INTERVIEW WITH SATANIAC OF DESASTER
The German Blackened thrashers Desaster will be releasing the ninth full-length album titled CHURCHES WITHOUT SAINTS on Metal Blade. Desaster has been flaging for the old school metal since the late 80s without slowing down. The ninth is a great piece of the pure blackened thrash stuff. Here is Desaster’s singer Sataniac’s interview.
Interview and live pics by Arto Lehtinen
Good day whats up in the Desaster camp at the moment ?!
Not that much, we are waiting for the release of “Churches Without Saints” which was finished in January. But hey, life goes on, for most of us. At the moment we rehearse once a month, and try to do our best in this specific situation.
CHURCHES WITHOUT SAINTS
CHURCHES WITHOUT SAINTS being Desasters’ ninth studio album. Was it an easy process to have the same kind of vibe and feeling for new songs like you had on your previous releases like THE OATH OF AN IRON WILL after the five-year break?
We don’t think too much about how a new record should sound. We just write songs that we like, that’s all.
But what happened to Desaster after the THE OATH OF AN IRON WILL album as there was a five-year gap between the albums ?! Did you take a break to charge the batteries or did you create the new lethal Desaster material during that era ?!
No, there was no break, we are just getting older, and there are always other priorities next to Desaster. And of course there was the departure of Tormentor and the new beginning for Hont. And the most important reason. The 4 of us have our jobs to pay our bills, there isn’t that much time at all when all members become 50 years old within the coming years.
When you got into an intense songwriting mood, are there some things in the creating process that you always pay attention to and ensure the result would sound like 100% Desaster and you would be extremely pleased ?!
Like I told before, we are not planning how a song should sound. We only write songs that we like, anything else doesn’t matter. But we do it with pleasure and passion, so it always sounds like Desaster. Hahahaha…
Did you face any unexpected challenges or setbacks during the process to get this album completed for example running out of time, recording budget, a lack of motivation or a lack of ideas? Did every aspect of the process work smoothly?
Everything was very smoothly. We recorded at our own rehearsal room. From that point there was plenty of time for everything.
Actually, could you tell us a little bit about the recording process of CHURCHES WITHOUT SAINTS ?! As far as I know, the songs were tracked at your rehearsal place, right ?!
You are right. Like I told before, there was plenty of time for nearly everything. We finished the songwriting in autumn last year and started the recording in November. For the reason that we have a very huge rehearsal room, we managed it to have a very relaxing recording session with our live mixer Janosch Gensheimer.
As far as the title of the album is concerned – How did you pick CHURCHES WITHOUT SAINTS for the title and where were you inspired to name the album with that title?
Infernal and Odin came up with the title and I build the words around this track. We thought that title sounds very good as an album title. That’s all folks, no mystic message behind that.
As for the front cover art, could you tell what that art means and how it reflects the content and material of the ninth album?
It represents the title Churches Without Saints. And the title was the only information the artist gets before he starts drawing. There is no direct meaning for the rest of the songs.
As far as your lyrics on the ninth album is concerned, where did you find your ideas to pen about ?!
Most of my influences are very abstract, coming directly from the bottom of my thoughts or something like that. The main inspiration is the songpart, the riff itself or maybe the whole demosong. When I listen to Infernals riffs there are always pictures in my mind. Not very friendly, and often sarcastic ones I need to say.
I know you are old-school metal maniacs I assume there will also be vinyl in different versions available at some point, right? What is your opinion about the digital platforms?
Yes, of course, there will be a lot of colors. And lots of other things no one needs. But hey, feel free to leave it where the pepper grows. (German proverb… 😉 My opinion is, that the music is all that matters, but at the end of the day I personally need the CD or even better the vinyl at home. I even don’t listen to Spotify or anything like that. There is a German proverb that says: “If you love a book, you need to own it!” The same with records and compact discs…hahahaha… But if you are happy with the download at all, enjoy, because you safe a lot of space at the place you are living.
The long-time drummer Tormentor stepped aside from Desaster and was replaced by Hont. Was his departure quite expected as he is involved in several other bands and a day job?
Tormentor had his own priorities. He moved away from Koblenz (Desaster Hauptquartier) he got married, and was asked to play in Sodom. And Desaster is still a band who meets at the rehearsal room in order to write songs and have some good times. Tormentor didn’t had the time for Desaster anymore.
How did your new drummer Hont end up as a full-time member to Desaster? As far as I know, he joined the band in 2018..
First of all I need to say that we are friends in Desaster, and it’s really important to us that we have a good time together. Hont is a longtime friend of mine. We played together in a band called Divine Genocide till 2001. Right after the departure of Tormentor, Hont was my favorite choice for the Drums in Desaster. So he only needs to convince Infernal and Odin that he is the chosen one. Jaja…
The line-up of Desaster has been stable since 2001 when you, Sataniac, joined the band. Was it a challenging and difficult move to have a new face in the Desaster rank ?! What kind of response have you received from the fans?
Hont had a very good respond from the fans. We played some shows with him before the pandemic. And the people were very happy with his drumming and the passion he delivers. This was the first lineup change in 20 years. Nicht schlecht Herr Specht! Or what would you say?
When being on Iron Pegasus, you had the massive cult/underground following. From now on you have been on a bigger label, was it an emotional or painful task to leave Costa Stoios’ label? Were you ever worried about getting accused “sell-out” etc shouts from the underground followers ?!
I think it was the right moment for the change to Metal Blade records that time. Iron Pegasus is a great label, and Costa still a good friend of us, but sometimes there is the need to walk some new ways. Yes, this was a truth sell out. Of course it was.
ANGELWHORE was a total thrashing rage from the beginning to the end. When I for one listened to the album I felt Desaster crushed all the criticism of naysayers. The album was definitely the important one for Desaster, how do you see that ?!
That’s a good question, and I think you are right. We practiced a lot for this album, and we spend a lot of time in the songwriting. But in my opinion we choose the wrong studio and producer. So, we are very unhappy with the production, but I am totally proud of the songs on Angelwhore.
Besides the full-length albums you have split releases with f:ex Decayed, Sabbat, Soulburn, these bands are your friends, I assume releasing split releases with the limited amounts of copies keeps the underground flame burning in your metal heart ?!
We are always writing on songs and music, not for the reason we are workaholics. We like to jam at the rehearsal room, that’s all. So, in fact it is very fine to have some friends around to start a little Split or some other projects. Sometimes there isn’t stuff enough for an album, and I’m happy and proud of the split’s we did. Especially the shape with Chris Reifert sharing the vocals with me on the Death-Cover of Zombie Ritual. I’m a big fan since “Severed Survival” and that was totally amazing. And do yourself something good while listening to “Live in Chicago”. This is a real passion after all those years my friends, this is what it’s all about. This is the flaming heart of the underground. Ok, maybe the same with some of our releases…hahahaha…
Before concluding the interview, could you name your five personal albums that have had a major influence on you as a fan and a musician ?!
SLAYER – Hell Awaits / Morbid Angel – Altars Of Madness / Emperor – In The Nightside Eclipse / Dead Can Dance – Within The Realm Of A Dying Sun / Type O Negative – Slow, Deep And Hard
I’d like to thank you for your time in answering this interview. The last words are yours!
Thanx for your interest in Desaster!