First of all congratulations on a debut like 'Macabre': the album sounds good, yet it was released by yourselves in stead of a label. Didn't you try to have it released through a label, if only for the sake of distribution to stores and disorders?
Labyrinth: Thank you. Well, the plans for an album have been around for quite a while, when we got signed by Krijs Records. Krijs was a label that fitted to us perfectly, both regarding music and their way of thinking. Yet after its sudden and unexpected calling it a day and the delay coming along with that, we decided to take things into our own hands and release 'Macabre' by ourselves: something that turned out tougher than we expected in advance…
I believe that, judging on the (Dutch) titles, the older material is at the end of 'Macabre'; have you guys, also regarding the fact that these were also Onrust songs, considered of omitting these songs in favor of other new material, or did this new stuff not fit to the concept of 'Macabre'?
Paradox: Indeed, the English titled songs are the rather newer songs. This is a way of how we also wanted to make it clear that Yawgmoth from this point on will continue in English, because the English language sounds more powerful than Dutch. Some of the Dutch titles/ songs were also on our demo 'Strijders Tragedie' (A Warrior's Tragedy – Neithan) which will, by the way, never see the light of day again. Regarding the fact that it nevertheless all began with these songs, we decided to re-record them as Yawgmoth, and we do believe that these songs have a spot on 'Macabre' which is doing them justice.
In my review I wrote that your artwork and cover are rather different from what is usual within the genre. In that way there is a chance that your target audience might skip the album when going through the shelves of a record store. On the other hand, how big is that chance since you are an unsigned band? In other words, how can people get 'Macabre'?
Labyrinth: chances of running into the CD are pretty much zero. Apart from our shows and our MySpace 'Macabre' is available only at some very small distributors. For this reason we will go on the search for a label which takes care of the distribution, so that we can focus ourselves on the music. As both our way of thoughts and our music don't go with the flow of the masses, a deviating artwork is nothing but fitting. It is our goal to make music with an identity of its own, and I have the opinion that we can reach to a bigger audience because of this way of working.
Your blog says that you are already a long way in the working towards a second album. From what I have heard from your guitarist Delirium, it is going to be quite a style change compared to 'Macabre'. There are already some teasers on your website, yet what can we expect regarding developments in the future?
Paradox: For sure you may expect us to develop ourselves, both musical and spiritual. That last subject has grown to become a more and more important element when it comes down to inspiration and our motivation. This, added to the fact that we started out on a very young age, nowadays gives us the advantage that we can develop ourselves at a much higher paste. Speaking about that in a logical way, it means that the music will become more technical and going deeper, without losing the “X” element.
Labyrinth: The essence is and will be black metal always, but the influences will come from musical corners you may not have accounted for.
Perhaps connected to the previous question, which impossible combination of classic albums do you intend to forge together, and where is the bottle neck in trying to achieve just that?
Paradox: Nothing is impossible, that is the point of view from which we operate. But if I have to mention some examples, I would say that as our ideal to focus on, we want to combine the black metal we have always been doing so far and combine it with stoner/ psychedelic rock, influences from ore exotic cultures and, every now and then, some deviating rhytms. And that can be done very well, as we have experienced by now.
Labyrinth: I don't see it that much as “impossible to combine”' it is doing our own thing, and in doing so you can recognize that. We are being inspired by all kind of things, and that will always be shown in our music. Because of that, no album will be like any other album from us. So actually there is no bottle neck, it is more a continuous flow of influences.
This might make a wanker a bit, but I do like those songs from 'Macabre', including those typical Dutch black metal riffs. Don't tell me that we will loose those elements, right… Are there certain elements that we will see back for sure, and if so, which ones?
Paradox: Yes, those riffs are catchy for sure, that is the exact reason why we picked those songs for the debut. Although I wonder which riffs on 'Macabre' you think are typically Dutch (it is more the sound – Neithan) I can understand your point regarding those elements. That “epic” feeling that makes 'Macabre' what it is is a typical Yawgmoth ingredient and as such it will always be maintained, just in a different, more progressive way, no matter how much the style may change.
'Macabre' is an album that just happens to be a good deal of black metal: can the new, upcoming album still be categorized as such, even if you take the definition of black metal in a very large perspective (think for instance of a Vulture Industries or the late Arcturus)?
