DENIAL OF GOD
TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE
This interview with the vocalist Ustumallagam of Denial Of God, was done by Bruno Zamora in May 2003.
The Danish horror metal band Denial Of God have been around since 1991 and have had many releases since then but also many line-up changes. Since 1997 the band features the female bassist Isaz who have previously played with the black metal bands Blodarv and Feikn. Vocalist and founding member Ustumallagam took some time off to answer these questions from our journalist Bruno Zamora.
For so many years in the "scene", Denial of God stay so much on releasing their materials on vinyl. Would you like to elaborate us with your opinion on Compact Discs? Since why is it that we can rarely find Denial of God materials on CD, but rather on vinyl? There might be people that can put restrictions on you, either they like to hear your material but they can't listen in to or they like to have your material but they can no longer have it - SOLD OUT! Are the members of Denial of God anti-CD? Explain.
Well, the biggest reason why we always try to release our stuff on vinyl too is simply because vinyl rules supreme. Compare an LP like Iron Maidenís ĒSomewhere In TimeĒ to the CD version and tell me the cover looks better on CD. No fucking way! I want a big cover I can touch, study and really feel, not some little boring booklet. Also the sound is much more alive, warm and deep on vinyl than on CD. It is as simple as that really and I know there are a lot of other people who agree. It fucking rules and if we didnít do it that way, I would feel fucking guilty for being a part of the death of vinyl (Despite I donít think vinyl will ever completely die). If you only rarely can find our stuff on CD it is perhaps because we only did two Mini albums til now which appeared on both CD and vinyl. The rest are 7Ē EPís and demos. If people want to listen to our music, but canít, because they donít own a record player, itís their own fault. If other people want to listen to us, but canít, because our stuff is sold out, I can only say that they must be quicker the next time, as those vinyl versions always are limited and gone pretty fast. Sorry, but thatís the way it is. Our latest 7Ē EP on Warlord Records (Ita) was limited to 1000 copies and is still available. I donít think any of us are really against CDís, we just PREFER vinyl. If I am going to buy an album and I can choose between the CD and vinyl version, I certainly choose vinyl. We all would. One of the good things about CDís though, is that they donít take up that much space in your apartement when you have a big collection. These days I am running out of space here because of my own collection I tell you, but it still rules! Aargh!!
How do you see the so-called scene "progress" from year to the decade? Do you think people are no longer doing tape trading but instead burning MP3's on the web? What is your insights concerning the popularity of METAL INTERNET? I mean, bands who boost their sales using the web to promote their music? Do you think the use of internet in the Underground is the one killing the scene of today?
I donít see any real progress. Itís more like everything is deteriorating away. Of course we can still find good and talented bands here and there, but everything is getting more and more boring in all ways. A fiend of mine is a tape trader, but he has huge problems finding people willing to trade tapes, because nobody seem interested anymore. The old traders are probably fed up with trading and perhaps they even have left the scene, while the newer people into the underground are more into shitty CD-Romís and MP3 shit. Of course itís nice and easy to find Metal on the Internet, but Iím not really sure if itís good. Actually I doubt it a little and I can explain you why. Before all this Internet thing started out for real, everybody in the UG scene wrote eachother letters filled with flyers. Nowadays many people just write emails instead and that means no flyers are spread and this helps killing the underground in some way. I know from myself too that emails are far easier and quicker to handle, but I fucking miss the flyers, so itís always cool when people send a real letter too of course. With the Internet everybody have access to everything and also fucking wimp kids, who shouldnít even be allowed to buy Metal music, can now get in contact with the coolest of bands through email adresses they find on the bandsí websites. Iím just trying to say that before all this, those shitty kids had to find a cool UG ízine or flyers before they could get the adresses for those bands and these things are only available to people into the UG (Mostly at least). Do you see what I mean? Itís a kind of closed circle. Everybody can now take part in something which should only be for dedicated people, be it Death, Grind, Black, Heavy, Speed or whateverÖ We are right now working on our own website as itís still a good way to promote your bands, but the rule is the same as it always was: No stupid letters (Emails) from retarded kids will be answered. I can only tell people to keep on doing flyers and ízines (Glossy or not. Who cares?) and try to keep this whole thing alive. Ignore the bastards infecting our little world called the underground.
