Saturday, May 25, 2019

interview: Bläkken

This Polish extreme metal band hit the ground running in 2018 with their demo Bläkk Blood, an impressive first recording that sounds big and powerful, plenty brutal (featuring the loving title “Meat Grinding Death Machine”) with a dash of melody here and there, and all headbanging extreme metal. In 2019 they have another recording, this time it is called The Ascendancy of Evil. The music is immediately likable as headbanging extreme metal with a surprisingly clear production that sounds good to the ears. This band is starting to sound very promising and that first recording was no accident. They have a clear idea of what their sound is, heavy, not so focused on speed although speed is in there, but more focused on the particular direction of the songs, and not so much obsessed with making sure that all the songs sound like 100% death metal or 100% black metal or any stylistic restrictions like that. In short, while the lyrics are brutal and typical of extreme metal’s focus on the sick, demented side of life, the music shows a certain maturity that extreme metal bands do not show on their early recordings. One question that remains is: Can this band keep things going or will they break up and be just another band that once seemed promising as an extreme metal act? It is a question with no answer yet. We’ll just have to wait and see. Check out this interview and check out the music by going to the link at the end of the interview.
Tell us about your band and the name.
We're Bläkken from Poland. We were founded in 2017, debuted on stage on December 30th 2017 as a supporting act for Vader and played 25 concerts in Poland, Germany and Sweden ever since. I'm Piotr, the rhythm guitarist, and I'll be answering your questions. And about the name... well, we were trying to come up with a name for our band for quite some time, month or two I think, and we weren't happy with anything. One day I was listening to Blackened by Metallica and that moment when Hetfield screams BLACKENED really struck me. I immediately saw the name "BLÄKKEN" in my head and loved it. Guys loved it too, so that's the story. It doesn't really mean anything. Though we would love to blacken the world and the sun with our music.
Reviewers and fans like to categorize. What genre do you call your music?
At first we wanted to play stoner/sludge metal with black n' roll vibe, but we failed. Right now we play black/death metal with thrash influence, but we don't limit ourselves with any genre. We play what we want and how we want, no matter if it's black, death, thrash or any other shit. We just play Bläkken.
Is there a good metal scene there where you live? Where in Poland does your band operate? How is life there in general where you live, work and school and stuff?
We all live in Szczecin, it's one of the biggest cities in Poland, located in north-western part of the country, close to the German border. The metal scene isn't really existing here. There are maybe 4 or 5 metal bands but they are rarely playing any concerts here or anywhere in the country so we're not interacting with each other really. Sure, we have friends in some of these bands, but it's not Bay Area or anything. At the moment there are only 2 clubs where we can play but we are more focused on conquering new areas than playing in our hometown so we don't mind.
Life here is alright, quite average. It's not hard to get a job, education is fine. We do have 'bad' parts of town where it's easy to witness violence and crime, but overall it's not that bad. The only problem is money and politics. We are way poorer than Germans or Swedes and our currently reigning party sucks big time. We all are working day jobs, two of us are also still studying at University of Szczecin and I just graduated. So as you can see Bläkken is a big part of our lives, but it's not our entire life.
About your latest recording’s artwork, is this a special painting for your band or is it an old painting?
Yes, it's a painting by Léon Bonnat called "Job". It was made somewhere around 1880 I believe. There is no concept. We just decided that the song "The Ascendancy of Evil" has the best title for the whole album, we told our graphic designer that we need a cover art to fit that name and he came out with that. We loved it, people also seem to enjoy it so we're satisfied with the outcome.
You have a lot gore and brutality in your lyrics. Is it from horror movies and the news?
Yea, the real inspiration for our music is life itself. Most of our songs are inspired by real life events, urban legends, tragedies and such.
Does the title The Ascendency of Evil express your views? Do you consider yourself religious (satanist, etc.)?
Wow, that's a hard one. We're not satanists, that's for sure. One of us is even a catholic (won't tell you which though!), but we're mostly atheists. We just don't give a flying fuck about god or any 'spiritual' authority.
Do your lyrics express a hatred of women, like on “Lethal Lover”?
I don't think you've paid enough attention when you read the lyrics to Lethal Lover, dude. This song is a classic love story. Boy loves a girl but this girl does not love him back. So the boy decides to kill a girl so no one can ever love her. Classic, right? We love women. Women are awesome and we're so fuckin' happy there are so much of them at our concerts. But if you're a woman and you're offended by us using a word "slut" in our lyrics... then just fuck off.
Does Poland being part of the European Union make it easier for you to tour in Europe?
Yea, Poland is in EU. It is easier only when it comes to visas and paperwork, there are no borders, we can travel through EU only with our IDs. But it is expensive. Prices and salaries are very different. For example - a college student in Poland can earn about 3-4$/h working at McDonald's, while the same student working in German McDonald's would earn 10$ and a Swede would earn 15-20$. Poland is a pretty fucked up country. I remember some guy from Jackass called Poland the Mexico of Europe. It's about right. Every concert outside of our hometown comes with some sort of sacrifice. It's always a challenge for us financially so we can't really afford playing every weekend, though we wish we could.
Does everyone in the band want to tour a lot?
We're very ambitious when it comes to our music. We would love to be able to make a living playing music, we would love to tour all over the world. We do have girlfriends, they're not quite happy with us going on tours, but c'est la vie, baby. They know they can't chain us down and force us to choose between them and Bläkken because we would chose Bläkken every time.
What would you like to say to American fans of brutal metal in regards to your band?
Support the underground, support your local scene... and fuck your politics! Man, we would absolutely love to play a U.S. tour. But unfortunately, it's hard as fuck. Poland is the only U.S. ally that can't come to U.S. without visas. Also, we're one of the most loyal U.S allies, so we believe it's really fucked up. But that's politics, politics are fucked up all over the world, there's not much you or me can do about it. Thank you very much for this interview and we would like to thank each and everyone of our U.S. fans and readers of Metal Bulletin for reading this. Keep supporting metal all over the world, but keep supporting Bläkken the most! STAY BLÄKK! blakken.bandcamp.com

No comments:

Post a Comment