ĒBlack Magick is the only true Magick, because it grants gratification to the magician who uses it correctly. All magick is within the Devilís realm. So-called White Magick doesnít exist! Everything stems from the Darkness!Ē After long silent years Diaboli, Finland's cultest Black Metal band finally came out with new material. I've been talking with Pete about the glorious past and other interesting things.I would like to dedicate this interview to the memory of Grimnír (R.I.P.)
Hello Pete! Thanks a lot for your reply. Because DIABOLI is one of the best Black Metal acts from Finland I want to do an in depth interview with you all right? Do you like giving interviews as far as Diaboli?
Thanks. I havenít done so much interviews lately, so itís no problem.
When, by whom and how was DIABOLI established? Did you know each other earlier? I know Diaboli was a five piece band, and after the first gig 3 members were kicked out from the band, why?
The band was formed by me, Grimnír and the old guitarist Martiskainen. We knew each other because we were at the same school earlier and all of us had some kind of metal bands or projects before. The other guitarist and the drummer who played on the first demo werenít so much into black metal, so in early í93 they had to go.
Did you have some member changes at the beginning of the band? When did become complete your line up? Was it hard to find the suitable members to the establishing of a Black Metal band?
Yeah, there were no black metal or metal musicians in the town at the time so we didnít even bother to find new members to the band. We were going to record the second demo as a three piece band, but then for the first time there was some hassle and things got a bit extreme, and Martiskainen (guitars) couldnít handle it, so he left the band. So me and Grimnír ended up recording the second demo.
How often did you rehearse? How were your rehearsals? Do you still remember about your rehearsal place?
When we started rehearsing for the first demo, we had a full 5 piece band, so we rehearsed a couple of times a week, if I remember correctly and we rehearsed for the second demo as a 3 piece a couple of times, but after the guitarist left (Martiskainen) there wasnít any real rehearsals because there wasnít a full band line up. I had drums, guitars etc. at my parents house where I was living at the time so I practiced and made a lot of songs there.
How do you see the bandís first demo (Descent Into Hell) in todays perspective? Why did you re-recorded in 2002 for a 7Ē Ep release? Have you satisfied with the new versions of this old songs? I think the new versions is more Black Metal, like the original ones, your comment:
I think itís allright demo. Me and Grimnír always talked that we should re-record those songs from the first demo, and so we did in 1999, and those versions are on the 7ĒEp which was released in 2002.
In 1994 Diaboli came out with the 2nd demo. You played all the instruments, and Grimnír doing the vocals. Did you sent some copies from the demos to several labels?
Yeah, but I donít remember to how many labels we sent.
How did you get in touch with Unisound Records from Greece? What kind of bands were at that time by the label? Did you get offers from other labels too?
Either I sent them a copy or they got it from somewhere, I really donít remember. They had released some stuff from Rotting Christ and Varathron I think.
How many copies were pressed from the first 2 demos?
I think we pressed 200 cassettes of Descent Into Hell-demo, and 400 cassettes of the second demo. Plus all the recording when people were sending a blank tape + postage.
In 1995 the bandís name was changed to Diaboli from the original Sigillum Diaboli. Why did you changed the bands name?
I was so fed up with all the letters and interviews coming with something Siufhfiu Divysgdg-name, so I thought fuck off, the name must be a simple one.
I think the first 2 demos were death metal releases if we had comparing this releases with the other stuff from the Diaboli discographie? Is this so? Which bands did have an effect on Diaboli? How was the underground scene of Finland at the beginning of the '90-s? Tell us please about that times!
There are quite a lot of death metal influences on the first demo, but I wouldnít say that from the second demo. Well, before we discovered the Norwegian bands we listened to like Blasphemy, Beherit, old Rotting Christ, the first Impaled Nazarene-demo, the first Samael album, old Sodom + of course Venom, Bathory, Hellhammer/Celtic Frost. I think I got Mayhemís Deathcrush-mlp and those two compilation tracks (w/Dead on vocals) through tapetrading in late 1991 or 1992, and after that we started to discover Norwegian bands like Mayhem, Burzum, Darkthrone, Emperor. When Darkthrone released A Blaze In The Northern Sky-album, that one we listened a lot.There really wasnít a big black metal scene in Finland in early 1990ís, there were only Beherit, Impaled Nazarene and Black Crucifixion. When we started the band in summer 1992 black metal was on itís way to become the next big trend, and we thought would it be too trendy to start another (4th) black metal band to Finland. We seriously thought that maybe we shouldnít form the band at all because it seemed that black metal was coming really trendy, but we thought fuck that and formed the band. I must also say that the Beherit and Impaled Nazarene gigs I saw in 1991-1993 were a big inspiration for the band at the time. I remember I broke my leg stagediving at the final Beherit show in Riihimški (1993) and couldnít walk afterwards when we were travelling back home.
