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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Avenger Interview

1. Can you give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?

We have been celebrating 20 years of existence. First, we recorded compilation of our best songs entitled "MCMXCII - MMXII", all tracks with new fresh sound made in 2011/2012, some of them never released before. This CD, containing 17 songs / 79 mins total, was released a few weeks ago via czech magazine/label Parat. You can order it from us or Deathgasm Rcs. too. Second, we organized indoor festival called simply "DARK METAL FEST". With elite acts of czech metal underground scene, legendary czech band ROOT plus serbian guests THE STONE and BANE, this was a truly urepeateable event. Avenger did 3 separated sets with various historical line-ups, we played almost 3 hours total. All by all, I think it was a really cool evening. We had like 220 fans coming which was great. My impressions are all just very fresh, the show took place only 2 nights ago. And it was no doubt very strong emotional moment of my (our) life/lives. Something to stuck in memory forever. By the way, we had 5 profi cameras and 16 track audio recorder at the place. So we did quite professional recording of entire show. When time comes, we will most probably consider producing / releasing our first official DVD. But now we focus on promotion of our new album "Bohemian dark metal".

2. How would you describe the musical sound of the new album and how it differs from previous releases?

Emotional intensity and brutality ! I have always had very personal and feelingful approach to songs/lyrics writting. But this time I have gone far further. The point is Im still learning, as musician, as sound engineer, as a person as well. I have found new ways to create harmonies (contra disharmonies), I have found new ways to handle sound of each single track, I have found the way of reaching harmony in my soul, despite being chaotic and sick mind. Every Avenger album had a bit different style, "SHADOWS OF THE DAMNED" was less or more death/doom, or even heavy touched, "FALL OF DEVOTION" most close to black, "GODLESS" almost clean death, "FEAST OF ANGER" blackened death. But now I think I managed to melt all these features into one outstanding unity. Its still a pure Avenger stuff but I dare to say its something new at the same time. Im not so naive to call our stuff "original". In the crazy flood of thousands metal bands today, its of course highly probable that someone plays less or more the same shit we do. But lets say our attitude is unusual at least. Its in fact "all-metal", riff by riff filled and connected with authentic darkest feelings of my life. This is what "Bohemian dark metal" stands for.

3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the new release?

Its all just about what life brought. The lyrics have many autobiographical features. Im 32 now and its no secret that I have never had opportunity to experience how does it feel to be loved by a woman (now not speaking of the physical experiences but speaking of the deepest emotional connection). My personality is too harsh and weird and no girl I ever loved was so brave to accept that. My music and words is a channel of saying out the most internal pains, wishes, worries, complaints, thoughts.... well... whatever... I just let it flow. Even at a cost that the things that come to light are weird, maybe pathetic, or funny for someone uninvolved.... but I dont fucking care, its a cure for me. At this point it would be also good to say that the lyrics arent entirely serious at all. Its a game for me as well, I use a lot of fantasy and imagination. Also I am always aware I wanna create METAL, so no sweet "I love you I miss you" shits. I always keep it brutal ! You probably need to check the lyrics to understand what I try to explain here.

4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?

Man you are asking about something that happened 20 years ago. Im afraid Im not able to answer this, I simply dont remember. We probably picked the name just because we thought it sounded nice. No huge story here.

5. The band has a long history that goes back to 20 years but you have for the most part remained underground what is it that motivates you to keep the band going after all these years

I simply cannot live without creating and performing own music and lyrics. Nothing else in my life can be compared to this divine feeling. Plus we finally have a very strong line-up, all guys in the band are both very skilled musicians and very close friends. I just cannot imagine I would loose this.

6. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

Man, Im a professional sound engineer, Im owner of HELLSOUND studio. So I barely listen to anything else than my work. My roots still remain the same, I love Bathory, Masters Hammer, Root, King Diamond, My Dying Bride, Slayer old Florida and Scandinavian death metal scene, ancient Norwegian black metal acts. All best was said so many years ago already !

7. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?

We focus on well based playing and singing, no huge theater (except the standard headbanging etc.). The funny thing is Im introvert, far from being exhibitionist so no "original" or "interesting" or "new" features are possible at all. Anyway, I do think that the music and the global energy we send to the audience does all the fucking job. As for best gigs. Hard to name some of those almost 300 shows we did. Every gig is cool.

8. Do you have any touring plans for the new release?

I would say its not question for me at all. If someone is interested in sending us on road, well, cool, we go ahead ! We have a strong live line-up and we are ready to kick anyone's assess, no matter who plays before or after us. We play fucking dark music in a way that barely anyone does so there is simply no fucking competition for us hehe. But we have been around for a while and we watch the shits where its all drowning. If big label bands are "touring" in sense of playing shows for 30 - 60 people, what audience would come to see Avenger....5 or 10 freaks ? Sorry, this doesn't make any sense anymore. We live in a shitty time when literally everything is becoming just question of money, "the scene" is not about music anymore. We are probably too old already to waste time and money for something that doesn't lead anywhere. We better leave the space for the younger guys who wanna travel, see the world, experience the "rockers life".... we in a way passed this already... and what we never reached, we simply gave up. Generally, we are always interested to play shows, that's sure. But only those which look seriously and worthy.

9. On a worldwide level how has your newer material been received by fans of black/dark/death metal?

No huge story up to this moment. But I dont complain at all :-))

10. Are there any other projects going on these days besides this band or is this a full time

Our drummer Certik has a very cool power violence band called "Gride". The bassist Mira is the main author for his own pagan black metal band called "Panychida", our tympanist Jarda plays guitar in a cult czech thrash metal band called "Assessor". Guitarist "Ramus" is fully devoted just to Avenger. And my musical CV is quite heavily filled with many contributions and acts. I think I was involved in over 40 bands (mostly as session drummer), such as Judas Iscariot, Krieg, Nargaroth, Bane, The Stone..... and many more. Recently I recorded drums for new Masters Hammer album as well.

11. What direction do you see the music heading into on future releases?

No idea at this moment.

12. Does Satanism or Occultism play any role in the music/

Depends what these words mean to you. Im not religiously based person, Im materialistic / atheist. And well, if there are any unseen untouchable forces within this world (some my life experiences indicate that this may be true) I have no interest in investigating or naming them. I try to choose my paths myself and what is to come that is to come.... But I am highly sensitive to evil forces behind the mask of face of each human individual. I deal this a lot of course... but I guess that just everyone is forced to deal such forms of evil...

13. Outside of music what are some of your interests?

None. Really.

14. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?

Thank you for spending time with writing interesting questions and giving us space in your zine. All hails to the true metal worshippers !

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