01 – First of all I’d like to thank you very much for this opportunity… to interview you… that you took time to answer our questions here on the MetalCast Show. I was waiting for this for some time. Please, introduce yourself to our listeners.
The Meads of Aspodel/ Metatron – I am Metatron, vocalist and lyricist, and the scourge of organized religious nonsense. I front the English Black progressive sonic Metal band, The Meads of Asphodel and we make music our way.
02 – The Murder of Jesus the Jew is an outstanding release. I find it amazing that each time I listen to it, I always manage to find something new, something that catches my attention. What also appeals me is that musical changes during the songs. How has been the response from the fans and critics so far?
The Meads of Aspodel/ Metatron – Very positive and that makes the very long creative process for this album all the more worthwhile. This album has a lyrical and musical equilibrium, a perfect balance that gives the concept depth and imbues it with sincere motives. We gave it our all and the music really is an embodiment of deep sincerity and passion.
03 – Connected to the previous question, do you feel that The Murder of Jesus the Jew is able to gather more and more admirers for the Meads of Asphodel’s music or do you believe that people should begin getting to know The Meads of Asphodel work from its previous releases?
The Meads of Aspodel/ Metatron – I think the move to candlelight for any band will open a far wider audience to check out the music. The whole machinery of distribution and more mainstream awareness if all tethered to a bigger label. Small labels seem to concentrate on trading and not so much distribution. The Meads still embrace the underground as this is the dark shadowy realm of our roots. Music amongst the underground is generally pure of spirit and not tainted bu the outer surface of the mainstream. I think this digital age of internet and piracy is destroying the underground, slowly strangling the very lungs of the black metal scene. There is no intimacy anymore, no brotherhood of bands or labels. Labels have turned into leeches where magazines are sent digital downloads instead of real cd’s. I think thats disgusting as the mags deserve a real product if they give the time to review it. Soon the scene will die, of that I am sure.
04 – About the concept of the album The Murder of Jesus the Jew. Tell us the main concepts behind it.
The Meads of Aspodel/ Metatron – The album deals with the humanity of the Jewish rabbi, Yeshua [Jesus] , and disconnects the truth from the lies that the Catholic Church has spun for 2000 years now. The real Jesus despised the gentiles [non-jews] as his religion would have demanded, He was a nationalist and a decent person preaching his oun form of Judaism and that got him in trouble with his own kind as well as the occupying Romans. His death was a non event at the time, and yet his legend was spun from lies and religious fervour. Such fanatical ignorance of truth is still alive today in Islam and the other primitive mind views around the world. The album tries to show a human Jesus, a person that lives and died in a brutal world, and that brutal world has changed little, so he certainly was no Son of God, as his existence has changed nothing.
Mankind is still cruel, still lost amongst his own greed and lust. I cannot reason with any one who truly aspires to a God that allows such needless misery to drown a species of carbon based life forms in pain and fear. No theological bullshit can defend such insanity.
05 – All in all, do you feel that you’ve achieve what you wanted when recoding The Murder of Jesus the Jew and where do you rank it comparing to your previous releases?
The Meads of Aspodel/ Metatron – Jesus the Jew is our finest achievement and one that has taken many years of research and musical creativity. Each previous album and Ep was at the time of release endeavors we were happy with, but Jesus the Jew is in all aspects the perfect concept for us. Our next release will be about the Holocaust in Poland during World War Two. This is a very delicate subject and one will make every effort to treat with respect.
06 – Generally speaking now, please, tell us which are the works that the band members have found inspiring, musically and lyrically speaking.
The Meads of Aspodel/ Metatron – Bathory, Venom, Warfare, Iron Maiden, Boltthrower, Pyogenesis, Metallica, Paradise Lost, Anathema, Discharge, Motorhead, The Doors, The Almighty, Skyclad, Hawkwind, Sigh, and many others.
07 – Connected to the previous question, I would like you to tell us which lyrics have the heaviest meaning for you, and, if possible, the meaning behind those specific lyrics.
The Meads of Aspodel/ Metatron – In a strange way the whole lyrical concept of Venoms ‘A War With Satan, was at the time utterly compelling and embroiled all the Satanic imagery into a musical nightmare. It has lost some of its bite in today’s ever extreme metal scene, but on its release this album [and especially the track itself] was one mean arse shredding, nightmare of a track]. The way Cronos mixed narrative and pure punk style vocal barks most definitely shaped my whole vocal delivery for the meads. The same can be said for the UK punk/ metal band Warfare. This dirty vocal of Evo [now a good friend inspired much of what the meads are about vocally.
08 – What are your views on organized religion, especially when it comes to Christianity and Islam? Does any The Meads of Asphodel member follow some sort of organized faith?
