Sunday, 26 June 2011
ARGHARUS old interview from 2007
Another old interview from the unreleased sixth issue of Panzerfaust zine; this time with band called Argharus.
At some point of Panzerfaust zine existence I started to really dig some Baltic bands, as I totally loved acts like Loits, Urt, Must Missa, Dissimulation. I've found that scene (in countries like Estonia and Lithuania) as very refreshing and original, so I wanted to promote some of these bands in my fanzine. Argharus from Lithuania was also one of those bands, although I'm sorry to say that the interview I've done with them hasn't been really published - mind though that I published only its Polish version on www.nbc.art.pl. Argharus is cool band I got to know from the split CD with Luctus... Since then I know that those Lithuanians have unleashed a debut album, which unfortunately I haven’t heard yet, but I hope I'll get it somewhere soon. Meanwhile check this intie, even though it’s so outdated. But that’s the point of doing this blog, to refresh also some of the old stuff I’ve done.
Hell-zzzzzz mate! How are you today? Getting ready for this short interview?
Hail! I suppose we are quite good, thanks for asking and thanks for the interest.
How did it happen you've released your four tracks as the split CD/LP with LUCTUS? Whose idea was it and who was choosing the bands for it? Did you have any influence on it, like did you want a band, which will suit you both musically and also ideologically? If so, I guess LUCTUS is damn good choice!
In the beginning we had no intention to release a split album with another band. We recorded a demo, then we were sending it to various labels. But the problem was that those tracks were not enough, so we were suggested to record more tracks by some of those labels in order to get a contract or something and release a full-length. Since we had no money for the record studio, we had to refuse those offers. We were considering releasing the record by ourselves, but then it came out so that LEDO TAKAS Records offered to release a split album with the band Luctus and that was acceptable for us. That’s the long story short.
Eeee, so nothing really interesting there! What does the title of this split stand for? How long have you been working on the songs for it? Tell me, if I'm wrong, but this is your first studio recording?
The title means “The Sounds of the Burning Sky” translated from Latin (both bands are a bit different musically and lyrically so we needed kind of a neutral name). We’ve been working on those songs for about a year, maybe a little more. This was indeed our first experience in a record studio. We were absolutely uncertain of what we should do there in the beginning so it’s a good thing the sound engineer was very professional. That helped us a lot.
What reactions are you getting for this split CD? Are maniacs banging their skulls while listening to this piece of black metal?
We get all kinds of reactions, of course. Here in Lithuania we heard a lot more positive responses than negative and that is pleasing. But we are always open for criticism. I mean, we understand that we made some mistakes, since this was our first recording session, moreover, we understand we did not achieve anything really BIG when compared to the global scene. (Oh, so rare where a musician is so criticizing towards his music! – P666) But we are still satisfied with our first release. Probably the most priceless thing we gained is the experience we got from creating it.
You're using your native language for the lyrics and that definitely gives some special atmosphere to your songs, don't you think? Is it the main reason why you've decided to use it? Aren't you afraid that abroad maniacs won't have any idea for what you're screaming about? Or maybe your music is for Lithuanian maniacs only?
Well, the thing is that we did not publish the lyrics in Lithuanian either. What we did was putting only some kind of reflections of the whole texts, so the listener would be left with a wider space for own interpretation. You probably got the impression that the lyrics are kind of “short”, didn’t you? Although two or three of our first songs were in English, we later decided to sing only in Lithuanian and rewrote those songs in our native language. It’s actually strange why so many bands choose to sing in English, although they are not from English speaking countries. Bands that sing in their native language (especially Black Metal bands) always sound deeper. The ideal case is native singing with English translations on the release, in my opinion. By so you get both - the atmosphere and the idea.
Myself I have no clue of what are your lyrics are about, so I have to ask about them. Would you mind translating the titles and giving me short descriptions of the lyrics, even though it may be damn boring to you?
That’s not a problem at all. The song names are “Calm before the Storm”, “Summoned by Wane”, “Stars in the Heights will Fade” and “Scum” (or “Scoundrel” – it’s hard to find the right word in English).
The topics are the pessimism of life, suicide (more as a symbol, probably), misanthropy (a very abstract and trendy word nowadays, isn’t it) and death. Argharus is kind of a Death cult, I suppose. And the very early lyrics were more into mysticism, the Apocalypse, Satan and such things.
I've heard that "Sonitus Caeli Ardentis" was first presented at the special performance at BURNING STEEL Festival, where you wanted to "reveal the essence of your creation", as I've read. So tell me something more about this show. How was it like, have you used any special effects or anything like that at it?