What exactly is "HORROR METAL"? Would you like to extend an explanation about this so that people may possibly know more about it? I'm sure Horror Metal has nothing to do with the vampiric gimmiks that Cradle Of Filth is using. Anyway, what can you say about Cradle of Filth/Dimmu Borgir's video who is very theatrical and over spending of money makes their videos so "scary" in some ways, ah ah ah!
No, of course we have nothing to do with the foul gimmicks of clowns like Cradle Of Merchandise! We define our style as Black Horror Metal and I can tell you why. ĒBlackĒ because our music will always carry on satanic and evil subjects in one way or another. ĒHorrorĒ because we write our songs like short tales of terror and everything about the band is build on things like superstitions, ghosts, vampires, werewolves, nightmares etc. and finally ĒMetalĒ because there is no other way! We are inspired by bands like Death SS, Alice Cooper, (old) Mayhem, Hellhammer, Mercyful Fate, Infernšl Mšjesty etc. and these bands had some kind of horror theme to them too (At least in some way or another)Ö Hm, I havenít watched those videoís you mention yet (And I certainly donít care either), but if they are worse than the one of Ancient I once watched, they must be truly cheesy!! Of course we must not forget the ones of Immortal too. They make me laughÖ Only kids buy crap like that.
Denmark how is the scene over there? I knew that you're doing a zine. So, was it that hard for you to divide your time between the band and doing a zine like Tornado? Where do you print your zine and how much is your budget for each of the issue to be printed? What is your opinion about zines in xeroxed and zines printed in glossy CHROMIUM paper? Do you crave for the paper being used(while the content is pure crap) or do you want to read more about the xeroxed zines that will smash those glossy zines to shame?
Unfortunately Denial Of God donít rehearse that often because of the long distance between us and the rehearsal room, so itís no problem to do the mag at the same time then. I donít know how much time I spend on the mag every day, ícause I just work on it here and there whenever I have some time for it, but I guess itís about 1-2 hours every day. Still I use 7-8 hours for it on other days. It depends on my sparetime and if I feel like writing, ícause if I feel bored of writing sometimes, I canít write anything at all. I guess you know that problem too. I print my ízine only a few hundred meters from where I live at this funny fat guy, who has a print shop in his cellar. I always get it pretty cheap, ícause he told me he only wants to rip off the big companies, haha. His teeth are made of gold and he reminds me of Elvis in his last days, so itís truly a sight for sore eyesÖ I made 150 copies of issue 1 (Sold out), 200 copies of issue 2 (Nearly sold out) and 200 copies of issue 3, but I will soon do 100 copies more of that one, as itís almost sold out too by now and thatís far too early. I donít care if a mag is xeroxed or printed on glossy paper as itís whatís inside that counts in the end, but often I find the contents in the xeroxed ízines to be a little more interesting. Donít know why though. I guess itís the UG feeling doing it, who knows? I donít think Tornado Magazine will change to glossy papers, as itís pretty expensive to do and I simply donít give a fuck about such things. Check out great underground litterature like Horrible Eyes (Ger), Eternal Fire (Fra), Cerberus (Fin), Canadian Assault (USA) etc.!
Black Metal is now use by everybody in order to sell thousands of merchandise. Why do you think such a disgrace like this happened in the so-called "scene" of today? Do you think that some of the early bands are as well the one causing this Black Metal commercialization? If so was to sight, who among the early Black Metal bands are the most money sucking commercial monkeys these days? Let's get names and why?
