– Hello and first of all, thanks for taking the time. What are you currently up to? How are you feeling about finally being about to unleash your new album?
Hola Tania. Thank you for your questions and all positive words about Mysticum. Well, first of all we are most satisfied being back in the scene, ready to fill the gap we left leaving it in the late 90`s. Also very pleased, with the outcome of our production of “Planet Satan”. We have made a killer album representing us fully in every way. At the moment we are working with promoting the upcoming release. As well as planning for future live shows. Also some new material is made, but main focus nowadays is the incoming of “Planet Satan”.
– In fact there were several delays with the release of «Planet Satan». Would you please enlighten us a little bit and elaborate on what happened? We’ve all heard about this album for a few years.
After we got together a few years ago deciding to finally materialize PS, a period of time was spent upgrading our hard- and software. Then some time was used getting to know how to abuse the equipment to our advantage. From there on an explosion of ideas, new and old surfaced. Deciding which to pursue, we thoroughly went to work composing the album. Certain obstacles were met and dealt with. We never rushed anything, and the out-come fulfilled all our demands and expectations for a follow-up to the “In the streams”.
– Digging deeper into this opus, the first that caught my attention was the cover, with the same old logo and a cosmic drawing that fits perfectly your music. What kind of cover did you go for? Something that could portrait the essence of your music?
The core ideas and visions that Mysticum had for the cover were as follows:
– The grandest, hardest and biggest sphere in the multiverse.
– Its outer layer consists of the ultra-heavy metal Satanium with 666 protons in its nucleus.
– Its inner core is pure Mysticum, the heaviest metal of all. With 888 protons in its nucleus.
– A sphere which oozes of flawlessness, superiority and victory.
– A sphere Lucifer proudly would send his elite.
– Lucifer himself branding our logo onto it with the hellfire from his heart.
– If god his son and the heavens would have seen Planet Satan, they would piss themselves and immedeatly surrender.
The execution and design of the cover we left up to the artist, Mr Daniele Valerani to execute. We are most satisfied with the result.
– «In the Streams of Inferno» had a really electro 80’s sound, even though it came out during the mid 90’s. Talking about the electronic/Industrial aspect, how do you think current production gear and instruments have affected this part of your sound? In this field time goes by so fast.
For sure the possibilities are almost infinite now, with the complex maze of new hard- and software. The art is not to drown in this soup, but knowing what you want and follow your musical instinct, without to many diversions along the way. Mysticum has along with upgrading our equipment also kept banks of old samples accumulated over many years.
– You’ve kept the same atmosphere though, really raw, even chaotic, but also cosmic, hypnotic and hallucinatory. MYSTICUM truly is a singular world. A world on its own. What does inspire this microcosm? Psychotropic substances and «black magic» mushrooms maybe play a part on this?
The drugs have been a mind -opener and a tool for exploration of our existence. Most certainly, influenced our music and lyrics. The amounts and preferred choices of substances has varied between the members. At times the consumption exceeded saneness for some and others grew tired of it for long periods of time. For sure, some states of minds and level of consciousness are impossible to reach without it.
– In fact I’d dare say atmosphere is the focus in your music. Is really unique, but everything in the album sounds really spontaneous so, how was the songwriting process behind this record?
Well, PS is a mix of old and brand new riffs, compositions and lyrical ideas. With some tracks consisting purely of old riffs. Such as “Fist of Satan” and “All must end”. Fist.., originally named “The Satan” has all its riffing from 97-98. The lyrical idea of it is also from 98, but rewritten and enhanced the last couple of years. “All must..” is from the early 2000. We found its riffs recorded on an old hard-drive while going through old files. All the electronics of it, are brand new though. So are the lyrics. “LSD” has also old material in it. Mainly lyrical ideas and a couple of riffs. Apart from these tracks the content of PS is based on work from 2011-2014. With this said, each member has had Planet Satan in the back of our minds since late 90`s. A sub-conscious engine always running, at various speeds
– «Planet Satan» isn’t «In the Streams of Inferno Pt. II». It’s the same style, but it now sounds updated, and it doesn’t contain those danceable instrumental parts your debut had. But I would like to know your view on this; do you regard «Planet Satan» as a follow up to your debut album or something completely new and different?
We think the overall expression is more or less the same. Mysticum being true to our selves, and our way of thinking musically. Even though these are two different albums given off in a great span of time, we kept our timeless sound and originality. Regardless of changes within the scene and outside world. This we are most satisfied with. With that said, PS is to us not only a follow-up to the “In the streams”. But a perfect musical universe on its own, proving the powerful musical qualities Mysticum beholds. . We feel that Planet Satan is more thoroughly produced and a balanced gem. In the streams.. is more of a rough cut diamond. Both releases we treasure.
– Anyway I think this new opus follows the same path you took with «Black Magic Mushrooms». Did you have clear back when this release was done that was what you wanted to do now with MYSTICUM?
