Band: ALGAION
Country: Sweden
Style: black metal
Questions by: Kai Mathias Stalhammar
Answers supplied by: Mathias Kamijo and Marten Bjorkman


 
Welcome to the Temple Of Pain...
What we have here is Swedish ALGAION, band, whose music is really worth attention, though both guys seem to be rather ridiculous...
 

Do you have anything to tell me about your new release? The music,
featured on it is very different from your previous efforts and it doesn't have much to do with black metal...

Mathias: Yes, our new CD "General Enmity" is quite different from our
first two releases. It might not sound very black metal, but we still
consider ourselves as a black metal band. I guess it's a natural
progression. We didn't do anything for two years and during this time I got some different ideas for the new CD. That's why it might sound very different. I guess we just grew tired of blasting for 45 minutes.

You are no more a duo...

Mathias: Yeah, we have two sessions sidekicks. Tobbe Leffler (Ebboth @ VERGELMER - ED) on guitar and Eric Krona on drums. Both appeared on the CD.

Where did you record "General Enmity"? Was it the Abyss Studio again? How is your relationship with Peter Tagtgren?

Mathias: Well, first off we didn't record at the Abyss Studio this time.
Marten: The new CD was recorded in a studio called W.E.T. Musikstudio. The guy who runs that place usually works with TV and we were the first band of this kind he was confronted with.
Mathias: I guess I have a pretty good relationship with Peter. Not only did he drums on our second CD, but I am also a touring member with HYPOCRISY.
Marten: I do not talk to him often. The last time I talked to him was some weeks ago, when I felt that I had to congratulate him for making PAIN CD, which is absolutely killer (it sucks - ED).

Wounded Love didn't promote "Vox Clamentis" MCD at all, so why didn't you stop collaborating with them? Or maybe the things changed somehow? Did you receive any offers from other labels after "Vox..." was released?

Mathias: Offers? Not really. But you're right about the promotion though. They didn't put much effort into it the last time, BUT they're doing a really good job with the new CD. We're still on Wounded Love, because they are a good and serious label, and we like working with them.

Why such a strange name - ALGAION? What does it mean?

Marten: Why use a name in English that starts with "Dis..."?  I think
ALGAION is a great name (it means "Temple of pain"), and I am fairly sure that nobody else will use it.

I know that you was imprisoned (or was that Mathias?) Why? When?

Marten: It was me but I don't want to talk about it.

Why did you left Fullmoon Productions? Was your imprisonment a reason for that?

Marten: We left Fullmoon before that and it had nothing to do with my
imprisonment.
Mathias: Us leaving F.M.P had more to do with other labels being involved and then backing out in the last minute.

A lot of people speak in a very negative way of Unisound Studio and Dan Swano, while others hail him... Have you ever met this guy? What do you think of him? What about Unisound - I heard that it doesn't exist now, do you know something about that?

Mathias: That's right. Unisound Studio does no longer exist. I've never met him and all I know about him is that he's a fucking excellent singer / songwriter.
Marten: I think he has a bad taste in music.

What can you tell me about your country? What about so-called Swedish
mentality? Any comments concerning subhumans invading Sweden in huge
numbers...?

Marten: I do not like the Swedish society as a whole, still there is no other place on earth as the world is today that I would trade this one for. As for the subhumans, they are generally not Swedish, they got here from various godforsaken parts of the world in a steady stream during the last decade.
Mathias: Well, I don't quite agree. I think Sweden is a beautiful country and I am fucking proud to be a part of it. Subhumans do of course tend to destroy it whenever they get a chance, trying to mess with those above them i.e. US!!!! Swedish mentality?? What do you mean? (trying to make your vocabulary a bit more various - ED)
Marten: Are you Finnish or something (more likely, "something" - ED)?

How is your earthly life going? Do you work? I guess, it's almost
impossible to earn good money playing BM...?

Marten: I study physics at the University. It is not in the nature of
black metal to be likely to bring lots of money to those who make it.
Mathias: I work at a library full time. Not that I make that much money, but it's more than the music gives me.

How many copies of "Oimai..." and "Vox..." have you managed to sell so far?

Marten: About 4000 of each I think. I don't know really.

It's very popular now to sing in mother-language among black metal bands of today; what do you think of this tendency? As far as I know, all ALGAION lyrics are written in English... What are you trying to express through them?

