THEE MALDOROR KOLLECTIVE
TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE
This interview with Kundahli from the Italian industrial black metal band Thee Maldoror Kollective was done through e-mail in August 2002.
Hello, how are you doing?
Hi to you, we’re busy but fine. We’re working hard on promotion, and we’re receiving a lot of reviews, interviews and feedback, so I suppose “New Era Viral Order” is producing some interesting noise in the scene…
Thee Maldoror Kollective is probably a new experience to most people even though you have been alive as a band since 1991, could you give us a brief introduction to who you are?
Yes, our new album is just the actual step of a project that started when not so many musicians were interested in playing something extreme, and I think this is has been a situation that conditioned us in different ways. The project was born in 1991 with the moniker Inquisitor by my hands and by the help of Arimon (keyboards) with the aim to synthesize in a particular musical language my involving in Esoteric Magick Experience. Nothing to do with any kind of sterile proselytism: I’ve always intended magick as research, and the same for art. To merge them has been a very instinctual reaction. The first musical influences were Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, Bathory, Sodom, Destruction, Kreator, Black Sabbath, Mercyful Fate and Death SS, but only in 1994 the line-up established with the coming of lasting musicians. In the end of 1995 Baphomet and Aradia Hokhma replaced Marco and Arimon, and the sound became more occult and ceremonial. The moniker was changed in Funeral Fog, and after a long releasing work we published in August 1996 the "De Mysteriis Serpentis" demo tape, followed after a few months by the “Beyond a Bloodstained Moon” demo. A few months later the guitarist Hiems Algor Animae and the drummer Drakon joined the band, and the sound became faster, more violent and technical. With the ultimate and original monicker MALDOROR we released the “V.I.T.R.I.O.L.” rehearsal promo tape that contains the “Imago Dei (Sub Silentio Comprehensionis)” unreleased track, a stylistic anticipation of our debut digipack CD “Ars Magika”, released by Alkaid Records in may 1998. In 2000, and after a pair of new promos, we recorded our second official album “In Saturn Mystique” with Northern darkness Records, followed by another pair of promos that gained us the Code666 deal. And then comes the present.
Your new album "New Era Viral Order" has just been released, are you happy with the result? What can the listener expect from this album?
Yes, we’re very satisfied with the result, the production and the promotional work that Code666 is doing for the album. Code666 has now a really impressive distribution, and it’s one of the few labels that work using professionalism and passion as parallel weapons. A rare thing. It’s difficult to say what the listener could expect from “New Era Viral Order”. It’s a massive electrocution in which the heaviness and the contradictions of modern worldscapes collide in order to celebrate the unmistakable changing of era. Or the incessant mechanical reactions of a subconscious mutation.
Who did the cover art and who came up with the ideas? What is it supposed to represent?
Temno Unart Studio has released the artwork, I described the concept of the album and the fundamental dichotomy between human being and machines, between wisdom and hysteria, and he has been completely free to represent through his personal keys the visions and the imaginary that stands beyond sound. A white, aseptic light that shows the caustic monolithicity of the forthcoming technocracy, depriving the world from the illusion of god.
Your previous releases suffered from limited access, are there any plans to re-release them in the future?
Well I can’t precisely say what Code666 is interested to do regarding our previous works, but I’d particularly like to re-release our second album “In Saturn Mystique”. It suffered from a really inexistent distribution, and it may be an interesting idea to propose it with some new touches. But time shall tell…
Today your music is some sort of black metal with very strong industrial influences, what did you sound like in the past?
