On the back of their new album, THIER, Destructive Music has interviewed Austria’s AMESTIGON:
Destructive Music: There are 5 years between Sun Of All Suns and your new album, Thier – what have you been doing in the years inbetween? What other projects are you involved in?
Amestigon: After we recorded Sun of all Suns, which happened at the beginning of 2009, we started to rehearse the songs that are now on Thier. Creating our songs is always a process we are not aware of how long it will take until we dare to say: ok, let’s record this. It’s always the same pattern as the structures of the songs are born out of extensive jamming and it’s quite likely that they transform a lot during this whole process. If we are content with the basics of the songs, we fortify ourselves in Tharen’s Studio and record the drums and rhythm guitars. Since we are three people in the band, this is the foundation how we practiced it, drums and two guitars. Having finished this all the rest is more or less improvised. Usually we have, and that’s something we do intentionally, no clue what we overdub until we actually record it. So on Thier all bass (also played by Lanz), vocals, synths (both done by Tharen) and nearly all guitarleads (again Lanz and Wolf) are improvised. The only exception is Silenius’ vocals on the title track, because he is too much of a perfectionist to let such things just happen. This is quite an antithesis to our approach on creating music, but until now we are very satisfied with the results, so we gave him his artistic freedom every single time so he can prepare in order to praise the name of Thier.
If we are speaking about the past five years only Lanz was involved in Der Blutharsch and the infinite Church of the leading Hand.
DM: What can you tell us about the new album, Thier, what is the lyrical concept? What is your take on occult lyrical themes?
Amestigon: Thier is an old way of writing the German word Tier which means animal or beast. Thier is the Egregore of the Ordo Liberorum Luporum, the Demiurge of a spiritual crystallization who emanates through chemognostic and/or sexmagical Hochpolung. In our system of beliefs Thier is also the architect of ourselves in a metaphysical way. So the album is a cosmogony of our inner self.
Occultism influenced musicians since ages and in the course of this 70s rock and psychedelic revival (just to take a popular example) in the beginning of the third millennium it seemed pretty popular to incorporate lyrics that deal in one way or another with occult themes into often generic retro-music. Considering that many bands tried to be and to sound as much authentic as possible this was traceable for us. But this hype led to a massive lack of sincerity and respect for this field that’s virtually supposed to be harvested by men and women willing to strive for personal completeness.
DM: How did it come about that you released a new album after all these years?
Amestigon: We were rehearsing continuously and after some time we had the feeling that the actual stuff is ready for recording so we simply did it. Amestigon is quite a slow moving animal with a dangerous tendency towards flagellating perfectionism.
DM: How do you think you have evolved musically since your early beginnings? What are your musical influences these days?
Amestigon: There is a clear musical break between “Remembering…” and the stuff before when Wolf and Lanz joined Amestigon in 1998. Since that time especially the sound evolved enormously as experience in equipment and studio work grew. Influences are more or less the same. We soak up everything that is good. We don’t care about genres and Black Metal is not about genres.
DM: How do you remember the Austrian black metal scene from the 90ies, and what do you think of how it is nowadays? There is a clear crossover of musicians playing both in BM bands and neofolk/martial bands, what do you think is the future for both genres?
Amestigon: Well, we were young and for sure these were heady times. Back then we have created alliances that partly last until now but in retrospect it seems that the dissociation of others was foregrounded. We have grown and matured hence we see many things we all did back in the days differently, but our seriousness about the message we convey is growing day by day.
There have always been some personal connections between the post-industrial scene and the Black Metal scene. Musically seen it’s very understandable, since both worlds live from a menacing sound hard to define and understand for outsiders. Also textually there were quite a few parallels (we’re talking about the bands and artists in the post TG era from around 1981 until the very early 1990s, not the “Neofolk” that came afterwards). In our humble opinion “Neofolk” or “Martialindustrial” are dead since years. No doubt, we still find some good projects from time to time, but there is no “scene” anymore. No Future for Neofolk, nothing to whine about.
DM: There is such an overwhelming output of BM albums these days, do you think there’s going to be an implosion coming soon (as predicted a long time ago)?
Amestigon: No. It turned out that through all this years bands managed to reinvent the term Black Metal and thus made it a seminal field of activity for seriously interested people. If you take a close look at the beginnings of the so called “second wave” of BM, every serious band sounded differently. Still they were all linked through a thematic orientation and this specific feature distinguished them from many others. Right now there is a prolific community creating enthralling original music carrying on the black flame.
DM: Lastly, do you know when the vinyl version of Thier is coming out?
Amestigon: The CD will be released on the 28th of May. Alas, due to bottlenecks in the European vinyl manufacturing we will have to wait quite a bit. We hope that the DLP will be out in fall.
Interview: Susanne Sinmara
THIER is out now on W.T.C.
Review to this spectacular album is here: