Things go in circles. In 2006 mr. Vintyr was just baptized his band Abandon to Hateful Abandon, and people including me were unsure which direction this arrogant Brit would take. Never-Ending Black Torrent of Death was already a disturbing mix of depressive black metal and unrecognizable atmospheric elements, but evil tongues were rumouring that Hateful Abandon would wander even farther from black metal with their full-length Famine (or into the Bellies of Worms), which came out finally in 2008. And that circle: now in 2012 I have selected HA’s second album Move to my “top five of 2011” and I’m dissecting through this old interview… Well, in this case all progression has been good: I can always return to the uniqueness of Never-Ending Black Torrent of Death and I can get my mind blown by the submissive power of Famine and Move. Win-win-situation.
The creature called Vintyr came from the shadows in 2004 and unleashed two impressive acts of hate and filth: Never-Ending Black Torrent of Death by Abandon and A Joyless March through the Cold Lands by Basilisk. Now the years have passed, flowers have blossomed and withered and worms have feasted their meals. It’s time for a new season of decadence. Let me introduce you re-named Hateful Abandon…
So, two years have passed from Hateful Abandon’s Never-Ending Black Torrent of Death and Basilisk’s A Joyless March through the Cold Lands. What have you doing during these years?
– Well, some of my time was spent recording the material for the Urfaust/Basilisk split, but even that material is almost two years old now. I spent a lot of time “out of the loop” so to speak. I ended both Basilisk and Hateful Abandon for a short while after a healthy dose of disillusionment; I totally washed my hands of them. I couldn’t see where I was going with either project. It’s pretty confusing when you sit down to perform a Black Metal record and the sound that emanates from the speakers is not Black Metal at all. Couple that with the recent spate of ‘cut n’ paste’ Black Metal that gets churned out of teenagers bedrooms on an almost daily basis, and you get a pretty frustrated person. So, in short, most of that time was spent having minor hissy fits and artistic tantrums. Haha. I have, of course, got Hateful Abandon back up and running also. So, I’ve been writing for that.
You have recruited Swine alias Tom (a non-bearded bald guy in the picture) from the Black Metal band called Swine to Hateful Abandon. Why’s that? Do you share same ideologies and views, or is this purely a musical decision? What will Swine bring to Hateful Abandon’s concept?
– It totally made sense, he is a fantastic drummer (and all round great musician actually), he owns a studio, he shares a very similar music taste as mine, and lastly is as enthusiastic as me about recording something of quality that is also original and has integrity. With Tom on board expect a more polished sound as he has a very professional setup, also I’m sure a bit of his personality will bleed into the record.
What do you think, how your music will change now when you have to “give away” a part of your work? I guess it’s different to work with somebody than just make everything by yourself.
– It will be very different. For example, bar the very first Basilisk demo (Blackened Royalty), everything I’ve recorded was totally improvised and done in one ‘take’. I’ve written and demo’d some Hateful Abandon tracks this time, and I have a crystal clear view of what the music will sound like. I may come across a little bossy in the studio I don’t know, but then again it IS my project.
I guess you hear this often, but I find many similarities but also differences between Hateful Abandon and Basilisk, but I guess you see this situation quite differently. How would you describe Hateful Abandon’s and Basilisk’s concepts? Are these bands representations of yourself, that you have “Hateful Abandon side” and “Basilisk side” in your soul?
– With Hateful Abandon I want to create a paradox. The lyrics are about total strength, hate and questioning of emotions, whilst the music is quite sorrowful and bleak. This will continue throughout Hateful Abandon’s lifespan. Also, on the debut full length the lyrics will be included so that the listener can make that connection on his or her own. With Basilisk, it was varying topics. Usually with a Satanic bent, some tracks were very personal… other songs portrayed stories inspired by such twisted minds as Clive Barker, other songs inspired by true life events, such as the Black Plague.
The other interesting thing is the fact that there are different versions in the tape edition and CD edition of Never-Ending Black Torrent of Death. Why did you decided to make these two versions of the songs? Does this tell something about your view to music, that the songs are never complete and they can reform as the time goes by?
– The original CD version of Never-ending… was a mistake by the CD manufacturers. What they received was a copy of the master recording in stereo. What they put out wasn’t what I gave to them. The left side speaker was copied over the right. This gave the effect of ‘StereoMONO’…leaving out several of the key guitar parts that were recorded on the right side. It was a bad part of my life… Although what was released by my good friend at Todestrieb certainly wasn’t too bad; it wasn’t truly representative of Abandon at the time. The cassette version was put out to try and rectify the problems. Whether it was successful or not, I don’t know.
How critical are you as a composer? Do you throw many songs away, and how ready are the songs in your head when you start to record them? Usually in Black Metal people trust on their instincts and the songs are coming from their backbones, almost through improvisation, but what is the situation in your case?
– Like I mentioned above, my previous recording have all been total improvisation. I have literally hundreds of Basilisk tracks here that will never see the light of day.
Despite the harsh soundscapes of Hateful Abandon, there are many different elements: effects, strange sounds, drum machines… I guess the sky (or hell) is the only limit to you when you make music?
– I’ll never let and ‘genre traps’ get in the way of my musical output ever again… Music genres are a total fucking con, created by music journalists in suits and ties that want to sell you magazines. Hateful Abandon and anything I do in the future is simply music… not Black Metal, not Metal… just music. People can call it Black Metal I suppose, that’s convenient if they simply HAVE to put everything in one little neat and tidy slot. There’s NEVER a limit.
As said, the soundscapes are harsh, there are atmospheres from raw Black Metal feeling to almost soft and ghastly wandering. Where do these contradictive atmospheres come from? Do you want to paint with a large “palette” intentionally?