Music is not the aim of research, it’s the vehicle and the instrument, so it’s subject to a constant process of evolution in which is possible to find the most functional way to manipulate energies. Our debut was a six long tracks release of a style of Black Metal characterised by a violent and technical drumming and an intricate guitar riffing surrounded by a keyboard work that is the logic development and evolution of what was anticipated on the previous demo and promo tapes. This album is rich in arrangements and syncretises radical extreme black/death metal parts with real ambient/ritual features deeply influenced by names such as Raison d’Etre and the Cold Meat Industry/Fluttering Dragon Scene, Jacula/A. Rex, etc. “In Saturn Mystique”, our second work consists of 51 minutes of free, provocative and radically innovative sound able to feed our black/death metal roots with new lymph crowned from an original conception of extreme esoteric-electro wave. This time, the aesthetic of the extreme embodies a deep counter-cultural meaning: I thought it’s a time that the underground culture use all the means at its disposal to break the hypnotic hold that the electronic and print media have on the world audience.
I suspect that you have a very wide taste as it comes to music, what do you listen to these days? Do you have any new favourites?
Well, “New Era Viral Order” is a mutant entity in which all my influences, all the inputs I gained in years of musical treatment and of observation of the world around us melt together to breed something different. I think the most interesting thing is that all these inputs are often completely un-recognizable, transformed into something that in some cases may be radically antithetic. But I’d be surely incomplete saying that the project reflects just musical influences. There are a lot of non-musical and even anti-musical inputs that are part of this album exactly as those sound features you can listen to or know by intuition. Musically speaking, in these days I’m listening to Today is the Day, Mastodon, early Impaled Nazarene, the really interesting Imminent, the dub project created by Harris/Bernocchi, Deicide, Voivod, Coroner (one of the greatest band in the metal field), early Celtic Frost, Foetus (how to be a real aesthetic terrorist and not to indulge in clownish Mansonian attitudes), Integrity, all the Ant Zen scene, Breach, Enigma, Coalesce, Hatebreed, some underground grind core as Pink Flamingos and Man is the Bastard, the genius called Neurosis and the really evocative Tribes of Neurot, the fundamental Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire, and a lot of other stuff. But as I said, music is not the only vehicle. The images by Floria Sigismondi have a deep, provocative sound at my ears, and the same I’d say for the symbols of Jodorowsky, Anger and Lynch. I think also the performances of Hermann Nitsch influenced me a lot, and the cold, meaningful aesthetic of Alessandro Bavari. Great, disturbing sounds are also the words from Barker, Gibson, Masterson. Really too many things to name.
Are any of the current members involved with other bands or musical projects?
Yes, we’re at the start up with two new projects: after the concept treated in the new Thee MaldoroR Kollective, we’re planning to release a triptych dealing with the different aspects of the new aeonic contest. Bacteria Death Module is a hypno-industrial theory focused on modular rhythmical pattern and on heavy noise distortions. A trip through the use and abuse of flesh. The second project, still unnamed, will be something really extravagant: expect a cross line between Blood Axis and Arcturus, maybe the soundtrack for wisdom and folly? Our new guitarist – or I’d better say noise organizer – has an interesting power noise project called Holokausto Cineclub, take a listen to it, it’s an interesting sound/rhythm exploration.
Also our new on line referring node will be soon on line at www.maldororkollective.net and I can say that it represents the aim of the project to stand not only – and no more – as a simple musical web site: thee collective represents opposition to musical and human ignorance, and the ultimate insult to a scene in which we can only see the old same clownish attitudes. Our site will be a network for pre-holocaust theories, hybrid counter-culture, magick perspectives, psychopathologies at the beginning of the new millennium, modern sethianism and everything connected with the post-race awakening. Simply trying to stay outside the chorus…
Could you tell us a little about the line-up changes throughout the years? Do you know what any of your former members have been up to since they left the band?
Well it has always hard to find and keep musicians interested in a constant sound exploration, so I presume most of them decided to leave the band in order to release something easier or more classical. But I can’t say this for sure; I’ve still not listened to their new projects, if they exist. We’ve had a lot of problems with some of our past members, even if we’ve always choose to play with session musicians only – a choice that grant an absolutely relaxing artistical and human autonomy -, but we don’t really care about this. The project is the aim, and they did their choice. Now we them – and –us will reap what we sown.
Thee Maldoror Kollective is a rather weird name for a band, what does it means and why did you choose it?
