo a Oriente Medio de donde vino -NDR) Crea una música interesante. Repartía fyers de Ancient Rites cuando Euronymus vendía nuestro ep “Evil Prevails” en su tienda Helvete. Creo que el asesinato de Euronymous era innecesario, a fin de cuentas ambos trabajaban juntos. Fué por liderazgo? Por envidia? Por dinero? Por mútuas amenazas? Nunca lo sabremos y tampoco no es nada de nuestra incumbencia. Pero cuando gente que pertenece al mismo culto empieza a matarse entre ella algo definitivamente va mal. Siempre estoy a favor de soluciones diplomáticas y de no perder el control nunca, desapruebo los arrebatos. Hay situacionesen que es imposible (cuando peligra la vida de uno), pero normalmente estoy por las soluciones diplomáticas.

COMUNISMO: Como en todos los sistemas políticos hay aspectos buenos y malos. En la práctica los sistemas tienden siempre a caer al final.

FASCISMO: Como en todos los sistemas políticos hay aspectos buenos y malos. En la práctica los sistemas tienden siempre a caer al final.

IRON MAIDEN: Junto con Motörhead (mi grupo favorito de Heavy Metal, su “Ace Of Spades” es la esencia del Metal y del Rock n’ Roll), Judas Priest y Black Sabbath, la cumbre del Heavy Metal. Realmente me encantaron sus dos primeros discos de Maiden y también su “The Number Of The Beast” (con Dickinson), los respeto un montón. Nunca me gustó la broma que hacían Metallica durante su tour de “Ride The Lightning” en el que siempre tocaban una parte de “Run To The Hills” fuera de tono para insultar a Maiden. Por lo menos Maiden se han mantenido Metal toda su carrera mientras que los Metallica ERAN fantásticos (Hehehe -ed).

MANOWAR: Me gusta el “Battle Hymns” y el “Into Glory Ride”, pero nunca me identifiqué con la imagen/actitud de la banda. Como las fotos de halcones o algunas de sus letras. A veces me parecían demasiado ingenuas. Pero aprecio sus habilidades técnicas.

LACRIMOSA: Ah, ah! Nuestro guitarrista Jan tocaba en esa banda. En estos momentos está en la habitación contigua, así que debería llamarlo? La vida puede ser extraña. Cuando toureamos por Europa la última vez la televisión alemana nos filmó. Después recibimos una cinta de video de ese programa musical, y también aparecían los Lacrimosa. Ahí fué donde ví a Jan por primera vez, en el videoclip de “Copycat”, y realmente me gustó. También tocaba el batería de Running Wild. Unas semanas más tarde apareció un anuncio en la revista holandesa Aardshock por un guitarrista que buscaba banda. El anuncio no decía nada del pasado de ese músico. Nuestro guitarrista le llamó y vino a ensayar con nosotros para intentar ver como iba. Después descubrimos que era el mismo chico que habíamos visto en el videoclip. Él también tocaba en una de las primeras y más conocidas bandas finlandesas de speed metal, los PRESTIGE. Eso es típico de Jan: siempre modesto, una actitud que me gusta un montón.

ISRAEL: Desde un punto de vista político no siempre tienen razón, a veces tienen políticas de ocupación. Pero respeto sus servicios secretos (el Mossad, el mejor servicio de inteligencia del mundo -ed) y el hecho de que un pequeño país como Israel pueda sobrevivir rodeado de enemigos. No respaldo a Saddam pero respeto su sueño de restaurar el Imperio Babilónico. Puedo respetar sin tener que aprobar nada, si sabes lo que quiero decir (claro, Gunther, te entiendo. Pero yo NO respeto que ese bastardo pueda soltar una bomba de neutrones sobre mi cabeza!!! -ed) Siempre hay dos caras de la moneda y yo tengo esa tendencia de meterme en las cosas bastante profundamente así que acabo sin elegir ninguna de las dos.

