Interview with AZARATH
Bart – Guitars
Interview by Rossy Maguire
Hey and thank you for your time to do this interview! To kick-off, what’s the meaning behind the band’s name AZARATH?
Hello. The name was taken from the track titled Azarath: Watching in Darkness of the band DAMNATION’s album Rebel Souls (1996) where me and Inferno played. The name is referring to Azerate as the hidden name of the eleven Anti-cosmic gods.
AZARATH formed in 1998. How did you all meet?
The band was formed by Inferno, with Bruno and D., guys from the same town, knowing each other well. I joined the band a few months before the debut album, invited by Inferno with whom I played in Damnation before. I was living in the same town as well, so at that time all band members were living in Tczew, a small town close to Gdansk.
When did you first start getting into music and know you wanted to join a band?
I started listening more louder and heavy music around the end of primary school, it was hard rock and heavy metal at that time, then thrash metal. In secondary school, I got more impressed by death metal and about 1991/92 with D. (latest Azarath guitar player as well) we formed our first band Cenotaph. So I can say that since secondary school I wanted to play death metal in a band.
Have you been in bands previously to AZARATH?
Yes, Cenotaph mentioned above, then in 1993 I was invited to Damnation where I played till 2001.
So you’re about to release your seventh full-length album “Saint Desecration” in November this year. What’s the inspiration behind this album and how does it differ to the previous albums in your discography?
Yes, “Saint Desecration” will be released on 27th November. It’s our first album with Marcin “Skullripper” on vocals/guitar, so for sure it differs in vocals comparing to Necrosodom who did vocals on “In Extremis” and “Blasphemers’ Maledictions”. Marcin also composed about half of music, but he fits in the band so perfectly that you can’t hear any difference in our style.
Adding to the previous question, where do you draw your influences from when it comes to producing new music/lyrics, whether that is for “Saint Desecration” or previous albums such as “In Extremis” or “Demon Seed”?
One thing in composing music/riffs is for sure a time when you create, the thoughts and feelings at that particular moment of your life. Second, your roots, the music you have deep in your heart and soul. And also riffs of each other in the band, I mean if I hear a riff from Marcin or Inferno, for example, it sometimes could influence me on some other riff that matches to theirs.
Is there a particular writing/recording procedure you like to follow or do you just go with the flow to get the old creative juices flowing?
It depends. Sometimes ideas/riffs come to my mind in various situations, so I try not to forget them recording or writing it on my phone. But usually, I reserve my time and equanimity to sit alone in my PC/Music room exercising and creating riffs, recording them on my computer. And no connecting to the world at this moment: I mean no phone next to me, no communicators opened on the computer. Then I give some time to recorded ideas, if I still like them after some time I share this with other members. If not, I delete without any regret.
I’m liking the album’s artwork which was designed by Marta Promińska of Hypnagogic Painting. What was it like to work and collaborate with them on this album?
Marta Prominska privately is Inferno’s wife. She is a great artist and since the previous album “In Extremis” we asked her to paint artwork for us. She did awesome work so we continue our cooperation. I think that the present painting for “Saint Desecration” is totally mesmerizing!
Do you have a favourite track/tracks from “Saint Desecration”?
I like the whole album still, but for sure we chose some favourites tracks to play live. However, I would not like to reveal it for now 🙂
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before or even Blackened Death metal for that matter?
Brutal and blasphemous music, like a rifle aimed at the god’s face.
You guys are from Tczew, Poland originally. What’s the music scene like there?
The original band line-up was from this town Tczew, but there weren’t many death or black metal bands, maybe a few, just people listening and following this music. Nowadays all band members live in a different part of Poland – Gdansk, Warsaw, Gliwice, Wroclaw.
In addition, how has the Covid-19 pandemic affected yourself, the band and Poland?
As the band not much, just a few shows/festivals cancelled, and we don’t earn for life from Azarath. We have scheduled plans for recording album and we, fortunately, could do that, so we are happy we didn’t have to reschedule our recording plans. As for me personally and my job, I work in an institution that could not be closed, so I am okay. But of course, I know many musicians, crew and tech guys, show organizers and agencies, but not only people from the music scene affected much by this fuckin’ pandemic lockdown. Nowadays in Poland, we have a second lockdown due to an increase in morbidity. And it would be of course very harmful to the economy as well as to the people directly affected. Our government works without any plan, just with overnight ideas that no one has time to prepare for.
Is there anywhere in the world you would like to play but haven’t yet? In addition, any bands you would like to play with?
Oh, we weren’t playing anywhere outside Europe so of course, there are many countries. I would like to play Latin America, North America, Australia for sure someday. We were plans to play Santiago de Chile and Sau Paulo this December but of course, it is postponed for 2021. The bands that I will always love to play with again are for sure Immolation, Krisiun, Marduk. But there are so many bands we never toured with before, that I would like to share the stage, too many to mention.
What genres of music do you like to listen to personally and are there any new/existing bands that have captured your attention and would recommend to your fans and readers?
Mostly death and black metal, but sometimes I like to listen to such bands like for example Dead Can Dance, Wardruna, Arditi, movie soundtracks, or just old heavy metal stuff.
From the latest releases that I listen to a lot and are in my mind now are Proscription – “Conduit”, Akhlys – “Melinoë”, Svartsyn – “Requiem”, Wolflust – “Satanic Megatons”.
What would you say are the pros/cons of being in a band? Have these changed since the pandemic happened?
The music itself is my passion so it couldn’t change, as well as playing in the band! We just focused at the beginning of this year on finishing composing new songs, then we rehearsed and exercised it a lot, then recorded and now waiting for release. Only playing live is postponed, hopefully, we could play live soon.
Aside from creating music, is there anything you like to do for fun do you have any hobbies?
I read a lot of books. I like travelling and visiting ancient monuments, but it is and was impossible this year. Sometimes I go to the shooting range, I like it much and it is very de-stressing.
Once Covid-19 finally settles, what are your plans for yourself and the band?
Unfortunately, it’s not settling, at present it’s going worse and grows in Poland. So many shows were cancelled. We have settled a release show in Warsaw for December, but I suppose it would be postponed anyway. We have lockdown till the end of November so far and we will see. But of course, our album release date is certain, on 27th November. When everything normalizes we will work on some shows for sure.
Thank you for your time and best of luck with the album’s release. Is there anything you would like to say to our readers?
Thank you very much for this interview! Stay metal!