Interview with Wrath
Interview conducted by Chris Mitchell (Desolate Gale)
Date online: October 30, 2004
Greetings, how are things Wrath?
Wrath: Forward moving and satisfactory, thank you.
When did you discover Black Metal and how were you introduced to it?
W: It discovered me. I always have difficulty discussing this statement because there will always be some brain surgeon out there snorting in contempt because he discovered it the week before I did. I find that with a journey the final destination is more important than the point origin, so I am more preoccupied with that destination (i.e. what I gain as I move forward in this genre, as well as where I am taken).
What is Black Metal to you?
W: It is the poison in the water, it is the gristle on the meat, it is the plague of the crops, it is the art of destruction.
What is your reason for wanting to create music?
W: Shall we also examine my reasons for breathing, eating, and sleeping? When I was midway to the second decade of my existence I formed my first band and realized that it was all I wanted to do in life. Fuck jobs, fuck families, fuck all the petty obligations of this stupid, empty society and itsmisbegotten priorities; the creation is all. It validates my existence like no other endeavor ever could. And as mentioned above, I did not choose it- it chose me. So in the end it ceases to become an issue of wanting to do it as opposed to having no option in the matter.
What is the difference between music that is considered art and music that is considered entertainment?
W: Again, the one word: intent. Artists create for themselves, entertainers create with pleasing an audience in mind. The fact that anyone has ever found merit in what we do is a coincidence. Every time we release a new album we are convinced that it will alienate our established audience, but it has yet to happen. It's not as if we are trying to drive people away, but rather we tend to allow the content to be involved and personal and that can often be a formula for failure in regards to "entertaining" people. The other important distinction is that entertainment is temporal, whereas art is immortal even if only its creator deems it so.
What are your thoughts and feelings on modern day Black Metal?
Wrath: It is not unlike glimmers of light and energy on the precipice of a collapsed star. The underground has returned to its roots in that those who still have something to offer have gotten back into the practice of creating music and ideas for themselves first and foremost. More than ever, approval of the masses to any degree is at best a fringe benefit. The best "modern day" Black Metal is the kind that has its feet firmly rooted in the spirit that started this whole mess in the first place. All I can tell you is that I entered my third decade this year and I have watched people come and go from this genre; more often than not they kill time for a year or two then move on when the novelty wears off. This is strictly different than the "artgenda" ideal for which we and our comrades strive.
Would you ever accept a deal from a larger label such as Century Media or Roadrunner?
W: Short answer, no. Long answer, well... essentially the issues of elements like ideology (or lack thereof) and the commodification of an art form that defines our reason for being makes the idea of ever moving into that arena a virtual impossibility. The main problems with the larger labels is that they are about exploitation and fast-tracking the creative process for a quick monetary turnaround. This trivializes and compromises bands and their work as being legally obligated to release an album a year is uninspiring for most and ultimately a destructiveand exploitive demand. To further illustrate that idea, I offer the contrast of our output; as of this writing we are fast approaching year four without issuing a new LP. The one we are currently crafting will, in my mind, prove to be by far our strongest offering to date but it was a question of it emerging on its own timetable. Any kind of fixed obligation on the part of a label would have resulted in a stillbirth on our part. And regarding the Devil's advocacy in this response, IF we were to consider signing to a larger label, it would be under several uncompromising conditions such as a one or two album contract at most, all kinds of exposure control regarding media and the like, basically demands that would preclude such an offer in the first place. The one other thing I'd like to add is that there is a certain benefit in wide exposure as propaganda only works when it is disseminated as far as possible. If a band manages to move to the "next level" and retains their artistic and ideological integrity, I applaud them. The problem is that I cannot remember the last time such a thing occured (if at all). However, I refer to our own degree of exposure as a successful compromise between "popularity" and integrity in that we have played to literally thousands of people in regions of South America with little to no impact on our outlook or approach. My point is that ultimately intention is the main ingredient that makes a band viable.
Please give two descriptions for each of the following colors:
1. The realm of the sublime.
2. A regal hue.
1. The fading legacy of nature.
2. The eyes of every morning.
1. The absence of light.
2. Our battle standard.
1. The ravages of time.
2. British teeth.
How important is the use of aesthetics in Black Metal?
