Monday, August 17, 2015

Saturnian Mist Interview

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?

- Gigs, if not done already, then confirmed or in planning stage. Also we’ve been spending A LOT of time at the studio, rehearsing and making demos of our next album and recording some split releases of which first of them is now almost done - SATURNIAN MIST / IC REX Split that is which includes 4 songs from both of us. I have tried to keep track what is going on, but after the release of ”The True Law” -single and ”Chaos Magick” so much is happening in such fast phase and in wider range than ever before in our existence, so I probably remember most of the incredible things that are happening when I’m old or something. Also this is fascinating time cos it feels that things are finally starting to happen without pushing, the wall is breaking. And we have killer line-up with who is more than great to work with, as when doing so everything also feels like happening without any forcing. We though had some line-up change, as we we parted ways with fra. Psychonaught in mutual understanding since he is so busy with Horna and Sargeist and we were starting to have real big timetable errors and overlaps which was when we decided this is the best way. At first we were kind of in panic because his contribution with live and Chaos Magick was truly unique as he became our extra percussionist working on the side of our regular drummer fra. Vile. But, Eventually, one became two; and two our band’s long-time friends joined Saturnian Mist as percussionists, fra. Sota & fra. Kult. We grew into six-piece band in 2012 when Psychonaught joined us, and now in 2015 we grew seven-piece orchestra and now after two live shows with this line-up; I can say that legacy of Psychonaught is in very powerful hands and our recordings and live shows are as fierce and full of chaos as ever - literally Chaos Magick.

2.In April you had released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

- Primitive, sinister and fierce black metal of death, where voodoish and shamanistic elements are combined to the heavy metal music together with everlasting battle of anger and melancholy. Not just painting the mental picture, but to define in more accuracy; for starters we added percussionist to add more groove, power, nuances and chaotic elements to our music which took our material to whole new level comparing to older material. When we were making ”Chaos Magick” it felt that this was the way it should’ve been always because lyrically and thematically it was, and now it’s also musically. We wanted the album sound like soundtrack to actual Chaos Magick - (a postmodern magical tradition developed by Peter J. Carroll and Ray Sherwin but greatly influenced by the works of Aleister Crowley and Austin Osman Spare) - which thesis is the same as all of occult philosophies, yet more extreme and therefore more suitable for us… but anyway which thesis is that all the religions, ideologies, movements and symbolic structures are describing the same formless thing, a truth behind the truths; and that in the end you can find that via walking very different paths. So, since we use this way of thinking in our lyrics and ideas, with Voodoo, Thelema, Gnosticisim, Satanism and even Western Mythologies etc… we shall plant those elements to our music as well! I would’ve said chaotic first, but the chaos is only apparent there and on the surface, because like in life, there is hidden order behind everything (Chaos is the Law!) And yeah, not-so-madman-scientist-explanation; maybe you can spot our influences from death metal, thrash metal, hardcore punk and heavy metal from there too.

3.This is the first full length to have been released in 4 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?

- Oh man, it’s hard to imagine that it’s been so long because 4 years feels like eternity since it feels like only 6 months has passed. Before fra. Vile, fra. Macabrum and fra. Psychonaught joined to Saturnian Mist in 2012-2013 which gave us some certainty and stability first time in our history, we had helluva roller coaster with our line-ups which felt to be in constant change, which was also one reason why it took so long for Chaos Magick to come out because we could’ve done it by using session members, but I want Saturnian Mist to work as a band the way what happens on records can and will happen on stage. So, to have live line-up who also plays on records is very important. At one point though we were thinking me to play bass also besides vocals since the founding suitable members began to look impossible, but I’m glad we found fra. Vile to drums in 2012 at starters as I could not really imagine Saturnian Mist without him anymore (don’t tell him that, I don’t want him to get too cocky) but I would probably kill him if he decides to leave the band. Anyway, during these years, we did play gigs with various line-ups in our native Finland and aboard and developed our material, which is why we have already our third album like 90% composed, since we had a lot of time. I spend some time living in Netherlands where I wrote most of the lyrics for the ”Chaos Magick” and fra. Ptahaz and fra. Chaoswind - with who we have been the core of the band since the release of Repellings EP in 2009 - had some other musical and non-musical projects and so did I.

4. The lyrics on the new album seem to be perfectly balanced between both Eastern and Western Occultism, what do you think  makes the two different and also how do you feel they correspond with each other?

- Even H.P. Blavatsky (author of the Secret Doctrine, some kind of magnum opus of occult mythologies) is stupid as fuck most of the times as she just makes stuff up on the side of mythological legacies she represents, this one she at least got right; from the core they are the same but I guess centuries of adaptation to different regional and cultural preferences moulds your language and norms to be certain way and therefore affects to way to perceive the life and your surroundings and voila, thus has born different cultural consciousnesses that breeds difference between the eastern and western mysticism and occultism. How they correspond with each other? Surprisingly well! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I noticed the similarities with Hermetic planetary symbolism and Chakra symbolism. Venus is Ajna (Third eye chakra) is Lucifer is Venus and so on, which I don’t bore more explaining here; for that I hid this information to the booklets of Chaos Magick CD and LP for those who still enjoys of buying physical albums instead of digital downloading.

5.Also your lyrics also bring in a lot of Luciferian, Satanic and Left hand Path themes, do you feel a lot of these subjects are misunderstood by some of the newer bands that have been going for either the satanic and occult style of black metal?

- This also concerns older bands as well not just new ones. There are always people who understand these topics with first-hand experience and own efforts and make them true in their life, but there are always those who tries to copycat what others says for selfish, opportunistic or just plain stupid reasons. Some shall lead, some shall follow, nothing new under the sun since this does not concern only the topics mentioned before but every aspect of human life, psyche and culture. But it doesn’t concern me, since I obviously know the absolute truth.

