Interview With Thomas Fisher (aka Thomas Gabriel Warrior) of Celtic Frost and Apollyon Sun
Interview By EvilG, November 1999
Ask any fan of extreme metal what bands pioneered the scene and you’ll get a mixture of responses…Venom, Possessed, Kreator, Bathory etc., etc.. Many (myself included) look to Celtic Frost. They were the first band I heard who were so extreme. They were also the first band I had heard who who combined this extremity with female vocals and orchestrational elements. Thus emerged a unique blend of metal, doom, and what can only be called Celtic Frost. At the beginning you couldn’t compare this band to anyone, that’s how original and different they were! Yes it was grounded in metal but it wasn’t what I personally was used to. Seeing them for the first time in the “Circle of The Tyrants” video was what really got me into the band.
Unfortunately, as the band made it’s way into the 90’s something went awry. By April 1993 the band had packed it in. Now with the proper re-release of Celtic Frost’s back catalog (minus Cold Lake) we have the opportunity to reflect back on what Celtic Frost was and what their contribution to the metal community has been. Rumors about a possible reunion and a new album have been circulating…and guess what? – There is truth behind these rumors! Read on and find out about Celtic Frost and Apollyon Sun (Tom’s new band).
I was just wondering do you go by the name Thomas Fisher or the Thomas Gabriel Warrior name?
“Well I’ll tell you what, that was never as important to me as it is to certain fans. It was basically a remnant from Hellhammer times, our stage names, and we never made it a secret. Most albums feature our real names in the credits anyway.”
Yeah, it just sounded cool that’s all…
“Yeah of course, it was cool. I mean, we liked it, but it wasn’t a dead serious thing.”
I’ve always wondered where exactly the name Celtic Frost came from? I’ve read a few ideas on it but what is it’s real meaning?
“It’s very typical Martin and me. We just couldn’t do it like any other band, we had to be different. We didn’t want to have a metal clich? name. we wanted to have a synonym for the apocalypse. So we chose “Celtic” as representative of human civilizations and we used “Frost” as a sign of decay, of death, of standstill, when everything freezes and dies. We took the name “Frost” especially because after the winter, after the frost, there is always a new spring and life blossoms again and to us it reflected very much the coming and going of the different civilizations on this planet.”
One thing I’ve wondered…I’ve heard the band name pronounced “Keltic Frost” I guess like from Ireland derivative of the Celts? And I’ve also heard people pronounce it like “Seltic Frost.” Maybe you can set the record straight and tell us how it is supposed to be pronounced.
“The official way, the correct way, is “Keltic.” That’s how the band was formed too. However, you guys in North America, 90% of you guys call it “Seltic.” Since Reed was in the band and Martin is a double citizen (he’s American too), this “Seltic” thing crept into the band and half the time we ourselves said “Seltic” and half the time we said “Keltic.” We caught ourselves, we tried to say “Keltic” but it’s so hard when you have your main market in America, it just slips in.”
Well to me Celtic Frost has always been a pioneering band. Do you think now looking back that your music was ahead of it’s time?
“Look, I usually don’t comment on stuff like that. It’s not up to me to make a comment on that. It would be pretty arrogant if I would go around making comments like that about our band. What I can tell you is that our motto was “create, not copy.” If that makes us different from any other band then so be it but that’s also pre-decided, that’s the only thing that made us different. All we tried to do was be original and basically play what’s in our minds. We just didn’t know any borders, we didn’t want to know any borders. We didn’t look at other musical directions in a negative way like so many other metal bands. We felt it was interesting what other musical directions could give us and since we all listened to different kinds of music, not only metal. It was totally natural for us to combine whatever we felt like. So I don’t look at it as being different or ahead of it’s time or whatever. I just think we were just an open band, we tried to create something.”
I’m not sure if Celtic Frost was the first band to do this but you were the first I had heard who had incorporated female vocals and traditionally non-metal instruments into a fairly extreme metal setting. What were you thinking, were you just experimenting?