Every now and then the world will be infected by trends. This time the turn has come to Black Metal. In the late 80ís/early 90ís it was more like Death Metal, remember? Trends start because 1) People get fed up with the current trend and try something new and 2) There are wrong people in the scene who keep trends alive. I guess everybody got fed up with Death Metal and moved on to something else. Itís a shame, but nobody can stop it. The Black Metal scene got far too much attention from the press and that made a lot of people curious and the stupid kids just followed along as well. The only good thing about trends is that they die sooner or later, so Iím just waiting for that day. Gothic wimp Metal and this shitty retro thing also seems to be quite fashionable nowadays. I donít know if any of those old bands suck the money out of people today because of the trend, but I must admit I am very sceptic towards all those reunions, ícause I donít see why all those bands all of a sudden have to return. They were great back then, but it will never be the same anyway. Just look at Destruction. They are still cool, but I still put on my signed copy of ĒSentence of deathĒ LP instead of the ĒAll Hell breaks looseĒ CD. Even my absolute number one fave band Venom are back and they are still cool, but itís not the same either. Perhaps they needed money? I canít stand guys like Quorthon (Bathory) though, despite their music rules.
The topic of today is "Racism". Do you think it has some connection with Black Metal? What can you say about National Socialism and this political platform being spread with the use of Black Metal? Any members of Denial Of God racist? Do you beat Nigger or Arabs walking around Denmark? What is your opinion about Black Metal bands with members in the race of Arabs or niggers? Do you accept them as a part of the scene?
There is absolutely no connection between stuff like the NS movement and Black Metal music. I know a lot of bands mix these things, but fuck off! Black Metal is meant to be EVIL and SICK, not political! Obviously those bands know nothing about the real core and origin of Black Metal. To me it sounds totally stupid and I think those bands should go and play Hardcore insteadÖ Iím not sure if we can call any of the Denial Of God members racists, so Iíll only speak for myself. Well, where I live everything is infected with Arabs and people like that and you donít have to be smart to see that Denmark is dying and drowning in foreign people. In my neighbourhood Iím close to be one of the only Danes left. We donít start trouble with those people, but if they want war theyíll get it. I am fucking tired of living like a prisoner in my own country, but thatís the way Danish politicians are. Fucking clowns who want to destroy our country. I donít want anything to do with those people, but I wouldnít call myself a racist because of that, ícause if they would stay in their own country I wouldnít care about them. I canít stand their way of behaving though, especially not the criminal and religious ones. Our bassplayer and her boyfriend was beaten up by 30 Arabian guys one night, so I guess that says it all. Actually I hate the Danish politicians more for inviting themÖ Another reason why I wouldnít call myself a racist is because I enjoy bands like Blasphemy, Mystifier etc. and we all know that they had at least one black memberÖ I donít care where you are from as long as you donít come here to steal wellfare and cause troubleÖ
How is Tax Payment in Denmark? Does it affect you being Danish? How hard is Danish Beer? How well is your connection with overseas bands? Do you accept the effort of Heavy Metal bands that is writing and making contact with you? How is the sales of "Ghouls Of DOG" doing? Is it a limited edition CD? How did you get in a contract to re-release this material on MC by a Russian Label? Any other materials from you that is available on MC other than vinyl?
Tax suck in Denmark as they do everywhere else, I guess. Not cool to pay them, but I guess we have to live with thatÖ Our beer is very good and you can get a lot of different ones, but I prefer cheap beers like Dansk Pilsner. We drink tons of thatÖ. Yes, we have good contacts to other bands from all around the world, be it Arghoslent, Grand Belialís Key, Nunslaughter, Unholy Massacre, Posthumous, Impaler, Blood Thirsty Demons, Twisted Tower Dire, Nifelheim, In Aeternum, Forefather and countless others. True quality bands. I accept every person writing me, as long as itís no stupid bullshit. I always look for new bands to check out and I also always try to spread the name of Denial Of God, Horror Records and Tornado Magazine too of course. Everybody can write me and Iíll gladly answer any interview, ícause they seem to be getting more and more rare nowadays, because the scene is crumblingÖ About the ĒThe ghouls of DOGĒ mini album, well, it was released quite some years ago (1996), so I guess you havenít been that updated on our activities or what? Anyway, itís completely sold out and was printed in around 2500 copies, I think. It was released on Dark Trinity Productions (England), but they never really went anywhere and we havenít seen a penny for our work, so we just said to Oupire Productions (Russia) that they were free to release it on tape to the Russian ghouls, ícause why should we care, when DTP never paid us any roalties? So Oupire Productions released the MC with four bonus songs and a very cool looking cover with great colours. It was done in 2000 copies and only available over there. The only other tapes we have done are our two demos, but they are old and sold out by now. Perhaps we should let Oupire Productions release the ĒKlabautermandenĒ Mini album on MC too, ícause Hammerheart Records (Holland), who originally released it, can go fuck themselves and after all it would be cool to do this for the Russian necromaniacs!