The Meads of Aspodel/ Metatron – No, we are totally at odds with organized religion as it is all based on a primitive mindset that cannot exist in the turbulent development of human evolution. It is an absolute disgrace that we harken back to ancient hearsay and ignorance to gather meaning for our fears today. What has any wandering prophet of old got to do with our deprivation and fragile societies today? These out of date philosophies have no bearing on what they could never have perceived. These doctrines [and I include Islam and Christianity] exist in two forms in this modern age. In their third world dominions the paralysis of fanaticism breeds ignorance and fear, and in the more liberal lands, a more accessible strain of faith is taught. Beyond these divided adaptions of their respective holy books we have the less tolerant far eastern lands who have less chances of being indoctrinated.
09 – Music wise now, we know that some bands make music to please their fans while others make music they like. Concerning this, and knowing how The Meads of Asphodel are like, I would like ask you if The Meads of Asphodel ever took, or better, if you’d ever take, certain advice/ criticism to heart to adapt the songs in the suggested manner. Be it about the sound or the content of the songs.
The Meads of Aspodel/ Metatron – We do what we do and although we accept all criticism and advice, good or bad, we do not adhere to it. We are not afraid to do what we feel if right even if every one else feels its wrong. We do not expect everyone to like our music, and yet we are humbled by those who do. It is a great richness of heart to know our music can touch others across the world, whether t be one or many.
10 – The Meads of Asphodel has featured many guest musicians on its albums. How do you feel working with these musicians? Also, could you also tell us how did you get to know Mirai Kawashima from Sigh and what’s like working with him?
The Meads of Aspodel/ Metatron – I have been corresponding with Mirai for many years and he had even appeared on our documentary video when he came over to London last year. Mirai I a very honorable and decent fellow and one we can work with on the same level. He is very much part of the Meads. His band Sigh, are one of the most eccentric and unique bands in the Metal world and deserve a far more wider audience than they have.
11 – Now let’s talk about your pseudonyms. Please, tell us the stories behind them and how did those come about?
The Meads of Aspodel/ Metatron – Metatron is an angel known out side Biblical texts. he is the highest of the angels and serves as the celestial scribe. These angelic names are all outside the three mentioned in the canonical Bibles. Apart from the names of Micheal, Gabriel and Raphael, there are hundreds of Angelic names attributed to Hebrew mythology. Its odd to think that the original meaning for Angel was ‘Messenger, and no wings were ever envisaged until mdival times. Its utter stupidity to see these winged mortal like beings flapping aloft considering it is a totally Christianized image. The whole Christian adoption of the Judaic original is a contorted, warped obscenity of an original belief system. That includes the whole New Testament rubbish and the theft of Jesus from his original root form as a Jewish healer who despised outsiders and was wholly nationalistic in nature.
12 – You were signed to an underground label and now are on Candlelight Records. Are you pleased with the Candlelight Records work so far and also, could you compare being signed to Supenal Music, Godreah Records and Candlelight Records balancing the positive and negative aspects?
The Meads of Aspodel/ Metatron – When you understand the machinery of the record industry then things are the same whether it is small or big. The band is the tool that makes the product and the label owns the product and must sell it. If many units are sold then the labels make good business and that’s the reality of it all. It is better to have your music distributed to a wider audience as the whole purpose for a true musician is to have as many people as possible absorbing it. It matters not what financial rewards occur in this process. Small labels are the underground and we respect them totally. The Meads will always have one foot in the underground from where we were born back in the days of tape trading and genuine spirit. As I have said, this spirit is dying in this cyber age.
13 – The Meads of Asphodel didn’t play live shows until recently. Why didn’t you play live and also, what made the band change this?
The Meads of Aspodel/ Metatron – We have made a video for the song ‘Apocalypse of Lazarus’ and this will appear any moment now. We do not plat live as yet. We have a documentary on u tube that allows fans to see the band as a living entity. We have always remained in the darkness for the most part.
14 – This is a question that I always ask when I interview a band: many, many musicians, underground ones too, are against illegal downloads. What is your view concerning this matter? And do you believe that illegal downloads indeed can cause damages not only to the labels, but also harm the bands?
The Meads of Aspodel/ Metatron – Real music fans will always buy a product and yet illegal download is a kick in the face the the greedy labels and record stores who charged far too much for the cd’s. I think it disgusting that idiots try to sell a cd for £15 or over. These leeches deserve to be boiled in piss. The underground will die as the labels embrace the digital age of that I am sure.
15 – And now we have reached the end of the interview. One more time, thank you very much for the interview. I’d like to wish the best for you and the Meads of Asphodel. Do you have any last words for our listeners?
The Meads of Aspodel/ Metatron – The mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work unless it’s open. So open your mind when accessing anything, whether religion or life’s problematic paths we walk. Truth is often shrouded in faith and superstition, but seek and you shall find. Open your eyes and you shall see. Fuck the Gods in their make believe heavens and hells, grasp what you can touch.
September, 2011.April 14, 2014