Have you ever come across the name Vassago? Well, I am sure you have if you have been in the scene for atleast the last five years. Vassago was formed somewhere during 1987-88 but haven't exactly been that productive when it comes to releasing material. After one demo and one brilliant split LP with German Antichrist is it now finally time for the first fullenght, out in spring 1999 through No Fashion Rec. Do not expect this common synth "Metal" a'la Dimmu Borgir and Covenant. No, raw and violent Black Metal with some older Black Metal influences is what Vassago has to offer. All answers in this interview by Pepa.

Interview by Whodan      Official Vassago page here


Hail Pepa and welcome to yet another interview here on Apostasia! How are you doing today? Burnt many strings lately?
Yeah, I have burnt a whole case this autumn!!! DAMN!

Burnt a whole case? Excuse me but, how the hell did you manage to do that?!
Hehehe, I have lived in the rehearsalroom and in the studio during 1998, I have recorded three albums, I change strings every second day in the studio.


OK, you are soon to release your new album ”Knights Of Hell”. Tell me about it. Will it be in the same superior old-school influenced Black Metal as "Hail War"? How many songs will "Knights..." include and perhaps you can give me some songtitles?
Ok! Well, we have actually included a couple from "Hail War", but we have added some solos + it is MUCH better played and way better sound! Songtitles are: 1 "Sign Of Vassago" 2 "Total War Brings Total Death" 3 "Anal Fistfuck" 4 "Raped By The Machine" 5 "Cleansing" 6 "Thou Shalt Kill!!!" 7 "Para Bellum" 8 "Godforsaken" 9 "Agent 666" 10 “Turning the Millennium” 11 "Destroyer" 12 "Abysmic Downfall..." 13 "The Origin Of Evil" 14 "Satanic Slayer" 15 "The Spell Of The Eastern Oracle"


Where was it recorded then? And perhaps you can tell me where ”Hail War” was recorded as well?
We recorded "Hail War" in two sessions, the first one in 1994, that made a demotape, "Nattflykt", recorded on "Smögen"; "Studio Lobster". The second time in 1995, that was mainly a rehearsal-recording that was not really meant to be released but we did it anyway, since we thought it was quite ok and quite raw and brutal! It was recorded in Uddevalla Die Hard-studios.

I heard "Knights..." was recorded live, which isn't very common today. Do you think it gives the music a rawer (better!) sound?
Yeah! I really think it helps to get a better feeling!


Why won’t you release ”Knights...” on TWP as you did with ”Hail War”? Perhaps because that No Fashion can offer a better distribution? Except from the distribution part, what made you signed to them?
The fact that they pay for everything! You know, it was quite expensive, the studio and the cover!

Yeah, the cover is really cruel. Who did it? When looking on details it reminds a bit on "Hail War's" and "Unholy Crusade's" covers, perhaps it's the same artist?
Oh no, this was made by a friend of mine, Daniel Vala of Obscurity, he made it from my instructions and it took him three weks, he painted from morning 'til evening.

Knights From Hell cover


Vassago is in my opinion just as Black Metal are supposed to be, raw, fast and violent. What kind of reaction do you expect from the scene? Do you actually think that you well sell more than a few copies of it today when the scene only seem to care about synth pop ”Black Metal” a'la Dimmu Borgir, Covenant etc?


Hehehe, THANKS!!! I appreciate that! Well, I think that this album will only attract fans that have been into BM for many years, and that is the point! We really don't want to attract the masses, we want to reach those that are like-minded, cause I know that they will think it is a GREAT album, and I know that they will drink beer and HEADBANG to it when they hear it!

Vassago consists of whole seven members. Why not stick to four or perhaps five members?
Vassago has always been just two members; Me and Sin. The others are mainly session-members, but we are thinking of letting one or the other in permanent.

Do you consider Vassago to be a 100% group effort or are you doing all the material by yourself? What input do the other member have in composing?
I write 99,99% of the music, if Sin doesn't like what he hears, he lets me know, so you could say that it is me and him that works as a team that makes the shit happen.

So, how do you separate your creating of music between Vassago, Lord Belial and Sacramentum? Of course all the mentioned acts are very different from each other, but still I find some riffs that might fit in any of the mentioned bands.
I practically LIVE in the rehearsal-rooms, and when I am not there, I am in the studio. That is my current life... but as it is, when we do songs for Lord Belial, it is me and Dark, and we work on a very personal basis, we kind of KNOW what the other guy think, it comes very natural. Sacramentum... I haven't been a member for so long so it is mostly Anders and Nicklas that makes the riffs, I merely polish and spice them and make the solos. In Vassago, I just grind on and play whatever comes to mind, some stuff that comes out just don't fit, so then I take it to either Lord Belial or Sacramentum, but Vassago is very very primitive, it is almost as far from playing technical as you can come(!) whilst Lord Belial is on a very deep basis, with Darks sensitive riffs, accompanied by mine raw ones, and sometimes the other way around. Sacramentum is VERY technical! So it is really three totally different styles.

Yes, how come you actually became a permanent member of Sacramentum?
The mentality was so right and it is a real challenge to play this kind of music, it is very technical.

Hail War cover

I guess all 500 ex of ”Hail War” were all sold out pretty fast. Have you thought about print some new and then perhaps on CD or cassette?
No, they are supposed to be in a limited edition, as was the demotape!

I noticed that you have abandoned you old logo in favour of a new simplier logo. How come?
I think the new one looks very much more "stylish" and clean, like a wellsharpened scythe, the old one was a fucking mess of melted metalic pus, so I really like the new one better!


I haven’t heard anything about Vassago as a live act. Are there any chances for us to see Vassago live or will you ”remain in silence” when it comes to live performances?
We have thought about doing a tour, but we will see what happens!
We have said that we will never play in Sweden though, (I don't know why we said that, but...!)

You have been in the scene for perhaps 15 years now. How do you think it has changed? To me it seems as Metal is slowly dying here in Sweden, of course it will never die out completely but some years ago we had several good bands but today there are only a few left. Do you ever think that Metal will be as strong as it was back during late 80 / early 90?
No, I don't think it will!

So, how long will Vassago and Lord Belial remain in the underground then?
Well, I guess we will remain "Undergroud" as long as "people" don't buy our albums! Like Hammerfall, if they hadn't sold 2.000.000 copies but instead 2.000, that would probably classify them as a underground band, right? (That might be true. - ed) I think if Lord Belial all of a sudden sells something like 100.000, there will be talks about "sellout" etc etc. (Some idiots would propably say so. - ed) So, I guess that is our answer: it lies not in our power to control really...

Seems as you missunderstod me... But ok, how long will you play Metal then? You are almost 30 now, do you think you will play Metal when you are, let's say 50?
Eh, ok. Well, I don't know how long we will do it, I guess until we drop dead or just don't get anything out of it any longer.

Time to end! Perhaps you can tell me what you thought about Iron Maiden's and Slayer's album that came out during 1998? Don’t dare to say that the new I.M. was bad!
Iron Maiden was great! (Nice to hear - ed) I didn't like the Slayer one that much though (Not me either - ed), my favourite album is "Reign in Blood" you see! New Maiden... it is quite alright! At least they haven't wimped out and that is something that I appreciate more than anything! Ok, thanks a billion for the interview! Die Hard! and STAY METAL!!!!