“Well we played this really arcane, dark, gloomy music and we wanted it to have more of an expression. We didn’t want to be confined to just this darkness, we totally love this darkness but we basically looked at it as a basis. We never thought that heavy metal was a music that didn’t invite experiments, we thought quite the opposite. Hard music provides us with a perfect basis for experiments. One of these experiments was to give it some kind of different feel to find a total counter-balance to this darkness and heaviness and of course that would be something feminine, a feminine voice…something totally light and pretty and fragile. We felt this was almost a perverted combination, the two extremes, and it worked so well, this totally eerie combination, that is just became a part of the band once we had tried it.”
I’ve been curious about your lyrics and what influenced some of what you have written over the years.
“Most of the time the lyrics are just a reflection of our personal thoughts. We didn’t like those bands that basically go see a movie or read a book then they write the song about it, that’s not very original. We did this very rarely. Martin has done a couple of songs that were influenced by a poem but most of the time the lyrics really reflected our frame of mind and our personal feelings. The range of topics was really open. It was what concerned us at the time, mentally.”
My introduction to Celtic Frost was (surprise, surprise) “Circle of the Tyrants” which today is still one of my all time favorite songs. Can you tell me a bit about what the circle of the tyrants is?
“That is actually a very unusual song in that it was inspired by literature. It was inspired by a poem by Robert E. Howard who of course later became famous as the creator of the Conan books earlier this century. That is very unusual because I really did not read fantasy and I did not write songs according to books but this really is the one. I just totally loved Howard’s poetry. Maybe I got so taken by it because usually I only read fact and not fiction and when I read his books I was totally taken. We had this riff and we were looking for a verbal expression of this riff and this topic seemed to totally fit it. We put the two together and the rest I guess is history.”
I remember back in ’89 or so, I was in a band and we actually covered “Circle of The Tyrants.” We were playing the last song of our set and it was “Circle of the Tyrants” – about 30 seconds into the song a bunch of younger kids got up and walked out haha…I guess it was too heavy or something for them…have you ever had anything funny like that happen or a reaction to any of your music?
“I’m quite sure there were people who walked out of our concerts…As far as crowd reaction we usually had the opposite, we had fans that just totally lost control which actually had a tremendous impact on the band. After our first two tours in ’85 and ’86 and especially the US arm of the second tour in ’86 we became sick and tired of the violent and “primitive” element of our crowd, the ones that just came to totally release their aggressions. They would disturb the other paying fans from enjoying the gigs. They would be so violent, they would instigate riots in the mosh pits. They would come on stage and sometimes even damage our equipment. We’ve always defended the rights of stage-divers when security wanted to prevent stage-divers from coming on stage. We didn’t mind people coming on stage but not if they were destructive. So we became so frustrated with this element in our fans that we decided to turn the music of the band massively around to scare this element of our fans away – the most radical element. This was basically the root of “Into The Pandemonium” and songs like “Mexican Radio”, “I Won’t Dance” and everything that followed in the band. It was a conscious decision that we actually made while on the road in the states. That is a crowd reaction that had a profound impact on the band.”
I love your vocal style…
“Which one” (laughs).”
Yeah that’s just it, it is so distinctive and there are different “voices.” One thing I wanted to bring up was patented “Ouuggghhh” and the “HEYYYYY!” Do you still do that kind of thing with the material you’ve been writing with Apollyon Sun, or is it something left to Frost???
“Actually I never really liked the “hey” so much. The “hey” was an attempt to top the “oouu” and it just never felt organic to me. But of course, how could I go through my life without going “ouhh” you know? So definitely Apollyon Sun has it’s “oug’s” and it has an even more modern version of it. It’s not as prominent, but of course it’s still with me and once we’re on the road it’ll probably be much more prominent.”
Did you stumble upon this when jamming?