We did not do anything unusual, just left a lot of energy on stage. We wore corpse paint, as always. That was more or less an ordinary show.
Hmm, so why did you write about special show on your website then??Tell me something about the other festival you were about to play called KILKIM ZAIBU Festival. I think it's quite special show, because there are Baltic bands playing at it only, am I right? How's the atmosphere there then, especially between the bands, did you have a hell of a party then ha?!
That is one of the best festivals I’ve ever seen. It’s always great to play there (we played there two times) and it’s certainly even better to go there just to party and see some bands. You know, if you play late it’s hard to wait all day with hardly any alcohol, ha ha. There were cases in the earlier festivals when bands (I won’t mention the names) got so drunk until there turn to come on stage that they could hardly handle there instruments, so there is an unwritten rule now about drinking before the show. (Come on! Give us some names!!! – P666) The main quality of the Kilkim Žaibu festival is that it has that idea and especially that atmosphere that many open-airs lack. There is always pure folk bands and “pagan fighting” with swords, axes, etc which open the whole fest. You are not right about “only Baltic bands”, there are often bands from other regions like NOCTURNAL MORTUM, MOONSORROW and so on. It’s just great, you won’t get it unless you see one of those festivals live and get drunk a least once with Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians there. And there is no such thing as parties among the bands at this fest – there’s just party as whole.
Personally I think that Baltic scene is superb, with such bands as LOITS, MUST MISSA, URSKUMUG, LUCTUS, ARGHARUS, THARAPHITA. I think that these bands have their own sound and are different from western hordes. What do you think make them all so unique? What's the main influence for it?
I think the region itself sometimes influences the sound of scene. I mean, in most cases you can recognize for ex. Swedish Black or Death Metal just by its sound. The other thing is that we had different history from Western Europe (occupation by the Soviet Union, etc) and that left a mark for sure. When it comes to Lithuanian Black Metal, I must mention DISSIMULATION (!!!), POCCOLUS, ANDAJA, ANUBI, NAHASH and MERRESIN, these are just great.
How was the metal scene in your country before the fall of communistic regime? Were there any bands back then? I have an impression that Baltic scene was growing very slowly, comparing it to the Polish or Czech scenes, am I right? It's just now, when the more bands are showing their music to the underground around the world. Which is the most important band to your country's history?
The metal scene here existed in the Soviet era but the rise of it began after we got our independency back. There were quite a bunch of bands, Death and Thrash mainly, but most of them did nothing but a few demos. Only a few managed to leave their mark in the local scene. I couldn’t give you “the most important band”, there were not one and they were very different. By the way, Poland and Czech Republic were never in the Soviet Union, so the atmosphere was undisputedly more liberal there. Nowadays there are lots of new bands and most of them are not worth a shit, although not all. The new trend here in Lithuania is those ridiculous one-man-myspace-black-metal projects. I think Estonian scene is doing a bit better.
Different question now - what's nihilism to you?
Well, I’m not very chatty when it comes to these themes. Basically it’s a way of seeing the real shapes of things and not staring into mirages.
What's life to you? Is there something like "afterlife", in your believe?
I don’t think there is an afterlife. I just don’t see the reason why there should be one. No afterlife, no reincarnation and nothing alike. And it’s a too wide topic to describe what life is. First of all it’s a meaningless existence.
I know that Skabardas from INFERNA PROFUNDUS Records is your manager. Tell us something more about this label. I would like to ask you a question, why for an underground band needs a manager? I mean what are his responsibilities? At the same time what goals do you have for the band?
You are right about that, Skabardas is managing the band at the time. You know, he’s more into the whole scene, this means he’s got more contacts over the world; he’s responsible for writing/answering e-mails, seeking for concerts we could play in and such things, so the band can concentrate on the music only. IPR is a quite a new label. They did very well with their first release (re-release of an old Nahash demo tape in CD) and they are working on another one, so let’s hope the label keeps going and will be successful in the future.
What are the next plans for ARGHARUS? After split CD it would probably be the best to come up with a full length. Tell me, do you think about recording such in the nearest future?
We are in a process of creating a new album. We already have a big part of it done and we should finish it in winter or spring next year if everything will be ok. I could say the music is in a whole new level if compared to the compositions on “Sonitus Caeli Ardentis” split. And the rest will depend on the label.
And that's it!!!!!!!!! Any final comments?
Thanks for the interview, it was a pleasure. This is the first interview from Argharus.