PAGANISMO: Para mi tiene más sentido que una religión importada. Tomé parte de un festival pagano tradicional celta/germano (eh? Como puede ser eso? O es celta o es germano! Son cosas totalmente diferentes. De hecho, por ejemplo, los germanos jamás tuvieron sacerdotes mientras que los druidas celtas son famosísimos!!! -Ed) para celebrar el cambio de estación. Me gusta el hecho de que un buen círculo de personas (de todas las edades) mantienen las tradiciones de nuestros ancestros, como si el hijo de Dios jamás hubiera llegado, si pillas lo que quiero decir. Por qué girarnos hacia un dios de Oriente Medio? Un acelebración de las propias tradiciones y naturaleza es más natural.

FLAMENCOS-VALONES: Bélgica está dividida por fronteras linguisticas. En un pais tan pequeño conviven tres grupos de gentes en su propia región. Yo pertenezco a Flandes (hablamos Flaemenco/Holandés), que constituye la mayoría, después tienes a los Valones (que hablan Francés) y una minoría de gente germanófona. Tenemos gobiernos separados y ello a menudo causa problemas. Bélgica fué creada por las clases altas francófonas y oprimían a nuestra comunidad. Hoy la comunidad flamenca es la más fuerte (sobre todo en economía) y ciertos partidos tienen en mente una República Independiente Flamenca. A los políticos francófonos no les gusta la idea por razones económicas porque el dinero de Flandes se utiliza ahora para ayudar a su comunidad (Vaya, yo vivo en Catalunya y me suena este problema… -ed). No me gusta la falta de respeto respeto a nuestra comunidad flamenca y que hayan convertido Bruselas (que está situada en Flandes) en un lugar francófono, y ahora intentan aplicar la misma política a las pequeñas ciudades de los alrededores. Tengo muchos amigos en la comunidad francófona, pero yo intento hablar su lengua y en cambio ellos nunca lo intentan con la mía (esto también me suena… -ed). Veo Flandes como mi país, no Bélgica a pesar de que no tengo nada contra la comunidad francófona. En el otro lado del país sucede el mismo problema entre las comunidades francesa y alemana. Las comunidades ponen graffittis en las señales de tráfico que están escritas en la lengua de los otros o detruyen los escudos armados de la otra comunidad. Es una situación bastante esquizofrénica. El único aspecto positivo es que sé hablar las tres lenguas.

CRISTIANISMO: Una religión importada de Oriente Medio. Aquí en el Norte de Europa el Cristianismo está perdiendo su fuerza. La mayoría de gente que aún va a la Iglesia es bastante vieja. (Bueno, aquí en España en los ’70 y los ’80 el Cristianismo también perdió mucho pero ahora las nuevas generaciones de españoles van más a la Iglesia -ed)

ISLAM: Una historia diferente (Tú crees???) -ed!). El fundamentalismo crece y es importado a Europa por los inmigrantes. Recientemente la comunidad musulmana de mi ciudad fué responsable de que se cerrara el único pub de Metal de la región. El pub estaba situado donde ellos viven y lo desaprobaron el carácter “impuro y decadente” del sitio. Nuestro alcalde, que sobre todo quiere ser politicamente correcto, pensó que sería un símbolo de buena voluntad hacia la comunidad musulmana el cerrar el pub. Es una lástima que la religión del Islam tenga tanta influencia en las culturas de Oriente Medio. Nunca se conseguirá su desarrollo intelectual. Es un peligro.

JESUCRISTO: Uno de los incontables profetas que han habido durante toda la historia de la humanidad. Pienso que debió tener el agente de management perfecto o el mejor relaciones públicas para poder tener tanta influencia en la humanidad, incluso hasta hoy. Espero que los Ancient Rites encuentren el mismo mánager.

Bueno, vuelta a la “normalidad”. En una entrevista con la revista española de Metal extremo Metali-k.o., dijiste que Burzum atacó a Necromantia y que los Rotting Christ y los Immortal no se podían ni ver. No tenía ni idea de eso, así que… Podrías explicarlo? 
Esto sucedió hace muchos años. Recuerdo que Magus (de la Metal-orchestra griega Necromantia) me contó una vez que yo estaba en Atenas que había recibido una amenaza de Varg (de los atmósfericos noruegos Burzum). El ex-bajista de los Rotting Christ una vez dijo que durante el tour de los Rotting Christ + Immortal había un poco de tensión entre las bandas. Pero creo que era algo divertido, según recuerdo, creo que uno de los miembros de los Rotting Christestaba tan borracho que vomitó sobra la bolsa de uno de los miembros de Immortal, lo que tuvo un mal efecto en la atmósfera!!! (Risas) Nada importante, realmente. Aparte, en relación a lo de Burzum – contra – Necromantia, creo que Ancient Rites es una de las muy pocas bandas no noruegas que Varg NO amenazó, así que… Quizás respondí eso en alguna pregunta que se refiriera a las relaciones entre las bandas de black metal. Eran unos tiempos difíciles y había una especie de paranoia en la escena entonces. Pero nunca interferimos en esas situaciones. Conozco a la mayoría de la gente de la escena personalmente, también a los immortal y a los Rotting Christ y son grandes chicos. Probablemente ni siquiera valia la pena mencionarlo.

