Summon: How did the band get started?
Antares: The band started back in January 2008. My previous band in which I played was a progressive metal/death metal band called Serpent Eye, with black metal elements. I was it’s co-founder, and we split up after about a year of functioning. The majority of the material was written by me, so all my effort became useless, and I was really pissed off at how the events turned. Most of the local bands here today end up just for the same reason that we split up – because we couldn’t get along anymore. The rest of the band wanted to go for an over complex technical death metal style, which was very hip at that time, and I was against that. I wanted the band to have it’s own style, and stay unique. So when I formed Iubairs, I wanted to return to the primitive raw roots of metal, and focus on the black metal approach to songwriting and sound. I called Erthun at the very day of the split up, told him that I wanted to form a new band, and I asked him to join on rhythm guitar. After a while we met Aquila, our first bass player which utilized a bass distortion and played with a pick, so he added a bit of early Mayhem to our sound. Kabuka answered our ad in one of the music portals, and joined the band as the drummer. At first he wasn’t too skilled, but he made tremendous progress in a really short period of time, and now his style is an essential part of Iubaris.
Summon: What kind of music do you play?
Antares: We tend to mix a lot of different styles, but try to stay true to the black metal sound. We utilize Darkthrone’s rule for guitar work, namely keeping “all the strings open all the time”. Palm muting is present in our music, but it is never the lead factor in any part. I add it only when I know it’s absolutely beneficial for the song’s feel, and doesn’t distort the overall impression. We also use a special guitar tuning, modified for best suiting open string arrangements and arpeggios.
Kabuka: The trick is not to play the same stuff over and over again, everything can become boring when repetitive.
Summon: How has the fan response been?
Vulpus: Very different. Our concept met both despise and great approval. Our music is kind of “Love it or Hate it. No middle options”
Antares: When we first started playing, people didn’t know what the hell we were doing, because it sounded so different from what the rest of the local bands were playing at that time. Today there are some listeners that really love our music, and can’t wait to hear more.
Summon: Where did the band name come from?
Antares: The band’s name means “light of a star” or a “sun”/”star” in Latin. It seems ironic at first, but you can approach it in any way you want, which is especially great. One of the translations of the name Lucifer explains it as “shining star” which I find similar in effect to our name. You can approach it with irony, but also take it extremely seriously, and it’s meant to be that way.
Summon: Introduce the band members and what they do in the band.
Antares: Vulpus plays bass, and does backing vocals, Kabuka plays drums, and Mjolnir is our new guitarist, playing both rhythm and lead. I am the main vocalist and play lead/rhythm guitar as well.
Summon: Who writes the music? Lyrics?
Antares: The majority of the music is written by me, but we all contribute to the final outcome. I handle all the lyrics myself.
Summon: And where do the lyric ideas come from?
Antares: To write lyrics I need to enter a certain state of mind. I can’t write them as it goes, because then they would be random. I try to fit every song within the context of the other, which worked especially great in Ars Sathanae II, our second EP. The lyrics tell a certain story, and are meant to be interpreted that way. They aren’t something additional. I place them at the same level as the music, which can be very frustrating as it takes a lot more work, but I find it worth the effort. Ars Sathanae I and Ars Sathanae II were planned as a full album, but in the end they work better as separate, because the first part tells more about arbitrary things, while the second one picks up where “Rebirth” ended. “Antigod” was a great start of this story, but “Terra Ingocnita” is not the end, because I plan to continue it on our first full length album. The story in general tells about someone who breaks because he feels his true self slowly rotting away in the monotony of everyday life. Hate becomes a path to escape, as he turns inwards and finds a source of unlimited power, which he does not fully understand at this point. When he returns with that power and confronts reality again, he fails, making his fall into insanity complete. He then locks himself from the outside world and enters a catatonic state, where he can’t distinguish reality from illusion anymore, and tries to find the answers for the things that destroyed him. This can be interpreted not only literally, but metaphorically as well. The consciousness doesn’t have to remain in one place or time for it to have a certain experience. For me art was always about some sort of spiritual journey, and a search for enlightenment, so the story behind the lyrics embodies that well. Art is supposed to free you and make you feel great about your individual experience, unlike how the entertainment and music industry is all about money and limiting the individual, making you a slave to your own reality.
Summon: What is your view in Satanism and Occultism?
Kabuka: As for me, Occultism is just one of my interests. What I really dislike is that fake “grim aura” around that topic, used by silly young bands that try to be “evil”.
Vulpus: Satanism works as a philosophy. It has a strong symbolic affinity for freedom and individualism, which we do express in our music. As a cult… None of us is a believer (for any religion) and after death we’ll get our answers.
Antares: This is a topic really hard for me to discuss. There isn’t anything that can be said about one or the other, without denying there is a counterpart to it, thus limiting their meaning. Occultism is all about experimenting for me. If it works, it works. I believe you can influence reality referring directly to reality itself, which is the modern school of magick. As for satanism, we use satanic imagery in our band as a form of protest against organized religion, and going for the more straight forward communication with people. As for satanism as a philosophy, I think things became really interesting when LaVey came along. That doesn’t mean I agree with everything he had to say, but he was an
interesting individual none the less. There was a hype for hating LaVeyan satanism some time ago in the black metal scene. I think hating something without dissecting it is stupid, and praises sheep
Mjolnir: I believe that Satanism in its ritualistic and aggressive form can be both interesting and fascinating as well as eerie and frightening. Looking at its philosophical side, we see an ideology for people who want to go their own way, who want to be independent and have, so to say, a cold attitude to life. The thing is not to get too far with the fascination of it.
