TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE
This interview with the guitarist / vocalist Lord Seth and keyboard player Angel Bust of the Russian black / folk metal band Satarial was done through e-mail in May 2003 by the Italian journalist Riccardo Fassone. It is published with permission from Riccardo and Beyond...Prod / Masterpiece Distribution.
I think the new “Heidenlarm” is a step further in the path of experimentation for the band, do you agree? How would you describe your new work?
Both of our first albums "…and the Flame will take…" '96 and "the Queen…" '97 were called experimental at that time. But people got used to our sound. We like to do something new - this is progress for us as for musicians. SATARIAL is a devilish theatre of experiments. It was always hard for us to fit with just one concrete style and we try to prove to people that a band's style is just the same as the bible. The only thing you need to have - is porno, a clear idea that you want to express independently from your listeners and your label. HEIDENLARM - is a storm captured in music, the wildness of the four elements in the extasy of a witching dance, this is a powerfull hymn of the last battle. HEIDENLARM will awake the spirit of a warrior, a kind of music that would lead new legions to the rebirth of the Great Nordic Empire. It's the modern interpretation of the HYPERBOREA OFFSPRING'S MUSIC.
You have always hade a great folk-influenced side in your music, how did it evolve through the years and what is the role of the folk parts in the new album?
In HEIDENLARM folk is associated with our roots, our past and our future. These are antisystematic live melodies based on natural instincts. Going through the whole album these melodies confront the industrial influence and gets mixed with it. In the whole concept a hymn of future is born because humanity soon will crush the system and will stop being a cell of the state and clan groups. Through nihilism and anarchy mankind will come to an end. And every man by getting to learn his ethnic culture will find his new role in this new world: he can be a slave or a master. And the falcon on the axe of the Thundergod will spread it's wings.
You use your mother-tongue for the lyrics, would you please describe what is the meaning of the lyrics in this new album? Why do you think russian language can best fit the ideas you want to express through music?
I think and I speak Russian. The first words I ever said were in Russian. It's very hard to to translate into another language the meaning I put in words. Even this interview will not be complete: the hidden meaning of my words will be lost. That's why we still use Russian. If I will be able to think into some other language in the future - who nows? Maybe I'll start writing lyrics in foreign language. The lyrics reveal the meaning of some rituals and mythology. It's hard to tell about 'cause they're too elite. On the HEIDENLARM CD they will be translated in English so you'll be able to catch the meaning. If I start telling you about it will take as much time as for writing a book upon Northern rituals and mythology.
The use of female voc. Increased enormously in this new album, and I have to say that I really appreciate the use you make of them, not trying to make them look like some kind of virgin-like angelic stupid vocals; what does the female part of Satarial represent?
I used this kind of vocal specially for HEIDENLARM to underline the Russian ethnic attitude of the album. We've been looking for quite some time for somebody to perform female vocals on the album and we decided to work with a jazz-rock singer Juice. As for herself, she was not afraid to work with our lyrics. One of the girls who tried to work with us before almost got into a psychiatric clinique because of nightmares and insomnia that started after she began to work with us. It took some time to make the vocals sound like ancient Russian 'cause it requires spesial singing technique. But it's the duty of our fans to gudge if we could sucseed.
The only woman in the band is ANGEL BUST. All of us and all of our fans owe to her: SATARIAL exists only due to her. You can see her on the cover of "The Queen…"
I think that this new album makes a larger use of very “martial” rhythmic patterns, how did you get to compose this kind of material? What actually change in your approach to the song-writing with “Heidenlarm”?
We started recording HEIDENLARM in 1999, 2 years after the the record of "The Queen…" I've changed half of the band's members and dealt in another way with the arrangements in music. We have one of the best young flute players in Russia and we used the viola instead of the violin. We worked on every song for a long time and we got a lot of different mixes. In '99 we we already had the first version of the album. It was more understandable to the public. But I wasn't satisfied because it didn't correspond with the ponctuality and the precision of the march of northern warriors. It was a brutally lyrical album. As the money for the record was spent and we didn't release any, no label was going to finance our further work. So we started looking for a studio that would provide us unlimited time just for 500 dollars. So we started re-recording at the end of 2000. The arrangements have been changed, guitar riffs have become more clear and straight. I minimised the polifonia of !
flutes, keyboards and violins. Male and female vocals were completely changed. We're the first metal band to ever use such original female vocals instead of soprano.
