"I am not man, I am dynamite..
War is the father of all things…"
After a live appearance
in Athens' Woodstock club (23.1.99), Hellhammer and Maniac accepted
to answer some of our questions…
PT I (HELLHAMMER)
SLATAN: So, first of all
welcome to Greece and, I would like to ask you what were your impressions
from the Greek people yesterday?
Hellhammer: The people? As you could probably see I was kind of "attacked"...
Not me but the drumkits was attacked after the show. Was very hysterical
but… we don't mind… I just feel sorry for the guy who owns the drumkits…
Because I guess, it was kind of destroyed. And the people came up to
the stage after the show…
SLATAN: You also had a problem with the security… In the first moments…
Hellhammer: The security?
SLATAN: Yes, the security
was in front of you and the people didn't like this…
Hellhammer: Yeah, I know…There should be all of this security, of
course, you know. But I think that the security guide this time was
too much in front… But then again, you know, maybe it was necessary.
SLATAN: I've heard that Mayhem are about to compose a very famous
computer game's music theme. Quake 3's.. Is that just a rumor or is
Hellhammer: Computer game's?!
SLATAN: Yes, it's a rumor that was circulating on internet…
Hellhammer: I don't know anything about that…
(I asked him here what his opinion was about the Lords of Chaos
book. But I really couldn't listen a shit, because of some really annoying
people who were making several noises, yelling etc.)
SLATAN: Euronymous was a talented musician. Do you believe that if
he still was alive, things would be different in the worldwide metal
Hellhammer: If he would be still alive, we wouldn't have Blasphemer
in the guitars… He's a better guitarist than Euronymous was… It's hard
to say because he was kind of changing at the end into more of a business
man. I don't think that Mayhem would have been the same… So, it's better
that it happened this way, you know…
SLATAN: I would like to ask you also a question about COVENANT. What
are your expectations from COVENANT? Are you planning to remain in the
Blasphemer: The ultimate question!
Well, when new material is ready, we'll probably go in studio in about
March/April or something to record and I will probably remain in COVENANT
because its like different music and it's a different treat for my drumming
abilities… Therefore it's good to me as a drummer to play in like different
band, different kinds of music…
SLATAN: What is your opinion about bands like Cradle Of Filth and
Hellhammer: Well, they're very alike commercial and the stuff they
do, it's like a theatre thing you know, but they do it good because
they sell lots of records and they're happy with it - lots of fans…
so, it's their thing… But I wouldn't call the stuff they do black metal.
Because I mean black metal is something different it's not only music,
it's something more than that.
SLATAN:What are your future plans concerning both Mayhem and Covenant?
Are we about to witness any tours in the nearby future and new material?
Hellhammer: Yeah, well, concerning Covenant, probably a recording
in March/April this year. Tours: Yeah I guess we'll play something with
Covenant… I'm more involved with Mayhem now… Mayhem: we will do tours
this summer and also release a new record. This "Grand Declaration of
SLATAN: What about your live video? Are you satisfied with it?
Hellhammer: No. Pictures are very good, but the sound is horrible!
Very horrible and grotesque sound!
SLATAN: Concerning COVENANT we had been informed that the band had
to change it's name… What happened finally? Did Covenant change their
name after all?
Blasphemer: *BURP* (He was drinkin' a beer!)
Melissa: What do you remember from the crime period of the Norwegian
black metal scene? After all these years, how do you feel about it?
Hellhammer: ……………You know, people had to die, people had to go to
jail for some extreme ideas. So, I guess it put music in a kind of bad
light (?), but then again the people who were caught did suffer from
this. Afterwards, they contempted that. I don't care about that.
Melissa: When Euronymous was alive, he had an organization called
Inner Circle. Is it still going?
Hellhammer: No, it died with him.
Melissa: What is your opinion about it?
Hellhammer: Oh, the Inner Circle was just us sitting and… (A cellphone's
ridiculous ringing makes Hellhammer laugh for the next couple of minutes
and, as a result, he leaves his sentence unfinished). The Inner Circle
is dead now. That's all I have to say. It kind of released the stuff
it was talking about then.
