Entrevue avec Abigor
e 4 septembre dernier, un des cofondateurs du célèbre groupe autrichien Abigor prenait la plume afin de publier un libelle enflammé regroupant ses principales réflexions à propos du Black Metal contemporain. Vingt ans après fondé son propre groupe, Thomas Tannenberger (alias TT) n’a rien perdu de sa verve et de sa passion pour l’art obscur. Intrigué par ses propos, je lui ai proposé de les approfondir, grâce à un questionnaire spécifiquement élaboré pour l’occasion. Lui et son confrère se sont gentiment prêtés à l’exercice, nous offrant une rare occasion d’entrer dans leur univers.
On September 4th, one of the famous Austrian band Abigor co-founder published a straightforward article consolidating its main reflections about contemporary Black Metal. Twenty years after he founded his own band, Thomas Tannenberger (aka TT) is still enthusiastic, passionate and uncompromising for its dark art. Intrigued, I offered him to deepen its opinion through a specifically developed questionnaire. He and his colleague PK kindly accepted, giving us a rare opportunity to enter their universe.
Métal Obscur. First, I would like to thank you for accepting this interview.
TT. We rather be featured in your blog, as your interest in Abigor seems sincere, than having a full colour double page interview in a huge magazine that is bought by a big record company to promote an album release. That’s how it works today and we deeply scorn this habit.
MO. Nostalgia sells, that’s well-known. Some Rock and Heavy Metal bands are prolonging indefinitely their career with special tours and compilations. Why should it be different for a Black Metal band?
TT. Because BM is fundamentally different to other genres. Maybe it is legitimate to capture a certain period in Rock or Heavy Metal history and recreate the atmosphere (still I could imagine only very few ‘shows’ that work), but Black Metal is dealing with the essence, with human existence and beyond, with god’s aether, the devil’s soil and the unearthly spheres of pure and impure spirits in-between. Black Metal is religion and philosophy, and Satanic Black Metal all the more. And we must reconsider what Black Metal was in 1993.
- Musically it was extremely original and innovative. Besides a few Bathory and CF references there was nothing like 1992 to 1995 Black Metal, each relevant project or ‘band’ had its very own recognizable sound. No one was a fucking copycat.
- BM was carried on a wave of extremism in people’s minds. And if you don’t manage to come up with extreme music and extreme mindset but just follow the beaten track, then stop. We paused with Abigor for this reason. I stopped in 1999, PK two years later. We had nothing more to contribute. This was an honest decision, just as much as the reunion.
MO. Black Metal is built on an awkward paradox, which crosses nihilism (destruction and hatred) and conservatism (preserving the original spirit and celebrating the past). How do you explain this curious phenomenon?
TT. Black Metal is a damn young phenomenon compared to other musical genres, and every great form of art has references to its tradition. But all the conservative talk is just talk; the most ‘traditional’ ‘old school’ records (Det Som Engang Var, De Mysteriis Dom. Sathanas, A Blaze In The Northern Sky) musically were not conservative at all. Why was Euronymous and all others continuously promoting conservatism? Because they demanded Celtic Frost instead of rappin’ Anthrax. They worshipped Mercyful Fate, not bermuda short Florida Death Metal with all the same sound (which, by the way, started in BM as well).
This was the reason behind all the ‘old school’ thoughts and talks! But Burzum’s early works or especially Filosofem was utterly, yes, ‘modern’ (a dreaded word but meaning fresh and very much reflecting the time of its creation). And the signings on Deathlike Silence were not conservative. Monumentum ‘In Absentia Christii’ was not conservative. Thorns, Mysticum, Ulver, or the majesty of Emperor, all unheard of before. Later classics like Ved Buens Ende´s first album was not conservative, Zyklon B, Arcturus, all these things were ‘new’ at the times, just as 2 or 3 years before the mentioned cornerstones (A Blaze, Det Som Engang, De Mysteriis) were musically far from being conservative. And those who now scream ‘tradition’ and ‘underground’ and ‘old school’ the loudest usually do this because they have nothing to offer and steal old efforts. They follow an ‘old school’ trend because that’s all they can.
Great BM is always traditional and individual, no matter if primitive or sophisticated! It’s not necessary to proclaim tradition as there is no Black Metal without tradition. On this occasion I want to say just because I mentioned almost only Norwegian bands doesn’t mean that the Greek scene and others weren’t as important, actually they were! Rotting Christ, Necromantia, Von, Unholy, Beherit, Master´s Hammer, Mystifier (Goetia is still a great record), the list of influential 89-91 bands goes on, we must not forget BM was no Scandinavian phenomenon in the beginning.