6.Also you have a song called 'Voodoo Satan', do you also have an interest in the more darker forms of voodoo  and  the  other related forms that are from the South America area?

- Yes. Voodoo is very fascinating in both sides, because it is so close to animalistic nature and same goes to all primitive religions.

7.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Saturnian Mist'?

- There are so many things, and as the time passes, I always find different angles from it. Initial inspiration came from that ”Saturn-Chronos” character from Ancient Greek and Rome is practically same being than Satan/The Devil of Christianity with different name represented and with different culture. This together with certain attributes that were linked to Saturn’s planetary symbolism in Hermetic and Qabbalistic Occultism were also similar attributes that are linked to Satan/Devil. I wanted to do satanic music, but I also wanted represent my view of the archetype of the devil other way, not the personified horned figure who lives below the earth - but more like it has presented in mysticism, philosophy and even psychology. Impersonal archetype. This was why I ended up with ”Saturn” in the first place, but also ”Saturnian” term meant so many things. It was a long-forgotten poetry form in Ancient Rome unknown by modern world, and it meant loosely ”The Reign Of Saturn God” in several contexts. It was also used as adjective, so ”Mist” in turn as an element symbolizes so many things, for which some reasons at the time I thought it to symbolize very well ”Aura” in literature-kind-of-symbolism and ”Pantheism” in occult symbolism. Hence, Saturnian Mist. Mystic, arcane name for mystic and arcane music.

8.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

- I think two of our last shows has been the best, which first one was the release party of Chaos Magick and latter one was actually last weekend and it was our first festival headlining case, both in Finland. Since we have now seven members and me also playing percussions (so four drummers all in all!) together with handing vocal duties, last two times we truly managed to unleash chaos and magick both to the audience and to ourselves the way it should been always done! With this set up, it seems all of our shows goes in some chaotic pattern that you can’t really predict, ”Nothing is true and everything is allowed” - Chaos Magick. I myself don’t plan anything what I do beforehand, I just embrace the impulses and let it go and let the songs flow through me and same philosophy goes to other members as well. We embrace chaos and the primitive nature within us and the feeling is something for which there is not really a word and if I were a Christian I would say it takes me to ”closer to god”, but as I am what I am, you can get the picture what I mean. But, don’t get me wrong, we have had a reputation of good live band before that too yet with this new line-up and songs, our live act feels totally reborn which makes me so excited about the future. But there’s been lots of good gigs in the past for sure, of which best I remember the crazy audience of Russia and our hometown shows (we have three hometowns you know, Tampere, Kuopio and Jyväskylä, hahah)… and our first Swedish gig was very memorable, not to mention the first gig of us that we ever played in Netherlands in 2009.

9.What are some of the touring or show plans for the new album?

- I’m kind of superstitious of revealing stuff before they are 100% sure so I don’t reveal anything yet, but I can say this much, we have a lots of gigs coming. Some are confirmed (some of these to mention, Kings Of Black Metal festival gig next spring, marking our first German show ever, and Howls Of Winter Festival at Estonia) and most are not yet. Stay tuned for updates, because first time in our history we play this much gigs outside of Finland!

10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your newer music by fans of black metal?

- Great! Very mixed and contradictory - just the way we like it and like always when we release new stuff- but Chaos Magick has gotten much more attention that any of our stuff before from all the way of huge praises to negative views too with exception that Chaos Magick has been received much more better than our albums before, especially by fans. It seems there are not much neutral opinions when it comes to us, either you love us or hate us - which means that what we do works! We want to shake the things up.

11.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?

- Me, Ptahaz and Macabrum don’t play anymore (officially) in anywhere else. fra. Sota plays also in TELOCH and I am as we speak - recording and producing their second full-length album at my Blackvox Studio. Vile’s death metal band GARCHAROT is rehearsing as far as I know, probably new stuff. I don’t know if the rest are worth of mention at this point because of the project-like nature or anonymity that certain projects require.

12.Where would you like to see the band head into musically during the future?

- Continue the path we are on. I don’t know where it leads, because ”the journey is destination” as they say. We have gone further than I ever imagined anyway, so better to seize the moment and not to live in day-dreaming.

13.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?

- I get inspiration from very different and strange places with no logic at all whether it was a rhythm of car engine running or some ”feeling” I get from watching Alejandro Jodorowsky movies. No particular influence that rises above everything, but lots of things that surely has affected at least to me when composing SATURNIAN MIST could be probably found from the artists like MAYHEM, DARKTHRONE, SLAYER, CELTIC FROST, BARATHUM, KING DIAMOND/MERCYFUL FATE, HORNA, CMX, THE DOORS, DEICIDE, NILE, TURBONEGRO, MOTÖRHEAD, VENOM, SLIPKNOT, DISSECTION, GRAND BELIAL'S KEY, TOM WAITS, DESTRÖYER 666, TOOL, BEHEMOTH, SATYRICON, SARCOFARGO etc. etc. Even I admire something or listen it very much, I still try to find my own voice and my own words to describe what I see, instead of copying others. I’ve listened a lot of dark ebm and industrial stuff lately. Just when I got home from studio I listened at car NEO INFERNO 262 from France, very killer album of industrial black metal and earlier the debut album of SLAVE’S MASK. I got these seasons when I happen to listen something until I get bored and I move on to something else and eventually I get back to same stuff, heh. I got really no limits what I listen when it comes to the genres, but it’s ruled by black metal and death metal anyway, even I have to listen bm and dm all the time at ”work” too as I work with Saturnal Records and Blackvox Studio - but it seems that this is the right path cos I don’t get bored, just more critical and demanding.

14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

- Thank you for the interview! CHAOS IS THE LAW!

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