Where do you usually rehearse and how many rehearsals you are into in one week? How do you manage your time between rehearsing with your band and doing interviews/reviews for yout zine? How many hours do you work for the zine? Do you have a full time job aside from being an Undergrounder? How is your "daily life"? Can you live a "Normal" life in Denmark when you're in a Black Metal band? How is the organization of gigs went through in Denmark? How is Danish so supportive to the local and international scene?
We rehearse at our drummerís place. He lives on a kind of farm with a lot of space and has his own rehearsalroom, so thatís no big problem as itís pretty fancy, but unfortunately itís far away from here (On another island, so we have to take the ferry every time). We donít rehearse often because of that, but also because our drummer, who is a session drummer only, soon will leave us, as heís more into Death/Grind stuff and prefers to play technical, so we donít want to make him too tired of us, so to say. Heíll leave the band when the album is recorded, he said. We donít rehearse on a regular base, so itís hard to say how often we do it, but it can be everything from once or twice in a month to once in six month, who knows? Heís very talented, so rehearsals still go smooth despite we donít do it as often as we would like to. I would like to rehearse at least once a week, so there could also be room for some more covers, but right now rehearsals are too rare for thatÖ To finance my life I work at night in a firm making tools for hospitals. Itís no big deal, but wellpaid. I hate it, as it takes too much of my time and Iím surrounded by fools, but the money is cool to have, soÖ Of course you can live a normal life in Denmark while playing in a Black Metal band. Just look at all the wimps out there playing so-called BM. They lead normal lives and claim to be evil and Metal, haha. No, honestly, lifeís what you make it (At least at times) and there is no fuzz when I show up at work with long hair, rings, denim, leather, spikes or whatever, but my job is very cool at this point. If I wanted to work in a shop or supermarket I couldnít look like that. People on the street look at you (Often they look a bit scared), but normally they leave you alone, so I donít complain that muchÖ Shows in Denmark are shit. There are almost none here, then you have to go to the bigger cities and there you wonít find too many either. This week we will travel all the way to Copenhagen to watch Alice Cooper, Dio + support. It will be fucking great! Most Danish people donít care about demo bands and there are often no big crowds at underground shows, but thatís okay in some way, ícause most of the people showing up know nothing about the underground anyway... I just try to go to as many shows as possible with all the bands I like and kind of keep the ball rolling that way. For example last year I went the whole way to Falkenberg (Sweden) to see Sabbat, Pagan Rites, Urn and Unpure. It was fucking unbelievable! Short time later I went to Gothenburg (Sweden) to watch Pagan Rites, Kill, Scurvy and Deathforce and even ended up doing the vocals for Pagan Rites, because their vocalist didn'tí show up. It was crazy and everybody was of course drunk as fuck! Going to shows of shitty bands and get drunk and start trouble is also cool of course, haha.
Can you say that Denial Of God is the representative of the Danish Black Metal scene? What can you say about new bands like MORDULV? The Death Metal band ILLDISPOSED? And the Death/Viking Band DOMINUS? Do you think it has something to do with the promotion of the entire scene of Denmark? Do you ever had an interview with a well-known Metal mag, let's say like Metal Maniacs? If a band appears on such an exposure like TV and big circulation magazines, will you call them commercial?