Your first album came out in 1996 (Mesmerized By Darkness). Tell me all necessary information about this release. Personally, "Masmerized By DarknessĒ is one of my absolute all time favourite albums, I think Diaboli together with Beherit/Barathrum/Unholy were the godfathers of ďFinnish Black MetalĒ. What was your personal favourite band that time?
Before I had parted ways with Grimnír, so I recorded the album in late 1995. Unisound erased all the recording information, a photo etc. from the album sleeve but I donít know why. It was recorded really fast as far as I remeber, like 30 hours or something. From the black metal bands I pretty much listened the ones I mentioned at the last question.
Is it "Masmerized By Darkness" available from the label? I know that the Unisound Records were bankrupted. Why did you changed the label after this release?
I heard that they printed another edition of the album a couple of years ago, but they havenít bothered to send me a copy, so I havenít seen it. After all the fuck ups they asked for another album, but the deal was as bad as for the first album, so I didnít do it.
The first release for the Full Moon Productions was the "Towards DamnationĒ CD. Had you wrote all the lyrics/music and played all the instruments? I think this second album is not the best Diaboli record, how do you see this release in todays perspective?
Yeah, I wrote all the music and played all the instruments/vocals. I think itís pretty good album, but the album cover is horrible.
"Anthems of SorrowĒ came out in 2000 with Grimnír on vocals, again. Why did he splited up with Diaboli and why did he returned to the band? Have Grimnír other projects/bands in the period when he had not member of Diaboli?
We didnít get along too well at the time, the egos were too big. But in sort of Spinal Tap style we re-united the band in 1998 when I was recording "Anthems Of SorrowĒ, and I asked if he wanted to do vocals for the album and he said why not. I think he was a vocalist for Azazel for a short period of time.
I would harp on an delicate theme, if I don't affront you. You was arrested and charged with an attempt to kill a man with an axe. Later you was found guilty and was sentenced to four years and six months in prison. What happened? Please give some detailed information about the story.
Well, to keep the story short, at the time where I was living a guy who drinked alot, did a lot of drugs, was on medication etc. lived the next door. One evening we were drinking and suddenly without any reason he started to strangle me till I canít breathe. I thought if he tries to kill me, I will fucking kill and dismember him. But I only got to hit him with an axe like 4-5 times till my brother stopped it and the guy got somehow crawled away from the apartment, covered with blood.
Tell me something about the prison life in Finland comparing with other prisons like the Norwegian, or other Scandinavian jails.
I think itís pretty much the same in the nordic countries. I was sentenced to 4 years and 6 months, and as a first timer did half of it; 2 years and 3 months. For the first year and a half I was in maximum security prison where you spend 23 hours a day in your cell, and the last nine months I was in a minimum security prison working. Itís not so tough place what you see in tv series and so on, of course if you want trouble, youíre gonna get trouble. But if youíre not a rapist, pedophile, police informer, or own someone some money, you donít get hassled by other inmates. The guards are idiots in every prison though.
In 2001 Grimnír committed suicide. What do you think why did he commited suicide? Are you good friend with Grimnír?
I was on a two day holiday from prison when I saw him five days before he killed himself, and he was pretty much a mess. He was taking a lot of drugs and was having a disagreement with some people (with criminal connections), but I donít know the whole story as I was locked up at the time it happened.
In 2002 came out the first 7Ē Ep of Diaboli, released by Northern Heritage, limited to 500 copies. In my opinion it was a strange thing, that this was the first vinyl release of Diaboli. Had interested to releasing Diaboliís albums on vinyl format during your carrier other record companies, or donít you like the vinyls? Have some possibilities to releasing your albums on vinyl format?
Unisound advertised that they were going to release the album on vinyl too at the time, but I donít think that ever happened. There have been some talk with Northern Heritage that they would put out some vinyl editions of the albums this year, but nothing is 100% sure yet, so weíll see what happens.
