For people, who are in primitive Finnish Black Metal music, Annihilatus could be a good choice to listen to. Their music is a combination of primitive black metal with lot of death metal elements. Serpent, former member of Annihilatus answered my questions.
Salutem Serpent!! Sorry for delay, but I was abroad!!
No problem. I've been busy myself as well.
At finally here are the questions for the interview, I hope you will like it.
It's rather interesting interview, even though a bit messy because you didn't include any numbers or anything to separate question from another.
As this your 1st interview for Mirgilus Siculorum, let's review the band's history and why choose the word Annihilatus to your band name?
Annihilatus was chosen from many proposals which all had more or less the same idea and concept, ie. destruction, war, apocalypse etc.
Nowadays it's not that easy to pick up some word and use that as a name because some other band has probably used that name already. That's the reason why we are not Annihilation or Annihilator for example. We could have picked "War" or something like that as our name if it wasn't already used. Annihilatus is latin and basically means "annihilation", which isn't that hard to figure out by most people. ("Etymology: Late Latin annihilatus, past participle of annihilare to reduce to nothing, from Latin ad- + nihil nothing" - taken from www.m-w.com)
There was only one demos (Unholy Mass Destruction) which you had released. How do you see it now, from today's perspective?
It's not actually a demo, but a cass. EP and it was also released by Northern Heritage, not us. I am still very satisfied with it, after all it's the very first release ever where I played guitar. I especially like Winter, but other songs are OK as well in my opinion.
Your first official releases was the Annihilatus 10" MLP. What should we know about it and how many copies was selling out?
I don't know if there's any special info I could give you about it. It was printed 400 copies, I think, and released by Northern Heritage in 2001. The cover image is from our hometown, Turku, depicting Turku Castle during the Second World War. The MLP is now sold-out.
Your first album was Blood And War which was considered by many 'zines to be the one of the best Finnish black/death metal album for 2002. What should we know about this album?
Was that so really? Well, I don't know about how much it was liked, but it's sold-out now anyway. With this album we had four-man line-up which was me on guitar & some vocals, TH on drums, Warmachine on bass and Centurion on vocals. A few months after Blood and War was released, Warmachine and Centurion were let go and we continued Annihilatus just by me and TH, like it was in the beginning. The LP version should be out soon (ie. fall 2003), but it's up to Northern Heritage.
The LP version of Blood And War will be released by Northern Heritage sooner, with different cover and without bonus track. Why don't you put some bonus tracks, or some covers?
First of all, we didn't have any extra songs to be used with the LP version, and even if we had, we wouldn't have included any on the LP version. Why? Because I wanted both format to have same tracklist. Those who favor vinyl over CD will buy LP version anyway, so there's no point to include bonus-track on LP because that would piss off those who bought the CD version. We might do some cover song in the future, but that's left to be seen.
Tell me something about Fanatics Of Battle (my personal favourite Annihilatus song), and tell me something about the lyrics, and what was the inspiration when composed new songs, and who is the main songwriter of the band? What kind of concept does the album include?
Fanatics of Battle are one of the lyrics I didn't write. I am the
songwriter of Annihilatus and I have done most of the lyrics, too, but
when we rehearse songs I get ideas from others as well and thus the
final outcome is just not by my, but all of us. I also encourage others
to show their ideas to me in order to refine the songs until they are
The concept of Blood of War is pretty much the same as with our previous releases, ie. war, revenge, death, destruction and irreligious themes.
Please give a comment on this definition about your musical style of Northern Heritage's: "Extremely strong and violent combination of Destroyer 666, Ildjarn, Burzum, Celtic Frost and Bolt Thrower, and finally melted into Annihilatus style war metal.” What is your all times favourite bands, albums?
I don't know if that definition is that wrong in any way. Of course there are people who can't find all of these elements in our music, but
yes, Annihilatus is very much influenced by those bands, for example.
My favourite albums? That's a hard question. I could include these albums: Slayer "Reign in Blood", Darkthrone's unholy trinity: A Blaze, TH & UaFM, Burzum's Hvis Lyset Tar Oss, W.A.S.P.'s two first albums, Death's two first albums and of course Slayer, Morbid Angel, Bolt Thrower and Bathory in general.
Do you ever wonder where your riffs come from? I mean that many musicians claim there inspirations are precisely selected in their own heads, without any outside influences. Do you also believe that it is possible to make a totally own thing, even if you listen to other bands?
I don't usually think about my riffs, but yes, sometimes I may notice that certain band or song has influenced me a lot. I also try to get
influenced by certain bands so I don't get too "wierd" ideas for
Annihilatus. For example, I'd like to have more Ildjarn, Celtic Frost
and Darkthrone influenced ideas in my music.
My own thing comes from influences from other things surrounding and influencing me which are then mixed in my head like a soup of all wierd ingredients.
I can totally appreciate minimalism and massive repetition of riffs on your music. A lot of band seem to be afraid to making primitive riffs. They have little belief in minimal riffs, and using a riff, for example eight times or more. Do you think to make a good riff is more difficult than use more riffs on black metal songs?
