INTERVIEW WITH SEARING SKULL
DONE BY PAIMON (USBMS)
First of all I would like to give three mighty Black hails to Searing Skull for taking the time to execute this interview. Now lets get into the questions . . .
1. First question, what is the main concept behind Searing Skull and it's inception?
There are main concepts actually : Searing Skull is a weapon against ignorance and will to perturbate the natural Equilibrium of things. Through the understanding and the respect of Nature, introspection, sadness, hate, and misanthropy. Some tell that Searing Skull is a pagan BM band. It is not my role (and my aim) to put Searing Skull in one genre or another. All I know is that I study/studied a lot of mythologies from all over the world, and that I conclude that myths are metaphors, allegories, of what Nature's Order is. No good or no evil, just Equilibrium. Being manicheist and to claim to be evil or good in "obeying" to some supposedly existing forces/gods, is only pure Christian behavior, as evil and goodness are essentially moral values that vary from individuals to individuals, from land to land. I'm keen on Celtic and Germanic mythologies, certainly because these are those from my motherland of Europe, but I'm not close minded towards other myths.They have not to bring truth, which are unreachable, they have to bring wisdom. The knowledge you have to learn will come only from you, not from mythical stories written to make you to respect some things.
2. Searing Skull is a one man project comprised of Legolas Landvoettir. Has anyone else been involved in Searing Skull's art? Have there been session members in the past?
Yes, From 2000 to 2003, another guy was in the band, programming the drums and recording/mastering/mixing what I recorded. He isn't in the band anymore. For live purposes; Moloch, from the French True BM Band Swellpain (hails), is my live bassist. He is a real perfectionist about how music has to sound, this is what I sought for. I'm still searching for a drummer for live purposes too.
3. Your band's logo artwork is quite intricate. Who designed it? What is it's meaning?
It was made by Stephane Casier, from Ravensblood (RIP). He has maybe another band now but I didn't followed what he does. Anyway he's a great artist and he made the logo I was looking for : aggressive and meaningful. There is a burning Thor's Hammer on the logo. I'm not being blind enough to follow a myth from word to word, but anyway Thor's Hammer is a symbol of pride, strength, and will to conquer. I think that Nature's law benefits the stronger beings, and I do my best for being in that kind of people.
4. This question will be pertaining to your musical composition. How do you begin a song? Are lyrics first or do they follow after the composition is complete? Also what do your lyrical themes consist of?
I find a title... If it's a catchy title, I try to put it in music, writing and composing the chorus, so that the music has to catch the feeling of the title. Then I compose the other parts of the songs. Lead and intro parts are the last things I compose. Then I begin to write the rest of the lyrics. Lyrics are about Sadness, Hate, Misanthropy, humility towards the natural (cosmic) order, will to reach knowledge and wisdom, and strong individualism. Mythological references are here sometimes, but not always, and when there are here, it is a concepts, not as certain truths.
5. Searing Skull has hints of possible MLO inspirations, dealing with chaos and cosmic order. Is this something that was decided prior to the bands conception? What, if any, personal beliefs do you include within your art's ideology?
Absolutely not. I'm not a MLO guy, and the stuff about Equilibrium has always been here in my mind, and I often spoke about it in interviews made in 2002, when "pagan realms" was out. I think MLO and anti cosmic stuff are, actually, pure bullshit.I'm not against such bands as Watain or Dissection (rip), which are great, but I'm not taking this seriously, I just appreciate it as a trip. Hey, if you were sent by creatures who want to eat the world... why the hell would you shred your guitar instead of making nuclear terrorist attempts you see ?But I think I have to explain why anti cosmic stuff is a real mistake, and that people that are REALLY involved in it can only have a lack of culture and, above all, a great lack of ... brains :
generally they speak of different mythologies, but they generally refer mainly to Germanic/Nordic mythologies, ok , that's nice to see common points between things.Being black metal and claiming you belong to a religion, may it be an anti cosmic belief, is nonsense. Black Metal is individualism and misanthropy, a Religion's aims is to make people gather, etymologically. But, a lot of these people claim to be Dark pagans. First bullshit : paganism is neither good or bad. Wotan isn't especially kind (he does tricks too, not as many as Loki, but Loki helped the Aesirs too, so don't mention Ragnarök as the final fight between goodness and evil, it is the final fight between two camps, that's all. Loki's side went really angry against the other gods, that's all) they claim, as dark pagans, that they worship Thurses, and that they have to be their slaves, in order to fulfill their dreams of cosmic destruction. That's a huge mistake.Thurses are frost giants. They are forces of retractions, restriction, slowness, and immobility. They have a lot of destructive powers, but are totally ... unconscious. Why will you submit to a thing that doesn't know that you're submitting to it ? These people that claim to be dark-anti cosmic-thurse-worshiping-pagans (it gets longer I know, but human stupidity is endless) ignore that gods are not the other side of thurses. The other side of thurses, which "compensate" them, are the sons of muspell, fire giants, led by Surt. Muspellheim is the realm of eternal movement, expension. Destructive and unconscious are these fire giants too. There is a perfect compensation. It is what leads to Equilibrium. All those giants are actually natural phenomenons. In ancient Norway, falls, mountains, floods, were told to be thurses, or thurses acts.
