For a long time I thought about interview with PESTILENTIA, but did not intend to take it a few more years, at least until the next full-length release, because this materialmade by MetalHeads.by revealed most of the fundamental information about the band. But the sudden news that the upcoming PESTILENTIA performance at festival Vox Diaboli III will mark the suspension of the concert activity of the band in Belarus forced me to leave the civilization and, sitting on the shore of Dnieper, to sketch questions for the interview. The most detailed answers did not take long to wait (Voist, if you read this - be ashamed !!!), and I am glad to introduce them to the readers of Bagnik Zine, so that you can go to the concert that closes contemporary stage of PESTILENTIA existence with the luggage of new useful knowledge.
Thank you for agreeing to talk with Bagnik Zine. To be honest, after your comprehensive interview for MetalHeads.by I postponed my plans for an interview in the box, but some new announcements forced me to reconsider this decision. Bagnik Zine recently acquired an English-language version, and, since MetalHeads were too lazy to translate their material into English, I will ask you to tell me once more about birth of PESTILENTIAand all that preceded this significant event.
Plague666: Hello! It is also interesting for us to talk with adequate people on adequate topics. Unfortunately (or maybe, on the contrary, fortunately) the quantity of all kinds of portals, zines and other resources does not mean their quality. We are ready to answer the questions if there really is something to talk about.
So, I'll try to answer the question in more detail:
While I started playing DEOFEL, I had an idea to do something myself, to create a project where I could realize what I wanted for a long time. And what I wanted to do did not mix with DEOFEL. Gradually, I began to record my riffs on the cassette tape, planning to apply them in the future. Much of musical material (mostly shitty) was accumulated, and then I finally had the idea of creating my own band. Especially since those riffs that I brought to DEOFEL didn't fit the style of the band. Therefore, I wrote only one track for the second demo. After the recording this second DEOFEL demo, we decided it was time to change something. Since that moment, I have not played DEOFEL anymore, but started to work on my project. I tried to play with many different people, even with session musicians. By the way, I still have this one old demo which was recorded on our legendary garage "Jama", which got its name from MASTER'S HAMMER song "Jama Pekel". One track from this demo we recently revived, reworked and perhaps it will soon be recorded. The vocalist did not come to that record either, or he was not there yet. I do not remember exactly. But there are no vocals there, alas. Therefore I doubt that this demo will ever be released. For a long time this record was the only one that I did. I continued to rehearse with different people, mostly with people from OCVLVS DIABOLI. Thanks to this experience, I managed to significantly improve the drum skill, and I also had enough time to comprehend my own creativity and make a couple of songs. It must be said that all this music for quite some time was not properly named and only a few could hear it - those who came to rehearsals, which often grew into drunkenness with guitars. So we became acquainted with Eucharist. He just came to us rehearsals, we began to communicate, and the result of this communication was that today he is a member of PESTILENTIA. Over time, more and more often I started to hear from the people that our mysic feels itself too tight in the garage, and it's time to record it properly. In the year 2006 I went to the studio and recorded drums and guitars for our demo. Then the period of stagnation came, so to speak. I had some changes in my life, the music faded into the background and in general I was deeply disappointed with what was happening on Black Metal scene. And most likely I would never return to Black Metal, but then some events happened, and the direct result of these events is today's PESTILENTIA. Of course I'm talking about PSALM666. As if the Master had other plans for me, and he returned me through his faithful servant Grigory. Since then, I have served Him by faith and truth. Of course, I need to mention the acquaintance with the TD, but it was PSALM666 that gave the necessary impetus thanks to which I no longer imagine myself without all this. Everything spun with renewed vigor. We were full of strength and energy, me and TD rehearsed like damned. We reached an unprecedented level of teamwork, and the material that I brought was immediately transformed and formed into a finished track. At the same time, we motivated Eucharist who had absolutely no idea how to play bass, and he joined us. He studied from scratch. We even got him a diary and evaluated him. For example, in the discipline "poker face" no one can compete with him! In 2008 we took out the unfinished demo from the archives and finished it. TD wrote the lyrics to these tracks and made great vocals, and I finished the bass tracks and mastered THIS sound that many people admire. At the same time, we already worked on "Rotten", and soon we were ready to record it, too. Also at the same time we decided to record "Mourn the Living", so it wasn't needed to go to the studio again and again. I must say that "Rotten" appeared on time. At that time, very few groups used the services of studios and spent time on production. Everything was usually recorded at home with a drum machine, using the standard plug-ins and tons of compression on everything. We went the other way and recorded everything in the studio. It should be noted that the budget for recording "Rotten" was ridiculously low. As in the case with all our records. Also well-known P.Z. took part on this album. and thanks to his participation the album sounds like that. Also our old friend W. participated on "Rotten"- by the way, she came out with the name of the band. We worked with those people who had no idea how to twist metal, but they were very motivated to try. The result completely satisfied us. By the way, Pomidoroff took part in mastering of "Mourn the Living". His advices came in handy. And then, as I said in the last interview, TD decided to work on his stuff. I don't see the point to repeat it again.