Hablemos del black metal en general. En tanto una persona con un background tan importante en el underground, cómo ves la escena europea en general (bandas / conciertos / zines / fans…). Qué opinas de las bandas americanas de black metal que desesperadamente intentan parecer escandinavos? Compartes la idea que tiene mucha gente de que el Black Metal sólo puede ser tocado en Europa por nuestra larga, profunda y rica história? 
Es una ventaja tener un background historico pero se puede encontrar música interesante también en los Estados Unidos. Estoy de acuerdo contigo en que hay demasiadas bandas americanas que comicamente intentan parecer y sonar escandinavas. Recientemente leí una entrevista de una banda de “black metal” (no diré nombres) y naturalmente en las fotos les ves con su maquillaje y con espadas de plástico. En la entrevista incluso dijeron que “Somos un grupo americano pero algunos de nosotros tenemos sangre noruega”!!! Excepto los nativos americanos, todo el mundo en los Estados Unidos es descendiente de inmigrantes. No hay ningún problema con eso pero pretender tener sangre noruega sólo porque tocan black metal??? Dónde está el orgullo? También en los Estados Unidos uno encuentra gruposde Death Metal con letras nada interesantes directamente tomadas de un libro de terror o de comics splatter; el Glam Rock en ningún sitio fué tan horrible como en los Estados Unidos, incluso meuchas bandas de “Heavy Metal” ahí son ridiculas o ni siquiera Metal!!! Con todo, la escena americana nos ofrece también bandas interesantes que intentan buscar su propia identidad. Desgraciadamente este tipo de bandas que “cómicamente” intentan desesperadamente parecer escandinavas se pueden encontrar por todo el mundo; también los paises no escandinavos en nuestra propia Europa están contaminados de bandas que claman ser “true Norwegian Black Metal”. Creo que es injusto acusar sólo a las bandas americanas de imitar el sonido escandinavo. Incluso chequear mi propia escena belga es suficiente como para detectar demasiados clones “escandinavos”. Me gustaría llevar esto incluso un poco más lejos, y probablemente muchos me odiarán por decir esto pero creo que incluso las bandas escandinavas que intentan imitar el sonido de las bandas escandinavas más conocidas no son nada interesantes. TODAS las bandas deberían intentar encontrar su propia identidad, no importa de donde vengan. No hay nada malo en tener influencias pero no puedo soportar la imitación pura y dura. Me doy cuenta de que quizás sueno demasiado nostálgico para muchos de tus lectores pero al menos todas las bandas de la primera generación de black metal tenían su propia identidad. Los Venom sonaban diferentes de los Helhammer que sonaban diferentes de los Bathory. Hoy en dia tienes una mayoría de bandas imitando 1)black metal no atmosférico y purista como Darkthrone, Immortal, etc… o 2)grupos más de moda y basados en los teclados como Cradle Of Filth. No tengo nada en contra de los originales pero los clones realmente están fastidiando la escena e incluso a veces consiguen éxito. Es incluso m´s ridiculo cuando intentan imitar no sólo la música y las letras sinó también su look! Eso es por lo que respeto tanto a bandas como Arcturus porque por lo menos intentan experimentar y aportar algo más.

