Zaisswar Sielusurma: Goatskullt is a new black metal band from Helsinki, Finland. Three people who share the passion for performing aggressive and ritualistic riff-driven black metal. We summon the atmosphere that lured us into the world of this music in the first place; darkness, presence of evil and sheer sonic violence. Our first full-length release "Refuse To Exist!" will be released before the end of june, and we have plans for further activities in the future.
2.You have an album coming out this summer, can you tell us a little bit more about musical style you where going towards on this album?
Zaisswar: We do not re-invent the wheel, our music is on a certain level an homage to the bands we grew up listening to. And I think you can hear that
on the album. We wanted to bring back certain kind of catchiness riff-wise, because our songwriting always begins with a riff. Also the shrouded mysticism is important, the atmosphere that transcends the listener beyond your regular heavy metal music. But even though I have thrown big words like ritualistic and mysticism, we do not want to negate rock n' roll altogether, we do realise that even black metal is based on earlier forms of heavy music and originally the rock music of the past. But it is all the devil´s music, the cult of the goat!
With the lyrics and the vocal approach I want to be adamant that it is not just wrath without direction, everything has to follow a strict ritualistic pattern. People unfamiliar with such things might just hear sing-along one-liners, but if that is a way to draw them towards the hidden and the darkness, my task is completed.
3.Your music is very heavily rooted in the old school tradition, what are your thoughts on the more modern styles of black metal?
Zaisswar: If you are reffering to the myriad of bands playing different variations of "post-black metal" and "blackgaze", they are not black or metal. If you do not truly let your music to be a vessel or a vent for hatred and satan, it is not BLACK metal. And if you do not have any aggression or heaviness in your sound, it is not black METAL.
How many bands have I heard that claim to have been influenced by so-called atmospheric black metal? All these people with no ties to the culture, and no deeper meanings jumped on the bandwagon. There is so many new bands out there that claim to be rooted in black metal, but I cannot hear it, and most of all I cannot
FEEL it. I think the dynamic foundation was layed in the eighties, with further mysticism and wrath added in the nineties. I need to hear and feel that in the music. There has to be a certain kind of dark aura, and the feeling of threat in the form of imminent violence. And the lyrics, they lose their meaning if you cant stand behind your words; a humanist preaching death to mankind turns it all into a cheap horror-story circus. Black metal is not your safe-space where you can play with fire without getting burnt. And all these prefixes, you do not need them if you truly are a black metal band channeling the darkness. I am very conservative with my taste, so it cannot be too technical musically either. This is something all of our members do not agree on, just my personal view. But there is still so many new quality true black metal bands out there, especially in Finland things are beyond vibrant.
4.Can you tell us a little bit more about the lyrical topics and subjects you explore on the album?
Zaisswar: Mysticism and the presence of evil are important lyrically. This emanetes into words as darkness and violence, and can also be fused into hatred towards mankind and the pitiful beliefs it has created. "Godfeces" for example is sheer wrath directed at all the major religions, they teach we cannot never equal the divine, so these believers lower themselves to the level of mere feces of their gods. These bugs shall be crushed by those with the strength of spirit. All the true practises of spirituality the abrahamic agents were set out to destroy will rise the individual to a higher state instead of becoming mere slaves. Christianity preaches peace, tolerance and multiculturalism, yet all the abrahamic religions have been the single most effective disease wiping out old traditions and other forms of spirituality; one god, one mankind, one truth... well they shall see it burn!
"Refuse To Exist!" is not a theme-album as such, but some of the lyrics do deal with nothingess and the end of all existence. he title itself is not just an anti-life sentiment, it is also a commandment to transcendent everyday reality, or what the modern man is taught by all these outside-forces. Never exist by their terms, your own path is the only thing that matters in this rotten plane of existence.
5.Your song titles are in both English and Finnish, how would you compare the 2 different languages?
Zaisswar: Difficult to say, but I guess you obviously reach more people with english. The lyrics written in english on this album tend to be more direct and more hateful, whereas the finnish lyrics are more mystical and following the patterns I discussed earlier. In both cases, the words just come to me, usually in total isolation on long walks in the nature. I like powerful sentiments, or indeed one-liners, around which I start to build the whole body. But the album also includes chanted lines in ancient sumerian and latin, almost as mantras. Not to forget the abuse of other "holy" languages, arabian and hebrew. Blasphemy to them all!
6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Goatskullt'?
Zaisswar: There had to be a goat in the name of the band as a reference not only the black metal heritage, but also our local area and its folkore. The combination of the three words forced together is based on certain occult activities in the past of our home town. But the actual word Goatskullt... I do not want to present an image that we take everything so damn seriously, so to be honest the band name started as an inside joke, an homage to all the unintentional misspelling of old extreme metal. Lyrics, band names and album titles that are clumsy, yet istantly memorable. Nonetheless, pretty soon the name was stuck, especially after I had designed the logo. Goat, skull and kult, what more could you possibly need? And in the end, it is the music that defines the band name, not the other way around.
7.Can you tell us a little bit more about the album artwork?
Zaisswar: We wanted to keep it simple, let the music do the talking, especially since it is our debut. Certain kind of artwork can be a distraction
and there is a lot of really crappy black metal album covers. Then again, that is part of the appeal of it all I guess. But for "Refuse To Exist!" we wanted to have something iconic, just to present the band logo and the album title. Light of the darkness rising from the abyss.
8.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Zaisswar: We have not performed live yet, but we do have plans. That being said, it has to be something special, I could never go onstage playing Goatskullt with just jeans and a t-shirt on with crappy corpse paint. It has to be an event, the ritualistic nature of our essence has to be presented properly.
9.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?
Zaisswar: I think full-length touring is out of the question. At least for the time being.
10.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?
Zaisswar: If a label should want to distribute our album, we are open for that. There has been some interest for releasing the album in certain corners of the world, but we haven´t received any deals that would make any sense. We will not pay money for someone else selling our music on shitty vinyl in Venezuela.
11.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music so far by fans of black metal?
Zaisswar: I think we are still relatively unknown. But the few comments we have been getting so far are promising. People clearly want to hear this kind interpretation of black metal.
12.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Zaisswar: It is getting more diverse. Some of the new songs we have already written are less direct focusing more on the atmosphere, almost to the point of being hypnotic mantras. Then some of the songs are even more in-your-face than the ones on "Refuse To Exist!". I had a really strong period of listening to a lot of black n' roll and blackened trash, and that definitely can be heard on some of the new tracks we have written.
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?
Zaisswar: Too many bands to name, but I think personally it all started with Impaled Nazarene and Ugra-Karma at the tender age of thirteen, that was the first black metal album I consciously listened to. After that there was no turning back, the music and the culture sucked me in. Black metal in the style of Impaled Nazarene does not necessarily still hold a huge importance in the whole spectrum of my taste, as I pretty soon gravitated towards more atmospheric style. Yet a band like Darkthrone is still huge to me, no question. But for Goatskullt collectively, Mayhem with both "De Mysteriis" and "Wolf´s Lair"-EP, the eponymous Thorns album and "Rebel Extravaganza" by Satyricon are the cornerstones we all can agree on.
14.How would you describe your views on Satanism?
Zaisswar: It is the synonym for walking your own personal spiritual path. And I have to be clear that to me satan and satanism are not just a derivation of pitiful hebrew traditions and entities, to me satanism means channeling any dark tradition for ones spiritual growth. This often results with expression and means that are violent and offensive. Black metal is the musical equivalent of satanism. If there is no satanism in any form it is not black metal.
15.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Zaisswar: Stay strong, listen to black metal and hail Satan!