1. Since the release of ,,Ausweg/Existenzfeind”, and also some time before the actual release, I’ve been working on new material. Musically I’ve been experimenting a lot, and implementing some changes I’ve deemed according to the further development, direction where the Joys of Life is heading. It is something I am constantly working on, since I am no longer active in any other musical project. On another notice, since a few months, I’ve been rehearsing with session musicians in order to realize some live appearances.
2.In April you had released a new album, what are some of the things you feel you have done different musically with this recording that you have not done with previous releases?
2. Not just musically, but all-round I feel that this album is far more well thought out than the first one. Dem Tod sei Dank is more straightforward, everything is overfilling from beginning to end, while the release in question is more paced, not only in the song construction but as a whole. I’ve re-recorded the whole album several times until I was satisfied with the result, also with Maledictor, the person responsible for the mixing and mastering, we took our time so that we get the most out of the music, without loosing anything of the essential spirit and everything else around it. I’ve been using more or less the same equipment, which I just lately updated, and also programmed drums the same way, yet creatively it came out much different in my opinion.
3.You refer to your as 'life poisoning black metal', can you tell us a little bit more about this term?
3. I’ve never been keen on putting labels of any kind unto this project. Since I try to evade the term DSBM out of multiple reasons, 'life poisoning black metal' seemed very appropriate. The lyrics are hermetic in a literary sense. There are many symbols scattered around in my work and the listener is the one who is to make himself a picture of them. One could say they are open to interpretation in a sense that they give the listener a chance to think about them, while being also guided by the music that has been inspired by thoughts, insights and experiences. All this the listener takes in in a way, like smoke or air that is inhaled. The term itself comes from Necheshetrion and Demoness of Zly Demiurg. I feel that both of them understood all this, and why I believe it is fitting.
4.This is your first release in 3 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what was going on during that time frame?
4. Yes, except the writing itself of the new material, I was active in two other bands during the time. The first one was an experimental noize/drone/blackened band under the name of ЖЕГОР . Danilo, the frontman an I were composing the songs, although later on Danilo took over for the most part. We were having live gigs performing own songs with some major bands, we were planning to record an album but eventually the project disbanded, mainly because of the mental and psychological problems Danilo was facing at the time, which still is one big shame, because he deleted and probably burned all that had to do with or reminded him of ЖЕГОР. The other band is Kobb and is still active, doing their thing. I left mainly because of my lack of time to truly give my part as a bassist, and because of the creative differences we have had. Also, as I mentioned, the recording of Ausweg/Existenzfeind took way much more time than intended, as the songs were written and ready by the first half of 2017. I learned by experience at this time what things to try and people to evade when trying to make my work the best possible.
5.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Joys of Life'?
5. Joys of Life is a name that sounds just sarcastic to some, others asked me if it has to do with the Crowlean term of ,,Joy” and yet others found a correlation with the band ,,Happy Days”. Truth is that it is none of the above. To me, it is the progress of overcoming oneself, station by station tearing down and amputating parts of oneself that slow one down in a process of elevation, becoming something greater that anything material can ever be or become. I do not write music to leave something behind, nor do I do it to speak to anybody. I just let manifest the things that go through myself, and tear away bit by bit, things which I believe life itself doesn’t compare to. This endless well of manifestations is what gave birth to the name also.
6.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
6. The artwork was envisioned during the finishing phase of the album, it is composed in a symbolic manner. As in the true art itself I believe, if it is sincere, one gives a part of himself into the work. In the cover this culminates in the figure cutting off its own head and offering it up while becoming part of a godly figure himself. Each item presented has a connection to one of the songs, which themselves represent stations in giving up oneself for something greater and more meaningful than life and being itself. I would sincerely like the listener or the one who is looking at the picture at this point, to unveil and decipher himself the further meanings and symbolism's therein. On a personal level, it has spiritual meaning, which is accompanied by its other part, the music, and the listener which takes it in, and makes it complete.
7.With this project you record everything by yourself, are you open to working with other musicians or do you prefer to work solo?
7. During the three years, while working on the album, I also tried working with other musicians on this project. The aim was to improve musically and also do live drums on the recordings. There also were a few rehearsals with different lineups but it never really worked as intended. Perhaps the time was not right, or the Ideas weren’t ripe enough. There was a lack of commitment of the musicians, but also some creative and ideological differences was always present so eventually I put an end to it, and continued to work alone to preserve the essence and spirit of Joys of Life. So yes, I’d rather work alone than lose an essential part of my work for a slightly better ,,sound” or some live performances. Since recently, me and a drummer, as well as an old friend, JK, started to work together. Time will tell if the fruits of this cooperation will be fit to release to the public or not.
8.The new album was released on cassette through 'Zly Demiurg' and the cd through 'Jesboligakurac Records', can you tell us a little bit more about these labels?
8. Both labels put very much spirit into releasing ,,Ausweg / Existenzfeind”. Jesboligakurac records is an underground diy label located in the village of Brus in Serbia. Packe, the owner is a very enthusiastic person working with all kind of genres he sees fit, from grindcore to black metal to some noise projects. Our cooperation was quick and efficient as the cd release itself took only about a month.
Zly Demiurg is from Poland, Necheshetrion and Demoness do only casette releases, old-school style in limited quantities. I was acquainted with their work from before and actually own some releases of them. They focus their work on black metal with many polish but also other, international bands on their rooster, with quality and spirit over quantity in mind when it comes to their work. Both are worth checking out if one is interested in sincere diy style releases and values idea and spirit over production. Hails to P., N., and D.!!!
9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black metal?
9. As far as I see, positive. I wouldn’t go as far as considering myself someone who is having a ,,fanbase”, but what I see is that people value the music if they sense that there has been put effort into it, and so do I as well. The first album has been sold out since spring 2016 at Depressive Illusions and is since available only online. I’m considering a re-release in the near future. Ausweg / Existenzfeind is also getting decent to good reviews for now, although the most important thing for me of course is and will be, that I myself am satisfied with what I have conjured, and that it is the best I could possibly do, for this kind of work deserves nothing less.
10.Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician in the future?
10. Since the release of ,,Dem Tod sei Dank”, creatively and intellectually a lot has changed. The material I work on in the present is different on many levels, so all I can say at the moment is, that certain changes, from the roots on will happen. I will of course continue the project in the same vein, but since the release of ,,Ausweg/Existenzfeind”, I got the opportunity to improve on many things, and this will reflect upon the musical work accordingly.
11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are listening to nowadays?
11. The two bands that have had the most influence on Joys of Life recently are Obsequiae and Chaos Echoes. Both bands are unique in their own way, and this is what one should strive for in my opinion. Also, Kalmankantaja and Antimateria were very important and defining in a way. Nowadays, on another notice I listen to some more recently released albums. Svartidauði and Acherontas are two of the black metal bands whose 2018 releases I’m constantly coming back to. Also, Gnosis Kardias from Inferno and all releases of Cult of Fire. I also listen to a lot of dungeon synth and (dark) ambient nowadays, here I’d mention Dark Tower (old – school DS) Spectral Lore and Coph Nia.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
12. Thank you for the interview! Ausweg / Existenzfeind is available at: