1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?
1. Well it has been quite busy with mailing out orders and promo copies worldwide, and contacting zines and blogs to get the word out, as I double duty with Bud Metal Records with the business/shipping side of things as well, as most underground black metal musicians do. The old studio computer and software actually crashed and died two weeks after the final mix on "Northern Ghosts" was finished, so I have been familiarizing myself with the new recording software and getting the studio back up and running. It was this close to losing all the tracks altogether, which would have been insanely bad, and there will be no remixing as all the original files were lost. Musically I have just been practicing and putting the word out to potential drummers for some live shows if possible.
2.Recently you have released a new album, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical direction of the new recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
2. Yeah I just put out the "Northern Ghosts" album in late March 2014 and it was a great relief to finally have it finished. I made a vow after the 2009 album "Saga of the Nationalist" to never use drum machines again and with my drummer falling on hard times and disappearing on me I was forced to purchase and learn the drums myself, so the addition of live drums for the new album was the major difference on this album. The other significant change being the addition of psychedelic elements that were hearkening back to the early days of Avitas and the previous band Alien Tab, which was a stoner/doom/black band I was in back in high school in the mid 90's. I also went less overtly political on this album in favour of true misanthropy and hatred for the abrahamic faiths, as the previous albums were very heavily political on the lyrical side of things, basically I have all but given up on humanity besides the few enlightened elites of the underground and great debaters like Richard Dawkins. Guitar wise and production wise I continued with the raw lo-fi production, most tracks have only one guitar track per channel and the album (along with all the previous albums) stuck to an 8 track recording, and I am very happy with the results.
3.The new album is the first full length album in 5 years, can you tell us a little bit more about the gap between releases?
3. As mentioned previously I was still waiting to see if Keith (the ex-drummer) would find his way back from a brutal meth addiction, which is still yet to be determined. My advice to anyone thinking about it is to never touch crystal meth, it will seriously mess you up, I have never tried it but I saw someone decay in front of my eyes and it was not pretty. I was able to compile and release the "Politics of Nordic Terror" session tapes in 2011 to keep it going until finally getting the album fully written and started on recording in December 2014. I feel the break allowed me to sit back and get a new outlook on the band and what I wanted to do with it, which was a huge benefit I feel.
4.Your lyrics over the years have covered war, national socialism, terrorism, anti Judeo/Christian/ Abrahmic and political themes, how would you describe your views on these topics?
4. Ever since I was very young I was fascinated by my Grandpa's tales of his time in World War 2 he used to tell us, and it has definitely been a huge inspiration for the music and lyrics of Avitas. I look at both sides of the war objectively and see the good and bad from both the Allies and the Axis, and try to convey that in the music. This whole idea that the Nazis were somehow demons from hell and were all inherently evil is a lie, there were a few sadistic people in the party that were definitely not fit for this earth, but there are many people as bad or even worse in the Russian, American and New World Order regimes, we just haven't heard the whole story yet and probably won't for another 50 years. Just look at the N.S.A. and the totalitarian spy complexes in North America and the U.K. and tell me they didn't learn everything they know from Goebbels, Hitler, Himmler and the National Socialist administration. I consider myself a moderate Nationalist, I do not condone the mass murder of any peoples, but I don't want to see the fabric and culture of my country decay into nothingness through mass immigration and white genocide either, which is the current course set by my Canadian (N.W.O. shill) leaders. As for the Abrahamic faiths, especially Islam, they need to be eliminated and banished to history forever like any other failed myth or religion of the past, there is no place in modern times for such despicable, ignorant and false drivel like the Bible or the Koran, or the fanatical scum that preach and kill for their destructive desert faiths. These belief systems prey on the mentally unbalanced and just plain stupid, and therefore they have an army of lunatics and simpletons at their beckon call. Any person not from the "holy land" who still follows these beliefs is a traitor to their true selves as Northern Europeans (or Asia for that matter, and it is a shame to see Native Peoples of North and South America giving away their age-old pagan beliefs in favour of the lies from the desert). I am hopeful to see an era with no religious influence and a firm base in science and reality, where Islamic terrorism, Zionist revolution and Evangelical oppression are all but distant memories eliminated from the face of the earth.
