Part 3 – Interview
Despite this: Blasphemer says he never wanted to make any point of being a “misunderstood artist” either:
– I’d rather be understood, and had hoped that people could look at this project with different eyes. So far, the dividing lines have been very clear: While some come up with questions that tell them that they have understood the whole concept right away, I can sit for hours and explain to others, who still do not understand. It’s interesting. In that way, it may seem that the whole package has worked out from the plan that this should be an intuitive thing.
Do you feel that the use of these strong instruments has been justified in the product “Weltherrschaft” has become?
– To me they are, I have gotten rid of my demons by building such a world. In fact, I had to go so far to get rid of all the hate and despair that was ripping me apart. I am not a lover of war – at least not of war in physical form – but sometimes you have to destroy the old to build something new. It is this process of annihilation and reconstruction that fascinates me; an endless series of confrontations where something dies and something else comes into being. Although many of these processes take place at the mental level of “Weltherrshafft”, it has nevertheless become a very “physical” record.
And the reactions have not been waiting for either. The undersigned knows that Blesphemer has been a little shameless about how the controversial wrapping came to be received:
– Obviously you have to think about what you do, because this is a very radical concept. But now I have found peace. I stand for what I have done, people get what they want. When Jan Axel Blomberg came in Jan had his own ideas and interpretations, this happens and though Jan may not have agreed with all or some of the things, it’s a fantastic working relationship to be in, it becomes so creative.
And they do. The metal press in Germany has gone hard to the plate, so far all the biggest magazines have refused to report it. Several record stores are also afraid to take it in, they see “Weltherrschafft” as a kind of Pandora’s box that all the ugliness of the world can jump out of – and bite anyone who is close enough to their face.
– They say they do not believe that neither I nor the record are “Nazi”, but are afraid of being associated with something that “smells brown”. The Americans were also afraid to publish the record, and asked to have all the tariffs translated into English and sent over. If they found no Nazi sympathies, they would distribute the record. Elsewhere in Europe the receptions have been good, Metal Hammer in Italy thought it was a great slice.
Are you going to get the plate pile in return from the states?
– Not kangs. They won’t find any of the world’s stuff, so the album will be out on November 26. It should also have been out in Norway two weeks ago, but Voices Of Wonder in Denmark called for the order, so we’ll see.
Despite all the anticipated controversy, Blasphemer has not chosen to include a clear text booklet in the cover. Instead, small text snippets are deliciously baked into the design – reminiscent of invasion plans. For a man whose deployment depends on him being understood, this is a funny move.
– I like to keep some mystery in it, so it was better that the few lines I drew looked like small poems. They bring out the most descriptive. The lyrics are so abstract that people would hardly understand anything more if I wrote them completely. He who translated my texts into German did not understand what I wanted to say to them. People believe whatever they want.
Disturbed and madman mad?
A German online magazine reportedly characterized the record as: “Extremely disturbing music for extremely disturbed people,” and gave the worst rating on the cube – which Blasphemer thought was hilarious.
Are you extremely disturbed?
No, not now. Blasphemer smiles broadly, tosses the long hair, and pulls off some guitar riffs in the open air. – But “Weltherrshafft” is far too hateful and intense for German power metal fans to understand it anyway.
Which is sure to make the tour life exciting, or what?
– There is hardly any touring at all. I was offered the opportunity to play at the Inferno festival next year, but said no thanks. I refuse to do anything half-heartedly, and Mezzerscmitt live had become too expensive, big and extreme to move from scene to scene. But it is possible we do one or two “one-off” concerts if everything falls into place and the budget is right, he says. A tight, authoritarian profile with uniformed “armed” guards between the scene and the audience, and everyone except Blasphemer and Hellhammer shaved their heads, are the few ingredients he wants to reveal to the press.
– He-he … we could probably create some furore on the roads with that concept, he nods happily.
But concerts are not going to be played until the full-length is out, and it will take a while. First, Mayhem’s next record, “Chimera,” will be recorded and released sometime late next year. After that there will be a natural wait for the new Mezzerschmitt plate.
Any bits and pieces of what to expect from the sequel to the EP?
– I have a few thoughts around it, and some sound in my head. The opening will be an obscure long intro to the building of the “Mezzerchmitt Empire”. The people, who will be described by Mr Schmitt as “machines”, will begin to slowly climb up the shit, towards the new Oceania Mr. Schmitt is building after all the old structures were demolished in rage.
Hmm. Are you a little crazy, maybe?
– Mr. Schmitt is it. Now I just live with the idea of the character Schmitt, and see him from the outside. When this built up to the worst, I managed to put myself in his place to a greater extent, living myself into his head.
But from a credibility point of view – wouldn’t it be impossible to play on a stage if you screamed this nightmare character out of you during the recording?
– I’ll probably get something done, and send myself back to a state that can be credible to both the fans and myself. But it’s not going to be the same.
If you first sit in the same room as the backbone of Mayhem, it is natural to have him slap his lip about how wet and commercial the black metal has reportedly become. But despite the fact that Blasphemer has been out with the big one before, he doesn’t want to whitewash other bands that many believe have abandoned the basic idea behind black metal:
– Yes, I certainly live a far more exuberant lifestyle than many others, and it is important to always exist in some kind of unconscious symbolic opposition. What I can say is that many people do this to make a show while I ‘m like that. The guys in Dimmu Borgir are friends of mine, so I’m not interested in scolding them, but for me they play heavy, and not black metal. What distinguishes is the heart feeling – which lies behind, and expresses – the music. Several people told me that they had become physically nauseated by listening to one of the songs on “Wolfs Lair Abyss” record, it says.
People like Jan Axel Blomberg took a different approach after playing and went into painting or something insane like that.
Blasphemer has neither hope nor desire to be A-listed on P3, as Satyricon’s “Fuel For Hatred” recently said:
– Mezzerscmitt is an audible demon manifestation, audible to those who think it is fat to get a hit in the face, and manages to like what others think is disgusting and totally reprehensible. Not a bad word about Satyricon, but to my ears, their music sounds most like black rock ‘n’ roll – there’s not much evil in it. Genuine black metal like Mayhem and Mezzerscmitt will never be neither A, B nor C listed ever. Not because we can’t play, but because the music relates to something that few people understand, and that’s fine – all with theirs.