First of all I’d like to thank you very much for the opportunity to interview one of the bands I’ve been following its work with much admiration for many years. I deeply appreciate this. As in almost all interviews, I ask you kindly to introduce yourself to our readers.
TT: Well, your support is valued, too. We are not dependent on the great mercy of big printed magazines who base their content on the advertisement budget of a label, or have other greedy reasons why to support or censor something, solely calculating and not out of true enthusiasm. This is our introduction, all hail to independence and coherence in the underground. We rather talk to enthusiastic people than absolve a promo tour amongst sharks. As for the individuals in Abigor, introducing ourselves? We are just vessels. At best, it is the devil’s fiery tongue who uses these vessels, and He has many names.
The initial question will be the cliché one that is, fortunately or unfortunately, always needed for zines. You’ve just released Leytmotif Luzifer, one exquisite release in my humble opinion. What were your main goals when creating this work of art? And, for those that aren’t familiar with this release yet, please, enlighten us about the “concept” of the album, the “The 7 Temptations of Man”.
We – including Avantgarde – have spent a considerable amount of money and time and energy on the layout and especially on the booklet, printed on very special paper, so everybody will find the foundations and tools needed to enter. No one will have a problem walking through the gate with the booklet in hand. But roughly, the whole album is a black mass and deals with the pitfalls that man has to navigate through on his or her quest, the ordeal by fire. The essence is to empty yourself and let your vessel be filled with something greater. it’s the technique and practice of worshipping the devil – which to the stupid earthbound uninitiated will seem like blindly obeying a deity, but the ones who understand will find it’s a rite to elevate your mind to higher levels.
In addition to the previous question, how did you prepare yourselves when it comes to writing the lyrics for Leytmotif Luzifer, have you read and/ or, in some sort of way, influenced by, authors/ books? Or did you create the entire concept without being, somehow, influenced by literature? If there were some works, could you, please, share with us and let us know how they’ve had significance on your release?
It’s not really based on one or another writing, rather this opus is concatenating all loose ends of the past years. it is vital to understand that the cultural codings of the deity called Satan speak of our local and historical heritage, so our lyrics, at least on LL, are not so much based on far eastern esoteric knowledge. But PK and myself write different things, so he would answer differently. And we also explore new topics with every album – darkness is endless, its colours are countless. This is the interesting spiritual tension throughout the work of Abigor.
As I’ve mentioned before, I think that Leytmotif Luzifer is indeed a work of extreme art. The album sounds clear and elegant, at the same time dark and cold. I think we all have our conclusions about a release, which might be similar or completely different. Having that in mind, how would you compare Leytmotif Luzifer to Abigor previous works? In your opinion, do you feel that this is the best Abigor work up to date?
It is the best and most complete Abigor release to date, yes, and production wise, it is the most direct and ´natural´ of our albums. There’s only a bit reverb on the vocals and drums but no other effect or special effect editing, or any other synthetic sound staining the purity. Composition wise, it is based on a wall of guitars rather than precise riffing, and all songs have their own distinct tempo that doesn’t change, that’s also a very different approach in composition to all other albums. Time Is The Sulphur In The Veins Of The Saint is totally different, but would still come close when we talk about our best works so far. Lux devicta est somehow captured the magic of 1993 and is a truly dark work. Apokalypse is the one I enjoy the most from our classic 90s works.
Back to the influences, I’ve read somewhere about how the Wiener Aktionismus movement was a resource to the images of Fractal Possession. About ten years ago I got to know this movement when I watched the well-known collection of short movies, such as Leda Und Der Schwann, Stille Nacht, O Tannenbaum, Psychotik-Party and was highly impressed by it. How do you feel over this movement and how it has influenced Abigor besides the pictures? I know it’s easy to Google, but it is much better to get to know some information by those that are actually familiar with the subject, so, I ask you, to those that aren’t familiar with the Wiener Aktionismus movement, can you tell them a bit of information about it and why Abigor regards this form of art?
I grew up with the work of Hermann Nitsch, coming from the neighbouring village, so the legends of satanic blood orgies were there ever since. But, for example, to venture deeper into the works of Brus was an impetus by someone who has been a true inspiration at that time when we prepared Fractal Possession. That man has also used Brus on a cover, hidden but it’s there. All of those Wiener Aktionismus artists are important, Schwarzkokler, Mühl and Brus, but for sure the comprehensive, almost religious but surely ritualistic work of Nitsch keeps me excited all the time. His skillful combination of such ecstatic ritual, religious symbolism, avantgarde music, inclusion of all the senses, combination of all arts in his Orgien Mysterien Theater, the incorporation of proper spiritual sources, philosophy and transcendence is unchallenged. But the whole movement’s radicalism and multilayered appeal are inspiring, even more when you consider it was the 60s when they did this. In general the viennese art and author scene from that time was groundbreaking.
