Mr.Northwind maker of the cultest black metal magazine "I Came From Darkness" after silent years came out with a new magazine called "The Sinister Flame".I've been talking with Mr.Northwind about their new magazine and other interesting things:
What was the motivation that gave birth to the I CAME FROM DARKNESS fanzine?
When I first started I CAME FROM DARKNESS in 1993, as a newsletter, I guess my aim was to support Finnish Black & Death Metal bands that I considered to be of quality. To help them spread their names in the international underworld I was so in love with.
How did you decide, and on what criteria, which bands were going to appear in your fanzine and how did you contact them?
The bands that made it in I CAME FROM DARKNESS had to please me musically, lyrically as well as conceptually, and there were no exceptions. I have never seen any point in 'supporting' bands, labels, or individuals in general, who are half-heartedly involved in whatever it is they are involved in. How did I contact them? The interviews published in the five I CAME FROM DARKNESS issues were all done via mail. There's not a single live or phone interview in those issues.
How did you work out the distribution? Because the fanzine is pretty wide-spread in the world.
I just contacted a lot of Black & Death Metal distribution services via mail. As the name spread, by issue #5 I didn't really have to promote the zine anymore. That issue #5 was printed in 500 copies and sold out in 11 days with no promotion, by the way, which I still consider a small miracle, even today. I guess I owe a lot of the fact that I CAME FROM DARKNESS became so well known to HOUSE OF KICKS, who spread a lot of copies around the world at the time.
How does it feel like to know that I CAME FROM DARKNESS became a cultic fanzine during the years. It had a great influence on me too when making MIRGILUS SICULORUM.
That's great to hear. Quite a few individuals have told me that I CAME FROM DARKNESS was one of the zines for them, but I don't know… I'm glad my past work is respected, even though I wouldn't say I CAME FROM DARKNESS had anything deeper as it's essence than the mere spirit of Black Fucking Metal, but, who knows, maybe that's exactly why it is respected in certain circles.
Why did I CAME FROM DARKNESS come to an end and what made you come back to the world with I RETURN TO DARKNESS?
I CAME FROM DARKNESS came to its end in 1997 because I felt sick and tired of the whole scene. The whole thing became more and more pointless at that time. I couldn't take it and I even sold off a lot of the records I had cherished up to that point. But it had to be done. Another reason for ending I CAME FROM DARKNESS was that, as a side effect of the superficiality of the scene of 1997, I didn't want to do 'band-interviews' anymore. I wanted to forget about Black Metal and go deeper into the very core of Life and thus myself. And that's why I created I RETURN TO DARKNESS, a magazine that was related to the work I had started with ICFD, but still entirely different in all imaginable ways. The one and only I RETURN TO DARKNESS issue that was released in 1998 was a kind of culmination of my journey. I had gone to my roots and discovered my Heathen destiny, and all that fury is embodied in The Northwind Manifesto, published therein. Needless to say a lot of people got offended by that text as it was so utterly in-your-face, but that's just something I had to do. I felt such unspeakable anger that it shreds my heart even today. I've often referred to The Northwind Manifesto as my epitaph, and it still is just that, to a certain extent. I have developed some of the views expressed in The Manifesto, but ultimately I still think it offers the reader the awful truth about the life of today and it's meaninglessness. Just too bad people in the scene never really understood that issue as it didn't have questions about sale figures and song structures of their fave albums. I tried to start doing I RETURN TO DARKNESS #7, but the issue #6 left me so 'wordless' that all I could do was to withdraw.
Where does Mr. Northwind live and what is he doing when he is not working on the fanzine?
I am living in Savonlinna, a small town in the eastern side of Finland. I moved here last fall from Lappeenranta where I had lived my life up until then. I'm here studying in the University of Joensuu, in Savonlinna School of Translation and Interpreting, with English as my main subject. Apart from that, I'm a father of a 4 month old baby boy, so that's what I'm usually up to, heh.
What would your present top 5 albums be?
