Friday, 1 July 2011

Kommandant - Iron Hands of Death Metal

And another old interview from unreleased Panzerfaust #6. This time it's band called KOMMANDANT, really killer old school death / black metal act from Chicago, which truly crushed me with the debut demo, “The Iron Hands of Scandinavia”. There were two reasons for that - first, the music of corpse. Second was the fact that at that time I was reading quite a lot about the IIWW and this is the main lyrical / conceptual theme in KOMMANDANT. This interview deals with “The Iron Hands of Scandinavia” mainly, but let me know you that since then the band has released a full length, "Stormlegion", which I have review already written, so I'll publish it soon. And recently KOMMANDANT also released EP titled "Kontakt", which I'm yet to listen to. Hail! By the way, don't bother writing about them being nazis or whatever...

Hailzzzz! You’re from Chicago! There were some cool bands out there, like CIANIDE and FOREST OF IMPALED!!! How’s the scene in your city at the moment? Any cool new bands? This city is also well known for its large number of Polish immigrants! So, have you ever tried Polish beer, vodka or food (like kielbasa, bigos)?
Hailz Marcin. Chicago currently has one of the strongest scenes in america. Poland is well represented here as well. We have entire neighborhoods where only polish is spoken. No english at all!! Chicago has the second largest polish population outside of Warsaw so we are very familiar with kielbasa, bigos and of course vodka. The men in FOREST OF IMPALED are good friends of ours. I actually was the second guitar player for CIANIDE for 2 albums. This was the last band I was in before starting KOMMANDANT.

Oh yeah, just wanted to ask you about that! KOMMANDANT musicians are also members of such acts as Nachtmystium, DYSPHORIA, ENFORSAKEN, UNHOLY TRINITY... Tell me, how much priority do you give to KOMMANDANT? Is it just a temporary side project, to record some demos or EP, but nothing really serious? How did it happen you’ve formed KOMMANDANT?
KOMMANDANT is not a temporary side project. It is my full time band with 3 other full time members. They are: Jim Bresnahan - guitars, Nick Hernandez - vocals, John Odrisceoil - bass, Paul Collier - drums.

The bandname and also “The Iron Hands of Scandinavia” demo’s front cover / title may give some maniacs an idea that KOMMANDANT is NS metal band. I would like to ask about it then… Are you or are you not? I guess that you’ve got such name and cover because of your interest in war themes, am I right? Anyway, let me ask you why did you decide to use German elements and what’s so fascinating in the 2nd WW in the first place? Why this, not other wars from history? Do you all share the interest in it, maybe collect some memorabilia from that time (just like VADER’s Peter and MARDUK’s Morgan do)?
We get asked this all the time so I am used to this question. I also completely understand how one would be led to believe we are NS. Let me state for the record,"KOMMANDANT NEVER WAS,AND NEVER WILL BE A NS BAND." We express absolutely no political views whatsoever in this band. KOMMANDANT is purely an artistic expression... that is all! I have always been impressed by the tenacity and will of the german army during both WWI and WWII. They also had the most beautiful uniforms and the most efficient weapons of all time. Up until now, no other army has even come close to this. Nick and I collect lots of memorabelia from the German, Japanese and American army. This is a very common hobby among metal heads here in the United States. I believe that Peter (VADER) and Morgan (MARDUK) and I would not be at a loss for words if we sat down and had beers together one day. Metal and war go hand in hand!!!

Really well said, and thanks for that explanation! Which periods of IIWW then are the most interesting to you? Personally I like to read about the Stalingrad battle, Normandy, last days of Hitler’s life and all these questions that are yet to be answered from that time!
I am most impressed with the North African campaign. Rommel vs. Patton. Two absolute genuises and masters of their craft going head to head. Both had much admiration, adoration and respect for one another. Not bad for two men trying to kill one another!!!!! Anything involving tank battle always impresses me.

Have you seen the “Fatherland” movie, which shows an alternative world, in which Nazi Germany has won the war and rule over the Europe! How would you imagine that?
I have not seen this movie, but I will now based upon your recommendation. The last good war movie I saw was "Downfall". This is a movie with an exclusively German cast spoken only and entirely in German language. It deals with the last three days of the "wolfs lair" and the surrender of Berlin.