MO. Like most extreme art form, Black Metal has lost its soul over the years. It became an accepted and ‘popular’ brand of music, not scaring anyone anymore. Do you think that’s why there are so many bands all around the world? What can explain this proliferation?
TT. Scaring people, well, do you think those sad ‘painted figures in the wood’ pictures and the high screamy vocals scared anyone back in the early 90s? Go down the street and play people the first Burzum record, show them the photo and observe if they are scared. Maybe Abruptum’s first 2 albums scared people, and of course the deeds of arson, murder and suicide were obviously dangerous. But BM as art form on LP and CD wasn’t particularly scary, you had to understand what it represents to see the danger.
But we didn’t want to shock, we were rebelling against the light happy colourful Metal that became of old Thrash and Death Metal. Yet Black Metal of the present is much more extreme than ever. I don´t think BM has lost its soul. There´s many releases out there that capture the spirit and have something fundamental to tell. But with the mass comes the shit, that’s obvious.
PK.…and with the mass came the rise of sell rates through well promoted bands that just followed some kind of “look” and image campaign and concept – these wannabe Black Metal bands and major labels caused the fall, the loss of origins, and made it all not more than an accepted form of “Metal music”. Throughout this period just a very few bands stood and still stand true to their paths, so the soul of this art form is alive, sometimes it’s just a spark, sometimes a blazing flame, just take some time, a deep breath and listen.
MO. Abigor was created in 1993. Even at this time, many Scandinavian musicians were complaining about copycat bands spawning everywhere. Why did you create your band back then? Weren’t you just following the movement? Why didn’t you stop when Black Metal was commercially recuperated in the mid-nineties?
TT. Why the hell should we stop creating extreme art that expresses and deals with our religion? We are not the scene, so even if the scene changes, this doesn’t change Abigor! The scene does inspire us, but has no negative impact on our art. And yes, in 1993 there were some copycats out there already. And even before. What does that say? What impact does that have on serious ones? None. Just that if something great is created, the scum follows immediately.
Abigor wasn’t made out of nothing in 1993. Do you think there was emptiness and all of a sudden we recorded Black Metal just like in the 6 days of the Genesis? We have a personal history within Metal that goes way back.
Abigor relevant things happened back in 1987 (I started collecting LPs as a child in 1982 by the way, so I have been there when the first Slayer and Bathory albums were released). For the very first time you will hear about the true beginnings of Abigor, the whole detailed history.
A major part of the lyrics of Universe Of Black Divine, to be precise the whole ‘the holy trinity is rotten’ part, was written in 1987 by NM, the guy who did some screams on Abigor´s first 2 album releases. I have jammed with him in the most primitive Hellhammer style, the torture doom sound of Triumph Of Death, in 1987, improvised and slow, a bit like early Abruptum, too (the 7”). Then we searched for more members, which sadly resulted in a tamer form. Together with Thurisaz (later Abigor vocalist) we founded a Thrash Metal band called Lost Victim, recorded a demo in 1988 (‘S-Lost Victim’, after the nerve gas S-Lost) and later played a concert in Lukov, Cechoslovakia in 1989. It was the typical Thrash of the times, Sodom ’Persecution Mania’ era, Destruction, mixed with more classic Metal, and a few excursions into the upcoming Death Grind territories, as it was usual in 87 to 89, mixing the new most extreme Metal but still being rooted in 80s Metal.
We covered Sodom’s Bombenhagel, Destruction’s Mad Butcher, listened to Infernal Majesty, Voivod, Carnivore, Nuclear Assault and Sabbat, but we never came anywhere near those. Nevertheless some riffs from Abigor’s Ash Nazg demo and the later version of Shadowlord stem from that band. To be precise, the original Lost Victim song was called ‘Empty Gaze’. The band fell apart in 1990, and in 1991 I joined the army (yes, earlier than average, with the signature of my parents).
Around that time the tape trader and fanzine scene started to become big and important and one could feel that the short regency of underground Death Metal was soon to be swept away by something greater, more extreme. I have been right at the heart of the scene, feeling the pulse and the change. Very very exciting times, where something utterly new and amazing was happening and to be found in the postbox every week. We were active tape traders contributing to the scene, and you shouldn’t underestimate the big impact of tape traders, fanzines and in general the footwork of people. The bands shined in glory, but it was the tape traders who spread the news, the flyers, who formed the chain and were responsible that the right people get the right sounds and inspirations in their postbox.