– Well, nothing is intentional. Like I mentioned earlier (and how you’ve very astutely observed!) Hateful Abandon lends itself to a paradoxical mindset. It’s beautiful, it’s disgusting, it’s negative, it’s absurdly positive…
And talking about ghastly atmosphere and ghosts, what’s your relationship to supernatural phenomenon? At least I can sense that there is somebody or something else than you present in your music…
– I’m just schizophrenic. Hah!
Your songs also are like paintings, very deep and overwhelming, and they remind me about the history of the Great Britain: all those plagues, witch hunts and Dark Ages… How much do you use historical events, paintings etc. as an inspiration, and how interested are you about history?
– As I mentioned earlier, the Black Plague is always a marvellous source of inspiration. Basilisk in particular was DRIPPING with plague-like imagery. Hateful Abandon will hopefully still retain that ‘feeling’, but maybe in a more ‘urban’ way. Note that I don’t mean ‘urban’ in the way it’s represented on MTV… more industrial.
The words like “disease” and “vermin” wind in your lyrics. Where does all this filth and decadence spring forth? Is it a picture of yourself or of this society?
– Sometimes I feel like the most disgusting creature that ever lived, sometimes I feel like the purest. Your observation certainly lends itself to the former, the truth is I would probably (note; probably) never write or perform music when I felt like the latter. It just doesn’t lend itself to interesting imagery in my opinion.
On the other hand one of your statements is “Slaughter the Christian Tribe like a Vermin”. Do you see the situation that way, that this world has to be purified from all that religious scum, and if yes, why? What would be the world without Christianity in your opinion?
– That song, of course, is a fantastical topic and not representative of my REAL actions or opinions. It’s good to vent occasionally on something you find abhorrent (the Christian faith). I could quite easily state that people that believe in this Christian ‘God’ are mentally unstable (and I’d mean it), but to slaughter them en masse, well, I’d end up in prison, which is retarded…
And how do you see yourself among all this? Usually in Black Metal people consider themselves as “übermensch”, above everything else, but if we think the concept of decadence and filth, can we find another form of “übermensch”, getting so low and away from morals and ethics, that the human laws don’t even touch you?
– I see myself like the rest of the Human filth… Born to reproduce. I shan’t however. I kick creation in the teeth! Haha! As for Black Metal fans being the übermensch, that’s pretty rich. Most are total scum, riding on trends like the rest of the world… Fuck ‘em.
In Black arts one improves and strengthens himself spiritually through magic and rituals, and physically same thing happens in a form of blood rituals. How about you, do you “bleed for Satan”, and if you do, what blood and blood rituals mean to you? Ordinary world sees them as a cry for help, but to dedicated ones it’s very individual and private ritual.
– I don’t, and never have, cut myself on purpose. It hurts! Sorry for the unserious answer. I hold no heed in self harm… for Satan or otherwise.
And from blood to violence… Now you are baptised as HATEFUL Abandon, which is a big change in my eyes. Like now you leave that misfit life and turn to active individual through hating. Who or what do you hate, and why did you take this name? How far are you ready to go with your hate, is an act of violence an option?
– Being in my 30’s, I realised through my actions in the past that violence on such a small scale is ineffective. To be honest, sometimes I feel I don’t live in the same world as anyone else. I just want to live and leave my mark before I expire. I feel for very little, apart from my girlfriend and various other people. I really don’t care if there is war, I don’t care about race, I don’t care about people in different countries getting squashed by nature, I don’t care what ‘Commando1488666’ is listening to on his stereo, I don’t care about politics, I don’t care what the weatherman says, I don’t care about starving Africans, I don’t care about rare and OOP records, I don’t care about fashion. In fact, you could say my life is lived with hateful abandon.
Let’s analyse the concept of hate more. Usually we hate something, so it’s a reaction to something what comes outside; like Christians turn their other cheek, Satanists etc. fight back. But is there a big difference between these two? They both are actions coming from outside, not inside.
– If there was a button that wiped everyone out that I don’t know or care for and left me and my very few friends alive, I’d press it.
So do you think that there could be pure hate, just coming from inside, like berserks, who get insane in their rage?
– I do. I have a very quick temper myself actually. I’m usually soothed to normality in a trice though, like it never happened.
So, let’s finish this chat with some news from the future. You are doing your new album Tower of Famine. I have listened the samples from Todestrieb homepage, and they were quite nasty and atmospheric pieces of black art. So, can we say that “nomen est omen” in this case, are you really building a (musical) tower of famine? What kind of new elements shall we hear from this coming masterpiece?
– Well, there have been a few changes now… The album is now called Famine (Or into the Bellies of Worms) and the tracks that were on the site have been scrapped. I may use parts of them on the album, I haven’t decided. The new title is a take on the old proverb ‘Every cloud has a silver lining’, although my title is rather more cruel and cynical…heheh. Again, it represents the paradoxical nature of the band.
Another coming release is Basilisk/Urfaust split (which never happened -ed.) . Because I am a big fan of Urfaust (and Basilisk, of course), I have to ask what’s your opinion about this Dutch band? What do you get from their music? Any other recent favourites (bands/albums?)
– Urfaust are an incredible band…I’m very honoured to be a part of this record. Their music throws up some of the most incredible imagery, sometimes I feel that my mental pictures cannot do the music justice. A totally mental band…
– Here’s some recommended listening to get the most out of the new Hateful Abandon record.
The Cure – Faith
The Cure – Pornography
Black Widow – Sacrifice
Killing Joke – S/t
Killing Joke – What’s THIS for?
Darkthrone – A Blaze…
Swans – Greed
Swans – Children Of God
Skinny Puppy – Remission
Todesstoss – Sehnsucht
Public Image Ltd – Metal Box
Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures
Well, that’s a list! End this discussion please.
– Thanks for the Vintyrview Antti!