Great movie, one of my favorites, but you're wrong, as Wolfsschanze was in Poland, while this movie tells what happened in the bunker in Berlin. What is the meaning of demo’s title?? Is it about the war in the Scandinavia, Weserübung for instance?
The title "Iron Hands On Scandinavia" was taken from an old history book that I have. The book uses this title to describe the German invasion of Norway. I think it has a good ring to it and there is no secret meaning behind it for me. I love scandinavians (HA HA)!!

You’ve started your demo with totally uncompromising, merciless riff slaughter of “Blood and Savagery”. This truly is fantastic track, with great speed but also memorable riffs. To be honest it does remind me some Swedish black metal bands a little, like TRIUMPHATOR for instance. But two tracks, which follow this opener, are slightly slower, with more thrash metal feeling and riffs, but still keeping the black metal atmosphere – maybe a little in vein of Polish HELL-BORN. So, tell me, which bands would you see as your main influences?
Glad you like the tracks .I cannot site any one band as an influence, so this is hard to answer. Let me say this, I have been playing guitar since 1982 when I was 12 years old. Since then, I have heard lots of bands and a lot of bad things have happened to me. Lets just say that my influences come more from my everyday experiences than any one band. I know this sounds like a load of shit, but it is really the truth.

OK, no hard feelings. I'm glad you've been so honest, man. “Social Parasite” title is quite intriguing, I must say. Is there any racial background for it? I’ve heard one of the biggest problems for the US society are immigrants from South America and Asia, who’re coming to your country, but don’t get any jobs, just live on the street, commit more crimes and just parasite on the society?! Is that what you mean by this title? Would you wish to see the cleansing of the US society or anything like that?
"Social Parasite" is not pointing blame towards any one race in particular, therefore it is not racially motivated. It points fingers towards "ALL" lazy americans bleeding the welfare system dry and existing solely upon a parasitic relationship with the same society that i have to live in.

I’ll put it simple... “Iron Hands On Scandinavia” is killer demo. I pity it’s only 10 minutes short (could make a great 7”EP though), but I do totally enjoy your killer music. So, my question is when can I expect another attack from your soldiers? What would that be, another demo or a full length assault? Let me know about the labels interested in your band and also the new tracks you’ve got composed so far!
"Iron Hands On Scandinavia" is indeed a bit short. We do not, however, put a limit on how long a song is supposed to be. We also do not have a particular length to which a track must clock in at. My songs are written on pure feeling so when I feel the track has enough ingredients, we are finished with it. No filler in this band.....ever! As a metal fan, the thing that I hate the most is when bands put sub par material on their albums simply to fill up the time. Our next assault will be a full length for sure. It will be 9 tracks. At this time we are negotiating with 4 different labels. As soon as we work out the paperwork, we will be ready to record. This should be before the end of 2007.

Do you plan to play any gigs with KOMMANDANT? How’s the reaction to your music from the fans? How much do you spread your demo in the underground?
We were recently the opening band for the "ANTICHRIST VANGUARDS" tour in america featuring ANGELCORPSE, WATAIN and NACHTMYSTIUM. The shows went well and we sold lots of shirts and CDs.We can't wait to get to Europe! Probably sometime next year. Hopefully.

KOMMANDANT hasn’t got own website, but there’s one at myspace. Tell me, what’s the reason for you to put one in there? I mean, is there any point for extreme, underground bands to do it, to promote through such popular ways? One could say it’s almost fashionable to have own myspace! Don’t you miss the old times of tape-trading, flyers, etc?
Myspace is simply a tool for bands to spread the word about their band and materials. We have ours for the same reason. I am not the type to sit and chat on the computer for hours. I am not into that. I would rather spend my time writing a new song! Like I said, I am from the early 80's so I remember the old tape-trading and flyers. I believe that the computer is a much better tool than sending flyers and tapes, but with that being said, I believe that it had a more true feeling when you got a tape in the mail! Computers are too cold and impersonal. Tapes are basically non existant in the united states now. I never thought I would live to see a demo on tape regarded as "kvlt"(HA HA)! If anyone sees any KOMMANDANT recordings on tape, please contact me and I will buy it from you. I would love to see one! We are currently having a website built. When completed, it will be WWW.KOMMANDANT.NET so watch for it. Also,anyone interested in purchasing,licensing, or trading for the EP or our T-shirts can contact me directly at or

OK. Just one final question from my side. Give us five words, which should describe KOMMANDANT! And go to hell!
ANNIHILATION WITHOUT COMPASSION...................FUCK YOU!!!!!!!! I think that is 5 words. Marcin, thanks for the interview!!

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