Melissa: Compare today's Mayhem to 1984's Mayhem. What are the elements
that have remained unchanged since then?
Hellhammer: Of course we are better musicians. We have rehearsed
much since then. He went (he refers to Blasphemer who's sitting next
to him) to a guitar school to learn to play more things on guitar. I'm
very dedicated to the art of drumming myself. That's kind of a problem
for a lot of bands, especially black metal bands, the people cannot
play. They can play one thing, you know, the drummer can play pulse,
he doesn't know about drumming in general. That goes also for the guitar
players, the bassist and stuff like that. Either say that Mayhem are
good musicians, we all know how to play our instruments and of course,
today is much better.
Melissa: We've asked you about Covenant, now tell us some things
about Arcturus. They are very different from both Mayhem and Covenant.
Do you feel that your musical/artistic worries cannot be fulfilled just
Hellhammer: Yeah, that's what I was talking about before. For me,
as a drummer, is good not to play different styles of music. Of course
you can do it at home, at rehearsals, but if I do it in studio, I'm
just not dedicated. Every drumming style combines a lot of different
stuff. I think it's good because it creates a lot of styles.
Melissa: What is your opinion about bands like Cradle Of Filth or
Hecate Enthroned and all those who play like them? Do you believe that
music or image is their main characteristic?
Hellhammer: Well, I wouldn't call it cult music, or black metal,
because I really believe that black metal would be like… You know, this
kind of bands that create different music. It's music they believe is
beautiful, I don't. I think they do what they do well and I don't have
a problem with it, because it's their choice, their style of music.
I wouldn't say any shit about Cradle Of Filth or Dimmu Borgir.
Melissa: Mayhem is considered to be the "fathers" of the present
back metal scene. How does it make you feel when new bands come to you
and say that Mayhem is their main influence?
Hellhammer: That's great, absolutely great. It shows that the people
have actually learned something… Well, let's skip that.
Melissa: When you listen to a new black metal band, can you distinguish
its Mayhem elements/influences?
Hellhammer: I like to hear elements in lots of other bands which
are influenced by that we did in the past. I think it's cool and I don't
have any problem with that.
Melissa: Is there a particular reason behind your sudden leaving
the scene yesterday, without having finished the last track or saying
goodnight? Hellhammer: A string broke in Blasphemer's guitar
and we had to leave the stage. His guitar was gone at the airport.
Blasphemer: I believe it's lost.
Melissa: I think you played with Naer Mataron's instruments.
Hellhammer: Yeah. I'll tell you what happened. We were supposed to
come here on Friday, but when we arrived in Amsterdam the fog was very
thick. We had to go through hell, we were hustled by the police and
all that kind of shit.
Melissa: A lot of bad luck.
Yeah, but I guess that any other band would just say "Fuck off, I go
home", but I wouldn't be in that kind of band, this kind of rock star
Melissa: Many people would be disappointed if you did that.
Hellhammer: of course, we know. I enjoyed playing yesterday. The
Greek audience was fuckin' crazy
Melissa: This means that we'll see you again sometime…
Hellhammer: Of course. I guess we'll be back in a kind of a tour.
Melissa: Is there a chance of seeing you with Covenant or Arcturus?
Hellhammer: Not Arcturus, but Covenant.
Blasphemer: Mayhem/Arcturus/Covenant together.
(At this point Hellhammer sees the Mayhem review in the first
issue of A.O.M. `zine)
Hellhammer: What's this? 6,5? That's not very good, is it?
Blasphemer: It's bad.
Melissa: Actually, I wrote that.
Blasphemer: You're judging because of the sound.
Hellhammer: Mayhem's music is difficult to get into. It's not music
for everyone. I like to call it music for the experienced listener.
It's not commercial, it's not catchy.
PT II (Maniac)
Well, good morning. Dead…
Maniac: Is dead.
Melissa: I know. He was a cult figure and became even greater because
if his death and the way he died. Do you feel that the fans compare
you to him?
Maniac: No, because Dead was one of my best friends and… maybe sometimes
I do. But, I'm a very different person from him, so, I don't see that
the fans do that.
