First of all, I want to thank OccultBlackMetalZine for realizing the first official Asche der Welten interview! Well, I’ve founded this solo project sometime in 2008. It has taken a while to find suitable melodies and develop a riffing that is characteristic for AdW. My aim was not to create the 1.000,001st copy of one of the well-known bands out there. Do I’ve achieved my goal? I really don’t know. There is too much diversity within Black Metal so that I’m not able to assess. Anyway! A few words about my releases: The first AdW song “Auf leergefegten Straßen” (Engl. somewhat like “On totally empty streets”) was released on the “Tollwut Sampler I” in 2010. One year later, the first demo tape “Ascheregen” (Engl. “Rain of ashes”) was released. In 2013, the second tape “Brennende Atmosphäre” (Engl. “Burning atmosphere”) has followed. For the “Apocalyptic Art – Label Compilation II”, which was released in 2014, I’ve exclusively recorded the Bathory cover song “Armageddon”. And, finally, after 10 years of existence, the third and last chapter of my demo trilogy “Chaos bricht aus” (Engl. “Chaos breaks loose”) is out now.
2.How would you describe the musical sound that has been presented on the 3 demos and also how do they differ from each other?
That is not so easy to describe. Black Metal is definitely the base, with lots of atmospheric, melodic and ambient parts. The “B” side of each tape additionally contains a Dark Ambient song without any vocals and Metal elements. A short while ago, someone said that he also could hear Doom influences in my riffing. On the flyers, the style simply is described as “Ambient Black Metal” and I would say this applies only for “Ascheregen”. By gaining more experience on my instruments, my songwriting has become more and more complex, melodic and aggressive. The song tempos, for example, have speed up from 100/120 bpm (“Ascheregen”) to 150 bpm (“Brennende Atmosphäre”) and finally to 160 bpm (“Chaos bricht aus”). On Encyclopedia Metallum, the style now would maybe be described as “Atmospheric/Melodic Black Metal, Dark Ambient” – but that’s pretty complicated if you ask me. Not only the songwriting has changed, but also the sound has become a denser and more intense atmosphere over the years. There are so many details I could write an entire book on this subject. When you listen to all three demos successively, you’ll get a good overview on AdW’s development.
3.There is a concept among the 3 recordings that deal with the apocalypse and nuclear war, can you tell us a little bit more about the lyrics?
The concept behind the so-called “ABC” trilogy is the apocalypse in form of a nuclear war split into the 3 chapters “pre-apocalypse”, “apocalypse” and “post-apocalypse” – just chronologically inverted. In other words: “Ascheregen” dealt with the post-apocalypse and, therefore, with the destroyed landscapes as well as the fallout. The subject of “Brennende Atmosphäre” was the apocalypse with the deathly nuclear strike. And the last chapter “Chaos bricht aus” completes this trilogy with the pre-apocalypse and the hysteria as well as the helplessness before the end. All lyrics can be understood as accusation against and critique on humanity. Why do I’ve chosen the atomic issue? Because it perfectly exemplifies how the power of a few maniacs can lead the end of the world. It is social criticism and nihilism all through.
4.This is your first release with this project in 5 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?
Oh, there are some reasons why it took so long. Actually, “Chaos bricht aus” should be released in 2015. But already during the recordings of “Brennende Atmosphäre”, I’ve hardly had free time. Then I’ve changed my job and moved back from Munich to the place of my birth where it first was impossible to find a new rehearsal room. Searching for a suitable room took roughly two fucking years! Within this time, it was not possible to practice drums. So it was really hard for me to become familiar with this instrument again. During the recordings of “Chaos bricht aus”, I’ve struggled with demotivation and procrastination, too. In addition, songwriting is a slow progress ... But now, I’m really happy that the demo is finished and released. It’s just a little bit disappointing that there is no “special edition” with slipcase due to the fact that the bookbinder, which was responsible for the other versions, didn’t respond to my emails and all other companies I asked were incredibly expensive. No one would buy a special edition cassette for 30 euros. However, I hope that there will be a vinyl compilation called “ABC-Alarm” someday.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Asche der Welten'?
“Asche der Welten” simply means “ashes of the worlds”. Back in 2008, I’ve tried to find a name that fits the concept and stands for the result of the (nuclear) apocalypse. A few years later, I’ve realized that there was a book with almost the same name (“Die Asche der Welten”, just with an article in front of “ashes”). But I don’t care.
6.With this project you record everything by yourself, is this project more personal to you?
Yes, it is. AdW is my way to put my feelings and weltschmerz/world-weariness into a musical form. Consequently, I’ve done everything by myself – except the logo and the “band photos”. And I’m not willing to change that in future.
