THE STRONGHOLD ONLINE INTERVIEW - JUNE 03
1. How did you met each other, you two, and Trifixion, and how came the
idea of Summoning?
Over 10 years ago I travelled from my hometown to Vienna to stay there because of my study and my job. I got a cheap apartment from Trifixion and with the time I got in touch with all the other people with whom I sooner or later started a band projects. As I was a metal maniac I got in touch with all the new Norwegian black metal music very early in a time when nearly no one knew about this new style and CDs and LPs were hard to get and the Death Metal Trend was on its top. Being fascinated about this type of music and hailing bands like "Bathory" or "Celtic Frost" since years I of course wanted to start our own project like every hungry young band.
2. How did you kick out Trifixion ? Did he accept easily ? Do you see
him by times ?
For me it was easy to kick him out. I just said that I don't want to play together with Trifixion in a band, and Silenius immediately decided to keep making music with me instead of Trifixion. I even was not present when Trifixion heard this decision; so I don't know if he accepted it easily. But if I think about all those times when Trifixion was only orientated on musical success without any interests for the music; I can imagine that he accepted it absolutely not easy.
3. What did you want to do with Summoning at the very beginning? Has
your view of this project changed?
At the beginning we simply wanted to make music without thinking too much about it. Or main intention was to provoke and to create a lot of chaos. I think we really achieved this aim. But after this first raw energy was successfully transformed into music we started to think more about the music and how to create new athermospheres.
But we also completely changed our way of making music not only the music. After the first CD we didn't create the songs while playing in a practicing cellar; we started to create our tunes at home in my normal room (often with a bottle of wine), simply with my synthesiser where we were able to create whole instrumental songs. Apart from the greater variety of sounds due to the keyboards, the really had a much more relaxed atmosphere which was really a great advantage for our musical creativity.
4. Seven albums later (more than six hours !), what view do you have
on Summoning's adventure and your
whole career ? Would you change anything ?
I would not change anything. Even if I now think that the first Summoning is not the best music Summoning has made; I am totally not unhappy about this time, because it was necessary to develop our sound and musical ideas.
The only thing I can remember that I really wanted to change if I had the possibility is the weak guitar sound on "Nightshade Forest". We made some bad mistakes within the production which we thought was cool but turned out badly.
5. Were you 'famous' before Summoning ? Then is it Summoning which made
you famous ?
No we where not "famous". We both played in some bands, which were totally unknown. Silenius was playing bass guitar in a doom metal band and I was playing drums in a Thrash-Death metal band.
Of course we were not "famous" before, but it should be mentioned that before the first "summoning" CD was released we already have published the "Pazuzu" Cd "And All Was Silent" on Norwegian "Head Not Found" label and I already did the first CD with "Abigor". So the "Summonig" release was not our debut CD.
6. The Summoning Logo contains a pentagram. Who made this logo (well
done), and why the Pentagram?
It was me who made the logo. Actually I didn't plan this logo for the future of Summoning, I just made it for a demo and it took me only a few minutes. I wanted to create a logo that makes it very obvious what kind of music Summoning plays. Later when everyone liked the logo very much we decided to use it as the future Summoning logo. Since then we didn't even change a singe detail on it and still use the original (uncorrected) drawing made only with a pen and a ruler
In the beginning we wanted to be a pure black metal band and wanted of course a logo that marked this attitude, but after a while we realised that we didn't want to have the same concept as "Abigor" and so we decided to make the concept based more in the fantasy mythology direction. While the demos and the first release "Lugburz" where filled with occult and satanic lyrics (often written by Pazuzu) we soon changed the lyrical content into very Tolkien influenced lyrics until we took over his lyrical concept at all and placed it in our concept to make a musical world of the dark and destructive side of middle earth, and this brought us away from what is called pure black metal. Nevertheless we never changed the logo because it shows from which direction "Summoning" has come from.
7. Is (or has been) Summoning some satanistic music, and what does satanism
represent for you ?
Summoning is definitely no satanic band. For me Satanism is something quite unnecessary. I don't see any rebellion or revolution in it. To use the symbols of the hated Christian religion and just pervert them does not mean to stand for a completely different way of living. Satanism is a Christian invention, and if you don't care about religion then choose to be an atheist like I do. To spend time praising Satan is nothing very different than praying to god.