Eucharist: The diary is, of course, loudly said, but at first Plague and TD wanted to motivate me to study the material and gain the skills of playing the instrument. I've never been a musician, and I think I will never be a musician, so everyone forgot this joke with the diary very quickly.
What PESTILENTIAstands for? Judging by the lyrics to «Where the Light Dies», your maind idea is just death of everything that exists. Am I right?
P666: Well, mostly, yes. Our lyrics are built on the cult of death. We admire the aesthetics of death, secret rituals, and all that is connected with this stuff. We also think that death is the best outcome for this world. The sooner it happens, the better.
E: The main theme of the lyrics has always been not only the dissemination of ideas about death and destruction in various forms, but also the certain religious overtones. We are not miserable atheists! Therefore death as an aspect, and also in the context of certain religious views, will always be the theme of our lyrics.
In most cases, extreme / extremist views of a person who is associated with Black Metalmilleu are formed under the influence of music. I mean, at first he simply listens to music, and already under it's influence he begins to support all kinds of extremism. It also happens that already ripe extremists find support of their ideas in music. How was it with you? You choosed Black Metal or Black Metal chose you?
P666: Of course, I grew up as an inquisitive child, and from early childhood I read a lot of literature - by the way, it happened not by my will because my grandmother was a tyrant in a skirt and she made me read at least an hour a day in earshot under her supervision, while the other kids were prowling on the street and doing all sorts of things that children do. I had the entire file of the "Young Naturalist" and "Science and Technology", and on holidays relatives gave me different books, but these were not the books I wanted to read. Therefore, I won't say that since the early childhood I read only LaVey and the works of Crowley. I grew up as an ordinary child, went in for sports, fought in the street, watched cartoons and played different games. But that baggage of knowledge that was obtained in childhood helped me to form my worldview pretty quickly. It can also be said that music was important my family. My father was a guitarist in the past, and it was normal for me to listen to bands like STATUS QUO, PINK FLOYD, QUEEN... With age, integration into music became deeper, I tried to understand what is being sung in these songs. Tried to translate lyrics with the dictionary. Later I got acquainted with metal. The craving for music intensified. In general, there were several dubbed cassettes with disgusting sound quality, but when I could hold the original tape, I tried to use the chance to the maximum. Read the lyrics, copy the logo. At first the lyrics were not perceived by me, but then, having read it meaningfully, I transferred my consciousness to those worlds and tried to feel them as deeply as I could. And then one day I got a CD with "De Mysteriis..." (that someone then borrowed from me and never returned) and BURZUM “Aske". These CDs made a difference. Also I remember radio podcast "Danger Zone", recording studio "Alice", and acquaintance with students who traveled to England and Norway - all this contributed to the growth of my extreme views. Through the same people, I obtained reprints of magazines, rare books, interviews, etc. All this formed and tempered my views and after getting to know some people who were close to me spiritually, my extremism increased dramatically. I still do not understand how some of us survived to this age without serious problems.
E: It is not safe to talk about extremist views in our country. Certain views existed before my involvement in BM milleu. I can not say that they fully corresponded to the ideas of Black Metal, but the beginning was laid even before I started listening (word for teenagers...) to this music.
Can you remember your first concert? Where and under what circumstances did it occur? What purpose do you set for your live performances?
P666: My first concert happened in 1998 at the Architecture and Construction College at some "young talents contest". It was a concert with my first Black Metal band, I think it was called INFERNAL STORM... We played on of our songs and cover of "Freezing Moon”. The level of performance was awful, everything was awful - equipment, audience. If you mean the first concert of PESTILENTIA, it happened 9 years ago. We have only just met with TD, and we were actually forced to come up with a capacious comment "we don't fucking care!". Vadim Kalatsey was our session bassist. He also played bass in DEOFEL. The gig went fast as light because we had only 3 songs. And as far as goals are concerned, there are no goals as such. I like to play concerts because they help me to feel myself well, and it's always a good experience. The main goal is, perhaps, the exchange of energy with those who really need it.
E: On the first gig of PESTILENTIA I was one of the audience, as on the next few. For many years the quantity of PESTILENTIA gigs was really small.
Let's pass to the burning issue, which, in fact, became the basis for this interview. The other day it was announced that after the performance on Vox Diaboli Fest at May 12th you will suspend concert activity on the territory of Belarus. What is the reason for this decision? Is there not something more ominous behind this announcement - for example, the desire to suspend a concert / any other activity at all, not just in Belarus?
