The Black Planet

Interview: Krowos

Elsa Marques 08/04/2018 Interviews Comments Off on Interview: Krowos
Interview: Krowos

 


Krowos is an Italian black metal band formed by:

Tsade – Screaming and Clean Vocals
Bheltregus – Choirs and Clean Vocals
Frozen – Drums and Guitars
Imbris – Bass

Krowos was created by Frozen and Tsade in 2011. After the first release, Imbris and Mescun joined the band in 2012, and later on by Bheltregus (Baram) in 2013. Mescün left the band at the end of 2014.

Frozen kindly answered some question regarding the band and their latest album “Verbum Luciferi” (Released on 17th February 2017 by Nigredo Records)

TBP: Since many of our readers/followers might not be familiar with your band. Can you briefly share Krowos band History? (i.e.: How did the band members got together ? What was your main inspiration and overall aspirations when you started?)

Frozen: The point is that there’s no band history, just free evolution. I don’t like boring people by telling them our “history” because it makes no sense to me. So I’ll try to write something in order to briefly explain our vision. Krowos have a fulcrum, of course − that is to say me (Frozen) and the vocalist (Tsade) −, but it’s just a formality linked to the fact that we started the band together in 2011. Actually, I don’t even consider Krowos as a band in the strict sense of this term, I usually think of it as a multiform entity in continuous transmutation: it becomes what it decides to become depending on its needs. And we just follow those needs in the flow of time. That’s all. Our line-up has changed over the time by adding new members, taking off other members as well as by blending the same members in different roles… and everything has happened because sometimes Krowos need more people or less people to completely express themselves. We don’t have any limits. We are completely free from any dogma.

The current line-up, the one which recorded our last full-length “Verbum Luciferi”, is composed by me behind drums and guitars, Imbris on the bass (already guitar player in past releases), Tsade as screaming vocalist and Baram as cleaning vocalist; finally, Maagher Kxeratum recorded for us some keyboards in two tracks. Nevertheless, we are already working on many new releases and, as you can easily imagine, the line-up could be slightly different from the last one…

As for your second question, our main aspiration is to create music which follows our philosophical and esoteric vision of life and death. Indeed, our music is a sort of extension of our soul, both in terms of music and lyrics. Thus, it’s crystal clear that our inspiration comes from the darkest side of our internal life. We usually use notes and words to explore the abyss which subsumes us and comes from us.

TBP: Are the band members currently or were in the past involved in any other projects? If yes, which ones? How that benefits Krowos creative work?

Frozen: Almost each of us is involved in other musical projects. For example, since I started Krowos, I’ve been playing the drums in other bands like Arcanum Inferi, Lilyum, Pestem, Malauriu and others − I also play the guitar in my side project called Cold From Beyond. As for Tsade, he’s the singer of Guru of Darkness, while Imbris has just our Krowos, though she has actually been working on a personal project – which will never be released, probably – for several years. Each of us has their own background, musical knowledge and tastes, as well as their personal conception of the world… mixing all of them adequately like in an alchemical laboratory means creating music with really something to say. And I believe that we’re already doing it: our music is really full of our self.

TBP: How does the creative process work in Krowos band? How would you define which is the role of each band member in this task? (How often you get together to rehearse and write new material, etc..)

Frozen: The act of creation is such a complex and intimate event that it can’t be explained in words… It should be experienced personally, and even in that case it may be impossible to explain it due to its subjectivity and the experience one goes through. Anyway, I can say for sure that our creative process doesn’t follow any particular guideline, ever. Any of us may compose some riffs or complete tracks, write some lyrics or a concept album. If someone has got something to say, that’s fine, we will work on it. However, musically speaking, I have composed almost all the tracks so far. For most of those tracks, it was as though an inner, unknown and occult energy was working on me at the creative level in order to complete the process during the whole night. Anyway, the other guys who played in every release always added or changed something, thus making those riffs more personal. The point is that, as I said before, we are an unusual band. We never jam nor meet everybody in the same room to create some music. We’d rather compose on our own, in solitude, in contact with our internal self. It’s more productive, but it doesn’t mean that we’ll always stick to the same “method”. As for the lyrics, we like involving other people in this important creative phase. Obviously, it’s always people having adequate knowledge and our same sensitivity in understanding what notes want to transmit, in order to turn that feeling into words. And it’s not always that easy. People might say that it’s nonsense, but for us, it’s normal and necessary to share, compare and integrate our experience and knowledge with the other brothers and vice-versa.

