SERPENT OMEGA (EN)

-Hello, thanks for taking your time, hope you are all healthy over there. How are you doing? Has the whole pandemic situation affected the band’s activity in any way?

Hi! Thanks for having me. Weird times we’re living in…. As for most bands, due to the pandemic naturally a lot of our planned gigs has been rescheduled to 2021. Other than that, no not really.

-First off, what does “serpent omega” mean? Literally and not. The symbolism of the serpent is as wide as powerful, from kundalini energy and the Divine feminine to the Adversary among others. How do you use in the band the symbol of the Serpent?

 The name Serpent Omega consists of dualities. And I agree, it’s both powerful and wide and we like to have a broader meaning to the name. It was Brief and Jonsson who came up with the name and the Serpent represents Jörmungandr (the end of all) and Ouroboros (immortality/ eternity). Two powerful opposites. The Alpha and Omega is, as probably everyone knows, the beginning and the end, often used as a symbol for Christianity. We only have the Omega. You do the math. 

-In fact in most promo pictures, live appearances, etc.your look like an embodiment of a dark goddess. How important is aesthetic for SERPENT OMEGA? How difficult is or how do you work in finding an aesthetic that fits and depicts the rest of your body of work?

 The aesthetics are very important since everything we do is connected and creates a whole. However we don’t talk about concepts or anything like that, it just happens. Probably because we’re too old to give a damn and we know what we want to achieve and put our trust in the process. Our live performances are often described as being part of a ritual or a mass, and I think the channeling and unleashing of energy that we create live also is visible in everything else that we do. I get some of my inspiration from the death godess Hel. A godess full of contradictions, which makes her really interesting.

-And this being said; what is your music for you and what do you want it to be for the listener?

 I consider music and art to be one of the last outposts for open minds and free will. Therefore I don’t appreciate when other artists tell me what their art is about, I like to think and feel for myself. Music doesn’t have to come with a manual. Art doesn’t need to be explained. I believe our listeners are fully capable of making up their own minds about our music and can feel and think for themselves. The world is full of ”right vs wrong”, and I don’t want to be a part of creating more of that by telling people what we’re about. Let it be a riddle.

-You are about to release your new album, “II”. It’s coming out with Icons Creating Evil Art. Who are they? How did this collaboration arise?

 Icons Creating Evil Art is a Stockholm based label, that focus on dark music of all sorts. It’s no understatement to say we’re the heaviest band on the lable though. They understand the importance of making great editions, with great quality. So we hope we’re a good fit for each other. I have no idea actually how this collaboration happened. I think Jonsson and The Boss knew each other from our hometown Uppsala or went to the same school or something and then crossed path somehow later on.

-What happened to Mordgrimm? Did they just vanish?

 I’d hope you could tell me! For all we know he could be laying in a ditch somewhere.

-Once again an album without a “name”. Is there a specifical purpose behind this? Is it a way to not detract attention from the actual opus?

 No not really. We just don’t like pretentious titles. But with that being said, “II” has meaning to us. We recorded the album twice, the theme of the album is about the end as we know it and the beginning of something new, a second reality I guess you could say. Oh, and yeah, it’s our second album. 

-The opening song is “Orog Nuur”. What could you comment on this? What did inspire it? Even if it’s entitled like the lake in Mongolia there’s a lot of fire in the song. Is this an arquetype for something? After all water is nothing but transitioning fire.

 You actually just confirmed my answer above about how people are fully capable of making their own interpretation of our music and think for themselves. I’ll just leave it at that… ”Transitioning fire”, I think I’m gonna steal that line for our next album. Haha!

-What role does nature and it’s inspiration play in your music? We can perceive nature in different ways; as plain beauty, as a place of destruction/creation, as something ancestral and magical… How do you approach it?

 I think the link between Serpent Omega and both the brutal forces of nature and the whispers from the past that hides there is very much connected. But I wouldn’t go as far as saying that’s a truth for all of us in the band. But personally, nature, with its deep forests, dark waters, mystical structures and mythological entities is undoubtably the most powerful source of inspiration. 

-And are you specifically inspired by your home country in any way?

 This is where we live and this is where we grew up. It is what has characterized us I guess.

-I saw a Facebook status on the band’s page from 2016 where you said you had already written a full second album so, how old are these songs? Have they been through many changes and incarnations during these years?

 Two of the songs were written pretty much after our first album. They have improved some over the years but the biggest change was when we changed our drummer, since his way of playing enhanced all of the songs on the album with some sort of brutal and controlled chaos. 

-Once more you recorded it yourself but this time you didn’t handle the mixing and mastering duties. What are the pros and cons of having an “outisder” do it?

 A set of fresh ears I would say is the number one benefit. But we had to try a few people out before we found someone who could achieve what we wanted. We are extreme perfectionists so working with us can’t be too fun I guess, but we think that both Robert Pehrsson and Magnus Lindberg did an amazing job. If you find the right people, who understands you and what you want to achieve, there probably is no ”cons”. However, finding those people is both time consuming and really difficult.

-Anyway you somehow still keep a DIY approach, or a low-profile. Is it an ethos? Some kind of statement? Or just a way to have more control over your own creative work?

 When we make music, we do it for our own sake. Because we need to in a sense. Everything that comes after that, like releasing an album and people happening to like it, is just a bonus. As I mentioned before we’re also perfectionists which means it’s easier to do everything (such as recording, artwork and so on) within the band. That way we know it will be just the way we want it. So yes, it’s definitely a way of maintaining control of what the band really is about.

-“II” seems to draw from different influences, not only musically. Where do these inspirations come from? Other bands, books, movies, myths,…

 All of the above I’d say. And, we live in a very dark age and that energy needs to be channeled into something real in order to remain sane.

-This makes for a diverse album yet cohesive. Is cohesion something you strive for? How do you obtain it?

 Actually we never sit down saying ”we should make an album that sounds like this” or ”we should make a riff that sounds like that”.  I think we managed to create our own sound and being cohesive due to the individuals that are in the band. We are all extremely different, and I think that’s our strength (even though we end up in endless discussions about exactly everything we do).

-Even though having different elements and influences you are often considerd a Sludge band. How do you feel about it? And how would you describe your sound?

 I don’t get this whole ”put things in a box” way of thinking. Why does it matter? If you like something, you like it. If you don’t, then don’t listen to it. To me our sound is relentlessly heavy, suggestive and eerie, chaotic and powerful. We’re not interested in being a sludge band or a doom band or a black metal band. We make music that we like. As simple as that really.

-Everything on the album, or even in the band, just fit togethers (as I mentioned earlier with the aesthetics thing). Do you aim for this sense of wholeness?

 That’s just something that just comes natural from owning the creative process I think. Everything is a piece of a bigger puzzle.

-All this about “II” being said; how would you describe it in just 3 words?

Heavy As Fuck.

-And finally; what’s next for SERPENT OMEGA? How are you going to promote the album in these uncertain times?

Like you stated before, we like to keep a low profile and doing interviews and PR is really not our main priority. With that being said, we’re grateful that you guys take an interest in us. And now we have a record lable that keeps us working late hours doing interviews and such, so I think their promotions plan is working despite the entire world has a big Cancelled-sign over its head.

-That’s all from our side, thank you once more for answering our interview. If you’d like to add some final words; feel free to do it.

Thank you. As soon as this damn pandemic settles down you should check out Serpent Omega live. Hope to see you all then.

Tania Giménez

tania@queensofsteel.com

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