“Well a lot of bands have done that. I’ve listened to music consciously since the early 70’s and I remember a lot of bands at that time did that. The most unlikely bands did it like country bands and funk bands. Of course in the early 80’s Paul D’Ainno from Iron Maiden used to do it. So when I started music, to me that was already a totally accepted thing. We just did it occasionally to kind of enhance changes or power or something. We didn’t really think anything about it but the press totally picked up on it and made it basically our signature. That’s when it took off. It wasn’t really meant to be such a major thing, we did it without even thinking. It was you guys, it was the media who totally made it a legend and now of course the rest of my life I have to walk through life going “ouhhh” you know? (laughs)”
The first time I heard you guys was like I said with “Circle of the Tyrants.” When I heard the chorus “Circle of the tyrants…ouhhh” I was like “AWESOME!”
“We just liked that with the simple caveman style thing that you could totally enhance power of a break or something. We totally love that aspect.”
I’ve read that you think that a lot of Celtic Frost fans hate “Cold Lake.” It’s my opinion that some people more objected to a change in the band’s image because there are some quintessential Celtic Frost on there with great songs like “(Once) They Were Eagles”, “Juices Like Wine”, “Roses Without Thorns.” Do you want to completely forget about the CD or is there anything on there that you can still listen to?
“I never listen to that album. The only track I ever listen to, and that’s very rarely, is the intro “Human (2).” Actually, yeah, I want to forget about this album, very much so. It’s an extremely complex album even though it’s the most simple album we’ve ever done. To explain this album is so fucking complex…why it happened and why it happened the way it did. I agree with you, some of the songs on there are potentially really cool and we played some of those songs, some of the so-called good ones, on the road and fans never seemed to object when we played them with the usual Frost sound. Due to many influences, such as the guitar player we had at that time, Tony Platt’s production and also my very own frame of mind after 14 months the hardest imaginable legal struggle against the record company resulting in the loss of what I think is the best line-up of Frost. I was in no state of mind at that time to play true Frost, I just didn’t have it. At that time, even if I would of attempted to make an album like “Morbid Tales” or “…Pandemonium” I would not have been able to do it. I needed a year to let off steam and to just not think anything dark, anything negative, anything primitive. That year…after all this shit went down – video clips cancelled, tour support being cancelled, advertising cancelled…we were on the phone every day with attorneys, we had put tens of thousands of dollars that we really didn’t have into legal fees. When ’88 came around, all I wanted to do was an album without this fucking emotional baggage. I just wanted to smile and to just basically party like everybody else! Of course it was totally wrong to do that under the Frost name and we realized that during the recordings and we approached the record company and our attorney and said “look, let’s release this under a different name”…but of course the album had been so expensive, in part because of Tony Platt, that it was just impossible to release it under a different name. The only way we could finance this album was under the Frost name. So it came out, and we knew already it wasn’t a Frost album and that it was a catastrophe. That’s why it’s very hard for me to live with this album. It was done in a very particular frame of mind. I personally only understood that frame of mind at that time. When I look back now, I can only myself understand it when I think back on how it could of happened. I basically cannot understand why we did this album and ahhh…I really dislike it. When I listen to it I get bad feelings. I think I let the fans down, there was so much better music in me and I’m ashamed I could not let it out at that time, it was just impossible. I never ever listen to it, it gives me bad feelings, that’s why it’s not being re-issued.”
That was one thing I was going to ask but you just answered it.
“There was no way we wanted to do this to the fans twice. The re-issues are to be the essential Frost albums, not Celtic Frost’s worst moments.”
I consider myself a fan yet I really have no bad comments about Cold Lake, I actually love the CD. There were a couple of songs on there that were a little out there but overall I liked most of the CD.
“That’s a very flattering comment. I would be much more harsh with the album. The thing is in Europe the album was a major flop. Europe crowds tend to go for much heavier material. In North America the album astonishingly opened many doors for us because I guess at that time the whole glam metal thing was popular, especially in America. MTV put our video for “Cherry Orchards” in rotation (this being the first video MTV did this with for Frost). It gave us commercial success in certain states, an album that we really did not like, an album we really did not stand behind. It enabled us to secure the contracts that later let us put out an album like “Vanity Nemesis.” So the album really has two sides but it’s not something I look back to with much happiness.”