Sobre la escena black metal, una de las más conocidas es la noruega. Muchos la critican llamándoles “bufones” o “payasos”, pero personalmente creo que los sucesos que tuvieron lugar en Noruega desde 1992 brindaron una gran ayuda no sólo a la escena noruega sinó también a la europea en general, y por eso deberiamos estarles agradecidos. Compartes mi opinión? 
Siempre tuvimos una buena relación con la escena noruega. Conozco a la gente de Immortal, Enslaved, Mayhem, Emperor… por mencionar a unos cuantos. Siempre ha habido un respeto mútuo, aprecian el hecho de que no imitamos su popular sonido y que somos una banda antigua con nuestra propia identidad. No hay duda de que la escena noruega ayudó al black metal, seguro. Los asesinatos y los incendios de iglesias han contribuido a esta fama pero su música es también muy buena y eso es lo que cuenta a fin de cuentas.

Hablando de Europa, durante tu carrera has trabajado en los cuatro rincones de Europa y has tenido relación con casi todas las naciones de Europa: Bélgica, Noruega, Alemania, Hellas, Holanda, Suomi… Habiendo tenido tanta experiencia, qué eres tú, anti- o pro- Unión Europea? 
Hablo unos cinco idiomas (Flamenco, Francés, Alemán, Inglés y Griego) y entiendo algunos que no hablo. Me siento como en casa en toda Europa y me interesa la cultura y la historia de todos los paises. Dado que viajo mucho, la política de “fronteras abiertas” de la Unión Europea me es muy práctica y conveniente. Sé que para muchos países con una economía menos estable la Unión Europea no es siempre una ventaja (Ni que lo digas, Gunth! -Ed) También pienso que cada país debe mantener su propia identidad (esa es la razón por la que respaldo la idea de una República de Flandes), pero no me interesa mucho la política y mi corazón me dice que todas las naciones de Europa deberían colaborar estrechamente para unir fuerzas y ser uno como poder mundial. Me encanta Europa, cada parte de ella y pienso que podría ser considerado como un “Nacionalista Europeo”. Uno de nuestros ingenieros de sonido dijo que lo soy porque en los tours le intento hablar a la audiencia en su propia lengua, por lo menos algunas palabras. En el escenario menciono el esplendor de la historia de los paises y siento simpatía por ello. Como dije no soy un politico y creo que cada tierra debe mantener su propia cultura pero la IDEA y el SENTIMIENTO de una Europa unida, como un sólo ente, me gusta. En el proximo album hay una canción llamada “Mother Europe”, eso debería ser suficiente.

Habiendo viajado tanto, déjame preguntarte una pequeña curiosidad: ¿Qué pais le recomendarias a un fan del black metal que visitara considerando tres puntos principales: 1)Clubs de Metal, 2)Precio de la cerveza 3)Chicas. 

METAL CLUBS: Hellas (Grecia). Atenas tiene un monton de bares y pubs de Metal y grandes clubs Metal donde cientos de personas baten sus cabezas como maniacos. En Grecia se siguen poniendo en los clubs las antiguas bandas que estan casi olvidadas en el resto de Europa (o que realmente no fueron muy populares), el material “cult” de los ’70 tipo DEMON, Angelwitch, Ostrogoth, Tank, Black Widow. También se escucha el underground de los ’80 asi como el más moderno. Se puede escuchar todo tipo de Metal. Atenas es el paraiso del headbanger. Recuerdo que la primera vez que tocamos en Atenas los miembros de Rotting Christ nos llevaron a varios clubs, y no podia creer lo que veian mis ojos. Inmediatamente nos emborrachamos y nos despertamos la mañana siguiente con una resaca y un dolor en el cuello increibles de headbangear tanto. Atenas tambien tiene muchos clubs Gothic. Una fantastica vida nocturna.

PRECIO DE LAS CERVEZAS: En Polonia nos emborrachamos muchísimo sin pagar casi nada. La UNICA vez en mi vida que he tenido un blackout. Uno de nuestros roadies y yo fuimos ahí y estuvimos en un club donde bebimos un monton de botellas de cerveza, y de repente se les acabó ya que normalmente sus clientes no beben tanto! Quizás fué porque era un club en que el precio de la cerveza era demasiado alto para la media del salario polaco? Así que empezamos a beber todo tipo de whiskeys, vodkas… El club tenia dos pisos. En un momento dado fui al otro piso y creía que era otro club! Asi de ciego iba. La mañana siguiente le comenté a mi roadie que me habia gustado más el segundo club al que fuimos, y él va y me responde que en ningún momento dejamos el club! Embarazoso, de verdad. Pero qué bien que me lo pasé.