So I kept writing some music, doing photo sessions out in the woods, and in winter 1992 to 1993 I have recorded an instrumental guitar only demo (like the Thorns tape, no drums, no vocals), 2 songs, with a photocopied cover on yellow paper. I still remember the photo I put on the front, I had a black hand knitted hood to look like a monk, corpse paint, shot in the forest at dark. I gave that to Silenius, which I only knew remotely from a record store back then, and to a tape trader associate of mine, and one or two zines. No name, but I if I remember right the song title In Sin was already used for something.
Around the same time I met PK again, we grew up together but lost contact, yet the passion for the most extreme music, underground Death and Black Metal of 1992, made us cross paths that year again. And in 1993 PK and me created a project that just had to be formed. First we thought about calling ourselves In Sin or To Mega Therion and I remember drawing logos for the 2 names. But then Abigor was chosen, we immediately felt it is the right name. So, now that you know how Abigor arose, do you still think we gave a fuck about copycats as we recorded the first demo? We were living and breathing Black Metal and we couldn’t care less.
PK. Not even the interest in music was the reason for the decision to start with Abigor, also our deep dedication to occultism, and practise of different rites linked to the satanic essence, the cause and effect. Also I remember that we wandered hours through the forests, spoke about life and death, the master himself, and enjoyed nature. All that was of main importance for the rise of the band.
Universe Of Black Divine
Rehearsal May 1994 with Silenius on vocals
Will be released on bonus CD (limited 200 items) to the 7" Supreme And Immortal (soon released on Avantgarde)
MO. What do you think of Trånn Ciekals’ (Djevel / NettleCarrier / ex-Lja) initiative of restoring Helvete, Euronymous old record shop, turning it in a ‘kind of’ museum?
TT. Fuck it. Euronymous used Helvete to bring the ‘true bands’ further. Of course to make money, too, which is fully legitimate. He also sold trendy ‘Death’ Metal shit but used it for Mayhem and signed the most advanced and innovative BM acts for Deathlike Silence. He released Burzum’s debut and Aske, eternal classics. His vision of BM by embracing the full circle, Monumentum, Abruptum, the first Sigh album and so on, was much bigger than a fucking Norway BM chapel (with a few extensions). He was promoting Satanism and extremism and Helvete served as meeting point for the most active people at the time. There was every day boredom, too, it wasn’t a mystical place in-between worlds. But far from what I have seen on recent photos. And what about his ideas of the shop having black walls, lit by candles only, as he said in many interviews? I haven’t got detailed infos, but if a self praising Norway toy land comes out, then fuck it. Euronymous spearheaded a movement, not a museum. If you want something in the spirit of Euronymous and Helvete, then take the money and give it to the next underground label or band that sweats blood and comes up with the most extreme uncompromising BM.
But instead, a museum is created where Euronymous is exposed next to the murderer that stabbed him in the back, hahaha, this is sick. And to of course, Fenriz is jumping in to teach his belittling stories how harmless the times were. But those times were different. Fenriz called themselves The Devil’s Poet, spread Satanism and was incited to radical outbursts like ‘Darkthrone play northern Aryan Black Metal’ or accused people of ‘Jewish behaviour’, which showed that extremism of any kind was part of the ‘game’ to scare away commercial mags and labels, no matter if wrong or right. Emperor said things like ‘fascism is murder, murder is art, we praise the art of murder’, Marduk praised fascism (while Grishnackh wrote satanic titles and lyrics like Dominus Sathanas or his stuff for Darkthrone in the early years by the way), everything was said to make clear Black Metal is the most extreme thing on earth, do not come near us. Now how does that fit in the ‘museum’?
MO. Money is corrupting everything it touches: sports, politics, art, etc. Music is no exception. Do you really think Black Metal can stay pure in a rotten environment?
TT. No, money is not the source of corruption. Money often is absolutely necessary to produce albums. Money only corrupts corrupt minds! Sadly corrupt minds also are the ones who don’t care for art and idealism, but who focus on controlling a scene, as this is what they are best in. That’s why a scene is usually controlled by the wrong people as soon it slips out of the innovator’s hands, as usually the innovators have their head busy with their art and don’t spend all energy on the scene. There were many people, fanzines, tape distributors, tape traders, and so on, who helped keep the scene pure. The times changed, the suckers entered, now we must close ranks and get the parasites out again! Who does not contribute but just sucks energy and money from the scene should burn bright in the purgatory flames before the flesh hooks of demons tear them apart.