So you even realized during the actual recording of the CD that this was not something that you wanted to call “Celtic Frost.”
“Oh yes, but there was simply no way I could of turned it around. I mean, I’m honest to you, at that time I didn’t have it in me. I was so burned out from this whole shit that went on in ’87 that I just simply didn’t have it in me. It probably needed this kind of valve to let off the steam, this valve called “Cold Lake” to find it again, to re-focus.”
A couple of years ago a CD called “In Memory of Celtic Frost” was released. What did you think of it?
“It made for good toilet paper. It’s a shame it’s so rigid, it didn’t fit in my crack.”
So you never had any input into selecting bands who would be on it?
“No, my new band Apollyon Sun was together for three months when we were contacted and asked if we were interested to do a song. We felt it was a funny idea and we did it but that’s really the end of our involvement. It was not our idea nor our concept nor were we involved in how it was put together. The biography that was in this album was just a total outrage. I don’t think to begin with that it’s even a tribute to Frost because Frost was all about innovation and doing things differently and breaking borders and chains and this album doesn’t do justice to that. I don’t think it’s a tribute to Frost, it’s just a bunch of hardcore bands covering songs by Frost.”
Would you like to see a proper tribute to Celtic Frost done, or you’re just not into the whole tribute album thing at all?
“Exactly. that would be pretty “starship” like if we’re going to be thinking “when is there finally going to be this tribute album to my music”. It’s not really anything that I am concerned with. As an artist of course I’d be interested to hear other bands changing our music as drastically as we changed other band’s music like when we did cover versions. I would like to hear TRUE interpretations of our music by other artists and it doesn’t necessarily have to be metal artists. That would be interesting to me as an artist but the whole concept of a tribute album is basically self-flattery, that’s not a good thing.”
Perhaps then you can tell me about the recently re-released Celtic Frost CD’s that Noise Records have re-released. My first thought when I heard they were coming out was – why isn’t this available as a box set with a book and all kinds of cool shit like that? Were you disappointed that it is coming out as single CD’s?
“No, as a matter of fact we were given 100% control over this whole thing. Everything was done to the point of our specifications. It was originally planned to be a box set but we discussed it with the record company and with the band and we eventually came to the conclusion that it would probably be better to release them individually because maybe not all fans want to buy all the albums. I always felt that when a band would release a box set and I was only interested in one thing then you have to shell out the whole money for the whole box set and you basically only wanted the one album. This way the fans can choose what he wants, he can either buy all the albums or just one, it’s up to the fan and it’s much more flexible this way.”
I haven’t gotten the CD’s yet, they are not out in North America yet, so I was wondering are there any CD-enhanced portions with video or something?
“No we didn’t do that. We talked about this too but for various reasons we didn’t do it. There’s also not too much stuff around at this moment that could be put on there – there’s maybe like three videos. There was also concerns about how much information was stored on the CD’s because most CD’s now run over an hour. There will perhaps be a pure CD-ROM with demo tracks and videos. We were talking about the possibility of doing this maybe later on which would be sold via Noise’s webpage. It has not yet been decided if we should do that. I also don’t want to market every fart that the band ever made. The story behind these re-issues is totally different. It’s part of why we fought against Noise so hard with legal means and everything was that they totally mutilated when they transformed our albums to CD. They totally mutilated our artwork, they dropped lyrics, they confused photos – can you believe this? I mean they introduced spelling mistakes. The booklets were like mere remnants of what we had put together. So from that day of the original release in the 80’s we knew that one day we would take control and we would release the albums the way that the band wanted it to be done. It took a long time. Noise has the rights for these releases and it took a long time for Noise to come around and be a professional label. I’m very confident now in the second half of the 90’s to say that they are now a professional label, they are a completely different company. There’s different people, different management. So we just told them the time had come and a year ago we faxed them a very detailed proposal and they immediately saw the merit and they went for it. Like I said, they gave us 100% control. They did whatever we asked them to do, which is totally different from the Noise in the 80’s. So this was our main concern, not to market everything we had and to make a quick buck. That is why the CD’s are like luxury items. They are really stuffed full of photos and lyrics and all of the complete artwork for every album. It was really a labor of love, that is the main purpose, not to just yank out more money from the fans with some leftover crap that we still had.”