W: It is virtually absolute, no matter what any of the low-rent non-talents scumming around the edges of this genre would have you believe. Black Metal has always been an alchemy of sound, ideal, and aesthetic. When one of those elements is removed, what could be rendered as gold remains lead. I cannot begin to grasp the ideas that some so-called people have of Black Metal music and its aesthetic being able to exist independently of one another. I think this idea crops up predominantly in the states by those who are frustrated because they feel they look stupid in corpse paint (and most likely they surmise correctly in this case). They only know most of the bands via MP3 downloads anyway, so they are both frustrated by and divorced from the aesthetic and thus we get idiots onstage in cargo shorts and crew cuts calling themselves Black Metal. Of course aesthetic is not the one single factor that drives this music, but then how convincing would bands like Watain be if they performed in jeans and tshirts? This is where the argument invariably falls apart for nay-sayers. All I can say is their lack of understanding or conviction is not our problem; I simply wish they'd be honest with themselves and go back to listening to bands like Hatebreed or whatever brand of ball-hat Death Metal they prefer.
You make references to QBLH several times throughout your music, can you go into detail about what QBLH actually is?
W: It is but one field of study in mysticism, one door through which to travel. It is a series of texts, a magickal system, a force of destiny and reckoning. Our mythos is a combination of Luciferian, Enochian (Goetic and Theurgistic ritualism), Hermetic Kabbalism, and much in between. The elements guiding us are not easily pigeonholed, and we would be looking a rather large gift horse in its mouth if we tried to reduce its influence to so few words.
If you were not playing music, what other interest(s) might you pursue?
Wrath: Perhaps criminology. I'm not interested in bringing people to justice; who or why they kill is of little concern to me. But the process of observation, deduction, and analysis are interesting.
In your opinion has the quality of Black Metal declined over the years? If so, why?
W: The real problem is that in 2004 we have easily 10 times as many Black Metal bands as we did in 1994. If you whittled this number down to the same number of existing bands one decade ago, it could be argued that there are just as many excellent bands. The difference, of course, is that the present crop will never be able to claim the same degree of innovation past a point. A new land can only be discovered once. Getting back to my initial statement, most anoyone who has been around for a time will agree that overstaturation and populist attitudes are the main problem in the currentmovement. Hobbyists and weekenders have permeated the periphery of this genre and the according excess has been overwhelming at times. What I have learned is that it is better to seek out bands and people of merit, and ignore virtually everything else. To avoid flagging interest with the entire endeavor it is necessary to always be curious and seek out new entities but anyone who does this with blind enthusiasm will come away bored and unerwhelmed.
What would be your ideal society?
W: One with about a quarter of the people on the earth as we currently have. It would also have to be free of christianity and its according ideas.
Would you ever consider placing your ideas in a different context? Such as writing a book, taking physical action, etc.
W: Now that is a good question. I would say that Sanguine (guitarist/vocalist) is a better candidate to write a book on our work than I, though it would most likely be something only a genius-level psychopath could understand (as Sanguine is, himself, just that). Physical action... it is hard to imagine in that metaphysics by definition transcend physical action. We could argue that we already take physical action in that what we do is a conduit for the energies that inspire our works in the first place. Witness one of our live performances and you will see the physical action.
What has been your most memorable moment in Averse Sefira so far?
W: We are a band that has been very fortunate and privileged in the things we have seen and done, therefore it is increasingly difficult to place one moment above all others. I suppose to pick just one would be our performance in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. At the time, at least until we played Sao Paulo the following evening, this was our largest attendence ever at about 2,000 people. The response was unlike anything we had ever seen, and at the end of our set, we made the debatably unwise decision to venture into the crowd and greet people. We were mobbed, nearly crushed, everyone was trying to steal my clothes, even my hair... it was unreal. I suppose the reason I consider it our most memorable moment is that it was so far the single most validating point in the band's existence and I felt as if I suddenly died after we had performed I wouldn't have felt cheated.
That covers all my questions, feel free to add anything you want.
W: Death to American imperialism. Stop Bush. Stop globalization.
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