PK. Personally, I am not addicted to the income from the sells so I can keep my work in ABIGOR as an individual form of art, it’s still the musical expression of my religious believes exclusively.
MO. Magazines are profit-looking businesses in direct competitions with other medias, not to mention the Internet. They could not survive without ads, mostly bought by labels and distributors. Readers are mostly aware of this incestuous relationship, but yet, they buy copies. How do you explain it?
TT. No, magazines could still have a healthy relation to the business side of things, but there’s not many people out there who are ready and willing to SPEND money to contribute to the scene like fanzines did, where money came back only after several issues of good work. Or people who spend their time and money on a great blog, although I do not know as many as the old fanzines. And readers are not fully aware of how exclusive this dependency has become and how the old structures disappeared. They buy copies because they used to, it’s good toilet lecture and brainwashing easy reading. And every now and then a DVD of Fenriz is included, making his jokes and talking about a certain ‘underground’ (and I am too puzzled that people really believe this show!).
MO. Why give Internet critics such attention, if they’re not worth it? Do you think these kinds of e-zine have a real impact, or you’re just annoyed by their behaviour?
TT. I build my own life on respect for great efforts of people, on the history of great art, and I value everyone who comes up with something worthy. And I hate every single individual who is a selfish twat and doesn’t has the decency and respect towards other people’s efforts. Bad critics because someone doesn’t like it? All good. Reasonable, comprehensible critic that is on point? All good. Disrespectful words of selfish twats that have no understanding of extreme music? Total hate. I can’t stand if someone has done nothing in his life but spreading jealous poison and acting cool, hiding behind a screen and an avatar. I am utterly humble facing my own art, and I’m not even talking about Abigor reviews (I am my sharpest critic), this is just the same with every other project or album.
MO. Printed fanzines have become a rarity these days, replaced by blogs, websites, forums, etc. Are they all equally crappy? Are some still worth reading and following (no, I’m not evoking mine)?
TT. Of course they are not equally crappy, and they’re not all crappy, this is a stupid assumption. Like I said above, with fanzines, people had to prove something over a longer time, but I can login and write a shitty critic for thousands to see the next minute in 10 seconds. And this is not a good thing. So I’m valuing all serious blogs and writes, but I’m for closing the scene and have it controlled by dedicated people who care, blogs included, like in the early days.
MO. If someone writes a bad review of an album you like, is he an ignorant idiot? What is the ‘red line’ of quality you’re mentioning in your text?
TT. Yes, everyone with a different taste than mine is an ignorant idiot, hahaha. Of course not. Taste is taste, but there are objective criteria. I can differ between these two. I know that I like some shitty stuff because it just made a bell ring on my inside, but I know it’s still crap, even if I like it. And I can say if something is great but personally I don’t like it. That’s what I expect of people who judge other people’s lives, as my music is my life. We put all our energy and personality into it (although basically I think I’m an empty vessel and true art comes from other forces than one’s own ego, but that’s another thing).
You should be able to tell a writer’s personal preference over a long period of time. I knew what Metalion of Slayer Mag preferred, I knew what Frank Stöver liked, and I knew that in the 80s Metal Hammer’s and Rock Hardss ‘arschbombe des monats’ column (the worst record of the month) actually often featured the best ripping records. When I open Metal Archives and click on a record and see ten people, or just one, I know nothing about their credibility and integrity. This could be written by 5 friends of the band or maybe members of the band themselves hiding behind avatars, writing shit about their competitors. What I know is that De Msteriis is not a 5 out of 100 point album and DSO´s Si Monumentum is not a 0 out of 100 point album, this is not up for negociation! What is discussable is taste, so you don’t like Attila’s style, ok, you usually only listen to Metalcore, allright. You have only bought the first Mutiilation record and think everything else not sounding like that is not Black Metal, well. But one knows nothing of the writers in the web. I mean, I even read a music theory rehash of our ‘Lux Devicta Est‘ demo, explaining Kingdom Of Darkness with A part and B part and arrangement techniques, and sorry, this is not what Black Metal is about, this guy is in the wrong genre. Black Metal is not about fucking music theory.