Celtic Frost broke up in 1993. At that point, did you feel you had given all you could to the music scene?
“No, hell no! We had a double album “Under Apollyon Sun” in our baggage which would have gone much further than “Into the Pandemonium.” As so many times before we felt that the record industry didn’t have enough vision to work with us on another project. At that time it was super-frustrating and it was extremely hard for all of us, even though we stood 100% behind the decision to dissolve the band without compromising the album into some piece of shit. But it was still very hard because we knew what we had in our baggage. It only became easier for me to live with this knowledge once I formed Apollyon Sun and I was able to take elements of that album and use them in a much more modern context and that kind of made up for it for me personally.”
So I guess the question that everybody today has been asking you is – is there any chance or plans at all for a Celtic Frost reunion?
“Yes haha…there are plans. Look it’s like this, we are very close friends, we have been for many years, we see each other as often as possible even though most of the people that were in Frost live in the states. But we meet whenever possible and we are in contact literally every week by e-mail and by phone. We all worked together on these re-issues, and because we are in contact so often the subject of playing together again pops up very often. We decided last year in New York that we are going to do an album again. We don’t know exactly know when – it’s probably going to be within a year or two, and we’re also going to play shows around that album. We would approach a modern Celtic Frost as an ongoing experiment that we are pursuing on the side because most of us have some other things that we are doing. We would very much like to see if Frost could still compete in this day and age, to see if we could still be innovative and modern. If that works we would probably do more than just an album. Everything is basically open, we just want to have fun together.”
This is good news. What members are you referring to that you are in contact with, who would be a part of a “new” Celtic Frost?
“The ideal thing would be to do it with the line-up of “Into the Pandemonium.” However, if it’s going to be possible to do it with Martin is more than questionable, even though we also get along very good with Martin. Martin is such an extremely complex character and I don’t know if he would be into picking up bass again and doing this for a lengthy amount of time…I somehow doubt it. So it might be the Pandemonium line-up with one change or something. It’s really too early to totally pin it down.”
Well then maybe you can tell me what some of the past members of Celtic Frost are doing these days?
“Sure that’s easy. Martin has a music club in Zurich. It’s a very successful hip club. He has also started a DVD distribution business. Steven Priestly works for Warner Brothers records. Ron Marks has a band in in Pennsylvania called “Subsonic.” Kurt Victor Bryant has a record company in Florida and also still plays. Reed St. Mark also still plays but right now he’s a body building trainer to movie stars in New York. So everybody is kinda in the entertainment industry one way or another and have pretty much branched out.”
And I guess you’ve lost contact with people like Oliver Amberg maybe?
“Haha yeah, intentionally yeah.”
Ok we won’t go there…
“It’s not like a fight thing you know but Oliver really did not give the band too much, he basically just took. It’s not somebody we would want to associate with for like the next 20 years.”
When it happens that you do another Frost album, will it be the never made album “Under Apollyon Sun” or will you work on something completely new?
“It would probably be something completely new. It would probably use elements of that album but you have to realize that was written in ’91-’92. By the time we work together again that’s going to be 10 years old and I don’t think that would do a modern Celtic Frost much justice. We want to be new and fresh, we don’t want to re-hash old things. I have used extensive portions of the album and have modernized them for Apollyon Sun and you’re going to hear that on the album that’s going to come out next year. We would of course take elements of that for Frost but I don’t think that album will ever come out the way it was planned. In the back of our minds there’s always this thing, this stigma, that we will one day attempt the true follow-up to “Into the Pandemonium.” Whether that’s going to happen with Apollyon Sun one day or with Frost, I don’t know yet. It’s this unspoken thing that we all want to do it.”
Wasn’t two of the songs that are on “Parched With Thirst Am I and Dying” originally meant to be for “Under Apollyun’s Sun”?