Abigor has managed to stay unique for all its existence, releasing albums that you wanted to and not what people wanted the band to play. Do you think that this is one of the secrets for Abigor to be still around, releasing ground-breaking extreme music? And this might be a very easy or very hard question to answer, but here it goes: how did you manage to stay true to your music for so long, as I’m sure there was pressure from the fans and the labels?
The constant ´please do another Nachthymnen´ was indeed utterly annoying. But the whole musical purpose of Abigor is to explore different fields, it would immediately put a halt to the project, like it already has once, if we just repeat something. If we are serious – and we are, then our music is doxology and the lyrics build a metaphysical temple. It is impossible to build the same row of bricks twice. I might be the most harmony addicted person but in art, we always have been about no compromise, never, not a bit. Not in our sloppy recklessness in the 90s with all the errors we made, all the improvised studio approach, and not now, in the most advanced reincarnation of the demon. Actually radicalism condenses again recently, as I’m fed up a bit with the softening towards certain thing in general, it’s unbearable what happened to the scene considering how great it could be.
How do you feel over the criticism over music generally and Abigor as well? I’ve always stated on my website (and I’ve been doing this for the last decade) that if I don’t like an album, I simply don’t review it, because, at the end, it’s all a matter of tastes and I don’t want to be the one to help destroying a band, even though my website isn’t huge. Do you believe that, nowadays, music is too easy to get? I mean, you can download an album, listen to it once and not to get it, all the nuances of the music and the effort put on the release. What’s your stance on this matter?
Your approach is truly honourable. And nothing wrong with well funded criticism. The old approach of 80s magazines and early 90s fanzines was the following: either, inform readers about at best ALL releases and let them decide what to buy, but at least provide the info. Or, just feature a certain taste of the writer and see it as recommendations, like your way. Where the reviewers were consistent and had a clear vision. But today, we have a catastrophic situation with some self declared emperors of the printed media. Certain big magazines are corrupt in totality, try to shape and censor what doesn’t fit in their little world. I´m not speaking about politics, but blinding out and distorting the scene’s reality and its past. And then we have the free democratic internet, where dickheads arrogantly piss on the greatest efforts so to appear cool and superior. I hate both things. And I hate the scene that has fallen to pieces and lets this happen. Back in the days, for a very short period in time, it was ´with us or against us´ and even though the bands fought each other, they stood strong against commercialism and outsiders who wanted to patronize the genre. I just read old magazines, it was unbearable how the big media once ridiculed BM in the most stupid way, just to embrace it and twist it soon after. How they treated the bands as full idiots, and calling Euronymous the most disrespectful names and later lifting him to highest levels. Hypocrites!
The band has always mentioned the admiration or praise for the occult and Satanism. What I find the best is that Abigor was never a silly band that had lyrics like “I’ll rape your corpse for Satan”, you know. I am aware you’ve been asked this before, but there might be some new readers on my website that would like to know more about your personal believes and how you see the world. Could you tell us what firstly attracted you into the occult and how this interest developed into a belief and, as a Satanist, how do you see the world we live today? For those are also willing to learn more, which works would you recommend them to read?
I was drawn to the occult and dark ever since my earliest childhood. Even as a little child I had ongoing weird dreams, or visions, I still remember. And by the time Venom´s third and best album was released, I already was into Metal and stuck the gatefold inside with the burning cross on my wall. About Abigor’s belief, we’re learning and developing, and we do not recommend, although we spread His gospel. We included so many topics over the 2+ decades of releasing our art, and approached Satanism culturally, poetically, theologically, philosophically, religiously. We try to explore what theistic Satanism means for earthly beings, and you could see us walking on that path from late teenagers to grown up man. I could tell you what PK and I believe in, he’s more into magic practice and occult esoteric knowledge while I am trying to decipher the many manifestations in ´classic´ religions and pre abrahamitic cults, and in religious medieval to baroque occidental arts, but I doubt this would make sense to explain so you could dig deeper into Abigor. Read the lyrics of Quntessence 2011, Time Is The Sulphur In The Veins Of The Saint, and Leytmotif Luzifer, and you should really get enough insight to fully accompany us on the journey that we make with a respective album.
Still on recommendations and your personal views, with the internet, we can clearly see the huge amount of black metal around the world and, to tell the truth, most of them are bellow average. You state that you are not a part of a scene, but how do you see Black Metal nowadays? And, for the listener, are there any bands that are unknown but completely deserve the opposite and you’d suggest these listeners to listen to?
