Ancient (fall, 2004) (Интервю Eng)
The venerable black metal band Ancient originated in 1992 as a solo project for Aphazel, who has remained the one constant amidst numerous changes over the years both in lineups and in home countries (originating in Norway, the band spent some time in the US and now calls Italy home). Stylistically, Ancient is first and foremost a black metal band, enough so that they have been described in the past as either generic or copyists. While it is true that much of their work does come across as traditional, basic black metal, labelling them copycats is a bit strong. Moreover, the band has grown immeasurably over the years, especially when placing their debut Svartalheim, with its minimalist old-school values, next to their recent Promixa Centauri, clearly their most adventurous and least generic effort yet. Yes, most of their albums do little to expand the genre, but Ancient is still an accomplished band worthy of attention, and if nothing else serve as fine representatives of black metal.

First of all, Aphazel, I'd like to ask you how are the matters with the band?

- It’s going well, thanks, we’re practicing the new set-list for the upcoming tours these days…

What is the last news for today?

- We will probably tour Europe in January/ February, we will have a confirmation in about 2 weeks with all the dates etc. so info. will be posted on our website, we’re also thinking of doing a video for the track “Horroble” very soon, and it will be possible to download from our website.

What is the basis of lyrics on Night Visit and what is the conception of the album in general?

- There’s many different lyrics, written by different people, everybody in the band wrote lyrics except Dhilorz this time. My lyrics are manly a kind of dark fantasy style lyrics, like the title track, Night Visit is about a girl who has a visit from the dead, and a spirit is haunting her and tries to enter her life again and she gets scared and panic, the lyrics of Grom are more of a reality style texts where he usually tries to get a message across, like in Envision the beast, which talks about how evil and heartless girls sometimes can be, like a “best”, eating hearts of men and you know how that story goes I guess, hehe, the lyrics of Jesus are usually rather mad, and you can often tell he’s inspired by horror films a lot, Horroble is simply about a person with a horrifying insane lifestyle, and Lycanthropy is about the fantasy of man becoming a werewolf, you know, it’s a mix of various kind of horror and dark subjects you find in the lyrics.

The processes of writing a song, what is it like? Song creation—from the start to the final point; who and how often gives the main themes of the future composition?

- It’s different for every song, usually I have the main riffs ready, and that is usually the backbone and the core of the song, cause it’s all based around that, this time also Dhilorz was more involved with the songwriting though, in the end we get together with Grom and finish the structures of the songs and work out the details and arrangements etc.

You have had a lot of concerts. What interesting things do you remember?

- Too many things to remember right now I guess, in Tel Aviv last year we headlined a big metal festival and all the bands played later than scheduled, so when Ancient went off the stage, it was about 05:30 in the morning, the sun was rising and outside you could see people going to work etc. that was quite strange and funny we thought, hehe. I just remembered that one now, but of course there’s lots of stories…

What do you think about great number of new bands? Do they play something original, or just copy each other?

- I honestly haven’t heard a lot of new bands, but some of them are good and original, while the most are playing for fun and copy or do whatever they enjoy, it’s normal. I would recommend bands like Hortus Animae, Amphitrium, Deliriumxtremens among newer bands.

And how do you like connecting high-tech possibilities with man-made music?

- I guess you mean music made by computers etc, well all that is still man made it’s just by using more electronic instruments usually, I think it’s good for the most part although at times it can happen that someone put together music really quick and doesn’t have a real feeling for it, he just is good with computers and programming etc.. and in that way it can be bad, but everyone has the power of choosing what to buy and what not, so I don’t see it as a problem. Recording with pc can be a very useful and good tool when composing music and making demos etc.

What kind of guitar are you using, why did you chose particularly this type? Tell us about its positive and negative sides.

- I’ve been playing a Jackson RR 1 since 93 or so, I just find it very comfortable to play, with the jumbo frets and the neck is just very good in general, it’s what I am used to, and I don’t plan on changing guitar, it’s also not a problem that it looks cool on stage, you know. Negative side ? The price maybe ? hehe

Taking a look at the past, do you still remember your first rehearsal with Ancient?

- I don’t think I remember exactly the day of the first rehearsal, no, it was like 12 years ago now, but I remember the time period, I had done 2 songs on demo with a drum machine, I let Grimm listen to them as he joined, and we started practicing them together in the practicing room, it was a cool and exciting time I remember.

Did people in the streets ever recognize you? :)

- It does happen once in a while that I can meet some fans when I am out in the streets, but most people don’t know exactly how I look without makeup, when going to concerts and clubs where metal people hang out I always meet and lot of fans though, sure.

In fact, how does the everyday life of such a famous band like you pass?

- It’s always different depending on what’s going on at the time, in some periods we practice for tour, sometimes we just concentrate on writing music, sometimes we do a lot of interviews ( like now ) and sometimes we just have a break from everything and relax and get inspiration for future works. For me, when we are not on tour or in the studio, a normal day is more or less like: wake up around 2 pm, staying a bit on the pc, playing guitar or keyboard in the evening/ night, watching some movie or listen to music before going to bed around 6 in the morning, I live really like a vampire. But it always changes depending on what’s happening in the band at the moment.

What are your plans for touring?

- Possibly Russia in November, Europe in January/ February, maybe USA in march/ april, and if we’re lucky we can also get to Japan and south America next year. It’s all being organized at the moment, you will find the tourdates on our site as soon as they become confirmed.

What is Ancient for you? How did you decide to create music and what was the principal idea?

- It’s basically my life, it really is all around Ancient I organize my life, I enjoy a lot to create music cause it’s a way of expression my inner emotions and feelings in ways that you can only do through music, I felt a strong need to let my soul out in a sonic way when I started Ancient in 1992 and I still feel the same passion and enthusiasm about it, I think I will be playing music for the rest of my life, even if when I get older the music will maybe change in some way, but I will always be playing, for me it’s as natural as it is for a person to be able to talk.

Finally, please say a couple of words to the innumerable fans of Ancient!
- Rape the children of Abel !!!
Thanks for the support through the years, it’s been great

^Aphazel^

Thank you for this interview.

- You’re welcome, thank you for the support !
Написал - Zlomrak
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