Maelstrom: Bhagavat is a black metal project born as a one man band in 2007. In the beginning the sound was meant to be more Swedish-like. However, as you might imagine, the most diverse influences coming from Vama's interests and the inception of new members, made the band what is today. We don't pose ourselves limits during writing, and music and lyrics are always meant as a whole, a journey through the inner darkness of life and man's tendency to oblivion.
2.How would you describe your musical sound?
Vama: Briefly our sound can be defined as a violent mixture of black and death metal elements. Lately, I started to leave the typical "scandinavian sound" and working more on dissonances and odd time patterns which are considered by most atypical for the genre. Without going too much into details, I can say that in the last 10 years I was sharing and appreciating the stylistic choices of acts such as Deathspell Omega, Arkhon Infaustus, Abigor, just to mention the first ones which come to my mind. What counts more are not the ways or the tools you use for achieving something in art, but is the final result, which must be simply crushing, disturbing and morbid.
3.The band has been around for 8 years but so far have only released one demo and a full length, can you tell us a little bit more about the gap between releases? Vama: Good question, well as I mentioned before, Bhagavat started as a one-man band, and the research of band members in order to establish an efficient line up was a long task. Many people entered and left the band for several reasons. The songwriting and recording of the album took time as well so the project faced some periods of inactivity and some of readjustment. Moreover, nowadays the band members are spreaded across Europe because of work, so this adds further complications from the logistic point of view and it considerably slows down the creative process, but we're still alive and ready to destroy your faces.
4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
Maelstom: Lyrics are basically inspired by whatever deeply fascinates and interests us, nightmares, the great mystery behind life and death, the generation ex-nihilo, the power of subconscious and the most hidden sights of human mind and the miserable destiny of living beings just to mention a few elements.
Vama: Two songs from Annunciazione also deal with two dramatic losses, close friends of mine who passed away. These songs are my tribute to them, I let the listener understand which one are those. I can say that in the lyrics I try to put a lot of my inner subjective feelings and screw all those cliches which in my opinion turned black metal music into a carnival parade.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Bhagavat'?
Vama: Bhagavat is a Sanskrit word meaning "glorious lord". It's a tribute to the Indian poem "Bhagavad-gita" which is a constant source of inspiration in my daylife and in what I create.
6.Originally the band started out as a solo project, what was the decision behind forming a full line up?
As most of the young enthusiastic metalheads, I simply started playing with a DAW, recording my guitar riffs and programming drums at my place. Then I realized that the songs might have been suitable for a live context, being very aggressive and originally structured. Since that, the research of new members to expand the line-up started.
7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Maelstrom: We still didn't have the chance to perform an intense live campaign but we always meant our live shows to be meaningful ones. I have to say that everytime, the response from the audience was great. Our performances are essential...We are not into corpse painting, theatrical effects, or fancy announcements...we just go on stage, and vomit black hatred straight on the audience's face, blast-beats and evil.
8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Vama: Not at the moment but it's in our plans, we're relying on Rockshot Music for that and soon something will be announced.
9.Currently the band is signed to Rockshots Music, can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
Maelstom: I have been knowing the guys from Rockshots for years now, and it seemed for us the best way to move forward with the promotion of the band. This for us doesn't mean fancy "social bullshit" but being able to reach out to a bigger audience and let them decide for themselves about our music.
10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black and death metal?
Vama: So far I think that Bhagavat project is mainly known in the Italian underground scene. Of course we've been already contacted by fans all over the world who had the chance to listen to our album but surely I can't say we're known on a worldwide level yet.
11.When can we expect new material and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Maelstrom: We just started promoting our first full length so we don't have plans for new material release, we had to deal with some personal issues in the last few years so the writing process has slowed down, but we have been already composing new material. Musically and lyrically we are moving in the same direction started with Annunciazione, this will be a deeper journey into human suffering.
12.What are some of the band or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Vama: It's very hard to answer because I'm a big fan of so many projects or musicians that I don't know from where to start. I can maybe mention some of the non-metal music that I listen to. For instance, I painstakingly follow a label called Miasmah established by Erik Skodvin, which in my opinion offers some of the best ambient releases you can find around and I invite the reader to check out their website. I also often listen to contemporary composers such as Ligeti, Shostakovich, Olivier Messiaen, Arvo Part etc, I think they can offer very interesting inspiration to extreme musicians as well. And finally, just to mention few extreme releases which recently came out and left me speechless, I found Imperial Triumphant's "Abyssal gods" and Leviathan "Scar sighted" to be pure agony and nightmares transposed into music, absolutely top releases.
13.What are some of your non musical interests?
Vama: Beside music, I am very interested in visual arts and recently endorsed painting. Let's say that this activity represents for me the second face of Bhagavat, giving me the chance to express similar feelings but through another mean. If you are curious about it you can check some of my works here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vama-Marga/158687780862220
The page is quite new but a lot of new works and updates coming.
14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Maelstrom: If you are into disturbing, aggressive and no-compromises black metal, you can find our album on Bandcamp and all other usual streaming/downloading services, and make your own journey through it.
Vama: I agree and I thank you for the interview and all those who support us.