1. Hellish regards to you, man. 20 years of existence and no step back, never. So I think the best will be, tell something from your periods. Remember critical moments or something. No biography! Just paste moments, which created or impend Inquisition through the time…
I started the band in 1989; we played Thrash Metal until 1993 and recorded two demos in that style when I lived in Colombia, South America.
In 1993 I changed the style to Black Metal and in 1994 I recorded a new demo in the now Black Metal form. This is really the year when Inquisition began on the Satanic path and set the foundation for what was to come.
In 1995 I kicked the old members out because they wanted nothing to do with satanic music as I was getting involved heavily with the occult.
In 1996 I moved back to the United States, found a drummer, Incubus, and basically started what was almost like a new band in essence, the only original thing remaining from the past was myself and the Inquisition name and that same year “Into The Infernal Regions of The Ancient Cult”was written.
2. I can’t describe your music other than “blasphemic hell in his cleanest black metal form”. So, the question is, where are you getting the inspiration? Are you trying to diversify these influences in some ways?
Absolutely, if there was no inspirational diversity Inquisition would not be what it is. Diversity is a delicate thing to play with as well, it is like fire. It can really help you or destroy you musically. It is almost an art itself to be multi dimensional yet not step too far outside of the circle you are trying to stay inside of because nobody wants to listen to a band that makes an effort to prove themselves by playing all these different styles as if it were some kind of a talent show, yet people do appreciate a fine blend when it blends well and that is exactly what I have always set as my goal.
When I write for example, I apply many riffs that may sound a bit death metal and suddenly go with a passage that is almost brittle and emotional in contrast to only later travel into a cold riff of a “classic” and frivolous black metal styled passage. With all that active variety I am always aware that this needs to sound like one band and not many different bands so knowing how to melt those things together to get a real good blend is a priority. Also, the worse thing a composer can do is allow himself to be forced to comply with these un written rules of what Black Metal for example is supposed to sound like, something imposed by narrow minded listeners and critics who dictate without any logic.
Musically the inspiration comes to me from the old Immortal and Morbid Angel guitar school and translates into my own form of playing. I am technically influenced by my 3 years of study of a classical guitar past; thanks to those 3 years I can apply some very useful chords to our music. The essence of classical guitar really shaped me and taught me instrument control and better writing skills.
Guitar sound is an enormous inspiration for me. I am really involved with tube amplifiers and getting the most out of them with the least amount of gear to preserve that tone. More now than ever in my past am I so involved with trying to get “tone” in the guitar, something a bit non typical in Black Metal so that also adds to the diversity. As I hear that tone I am inspired very much enabling myself to write riffs I will be satisfied with later on. So guitar tone is possibly my most important tool for inspiration, I almost write the music based on my tone and this is why it is so important.
The inspiration comes to me emotionally by reading a lot of information on cosmic research; I have an enormous passion for the cosmos, universal laws like quantum physics and how those laws affect the outcome of basically everything and creation for example. The complexity and mystique of our universe is the most incredible thing we as humans will ever be able to witness in any lifetime, there is absolutely nothing that is equally amazing and complex. The cosmos and all nature itself holds the secrets of mankind, creation and destruction, everything about it is so Satanic in essence, so “Black Metal” in essence. Nature in general is my great inspiration. Nature here on earth and nature up in the skies. I write music for mountains, forests and cosmic skies first and for people second.
Medieval Satanism inspires me and moves my spirit well. The woodcut art of the middle ages where we can see how people of the time believed in the devil, werewolves, vampires and everything demonic allows me to write music and stay on the correct path. I don’t question medieval Satanism calling it the result of medieval ignorance; I simply see it as a natural occurrence when people are more in tuned with nature because they must rely on it to explain the mysteries of nature. So anything of the occult, from old Babylon to medieval Europe enshrouds my spirit.
3. Your latest album “Nefarious Dismal Orations” became one of the most interesting, maybe the really best one in your discography. I’m interested in your personal look on this album – where are variations from previous ones, what you did differently, etc.? And, in the end of the question, where this album was born? Studio was the same as before?
It is the album I personally like a lot. I like every album we have but this is the Inquisition album so far. It really makes a statement I think.
It is the first album where I really worked with guitar tone. We combined like 4 different tube amplifiers with no effects, only pure raw tube tone with the volume almost maximized obtaining true speaker distortion along with power tube distortion. “Nefarious Dismal Orations” not only set a new beginning for Inquisition musically but also technically in the studio and will apply those techniques on the next albums to come.
The difference between “Nefarious Dismal orations” and the past albums is this particular one is tighter and faster, a very vicious album compared to the past ones being very dark or heavy.
