Interview: SATANIC WARMASTER

Whenever I send off an interview, I always hope my questions will cause the proverbial floodgates to open, that the artist will dig deep and spill his guts.  As evidenced by the curt exchange below, such was not the case with Satanic Tyrant Werewolf, mastermind behind Finland’s Satanic Warmaster.  Hey, at least I tried.

THKD: What did you set out to accomplish with your new album, Nachzehrer? How does it compare to previous Satanic Warmaster albums?

Satanic Tyrant Werewolf: I sought to create an even more morbid, dismal and dark album compared to the previous one. Something that would reflect the european shadow soul in a totally different way and wander deeper into the darkness of forgotten tales, fears and things that are only seen by the light of Satan’s eye.

THKD: Your last full-length, Carellian Satanist Madness, came out in 2005. Why the long wait between albums?

STW: Each time a new era for this creation has been at hand, I have contemplated the reasons to go on, and each time I have rejuvenated the idea and gone through changes that might not be seen superficially, but are crucial to pursue new horizons once more. This time I wanted to take my time to create something I would be satisfied with again, musically, lyrically and also in terms of general presentation and productions.

THKD: The production of Nachzehrer sounds much more raw than Carelian Satanist Madness or other more recent Satanic Warmaster recordings such as the Revelation ep. Was this intentional?

STW: For me the production on “Nachzehrer” is far from raw, and knowing the hours I put into the forging, it is far from “raw” in my perspective. The dismal storm that is the soundscape of “Nachzehrer” turned out very much like I visioned it to be.

THKD: When and where was the album recorded? What was your mindset going into/during the recording sessions?

STW: The album was recorded at the Satanic Metal Temple during one full year between 2009 and 2010. All possible mindsets were present during the recording at one point or another.

THKD: The songs on Nachzehrer are of course rooted in traditional black metal, but they have some very catchy moments that could almost be described as rock or punk. What inspired this?

STW: My music has always had the certain hard-hitting and catchy edge, so I don’t consider it as a new aspect in any way. There weren’t any particular inspirations to do this as this is the way I’ve always wanted it to be.

THKD: Many of your songs refer to vampires and werewolves. Why are these particular images/ideas so important to Satanic Warmaster?

STW: They reflect traits that are also present in Satanic Warmaster, the wolf in man who takes what he needs driven by unearthly hunger and the vampire who feeds upon the suffering of the weak.

THKD: What are some of the other lyrical themes being explored on Nachzehrer?

STW: Satan, Lycanthropy, Vampirism, Strife, Necromancy and Death.

THKD: What does “Satan” mean to you? Do you think black metal is an inherently Satanic form of music?

STW: Satan is the light I grow towards. Yes, Black Metal is Satanic.

THKD: Aside from occasional session musicians, Satanic Warmaster has always been a solo project. Why do you prefer to work alone? Were any session musicians involves with Nachzehrer?

STW: Satanic Warmaster is my vision, thus I walk alone in that sense. There were session members on the album.

THKD: You’ve released Nachzehrer on your own Werewolf Records. Why put the album out yourself instead of working with an established label?

STW: Werewolf records IS an established label.

THKD: In spite of the 5 years between albums, you’ve put out a string of EPs, splits, etc over the past several years. How do you stay so prolific?

STW: A single song on a split 7” now and then hardly makes anyone prolific.

THKD: You’re involved in numerous projects aside from Satanic Warmaster. Is it difficult to juggle so many different bands? How do you decide when it is time for Satanic Warmaster?

STW: I create on impulse and various impulses require different banners to be presented under.

THKD: Finland has gained a reputation for producing some of the filthiest black metal out there. What (if anything) do you think separates the Finnish black metal scene/sound from the rest of the hordes out there?

STW: One of the most important things might be that many of the finnish bands have paid their dues to the highest and have worked seriously for years, but still without making any compromises whatsoever to gain more “mainstream” attention.

THKD: What’s your take on the current state of black metal? Do you care what’s going on in “the scene” aside from the bands you’re involved with? Is black metal a tradition that should be preserved?

STW: Luckily the “scene” has taught me not to follow so intensely as the only thing to expect is disappointment.

THKD: Are there any final words you’d like to add?

STW: Thanks for the interview. Stay evil! LUX EX TENEBRIS

Buy Nachzehrer from Hell’s Headbangers

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9 thoughts on “Interview: SATANIC WARMASTER

  1. Pingback: Satanic Warmaster – Fimbulwinter (Hells Headbangers, 2015) | that's how kids die.

  2. Yes, I agree with you (you already knew this).

    RE: “Black metal does operate w/in narrow parameters, but the idea that it is always primitive and static is a myth.”

    The essence and spirit of it is often blunt, brutal, primitive, animalistic, etc. But that’s also another way, for a lot of people, of saying “passionate.”

    For me black metal is about opening up and exploring atmospheres that death metal, at this point, can no longer reach…because the history and evolved aesthetics of death metal no longer code for the possibility. All of those atmospheres and states of mind are called “cold”, “inhuman”, etc. but the truth is that human beings can never express anything that isn’t human. 😉 It’s impossible. All of these things exist inside of us. Where many people hear “coldness” in sound I often just hear a complaint that things should be warmer. 🙂 Ultimately all black metal really wanted to was be more emotional and expressive, original and true to the self/soul of the person writing it, no longer clinical and demarcated by an over-rational aesthetic that death metal delineated at every turn: this is the tradition, this is what we do, this is what we can say, this is how it’s done, etc. THAT aesthetic and series of compositional tools, taken to their logical limits, ends in technical death metal that no longer communicates anything other than a stunned silence in the face of machinery beyond one’s control. So yeah, it DOES express the zeitgeist, but it’s not something that’s exactly “moving.” Not for me. For some people it is!

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  3. I was listening to some of the Swedish black metal yesterday that’s a little more “outsider “or whatever…Lepra, Mortuus (awesome), Malign, Ondskapt, old Funeral Mist, Ofermod, etc. That stuff is put together very well, very professional and in a beautifully balanced way…and it still has some great atmosphere and seems to come from a place of conviction. I guess I just can’t connect with those convictions anymore (if they ARE real). I suppose that’s to be expected…and not exactly lamented. There are always exceptions in any scene?

    >”are so obsessed with upholding the traditions and trappings of black metal that heart, soul and originality sort of fall by the wayside”

    Yeah. *sigh* 😦

    The most important thing, IMO, is the original inspirational spirit, not the traditionalism. As long as you have that spirit, motivation and emotional energy intact the music will flow in that direction…no matter what new elements you throw into it. That’s what the Norwegians used to recognize…but they also burned through all of that a long time ago. I’m just old. 🙂

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  4. The Scandinavians are often so, so good at designing projects from the ground up, doing everything perfectly: music, lyrics, artwork, attached “ideology”, band pictures, etc. but there is rarely (IMO) any heart, soul or real originality in their work. I don’t know why that is. Perhaps because they approach it from the standpoint of “design” and don’t simply play from the heart? They can take established ideas and blend/combine them excellently…and then perform/put them to work in an enviously professional manner, but their music is rarely ever “free” or loose in the sense of spontaneous life…it doesn’t seem to live in the moment.

    There WAS a time when this wasn’t true, of course…but at this point we’re talking 20 years ago…

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  5. This guy is in (or has been in) so many bands that it’s impossible to tell where his heart really lies. I love “Strength and Honour”, though, especially that first song…it’s absolutely perfect, IMO, and the production is beautiful…I haven’t been able to get into his material since then. Oh well. 😦

    >”Luckily the “scene” has taught me not to follow so intensely as the only thing to expect is disappointment.”

    Well, THAT’S certainly true.

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  6. That happens to me all the time. That’s what sucks about e-mail interviews, but frankly, I hate talking to people I don’t know. The shittiest of my experienes were with Baronesss, US CHristmas, Torche and fucking Dodsferd whose music I really admire but who is a total black metal aaaarrggghhh type…

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  7. “All possible mindsets were present during the recording at one point or another” is about the most hilariously deadpan interview response I’ve read in some time.

    I think there’s almost a legitimate comment on the Finnish scene buried in there somewhere, but damn, talk about pulling teeth. An appropriately valiant effort, nonetheless.

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  8. Hahaha, I don’t think it’s you. The interview he did for Stereogum was also really minimal. I think that if one agrees to do interviews at all, one has an obligation to provide at least more than this!

    Love that album cover, by the way!

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