Mindview Magazine March1995
M i n d v i e w , March 1995
Some issues ago, you could read an extensive studio report on Ancient Rites, our black metal hope, who were working on 'Blasfemia Eternal', the successor to their debut 'The Diabolic Serenades'. One of these days, it'll be in the recordstores, to please many dark characters. We asked vocalist/bassist Gunther Theys about some update information about this boiling piece of burning metal!
Gunther, to start, I'd like to know if 'Blasfemia Eternal' sounds different than what you expected when entering the studio.
If one is going into the studio, one doesn't know what the result will be, because you can never predict how the sound will evoluate. We are very satisfied, however, some tracks sound different than we thought they would sound, but that's always interesting. We didn't deliberately make differences, but due to the studioconstruction and the bigger budget, we could spend more time than on 'The Diabolic Serenades', where almost everything was recorded live. So we worked more on the details.
Nevertheless, the remake of 'Fallen Angel' is quite something different than the demotrack?!
Right, but that was with the old "Echoes of Melancholy" the same case. In our old line-up, when Philip and Stefan were still alive, we used that tracks as an outro and we thought it was a good idea to convert that in a medieval sphere. Now also the guitarthema was kept, but it became a soundtrack, where it felt older than before, with the feeling of shadows from the past. It was one of the best tracks and because it's a very melancholic song, it really came good with the record.
This time their were some lyrics printed, but not all of them. Why?
I have kind of a strange way of writing and on a song like 'Total Misanthropia', that excists of pure adrenaline, I let myself directed by my instincts and though I have certain things in my mind before, I don't follow it completely. I let the theme speak for itself and let primate the feeling, however I don't want to pretend that other lyrics are poetical, are other songs like 'Quest For Blood (Le Vampire)', which is influenced by texts of Beaudelaire, have a more literary value than songs who have to get it from hatred and agression.
But for every song there were explanations printed?
Yes, I think that was quite a nice thing, because however I don't want to apologize myself for misinterpretted lyrics, I can wipe out a few prejudices by explaining with got me to write those lyrics. A song like "(Het verdronken land van) Saeftinge" is close at my heart and is historically right, but no one knows the story. That's why I want to explain that, instead of writing fictive songs or using once again the Necronomicon as a source of inspiration, which, despite its darkness, I just see as a piece of interesting lecture. This way, people will understand that we, as a black metal band, take the lyrics serious and try to approach them without losing the knowledge of history or reality. Maybe its not common to do this as a black metal band, but we do more things that don't fit the genre. If I buy a CD, I find it quite nice, when I notice there has been payed attention to the it. This way, the booklet can clear up some things about the CD, in just a few lines.
In the meanwhile, you guys are in a position to see how Mascot, your new label, works. How are they coping?
We have a very good contact with Ed from the label and everything is running positive. He's very willing, because we don't have any furious demands, he does a lot of promotion, also towards foreign countries and the bigger press. Ed does his job very well, and pays a lot attention to the distribution. He lets us doing our underground contacts and gives us a lot of material for it. It is an ideal cooperation where we can reach everybody, and keep the intention of the band. A lot of bands refuse to deal with smaller magazines once they got more known, but we come from that scene, and we don't forget that. And maybe we'll end there again, once the black metal explosion will be faded away.
Are there any plans for a tour?
On the moment, myself and Walter are going abroad, but when we come back, the CD-presentation will happen on the 27th of January in "De Bogaard" at Geel, Belgium. After that we will finish a Portuguese tour. Further on, the BRT (Belgian Radio & Television) will broadcast some things about us, where we did some live recordingsessions. Then, we'll be doing some other tours, first in Europe and afterwards hopefully outside Europe. So it will get very busy for us, and we won't have much rest, especially when we we'll get involved in a CD of the Dance Macabre-project.
So you won't only sunbathe your ass in Greece?
No, but I never do that overthere anyway. I'm going more for the atmosphere, because there are various metal- and gothicclubs and I feel really very well there, especially in the nightlive. The Dance Macabre-project, which involves besides myself, Sotiris from Septic Flesh and Magus from Rotting Christ and Necromantia, got offers from Holy Records, but also Mascot wants to sign us, and that's something I like more. I'll get more details in Greece about the plans for a recording in April, but I just heard that Sothiris has moved out of Athens, so I don't know if it will have any adverse aspects for the recordings. There is no pressure of time from the label, so we if we can work on it, and everybody's satisfied with it, then it will happen. Besides, Mascot will rerelease 'The Diabolic Serenades', and maybe this way it will make something good on our loss of the previous time. With our self-willed sound and our Belgian descent, it ain't easy to progress, but if you got a label which supports you, you stand a lot further. In England or Germany it's much easier on that point, but seen we always had to struggle stubborn, we are used to that.
Your firmness has caused a change of mentality in the Belgian underground.
Yeah, it got a lot better. Abroad it was always very busy, but nowadays we are also hosted very grateful in Belgium, especially when we were on tour with Cradle of Filth, Malevolent Creation, Vader and Oppressor. It was really a feeling of comming home, and people are more positive towards us, then in the early days. A lot of people who treated you with disrespect, are very different now, but if you are long enough in the scene, the na´vety in you starts disappearing, and you look out when people starts comming to you. We were approached by a lot of 'sharks', who presented themselves as friends, but afterwards they turned out to have bad intentions. Certain statements were being misinterpretated and they start getting an own life and because of that you get a bad name or are called arrogant, while you didn't mean it that way. Spontaneous things like giving a free round in a bar are being seen as a sign of success and showing off with it, no matter how good you mean it. It are just signs of envy, although there is no reason for that, we have struggled many years for somewhat recognition, and we our bancaccount is still at zero! Nevertheless, there are enough gestures who point at improvement.