It was recorded in Texas at Noise Farm Studios, a bit of a secluded place; the studio is out on a big piece of land away from the big city and really helps keep you focused on the recording. The recording gear is good, lots of old school equipment mixed with some modern technology se you get the good of both worlds.
4. It’s time for little bit boring one (maybe), but it’s nearly perfect for group like Inquisition in my eyes. So what means black metal and his deep philosophy for Inquisition? I’m not asking on it, because it can be particularly interesting, but as I know and as we can see from photos, etc., black metal is a part of your existences…
It is part of our existence; it is a religion for us, a cult. We are in a new age of Black Metal where more and more people laugh at Satanism or the occult or at Black metal in general but we continue walking on our path without letting anyone’s opinion affect our views.
Our views, our ideologies, our mindsets are everything in this band and if we were to change those things Inquisition will change and that cannot happen because we must always remember what initiated us into this music first and never forget that. When Incubus and I started writing the first album we were 2 grown adults, very conscious of what we were doing and very aware of what Satanism was in our view so there is absolutely no reason to look back into the past and say its time to change, not at all because we were very aware of who we were then and who we are now. Basically, you will never hear Inquisition refer to Satanism as “that was when we were younger or ignorant”… you will never hear that because we had full understanding as I said of what this was truly about and what it continues to be.
Black Metal is the music of the satanic spirit and always will be regardless of your culture, your folk or race because Black metal was created today for the heathens of today. The symbol of Satan is the symbol of power, of desire, lust, greed and abundance but is also the symbol of balance in the sense that you can be all those things mentioned but must not be in excess of any one of those things. Like nature all elements are needed for a perfect cycle of life and death so life can be lived to the fullest extent.
Satanism to me is simply the “non religion- religion” of rebellion for the modern wolf who roams the world of Judeo Christianity, the religion that has destroyed mankind. It is also the art of mastering psychology, understanding human conduct and knowing how to work with people’s strengths and weaknesses to benefit yourself, yet it is also about respect, pride and dignity. It is about being smart, educated, talented, eloquent and in general mentally and physically strong. Satanism is nothing new, it is a symbolic representation of what mankind is by nature’s laws and what every single ancient culture has strived to be and we use Satanism as the best generalization to represent that. The one thing I have to show for the ideology of Inquisition is our music because not everyone can meet me in person and question my point of views in a one on one setting. I think that even if you cannot absorb our music and cannot absorb the vocals, you can at least with a serious mindset, understand that the individuals who are behind the music really seem to be in order with the philosophies that fuel the music.
5. You’re really special example that only two people can make real hell on the stage. Czech fans could examine it at last year’s Dunkelheit fest. So, my “duty” is ask you about your feelings from gig in Brno? What was wrong and what good? From my view, your concerts are rather something like obscure rituals than typical black metal gigs.
That ritual was very good, nothing went wrong. I remember every moment of it and in fact remember using an amplifier I liked very much, I don’t like Marshalls too much but I was given a very nice hand wired Marshall Series that possessed a vicious tone. It was our first and only time in Czech so we must return one night so we can all gather and summon the ancient spirits from the cosmic dimensions again. Czech has always had a particular darkness there, the old architecture is magnificent like the dark cathedrals that seem to be piercing the heavens like a spear.
The bad thing about that particular trip was the limited time we had in Czech so next time we go there we need more time so we can travel more in the country and really see the historic areas because that’s what we are interested in the most when we tour, not party but really spend time and connect with the area we are in.
6. You weren’t duo from the start, am I right? So what’s the reason that you’re just two now?
We really have always been a duo. We only used a bass player for 3 shows back in 1998, you can see him in the original “Into The Infernal Regions of The Ancient Cult” c.d. photos, and since then never tried having a third member again.
After we asked the bass player to leave us due to his drug addiction we felt there was no hurry to find a bass player because I could record it in the studio myself. After the two of us practicing so many times and realizing that it sounded good I told Incubus one day that if we sound good as a duo in our rehearsal room we could only sound better live and that is when the idea was put into practice because a few months later we debuted live as a duo in Europe on the “North American Black Metal Invasion” tour with Godless North and Krieg in 2001.
Back then we did not sound as good nor did we play nearly as good but our ability to master our equipment like the amplifiers and board sound in general grew so it proves that evolution is a natural progression and here we are today and this is how it shall remain. My attitude is if you don’t miss it you don’t need it, if it sounds good the way it is don’t add to it and don’t take away from it either.
The other obvious advantage is touring. There are just two of us, we don’t have to struggle with more people, there is less tension, and we are an enormous advantage for promoters. The most important thing however is that you be as powerful as any other band you share a stage with and to this date that has never been a problem for us. One guitar, one drum kit and vocals can really create a fire storm when you perform in a ritually induced mind, invoke the spirit of Satan and treat your instrument and sound with dignity and respect.
