Let’s start from the beginning… It was year 2005, and I was away from home because of my work. Too many lazy nights in a little town created an idea of a music magazine in my mind, and although I haven’t had introduced myself to the glorious realm of underground journalism back then, the urge to create something was strong. I collected some bands here and there – some of them are still my favourites (Agalloch), some of them have vanished to the shadows (Mephisto). The result was quite amateurish: the questions were shallow, my English was bad (and still is…) and the layout didn’t shine either. Like A. Aatsinki from Ahdistuksen Aihio Productions said, “this isn’t a magazine, this is a fanzine.”
The interview below is one of the better ones, thanks to Martin Lang’s fiery visions. Although I have receded myself from Todesstoß nowadays, distinctive artists like Lang were the first spark to ignite Kaleidoscope. Kudos to him for this.
There are still people who consider music as a form of art, not just as a lame excuse to drink beer or try to introduce themselves to the big boys of the scene. The only person in Todesstoß, Martin Lang, is one of those better people, and maybe because of his strong dedication to his visions and thoughts, Todesstoß’ haunting and schizophrenic Black Metal gets into you so fiercely. Lang gave us something to think about in the end of August.
So, let’s start with a little introduction: who and what is Todesstoß?
– Todesstoß is the wine I use to make out of my inner fruit. The inner fruit grown out of my character’s seed.
– This wine can bring oblivion, but also a kind of new sight to me and you.
– My audible art wants you to reflect your sober reality! Drink out of the chalice that I filled you in case you wanna get numb!
Your newest work Beutetrieb Schwarzer Witwen really reaches the distant borders of insanity occasionally. How sane do you consider yourself?
– Even the World’s Health Organisation with its definition of sanity/health indirectly has to give in that sane individuals absolutely don’t exist! Everyone facing this existence is ill more or less. Illness be it physically or mentally – mostly it is a combined illness – greets you already at birth, gateway to the world’s polarity and imperfection.
– I am born artist, and surely not sane at all.
– I once asked myself if insane people are beware of their freaked out state, and now I can only smile about it.
Does this kind of music need some kind of different state of mind to create/understand it?
– Well, I don’t see myself as a musician playing my instruments as a hobby. My art is not independent. If the will to create something is nothing but obedience I celebrate devotion to myself waiting for some keys to gain entrance to my inner doors, leading to rooms of flagellation, to my secret hall of invocation, where my own little demons ring the bells of insanity?
– Nobody will understand my art, I guess. That would be terrible for me. He would know me much better than I do.
As said on cover sheet, works of Todesstoß are fully made by you. What kind of circumstances and atmospheres do you work in? Do you have strict limits what you leave from your hands, ‘cause nowadays it seems that bands are releasing every demo tape what they make?
– I record music where “I live”. Sometimes it’s a tiny cube, a prison, sometimes a whole world of my own without borders or limitations. It just depends on my mood and state of mind. Sometimes my head opens a bit, for the immaterial keys’ “landing on the brain” is right at hand.
– My hands are quite thin and small, so I am not able to hold much in them. I like to throw.
There are lots of symbolism in your cover art, for example this male/female sign (or Mars/Venus?). What that represents, some kind of duality?
– Fine that you recognized it. Symbols speak their own language.
– Each of the two symbols separated stands for the male and female characteristics generally, or if you consider it as archetypical, astrological symbol, for Ares/Mars and Aphrodite/Venus, ancient primeval principles.
– The special symbol I used, a kind of hybrid, bastard combination out of the mentioned above symbols of course gains new meaning.
– One interpretation (yes, even for me – perhaps some splinters got stuck in my brain while crushing the door violently!) of the whole concept of Beutetrieb Schwarzer Witwen is that the symbol stands for the “femme fatale” (in the surrealistic movement’s vein a bit) “spinning her net of dark eroticism and seduction” (body/flesh) to prepare her softly claws for the final deathstrike (leaving/ dissatisfaction), a lethal bite (disappointment/unity not achieved), looking numb of her impulse (emotionless lust) upon men only as a kind of prey (adventure). A little game of death took place (repentance/emptiness).
– “Venus ate Mars” to fast, so to speak. The analogy to the animals’ and especially the spiders’ existence seemed a well chosen one for me for the much bigger female spider (0,9 – 1,5 cm) of the Black Widow’s species (Animalia> Arthropoda> Arachnida> Araneae> Theridiidae> Latrodectus; Latrodectus means “secret jaws” or “biting secretly” for victims don’t feel the bite immediately) often starts to eat the smaller male one (about 0,4 cm) before, during or after the sexual act – the smallest kind of death maybe – due to her substantial impulse for prey and great appetite.
– By the way today’s twist of roles concerning natural properties and peculiarities of men and women in general seems to be advanced yet.
– The equilibrium between the men’s and womens’ world seriously is out of control. The polarity or balance between them has altered and got mixed up in a negative way.
– The ideal would be that the unity of man and woman should lead to a kind of perfect existence (>Harmonia wearing the black and white pearls around her neck), completing each other spiritually and physically.
– The MCD is a statement against all modern women with today’s FIRES of SODOM burning in their veins. We need more wise mothers than stupid modern whores to keep what makes life worth living it, I think. Not to speak about racial mix – my blood pressure!
– (Modern) women have become murderers of our culture yet… they are pregnant with death – “suicidal assassins” in a way.
– And men of course are not victims only! On the contrary: they prepared the way for the new kind of women, neglecting once powerful fires of Mars, which are burning down to dusty ashes these days to often!