Marten: Almost every band from Sweden seem to sing in Swedish. SORHIN is the only band that should go on doing that, the others should just dissolve Mathias: I don't know why but I think Norwegian sounds a lot more grim than Swedish. At least when sung. But singing in Swedish is something I would kick Marten's ass for.
Marten: All our lyrics are not in English, some have been in Latin. What are my lyrics about? My finding out about Sigvard Nilsson-Thurneman and F.T Marinetti.  Thurneman was declared as the most dangerous man in Europe in 1936. He was the leader of a secret crime ring called DMC. They developed a "dehumanization program" that would rid themselves of the human nature they detested. Their goal was the total loss of compassion that comes with realizing you are no longer part of mankind. Thurneman was arrested in 1936 for a series of murders, arsons and robberies and was locked up for a long time (got out in 1969, yes the Swedish legal system is nice). F.T. Marinetti published his "Futurist Manifesto" in a French newspaper in 1909. he was the founder of what is called the Futurist movement. The futurists was the symbolism. Instead they proclaimed the glorification of new technology and violence. Anything that formed the world to the will of the mangod. DMC does not exist anymore and futurists has been low on followers after the fall in 1945 of their political comrades. ALGAION is the last defender of these great ideas. It would be against my ideal to romanticize these persons in their entirety, just because they happened to live before us. The way I see it they provided the form that we fill with contemporary contents.

Your opinion about people, considering themselves as "misanthropes"?

Mathias: My opinion on misanthropes is the following: if you are a "true" misanthrope, in other words you hate all human life, then fucking kill yourself. I mean, sure, you can kill others BUT you can never kill all human life. Kill yourself and you won't suffer anymore. If you're not willing to take that step stop calling yourself a misanthrope.
Marten: Most of them are full of shit, just teens tired of their parents and little brothers. But some are of course serious about it.

Night, winter, forest. These three words are used very often by BM
bands... How do you think, why?  Just because night is dark, winter is grim and nightly forest is frightening?

Mathias: Maybe those few words are used due to lack of vocabulary.
Marten: I grew up in the countryside, so I walked through the forest in which my home was almost every day. I hate this romantic stuff you are trying to push us into. Forests are just one of a number of biological systems to me (hmm?? - ED).

Your opinion about the following topics and people...

Nature:

Mathias: Rule not ruled by.
Marten: Has finally had to yield for our technology. Mangod holds the
sceptre.

Racism / nationalism:

Mathias: A natural reaction to a country's poor immigration laws.
Marten: Both these issues will have to be quite redefined now, since one cannot talk about race and nation the way one could before. Of course some races are more annoying and uglier than others.

Marquise de Sade:

Mathias: French guy, very fucked up.
Marten: One of many seriously depraved French persons.

Adolf Hitler:

Mathias: A very fascinating person. Who also did a lot of good, which of course is left out in the history books since the victor always writes them.
Marten: For an ideology with so many holes in it he did very well. He was way too lenient on a couple of issues.

A.S. LaVey (Levy):

Mathias: $$$$
Marten: Hollywood actor among many others that should not be taken
seriously. Why give in to nature when you can govern it? (to govern
our MOTHER?! - ED)

"Grishnackh vs. Euronymous" topic is still quite often discussed among people involved in underground... Did you know Aarseth or Vikernes personally? What do you think of them? In my opinion, Euronymous wasn't such a hero as a lot of people claim and statements like "this new MAYHEM is not true without Euronymous" suck...

Mathias: I did not know either of them but MAYHEM should remain dead
without Euronymous. But as always money talks.....
Marten: I didn't know them and MAYHEM is not the same without Euronymous (yeah, it's much better - ED). Euronymous didn't wear lip gloss.

Are you in contact with other Swedish bands?

Mathias: Not really.
Marten: PUISSANCE, SORHIN and NEFANDUS rule.

Are you a satanist? If yes, why?

Marten: I would not say I am. If you are a satanist, because you fancy a red guy with a pointed tail, you're in equally serious trouble as a christian. Such blatant superstition is the world's main problem in whatever shape it may appear.
Mathias: Oh do we REALLY care that much? I'd say NO! Next question please.

Nazi stuff in black metal, does it mean anything to you?

Mathias: I can see many connections between nazism and black metal. But there are even more differences. But does it bother me? No!

Any comments concerning Swedish black metal scene? Scandinavian? European?

