– Hello, thanks for taking your time, how are you holding up?
Pretty well, thanks. I have been lucky throughout the pandemic, my health and my personal situation were hardly affected.
-Next month you will release your new album, “The Thule Grimoires”. Tell us about the significance behind the album. I see more mythology.
„The Thule Grimoires“ is an album about nature and man’s misbehavior towards it. The album goes straight to the point where our behavior will lead us and tells about nature’s possible (fictional) response to us, within some undetermined future era.
-How is it realated to the cover artwork? Tell us a little bit about it.
The artwork reflects the title and displays the fictional island Thule, over- and underground, where foreign books have been found that tell of man’s deletion from earth through spirits of nature (they are embodied by the deer-headed figure in the middle). These spirits represent the 4 natural elements, symbolized by the 4 pillars of the temple.
-And to the lyrics? What do some of them deal with? What events have inspired them?
Well, as indicated above, the lyrics tell about man’s last era and his encounter with vengeful spirits of the earth, that happen at 7 different and secret places and constitute the 7 songs. As the fictional story designs a lot of obscurity around the genesis of these happenings and the scripts that derive from them, they are not entirely distinct in their language. That is why they feature some magic words. I adopted those passages from a collection of ancient Greek and Roman spells.
-Many of your lyrics feel like allegories. Symbols. Is your music an art or a language? It seems like have internalized the symbols to develop your own language/system through your body of work.
The Ruins Of Beverast are still music first and foremost. But as the primary musical color of this project is abstract, surreal and a bit savage, the lyrics are accordingly adjusted. That is why they extensively happen on a metaphoric level, and you’re right in saying that I developed kind of a particular vocabulary or a formula of verbalization throughout the years, that I think to represent them best. This happened unconsciously though, and the background of the lyrics, or let’s say their final level, is modern and real.
-And in a broader sense, what’s your music to you? A channel, a portal, a vessel, a catharsis…?
Never defined that before, but when thinking of it, I would rather rate it a temple. A place of refuge, majestic and grand, timeless, silent in its nature but loud with frenzy when appropriate.
-This album goes through different feelings. Bleak passages, moments full of a victorious, majestic feeling, to total darkness and mysterious ambiences… What emotions do you want to capture with your sounds and where do they blossom from?
„The Thule Grimoires“ features a lot of wrath and anger for the ever growing hubris, ignorance and arrogance of big parts of our human species, and its denial of our indelible dependence on nature and her rules and beings. Besides, it features surreal soundscapes and larger ambiences, where spirits of nature come alive and take action, and finally it also features a face of desperation, where my part of this whole tragedy is revealed, particularly in “Deserts To Bind And Defeat”. So the colors and moods that the album runs through are in one way set by the lyrics. But not to forget that this is still a work of music, they also derive from a personal delight in experimenting with all facets of audial dramaturgy, which has been part of The Ruins Of Beverast’s compositions ever since.
-Is every album you release, every part on the album, a portrait of a certain moment in your personal life?
Well, in a way music albums always are, but still I try not to let TROB become a project where the musician is more important than the music. “Unlock The Shrine” and “Exuvia” have been very personal albums indeed, they reflect significant personal eras for me and are even classical examples for music helping musicians to survive and regain balance of soul. But “Blood Vaults” for example and also “The Thule Grimoires” are albums that tell a story in music, like a movie or a bad dream. And although all TROB-albums are based upon my personal, and of course time-dependent world view, they should not be regarded as “mouthpieces” that shout my message to the outside world, but they stand for themselves as monoliths, regardless who or what formed them.
-“The Thule Grimoires” takes you to different places. I believe is that kind of release that has to be experienced, not just listened. The kind of album you have to experience if you are in a certain mindset or mood. Was it also necessary to be in a certain mindset to write and perform these songs?