7.In 2014 you had also done a 'Bathory' cover for a compilation, what was the decision behind doing your own version of one of his songs?
For me, Bathory is the epitome of Black Metal. Especially, “Under The Sign Of Black Mark” is my all-time favorite. The sound, the guitars, the vocals – everything causes goose bumps. Although “Armageddon” can be found on the first album, it was the Bathory song that fits best to the concept of AdW – along with “Total Destruction” and “Destroyer of Worlds”. My version of “Armageddon” comes with a sort of a solo guitar, keyboards and German lyrics. Maybe there will be another Bathory cover song sometime.
8.The demo was released on 'Apocalyptic Art', can you tell us a little bit more about this label?
In fact, Apocalyptic Art has released all my demo tapes. It is a small but nice underground label from Germany with a few very interesting Black Metal bands. Not only because of the name “Apocalyptic Art” it was the perfect label for the trilogy: It doesn’t pursue commercial aims. Ineluki, the mastermind of Apocalyptic Art, is a great guy and I enjoy the collaboration with him. After my request for a tape release of “Ascheregen” he was so enthusiastic that we have made a verbal agreement for the entire trilogy to be released on Apocalyptic Art. I really have to thank him for his patience and understanding regarding the heavy delays of my recordings.
9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal and dark ambient?
AdW is still an unknown band – even in the underground – and I’ve had not very often contact with fans. The few times I’ve written with followers or spoken to friends, the feedback was mixed. Some liked it totally others didn’t like my melodies but the sound in general. A few people said that the music is not easily accessible. To be honest: It was my intention to make inaccessible music without being progressive. Actually, not a single guitar riff is repeated on “Chaos bricht aus” – and if it seems so I’ve always played slight variations. Even the first two-thirds of “Brennende Atmosphäre” are done accordingly. You can perceive my songwriting style as a sort of “anti-trend” or protest against the fact that Black Metal has become more and more accessible to non-BM listeners, especially in the matter of sound. Several Black Metal albums of the past years have almost the same sound as metalcore or even alternative rock releases. What happened to the sound varieties that were stylistic elements of Black Metal? I don’t say that the sound has to be as poor as possible or extremely noisy. But how can these bands be happy with their maximum clean, ordinary and trendy sound? Sorry, but I can’t understand this. My music is definitely not written for “easy listening”, e.g. while driving a car and having a conversation. This is also a reason why I prefer analog recordings: Normally, when you listen to a tape or vinyl you automatically pay more attention to the music. Of course, Bandcamp has its advantages, but I just use this platform to give interested persons the possibility to check out my music. However, an own Youtube channel is no option for me. I also totally refuse social media – even for private purposes. Nowadays it seems to be almost impossible to get in touch with an artist or to follow a band when there is no Facebook profile ...
10.Are you currently involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?
Yes, I’m involved in five bands in total – three of them without any releases yet. Currently, I play in several Black Metal projects and in a Doom Metal band called “Osteon”. The next releases in which I’m involved will be the first demo of my second solo project and another album for which I’ve done session drums. It is also planned to realize a split with Asche der Welten and Unryht next year.
11.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?
That’s a really good question. Spontaneously, I just want to remain true to my principles. Everything else is irrelevant.
12.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?
Even though Bathory is my favorite band I can’t say that the music have had a relevant influence on AdW. When I’ve developed the riffing for this project, I’ve intensively listened to quite different bands: Nagelfar, Nocternity, Schattenvald, Obscure Anachronism, Paysage d’Hiver, early Emperor, the first two albums of Dornenreich, “Rain Upon The Impure” from The Ruins Of Beverast (still one of the absolute best albums ever) and even Pink Floyd. Nowadays, I listen to a lot of (non-stoner) Doom, too. The five most heavy rotating albums of the last months are “Spectral Lore – III”, “Arthemesia – Deus-Iratus”, “Dodsengel – Interequinox”, “Kvist – For Kunsten Maa Vi Evig Vike” and, yes, “Candlemass – Epicus Doomicus Metallicus”. It doesn’t always have to be the latest releases.
13.What are some of your non-musical interests?
In addition to making and engineering music, I love hiking in the mountains very much. The Alps in the Berchtesgadener Land, my home region, are incredibly beautiful with their high alpine terrain, crystal clear lakes and (unfortunately mostly heavy managed) woods. But not only here, especially the Alps in Austria offer countless great hiking possibilities. I’ve a variety of other interest, too. However, it is not very easy to reconcile my full-time job with all these hobbies.
14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you very much for your interest in Asche der Welten. Be prepared!
If you are interested in listening my music, just visit my Bandcamp page: https://aschederwelten.bandcamp.com/
... or the Apocalyptic Art label page: http://apocalyptic-art.de/