– Keep the fires of Mars, and let Venus’ waves foam! And remember their children.
– Have you never heard of the queen of problems called “Sex”?
Also those pictures on your album covers differ quite much from a typical black metal cover art. Is this a conscious decision? Are you interested in arts in general?
– I try to create a unity of audible, visual and lyrical aspects of each opus and I use to reach this aim by thinking, trying and – luck.
– Creating music is irrational. Combination of the irrational and partly rational (lyrics/layout) leads to the aesthetic product in the end at best.
– Arts, lecture and nature are my daily bread. I feed upon it with great appetite. Of course this meal can lead to huge thirst as well. New wine has to be made.
– Concerning paintings I recommend works of Paul Delvaux mostly, furthermore Felix Labisse, Rene Magritte, Leonora Carrington, Wolfgang Lettl and Edgar Ende (all surrealists more or less). But also Arnold Böcklin, Franz v. Stuck, Gustave Moreau, Hugo Höppener (better known as Fidus) surely belong to my favourites. And many more of course. If I get the chance to visit a new gallery that seems worth it, I will. I also paint. Some of my works will be used on future releases as well. Creating music, lyrics, logo and cover paintings, my upcoming wines will have a even purer and more personal taste.
– Of course only <gourmets> will recognize that.
– Hail the bacchantic feast of flowing notes …
This poet on Beutetrieb Schwarzer Witwen, Philipp S. Fricke, is an unknown name to me. Could you open a little bit his visions and poems, and why did you chose that certain poem to your song? I guess you have to feel a strong unity to take someone else’s lyrics to your own music.
– Mr. Philipp S. Fricke also is unknown to me, I guess. We are only friends communicating over a spiritual bridge we built out of building bricks of strange spirits’ sympathy.
– His works are mostly banal, but words often don’t need to be a genius’ creation to give satisfaction and inspiration to you. Very simple words and things can stimulate stronger sometimes than the complex and cryptic ones, I think.
– I chose to use the fragments of Die Schwarzen Witwen because the words were and are magic to me. In that special case I didn’t have to wait for the keys, but a great destructive hammer was delivered by Mr. Fricke. By swinging the hammer of impulse I crushed the doors to myself to a thousand tiny pieces. I celebrated victory over time by using inner force.
From all these elements mentioned before I get an idea that Todesstoß is a world of its own, taking distance from all things ordinary. Am I on the right tracks? What kind of place the kingdom of Todesstoß is?
– Whose world should it be unless my own? I have some ideas, huahua. Things ordinary, pah, are sometimes even more attractive than the weird and spectacular aspects in life. I seek for distance to weakening and unpure energies to gain control over personal chaos and corrosion of my inner self, maybe.
– Two kingdoms are possible to gain. The first one can be created while living, the other one lies beyond death, the aether. You have to fight for both at the same time and place.
Ah God! I am exhaust
In the red moon’s holocaust
God! God! The chasms secret and profound
Suck down the porphyry flood
Of your maniacal , ensorcelled blood
That maddens and bewitches
My life is suffocated – now I swoon –
I die! I am in hell, red hell, red hell,
And all the immortal in me itches
To grip the immortal
How about this fact that you have released lately just EPs, is it easier to create a short, two songs long entity than a long, coherent whole? In my opinion EPs are usually quite impulsive pieces of art, serving just one certain thought or feeling.
– The concept of the opus has absolute priority, not its length. Tell nature how to behave and it will laugh at you. Tell the storm how long to last, it will blow you away nevertheless.
Talking about art, I found sometimes some sort of contradiction between extremity / marginality of art and artists’ expectations of fame and people’s praising reactions. For example some suicidal BM bands are trying to make the bleakest music ever but also the same bands whine about poor selling. So, what drives Todesstoß to share its music and visions to faceless persons including myself? Does music need any listeners, or is it enough that the artist expresses him/herself?
– Perhaps they are looking for confirmation for their praiseworthy works, but I am not surprised anyway, for it is a quite human expectation and typical for our social standards of mind. If you want applause, you could find better places to be: maybe a circus.
– I don’t think by the way that suicidal music can exist. The reward of spirit’s victory over the matter can only be experienced in the successful final act of giving up the body-soul-identity.
– Presentiments and approach to the ultimate experience don’t justify the term of suicidal music/Black Metal. Words are like leaves. Somehow they fall out of the mind and mouth.
– So why do I release? It’s necessary, an egocentric ritual of cleaning my head. Decapitation or music …
– A bacchantic feast’s face of sorrow and pleasure swirling notes of tears and blood in space and time.
– Tones wandering the sphere and aether down to your thirsty throat. Don’t choke, hahaha!
– Music without listeners is incomplete, isn’t it? What would the most delicious wine be worth without being tasted by a gourmet’s tongue?
What the future brings to Todesstosß? Are you going continue the collaboration with Ahdistuksen Aihio Productions? You still have released all your works through different labels.
– No, no, Todesstoß brings something to the future. It has to be that way, hehe. Perhaps I can forge my own keys and will improve in that transcendential trade.
– I will try to keep the wine flowing. Who will fill it up in bottles? Time will tell. I will tell.
Well, this is the end. Last words: what phrase will be carved onto Martin Lang’s tombstone?
– A nice game; maybe:
I always was an outsider
(Außenseiter war ich stets)
I didn’t only try, I fought
(Ich versuchte nicht nur, ich kämpfte!)