As previously mentioned, we have had this release in the back of our minds since the late 90`s. Knowing that at some point the planet would release itself upon the world. A clear plan has never been drawn up. When we work together merging our ideas, a crystal clear path emerges. Giving off the pure Mysticum concept.
– This being said, how has MYSTICUM evolved in all levels since 1996?
We have with time evolved in every aspect of life. Seeing ourselves more reflected and mature. That’s the short answer.
– Anyway some time ago the album was reissued with a new master, and that reissue sounds closer to what we hear on «Planet Satan» in sound terms. If you had released «In the Streams of Inferno» during this decade, would it sound like the Peaceville’s reissue?
It probably would. Recording the tracks at present time would result in a more professional sound. Especially since the studio we used at that time had no understanding of metal in general, and certainly not any idea of how to engage the challenge of “In the streams”. Now we would for sure use Fias Co. Studios with Sverre Daehlie from Audiopain to record it. As we also have done with PS.
– You use electronic sounds to create cosmic, psychedelic, hypnotic moments and eerie, evil atmospheres, is this what you strive for?
We strive to make ass-kicking, gut-hitting metal, along with the complexity and possibilities the digital world offers us.
– This being said, how do you think has the «concept» of «Industrial Black Metal» changed since your first album came out?
Our concept has and will never change. To be honest, some of the reason for our withdrawal from the scene after the release of “In the streams” was, that we did not like the direction the scene was heading. So our follow-up on the changes and new bands within the scene has been rather slim for many years. But there have most certainly been some excellent releases without going into names. The overall change is probably the increasing diversity.
– All this about «Planet Satan» being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?
PLANET SATAN: Anti-religious! War! Victory!
– You started during the early 90’s and your album debut was released in 1996, but everybody knows about MYSTICUM, even really young people that wasn’t even born when «In the Streams of Inferno» came out. In these terms, have you noticed the effect of Internet and the easier access to music? Is there now a bigger interest toward MYSTICUM?
The internet has of course linked people, and the flow of information is ever increasing. Compared to the early 90`s when actual letters had to be written to gain contact. We are certainly in a new era. The interest for Mysticum are increasing rapidly. Especially with the up-coming release.
– In fact you have influenced a lot of newer bands so, are you aware on what’s going on into the Metal scene?
– You managed to be a big inspiration with just one album, and reached a cult status. How do you feel nowadays about it? Is this almost mythical status a responsability or do you just go with your gut feeling?
Well, we hold the debut release high. And are forever proud of it. Being the timeless cult-classic it has become. Our responsibility keeping Mysticum true to the scene, fulfilling the expectations for PS and future releases are important to us to uphold
– And how can a band create such a legacy with just one album? What’s the secret recipe? Maybe that it was so groundbreaking?
The pure energy in it and honesty in its execution. Also the digital part of it is 100% original and was groundbreaking. The secrets of our formula for making music, will never be revealed. Ha-ha
– In fact Black Metal fans seem to get more narrow-minded with the years, most fans of the style seem to always look for the usual standards. Do you think is actually like that and most extreme Metal fans aren’t really open to, for instance, programmed drums and more modern sounds like yours? Are fans more purists than in the 90’s?
There is nothing wrong with embracing old-school BM. We also do.. But bands thinking out-of-the-box, doing original stuff is always welcome in our ears. What the different fans listen to is all up to them. If there is an overall heading towards old style material, so be it. We couldn`t care less.
– In fact Hellhammer did some rehearsals with you back in the day but he was never part of the band. Was the reason behind this? Didn’t you like the idea of bringing a real drum to the band?
It`s correct that we rehearsed with Hellhammer at some point. And it`s also correct that we abandoned this possibility, preferring a more sterile and machine-like sound. Even though Hellhammer was, and still is an excellent drummer with killer skills.
– You first started under the name of «Sabazios», which was an old Greek cult. Why did you then switch to «Mysticum»?
In the time before the release. We along with Euronymous came to the conclusion that Mysticum was the correct name for the band. A name we are proud of and treasure.
– «In the Streams of Inferno» was supposed to be released by Euronymous’ Deathlike Silence. How did his death affect everything related to the album?
– In fact initially the name of the album was «Where the Raven Flies». Do you recall why did you then change its title?
We wanted to have a name that represented all tracks on that album.
– That was the beginning of a mad era for Black Metal in Norway. How was the scene back then? What are your memories from those early days?
Except the memories of being fucked up, drugged out and un-reflected rebelled youths of that time, hail to all from back in the days! Not too many memories stands out. Just many good times and lot`s of music.
– And finally, what are your near-future plans? What can we expect from MYSTICUM from now on?
Our future plans are to focus on the planning and design of a live show concept. As well as making new material along with videos. Without any promises of a certain timeline, there will be a new album composed. (Not 18 years, that’s for sure ha-ha)
– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.
As final words I would like to say; Hail to the Spanish BM scene and fans. May Planet Satan be with you all!
Thank you for your questions Tania.
Herr General Cerastes