Interview with Blasphemer from MAYHEM
Interview was originally taken for website www.mountainrock.lt
On your website in the official biography of the band there are detailed stories about the various macabre situations the band members got into. Is everything evil the main drive behind the band or do you have any of that VENOM tongue-in-cheek image approach?
It’s not the driving force behind the band obviously, that wouldn’t make any sense. But there is undeniably a fact within this band that we have a history tending towards the more bizarre. This has not anything to do with the music of course it’s merely a shadow in the past. Nothing to do with the current line-up.
From at the time the deepest underground the Scandinavian black metal scene in some instances (DIMMU BORGIR) became much closer to the mainstream. What is your opinion on this? Do you consider the division between “true” black metal and more commercially minded bands important? And is the commercial success of some bands beneficial or harmful for the scene?
I don’t have any problems with bands who are true to themselves and who’s doing their thing. That’s the way it should be. About the term black metal, it has all come to be a very wide definition. It has all come to be hype, a trend in which there is bands who claim to play black metal who actually doesn’t. It’s all beyond reason and understanding. The imagery created by the media is for me closer to a fucking circus than black metal essence. About commercialism; I really don’t think black metal will become that popular.
Before planning the gig in Lithuania have you had any information about the country in general, and about the music scene?
Not really. I know that the biggest city is Vilnius but that was probably it. Can’t wait to be in your country to absorb the environment and the cultural aspect. That means the local alcohol, hehe. I’m also sure that there is some really good black metal bands over there as well. It will also be interesting to meet our fans.
What sort of music do you like – is it only the extreme metal, or do you listen to something different as well?
I like all sorts of music as long as it’s good. I guess it depends on the setting I’m in.
What’s your take on the current mainstream (if any) – Britney Spears, The White Stripes, Linkin’ Park, The Darkness, etc.?
Who wouldn’t like to abuse Britney indecently hah? I would!! As for The White Stripes and The Darkness; I find it rather fun. The Darkness would be some kind of a NWOBHM band, hehe.
Do you think the Scandinavian scene is still influential in the extreme metal world? And actually – do you consider that such thing exist, or you see the Norwegian and Swedish scenes totally different?
The Swedes are much more into death metal while the Norwegians are much more into the black me tallish aspect.
Is the image (corpse paint, leather, spikes, etc.) still essential for the black metal?
Yes, I see it as very important. For us the aspect of corpse paint is only used by Maniac, the vocalist. He is a kind of the face towards the audience. He is the face of Mayhem on stage in a way. The portal. As for the spikes and the bullet belts I guess you can say that I’m heavily represented, hehe. That’s very much me, being a fan of old thrash metal and the imagery brought forth with that.
What are your expectations of the show in Vilnius? Can the crowd expect mutilation of some corpses? How did the Gorgoroth’s backlash in Poland affect your stage show?
I am really looking forward to play there. We had some problems with our bus though. It seemed in the first pace that the bus was too long but I know thats sorted out now. About the mutilation; I don’t know. It all depends on the Lithuanian promoter. Its up to him to fix our infamous pig heads, hehe. We just have to see. As for the Gorgoroth show in Poland; we don’t feel obligated to outdo that. That would be silly. We are not followers, we do our own thing.
Is the touring very tiresome? And does it influence the relations between band members?
Touring is hell. I can’t count how many times we where about to kill each other on the bus. But that’s the way it is you know. Four strong and totally different individuals under the same roof for 6 weeks. Forget Big Brother, hehe. I’m glad we have a decent crew now. That takes away some of the pressure. That combined with a good bus makes the tour decent enough.
Are you a drinking band? If so – what sort of beverages do you favors?
Yes, I guess you can say that we are a drinking band. For booze or liquor I personally prefer Jegermeister, Single Malt Whiskeys, Underberg etc. When it comes to before the shows we usually go for the local beer provided by the promoter. That and some wine to calm the tension. I know Maniac is a Fernet Branca-freak.
Christianity – your opinion on it? Do you take it as an enemy or is it just an old butt for jokes?
An old butt for jokes, hehe. No, seriously, I don’t see the Christian aspect as any threat whatsoever. For me it is a sign of the useless and somehow helpless fundament of mankind. Metaphysical creations created in the image of insecurity and errors. Its pathetic really. I see myself as above any form of false spiritual stimuli. I do not consider it of importance.