MaldoroR was our previous monicker, and changing our musical phormula I felt natural and genuine to change also the name. I dislike bands that radically transform their music but keep on their name just to gain the old audience. The term Kollective stands for the necessity to integrate in a communicative network different ideas and entities to develop a synergy of different languages united by similar ideas. An example is the collaboration with MZ412 (that is leading to something really interesting), and we’re working on this way to create something of really particular in the near future.
The lyrics of the new album are very obscure and abstract it seems. For example, what is a song like "Drain-Wound-Cosmosis (Iera Porneusis)" about? Who writes the lyrics in general and what lies behind?
I write all lyrics with fundamental inspirations that come from the magickal work with E.V.A.nghelya, from the collaboration with different individuals, and from the whole world (illusion) around me. “New Era Viral Order” is a concept album…we’ve always worked on concepts, I think it’s a stimulating way to conceive music and to channel energies, but it’s not a dogma, maybe we’ll work on something different in the future. This time the attention has been focused on Liber Al vel Legis by that misunderstood, ironic and magnetic personality called Aleister Crowley. It has been read through the metaphor of contagion: the disease, the viral effect and the impending of a new possible epidemic as the endemic reaction of our race in new aeon post-industrial social deflagration. There is no place for a religious or mystical interpretation of thelemic current: this is the time to charge all our magickal tradition into the urban and post-industrial contest dissecting at the light of a concrete and sane scientific illuminism the idea of god and the polarities of man. Too many new religious trends – born of that cauldron called new age – are infecting the conception of magick. When an occidental says “I’m Buddhist” it probably means absolutely nothing. New magick stands out from all religions, and from all illusions of a redeeming project. For example, Indian Tantra is a vast subject, and contains many different schools, sects and subjects. Many different cults build around particular aspects of God and Goddess. A ritual component is found to be very prevalent, as also an insistence on the following of various rules related to time, to the importance of a received mantra from a qualified guru, and a host of other regulations, impossible for most of us even to attempt. Now, in the contest of the new aeon, in the fields of our suburban fractures we’re alone with ourselves, and still we’ve all we need to do magick. Something less in our daily illusions, something more in our awakening.
Hundreds of new bands and plenty of labels have been formed in your country during the 90's, what do you think about the metal scene in Italy today?
I listen to a very few Italian extreme bands. Probably the scene I consider really valid here in Italy isn’t the same you intend: Maurizio Bianchi, Ataraxia, Ordo Equitum Solis, Atrax Morgue, Lyke Wake, Ain Soph, LAShtAL, Mathausen Orchestra, Cazzodio have the fundamental concepts to be defined a scene. Three or four bands that waste their time insulting and gossiping aren’t a scene in my opinion. In the extreme metal field I like the project by Riccardo Conforti Void of Silence, Karnak, early Necromass and Mortuary Drape, Bastard Saints, Nefas, and a few others.
Where in Italy are you from? Is it a good place for metal musicians to live in?
I sincerely don’t know what to say, simply because we don’t frequent so many people in the scene, and you can’t find us in those metal pub in which, here in Turin, you can meet always the same people. We’re not interested, but this is surely not a sentence. The metal audience here in our town is always younger, and I’m a bit bored at that who-wears-more-spikes attitude that seems to be most important than music. As in the whole Italian scene, except for who still believes that facts are surely heavier than words, I think that envy and a lack of creativeness and musical culture led to a inconsistent situation. I mean, a lot of guys start playing metal cause it’s cool to wear black and to feel observed in the streets. But this is just a game, like it or not.
Could you name some of your favourite albums of all time?
“Paranoid”, “Reign in Blood”, “Nature Unveiled” by Current 93 and “The Second Annual Report” by Throbbing Gristle. But I’ll answer you something surely different if you ask me the same thing another time.
What goals and plans to you have for the nearest future?
First of all to keep on working on the new stuff we’re developing, and I can assure it will be nothing similar to what you’ve listened to in the “New Era Viral Order” album. We’re receiving responses from the whole world, so I’m curious to know reactions from magazines, distributions and labels.