P666: This was said long ago. We all decided that for now we have enough of gigs here. We need a break. We have become too much. And to play the same stuff from time to time is a bit boring. Only time will show if we decide not to play at all...
E: Today, the quantity of concerts sometimes does not allow to think about anything except the upcoming performance. Considering that PESTILENTIA is not the only project for me and Plague666 hen it becomes even more problematic to deal with other things. For the last 2 years there have been a lot of concerts in the post-Soviet space. Therefore, it will be reasonable for us, as an underground group, to take a break. On the other hand, we do not intend to interrupt concert activity, and we plan to perform outside of CIS. In the CIS, concerts will be an exception rather than a constancy.
By the way, share your impressions of the recent trip to Holland, where you played with INFINITY, ANCIENT RITES, VARATHRON...
P666: The trip was awesome!!! It was a great journey. We drove half of Europe inthe car, crossed the Rhine by ferry, drank German, Belgian and devil knows what kind of beer! Both concerts were amazing. They were completely different in atmosphere, but equally good. In Vlaardingen we focused on the atmosphere, and in Rotterdam, on the contrary, on energetic and hooky tracks. I was surprised that the audience knew who we are. We were well supported, after the concerts people approached and thanked for the performance, actively bought our T-shirts, haha. The organization of both events was on top. We were tastily fed, and after Veneration Of The Dead we hung out with guys from INFINITY. Due to the density of the schedule, we did not have time to properly communicate with VARATHRON, but I managed to speak for a little with guys from LUGUBRE. They are very underrated band! They are tearing everything on the stage! The atmosphere of a total fucking apocalype just rolls over! We found a common language with them and really want to think that fate will bring us together again someday somewhere... Well, if in general, all the groups were cool. It was especially interesting to look at headliners. ANCIENT RITESof course do not look like BM band, more like a bunch of factory workers on Friday, but they still give people hell.
E: Our people should learn from western Europeans about how to organize the gigs - with some exceptions. The situation, here is slowly changing for the better, but it's still a long path. The concerts in Rotterdam and Vlaardingen were very memorable to me. VARATHRON look and sound very impressive on stage. INFINITY, our big friends, played very professionally and earnestly. I think, in Minsk, where they will play new material, INFINITY will show to everybody what sincere playing is. Their new album "Hybris” is one of the finest examples of talent and commitment to ideals.
On Krywian Underground Assault II in Moscow this year, you started your performance from the small Black Mass. It was a one-time action?
Plague666: Yes, definitely. I wanted to realize it for a long time. the text was written back in 2011 or 2012, but it was not possible to implement the idea. Will we repeat again? Definitely not. If the ritual will happen again, it will have a different text. And I hope that we will think it through in more detail.
Few questions to Plague666: lately you've played three sets at one evening for several times: first as a drummer of ŁATANU. then as a bass player of KRUK, and finally as a guitarist of PESTILENTIAHow do you manage to withstand such a load?
P: Well, in fact there is nothing difficult if you have some skills and commitment. Especially when you like the music.
You played an important role in the rising of KRUK from oblivion, and now you are the live bassist of the band. What are the plans of KRUK for you? If the band will resume the studio activity and ask you to become a member of the main line-up, will you agree?
P666: I never thought that it will happen at all. In the old times I was inspired by the tapes of KRUK. And I never thought that I would become a member of such a cult as KRUK. I think that the issue of my involvement was solved long before it became a reality, and absolutely without my participation. That is, the question of my participation in the group was predetermined. But we learn the result only in fact. Потому что Бог производит в вас и хотение и действие по своему благоволению.
A question for Eucharist: Plague666 playes in many projects, and what do you have except PESTILENTIA?
E: Yes, for some time now I have been participating in another group from Moscow - FUNERAL RITES. In May and June we will play two gigs in Moscow. The debut EP will be released on Ridge ov Dragonand I hope that it will happen in the nearest future. The new material is also preparing to be recorded. But we didn't started to work on full-length album yet.
A question about your drummer Eugene: how did he end up in the band? Does he have any playing experience anywhere else? Does he share your views on Black Metal?
P666: Answering... Fedor Dwinyatin! Woops... Eugeny Ignatov!
Евгений: About 10 years ago I was fortunate enough to visit a rehearsal of PESTILENTIA. Inspired by their creativity, and especially by a cover of INQUISITION, I began to beat the house furniture with the drum sticks of my elder brother-drummer, thanks to whom I got acquainted with Plague666. Later I got a chance to play with the band. Apparently ... I used it. Before I started working with PESTILENTIA, I was in search of a band, and I had no experience in studio / live work. I share their views on BM partly, specifically about music.
P666: That's right. Eugene is my friend's younger brother, and one day we decided to try to play with him. He grew into a serious musician in a very short time. We are very pleased with his work.