MO. You mentioned Metal-Archives and its lack of judgment when accepting reviews. Again, how would you proceed? Who should be authorized to publish in such an important web resource?
TT. I have been contacted by a guy from Encyclopaedia Metallum concerning my critic of Abigor‘s description, and value this approach a lot. It seems the people there actually care, kudos to that. But I don’t believe in ‘everybody can play music critique or journalist who just wants to’ as this opens door for unserious self exposers. Maybe there should be group of long time admins who nominate serious and dedicated people writing reviews. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not about a good or bad critic, it’s about comprehensibility and dedication. And that sadly often just self promoters are the active internet reviewers that judge other people’s work.
MO. Most Abigor albums were re-released on various formats, including vinyl. You also launched a lavish two-cd box-set in 2012, on which you’re re-interpreting Channeling the Quintessence of Satan. Isn’t ‘something special’ to paraphrase your expression?
TT. We made zero money, not a single cent, on Quintessence! The production costs with the silver print and A5 book and thicker paper were that high and it’s that limited that we are reaching break even shortly before the 900 sold. We knew that before and the work we did for it was immense. For instance, we threw away a whole album of vocals because we haven’t been satisfied, so we started from scratch almost a year later until the vocalist spit blood. But we made it because we had to. Sadly we didn’t have the original individual microphone tracks, just a shitty stereo roughmix to work with, but nevermind.
Sometimes Black Metal is meant to be raw and nasty. I totally like the form it got, this is our De Mysteriis, a frantic furious BM album that tells of the ancient black arts. Now the visual part fits perfectly, the lyrics are sharpened, the vocals are great, there´s the missing bass lines, and the arrangement was edited according to the original intention. The dark ambient sounds that didn’t fit were replaced by quotes from The 7th Seal. The link to Abigor‘s early days (we already used samples from that movie on the second demo), combined with the complete satanic tapes. It is a very important release for Abigor.
I do not really understand what you mean with ‘isn’t something special to paraphrase your expression‘.
With different sound (mastering for LP), unreleased so far.
MO. Do you really think the ‘underground’ still exists today in this Internet era? Anyone can record basic songs and put it on a social media for the world to discover. In such environment, what does ‘underground’ mean?
TT. The underground doesn’t consist of individuals and bands who proclaim of themselves they are so ‘underground’ all the time, or of the handwritten number on the backcover of your limited vinyl. But the underground consists of bands with individuality who do not compromise, and people who are supporting the right things, this is underground. Back in the early 90s, Burzum, Mayhem and Darkthrone immediately sold many many thousands of records. Was that overground? No. But ‘underground’ often is just a fucking image that overground or commercial bands use to be more credible. The most overground ones have ‘underground’ written on their stuff all over. Just continue to shout ‘underground’ all the time so that people believe you are cool. They can all fuck off.
Underground? Svest means a lot to me. Drastus means a lot to me. The old hundred thousand or million times sold BM albums (Burzum, Darkthrone, Mayhem) mean a lot to me. And every person who contributes to the scene and has respect means something to me. Fuck this under- and overground talk! The commercial labels and zines have won and destroyed the underground, so we must get back to the smallest entity again, support people again instead of copying free ripped MP3s while spending your money on traitors selling ebay rarities for hundreds of €s, where the right people don’t see a cent. Ask EAL if they would have done it this way if they’d known it just ends up on ebay for hundreds of €s, where the ‘collectors’ cash in on other people’s work.
And great ‘underground’ records like Vrolok/Emit picture disc or Kriegsmaschine/Szron split LP go for no money and are overlooked while shit records reach hundreds on ebay just because they are ‘rare’, just because ‘collectors’ gain self esteem by owning them. A faggot with a rare item stays a faggot. Underground labels had to quit and got broke because of that!!!!!! These people actually destroy the underground, they are not underground. I can understand the frustration of new projects that don’t get signed as there is no money anymore in the underground to come up with proper releases. While Nuclear Blast, Century Media, and yes, Napalm and the likes celebrate big time. Labels who are there because of the underground which they betray now.
MO. After more than twenty years, I believe Black Metal has exhausted its originality potential and most new bands are sounding more or less like one of the past. Nonetheless, this music style still attracts thousands of kids willing to add their contribution. How would you explain that?