To destroy some churches or graveyards is also not a brave or revolutionary act. It would have been something brave and revolutionary in the past (times of medieval) where the church was very powerful and abused their might the whole time, but now as it is simply a dying unnecessary relict of the past, I see nothing "heroic" in it.
In the beginning I had a big interest in everything that is connected with occult and satanic literature and all these experiences of course formed my life in that time with which I could identify. Later on I got a bit bored of this and drowned myself more and more into paganism and heathendom and northern-german mythology, until I studied the sense of being total atheist. All in all this different types of interest that formed me to place over a period of 15 years I think it is natural when you are 16 or 17 years old you are always on a search to build up your character and strengthen your personality and I think this is the reason why my personal feelings about religion in general changed a lot over this time.
8. At the beginning you were taking lyrics from Tolkien ; in the last
albums could be seen various sources (Moorcok, Robert Frost) ;
does it mean that Tolkien's words are less inspiring ? Do you still locate your music in the MiddleEarth?
First of all it seems to be that we will never get tired of Tolkiens Mythology and I think this is the best compliment I could make to his work, because everything else did bore me after some time. But on the other hand it is of course more and more difficult after all our releases to find new lyrics and inspirations out of these books because all essential parts already have been used for our musical translations. Sadly we hardly find new Authors in this direction who could inspire us that much to make musical landscapes out of their work, so I still think we will keep the Tolkien style alive but who knows maybe one day I will find something similar impressing to use for our work.
9. you had also planned to make a CD about "Das Nibelungen Lied",
a German MiddleAge Poem ; can you tell more about it? Was the project forgotten?
We wanted to use this topic for (I can't remember exactly) for the Dol Guldur release or the following up one, but gave it up because in that time a really ugly band called "Mystic Circle" used this topic for their release and we didn't want to get in any connection with them. Meanwhile so many bands took over this idea so we didn't think about it at all nowadays. In the future I think we will keep the basic influence of Tolkien but maybe take over the ideas from other authors as we did on "Let Mortal Heroes".
10. Any kind of new project for Summoning ? A planned new album or some
original riffs ?
For now we didn't create new material for a new Summoning CD. Like after every Summoning release we make long rests between our releases and spend our time on our other musical projects. Silenius was working for new songs of his militant-industrial project "Kreuzweg Ost" (www.hollenthon.com/kwo/) and I was working for new Songs of my Dark Wave Project "Die Verbannten Kinder Evas" (www.dvke.info). We need those rests to gather new ideas and to keep the work for our music as interesting as it always was. If we would only work for "Summoning" we maybe would have already get bored by it, and maybe would have tried to add some new "trend" (what is so popular nowadays) to it to keep it fresh, but because we can live up all our other musical interests in our other projects there is no need to spoil the Summoning style with elements that don't belong to Summoning.
To be honest we didn't have one single tune for the next release. The reason for that is that the muse doesn't kiss me at all in the moment but all this can change from one moment to another. The problem is that you can't force yourself being creative. It could happen tomorrow that I get influenced again or it will last some more time. We don't stress ourselves so I can't say anything new in which direction "Summoning" will go or not.
11. Your style has evoluated a lot in the different albums : from Lugburz
(which is particular) to Nightshade Forests, then Stronghold (guitar oriented),
LMHSYF (keyboard oriented and most Epic album) and Lost Tales
(no guitar, no voices and a bit electro) always have a different style, but still connected to the original idea (in my mind). Will Summoning evoluate again and in which direction ?
I can not tell for now. All those evolutions came naturally. When we listen to our own CDs after some time, we start to realise what where the strengths of the albums and what was missing a bit. For example after "Nightshade Forest" we realised that the guitars could hardly be heard; so we made "Stronghold" were we concentrated much more on the guitars. We were very happy with it, but again after a while we thought that on our next CD we should bring back the more polyphonic and epic orientated keyboard (while Stronghold was a more rocky CD). So we combined the more melodic-complex guitar style of Stronghold with the more epic keyboards. (Because "Lost Tales" is just a release of old instrumental-demo songs from the time of "Dol Guldur" it has got nothing to do with any new tendencies of Summoning). Only after some time we will be able to realise what we think could be done better on the next CD.
Part II ~ Part