After that, came out the "Unseen Age of WarĒ CD, with lots of rare stuff, cover songs, and the first 2 demos. This release including a great song written together with Nidhoggr. What do you know about this guy? I have Nidhoggr first demo and thatís all. Had he making music this days?
I played drums for the Nidhoggr-demo "Ravens Over The Road Of KingsĒ, and it was recorded also with my recording equipment. We started rehearsing 3 new songs for the second demo in 1998, but Nadrach, whose band it was, killed himself. So that demo is the only stuff that has been released or recorded. A year or two ago some American underground label asked for my permission to release the demo as a 7ĒEp, and I agreed, but I havenít heard nothing from them since. If somebody knows about this label or knows the 7ĒEp being released, please inform me. Iíd like to get my copies of the Ep.
Let we talking about the new Diaboli album called "KirousĒ. What is the meaning of the enigmatic Kirous, because this is not an English word, is it? Why did you choose this name for the title of your new album?
Well, itís Finnish language and means a curse in English. A lot of the lyrics deal with revenge, killing somebody, death and that kind of stuff so itís suitable name I think.
Tell me something about the lyrical side of the "KirousĒ. Why did not printed all the lyrics on the cover of the CD? Have you satisfied with your lyrics?
Most of my lyrics Iím not totally satisfied with, so I have never wanted to print all of them. Northern Heritage asked for some lyrics to put on to the album booklet, so I sent them a few I thought were the best. Lyrics for the next album are looking allright, so maybe next time there will be all of them.
Tell me something about the "You Are Going To SufferĒ and the "New MethodsĒ songs, my personal favourite songs from the new album.
They are written both in 1998/1999 I think. Lyrics for the first one deal with torturing and killing a human being, and "New MethodsĒ is basically quite traditional black metal lyrics.
Diaboli has a lot of Thrash Metal influences, I think. Do you like the í80s great German thrash bands like Destruction/Kreator/Sodom/Living Death/Assassin??
Yeah, Iíve listened Kreator, Sodom and Destruction from when I was a kid.
Have you satisfied with the Northern Heritage Records? Are other individual record companies interesting in Diaboliís art?
Things have worked out best with Northern Heritage so far, no complainings. I havenít at least got any other offers for Diaboli.
Do you like projects? Do you take part in several projects or do you concentrate only on Diaboli?
I recorded the Psychopathic Terror album almost two years ago, and it finally looks like being released this year. Itís kind of thrash or death metal, with couple of Ministry/Godflesh-type of songs. The drummer from Korpiklaani (Finnish folkmetal band) played drums for it (except two songs), and some friends played lead guitars and did vocals for a couple of songs.
Your website became very professional. What would you say about it? It is important for an underground Black Metal band to have an own website?
I donít know how important it is for an underground band, but itís a cheap way to promote the band so why not. It turned out allright, itís informative etc.
How often do you use the internet? Do you like writing e-mails or doing e-mail interviews? Do you like reading webzines, what is your opinion about the fanzines/webzines?
I mostly use the internet to band related thing like mail, or doing an interview like this, or check out some news on bands, but thatís basically it. The computer I got is so damn old that I canít even download porn and burn it to dvd. That sucks.
Are you interested in todays Black Metal bands? What is your opinion about the Finnish Black Metal underground? In my opinion, Finland has the best Black Metal bands worldwide nowadays, such as Clandestine Blaze, Barathrum, Bloodhammer, Uncreationís Down, Baptism, Musta Surma, Satanic Warmaster, Annihilatus, Behexen, Baptism and of course Warloghe. Are you in contact with the mentioned bands?
I donít really listen to newer bands a lot, I prefer the same older bands from early í90s which are still killer, but Finland definitely have good black metal bands like you mentioned.
Ok Pete, I know that Iím asking too much, but Iím a great worshipper of Diaboliís art and this is the first Diaboli interview for a Transylvanian zine, so I want to make a long and detailed interview. Tell me your future plans, and please close the interview.
That was a lot of questions, but thanks for the interview. If things go as planned, at the end of this year Iíll start to complete the recordings for the next album, and hopefully it will be released sometime in 2006. And the Psychopathic Terror album should be out this year, if you like that kind of stuff.