Country of origin: Sweden
Style: black metal
Questions by: Arthur Slovaev (conducted by Herr Stalhammar)
Answers supplied by: Petter Stenmarker (guitars)

Since it's our first interview with you, let's make a short excursus in history...

- The history of the band? Well, we started up in July '97 and recorded a simple demo called ”The Glorification Of The Master Of Light”. We became a full band (6-piece) in March '98 and since then we´ve only changed one member (the bassist). In July-August '98 we recorded a self-produced MCD called ”Eternal Emperor” which was released in January '99 and has sold about 900-950 copies. Since then we´ve ”just” played shows and this autumn we will concentrate on writing new songs, maybe they will be released on CD someday. You never know what will happen in the future...

Do you take part in any other projects?

- Yes, Jonathan (guitar) also plays the bass in another black metal band called SANCTIFICA. I also play the drums in a punk / grunge / rock´n´roll-band.

Is there anything special to be revealed upon the eyes of the world when it comes to your monicker?

- Well, Pilgrim (singer) found out the name ”Crimson Moonlight” and the rest of us thought it was a good name that really sounded like a typical black metal bands. That´s the ”story” behind our name.

What's the basis of your particular style? Do you ever feel yourself limited when it comes to creative expression? Where do you see a possible progress? Personally I don't like too much when someone's fond of sticking labels... hence, I am interested in your opinion.

- I agree with you, sticking labels is not that fun. I feel a bit locked up if I say that I play pure black metal. Our music is basicly symphonic black metal, but we mix a lot of musical elements in our songs depending on that there are rather different music tastes represented in the band. I think we´re a kind of a progressive symphonic black metal band, we definitively not want to be a mainstream band.

Do you think that image appears as a basic element of the atmosphere? Is your image of huge importance to you, or it's a kind of thing "strictly for the live performances", y'know?

- I think like this: If you´re a serious black metal going on stage wearing a tie and a big smile, not so many people will take you seriously. In CRIMSON MOONLIGHT, we often wear gothic clothes, some spikes and Pilgrim always use a sword on stage. But that´s all, we don´t use any corpsepaints or something like that. I think the image is important, but the most imporant thing is to be yourself on stage. If you for example don´t like to wear that kind of clothes, don´t wear them on stage either just to be ”a cool guy who likes image”.Then you´re not showing yourself but just a false picture.

What's your opinion on the most important thing when it comes to music - performance's technique or the atmosphere ( = soul)?

- It´s a bit different from song to song. On the mentioned MCD we played very basic guitar-stuff while the keyboards were shining through a lot. Nowadays we try to use every instrument as much as possible with lots of variety in our songs. Sometimes the guitarists play more technical riffs while Alexander behind the keyboards just are playing some chords and sometimes the keyboards are used more than the guitars. The drumming is much, much better now than on the MCD, we have a drummer who can play really fast if he just want to and nowadays he´s really showing that. Our bassist is also doing a great job, he writes many  technical and beautiful bass lines.

Tell us more regarding the lyrics of yours...

- Before we used to write very ”straight” lyrics when we really were showing our beliefs. Today we write lyrics in a more allegorically and / or ”beautiful” way, almost like the lyrics of CRADLE OF FILTH. We don´t want to hide our beliefs in any way, but today we don´t want to ”serve” the lyrics to the listeners but giving them a chance to think about what the lyrics are about, what they are meaning and showing.

Many hide the lack of talent, by hiding under the "underground" term. What do you think of a certain crisis which takes place in this direction, whether there will be a proper solution found or not?

- I think there will be an exit from crisis, but only if people open their eyes, realize what they´re into and start to do something about it. I think a soulution to this kind of crisis will take place first when this kind of ”underground people” realize their worth as human beings. Everyone has something to give, everyone isn´t good at everything, but no one has a totally lack of talent. That´s the only exit, I think: Wake up and realize that you´re good at things and that you´re worth as much as anyone else! You are totally unique!!! Maybe this awakening can be hard to make, but trust me: It´s worth the whole job when you afterwards are looking back!!!

What's your opinion on the local scene? Whom do you support?

- Well, we have a lot of black metal-liking friends in our area who often go to our concerts. By supporting, do you mean ”playing before” another band of ”supporting each other”? If you mean the second alternative, there are some bands among our friends and we often go to each other´s concerts to show our interest.