CHICAS: Mujeres bonitas se pueden encontrar en todas partes. Pero encuentro realmente guapas a las del sur de Europa (Españolas, portuguesas, italianas y helénicas), con su largo y oscuro pelo rizado y sus profundos ojos oscuros. Quizas es una atracción de opuestos ya que yo soy rubio y con los ojos azules. Los ultimos siete años sólo he tenido relaciones con chicas del sur de Europa. También me identifico con la actitud de las mujeres sureñas. En mi pais muchas mujeres son muy materialistas y tienen esta tendencia de intentar dominar al compañero, y también están menos interesadas en arte, literartura y sus propias tradiciones. Ahora ya hace casi cinco años que tengo una relación con una chica helénica que vive en Atenas.

Bueno, volvamos a temas más serios. Hace unos años habia la idea de tocar un CD completo de Ancient Rites con instrumentos medievales. Ha sido esta idea desechada o bien aun deseais hacerlo? 
Cuando tengo algo en mente acaba sucediendo tarde o temprano. Es sólo que es un poco demasiado pronto con sólo dos álbumes en la calle el aparecer con un CD clásico. Algo que me gusta mucho es que en el próximo álbum realmente tenemos influencias medievales DENTRO de algunas de nuestras canciones. En el pasado transformamos algunas de nuestras canciones Metal en música medieval (“Echoes Of Melancholy”, “Fallen Angel”) o creábamos intros, outros e intermezzos medievales. Ahora lo hemos llevado un paso más adelante, lo que encaja totalmente con el concepto de Ancient Rites. Hay incluso una canción completa en el nuevo álbum que es Metal pero inspirada por la música folk con partes totalmente clásicas enmedio. La canción se llama “13th November 1307” y habla de la mística Orden del Temple. Sin embargo puedes estar seguro de que este álbum clásico/medieval de Ancient Rites estará en las tiendas. Me costó años completar un álbum de Danse Macabre pero finalmente lo he cumplido (por supuesto que no lo podría haber hecho sólo, no minusvaloro el impacto de los músicos vinculados). Lo mismo pasará con este álbum clásico de Ancient Rites. Sin duda.

