Interview with Xaphan
Interview conducted by Chris Mitchell (Desolate Gale)
Date online: February 29, 2004
For those that are unfamiliar with KoA can you give us a quick history of the band?
Kult ov Azazel was formed in the spring equinox of 1999 under the infernal name Azazel consisting of Xaphan (myself) on guitar/vocals, Xul on vocals/bass and Von on drums. Under this name and lineup we recorded and released "Order of the Fly". Soon after Von was booted out and Hellspawn took over drum duties and with this lineup we recorded and released the material on the split CD with Krieg (USA). In the spring of 2000 we kicked out Hellspawn, decided to change the band name to Kult ov Azazel and signed a 4 album deal with Arctic Music. In March 2001 we released our first full length "Triumph of Fire" with Vetis participating as a session drummer on that release. We have also participated in a 7" split with Satan's Blood (GER), a 4 way split with Obitus (SWE), Humanicide (USA) and Thylord (FRA) and have been included on numerous compilations. In 2003 we launched our second major offensive for Arctic Music titled "Oculus Infernum" which is the first time we have recorded with a full permanent lineup which now consists of myself (vocals/guitar), Xul (vocals/ bass), Nocturath (guitar/backing vocals) and The Hammer (drums). Currently we are working on a new album titled "The World, The Flesh & The Devil".
Most people tend to associate Black Metal with the cold and vast lands of Norway, while KoA comes from the hot swampy lands of Florida. Does the enviroment play any role in KoA's music or has it affected it in anyway?
That's because most people are idiots and to answer the question about environment playing a role in our music or affecting it the answer is no and no.
What bands have inspired KoA's music?
Venom, Bathory, Hellhammer/Celtic Frost, Possessed, Sodom, Mercyful Fate, Destruction, (first) Exodus, (old) Slayer, Kreator, Bloodfeast, VoiVod, (old) Metallica, Hobbs Angel of Death, Mayhem, Darkthrone, Gorgoroth, Beherit, Acheron, Burzum, Impaled Nazarene, Blasphemy, Dissection, VoiVod, Unleashed, Bestial Warlust, Marduk, Hypocrisy, Infestdead, Abigor, old Deicide, Pungent Stench, Morbid, Angel Corpse, Behemoth, (early) Morbid Angel, (old) Samael and I am sure I'm forgetting many more.
On your latest album you chose a medieval torture device for the cover. Is there any significance behind it?
The cover art of is a grim interpretation of a torture chamber and its devices therein. It was inspired by a vision of the reversal of parts in a time such as The Crusades and reflects the lyrics to the title track of the album. Inside the woodcuts and images interact with the theme of the lyrics making this album homage to the eternal death of purity and sanctity.
A lot of bands in Black Metal take drugs. Do you view drugs as a way to achieve higher states of consciousness, expand your mind, etc. Or do you see them as being a sign of weakness?
Depends which context we are talking. I do think that certain drugs expand the mind and know that with some you can definitely achieve high states of consciousness and see no problems or weakness in that. But on the other hand I believe that if the drug controls you then you were a weak willed individual in the first place.
What are your opinions on the current National Socialist trend in Black Metal?
I have nothing against NS black metal but I don't buy into it. I do not see National Socialism or any political agenda having anything to do with what black metal is all about and my opinion is when the lyrics move away from occult/satanic subjects then it's not black metal. Once it has a political motive or any other agenda it loses its black metal status.
What are you currently listening to these days?
Xasthur "The Funeral of Being", Warhammer "Doom Messiah", Metallica "Master of Puppets", Motorhead "Live at Hammersmith", Mercyful Fate "Return of the Vampire", Pungent Stench "Club Mondo Bizarre", Gorgoroth "Twilight of the Idols", Iron Maiden "Piece of Mind".
How do you think the current Black Metal scene is doing today? Do you think it is falling apart or stronger than ever?
The current black metal scene is doing well I think. Many people say it is dead and shit to that extent yet they are the ones that just aren't looking hard enough for the quality bands. Then there are others with this opinion that are too weak to move on and because of this weakness they continue to live in the past saying that bands today suck and only the older bands of yesteryear are worth anything. All it takes is for one to look at the scenes in France, Finland, Sweden, Poland, South America, Germany and the United States to see that black metal is far from dead and in this day and age is still a force to be reckoned with.
Are you or anyone else in KoA involved in any other bands?
The only person involved with any outside bands is me. I play bass in Hateplow.
Is there any goal, philosophy, or aim behind the music of KoA?
The foremost goal of this band is to stay true to ourselves musically and create music that we feel a connection with. We hold true to the ideals that black metal originated from and represent this through our art. Kult ov Azazel is our vehicle for spreading misery, suffering and the destruction of monotheistic ideas through musical violence. We want to spread our hatred, blasphemy and profanation from one continent to the other.
What are things you do in your spare time outside of KoA and Metal in general?
I like to sleep and do lots of it.
That covers all my questions. Thanks for the interview Xaphan and congratulations on KoA's latest release Oculus Infernum. Any last words to people reading this?
Thanks for the interview and support. Those interested can find more info at www.kultovazazel.com or we can be reached through the mail at Kult ov Azazel, PO Box 23308, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33307, USA. Horns up to the legions worldwide and a middle finger to the rest of you fucks!
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