Your advice to a certain young band...?

- Be yourselves, don´t create an image just to be ”cool”. People give you a lot more respect if you´re ”acting yourself”. Don´t be another person on stage than in the usual life. That´s a VERY IMPORTANT advice!

Now majority of formerly underground bands reach the deal with major labels. It seems the black metal radicalism became the subject of commercial speculation, isn't it?

- Yes, absolutely, but I don´t see any problems with that at all. Some people think that black metal is an undergroung thing and shall remain there, but I don´t care if black metal actually is going to be even more commersial than it has become today. I would love to play with CRIMSON MOONLIGHT at both underground places but also on a big arena, it doesn´t make sense to me and I know that the rest of the band agrees with me.

Do you have such notion like responsibility for your fans? I know many bands that have transformed their style but kept the old name. What do you think about it?

- We´ll play our kind of music until that day we´ll break up. When bands are changing styles in the way you mention it often depends on getting more money and I have no respect for that. But, if you´re tired on a music style and change to another because you can like that other style too, I can accept it in another way.

On the other hand, money often give certain freedom of creativity, but the question is to be discussed is that there's a lot of contradictions, what's your opinion?

- We see money like this: It´s good to have, but it´s not the most important thing to us. If the band´s existence would depend on how much money we would get, I promise you we would break up at once. It wouldn´t be worth all the job we´ve had and have if the whole thing just depended on how much money we could earn in the band!

What is for you the Evil, Hatred, Gloom, Contempt?

- Only bad things that humanity must get rid of NOW!!! And I believe these things can only be conquered by true love!!!

How (and when) a man stops to be a man?

- Hmmm....I don´t think that the man can cease to be the man. I mean, I don´t think that the man can ever be some kind of god. The man is the man and will so be. Every human being is ”made of” three parts: body, spirit and soul, and as the man you can never get rid of any of these here on earth.

How do you react to various kinds of criticism?

- You mean on the band and our music? Well, different people have different opinions on these things and I respect that. I´m not trying to make everyone like me or my music because that´s impossible, and if someone tells me that he for example hates my music I respect that. If you´re a musician and can´t stand ”bad” opinions on your music but just get angry for hearingthings like that I´d like to say one thing: STOP PLAYING and don´t be a part of any band again before you can handle criticism! You get no respect for what you´re doing if you´re not respecting other people´s opinions!

Now look back, man. Look at your past (former?) life. What does it make you to think of?

- I´ve done many stupid things, but I´ve also been given forgiveness for them. I´m not proud of everything I´ve done, but I´ve also done lots of things I don´t regret.... Excuse me, but what has a question like this to do with CRIMSON MOONLIGHT?

Did you ever hear about such a movement as "Never Stop The Madness"? The weak must die, while the strong ones must survive, and so on and so forth. What do you think about it?

- Totally sick!!! All human beings have an equal worth, it doesn´t matter if you´re rich or poor, strong or weak. You´re a human being and worth as much as anyone else, not more or less. I can´t understand people thinking ”strong and weak”, we shall help each other as often as we get a chance to it! That´s my opinion and I will never abandon it!!!

Does the extreme music should have any kind of ideology or not?

- Absolutely not! Why should it be that way? For me it doesn´t matter if you play for example death metal music bit sing about something that´s not ”typical” for that music style. Do it if you like it, every human being has been given a personal will. But, I don´t mean that you should stand there and sing about things like murdering someone, racism or so. Absolutely NOT!!! What I mean is that if a death metal guy tells you that ”death metal is about to enthrone death and the abyss” and you want to sing about cute, pink clouds and teddybears but still want the death metal music to it, do it!

Satanism... What's your opinion on this account? Do you consider Satan only a mirror reflection of God (an opposite one), therefore existing only if God exists...? Is satanism a religion just like any other planting ideas? What's your opinion?