Absolutely. First and foremost, two highly respected spiritual brothers Thy Darkened Shade and Nightbringer, both are about to release killer albums in 2014 – I know both works already and guarantee this is state of the art satanic Black Metal. Furthermore, W.T.C. and Daemon Worship are 2 labels with excellent artists, some of my fave releases recently come from these. Ancient Records in Sweden are a universe on their own, and so much more satanic art of the highest order. The list is really too long to even start. I am enthusiastic about the releases, but I am not satisfied with how things evolved in this scene – I demand a Black Metal scene like an organism with everything that belongs to it. With just a bit of exchange and closing ranks, Black Metal’s contributors could be so much stronger, but greed and envy and wrong arrogance hinders this. Recently I have smelled to much ego. just look at the powerful independence those Norwegian and Swedish groups managed to gain in the early 90s, for a very short period they controlled their own scene, complete with bands, labels, shops, fanzines, tapetraders. I repeat, it’s with us or against us, those who stand against us will fall. What sounds like a trite slogan is nothing but grim reality.
I believe that music is one of the most intense and powerful arts. Do you feel connected to the admirers of your music? How important it is for you to hear from the fans that they have truly enjoyed your work? Do you feel that there’s a special connection between you and the real fans of Abigor?
I am overcritical and often hate what we have come up with, on the other hand I am utterly grateful to discuss our art and hear from such people. But although I consider myself enthusiastic fan of many other bands, I don’t like the word ´fan´ basically. The term implies that one group of people are the ´stars´ and the other group are the ones who look up. I prefer ´contributors´, because everyone who supports Black Metal contributes, in whatsoever form, and this is what really counts. Be it musicians or writers or visual artists or truly supportive labels or the people who spend their money on CDs and LPs and shirts and make the whole thing happen, because they are the ones who provide the money needed to come up with something bigger. I could say these profane things don’t matter, as Black Metal is about the relation of earthbound souls to the deity Satan, it is devil worship, and highest metaphysical art that deals with transcendence and the very core of existence, it’s about the pain of scrabbling about in the darkness. Yes. Ultimately. But for fuck’s sake, if people don’t buy what artists come up with, you can forget about it and nothing could be produced and released. ´the fan´ is the one who provides the means so that I can lock myself up and vibrate with the ecstasy and the horror, caused by sonic rites, the immense experience that I am privileged to gain when I channel what is transmitted by unearthly regions. Therefore arrogance is the most out of place attribute for an artist. And due to self criticism I am also ashamed hearing words of praise. I am nothing, He is everything. I am just a vessel filled with the energy that arises from places where everything relevant in this artform comes from.
The question in which I always ask the musicians a bit about themselves. I always point out that I won’t try to invade your privacy. What I ask you to tell us is your favorite activities outside the music world, cinema, authors, trips/ travels, drinks (I believe you enjoy whiskies, same here, if you could share your favorite ones would be appreciated) anything that you’d like to share with us.
Yes, I am a snobbish scotch single malt collector, and I enjoy really delicate food. Also I gain much pleasure through art of different periods, of course renaissance and baroque sacral art which is a huge direct influence on Black Metal in general, but also the period of classic modern art – expressionism, futurism, cubism and kinetism, surrealism and dada, the bauhaus or de stijl groups. Furthermore contemporary art, especially the 60s gave birth to most radical things like Wiener Aktionismus. Also good architecture, independent cinema, great design, and for sure the vast field of music of all kinds.
And we reach the end of this interview. One more time, thank you very much for the interview and I hope you enjoyed it and so the readers. I also would like to wish you all the best in you present and future plans. Do you have any last words for our readers?
Black Metal releases are comprehensive works of art! The cover in good quality, booklet artwork, lyrics, CD or LP carefully mastered – this can be an ultimate and even enlightening experience. The more painful the process of its creation was, the bigger the pleasure when you finally have it in your hands and focus on it properly. a file does not work, it’s a completely different experience. by skipping through those MP3s and youtube clips, people slowly unlearn the art of listening to an album, their attention span lowers, their capability to judge things lowers, contexts become less important – while context is actually one of the most important things on an album. I am no different here, I feel my senses slightly going through these changes too, I’m also checking out things on the internet all the time and too often am too quick with my judgment, or should I say ´misjudgment´. therefore we must consciously demand quality and force ourselves to REALLY listen to music, concentrated without pause, the full album, enjoying the whole work, deciphering the cover art and the mysteries that – at best – are captured and unveiled in true pieces of art. so, buy the fucking album or demo or 7“, buy fanzines, recommend what you like and CONTRIBUTE, just like I do, because if not, you are a parasite and better listen to what fits this behaviour, your trendy soulless trend of today and leave real Black Metal art alone!!! To all others, your support is valued and the foundation on which this music builds its metaphysical temple, the sounds and words which become the bridge of flesh over the rivers of blood!
September 22, 2014