5.You also have some heathen lyrics, do you have an interest in Heathenism or Paganism?
5. I would consider myself and my family history one of heathens, as we haven't really followed any specific pagan belief system (or any belief system for that matter) since the time of Thor and Odin. My ancestral family and family name Myrtroen hails from just south of the Trondheim region of Norway, and there has been a Myrtroen family farm in Norway since the 1200's, so I do put the Nordic heathen/pagan tales above the other myths and tales from around the world, as it is my family heritage. I do not actually believe in Odin, Thor or Loki as I am an Atheist, but I appreciate that they may have been real Viking chiefs with real accomplishments and lessons. I have read most of the Nordic Sagas and have gained much knowledge and morals from them, as I have with other heathen and pagan literature. It just feels right in my blood to give strong Hails to Odin rather than getting on my knees and worshipping some second rate Babylonian deity.
6.On of the tracks is called "Aiwass'' which is mentioned mostly in Crowley's works, do you have an interest in the occult?
6. I have been studying the occult for a few years now seriously, mostly the works of Thelemic nature by Crowley along with some Theosophical works by Blavatsky along with others. The main focus has been the writings of Crowley however, as I like the way he thinks and his worldview is very similar to mine. Disregarding what you think about his personal life, Crowley was an undeniable genius and was generations ahead of his time, perhaps being the greatest pure thinker of the modern age. He already could predict the drug war and the results of said war before it even began, based on the opinions of the time before drugs were even outlawed. His experiments with various drugs are legendary, and his work with British Intelligence during WW2 is an extremely interesting tale. I am still delving more into occult subjects, so it is a work in progress, but I have been philosophically left hand path my entire life so it is completely natural for me. I do not practice rituals or ceremonies, or follow Thelema or any structured system of beliefs, but I use the mind control and thought processes explained in the works of Thelema and other occultists in my everyday life, and in pursuing the "Great Work." The song "Aiwass" from Northern Ghosts is a tribute to the trip Crowley and his wife Rose took to Egypt, the voyage that resulted in Crowley finding Stele 666, the appearance of the entity Aiwass, and the writing of the "Book of the Law."
7.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Avitas'?
7. The band name has a dual-meaning, one being sativa spelled backwards (sativa being a strain of cannabis) and the other being related to aviation and space, which is my ultimate inspiration. There is even an aerospace engineering company named Avitas now, so it is very much related to the cosmos and traveling through space, which is my ultimate goal in life. Cannabis has always been an influence on the music of Avitas, and the sacramental herb is partaken by all members of Avitas.
8.There use to be a full line up but now there is only one member in the band, are you planning on expanding the line up in the future, or do you chose to remain solos?
8. As of right now, Avitas is a solo black metal project. I may put together a live line-up again soon for live purposes, but the songwriting and concepts will always be that of myself. My bass player Graeme is still around and available for shows, but I am in the market for a live vocalist and drummer. I would like to bring Avitas back to the live scene soon, but it is not crucial as I am content with the current non-touring entity of Avitas.
9.What are some of the best shows that the band has played in the past and also how would you describe your stage performance?
9. Well most of our shows were relatively small warehouse and party gigs, which were very well received. We played every Wednesday from about 2001 to 2004 to various crowds. Keith was one hell of a drummer and he usually stole the show, I was content to play the rhythms of the guitar in the background with no flamboyant solos or show-off nonsense. Avitas has always been a song-oriented band and individual flair doesn't usually appear in the live setting, but solid rhythms, songs and riffs are the trademark sound I would say. Our best show was probably the party with the bikers as it was a little crazy and I was pretty nervous, that's one crowd you don't want to annoy, but it turned out great! Most of the time we were just as messed up as the audience so it was always a good time until it got a little out of hand in 2004 and the band imploded due to crystal meth being the bastard of a drug it is, therefore now there is a no hard drug rule in the band.