TT. Black Metal attracts people for many reasons and I’m not going to count all the unserious reasons. Why does shitty pop music attract millions? Same with BM. But I know what attracts me and many other musicians and listeners. Black Metal, apart from contemporary ‘classical’ composers, is still the only musical art form that deals with the mysteries of existence, and the secrets which are buried into the meaning of duality.
MO. This is all about the complex relationship between ‘being and doing’. If you’re writing a violent Satanic song full of hatred for mankind, while being an agnostic gentle and humorous lad in real life, you will probably be accused of hypocrisy, no?
TT. No. What has Satanism got to do with violent hate against people? There´s as many Hardcore, Grindcore, Punk or Thrash Metal lyrics filled with hate and violence. The contrary, ever compared an extreme Hardcore concert with Black Metal ones? BM fans attending concerts are tame pussies compared to the violent pits of Hardcore (or Skinhead music). Sadly. Old Thrash Metal concerts in the late 80s were utterly violent! That’s how it should be. I’ve visited an Enslaved show recently and started to go riot a bit as they played ‘Fenris‘ from ‘Frost‘, and scared all the attending ‘warriors’ away. Suddenly there was a big circle of free space around me as they thought I’m an evil skinhead or something. I just wanted a slice of good old concert violence. No. Pussies.
And what has a humorous mind got to do with the radical execution of one’s art? I tell you something now, being more than 20 years in the scene I have met most people you can dream of, the BM ‘stars’ and the obscure ‘underground’ people who never show their face in public and when you read their lyrics you think they’re sadistic and dangerous satanic paedophiles, and after meeting them you know they’re the most calm, witty people on earth, listening to all kinds of music, too. And I have a close friend working in a forensic psychiatric station in Germany, where the most spectacular serial killers and ‘perverts’ are locked in. He observes the dark side of society and man’s mind every day. And these most pervert killers are nice and shy guys, sometimes pitiful. Yet they ripped children apart and fucked their dead bodies. So come on with talks of ‘violent’ people, or that jokes and evilness exclude each other. Do not believe those ‘proud warriors of Black Pagan underground’, those pantyhose wearing sheet metal sword swinging ‘heroes’ that sing about war all the time, those who spend their life on building up an image. I have these guys for breakfast! They never had a real fight, only empty words and kitschy images!
You have to throw all Metal clichés overboard to understand the fires of hell that burn in the minds of people who believe in what they write. I can tell you that I have suffered immensely for my belief and the art I created with Abigor and the topics I have touched. And I know of other BM musicians who had the same experience. Who channelled ‘something’ with their lyrics and music that almost destroyed their existence. After praying the mantra of destruction, after channelling the fall of man on Time, I lost everything, relationship, flat, everything. And I know of bands who experienced the same, who deliberately murdered all hope with a certain album and then each member of the band went through an utterly miserable phase of destruction in the next month. Channelling destruction and touching the void of negativity is no fucking joke if it’s done seriously and not just out of a BM cliché. And you get a lighter mind when you wandered through these valleys.
Now do not tell me anything about making a joke on an internet site or being a lighthearted lad every now and then. I know how it feels to stare into the abyss and the abyss stares back, as Nietzsche put it. I could wear a pink Tshirt and tell you a hundred jokes today, while my lyrics and music are still dead serious and filled with the most extreme content. Fuck the artificial image of Black Metal bands that are too busy with acting pseudo evil than write something profound, and the fanboy children who fall for it.
PK. I see it more from a spiritual level so there’s no inner conflict at all, better said (focused to my existence), I feel that need to separate it because if I would live through the things I believe in and practise all of it, in some cases I would be already in jail or mental asylum. But that’s the way it works, a dance on the razorblade with the aim to step over the line each fucking day. So maybe ABIGOR is my therapist, my valve – instead of using the gun for the other solution and fix a few things faster.
MO. Kids of the 90s are now grown men with families and responsibilities. Yet, they still play Black Metal with a more mature approach, while despising newcomers, accusing them of re-enacting the past. Is this a ‘Black Metal generational conflict’?
TT. No. We have the right to accuse others for creating art without spirit because we didn’t go the easy route ourselves. In our early days we were ready to go to prison for our art every day! Be it the known deeds of Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany, or the footwork of us all. In 1993 PK and me wrote and designed the most blasphemic propaganda and we crashed local ‘party’ events to spread these leaflets and create discomfort and confusion. It is an illegal act to be that outspoken and offensive against Christianity here, and when you don’t pay your penalty you go to jail. We were ready to be violent against others and ourselves back then and BM promoted uttermost negativity in its early days.