Yeah, I would say Denial Of God are representative for the Danish Black Metal scene in some way, as we are the oldest band in that vein here. On the other hand we are so fed up with the whole Black Metal thing here, because itís being ruined by pussies and posers, so we sometimes donít care at all. There are some bands here I respect for being honest and into what they do with their whole heart and thatís bands like Strychnos, Koldborn, Nortt, Feikn, Blazing Eternity, Apollyon etc., but I tell you there are more bands I hate and donít respect at all. You mention Mordulv, Illdisposed and Dominus and they are some of those bands. They are nothing but jokes to me. Jormundgand of Mordulv/Nidhug has been talking so much bullshit about us for years it makes me laugh, ícause when we finally met last year he was seriously beaten up, haha. Illdisposed never did just one acceptable recording to me. Their music just sucks big time and is only outdone by their ridiculous attitudes. To me they donít even seem like serious Metal fans. Listen to their new album where they all of a sudden cash in on the retro trend by playing covers of bands like MotŲrhead, Infernšl Mšjesty, Death, Venom etc. It sounds like a bad joke! It doesnít help them much that they suddenly start to wear their old Ripping Corpse, Kreator and DesExult shirts again when they are nothing but posers. The vocalist even once appeared in the Danish radio and read aloud christmas stories for children with a growling voice. Pretty pathetic, I think. Dominus is also nothing to talk about. They went from Death Metal to Viking Metal to RockíníRoll (or whatever) to Metallica-like Thrash. Iím sorry, but I canít take them serious and we all hate their vocalist(Michael Poulsen from '94? Ahaa!!! -BRUNO) for acting like the biggest wimp hereÖ If these bands represent Denmark, itís no wonder Denmark is not talked much about. They are a disgrace to our scene, but perhaps you have to live here to see that! I think the biggest magazine we have ever appeared in was in Terrorizer Magazine (England) with an interview, but that was some years ago and not that special. Weíve also had reviews in RockHard (Germany) etc., but I donít care at all. Itís also okay with me if a band appears on TV, as long as they donít sell themselves cheap and make fools out of themselves (Like Mordulv/Nidhug did on Danish TV, haha!). We once appeared on the News on Danish TV, but it didnít turn out at all like promised, so we have told every TV station contacting us since then, which have been quite a few, to fuck off and die. They just look for scandals and we certainly are no puppets on strings.
What's in the future for Denial of God? Any new merchandise to promote(ie: Tshirts)? What it takes for a label that Denial of God should sign with? How do you demand royalties in these labels you've worked so far? What's up with APOLLYON? Any new materials as well from them? How would you differentiate the American scene with European Scene and lastly, with Asian scene? Thank you for the time spent answering this interviewÖ
Well, our only future plans right now are to play a show at the 2 Heavy 4 You! festival in Sweden at the end of this month (May) together with bands such as Nifelheim, Root, Enslaved, Pagan Rites, Autopsy Torment, In Aeternum, Dracena and many others and then rehearse further, so we can finally record the full length album ĒThe Horrors of SatanĒ later this year. It will be the sickest album for ages! From the label we demand honesty (Of course) and the fact that they release the album on vinyl too. I prefer when the other bands on the label are in my taste too, but thatís of course nothing important really. We are right now signing a contract with Painkiller Records (Belgium), so thatís our future label. Keep an eye on them, as they do lots of great stuff (Shadowbreed, Funeral Rites, Grave Flowers etc.). From our old contracts with Dark Trinity Productions and Hammerheart Records we havenít recieved any royalties because they didnít treat us fair. They only paid the studio and all the royalties and papers they always talked about never showed up. Thanx a lot. I think Painkiller Records are really cool on this matter, but I wonít discuss the deal too much hereÖ About Apollyon, well, they do what they normally do; nothing. They create 100 different hobby projects which go nowhere instead of concentrating on one band and then do it good. Hopefully theyíll wake up. Theyíve talked about doing a new recording, but I donít believe that as they talk a lot, hahaÖ Itís easy to see the difference between the American, European and Asian scene, but itís hard to explain. American bands often play Death/Grind and always try to keep everything looking professional and at times pretty mainstream. European bands seem pretty professional too, but play more varied stuff and the feeling is somehow more alive in many cases. Asian bands often play Death or Black Metal, but often far to inspired by other (Bigger) bands and they need to promote themselves more. Itís really hard to say and I donít want to sound like a judgeÖ Anyway, thanx for this fucking interview. Kinda tired now after typing all this. I hope everybody interested in any of our activities will contact us! Play loud and fucking die!!
Links of interest:
Denial Of God