TBP: Being your home country (Italy) known for “exporting” more heavy and power metal bands, how do you see the local black metal scene evolving lately?
Frozen: I don’t believe we can really talk about an actual “Italian Black Metal scene” in the Scandinavian vein. I believe that it depends more on what we want to define with the word “scene”. There are many Black Metal bands – and most of them are great bands –, and you can hear some Italian way in playing Black Metal, but there’s no scene, there never was and there never will be. It’s a fact. I’ve never regarded it as a bad thing though.
TBP: Being from an island (Catania, Sicily), do you think that factor makes it more difficult to expose yourselves to the world? And how have you been accepted local and internationally? Do you think you can make a difference relative to the other bands in the genre (and how)?

Frozen: No, I don’t think that living in Sicily is a real problem – at least, for us. We are “internationally” appreciated anyway. I don’t like using the internet, but it’s a good way to solve logistic problems. It’s a fact. Indeed, I have to say that most people who bought our stuff directly from us come from northern Italy or western Europe and Australia, and, unfortunately, that has been possible just thanks to the internet. On the other hand, local people don’t seem to be interested in our music. I probably sold just three copies of our last full-length here in Sicily. But, you know, I don’t play Black Metal to receive consents or sell more copies than other local bands. I’ve no interest in doing it. For me, Black Metal isn’t just a simple musical genre that you play to make business and become famous… and it can’t be considered as such; be careful, I mean the serious one, not the stereotyped and banal one. It goes beyond the usual tag and becomes a life philosophy. If you are capable of interiorising it and make it yours so as to become a coherent whole with it, it opens your mind to a new world, more individual and pragmatic, more difficult to understand and assimilate but more sincere and primordial of course.

TBP: Even thought you started officially in 2011 your first release only took place 2 years after. Do you wanna share if you faced any recording or production problems at that time? How much you had to struggle your way in the start? How has been the acceptance from the listeners to your music?

 

Frozen: Actually, our first release took place in 2012 and it was a split album with Anar − only one track for each band without lyrics, just screams. Me and Magus (the only member of Anar) wanted to do this cd with the purpose of combining our vision and our way of interpreting and living Black Metal. The choice of the title “Ex Profunditate Animae”, that is to say “From the Depths of the Soul”, comes from here, because it’s truly from the depths of our soul that this kind of music springs and lives.It was recorded and completed when the line-up was expected to be limited to only two members: me playing every instrument and Tsade doing the vocals. We just took the neccessary time to record everything, make the artwork and print it. Therefore, as you can see, there were neither production nor recording problems. Rather, it was a fluid and natural process. Very easy.

People like this release very much. We personally received a lot of approvals and great reviews. I also consider that track one of the best ones of ours: so much depth, hypnotic and magnetic, but also obssessive and oppressive. The principal riff – the only one, really – was monumental and evocative, screams were primordial and schizophrenic… a great opening act.

I’d really like to see this work printed in 7 inches, but Magus seems to be disappeared so I can’t do anything. We’ll see in the future.