- Because I´m not a satanist myself I can´t answer the question if it´s a religion or not. And I think that different satanists give you different answers on that, but.....In one way I think you can say that Satan is a mirror reflection to God. satan has always perverted all the beautiful things God has created and he has also created the lie: ”Believe in yourself, don´t be like a sheep following a shepherd” which is pure satanism! God works totally opposite, he´s like a ”shepherd” for ”sheeps” who want to follow him, but in the same time you´ve got a very large free will. Only because you´re a believer in God throught Christ you´re not bound in chains so to say. In that way satan is a totally opposite to God, he tells you to be free and to believe in yourself, but instead he´s binding you up and hinders you from reaching the loving God. The loving God works in the opposite way, he wants you to believe in him but to walk free inside the limits he´s given mankind. Mankind often sees the limits as things ”we´re not allowed to do” and therefor think christianity boring, but...these things are made by God the Father for our own sake. He knows that we´ll get hurt if we walk over these limits. So, isn´t it better to have some limits but have freedom inside them? I think there is no greater freedom.

Can black exist outside of satanism?

- Do you mean the colour or the music style? If you mean the colour: Of course, why wouldn´t it? As a guy I know once said: If God hadn´t liked the black colour, why would he created people with that skin colour? I think that´s a good explanation. How can a colour be evil? If you mean the music style: Of course, why wouldn´t it? Some say that the lyrics of this music style has to be ”black”, and....I can write lyrics about for example darkness and sorrow, but why would I be forced to enthrone those things? You can write about those things from ”a bright perspective” and that´s what I and CRIMSON MOONLIGHT are doing!

Heathendom is more ancient, more perfect outlook, what do you think? What is paganism for you, culture or religion? Is it really actual now? Furthermore, what has caused "Pagan" and "Black" metal trend, and what would cause their disappearance?

- I don´t really know what has caused it, but I guess it started up as a way ”to find yourself”. I think the only cure is revelation of the great truth: No man can´t find himself through rituals or things like that, but through a meeting with the living God!

What'd you think about the growing popularity of black metal and more people come into a Cult?

- Terrible!!! I think most of that people being involved in a cult are serching their identity in black metal. We think that you can never put you identity in something material and feel ”whole” at the same time. We in the band have also searched our  identity and we have found it in Jesus Christ. That´s why we can enter stage and be ourselves, we don´t have to hide behind for example corpsepaints to feel ”whole” and loved!

Imagine that Death, The Reaper, is standing near you... Would you be able to look in her eyes? What would be your last words?

- Not really.....that depends on what you mean. CRIMSON MOONLIGHT is not adoring death in any way and seen from that point of view, death isn´t standing near us and therefore we can look at it´s eyes. My last words? Hmmm....It´s a bit hard to think of that now, but I think I would say something like: ”Thank you God for this earthly life you gave me. Thank you for bringing me to a better place.”

What do think of suicide? May we consider it a victory of extreme egoism over all desires and sensations?

- I think that suicide in most of the cases isn´t a wish to die but a call for help. Many people commiting suicide today are feeling that incredible hurt and bad that they don´t feel strength to live anymore. I think much of the people thinking of commiting suicide today will feel a lot better if every human being take their responsibility towards each other and put up each other in times of despair. Today´s people are too egoistic, there must be a great change with that if this world will survive some more years.

What still keeps you in this life?

- Our faith in and our relationship with Jesus Christ, that´s the main thing in the lives of all the Crimson Moonlight members.

Life after death...?

- Absolutely!!!!!

What is the principal, the absolute Truth to you?

- The coming of Jesus Christ coming to this earth to show people the only way to God! There can´t be a greater truth for us!!

Is the division into "True" / "False" still possible?

- Are you talking about faith? If so, yes! We´re convinced that we´ve found the absolute Truth! Division into true / false are possible for us, but even if we think someone is wrong we´re not judging that person / those persons. Everyone has totally right to believe in what they want to...

Does Misanthropy destroys you from within, or is it pointed at the
environmental world?

- It´s not pointed at anyone and it´s not destroying us from within. Why should we hate or despise people? It´s nothing good at all in thata and no human being has some kind of right to do those things!

What stimulators do you use in order to expand your spiritual perception?

- We use nothing like that, but we´re communicating with our Lord throught prayers. As I told you before, we´re not seeking God as a force but as a person and therefore we don´t use some kind of techniques for reaching him. We´re not using praying as a technique to reach God, but as a communication channel with him!

What about your future plans?

- We´ll work on new songs now for a while and then play more shows. We also hope to get a good record deal!

And in the end: is there anything you'd like to say for our readers in Russia? How can we get acquainted with your album or demo?

- I would like to thank you getting this interview. Visit our homepage where you can find info about concerts, the old demo and our MCD ”Eternal Emperor” + much more. Bye from Sweden!!!

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