When we started recording again we thought it would never end. I had the feeling that the studio became a place of intersection of the worlds. The equipment sometimes didn't work without any reason. Sometimes I could hear voices outof nowhere and singig in the microphone. The personnel was terrified. The studio seemed to live it's own life. We had to do special protection rituals to carry on . After all of that nobody in Russia accepted to mix the material. So we sent it to Giovanni from BEYOND prod. He mixed it at NADIR studios and we are very greatfull to him.
You use to define Satarial as a theatrical experience, could you describe a typical Satarial live-show? Why do you need to have some acting/performing together with your music?
Angel Bust: Our gigs are really something! Everibody fucks everywhere. Girls throw their bras on the scene and wanna take part in the satanic pornoshow. But it doesn't inspire seth much. Because he plays with his eyes shut. At that moment he's in another world, a world of ancient tales and legends. Many people ask why do we need such shows 'cause some get shocked and cannot visit our gigs. SETH says that a person can see with his own eyes a world that he has made but with his subconciousness he can see the world of the elder Gods. And our show may be able to open that vision to some of the people. Thats why nuns get raped with crusifix on stage, we cut Christ's veins, practice lesbian sex, drink blood, knights' battles end with fractured heads and cut-off fingers.
Many good underground bands are coming out from eastern Europe and ex-USSR countries (Ukraine, Lithuania…) , which of them do you like? In which sense do you think that living in such uncommon and particular places (i mean being in the middle between Slavonian, European and Asian culture, having a strong religious and cultural identity, living in such a huge and wide territory…) can influence the composition of extreme music?
Russia is the most extreme country in the world. And extreme music can exist only in an extreme country. They only say we got democracy but it's bullshit! A total dictatorship of the government and the president (a former KGB employee), a country of police and christianity dictatorship. Wherever you go there's a church. In the shops they sell such shit that people get dumb because of it and start crying "Glory to Russia!" For me the word "Russia" means nothing, 'cause it's a name that has been given to us by a jewish Christian religion that enslaved us. I call my country the land of Rosses! And I'm in war with Christianity for a long time. My land will be free.
I read that your lyrics use to contain a very strong anti-christian message and you have been persecuted by orthodox church trying to stop the licensing of your material; how is the situation about religious repression overthere and why do you feel this hate for christianity?
ANGEL BUST: Our texts aren't really antichristian. They're about freedom, the Divine race, power of mankind and Witchcraft. Christians in their silly little books and newspapers give an image of us as of Devil's servants. And we give them their hell on earth.
Yes, our shows were cancelled sometimes, christian fanatics made attempts on our lifes (tried to shoot us), even a case was started against us. But it didn't change anithing . A free man will never bow to a slave.
You use to have some intermezzos in your album which actually seem to be some kind of folk-invocative typical music. As they sound very strange and uncommon to my ears I would like to know if they belong to Russian traditional music or if they don’t what inspired you in composing them.
Yes, we used some traditional Ross pagan chants in HEIDENLARM. Notes were not preserved untill our times so we had to recreate these songs by using musical standards of the XII - XVI centuries. Besides these ballads all of the songs were written by SATARIAL.
In the odes you can hear the complete rejection of Christianity which proves that my land was baptised by force.
I think you have been one of the first extreme metal bands coming out from Russia, how did you get to know black metal and why do you love it? What do you remember of the early days of Satarial?
Yes, we were the first band to play Black Metal in Russia in 1989. Our name was A.M.S.G. then we changed it to SATARIAL. When I started listening to metal I liked such bands as BATHORY, VENOM, CELTIC FROST. In the beginning of our career we were giving illegal concerts with small animals sacrifices. After shows we were defiling churches just for fun. After that I've spent some time in a psychiatric clinique. When I was released I was immediately caught by the police because I cut a christian fanatic's throat. After my problems ended I changed the band's name to SATARIAL. Many stuff happened back that time but now it's a time of new beginnings, a time of christianity's death.
I’ve read that all of Satarial members are into occultism and esotheric, how does this kind of activity influence your musical work? Would you describe your songs as cathartic / magic rituals? What does your music represent for your personal and spiritual growth?
Music and occult rituals are unite to us. Mysticism has great influence on us, our music and lyrics. It's hard to say when and where the music ends and the magic starts. Thanks to it we get to know our world we live in and other worlds that cannot be seen, we can have our revenge on people who hurt us. All of our lyrics are reflecting magic rituals. Witchcraft is our life. We're no blind kittens, we see and we know.
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