“Yeah they are demo tracks, the first and last tracks on that album are from some of the demos. We did like three demos for that album and they’re from the first set of demos we did.”
Are you happy with how they turned out?
“Well if I look at them as a demo I’m happy. You realize of course that for an album like Pandemonium, you cannot demo that stuff. You basically do a basic track with all the massive effects and all the experiments. It goes far beyond the budget to really demo. You cannot have all the female singers and instruments and stuff in a demo studio. So if I look at those tracks as demo tracks, yes I’m very happy because they indicate the kind of darkness that we were going to have on the album. I feel it’s a shame that we never got to finish the album properly.”
I’ve read about your new band Apollyon Sun many times but I haven’t heard anything yet.
“Goto our webpage, you can download some stuff there. There are four songs that you can listen to on the webpage.”
(Apollyon Sun webpage at www.apollyonsun.com)
Since I haven’t heard it yet can you give me a general idea of what style it will be and do you think Celtic Frost fans will be listening to this?
“If they were really Frost fans, if they were not just heavy metal fans that liked the heaviness of the Frost, if they were really fans of Frost for the essence of Celtic Frost – they will love it! It is just as experimental, contemporary as as exploring as Frost always was. I often say that if Frost was still together and would of worked on without an interruption we would of probably sounded exactly this way nowadays and I’m certainly one to know it. It’s like this, we are a very dark band and we use very many heavy metal elements…but the whole industrial thing…I never really liked the industrial bands, I always thought it was too sterile and too cold and we really tried to achieve a symbiosis. A warm true mixture out of contemporary and traditional instruments. We really tried to make a new combination of this. Whether we really ever achieved that or if it’s going to take another album, I don’t know.”
How come it’s taken since you broke up Celtic Frost in 1993 and now it’s ’99 and we still haven’t heard a full CD from Apollyon Sun?
“(Laughs) Because the recording industry still hasn’t changed. Even though we’ve had literally dozens of offers for this band, I would say 90% of these offers are from labels that didn’t really understand what the hell we were going to do. Record companies nowadays are still as non-visionary and as short-sighted as they always were and it’s taken us forever to find somebody who hopefully understands us the right way. And of course we recorded the album forever. We were in the studio from summer ’98 until about 3 weeks ago. We only just delivered the last few mixes. The album is actually going to come out in February / March 2000, it’s going to be called “Sub” so it is finally done and were not going to EVER work on it again – that’s it.”
So you have a label for it already?
“It’s like this, the label’s going to be decided before Christmas. It’s being shopped right now because as I’ve said the tapes have just been delivered and I think they are at the record companies right now.”
Can you give me a brief overview on who’s in the band, where they are from and if it’s anyone that we’ve probably heard of from another band?
“The band basically consists of a hardcore of three people which is Danny, the bassist, Erol, the guitar player and me. These people are not known yet. They are very competent musicians and very visionary musicians but they are not known outside of Switzerland yet. On the album we have played with a programmer called “Roshamuller” (ed. note: might be misspelled…sorry) who is somewhat known in Europe for doing some advanced stuff in programming. We have also worked with Markie, formerly of Coroner, on drums because we don’t only use drum loops and bass loops we use live drums, live bass, live guitars. We don’t just sample everything. We will work with some other people in the future and uhmmm…I’m even talking to Reed, and I don’t know if I should even announce this, but I’m even talking to Reed about maybe playing with us in the future on drums.”
You’ve been in the studio so much, so have you played any live shows at all for Apollyon Sun?
“No, we have not. We take the right to wait until the time is right to play live, just like with Frost – we only played our first shows around the second album with Frost. We are probably going to start playing live next spring. That is the rough plan right now but we have not played live yet. It works live, of course we play it every day in our rehearsal studio but we haven’t played it on a stage yet.”
Can you imagine playing anything like earlier Celtic Frost material with this band live?
“Well it might surprise you but on the album there is a cover of Hellhammer’s “Messiah.””
Did you change it allot?
