Thursday, September 27, 2012

interview with Avenger (Czech Republic)

Avenger  (Czech Republic)
On one hand, Avenger’s sound brings together the intelligently-composed twisted heaviness, darkness and atmosphere that is encompassed in complete classics such as Celtic Frost’s “To Mega Therion” and Bathory’s “Under the Sign of the Black Mark” and “Blood Fire Death”; and Master’s Hammer’s “Ritual” and “The Jilemnice Occultist.” Those albums have an artistic intention to create atmosphere and imagery of the esoteric, dark and occult in the mind of the listener.
On the other hand, it is clear that Avenger channels that energy in their music. Avenger, I think, also seeks a particular audience. Perhaps they seek that listener is not pleased with most metal music even, people who will in Avenger find something that speaks to their search, indeed.
Honza (drums, guitars, vocals) answered some questions.
I think “Bohemian Dark Metal” is one of the best albums in 2012 and Avenger has done another album with that dark atmosphere, heaviness, aggression, but also memorable songs. What has happened since the release of the album?
Thanks for kind words! I’m glad you enjoy our work. Nothing breaking happened since the album release. We have read countless positive reviews for it, that’s right. I hope it helped Evan of Deathgasm records to get fine with sales (ignore MP3 and buy your own copy!). The band celebrated 20 years of existence a few months ago. We played a few festival shows this summer (Brutal Assault Fest was unforgettable!!). New T-shirts are out now. Otherwise, all is flowing as usually. We live our private lives and work on new material. Probably EP / mini CD next time.

What is necessary for Avenger to tour the U.S.? Your album was released on Deathgasm Records in the U.S.
There is only one way to gain good conditions for our US tour -  about 10 000 other bands stop touring, so that hunger for metal comes again. We, as a band, are very open for any offers and yes, some negotiations for US shows were started. Unfortunately, none of the involved parties was keen on bearing its financial risks (plane tickets etc.), so nothing’s gonna happen. We are too underground and we have no ambitions to change anything about it. Probably no satisfying number of audience would be expecting us in the states. Nothing but fact.

And what is the situation for Avenger in the Czech Republic in general?
Honestly, we were playing a lot more shows some 5 – 10 years ago, when we were younger and were fighting hard to get on any gig available. This year we have played I think 5 or 6 shows only, some festivals as well, one really big too. But there is no more taste at our side to fight for it. Who wants to see us perform, he can simply invite us. When there are no invitations, we have no problem to stay home and work on the material for our new records. 

According to Metal Archives, the members of Avenger are quite involved in other bands. I have 2 questions related to that. Number 1: between all these different bands, do you all make a living as professional musicians?
Actually I’m the only one living on music. Not in the sense of being professional musician, but rather as  a sound engineer. I have my own recording studio HELLSOUND which is my fulltime job. All other band members have their civil jobs totally unrelated to music.

And number 2: With members of Avenger involved in other bands, who is the creative driving force that writes the songs in Avenger? Do Honza and Petr (guitars) write the songs together?
Since the very beginning, Ramus (Petr) and me (Honza) have been the only creative force within the band. Other members have been our crew for live shows. They have their own bands where they can use their creative forces so they respect the way it works in Avenger. On the newer albums (Feast of Anger and Bohemian Dark Metal) Ramus is also not that active anymore. Its more my solo work, I was writing and recording BDM 95 % by myself. Feast is 100 % my music and lyrics too.

Let’s talk about a couple of songs? Tell us about “Vstříc Dálkám.” For those that do not speak Czech, what does the title mean? What is the story behind this song? Is it part of an overall concept? 
Yes, all the lyrics on this album have its connecting concept. It’s hard now. On one hand I would like to answer your question, on another hand, the things I sing about are in a way very personal so I don’t feel very comfortable to go too much in details in public. The topics are deeply connected to my own life story, it’s about relationships and about inner fights with my complicated and sick nature. The album has been created in quite hard period of my life, its quite depressed, tired-mooded and full of self-hatred, on the other hand also full of picking last forces and searching for dignity and sense of existence. Better if you check English translations in booklet (possibly another good reason to buy original digipack).

What about the track “Dark Metal”? How many guitars are used in this song? What feelings do you get from that particular song? I think a lot of your music sounds on the sinister side. This is the only song with an English-language title, too.
There are 2 basic guitar arrangements, both played 2 times (doubled) for more power and brutal colour. So there are two first guitars left, two second guitars right. Then we have basic bass lines there, one short bass solo in the second riff. There are some short acoustic guitar parts in the verse. And there are 2 lead guitar lines at the end of the song. That’s it. All other sounds came from other instruments or voices. The mood of the song.... well. Lets say its calm and powerful... reconciliation with bad state of things. Finding the divine powers in myself. Holding the evil, sick, dark pressures under control, as a source for life strength.

Here is a question you will hate! The guitar solo on Bathory’s “The Golden Walls of Heaven” and the guitar solo on Avenger’s “The Birth of Muse” (from your 2009 album "Feast of Anger/Joy of Despair") have some strong similarities? Avenger’s solo is longer, more extended, though. Did you do it on purpose?! I’m sure you are tired of people mentioning this issue.
Man, why should I hate this question !!??? In these fucked up times, you are one of few who ever recognizes such similarities! I had to laugh at many reviews for Bohemian Dark Metal. Most of so-called “journalists“ compare us to bands as Watain... or Taake... or Satyricon... or Immortal. There’s nothing else I can do about it, but just to laugh my lungs off. These idiots probably never heard about bands as Bathory, Master’s Hammer, Root, Buldozer... they probably don’t ever know the old albums by Dissection, Emperor, Morbid Angel, Bolt Thrower, My Dying Bride.... etc. THESE old acts are the real jewels, where our roots actually started growing and where we continue taking inspiration. ALL that is good in metal has been told 20 – 30 years ago already. When writing new Avenger songs I’m 666 % convinced to find my personal path how to pay tribute to this ancient mastership. That’s all. It’s so funny to see some of the kids judging my new album. I had been doing metal probably before they were ever born. So I’m always happy when someone speaks about the real roots of metal. Thanks for this question! To answer it. Yes. Many my song arrangements are intentional tributes to the godly stuff we have grown on. Quorthon was a genius, too bad he passed so early.

What are a couple of Czech movies that you have seen recently that are good?
Man, I doubt you can reach any of the Czech movie productions in the states ? Generally Czechs are masters of comedies with very specific way of humour.... If you get a chance, check movies as Slavnosti snezenek, Dedictvi aneb Kurvahosigutntag, Na samote u lesa.... I have no idea how the title translations would sound like :-)) Better if you come to CZ and stay for a while. I assure alive its sometimes even more funny than movie :-).

What else do we need to know? Do you shirts or dvds?
We were recording both video and 16 track audio from our 20th anniversary show. It’s I think 17 songs total.... when we find time to edit and finish it we would like to release it as our first official DVD. T-shirts are newly available via Deathgasm records as well.

I think you would like Seattle, it has rainy, cloudy weather and there is very little sun, except for some days in July and August. Doesn’t it sound like the perfect weather? Thanks for your time!
Generally, I couldn’t stay somewhere in big city, that’s sure. I live in a small village and my house is placed on a very distant place so I have peace for my life and work. That’s totally essential for me. Speaking for weather, we live in central Europe and all four seasons are beautiful here, I like to wander the country without any goal... just enjoying the beauty of nature. Speaking for rainy cloudy weather... I’m not a big fan of it. I’m very sensitive for it so I usually suffer a lot during autumn. On the other hand, it’s cool for writing music and lyrics :-).  THE END.

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