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Vesania

Aggressiveness and classical structured melodies, key words for the Polish black metal outfit Vesania. Their debut album 'Firefrost Arcanum' was released in May this year, and was I impressed or what! And when I am impressed, an interview must follow. Orion speaks out on behalf of Vesania.

By: Carl | Archive under black metal

The band was founded in 1997. Could you give our readers a short introduction to Vesania?

I cannot remember when the thought of a band first appeared. It must have been very long time ago. Vesania is black metal's brutality of madness, a mad vision in a mad form. Vesania is an art of unreality.” These are the words from our biography, which are there to introduce Vesania. Physically Vesania exists since the end of the 1997, just as you said. At that time the line-up was: Daray - drums and percussion, Heinrich - bass and Orion - guitars and voices. As the time passed, it came out that there was a need to expand. Thus joined Annahvahr - guitars and voices. The end of 1998 was a time of recording first short studio material called “Moonastray”. Not long after that, keymaster – Siegmar – joined the band. The breakthrough of 2001/2002 we set up for the recording session, but later on it appeared to take more time than we have expected and it delayed until spring 2002. We worked in Selani Studio, with Szymonaz as the producer. The result of this session is “Firefrost Arcanum”, the first album of Vesania. We signed the deal with Empire Records, then album was licensed to Crash Music – and so we are... After the release of the debut album we played a few live shows, festivals (like Metalmania 2003) and we did a tour with Vader and Decapitated. Now we are preparing to the second album, "Labyrintheme".

Does Vesania mean anything or is it a name you just made up?

You know, some time ago I studied Latin. The word “Vesania” is very old, it's primeval. It means everything that comes with insanity, madness, being sick, maniac, and not normal. Why? This band is our state of mind. For the day to day reality, such music and ideas are just sick. For us it's total expression, madness spiritualized. Insanity is hard to understand, but sometimes, it appears to be wisdom...

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According to my information 'Firefrost Arcanum' is your debut album. Are you satisfied with the outcome, or do you like to do things differently the next time you are going to record an album?

Of course we are. It was a real breakthrough for us. During the years we've been concentrating mainly on the band, but still we were not able to record a full length, because of financial problems. So, after collecting adequate sums of money, we started the recording session with total devotion. It did cost us a lot of work, but in the end we found a label, started to exist much more officially, started to play gigs and tours. So we're satisfied with it. There are always some things that you would like to do in a different way, but we rather try to look forwards than backwards, so the conclusions we'll try to use in the future.

I read in another interview that the album has a concept behind it. Could you summarize the story for our readers?

The music, lyrics, titles and statements, layout, pics, and the whole construction realizes some scheme. We did try to make a concept-album. So, the words “Firefrost Arcanum” stand for a main idea of it. Lyrics are about calmness and equilibrium, which is for us just like a flame frozen. “Firefrost Arcanum” album is organized by “algor”, “focus” and “nefas”, words that define main values, main expression for Vesania art. Lyrics to the album are not satanic-like. We try to create texts, which are not to be understood directly. As for the sort of feelings and ideas… “There are insanity, magick and sadness in it. There are unions, war, blood and grief. And finally, there are fire, coldness, hatred and blackness just in between the hateworks.” Very important things for lyrics are statements, which you can find below the texts in the booklet. One of the ways of interpretation, but not only. “Firefrost Arcanum” is hard to look through, full of strange words, images, sounds, and the ideas given. Every detail is important. In conclusion, a sentence from one of the statements from the album: “Mirrors crushed, but watch the picture distorted. Think. Create.”

As I have a promo version of your CD, the booklet does not contain the lyrics. Does the regular booklet contain them? If not, will you be publishing them on the Internet?

Yes, of course, the booklet does contain the lyrics, they are almost as important as music itself in Vesania. We're now creating a new version of the website, this would probably contain the lyrics also.

Talking about your music and lyrics, how do you write them? What comes first? What influences your ideas?

Everything changes constantly, there's no rule. We have songs with the lyrics written before the song, but these are rather few. And the influences are everywhere; we are inspired by everything that makes us think, that is the only rule here.

The music of Vesania sounds very sophisticated and well though. Does this mean you spend a lot of time rehearsing your music and developing your ideas?

We do. There was a time, when we've spent ALL free time on rehearsals of Vesania. Now we play in few other bands also. I play in Behemoth and Daray plays with Vader. So these bands take much of our time, but we always find some time for Vesania. This is our first, our mother-band, so we'll try our best to do as much as possible for it. Sophisticated is a big word, but we try to make this music “full”, replete, filled with meanings. Now we work in other way, we play live shows with other bands still, so when we're coming back, we rehearse with Vesania each free day.

I think your music shows obvious signs of classical influences. Did any of you ever attend a school of music?

Never. We're all self-taught musicians. It would be great to attend such a school, but we made some different choices in life. And I think it was not a mistake, but if I could manage my life once again, I might have tried school of music. But there's no time for it now.