“Yes, exactly. If you know my work, you know that I don’t just play a cover version note by note, I have to change it drastically. It is very modern. Live we also do “Procreation of the Wicked.” We changed it and made it even heavier and darker than the original. We might do a couple of other songs, we don’t know yet but so far we do these two songs. Some of the tracks of Apollyon Sun are directly or or less directly, depending on what song, based on material from the “Under The Apollyon Sun” album.”
Have many people outside of the circle of the band heard this yet, and if so what kind of reactions have you been getting?
“There’s been a 5-track EP out last year and reactions were basically very good, very ecstatic, at times extremely controversial. A lot of the real hardcore fans, metal hardcore fans, were of course disappointed that we were embracing modern and contemporary instrumentation which I understand but that’s the way it’s inside of me and I have to do it. It would be much more commercial if I just played what the fans expect of me. I have to do whatever is inside of me, I’ve always done it like that.”
What do you mean by “modern”? Who could you compare it to or who would be in that style of modern music that you are referring to?
“It’s extremely difficult. I mean if somebody asked me back then to describe Celtic Frost by means of another band, what would I have said you know? I feel the same way about Apollyon Sun. All I can tell you it’s MAYBE, roughly comparable to something between White Zombie, Limp Bizket (ed. note: fucking shit) or Orgy. It’s heavy and energetic, especially live but it does have sampling and synthesizer. We tried to achieve a symbiosis.”
Well I’m open to listen to anything (even though those bands you mentioned are not my style).
“Well just go to the webpage and check it out. There’s some prior mixes, not the final mixes of the album, but there’s some advanced mixes of album tracks on there. It might at least give you some impression where we are going.”
Well in closing, what I would like to ask you is, what would you say is the main thing you have taken from your experiences over the years in the music industry?
“It’s still the same. Create, don’t copy.”
And I assume that will be your vision for all time?
“I hope so. I don’t think I’d have any justification to be in that scene if I would become a mere copy.”
I guess some copying is ok for “easy” listening, but of course if you want to think…
“To me hard music always had this revolutionary touch. I started listening to music consciously in the early 70’s and that’s when hard music was born and it came out of this movement against the establishment, against the parents and everything…it always has this revolutionary touch and even though it’s been commercialized over the years, I personally still feel like that when I play hard music. For me it will always have to uphold that standard, it has to hit, it has to revolutionize, otherwise it doesn’t make sense to me.”
Are there any bands that you are listening to know that are upholding these kinds of standards, or are you disillusioned with newer bands?
“I’m disillusioned with a large part of what is going on but there are a lot of bands that are just plain good even though they might not change the world. But of course I like Limp Bizket for example (ed. note: fucking SHIT) and I like Foo Fighters just for the honest energy that is in their music. Whether or not that’s an innovation, I don’t know. It’s hard to find anything new. When I want to listen to something that truly interests me musically I go back and listen to anything David Bowie does. That to me is innovative.”
I can kind of see a comparison between your career and Bowie’s in a way because of the changes your weren’t afraid to make and never limiting your musical style to one type of music I guess.
“That’s an extremely, extremely nice compliment. Of course I would put myself a million steps below Bowie but it’s a very, very flattering compliment.”
Well that’s cool…I don’t listen to Bowie personally, I’m interested in heavier music, but I’ve always been aware of what he’s been doing and there has obviously been a lot of changes. But I prefer Celtic Frost any day
So that’s all the questions I had for you, if I missed anything or if there’s other news please let me know.
“I think we covered it all. Basically, I want to come back to Canada. I’m telling ya, this is not like a boot-licking exercise or something, but I had a really good time there and what I like about Canada is that it is not like the United States and it’s not like Europe, it’s really somewhere in between and to me as a European who loves the United States, it’s pretty much close to perfect. I’ve always felt totally at home there. I didn’t have a single bad show ever in Canada. It’s been forever that I’ve been able to play in Canada so I really, really hope that I will be able to do it again maybe in the next year if we’re lucky.”
That would be great and I’d like to wish you the best of luck with your new band and with the Celtic Frost reunion hopefully within another year or so and I’m looking forward to it!
“Well thank you very much, me too.”