To compose them – yes, definitely. To rehearse them – likewise, this is even more intense I would say. To record them – well, the album was recorded in a professional studio, and let’s be realistic here: recording in a studio is a thing of being focused and concentrated, but it is fairly unromantic and not really a spiritual way of working with music. This can be slightly different with the vocals though, that is true. In TROB, I never did sober vocal recordings, this is indeed something I try to perform as trancy as possible. When it comes to composing songs, I actually wait for the moment when I really feel like occupying with The Ruins Of Beverast. Otherwise I wouldn’t even sit down and try to wait for ideas, cause they wouldn’t come. This doesn’t happen too often, which you can easy observe from the fact that there is quite a timeslot between each release. This needs a certain mood that allows a specific view upon the world, and of course it needs lots of time, silence, also energy.
-How easy has been to keep the integrity without being a mimic of yourself throughout six albums?
This is actually something that is not too hard for me, because I never write music designed upon something that I already did. Usually, quite some time has passed after finishing a release until I start to write music again, and then this is a completely new situation, in a different mood and with different motivations, also with different influences that may have appeared after listening to some new music. This is an impulsive process that I do not try to monitor, so actually I don’t have anything in mind that I did before. So if it happens that there is a resemblance to older works, this happens on accident and maybe because of my style of using instruments. But most of the time, I don’t think about that.
-And how do you get to this? Being self aware of your skills and musical identity? Natural experience from writing and recording throughout so many years?
I am not a professional musician, neither am I a person that needs excessive attention or permanent appreciation, and finally I don’t need to make money from music. This means, I never work for the purpose of pleasing or appealing to people. This makes it a lot easier to listen to my real needs, preferences, and desires as an artist, and it also grants me a lot more time to observe myself, instead of being a lifetime artifact of public expectations. Because the latter hinders from getting to know yourself and unfold yourself, you may only know the artistic part of yourself that everyone knows. I’ve been working with music for almost 30 years now, and I am very sure that I learnt what I can accomplish, just as I know what I cannot. Because my desires and wishes consistently revealed my limitations to myself; limitations that I either had to get out of my way, or that taught me to find another way. This adds up quite a bit throughout such a period time, and as I said, these experiences were never biased by profane outside urges, but all grew on my own path. I certainly received lots of outside feedback, from very positive to very negative, which is an enormous factor in gaining experience, but I would never shape a future goal out of this. I take it into consideration and it widens my view. That is something that really helps being sober and reasonable about myself.
-As always, this album has elements from different music styles. Do tags matter to THE RUINS OF BEVERAST?
Apparently not, I would say. But still I’m trying to remain realistic. There are several styles of music that I don’t see fit for being proceeded in The Ruins Of Beverast. I have kind of an aesthetic sensation that keeps me from exceeding the borders of music in a way that it becomes confusing instead of diversified. But yes, while composing I am overflowing with impressions and influences, and even if I would be setting up abstract and hypothetical limitations beforehand, I am very sure that would ignore them when having a vision.
-What do you think the inclusion and mix of different styles add to the band?
It adds colors, and it adds rooms. I am always telling a story with music, and there are lots of sceneries to build and lots of unknown rooms to explore. Not every facet in these stories is illustratable with a hi-gain staccato guitar, a blast beat and devilish screams. I am extensively using my mind’s eye when writing music, and not so much musical formulas.
-All this about “The Thule Grimoires” being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?
Sonorous Nature Temple
-And before we wrap this interview up; what are now your near-future plans? Even though I know these are very uncertain times.
Yes, well at least the live plans are very uncertain of course, but still we’ll be trying to start the rehearsals as soon as possible to adorn the new songs with a lifeful and intense stage aura. Apart from that, I am not planning anything. Just as I never do. I am still very occupied with the new album, and once the smoke clears, there’ll come a time when I start collecting new ideas for The Ruins Of Beverast. But that is quite some time ahead, and I don’t benefit from planning so hastily.
– That’s all from our side, thanks again for your time. If you’d like to add some final words, feel free to do it.
Well, thanks a lot for your support and interest, hope you all hang in there throughout this significant episode of earth.