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Black metal neemt zich vaak erg serieus, met de corpsepaint en leer met spijkers en dergelijke zooi. Er zijn echter ook bands die een andere look hebben en al het theatrale geneuzel links laten liggen. Solfernus is een band uit Tsjechië die dit wel heeft gedaan, maar zich inmiddels ontwikkelt heeft tot een modernere black metal band die andere invloeden gebruikt en met hun album ‘Neoantichrist’ de old school black metal zijn ontgroeid. Het album nodigt zeker uit tot een gesprekje met de band en Igor is misschien kort van stof, maar niet minder duidelijk.

Door: Berto | Archiveer onder black metal

To start, can you tell us a little bit about the start of the band?
Solfernus was founded in 2003 as a black metal project of three alco warriors from Brno, Southern Moravia: the vocalist Khaablus, Igor on guitar and Paramba on bass recorded altogether the very first record, an EP called ‘Diabolical Phenomenon’ along with Norwegian special guest on drums, Sigbjörn Erik Thørsen.

What kind of bands were you into when you started listening to metal? And what is it that makes metal important to you?
Mostly true metal classics like Slayer, Metallica, Celtic Frost, Motӧrhead and some others. Those above mentioned artists inspired thousands of hordes, I am pretty sure that you read similar answer from more musicians. I am affraid that each of these bands lost their members during last years. The metal scene´s getting older.

'Neoantischrist' is your second album, but there are about twelve yeears between this one and your debut album. What is the reason there is a gap of twelve years?
It´s not so correct. Solfernus was active another three seasons after the debut album´s release. We played shows and made two video clips, answered some interviews, appeared also in an music TV channel. We started to work on the second album in 2008 but never finished it because of our own inability. Our drummer left the band etc. I wrote this new album during 2015 so the whole break between albums is twelve years but shorter when you take the activity of the band in account. Important reason is that I was still busy with ROOT during these all years too.
Black Metal seems to be a very limited genre. How do you set yourselves apart from the rest?
We don´t care if black metal is or it´s not so called ‘very limited genre’ as you have said. By the way, we are not a classic black metal band so there´s no reason to think too much about your words;-)

Where do you get ideas for the lyrics?
So many inspirations around me, yet more thoughts and ideas which can be written on a sheet of paper. As you can see in our booklet, we sing about different things, there´s not only one theme.

Black metal is known for strong views when it comes to religion and society. Do you feel you can get those views across with your music? Do you get a lot criticism from mainstreeam media about your lyrics?
It´s definitely a part of our music. According to the reviews of the new album, somebody writes more about the lyrics, another doesn´t do that. We rather answer about lyrical themes in interviews.

How did you get in touch with your label? And do you really need a label these days (with internet and social media) to release your music?
There was the offer from our side and Satanath Records showed the interest. For sure we need the label because people still want to have a physcial CD in their hands. But yes, Solfernus´s album is available in digital form too.

band image

What goals did you set yourself when you started the band and did you reach any of them?
We had almost no goals because Solfernus started as the side project of musicians who were active in more bands. We just wanted to record an EP ‘Diabolic Phenomenon’ but it´s great we have three records already, also some videoclips and a few played out shows in the past.

You are not working with corpse paint and other well-known trivia in black metal when looking at your promotion photos. What makes you Black Metal? What defines Solfernus as being a true blackmetal band?
We did it on stage many years ago, as well as in videoclips or promo photos for our ‘Hysteria In Coma’ album. I must say Solfernus is not a typical or let´s say true black metal band. We infiltrate some other metal genres and you can feel the inspiration from various artists. That´s why you can hear for example an acoustic guitar on the album and sometimes cleaner vocals or keyboards.

How do you write your songs? Does it always start with a riff or does it involve some jamming with the rest of the band?
There are no jams with this band – too lazy for something like that I guess ;-) It always starts with new riffs written in private sessions.

Is the Czech scene different from the Swedish or Norwegian scene?

How do you feel the band has progressed or changed sin since you started the band?
The main progress is the age of involved artists anyway;-) I think we still want to play dark and wild metal music and when I listen to the new album I must say it´s connected with more experiences.

Modern metal is always produced in a more or less clinical way with ProTools and other programs helping bands to create a slick sound. On the other hand you see that about every band releases vinyl again. Where do you see music go in the near future? Will vinyl take over again, including a more organic production? Do extreme music and a slick production even go together?
This is an everlasting theme of the new digital age. We resolved this problem on ‘Neoantichrist’ album because they were used both ways. The first step was full pre-production of all songs in a small home studio, the second step was recording the final album with the whole drum-kit + using guitar amplifiers with boxes. But there are hundreds of possibilities how to record music.

Are there any non-metal bands that you like and can recommend?
I like actually the song ‘Drinkin´ With The Devil’ by David Vincent. Just not sure if it is non-metal band hahaha.

How would you convince the pope to listen to your music?
He should get one promotional copy, right?

Finally, when will you be playing live shows to promote the new album?
As soon as the pope will pay we start a really great promotional campaign!

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