MAYHEM: De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas
SATYRICON: Rebel Extravaganza
ISMO ALANKO: Kun Suomi Putos Puusta
NECROMANTIA IV: Malice.
Is there a band whom you would have wanted to make an interview with, but you never could?
I don't know, really. Have to think about it. Well, I never interviewed Euronymous, although I had plans to in the summer of '93.
Your favourite book, drink and movie?
The favourite drink would be Karhu, a Finnish beer which has a splendid aftertaste. And the favourite movie would probably be The Perfect World. But to name just one book seems impossible. I usually read books about philosophy or the Occult, but I don't read much novels or such. I could recommend Lord of the Flies by William Golding, though, for anyone interested in a psychological study of the human mind as that novel has unveiled remarkably well the dark nature of man.
How did you become the general editor of AD ARMA! magazine? If I'm not misinformed, you are not working with AD ARMA! anymore, but planning to start your own magazine. What made you think about this, when is it expected and what are it's aims?
Tadas Kazlauskas from Lithuania started AD ARMA! in 2001. It was his new beginning in the world of zines, after having edited BRAINSTORM and LEDO TAKAS earlier on. But after he had unleashed AD ARMA! #1, he realised that the LEDO TAKAS RECORDS label and mailorder activities were eating away most of his time, and so he just happened to ask me if I'd be interested in 'taking over' AD ARMA!. I was practically doing nothing at that time, having been totally 'wordless' for a couple of years, so I figured why not. And now we're just about to release AD ARMA! #2. Both of us did interviews and reviews for this issue. It includes interviews with Frost of SATYRICON, Mörkkh of MALIGN, Black Christ of BLESSED IN SIN, Snorre of THORNS, Belial & Satan Gestapo of STREGOICA, Albertus 'THE VOICE OF THE DARK' Jimenez, amongst others. A wholeheartedly blackhearted issue, in other words. There is no compilation CD attached as there was in the debut but who cares. Personally I never liked this compilation CD invasion in the first place. Booooriiing. Anyway, should anyone be interested in either one of the AD ARMA! issues, contact Tadas (firstname.lastname@example.org) for the details as he'll be the one handling the promotion and distribution through his label. I have now also started a publication of and on my own called THE SINISTER FLAME, but this I will do along with AD ARMA!, so you in fact have been misinformed. I will continue doing AD ARMA! in the future, too, but I needed to create another outlet for my neverending thirst to write, and so THE SINISTER FLAME was born. The difference between the two magazines is that TSF is entirely mine, and thus will be written and represented accordingly. My vision. My world. I won't even have any contributors, but will write everything myself. And in that sense TSF will be much a more personal experience. It will consists of my darkened poetry, photos I have taken of these northern shores and of articles I'll write about different phenomenons. There will be interviews and reviews, too, but it's all coming from a very personal perspective. I'm not saying here that the work I do with AD ARMA! would be half-hearted in any way, it isn't, but there's still a difference. I'm working on the debut issue as we speak. No deadlines, though.
What do you know about Transylvania and about the Hungarian-Finnish reletiveness/kinhood?
I know quite a lot about Transylvania. Anyone with over 200 Black Metal fanzines in his or her collection would, if you know what I mean, heh. No, seriously, I've read quite much about it. I even have a video here of Transylvania, filmed by Vamosi Tamas of TORMENTOR in '95. A very interesting film as he just filmed it during one of his visits in the Transylvanian forests and lakes. He also used to educate me about Transylvania in his letters, always reminding me that Transylvania was not this 'evil' place most of the Black Metal people would want it to be, but rather a relaxed place with beautiful nature. And nice people. As for the Hungarian-Finnish connection, I'm afraid I know far too little about it in order to debate it. I apologise my ignorance.
Thank you for your time and please send a message to the readers of MIRGILUS SICULORUM in English and in Finnish if possible. Thank you for the interview!
Thank you. May the sinister flame enlighten the bewildered night. Ei viikate heinää valitse.