Melissa: What were your expectations when you came to Greece and
were they fullfilled?
Maniac: Actually I was very worried because you know…Greece. We came
here and played and the crowd was great. It was fucking excellent! And
the only thing I hated was the stage people. The security. Very bad.
Should have a bullet.
Melissa: We saw them more than we saw you.
Maniac: They were all over the stage. Should have a bullet.
George: Do you think that if Euronymous was alive, Mayhem would be
Maniac: Yeah, I think so. It wouldn't be so aggressive. It would
be less aggressive, because he was more into this melody mood things.
But Blasphemer is very much aggressive.
Melissa: Hellhammer is involved with Arcturus/Covenant and …
Maniac: You know what I always tell him? Covenant: Gay Metal (laughs)
Melissa: Do you plan to create any projects or do you believe that
Mayhem is enough for you?
Maniac: Mayhem is my main thing but I also have a solo project and
it's going to be released now. It sounds like lord Axxis. I have also
another project, and we're going to record this summer, with Blasphemer
(guitars), Phil Anselmo (guitars), Killjoy (vocals), me (vocals) and
Melissa: All the choices, but Philips Anselmo's, are obvious.
Maniac: The reason is that Killjoy knows him and he really likes
Norwegian Black Metal. The music is oing to be like Celtic Frost.
Slatan: What do you think of the support bands, Naer Mataron and
I hardly even heard them, because we were backstage then. Dark Vision
were very melodic, very heavy metal influenced. But, we almost didn't
Slatan: What about other greek bands, like Rotting Christ?
Maniac: I listen to very few of those bands. I haven't bought a black
metal CD for 5 years.
Melissa: I asked Hellhammer before and I'll ask you, too. What do
you remember and what do you feel, after all these years, about the
crime period of the Norwegian black metal scene?
Maniac: It was a good era. The only problem was that the people were
getting arrested. Actually, I was sitting home with my grandmother watching
the news, when this picture of Euronymous came along and said: "Dead".
In Norway now: nothing. The black metal scene in Norway is almost dead.
Slatan: Only in Norway?
Maniac: In some countries, like South America and Eastern Europe
(Polland, Eastern Germany), is very big, but in Norway… What people
call black metal today is like Covenant and Dimmu Borgir. And I hate
those bands. It's not black metal for me, it's very melodic. It sounds
like dance music and I always tell that to Hellhammer: "Covenant's gay
metal". I don't know if you have it in Greece, something about all Norwegian
bands getting nominated. For a prize. It's like MTV awards or Grammy
prize. We have this on February and both Dimmu Borgir and Covenant are
nominated, so Hellhammer will be there.
George: Tell us a few words on your forthcoming LP
Maniac: It's going to be the fastest album ever released. It's going
to be very brutal. Hellhammer is doing some drum things, you won't believe.
It's turning to this thing, it's like total fucking speed. Very, very
George: Except for this song you played last night.
Yeah, and we have some other songs. The LP is kind of divided into pt
I and pt II, because on the other side it's going to be some very, very
Melissa: Compare today's Mayhem to 1984's Mayhem, the "Deathcrush"
Maniac: It was aggressive back then, when we first started, but now
is more aggressive. And what we did back then… I mean, I was 17 years
old when I recorded that LP and I'm 30 now. It's a very young album.
It was the first time for this kind of music ever to be released. Actually,
the best review, I ever heard of "Deathcrush" came from a guy in Norway
who wrote in a national paper. He wrote that "I just heard this LP and
it's like Hook is feastfucking Margaret Thutcher". I thought it was
Melissa: Ok. Thanx for the interview.
Interview By George Andreadakis, Melissa (Thank you BOTH, for
your great questions!!!) and me (SLATAN)
PS: Afterwards we had a small discussion with Maniac, where he told
us some important info. The upcoming Mayhem album will be entitled "A
Grand Declaration of War" (Like Hellhammer already told us) and,
it's cover will show a white dove… stabbed with a knife!
Maniac said that this is to symbolize that Mayhem killed peace… forever!