I don't know if it's more difficult or not. That depends on so much what kind of music people are trying to do. I try to keep things simple and minimalistic and thus my music easily goes to primitive and simple direction with repetitive riffs and so forth.
In general I think people are quite interested in Annihilatus, and you've got some good response about all your music so far...
Ok. Maybe so. I really don't know about that, because we get really little any feedback.
Anyway, I think your music is fairly good, and in a short time you will get more response from more people. And what if bigger label would offer you any kind of deal? Would you go with them, or just keep recording on your own and releasing vinyl?
I can't predict the future. Of course, in theory, it's possible that we would go with some bigger label, but it just depends on what kind of
label we're working with. So far Northern Heritage has done very good
job so there's no reason for us to leave NH.
Then again, the format is not that important. I don't really care so much if it's CD, LP, tape or whatever.
You limit your releases to 200-300 copies, and do not bother to wonder how many people are interested in it, and actually - maybe there is more than 300 persons totally devoted to your ideas and music? What's the outcome? You care less about them? Maybe it would be better to keep recordings just for yourself? Do you admit a hidden intention to show others what you are able to do, be it 30 or 3000 people?
It's not us who limit the print run, but the label. On personal level, I don't care if our releases are printed ten or ten thousand copies. It's
basically all the same for me. Of course bigger print runs allow more
people to get the albums and thus the price won't go so up, like in ebay
or some other similar website, but other than that, it's all the same.
The amount of albums printed doesn't change what Annihilatus is as a band and what are our ideals, so who gives a fuck about that anyway. It's superficial.
How come the most extreme of underground has grown up in Finland recently? Earlier it were other Scandinavian lands, Poland, USA that had very extreme black metal underground. Why Finland was aside back then? Can you relate recent activity to social state, more global things you know?
Maybe it's the new generation which is coming through in Finland. It's not like we have very big ug black metal scene going on around here, but yes, it's getting better what it used to be. One must remember that Finland is rather small country and we have never been as international as Sweden, for instance. Poland and USA then again are WAY bigger countries, so there's no point to compare them to us in that respect. For Norway I can only say that small fire got huge flames back in early nineties...
What is your opinion about the Finnish primitive black metal scene, bands like Clandestine Blaze, Uncreation's Dawn, Musta Surma, Diaboli, Bloodhammer, Incriminated, Satanic Warmaster?
Well, I must say that since I know people from almost all of those bands a bit, I can say that they are all decent bands, that's for sure.
Musically speaking some are better than others, of course, but I really
favor Satanic Warmaster, Diaboli, Musta Surma, Clandestine Blaze and
Bloodhammer from the bands you mentioned.
Incriminated and Uncreation's Dawn are quite okay as well. Then there are other good bands in Finland, like Warloghe and Behexen.
Tell me something about live performances, I saw at your website to use colour corpsepainting, which is not regular for Finnish black metal bands.
We have only one gig so far, so there's not much to tell about it. We decided to use camouflage painting instead of common corpse paint because I figured out it would fit us better. The gig was quite okay for our first gig, but nothing special in any way.
You have a very good webzine, called Inquisitionist, what can we know about it? And what do you do in personal life beside Annihilatus? What about classical motto of rock music: drugs, sex and rock'n'roll?
Well, Inquisitionist is now gone and buried. I had to quit it because other people doing it lost their motivation, or something like that, so
I moved on to do interviews and reviews for different places.
My personal life consists mostly of writing, working, practicing martial arts and lots of different things, but most of them have nothing to do with Annihilatus, just my personal vies in life.
About the motto you mentioned. I don't care other people doing that, but that's not my thing to do (except for sex, of course).
I know the Finnish peoples are very hard drinkers. What is your favourite drink, book and movie?
Book? I really don't know. I don't read that much.
Booze? A dark beer I found in Prague this summer called Kelt.
Movie? Star Wars trilogy (the old ones) and Apocalypse Now.
Do you know Hungarian metal bands, and what is your opinion about the Hungarian-Finnish brotherhood?
Well, I don't believe in brotherhoods between nations and races, so I can't comment on that one. And I am not sure if I have heard any Hungarian bands. Maybe I have, but I'm not aware of that anyway.
Tell me something about your hometown Turku, I know in every summer in Turku was organized a great jazz festival. Do you like the great festivals with lot of foreigner people?
Jazz festival here? I guess you mean Pori and Pori Jazz? Well, I've never been there. Turku is the oldest city in Finland, almost 800 years old, so we have a long history here. Turku castle was built sometimes around year 1200, so it's very interesting place to visit. We also have sort of medieval festival each summer, which is quite interesting, but other than that, Turku is nothing special. Quite decent for my taste, though.
I'm not fond of foreign people, but I don't have anything else against them either. As long as it doesn't involve me, so I don't care.
OK Serpent, that's all for the moment, thank you for your time, I wish to you strength and health, and have a nice summer!
Thanks and thank you for this interesting interview. Enjoy the Winter. Stay metal, stay brutal, stay true.