A través de todos estos años has tocado en Ancient Rites mientras otros músicos venian y se iban. Por qué ha sido tand difícil mantener una formación estable? Te ves a tí mismo como el Chuck Schuldiner belga? Aparte, podemos pensar en Ancient Rites como tu proyecto personal? 
El Chuck Schuldiner belga? Esa sí es buena! De hecho hay incluso un chiste circulando en la escena sobre esto, ya que algunos dicen que deberían organizar apuestas o una lotería sobre quién estará en el escenario tocando con Ancient Rites cada vez. Cuando el guitarrista Bart lo dejó, durante un año trabajamos con guitarristas de sesión. Tuvimos a Erik (que ahora es miembro permanente con nosotros) de los holandeses INQUISITOR, a Mikael de los suecos LUCIFERION, a Mike de los holandeses PENTACLE, a Raphael de los belgas CRUCIFERE. Después a Emil de los suecos SWORDMASTER, a Blakkheim de los suecos KATATONIA y Chris de los americanos BLOOD STORM/ABSU nos ofreció también su ayuda. Por supuesto que los guitarristas de sesión tienen programas propios con sus respectivas bandas, por eso durante el mismo tour la audiencia de cada pais casi vió una formación diferente cada vez! En España la gente nos vio con una banda diferente a la que vió la de Francia o Alemania. Holanda fué lo más: empezamos el set con Erik de INQUISITOR y Mikael de LUCIFERION. Después de un rato Mikael dejó el escenario mientras que Erik continuó y fué reemplazado por Mike de PENTACLE. Después tanto Mike como Erik estaban en el escenario. La audiencia ya no sabía quién era quién! Bueno, Ancient Rites es como mi hijo porque después de todo yo creé la banda con Philip. Pero ya hace casi siete años que el batería Walter es un factor permanente en la banda. La razón por la que es tan dificil mantener una line-up estable es porque pedimos una dedicación TOTAL. Ancient Rites está por encima de todo, de la familia, de las relaciones, de los asuntos privados. Casi es como una secta, ja! Recuerdo que estaba celebrando mi cumpleaños junto con mi novia en Atenas (algo que estaba planeado de antes), y se organizó un concierto en Bélgica así que compré un extraticket y volví a Bélgica sacrificando así todo el plan. El pasado verano acabé en el hospital y tuve que ser operado. Unos dias después de la operación estaba en el escenario como cabeza de cartel en un festival en Holanda con tubos de plástico dentro de mi cuerpo. Me encontraba absolutamente cansado y los doctores me recomendaron descanso porque aún no se había acabado el prescrito tiempo postoperativo, pero igualmente me subí al escenario. El guitarrista Jan Yrlund tenía el plan de celebrar su cumpleaños con su pareja pero la pasada semana le dije que había un concierto así que lo cancelara todo. Pronto tocaremos por Europa varias veces y entre los tours tocaremos en conciertos separados tanto en Bélgica como fuera. Ahora ya casi hemos pasado más de un mes en Alemania con lo de grabación, y ello realmente afecta a la vida privada. Las relaciones acaban a causa de esto o porque empiezas a perder contacto con los viejos amigos. También el tocar en una banda como Ancient Rites no ofrece mucho dinero o seguridad suficiente pero sin embargo está por encima de un trabajo. No mucha gente es tan fanática (loca?) como para sacrificarlo TODO. Siempre decimos a los miembros que se nos unen que tan pronto como no sea capaz de tocar en un concierto será inmediatamente substituido para ese concierto o tour en particular. Cuando la razón para la absencia es acceptable entonces el músico mantiene su plaza permanente en la banda, pero no importa que pase ningún concierto o tour se cancelará (a menos que lo hagan los promotores) nunca. Philip era uno de mis mejores amigos. Murió unos dias antes de un concierto pero aún así nos subimos al escenario y le dedicamos nuestro set. Queriamos hacerlo, sus padres también y sobre todo ÉL también lo hubiera querido, nunca he encontrado una persona tan fanática y dedicada como él. Walter y yo aún le echamos de menos y mantenemos el mismo espíritu/actitud vivo. También lo pedimos a los otros miembros. O sinó la amistad acaba pronto.

La entrevista sigue aquí.


Interview with Sundown

Swedish gothicoid band Sundown was born out of the bones of metalband Cemetary. They came to Barcelona supporting Paradise Lost, and after the show we could catch up leader Matthias Loldmalm for a few questions. His answers weren’t certainly long, but neither was my questionnaire as I had to improvisize the interview (I was waiting for Paradise Lost’s drummer, with whom I had arranged to meet).

It’s your first time playing in Barcelona. How have you felt like playing here? 
It was ok, we had fun.

It is said that the NorthEuropean audience is colder than the SouthEuropean. Is it true? 
Yeah, definetely.

You started as a Death Metal band (referring to Cemetary), but now you’ve gone more into Doom Metal and all this stuff, half gothic half doom… 
No I think we’re more industrial.

This is the way you would describe your music? 
Yes, I don’t like to describe music but maybe that’s more contemporary goth.

Coming from Sweden, there are a lot of black metal bands up there. How do you feel that scene? Are they as extreme as they’d like to be? 
No, they’re a bunch of kids. They don’t really scare me nor impress me.

Paradise Lost had a few problems with the so-called “Norwegian blackmetallers”…
Yeah, one time I heard… Not much. I mean, I used to know most of those people when I was in Cemetary, so…

Before with Cemetary, Matthias Loldmalm, you were the leader and composed nearly all songs, something like what Greg Macintosh does in Paradise Lost, huh? 
No, Johnny and me compose half the material, fifty-fifty.

What about the new LP? 
The next one? I don’t know, probably fifty-fifty as well. But we do everything together. I don’t really know.
[Andreas notes that the question referred to the new CD itself (already composed songs, style, time to be released… ) not on how would it be composed]

About your label, is it ok? 
Yeah, good people.

They promote you? 
Definetely, very nice people, very very nice.

Well, that was all. After my mate Xavier asked him for introducing his radioshow, we had to leave him. As you may expect from a Swedish, he was sympa though short.