Marten: Swedish bands rule so hard over the Norwegian that it can't even be described properly with human language. The Norwegian scene is just a collection of bark-eating environmentalists with the exception of a few bands. Outside Scandinavia I would not even dare thinking about (Well, I wouldn't say that Sweden has the best black metal scene in Europe, really... - ED).
Mathias: Hmm, I'd say Greece has some good bands... Apart from that I
agree totally.

Do you know anything about my country? What is your opinion of Russians?

Marten: You have some historical persons that are good role models, Beria for example and your women are ugly (is this the way you try to make me laugh? - ED).
Mathias: Your vodka tastes bad and your airlines are scary.

What about BM trend? Isn't that ridiculous? (I mean, it's impossible to earn big money and become as famous as f.ex. PEARL JAM playing this kind of music... I believe that those people, who talk about black metal becoming commercial just envy other bands who earn more attention and fame)

Mathias: Is black metal really still a trend? Commercial? It's the bands that make it commercial. If the bands want to make CD's then they contribute to black metal getting commercial. I would be more than happy if I could live of my music. True / false? The most ridiculous argument ever. True or false in who's eyes? And who is to decide?

Do you play live? If yes, how much gigs have you played and when (where)?

Mathias: We have played live once with DISMEMBER and VOIVOD in September this year. We also have some more things lined up.

Your opinion about Norwegians? In my view their music is a bit overrated and the same situation goes for the Swedish black metal hordes - such bands as MARDUK, DARK FUNERAL, NECROPHOBIC aren't worth such big attention. You have better bands in Sweden, such as OPETH, NECROMICON, SCHEITAN, MIDVINTER and many others...

Mathias: In some cases the Norwegian bands may be overrated, like the new EMPEROR album which sucks, but there are some good ones too like DIMMU BORGIR. But how the hell can you say that OPETH, SCHEITAN and so on are better than MARDUK?? 
Marten: Please do NOT compare MARDUK to SCHEITAN if you want me to go on with this interview.  Any such comparison is in my ears an assault on taste (obviously, you have a bad taste - ED)

What are your relations with drugs?

Mathias: I don't use them.  An escape for weak minds.
Marten: I do not use any.

What about this new fashion - "old school black / thrash"? I guess, this movement is very strong now in Sweden with such bands as BEWITCHED, SWORDMASTER, DEATHWITCH, GEHENNAH and so on... It was interesting in the beginning, but now I'm just tired of it. Do you have the same point of view?

Mathias: DESTRUCTION, KREATOR, BULLDOZER, VENOM are all ok to listen to but hardly worth copying. They couldn't even play properly. The only good 80's metal is HELLOWEEN, IRON MAIDEN, KING DIAMOND and MERCYFUL FATE. Copy them instead. At least then it'll sound good. I hate this regressing trend. The bands play worse and worse AND they do it on purpose???
Marten: Some of our new music sounds a little like 80's metal but you
won't see us aiming our fists at the camera or showing our tongues and middle fingers on any ALGAION material in the closest future.

What is your opinion of those persons who talk about "hunting in the
nightly forest with the wolves", "drinking blood", "perfoming blood
rituals" and such things... I mean, these guys try to create an inhuman image, though they are usual people such as you and me, and saying this they look extremely ridiculous. So why all this shit???

Mathias: Get yourselves a life.
Marten: Ask them. I would ask them for you if I could only stand them as much as talking to them would require but I'm afraid that would be too much. I HATE HATE HATE teen magicians.

Many churches were burnt down during last five years (and a lot of people imprisoned as a result for that actions), though christianity didn't cease, it became only stronger after events mentioned above...  So do these acts of "de-christianization" have any meaning, beyond a symbolic significance?

Mathias: I believe in "Do what thou wilt" but does burning a church really change anything??
Marten: The road to christian extinction is that of science.

What do you think of adding classical music parts to black metal? Do you listen to any classic composers?

Mathias: I listen to classical music but I'd never mix it into my music.
Marten: I have yet to hear the first metaller to handle it. I still
haven't decided whether to take THERION as a joke or the saddest attempt at music I have ever heard (first become as GREAT as THERION, then drag them into shit - ED). I listen to some classical composers but I can't say I do it often (probably more often than THERION though)

Last words...?

IF YOU HAVE AN OPEN MIND CLOSE IT.