What is it in black metal that makes it so interesting to play it yourself?

Hard to say… It's that strange thing that you can feel, but harder to speak about it. Black metal is not only the music, this is that whole anxiety, intensiveness, strength… More than death metal, not only the brutality, but much more. Self-styled godliness, atmosphere… I do not know how to describe it. It tempts, it develops other realities, and it describes the unknown of the dark side of nature of human.

I assume that you like to play your music on stage. Does your current record deal provide in doing tours to promote your current CD?

We do like live shows. For us it's the best way of expression for such emotions and force, that this music contains within. Our Polish label, the main label with witch we had a deal for debut album, Empire Records, did all they could to promote us here. We played as many shows in Poland as was possible. It were a few single performances at first, then a biggest festival here with bands like Samael and Marduk, and finally a big tour with Vader. As for our position as a new band – it was really much, and we still appreciate it. As for the Crash Music (Europe) – we've already started cooperation, we'll see.

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Practically every musician at some point in his life got influenced by some other bands or artists. I suspect it is the same in your case, so I really would like to know what was the first album you ever bought? How old where you back then, and what impact did it make on you?

I'm not sure if I am still influenced by the first metal album I ever bought. Inspirations come with the years of listening to music and living in the world of shit. If I remember well that the first metal album that I bought was Metallica's “Ride The Lightning”. Poland was still under communist rule back then, so it was on a not licensed cassette. I was about ten years old then (now I am 24). I was really young, and I did not understand anything of it. Just the loud rock music, screams. I was rather surprised, I wasn't able to hear any melody. As I think about it now, my former impressions are rather funny. Then came other albums, from bands like Slayer and Venom. They made the real impact. I wanted to play such music. I had old Russian acoustic guitar, and so the story begun.

Black metal isn't exactly the most commercial kind of music a band can play. Do you ever see yourself making a living in the music world?

Metal in general is rather not from the commercial kind, but now I cannot imagine myself doing something not connected with this music somehow. I'm now finishing my studies at the university, but I hope I will never use things I have learned there. Since a year or something, I do nothing beside playing, and I want it to last as long as possible. Then, maybe a recording studio or A label, I do not know, but I always will need this connection with metal music. I need to live in this world. Without it, I am powerless.

Your website contains a lot of Polish texts. Will you make this available in English too?

Just as I said before, we're now preparing new website. It will contain English version too. I hope it to be finished yet in few weeks, a month maybe.

It seems that you have your own ideas on what black metal is and what is not. Could you define in a few short words what black metal should be or sound like, according to yourself?

Times are changing, and the words “black metal” do not stand for the same ideas as they used to do. It was founded as an hermetic structure, but now each little one can let himself to make new definitions. And so do I… I am still in this music, I pervade it and it contains in me. I cannot say how black metal should sound like now, I make my music according to my very own philosophy of world of music. It's not possible to enumerate or specify the details of any style nowadays. I cannot use sentences like: “black metal should be…” or “should sound…”. I'm too young, too “new” in it. I can try to develop some spheres, some areas of it, but I am not a founder. My statements and manifests here are just another theory for interpretation of black metal. I wish it to be “total” and “anxious”, that's all I can say and wish. Black metal is an art, it's musical expression of Satanism, it's the trend and the lifestyle. Each of these opinions is correct, objectively. When I try to look at myself from some of distance – once again they are all correct. If I were to say how do I see it from my personal point of view, then black metal is an art, and art is an expression of a lifestyle.

A recurring theme in black metal is Satanism. What is your point of view on this subject? Are you Satanists? Are you in any way whatsoever a religious person? Do you believe in a god?

From some points of view yes, I am a Satanist, and we all in the band are. But from the other side, I'd rather not use this word to define my personality when asked. “Satanism” stands commonly for some formed ideology, based on the denial of Christianity. But in my opinion the world to rebel against is more complicated than the Christian world, world to believe in and to praise, is more rich than Christianity. Again, from some certain side, I'm a religious person, because I believe in the worlds beyond the humans' reach. But my rituals are my paths of faith and devotion, these are my creations, nothing else. I do not believe in god as a material being, but I see all those blind fools who are under the influence of some greater power than humans' stupidity.

If you could change one thing about the world we live in, what would it be?

I'd kill the funny fools. A radical statement, I know, but in my life I have met some people who deserve not to live. And they are the first things that come to my mind.

Thank you for your time and energy. I will leave the last words to you!

Thank you for the interview. We would like you all to see what Vesania art means and contains inside. “Firefrost Arcanum” is not a simple album, it is a kind of wider concept, a deeper structure. It is to be focused hearing to this and watching it's consistence. All of you, try to read in-between the lines, try to feel like inside the hatework. Look into the words and sounds. With our regards, take care of yourselves!

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