Paradox: the tracks on 'Macabre' are basically much older than people think. In 2005 the recordings were started already, over year after we had finished those songs. It is just regrettable that it took until 2007 for the album to be released and because of this it seems as if we come from the old style all of a sudden.Yet basically we agreed on Yawgmoth going into a new dimension for like over three years ago, and this is what is happening now. Our music will always have a black metal shell or skeleton, but for the flesh we have a lot of diversity of inspirations which do not restrain themselves to just music. Think of spirituality, philosophy and religion and you can go on with subjects like these. The embodiment of this all is Yawgmoth.
To the average Dutch band it is often an ungrateful existence. Play at local youth centers, and supporting a bigger foreign band when you have to take care of the backline or something similar. In your eyes, is this disastrous to the Dutch scene or just a cheap way of how it is possible for foreign bands nevertheless to play in the Netherlands and where Dutch bands might get some international exposure nevertheless?
Labyrinth: Actually, I am not so much busy with the scene. Yawgmoth is no way a band with a busy live schedule any way, at least not for this moment, but we love to play with good bands that fit into our musical corner, or which can be combined in a good way. We don't care that much about the way in which such is constructed, so whether it is an evening with good national bands or opening to an internationally acclaimed act, I don't give a shit. Opening to Negura Bunget for instance was very good for us, both for the exposure of our name as for our future ambitions, but also playing at Waking The Dead 8 was great.
Within the scene people are often talking about typically Norwegian, Swedish, yet never about typical Dutch. Do you think that there is a typical Dutch black metal band, and what could be typical Dutch elements (apart from Dutch lyrics)?
Paradox: I am still waiting for a black metal band that plays solely on clogs and other typical Dutch clothing. Perhaps some turned upside down milk bottles and cheese on stage in stead of goat's heads and crosses turned upside down… But if you ask about typically Dutch black metal, I do have to think of Fluisterwoud: filthy, dark and swampy. On the other hand, there are no clear differences compared to foreign black metal bands, or not anymore. And furthermore, the diversity in the Netherlands is too big to award it with a special characteristic element or so.
In the interview with my previous e-zine I see that black metal is kind of special to you, also as a way to dissociating from society and expressing feelings of hate and anger. There are more kinds of music that do so, like punk and hardcore. What makes black metal for you the fit genre to do so, compared to those other 'rebellious' kinds of music?
Paradox: To me, black metal is a great exhaust-valve because it is so deliciously sincere realizing an emotion, for instance true dark or melancholic, or working things up on the other side. If I listen to death metal for instance (which I hardly do just for this specific reason) I always hear a typical overall sound. It always sounds a bit too hulking and dim, which makes it not pleasant to me. When hearing black metal, I always hear something deeper underneath than I had expected in advance. What is is exactly, well, I think that is a personal thing. Throughout the years we have developed a wider taste in music and just that is serving us right now. I myself nowadays hardly listen to metal and more to electronic music like Aphex Twin, Trentemøller, Plastikman etcetera, which also brings up a certain feeling within myself and we all try to process this in our music, but nevertheless black metal is what it started the whole thing. Roots bloody roots…
Labyrinth: It gives me the freedom other styles don't offer, an infinite variation is possible. Take for instance Dødheimsgard and Darkthrone; totally different, yet with the same essence. I don't want to limit myself to just one thing, I want to expand my horizon. Within black metal, I can develop myself and express myself, in any way I want to, and that goes for all of us.
I see a show coming up on this year's Eggfest on June 6th, a festival in which one of your members is active in the organization of it. Any other shows planned and are you guys still working on something?
At the moment we want to focus on the recordings, so it is not very likely that you will see us on stage before June. We sure as hell are working on plans for live performances, and Eggfest is a great festival to pick up performing live again, and we have been able to get Rotting Christ as headliner. A hell of a band live and they have been around for quite a while now, and they play in the Netherlands only very little. For more info, tickets, check www.eggfest.nl.
For the rest, we'll see what crosses our path, and in such the release of our upcoming album will be a boast to play more live for sure.
All good things must come to an end, and that also goes for this interview. Anything I have forgotten yet relevant to mention here?
Paradox: At least thanks for the interview and keep an eye on our MySpace for teasers and the progress of the recordings: we can be found athttp://www.myspace.com/fullbloodeclipse.
Labyrinth: 'Macabre' is still available, just send us a message on the MySpace.