10.The albums over the years have been released on Bud Metal Records, can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
10. Bud Metal Records is an indie label I started back in the '90s for the sole purpose of releasing Avitas albums, but is perhaps expanding if we can find some more good black/war metal bands in British Columbia to add to the roster. Bud Metal Records is basically a labour of love as I make no money, but it serves the purpose of getting the albums out there and distributed, but wider distribution would be a plus if I can align Bud Metal with a larger label/distributor in other countries like we just did with the highly regarded Pagan War Rex/Distro out of Brazil for South American distribution. The last three Avitas releases should be available by late June/early July on Pagan War Distro. All the available Bud Metal Releases are available at http://avitas.bandcamp.com/ currently by digital download or physical CD's. Blut unddeath!
11.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your newer music by fans of black metal?
11. The worldwide response has been greater than expected, it gained attention right off the start in the Russian NSBM scene and spread from there. It was picked up by numerous Black Metal/NSBM sites and blogs in Lithuania, South America, Russia, UK, USA, Germany, Italy, Canada, Australia etc. so it has been very exciting to see the response growing in different countries. It is very satisfying to know that true black metal underground fans appreciate the release, as that is who it is for and who I hoped would enjoy it. I don't think I'm making any fans in the Arabic/Moslem countries however with the track "Cursed abraham...and his bastard son mohammed" but then again, there are true black metallers in those countries that hate Islam just as much as I do! Many hails to those black metal heathens who have supported the band!! Krieg!!!
12.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
12. Well I expect to have a new album in about 2 years as I am notoriously slow at writing songs, they have to basically write themselves as I don't set out to write, it just happens as I am riffing, then I form the song over the next few months, it takes a while! I believe it will continue in the same direction as Northern Ghosts, perhaps with more concise songs and a shorter album running time with more of a war metal incline, but who knows how it will all turn out. The psychedelia will stay as well, to what extent is yet to be determined.
13.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
13. Let's see here, my love of metal pretty much started with my first Europe tape or Motley Crue "Shout at the Devil" tape when I was about 6 or 7 and I've been a metalhead ever since. I was heavy into the thrash metal tapes of the '80s and early '90s like everyone else my age, with Sepultura's "Arise" cassette being a huge personal favourite. In about '93 or so I found early Kyuss and Monster Magnet's "Superjudge" album and I was floored by the spacey sounds, and I was definitely influenced by my psilocybin-enhanced doom/stoner/desert metal trips around the forests of Northern BC. My tastes evolved with a brief death metal period (I got bored of it quick) until I discovered black metal in 1996 and then I knew I had found my true musical love. The riffs, atmosphere and songs were the same style that I was playing at the time and getting flak from the thrash metal crowd for in northern British Columbia, so it was justifying to hear the same style being played across the ocean. I bought this Black End Records compilation (basically the only black metal I could find in Northern BC/Alberta at the time) and it had tracks from Mayhem and Enslaved amongst others, and I instantly connected with the atmosphere and pure aural evil contained on that compilation. I was a couple years late to the black metal scene but I have stayed loyal ever since! Nowadays I listen to various underground Pagan/NSBM and other bands like Inquisition, Drudkh, Negura Bunget (old stuff), Archgoat, Mystifier, Blasphemy, Persekutor, Graveland, Ildjarn, Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, In Solitude, and such classic bands as Blue Oyster Cult and Thin Lizzy when there are hefeweizen beers flowing!
14.What are some of your non musical interests?
14. Outside of music I am an avid military historian and militaria collector, it is a hobby of mine I have been involved with for over 10 years now. It is always exciting to find a unique piece of World War 1 or 2 history and research the story behind each war badge, helmet or uniform, I am addicted for sure! I also read the works of H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard and the Conan sagas, Frank Herbert's Dune novels and various other war, non-fiction, sci-fi and biker autobiographies in my spare time. As a proud Canadian I am of course a fan of hockey as well, as the playoffs are on as we speak.
15.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
15. Once again, thanks for all the support from Occult Black Metal 'Zine and everyone else in the black metal underground, and Avitas will continue to release misanthropic nationalist black metal for the foreseeable future. I may re-issue the early catalog (Trends in Terrorism, Smoke E.P. and Politics of Global Mind Control...) on Bud Metal Records in the future and look out for a new album hopefully in 2016!
Northern Ghost 'til the end,