«I support murders» - stated the vocalist of the mysterious Swedish band OPHTHALAMIA when we touched upon the homosexuality. We had to talk about that. Why? You will learn it soon. It has become a damned topic for Black metal... Though, OPHTHALAMIA is not the black metal band in the true meaning of the word. The third album, as well as it’s predecessors, has nothing in common with the known styles and trends. That’s the reason why the band and it’s music have never been conceived to its utmost. «Black metal stars» - you won’t say that about OPHTHALAMIA as well as you won’t say they are just another mediocre band...
You see, Peter, I know there is an interesting story behind the name OPHTHALAMIA. I heard about a wonderful world created by It, a magic land with its own laws and principles. What is that perfect world called OPHTHALAMIA?
It is It’s world, so it’s pretty hard for me to talk about that. But I think this is his ideal world, the world he would like to live in. Very big, very dark... brooding world.
But why did It want to live there? Wasn’t he satisfied with the life in the modern civilization?
I don’t know really. It was some kind of a fantasy world, some kind of Talking, you know. I think It has never been comfortable in modern civilization. It took it really seriously. I think It wanted to get there after his death, may be.
What do the other members of the band think of It’s world. How much are you involved in it?
His ideas are too personal, and I didn’t get very deep into them. But we all respected his world...
OK, let us talk about the concept of the albums then. I guess it could throw light onto some dark corners of It’s fantasy...
The first album is dedicated to OPHTHALAMIA, I think. It is a journey from the realms of death to the vast lands of OPHTHALAMIA. Each song is a certain step toward the magic world. And I think «Via Dolorosa» hasn’t got any particular concept. But it is based on Vivaldy’s «Four Seasons». We like classical music. And «Four Seasons»... it’s a very good idea, all the seasons can be represented trough different emotions, feelings and stuff. We decided to use it just because it was a good idea, and not, of course, because Vivaldy did it! You know, he did it first... «Dominion» is based around Shakespeare’s «Magbeth». From the beginning it was meant to be an OPHTHALAMIA’s version. So, it became a more dark version of «Magbeth».
Why? Are you that fascinated by William Shakespeare and classic in general?
Yes, I like some of his works. «Magbeth», «King Liar», «Hamlet» and stuff...
To tell the truth, it was hard to believe you would ever release your third album: the release date was postponed so many times that even your fans quit hoping to hear it! May be you were negotiating on the author’s rights with Shakespeare, hm?
Yeah, there were lots of troubles with the release of the album. First of all It left the band. And it mixed things up. It was It’s band, you know. Then we re-released the recording of the first album, and we wanted to have some time between these two releases. Then the first cover of the album didn’t fit us, and we had certain troubles finding the suitable cover. All the things you can imagine, went wrong.
Well, now we have got to one of the major points of the interview. Why did It, one of the founders of OPHTHALAMIA, decide to leave the band? It was his band, his world. How did it happen?
It decided to leave the whole scene. He got fed up with all the stuff, scene and people. It didn’t just left OPHTHALAMIA, he left the whole scene, he left everything. He called me and said: «Thanks for being my friend. We won’t ever meet again.»
There is also one more thing I would like to clear up: Jon and It were reported to kill an Algerian gay. There have been nasty rumors that Jon has been already arrested and It is wanted. Is it true? Would you care to comment?
I am not sure what have happened either. I know that Jon from DISSECTION and some pals of his were involved in a murder. They were «high on speed» and decided to kill this guy. But that has nothing to do with It. He was not involved in the murder!
You say he was not? At least mass media have already labeled It a murderer!
No! It’s a bullshit.
Where is It now? What does he think of the situation he got into?
I don’t know. No one has met him yet.
I suppose you had hard times continuing OPHTHALAMIA without It. Why did you decide to stay within the band?
It did the greater part of music and lyrics for the first two albums. We worked on the «Dominion» album differently. Everyone was involved in the creation of the music. We think this is the best album we have ever created. We thought if the album did well, we would continue as a band. So, as far as I know, the album sells very well and we are talking about the recording of the new album.
How did mass media accept the «Dominion» album?
Actually, Ozzy Ozbourne was in Sweden a couple of days ago. A reporter from a magazine handled him a bunch of Swedish bands’ CDs for reviewing. So he reviewed them, and gave OPHTHALAMIA top grades!