Summon: How many albums/CD’s have you released?
Vulpus: 2 EP’s on the net. Long play compilation on the way. We release it through the polish label Black Death Production in September.
Antares: I will add that we managed to print two separate releases of “Ars Sathanae I” on CD by ourselves, one consisting of 100, the other one, which came first, of only 5 copies. Anyone who has that release – consider yourself a lucky owner!
Summon: Tell me about some the songs on the latest CD?
Antares: Magnum Coeptum Satanicum are two completely different sounding albums released as one, with the newer being more about what we were from the very beginning in general. The songs on Ars Sathanae I were almost all completed in separate sessions, but Ars Sathanae II was recorded and mixed under two weeks time. For the second EP, we used additional room mics to record each instrument, and then took the dirt even further by adding some more reverb in the mix. Most underground black metal bands tend to sound very raw and dry, while our second EP sounds raw and extremely deep, coming from every possible distance and direction. I wanted to achieve a certain effect to stimulate the imagination while mixing it. If you listen to a record while walking in a forest, and it sounds like the band is playing all around you, it’s a fucking good record. I hope we achieve a similar effect on our next album. The first EP has an entirely different sound mainly because I wanted to check how good can we produce the songs in a professional studio. It was more of an experimental period. The outcome turned out to be much more death metal than I anticipated. I really liked it at first, but it really doesn’t fit our style. I would change almost everything on “Ars Sathanae I”. The only thing I would change on “Ars Sathanae II” is make the bass and kick drum sound a bit more separate, but that’s about it. I think we pulled a bit of a Darkthrone off, because we shifted from hi-fi to raw production, even though it wasn’t intentional. Now people can decide weather they like the first or the second album more by themselves.
Summon: Do you have any side projects?
Vulpus: Revenge of Silence. A thrash/metal core band that played 3 small concerts and is currently at the stage of silent dissolving due to internal conflicts. I am the vocalist there and the band gave me a nice opportunity to practice my front-man action and improve growling&screaming skills. I found not having my hands occupied very funny.
Mjolnir: I am currently working and rehearsing with Memories In A Slumber, a band that I’ve created some moths ago. We are now writing the material, which can be located somewhere between progressive and alternative rock with some other influences. I’ve also recently released the first EP of my own electronic project, The Fallen Altar.
Summon: Who are some of your musical influences?
Vulpus: Tool, Electric Wizard, Celtic Frost, Black Sabbath, Ulver.
Antares: I could write a fucking encyclopedia about that.. So I’ll just say all of the above mentioned, plus Opeth, A Perfect Circle, Christ Agony and Behemoth to name a few. Viking era Bathory and Gorgoroth had a huge impact on our sound. But the truth is, the spectrum of influences is far wider. The only thing i can’t tolerate is that over compressed, noisy, uninspired, shitty modern pop music you hear everywhere today. Complete manufacture by deaf ‘music producers’ for a deaf audience.
Summon: Which current bands?
Antares: See above.
Summon: What is the band like when you play live?
Vulpus: We’re like: “Come on and join us in our unholy onslaught!” If they comply, we eagerly give ’em pure hate from the deepest, the most brutal parts of our hearts. If not, then we provoke verbally and physically (jump from the stage, push, initiate the mosh and quickly get on the stage and watch the hatred grow . We despise standing like sculptures both in our case and the fans. If you want to “just listen” buy the CD or find us on the Internet. Concerts are about something more than just the music.
Antares: There is a lot of furious energy on stage. To be honest, I’m not that concerned about how the people react, if they are there just to listen to the music that’s fine, because I’ll give the music 110% every time either way. But it’s really fun to have someone like Vulpus stirring up chaos from time to time.
Summon: Have you guys ever played in another country?
Kabuka: No, not YET.
Vulpus: But we will, mark my words.
Summon: How big of crowd shows up at shows usually?
Vulpus: Usually circa 30 – 40, depending on the show’s location and size of the place.
Antares: The biggest crowd we managed to get was between 200-300 people, if i remember correctly.
Summon: How is the crowd response when you play?
Antares: The response keeps getting more and more positive. When we storm off stage, we like talking to people that see us and hear their opinion, just out of curiosity. People kept asking me how a band with such great music didn’t put an album with a label out. This situation will change in September, as we don’t have to rely on self-released CD’s anymore.
Summon: What do you think of the US Black Metal/Death Metal scene?
Mjolnir: Some US black metal bands are really good. I mainly mean the DSBM scene led by Xasthur and the more atmospherical side of black metal shown by Wolves In The Throne Room. I saw them live once and the show was stunning!
Antares: I still remember listening to Valdur’s “Raven God Amongst Us” album for the first time, and I was absolutely blown away. Everything about this album is perfection, from songwriting to the way it’s produced and mixed. Krallice is also a very interesting band, though their music is more difficult for me in reception.
Summon: What do you think of the Overseas scenes?
Antares: Nailed it.
Summon: What are some of new favorite black metal/death metal bands?
Mjolnir: There are interesting projects, which have been created by musicians mainly engaged in the polish band Massemord, FDS, Morowe, Dusze Wypuscil and of course Furia do a really great job in the genre.
Summon: When do you guys plan on writing any new material?
Vulpus: We’ve got a lot of songs in the concept phase. It won’t take us long until we play it on gigs and release it on our second official long play when the time is right.
Summon: What does the future hold for the band??
Antares: If we kept thinking about the future we’d go nuts. No use in doing that, it’s better to focus everything on the present.
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