7. You’re producing very individual and different music (in black metal). Other groups walking over cults, creating something we heard many times before. The best is that if you will play me new song of Inquisition, I will recognize it in one second. This is your main positive. So the second part of this question will be about work on songs. How about the process of composing music? Are you the main part of all riffs, etc.?
If the question is do I write all the riffs, yes I do. I write all the music meaning I create and provide all the riffs and than put each riff together usually with Incubus there with me. Having the drummer there allows me to instantly sample how riffs go together separating the good and bad ideas.
Sometimes I will have almost an entire song written without any drums present with me but will later modify it based on how the drums can affect the original foundation of the songs structure once they are incorporated. Also, many times Incubus will add a particular drum beat to a new riff of mine in a manner I never intended it to be like, for example slow drums to a very fast guitar riff when originally I wanted fast drums so that helps add to the writing diversity.
Some of the Inquisition songs that only have two or three riffs for example, very simple straight forward songs, have a lot of time put into them believe it or not because I spend lots of time searching for the perfect riffs that will allow a song to be so basic yet fulfilling to the listener.
Vocal placement is always last. I create the vocal rhythm (patterns) based on the music and the drum beat.
The very last stage are the lyrics, I write the lyrics based on the vocal rhythms. It is a very difficult stage of the writing process because as I said I must adapt lyrics to the vocal patterns so I cannot use just any word that doesn’t fit into the line and yet I must also use words that maintain the original intended topic, I cannot stray away from the message. It is very difficult and extremely time consuming.
8. It’s impossible to drop question about groups, albums and musical genres… Are they some interpreters which lives in your heart more than other ones? And what kind of music you like outside black metal?
I don’t listen to much Metal because I am around it so much when we tour and play festivals that not listening to it is something innovative for my ears and it also avoids me being subconsciously influenced. It does not mean I don’t like it anymore though; I won’t write a long list but here are a few bands I respect and like today as much as I did years ago: Graveland, Burzum, old Immortal, Bathory, Profanatica, Archgoat, and Black Witchery as a general representation. Bands that try and push the human limits are what I like; and are not concerned with what people will think of them because of their extreme ideas or extreme music.
Outside of Metal… Industrial Noise, Power Electronics, 1970’s electronic music classics like old Tangerine Dream and Michael Jarre, all the Dead Can Dance albums, Classical music of the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque period, contemporary like the string quartets of Bela Bartok.
Anything sick, dark and ritual inducing. I don’t like music that is only good, good or great music is not enough. I need to hear something that tells me the artist is really involved with doing their own thing and has no regard for following the rules.
9. As well as all genres in music, even black metal’s changing. There’re new waves, progressive directions. Many groups walking far away from black metal, cause his REAL look and sound disappear. Also many people found substitutions – now’s here clean sound, no atmosphere, no deep moods. What’s your opinion about this “natural” era progress?
People change while others evolve. Everything that is happening now will continue to happen as it does every decade because some bands will grow. Most bands want to progress in the direction you mention and I don’t see it as good or bad, I just see them doing what they want to do and that is why they will sometimes lose the old fan base and earn a new one. Its natural and time will always separate purists from the non purists.
Personally, I think an excellent production can be as rewarding as a raw production. It all depends on the songwriting. For example Bathory “Blood Fire Death” is one of my all time favorite productions, it is far from raw, it is an excellent production and because of those songs it does not sound plastic or shallow so the music can really affect the feel of the production.
I really see this as a change of mindset amongst the musician or writer himself over the course of time; some people will not be what they are today tomorrow. Simple. It is human nature to change but it is also natural for some people to be as I said before a purist and firm with what they want during their entire music career and those are usually few. I cannot tell you why, it is just an issue of human conduct and some humans feel a strong sense of loyalty towards traditionalism while others do not and wish to progress in a manner some of us see as shallow. Overall, I know what you mean and I would rather not comment too directly and reserve my opinions to myself as to what I think of certain bands and their mistakes. I can tell you though Inquisition will not ever have this issue.
10. In the end of this interview will be adequate write something about your future plans. Especially about 2009 year. Are you planning new album, some tours?
New album for 2010 since I am taking my time to write a good album, some tours, shows and festival appearances. We are having a bunch of represses of all our albums and c.d.’s; some really nice die hard editions will be available as well like picture discs, a5 digi and more.
11. It’s almost everything from my side. Firstly, thanx for chance interview you. And finally, all the best to the future and many more years of torturing our souls.
Thank you for your time and devotion to the real underground and sorry to have you wait so long for a reply. Inquisition will be back to Europe as always and when we return we should have some new songs to bring to you guys over there. Sign of the horns all and Hail Satan.