Watain, most people know them. The satanic Black Metal-artists from Scandinavia. People living in or near Holland had the chance to see them live (once again) in Rotterdam. They played on Tyrants Fest, in the Baroeg. I contacted the vocalist Erik to do an interview. Here is the result…
Damn, what is that smell?
Hehe, ok. You adopted your name from VON isn’t it?
That is correct.
Do you also use VON as a source of inspiration?
Their only inspiration is that they are one of the first bands who managed to mix magic and music, black magic and music.
What do you mean with black magic?
I mean the art beyond and besides the earthly manifestation. It is to transcend out of flesh and substance, just in the mind.
So there is a lot more behind Watain than just making music and screaming your lyrics…
Absolutely. It has to be, because there are some many bands these days who scream their cute songs about trolls, demons and whatever, they don’t know where they are talking about. Why we are influenced by VON is because they are very serious. They managed to do something more. When you listen to VON you hear more than just some riffs, although it depends ofcourse on what kind of mind you have. I mean, there are not many bands like that, in the whole history of Black and Death Metal. There are not many bands who actually make you tremble.
How would you describe your music to others?
Black Metal is a very simple term, although it has been mocked and insulted by some many shitbands.
So you are against all those bands who claim to be Black Metal, but aren’t ‘real’ BM?
What is Black Metal then?
It is satanic music! Satanic extreme Metal. And ofcourse the satanic expect…once again, the delivering of satanic energies, it is not about having a red satanic bible or likewise crap. It is about being able canalise something of the satanic principles, that is what true Black Metal is.
Does that mean you are against all those ideologies, politics etc. involved in music?
No, not in music in general. Music has always been a way to express all kinds of things. But when it comes to Black Metal it is satanic in its foundation.
So it can’t anything to do with heathen, pagan, etc. sort of things?
No, it has absolutely nothing to do with it. We are here to really emphasize that fact. It has been tolerated for far too long! Bands believe in nothing, but just take demonic names, names that are in relation with our doctrine. We and a few other bands are here to bring back our conviction.
Can you call those bands by name?
Yeah, first of all, the bands of the label Norma Evangelium Diaboli. There are 5 other bands on that label which are really above the average and really know where satanic Black Metal is about. Apart from those I would definitely mention Dissection. That is really a band which we consider as brothers.
Before releasing the two studio-albums Casus Luciferi and Rabid Death’s Curse, there were 2 live-albums released. Why?
Actually livetapes, no live-albums. It is mainly because we never released any demotapes, and we played quite a lot live in the early days.
So the livetapes were actually a replacement, because you didn’t released demo’s?
Yeah, you can say that. We found it cheaper and better to release those tapes, instead of getting in an expensive studio.
The debutalbum received amazing response. This album was already released by Drakkar Productions. So if the debutalbum didn’t make Drakkar wanted to release Watain-albums, what else brought you to Drakkar?
Drakkar seemed to be, and was actually, a very good underground Black Metal-label. They were very serious about what bands they were signing and so forth. We wanted a label…well, there are so many shitlabels around and crap coming out every day. We didn’t want to be afilliated with that. So we came to Drakkar because they didn’t show interest only in money, but also appreciate everything we do.
Are you against making money with Black Metal then?
No, not at all.
Are you making money with Black Metal?
Yeah, sure, we release albums and perform live. We can’t live from it though. I goes without saying that that is not the mainreason behind making music. Our mainreason is spritual, not materialistic.
A split followed with Diabolicum. A band which has actually nothing in common with Watain. Seen their origin is Sweden, I assume they are friends of you or?
You are wrong by saying they have nothing in common with Watain. They are a strong satanic band. There are real sick and dangerous people involved in the band. The music is indeed very different from ours.
Do you prefer satanism above music? I mean, it seems to be very important for you, seen you use the word ‘satanism’ in almost every answer…
Yeah, it’s my life. But you know, some people have the gift to perform, perform good music. Real ‘satan’ is not release cheap music. One of the main satanic ideas is to conquer and be perfectionistic, and do everything in the name of Satan.
What is ‘Satan’ then?
First of all I have to strongly point out that Satan is just one of a thousand names of one principle, a spiritual principle that is working against the path of creation. The path of God, or Christ if you wish. There are two ways to live your life. You can either walk towards God, or get away of it. Satan is the path away from God.
In 2002 you released some sort of promo, but it can actually be called as a ‘best of’.
That was one of the problems with Drakkar. They weren’t the best promotors.
Yeah, it is released through Blazing…
Exactly, they cared about our promotion for a while. Organising gigs, interviews, etc. So we wanted to make a promopackage and send it to compilations, radiostations, venues and so forth. Just to give a picture of the band.
Well, in 2003 casus Luciferi was released. In my opinion it didn’t had that real ‘evil’ and ‘dark’ atmosphere around it. Do you share my opinion?
No, definitely not. But I can understand what you mean in a way, because many people think the ‘ultimate’ in Black Metal-music is to make it as raw, fast and brutal as possible. We are not limited by that kind of things. Casus Luciferi has for me all the elements I want in our music.
So you like Casus Luciferi better than the debutalbum?
Yeah, but I still consider it as two totally different albums. Casus Luciferi really has everything Black Metal means for us. It has more the epic, majestic, grandiose feeling which is actually close to our view upon Satan, it almost innatural.
Watain has quite a decent line-up for years already. Is that the reason Watain-releases always have the same sort of ‘feeling’?
Yeah, I think so. Watain is very dependant on the triangle of the trinity of the band, which is me, the guitarist and the drummer. There are energies between us, that actually makes the band. It is not really the actual members, but the energy we managed to maintain the floating. That is also why there is a triangle on the cover of Casus Luciferi. You have the three original points of creation…number 1 is ‘I’, number 2 is ‘I am’ and number 3 is ‘I am what I am’. The triangle is complete with ‘I am what I am’. By inverting that triangle we express negative energy instead of the positive one.
What kind of lifestyle is Black Metal?
It is marked by the dangerous and illegal doctrine of Satan. It is not a ‘normal lifestyle’, those regular stuff every day, you know what I mean…you can claim to live the Black Metal-lifestyle, because the Black Metal-lifestyle is marked by forbidden knowlegde and activities. It should mark your soul, when you once marked it, there is no way back.
I asked the following question to another band as well, but I’m also interested in your answer…If you had to choose between making albums and never performing again, or performing without making new albums. What would be your choice?
Pff…it is for Watain very natural to do both. The liveshows are such a big part of our being, so it is very hard to choose the one or the other. The creating aspect of making an album and working together between the three members, is demanded in order to get the power we need to perform live. Without us having the ability to record albums, create new monuments, there wouldn’t be any will to to the performences. We need one of them to do the other.
That is getting quite paradoxical…
Yeah, in a way indeed.
You haven’t released something in like two years…Is there a new album or release coming?
Despite the fact almost every band brings out lots of releases, we don’t hurry. We have no aim or whatsoever in participating in the grey mass of shitreleases coming out every day. I mean, when you create a Black Metal-album, a satanic album, it must be monumental. It has to be something that people remember, and there are only a few albums who carry that image. I can think of 5, or okay…10, ah, well, I can go on for a long time. But still, it has to be perfect. We are artists, and not here to release album after album. To be more concrete, we have quite a clear picture of how it will be. Although we haven’t finished something concretely, in terms of real songs, but we have a lot of ideas. Even more than we had for the last album. The only strict parameter we have and aim for is to create the music we want to create.
So that’s enough then, thanks for the interview. You may finish it.
Man, I hate finishing interviews! But thanks for the interview