I am recording drums for the next full length (to be titled Bàrdachd Cogaidh) in just over a week. Guitars, bass and vocals will be completed at my leisure sometime over the next few months. I also have two split releases planned, which I am very excited about.
2.So far you have released a demo and a full length with this solo project, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on both of the recordings and also how do they differ from each other?
I would describe the overall sound of Belliciste as raw, aggressive black metal with a strong sense of melody. It also incorporates some elements of punk and heavy metal. I suppose the sound of Belliciste is most comparable the ‘Finnish’ style of black metal.
There are no major differences in sound over the 2 releases. The album consists of eight tracks, so there was more room to explore different influences and feels, but overall, there is no huge departure from the demo.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with your newer music?
The themes put forth by the music don’t differ to those of the early recordings in any way. These are themes of hatred, death, barbarism, pestilence, war, apocalypse and the depths of human cruelty and depravity, often explored through mythological references.
4.In one interview you had talked about bringing in Maori concepts into some of your songs, and while a lot of ancient cultures have been explores in black metal over the years do you feel the mythology of your homeland has for the most part been ignored in black metal?
As far as I am aware, Vassafor from Auckland are the only other band to explore such themes. I think the reason for a lack of black metal bands covering these topics relates directly to the lack of black metal bands in New Zealand. I don’t have any Maori blood personally, but some aspects of Maori history and mythology were perfect for the themes explored in Belliciste (cannibalism, concepts of revenge, the deities Whiro and Hine-nui-te-po to name just a few). I also wanted to use themes that were unique to New Zealand.
5.You have also talked about Anglo Saxon folklore in a previous interview, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in this topic?
Yes, as well as Maori mythology, Anglo-Saxon and Norse folklore and mythology are often used to explore the various morbid themes of Belliciste. These topics have interested me since a young age, and again, they are very useful in exploring the themes of Belliciste.
6.I know that the band name means 'warmonger' in French, how does this name fit in with the musical style that you play?
As the music of Belliciste is sonically abrasive and performed with violent and aggressive energy, the moniker is really a perfect fit. It also suits the lyrical themes of the band extremely well.
7.Over the years this musical project has been based in 4 different countries, what was the decision behind all of the moves and do you feel this has made your music a lot more stronger being around the different types of cultures?
The numerous relocations were all based on personal reasons and the flow of life, and were not based in music at all. I don’t think the different environments have really had an effect on the music. The music is composed with the same visions and energies in Serbia as it was in Scotland. I guess it’s difficult to really gauge the effect of changing environments on the music.
8.You have talked about eventually making this solo project into a live band, are there still plans for this or do you prefer to remain solo?
Recordings will always remain a solo endeavour, but I have established a line-up in Serbia, featuring some excellent musicians from some excellent bands. We hope to begin performing sometime in the latter part of 2015 or early 2016.
9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
Belliciste is very much an obscure band and I haven’t noticed much feedback, either positive or negative.
10.What is going on with your other musical project these days?
Barshasketh is my main source of musical output and our third album ‘Ophidian Henosis’ is set to be released by Blut & Eisen and World Terror Committee on July 30th. We also have a number of performances booked and tours in the works. As well as this, I create atmospheric black metal under the name Bròn. The debut demo Fògradh (digitally released in 2014), is set to be released on CD in the coming months, and a full length album has been completed.
11.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?
Creating music is part of my everyday life and is vital to maintaining some degree of harmony, so I will continue to do so as long as I am able. This will mostly be in the form of the bands discussed previously in this interview, but will also manifest in some newer projects.
12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
There have really been no influences in the newer music which weren’t present since the beginning. Belliciste is just my vision of what pure, raw black metal should be. I listen to a wide range of musical styles these days. Outside of extreme metal, I guess the most common are classic heavy metal/classic hard rock, post-punk, neo-folk and d-beat punk, although these cover only a fraction of what I listen to.
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thanks for the interview. The past is dead, the future is death!