Now to my very own right or wrong section. You are just going to tell us whether you think the following acts would be right or wrong:
Thee Maldoror Kollective
a) If someone killed Hitler prior to his mass murder campaigns.
Wrong. There is a conception, directly born of that strange and hardly understandable historical anomaly called Christianity, which assures the existence of precisely defined and perfectly recognizable concepts of good and evil. This concept has been a leitmotiv for the whole occidental culture and for its collective subconscious, breeding in the century phenomenon of mass hysteria and unstable cultural trends. But the only mathematical law that rules the cosmos is that of necessity, and the chain of cause-effect. So it’s impossible – and even not hopeful – to act on the effect previous to the cause. The Hitler event has been an endemic reaction merged with a strong breaking necessity, and it has changed the aspect of the whole world. That was in need of a radical transformation. And I can say the same things about communist dictatorships, or even war and revolutions. Hitler, Che Guevara, Stalin, Mussolini, Jesus and Mahomet aren’t saints, redeemers or gods: just different faces of contest mutations.
b) To burn down a church because it's "evil".
Wrong. This is one of the classical black metal attitudes I always hated the most. The world is dramatically full of people who tried to keep alive attention – or better to gain a bit of it – performing acts that aren’t extreme but stupid because of their demonstrative nature. And wearing spikes and leather, showing your mom haw you’re evil and outstanding wearing a twisted cross t-shirt is something that has struck society attention 10/20 years ago, now it can produce just boredom. But I know these aren’t the words too many black metallers wanted to hear.
c) To burn down a church because it represents oppression.
Wrong, even if to fight oppression is a pure and rare thing. The church is in need – and it’ll be always more in these days of wreckage – of a perfectly recognizable enemy to show the whole world how you will become if you chose to follow the wrong path. So to physically attack a 2000 years solid institution has, in the better case, the only result to have an often inexpressive photo on the local newspaper. Indifference, and a systematic anti-propaganda, are surely better weapons. And if you want take a look at a concrete project of church de-establishment, I suggest to pay attention to certain Masonic milieu.
Right. Sexuality has no limits if not the personal and individual inclination, and to restrict the _expression of pleasure – or to demonise it under vague references to the procreation as the only aim – is a crime against humanity. Of course sado-masochism is not only that aesthetic self-indulging leather fetishism that too many sub-cultures have simplified. In certain psychological conditions the void and a naked body substitute the fetish. And the fetish is nothing without the archetypes to which it refers.
e) Death penalty.
f) To lie if it will be of benefit to yourself.
Right. If you perfectly know your orbit you can act in order to reach a final aim, and you can’t surely pretend that each individual can understand or share your part of the truth. The lie exists as a necessary part of the truth. Multiple truths exist as parts of the whole.
Absolutely wrong. Censorship is one of the oldest, anachronistic and wrong structured instruments of mind control and people channelling. Freedom of communication is the indispensable condition of human mutations. In a pluralistic society it would be impossible for all people at all times to agree on the value of all ideas; and fatal to cultural, artistic and intellectual growth if they did. We reject all barriers abridging access to any material, however controversial or even abhorrent to some.
Wrong. I’ve analysed religion under more than a point of view, but I sincerely cannot find an only value in a fideistic/religious attitude. If we consider a magickal contest, religion has deprived the original cultic/ritual basis from their experimental values, considering as objective a state of conscience or comprehension and breeding adoration and worship. The magician knows that reality is the result of a state of meta-perception and for this reason subjective. God, or devil, is nothing but the misunderstood shadow of men. Socially and psychologically speaking, religion is a near perfect instrument to induce the sin-guilt reaction and to create a sedative state. Or mass hysteria in certain cases.
Wrong. But I can say the same for fascism or nazism, all those crutches that help the race when it isn’t able to recognize its independency. Totalitarism, and even freedom, are surely other, and not necessarily antithetic.
Any final words of wisdom for the fans?
I dislike proclaims, just want to thank you a lot for this interesting interview. Hope to meet ya somewhere.
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