One, in retrospective view almost funny, story that Silenius told me some time ago: as we did the second photosession with him, he was sitting in the back row of a car between me and PK, driving into the woods. We were quiet. He grabbed a knife in his pocket, as he had more and more the feeling PK and I wanted to murder him every minute now. This describes the insanity that filled the air back then. I mean we played in the same band but such feeling arose and you always most of the times had weapons with you. Do we think it’s the most mature and only way? No. The right way for BM? Maybe not. But did this belong to early BM as a whole? Yes, definitely. This is the spirit out of which BM was created back then. If you don’t recreate the spirit, then don’t recreate ’1993 BM’. And I don’t accept newcomers that talk about old school and ‘BM tradition’ all the time but go the safe, easy route and are just nostalgic internet heroes who have no clue about real Black Metal.
We did a few violent deeds and tried to spread anxiety in the early days, but apart from that, we did our own music and did not copy trendy Death Metal. If I do not see any of this, neither extremism of any kind nor individuality, with new bands, I accuse them of being bandwagon jumpers and riding on nothing but an old Darkthrone record. Most of the proclaimers of tradition are in reality just nostalgic pussies with the wrong idea of Black Metal. Yet there’s many great traditional projects out there, that’s for sure, and my respect goes to those. Write great music and great lyrics, that the essence, then you don’t need the talk or the clichés around it.
PK. I must confess that I miss these old days, and in some ways I guess I’m still the “romantic” individual that thinks about death, murder and the burning churches in a cold winter’s night. But time changes, and – seen from my point of view – compromises are necessary for our daily life at least, but it doesn’t matter at all – just smile in the face of the asshole in front of you, but don’t hesitate to rip his heart out if necessary.
MO. When a ‘hero’ is falling, it’s usually because its followers couldn’t accept that he’s just a human with complex and often contradictory behaviour. So why make them ‘heroes’?
TT. Fuck heroes, there are none. I always have more respect for serious people, no matter if they’re ‘Black Metal superstars’ who release albums or if they just have interesting thoughts and are supporters. A great scene consists of great artists and a great ‘audience’ (contributors, call it what you want), not just of a bunch of heroes.
MO. While analyzing your text for this interview, I had the impression that you were expressing an immense nostalgia for an idealized wild and dangerous epoch, corresponding to your teenage years. It’s a feeling I observed many times while interviewing veteran musicians. Twenty years after founding Abigor, do you have this feeling?
TT. No. Our thoughts, lyrics and music are much more serious than in the early days, we have grown up and developed profound views. I can see we made a lot of errors in the 90s. No more cliché, no insane movement of the early 90s. But I just hate the ignorance and the twisting of old facts. The belittling of the extremism that ruled, the revisionism of certain people. I don’t cry a tear that those days are over because there was another peak for Black Metal, namely from roughly 2004 to 2006.
Utterly interesting things happened within the French, German and Swedish scene (with other projects from all over the world, Poland, the states, Russia, Finland and so on), bringing forth a new generation of artists that started in the very late 90s/early 00s, who released fantastic records and formed a new ‘underground’. A period of greater art rather than talk and superstars. There were split releases, joint records, and important interactions of labels and bands, End All Life, Northern Heritage, Sombre Records (yes, I know, I know, he was ripping people off) and many others. You always need a tight scene that something worthy forms and arise. But then all this broke away because of corruption, selfishness and carelessness. And most importantly, a trend that the basis, the foundation of BM, namely the audience, stopped buying new releases and rather ripped MP3s and spent their money on old limited vinyl that they missed the first time.
All this and more made the scene fall apart, sadly. Today I do not see a movement or a scene of likeminded, ‘only’ great projects and great albums, of course, still. But for me that’s not enough. Once again, we must close ranks and recreate a tight scene, worshipping the black flame that is the origin of all this, your blog, Abigor’s art, and the whole movement that is called the black Metal of the devil.
MO. Thank you very much for your time.
Cette entrée a été publiée le 2013/09/17 à 06:00 et est classée dans Black Metal, Entrevue avec des tags 2013, Abigor, Art, Autriche, Black Metal, Entrevue, Internet, Interview, Magazines, Music. Suivez tous les commentaires de cet article par flux RSS 2.0. Vous pouvez poster un commentaire ou rétrolier depuis votre site.