That’s great! Our congratulations! (May be next year Qzzy will show up wearing a corpse paint?!) Beside the fantasy world, you have also created a bunch of nicknames for each member of the band. To what extent do the nicknames reflect the personalities?
Oh, shit! Ha ha! Our bass player is called «Mist», and that has something to do with his manners. He is a kind of a misty guy, if you see what I mean.
He is also called Mr. Out-Of-Tune...
Yeah! Perhaps, he is not the best musician. And he has some minor difficulties with tuning his bass. The drummer has got the nickname «Mr. Negative», he’s a sort of negative guy. He always complains about everything.
Do you have any particular nickname?
Not anymore... «God» perhaps! «Almighty God».
Sounds ambitious, isn’t it?
This is my nature.
Do you like to dominate the others, suppress people?
Man, we have got «Almighty God», «Mr. Negative», «Mist»: a gang of bloody unpleasant dudes you would never drink a beer with! How do you manage to cope with each other?
It’s pretty hard. We use a lot of stimulants to get along and it works. Like whiskey, beer...
So alcohol holds your band?
Yes, ha ha!
Well, I can imagine how much alcohol is required to keep you together! Why do you never tour? I guess there are lots of people who would like to see you live!
OPHTHOLOMIA has always been a «bad luck» band. The old members were really scattered all over the country, it was pretty hard to get together and rehearse.
But are you planning to play any live gigs though?
Your promotional biography says you have invented a new standard for black metal music. So, what sort of black metal have you created? Is it still black you play?
It’s pretty hard to say. I think it’s a kind of black metal but it is very fast, it is even more into heavy metal. And Satanism is behind our lyrics. I think music that deals with Satanism, darkness and evil stuff, is called «black metal». Doesn’t matter how it sounds.
May I know your point on Satanism and religion?
Oh, shit! I don’t really want to get involved into my personal views on Satanism.
You are free to talk about your band’s views if you don’t want to speak for yourself...
I don’t think we have an outspoken view on Satanism. It’s so personal, everyone has his own views, you know...
But why not share them with out readers? VOX MORTIS is opened for everybody’s points of view!
I am an active Satanist, I worship Satan, I believe in Satan. My belief is the destruction of Christianity and all that stuff. But it doesn’t mean I am running around murdering people! I don’t do that. I express my believes through my music.
So, you are not an aggressive Satanist!
I CAN be, ha ha! But it would be pretty meaningless. I wouldn’t like to spend ten years in jail for nothing! I am trying to control myself.
Some of the Satanists believe they must be very grim and evil. They must sacrifice for Satan and stuff (staff?). You don’t make sacrifice, and you are - what is odd for a Satanist - a person with a good sense of humor? How can you call yourself a Satanist after all?
I think it is pretty wrong. Everyone has to follow his own credo. It doesn’t work for me. But I support the murder, though I would not do it myself!
What do you think about gay murdering around the world?
I don’t like gays. Homosexuality is abominable. And I support murders...
What else do you dislike? What would you like to get rid of to lead a good life of a benevolent Satanist?
O-o-oh, let me think. First of all I would like to get rid of all the religions except my religion.
If you confront the religion as a whole, why have you created the religion of your own? Why do you think your religion is better?
The bad point of other religions is that they are the other religions. The good thing about my religion is that it is my religion. My ideals and my views are right, and I don’t want to hear any other ideas or points of view! Because I know they are wrong from the start. The ideal world for me is the world where I can decide what is right and what is wrong.
Where you are an almighty God?!
Do the other members of the band accept your «I-am-the-God» ideology? Do they really believe you are the almighty God?
I think we have got pretty much the same ideology, but the problem is that we are very self-centered. We don’t discuss it that much. It’s a common thing in black metal when everybody considers himself to be the best. So am I! It would be lame if everybody in the band worshipped me like God. Though it would be very good!
Do the other members know you would like to dominate them?
Yes. I don’t think they like it a lot. We struggle with each other until someone’s will is broken. That’s the way it is.
Name five heavy metal albums you really like.
That will be... 1.«Dominion» 2.«Dominion» 3.«Dominion» 4.«Dominion» and «Dominion»!
Hey, I didn’t know there are so many bands with the same album titles! OK, Peter, as you don’t tour at all, do you want to seize the opportunity and tell anything to your devoted fans?
Yeah! Buy our albums.
I am sure they will! Do you have any ideological message for them?
Yeah! Buy more our albums!