TBP: If my sources aren’t wrong, “Enthroning Our End” was only released in cassete format? Was this decision based in the available conditions at the time or a conscious decision?
Frozen: Yes, you’re right. You can find this full-length only on tape so far. And yes, it was a conscious decision. While listening to the master, we easily understood that it couldn’t be released in another format but tape. The sound, the atmosphere and also the concept at the base of our work called for that specific format. I can’t explain this in a better way. Anyway, I personally spent some days searching a label specialised in releasing tapes in limited edition in order show them our work. The German Schattenkult Produktionen was inspired by our music and decided to release it in 100 hand-numbered copies.
TBP: You released a couple of split albums with other bands and your last release was “Verbum Luciferi” via Nigredo Records. Were you waiting to get signed by a record label in order to release this album, or it just happened to wait so many years before your second full length release?
Frozen: We recorded and released three split albums and an acoustic demo tape between our first full-length and the second one. I’ve always had many tracks ready to be recorded and waiting for the right time to be released. “Verbum Luciferi” was totally conceived in 2012, but I believe that the time wasn’t ripe for that opera. Indeed, I started recording it three times before the last one, and every time I didn’t like the results. Furthermore, I had other “single” tracks to record and many contacts to bands and labels with which to collaborate. So, yes, it just happened to wait so many years before releasing our second full-length. We usually don’t plan anything. Anyway, I have to say that I also like sharing releases with one or more bands. Split albums are always welcome.
TBP: How and when did you started this collaboration with this Swedish label (Nigredo Records)? What can the people that already know you expect to be different and similar to your first release? How would you describe your evolution along this years?

Frozen: Formally, we started this collaboration in 2016, but I’ve known Katia (Nigredo Records’ owner) and talked to her since 2014. We have a similar way to conceive what Black Metal is, musically and philosophically speaking. It’s sufficient to read the name of her label to understand how Krowos – that is to say the messenger of the afterworld who accompanies the passenger towards the world of darkness to search for his own existence – and Nigredo Records have in common. In fact, it wasn’t difficult for us to find the right way to cooperate and make “Verbum Luciferi” great. We are already talking about other possible releases, but future is uncertain, there are too many variables and everything may change even today. As for your second question, each release of ours is truly different from the others. Of course, we have our personal style, our personal sound and our way to intend Black Metal, but there’s no outside similarity between them. However, even if “Enthroning Our End” is very distant from “Verbum Luciferi” and the other four splits are completely different from these two full-lengths: an attentive and more sensitive listener can find the hidden theme and understand the whole conception. I hope it’s clear. Sometimes words can’t explain everything. It’s difficult.

TBP: How would you describe and walk us through the album? (i.e: why the chosen latin title? What is the main history in the lyrics of this record? Where can the album be acquired?)

Frozen: “Verbum Luciferi” is a Luciferian Black Mass made up of six tracks of invocative Black Metal. Lyrics are written, acted and sung in Latin, they’re a sort of revival of “important” Christian/Catholic prayers transposed into an esoteric key.

Obviously, the Lucifer we talk about is not the pseudo-satanic identity to whom it’s usual to refer to, but rather its literal meaning – i.e. Lux Ferre – that is to say the herald of light, the herald of the real truth… I can’t say any more. Anyway, it’s crystal clear that it mustn’t be confused with the Catholic entity, the biblical counterpart of the Christian god…

TBP: Where can our readers have the chance to see you playing live in a near future? (Any plans to tour and/or perform in Summer festival, around Europe and/or Italy?)
Frozen: I don’t really think they might have the chance to see us. We have no interest in playing live music.
TBP: To end with a maybe provocative question: How would you describe your band in one sentence in order to convince our readers to listen to you ?
Frozen: I don’t want to convince anyone.

 

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Interview by Elsa Marques
Managing editor: Elsa Marques

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About The Author

Adopted the role of the zine Finnish emissary, and since my addition to the roster, I have been juggling the tasks of Editor-in-chief, Promoter and Manager of the zine social media pages. As part of the permanent staff of the zine, album reviews, video and written interviews, covering live shows (text, video and photography) have been also a strong contribution to the zine work. Besides the zine "hobbie" I am also a origami, music and traveller enthusiastic. Academic background: Biology degree from the University of Coimbra (Portugal); Master of Science in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the Center of Neurosciences Coimbra & Faculty of Science and Technology; PhD degree from the Medical Faculty, University of Helsinki.

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