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CRITICALTOM: Do I understand that Maniac studies philosophy in a university? If so, where? Was the lyrical concept behind this album a result of that study?
BLASPHEMER: Yes, Maniac is studying at the university in Oslo. I think the concept itself was formed before he started studying, but of course it had [influenced] the writing. This concept was forwarded by myself and Maniac, and this was about 2 years before the album came out. Everything concerning the album has been through a process of maturing. So yes, the studies have left [their] traces...
CRITICALTOM: It is clear in my mind that this is a philosophical work. How seriously do you take this philosophy? Are they just Maniac's words, or is this the overall view of the band?
BLASPHEMER: Well, the concept is of course related to what Maniac and myself feel about the Christian indoctrination of our society. All religion is, in the eyes of humanity, an acheivement through acceptance; a sacrifice in many ways. But if you seek the essence, which is almost impossible, because of humans immaturity, you will experience the energy of life, your higher form, wich is the religionists highest intentions. But this source is mistaken for a godlike image. They are worshipping this with blind eyes and fail. They`re thrown into their own "cell" in reality, with their "mindcuffs" on and they don’t know. Conjuring to a human-made metaphysic creation, seen as the answer to our weakness and problems.Thats truly low..a human error.. .we declare war!
CRITICALTOM: At the show here in Atlanta, GA, USA, Maniac introduced the song "A Time to Die" by saying that "Christianity has to realize that there is 'A Time to Die'". It seems relatively safe to espouse these views within the limited circle of Black Metal fans, but what about out in the open? How far do these views go beyond the music?
BLASPHEMER: Mayhem is not an image. It is a truthful way of living..
CRITICALTOM: Speaking of that show: there were some neo-nazi's in the crowd which at one point began chanting, "sieg heil" (I'm not sure about the spelling). It seems to me that the band refused to acknowledge the neo-nazis. Is this an accurate assessment? Are you comfortable with neo-nazis as part of your fan base?
BLASPHEMER: "Grand dec.."is a fist in every political and religious direction.
CRITICALTOM: I've read where other reviewers have mentioned that Euronymous would be intimidated by this album. I agree. Blasphemer is just so much more of a guitarist. But do you think you guys would have made an album like this if Euronymous were still on the scene today?
BLASPHEMER: With death comes life. In other words, no. After the so-called inner circle died, the old-styled black metal died as well. It gave room for a new expression, a development. And without it the scene would have faded. Like all things that don’t evolve do.
CRITICALTOM: Where do you see Mayhem going musically with the next album? Can we expect a continuation of the "Grand Declaration of War" or should we expect something new?
BLASPHEMER: Mayhem will not repeat itself. The search goes on, and the ideas I have so far is of course a continuation of the thought already expressed, but its on a different level of consciousness. Musically speaking, it will be darker, more intense, yet atmospheric, mind exploring music, a dedication to intelligence.
CRITICALTOM: What would you like to say to all those "diehard" primitive Black Metal fans who reject the current version of Mayhem as not being "authentic"? What is "genuine" Black Metal in your opinion(s)?
BLASPHEMER: "It’s time to move out of your parents house"...thats what I would like to say to them..done!...genuine Black Metal?!. Attitude and dedication. The term is so wide and vague, but it is for sure reflected through the intensity, both in music and in the terms of existence. Its an art of rejecting.
CRITICALTOM: If the population and the Metal scene in Norway are so small, why do you think there are so many great Metal bands from there?
BLASPHEMER: Well, first of all, there aren’t so many great bands in Norway--or anywhere for all that matters. But the renaissancce of b.m. happened here, and from there a small cult was "established" with Euronymous as its founder. When their "underground" activities was picked up by the media, a hype was created...and we all know what hypes can do to humans...Suddenly everybody jumped on the wagon and lots of bands emerged...That’s one theory...
CRITICALTOM: With the number of side projects you guys are interested in, what do you think is the future of Black Metal as a genre in Norway?
BLASPHEMER: Black Metal has become more and more "accepted" here in Norway and sells quite a lot. I can’t say finally, though. I think the standard still is to low. But compared to what it sounded like 5 years ago.....he-he. All praise evolution...Development came like a sudden death in the family. No one could forsee the coming of [it].
Thank you for showing interest.
On behalf of Mayhem, Blasphemer.
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