Interview with Charon

1.- Charon is still a not very well-known band. Could you summarize in a few lines the band’s history?
J-P:”Charon started in 1992 with very brutal death metal and did four demos and one music-video before having a record deal with Emanzipation/Diehard productions in 1997. In year 1995 I joined to the band as a new singer and that’s also the same moment when we started to record the “pilgrimage”-promo95. Now we’ve just released our debut album “sorrowburn” and the promotion is on so it has kept quite busy. Our style has changed a lot on the way to this day, but dark roots of metal has kept us on the right way on this race.

2.- Why did you choose the name “Charon”? What is the relationship between the band and the mythological being who brought the souls of the dead through the lake Styx to Hades with his boat?
J-P: Maybe when the name was found for the band it has some deeper meanings as you just explained. Right now we don’t think those meanings would matter that much anymore, it’s just the name of the band but it’ll remind us for the roots that we have since 1992, but everyone has to grow.

3.- I see you very influenced by bands such as Paradise Lost and Sentenced. What do you think? 
J-P: I’ve heard that before. Of course, surrounding atmosphere and bands and nature(!) and everything around you can influence you, but it’s only matter how you’re going to use those influences. I admit that one of my very favorite band is Paradise Lost and if you can hear influences from them in our music, then I’m impressed! Actually I’m listening music as many styles as possible and I’ve noticed that best influences comes from different styles if talking about music-influences, but the best element of taking influences will always be the nature!

4.- If not, which are your influences? Concretely, what is your top 5 playlist right now?
J-P: Okay, here’s mine play list and it’s the top five in 14.9.1998 2:20am!!

  1. Dan Swanö : Moontower (!!)
  2. Type o Negative : Bloody Kisses
  3. Paradise Lost : One Second
  4. The Black Crowes : Three snakes and one charm
  5. Iggy Pop : American Caesar

5.- The bio says your singer entered the band as a background vocalist, but turned afterwards into the leading singer. Can you explain this?
J-P: That’ll be me! All righty! We just noticed after few rehearsals before recordings of “pilgrimage” that hey, let’s bloody do it this way and yes, so we did!

6.- The cover is supposed to symbolize the growing of mankind. How do you foresee the future of human life on earth?
J-P: ”We all are going to die!!! But seriously, the cover should remind something about our mortality that we have. It’s about us how we’re using our time here. We are just passing by here and I think when we die, we should do it the most beautiful way.

7.- What about touring? Any plan to do a tour soon?
J-P: “We have negotiated with our record company about a tour, but we haven’t settled anything yet. Everything happens in time but can’t promise anything yet.

8.- You attracted interest from some labels. Could you tell us which ones showed interest and why did you finally sign with Emanzipation/Diehard?
J-P: I could say at first that none of the labels wasn’t that interested as EMZ/Diehard, so that is the number one reason why we are in there now. We did like about the deal they offered and else but after one year working with them, I could say that they’re more like friends for us in the company, and that is one hell good reason why it’s so relaxing to be there. Cooool!!!

9.- You seem to be quite young. How old are you, and in how far do you think age influences a musician’s work?
J-P: Our middle-age in the band is something about 22. I think that music is growing with your age if you want it to be so. I don’t mean that when you are 40 or 50 you will play some kind of polka or any folk-music, of course you can play death or anything if you want so, but I mean that getting older always riches the music and it will always be more ripen than before if you’re lucky.

10.- “Sorrowburn” seems to make your label expect many copies to be sold. Convince with three reasons the reader to buy your CD. Moreover, how many copies will be printed of “Sorrowburn”?
J-P: Don’t know specific amount of the copies so I won’t lie anything if I stay quiet about it, only thing I can say for sure is that we printed more copies than first was purpose. Three reasons to go to the store and BUY the “sorrowburn” are: 1. You don’t have no courage to steal it. 2. You don’t have no ammo in your shotgun. 3. I have noticed that girls are about to have some kind of vibes towards Finnish metal and they’re very impressed if you own “sorrowburn” (incl. Your motha’). But seriously I think that this is what you’ve been looking for, try it and you’ll find out how deep the Finnish love to metal can be!!!

11.- Ok, that was all. Close this interview as you like most.
J-P: “White dreams of sour relish, four candles in virgins nest…” Hope to see you all in this year or the beginning of ’99. Greets’ for you in Spain!!!