Why ? Because those are destructive and dangerous. But not only. We , as conscious being, see this as destructive things, but we often forget that after a flood or a volcanic eruption, the lands will be fertilized. It is just an example, of course, but you see what it is all about. It is just a matter of compensation. And if we brake the natural balance, things, harmful things, may happen to bring back the Order. So, Thurses, Mannetanaz (man eaters) and others, are NOT evil. They are just dangerous, and necessary. Evilness in paganism as no side. Furthermore, if you want a stuff that involves Thurses in ancient Scandinavia, learn about Nidhstangs and seidhr, kind of magics for maledictions and other purposes. It is interesting to notice that in those cases, thurses weren't considered as superior beings (they are NOT !), but as tools. You make a sacrifice, you tell the Thurse to do such harm to such people, and that's the stuff, as you have to put a bullet in a gun in order to kill someone.
SO, looking to all those morons that give that importance to thurisaz if really funny. I'll never prostrate in front of a gun and telling him that I'll kill by myself a lot of people. If I have to, I'll take the gun and shoot, it's that easy. And, to finish, these dark pagans [ this is too long] anti cosmic people claim they are, so, anticosmic... and that they want to return to the Primeval Chaos, Ginungagap. Ok ok ... bullshit once again. Being anticosmic : hey, they proclaim to be dark, and want to inverse and/or destroy the cosmos ? WTF, look at the night sky, isn't there enough darkness out there ? All the opposites are in the cosmos. It is simply foolish, and useless, to have the will to invert it. Remember this physical law : Nothing is created, and nothing is destroyed. Everything transforms. That is the real stuff about the cosmic equilibrium, nothing is more true. Returning to ginungagap... : they claim that is the primeval void. Actually, if you read the myths, it wasn't a void at all. There already were nilfheim and muspellheim, which gathered and created the first being, a Giant called Ymir. Of course, all of this are mythological texts, and it seems kinda funny to explain such things seriously because anticosmicism (?) can't be taken seriously. And, to finish, Ginungagap means "the void full of consciousness". Forces of consciousness are humans and gods, and the other parts of the world, and giants (Thurses included), are forces of unconsciousness.
SO, to claim you worship the Thurses and want to return to a world where the forces they fight (consciousness forces), in your opinion, are over-represented, it is being very contradictious. That is why Searing Skull will NEVER be affiliated with anticosmic people. It is just in an artistic purpose that I can appreciate such things, and it depends, not a lot of bands of this ideology are respectable. So if you think that worshiping the thurses and being submitted to them will help you in your life, please, don't listen/play to black metal, shoot yourself. That's it for the MLO/anticosmic stuff. About Chaos : I worked a lot, in my extra-musical activities, about systems. A system is a thing in which its components are in interconnection. All systems have an equilibrium. There are three kinds of systems
Complicated systems (like a car, if you remove a piece, and replace it, the system will still work) Complex systems (like a human society, or a human being, an animal ... the totality of the system is more than the sum of its components.) Chaotic systems (where a little change of one parameter of the system will create a great disorder, until, in this state of disorder, it will find a new equilibrium.) So when you look at a chaotic system, it looks like a mess, but it, in reality, isn't. It's organization is so complicated that you can not understand it. So , Chaos is order (organization) coming out from disorder. Claiming that Chaos is disorder, or a mess, is then, a mistake. This is what I find interesting in Chaos, this capacity to be looked at under many angles. The cosmos is deeply chaotic.
6. You seem to have several releases available.Where do you happen to record and what does your recording process consist of? Any releases up coming that you would like to speak about?
I released 3 cd-r's and 5 tapes, participated at about fifteen compilations and about ten radio broadcasting's. I don't think it is that much actually, unfortunately for me. I record at home, in my home studio, my sound gets better and better. I record everything track by track, with a metronome. I won't tell you all the manipulations I do, because it will be too long hehe.
This year a split CD with Swellpain will be released, the title of the Searing Skull part will be The Anti cosmic Aberration. As I have to reach knowledge and wisdom, it is my aim to poison the mind of naive believers who think they can change things by praying/honoring entities. Crush Them. I don't want to be followed, I want to have my own way. The songs will be more thrashy, with intricate leads parts, and some synth programming, but it will not sound as a cold electronic music at all, it will be 100% metal.
7. I would like to get into live shows. Has Searing Skull ever played live? If so, when, where and who were the session members? Was there a positive turn out as far as attendance is concerned?
I did a couple of live shows, in a thrash metal band especially (but not only), as a bassist, but never with Searing Skull. I'm looking forward to find a drummer, as soon as my extra musical activities will let me the time to, and then, we will gig, and in the honor of the Equilibrium, we will sear the skull of the Audience. I'm the session singer of Swellpain, they gigged a lot, and I'll gig with them in April 2008, as a beginning.
8. Searing Skull is based out of France. How do you view the path Black Metal happens to be taking in Europe as opposed to the U.S. and other parts of the world? In addition, what is your personal opinion of the path you follow within Black Metal?
Hmm, I'm not a lot into actual Black Metal. I'm open minded but when it comes to black metal, I want real black metal : Bathory, Venom, Darkthrone, Immortal, Marduk, Tsjuder, Seth (france, but only the old albums)...
I do think that pagan BM isn't BM, it has just a part of its sound. And there a lot of bands that put BM in their kind of music... they are not bad, but that's not BM to my mind... So To me, BM is like blues you see, you have a kind of music that isn't made to be very evolutive. That's why I think Searing Skull is not pure BM. It is Searing Skull, that's the point. So I think that in Europe, a lot of new ideas are coming out of BM, especially from the eastern countries. Musically, that's a good thing. Some (not all of them) frenchies hate the fact that BM can be made in the U.S. You see, for some people, BM was a European answer to American DM. I don't want to enter in such pathetic debates. I listened to really bad things coming from the US, as well as I have listened to a lot of good things too. I don't think the country matters, it is the madness you have in your head that matters.
9. What outlets have you found to be the most helpful in promoting Searing Skull towards the individuals desired by your art? Do you see any changes in the near future pertaining to promotion?
Fanzines, flyers, webzines, guestbooks, and above all myspace ( I didn't think I'd write that one day) are really good for promoting my music. I have a wide scope of promotion, only because I want to promote to old school people too, which are not really opened to internet stuff. A lot of people listen to Searing Skull because they heard things (good and bad) about searing skull and me, and they checked it out by themselves, which is good.
10. You are independent as of now. Do you foresee any promising labels? Do you happen to be in contact with any at this moment? If applicable, which ones?
Hmm, I can't tell. I speak with a lot of labels anyway. All my releases has been produced by labels, I think I'll keep on that way. As my sound gets better, it will be easier to find labels I guess. I'm in contact with DUKE, Infernal Kommando, Sound of Charge ... To speak about underground and very good labels. But I'm in contact with a lot more people.
11. What are your views on how you approach Black Metal as opposed to most other bands and projects? Do you see your art as perhaps more reflective of the old order?
As I said, I'm not able to tell if Searing Skull is real BM... It has its own sound, so that I'm maybe more open minded or original, maybe not. It is funny that people often tell me that it sounds really old school. Maybe because I use to have some heavy/thrashy rhythms. I can really tell, really. Ask someone who listens a lot to Searing Skull, if it does exist hehe.
12. Before we wrap up the interview, is there anything you would like to end with?
Always stay strong in adversity, and many thanks for this very interesting intie (especially about the MLO and stuff).
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