On all your records you use only English - why? I'm aware that you have an unreleased Belarusian language song. Do you plan to move further in this direction?
P666: It's simple. As my friend Grigory Nikolaev says, the Russian-language lyrics in 99% of cases are extremely defective. I fully agree with this statement, and I think that English is more respectable in terms of BM. It is s richer and it works better. As for Belarusian... to my shame, my knowledge of Belarusian is horrible. And I fully agree with our colleagues from the band EXIMPERITUS...who insist that Belarusian is not a language for everyone, but for a narrow circle. It is the language of the sacraments and magic. And the fact that half-assed "patriots" managed to foul all the symbols, coat of arms, flag and language with their ignorance... Of course, I'm not saying about the times when Belarusian was the main language on our lands. As for the song you mentioned, I will say that it was an experiment, and it is unlikely that we will use Belarusian language in the future.
About the distribution of Black Metal : there are two main attitudes. Some do not hesitate to make money on their music, doing "propaganda", driving around the world and overwhelming it with tons of releases (MARDUK, for example). Others prefer that their art remains the lot of a few fanatics (sometimes reaching absurdity - a reproachful look aside Aeon of Horus Productions). I understand that the second position is closer to you, and yet, if you had the opportunity to become a "big" band with tens of thousands of fans, would you use it to carry your word to the masses?
P666: We definitely will not follow the path of the band TWATAIN and we will not cover up our desire to make money on Black Metal with "universal propaganda". Like, look, we are good fellows, millions listen to us, and by the way, those who are not our fans yet, do not forget to buy our disc as well as a T-shirt and a badge and a patch. Then you really will serve the devil, and we ... we will buy ourselves a new Porsche. As I said, we will not stay in the die-hard underground, but we will not go beyond the borders. Rather, the group will cease to exist.
E: We are unlikely to ever be able to become a band that makes money on their music, and there are no such ambitions such as you probably understand. We are satisfied with our position on the stage. Well, maybe we will become even more famous, but not more successful financially. For me, money has never been the main goal in life.
The question about «Rotten»: the album was released on CD in small amount, and also in premium format that makes it an expensive collector's item - not only because of the format, but also because demand for it greatly exceeds the offer. Do not you care that the new fans of PESTILENTIA are forced to pay solid amounts for your debut, although this issue could be solved with the re-release?
P666: Well, I asked to release "Rotten" as a simple jewel case, but Grigory categorically refused to fulfill my request. As for the re-releases, this album was released in all formats and whoever wanted it, bought it. Maybe someone will persuade me, but it will not be soon anyway.
Why the booklet of «Rotten» has no lyrics?
P666: We just didn't printed it, that's all. We did not printed lyrics on almost all of our releases. The lyrics for the second album was printed only because it is really good.
On «Where the Light Dies» you sound really clean and well, especially if you compare the sound with the previous records. Why you decided to make it so clean?
P666: For several reasons. The first is that each music needs its own sound. What was good for "Rotten" is not good for "Where the...". Second, this music is more, well, mature. When I came up with riffs, I could already imagine what the sound would be like. And over the years we accumulated enough experience to realize what we wanted to achieve. Exactly the same sound we have at the rehearsal point now, because amplifiers, pedals and guitars are the same as those used on the album. And about the purity, I don't agree. A much cleaner sound we have on the split with ILL OMEN.
How do you feel about your old records today? Are you happy with them?
P666: I am extremely critical when it comes to my records, and I try to realize my plan as much as possible. For each period of time I did what I considered to be necessary. Naturally, a lot of things that were done on "Rotten" we won't repeat on the next records. We learn all the time. And answering the question, if I am happy with them, I will definitely answer yes, I'm happy.
I heard that your split with ILL OMEN will be re-released on vinylsoon - is that true?
P666: Probably, yes. Can't say when.
Tell me about your new split with SICKRITESthat should be released very soon. As far as I know, the musical part was ready 2 years ago? Why it took so long to release it? What is the concept of this release? What songs will be on it?
P666: Yes, very soon this split will be released. We wrote it, probably, 3 years ago. We couldn't find a label first, then we were making the artwork. The first cover was drawn by vocalist of GORGOROTH (not the faggot one, but Serbian). then we decided to redraw everything from scratch. And all this affected the timing. Well, we are in no hurry, sooner or later it will come to light. This split contains a track from each group and will be released in 7" format. It will be out very soon.
What are the plans for releases for the near future? Are you going to record / release / re-release something? You have unreleased songs.
P666: There are some plans. This year, something will happen. I do not want to go into details. You will learn everything by the fact.
A simple, but at the same time infinitely complex question: what are your definition of Black Metal? Roughly speaking, by what criteria can you define it?
P666: Well for me it is, of course, a way to serve His glory. This is the energy that feeds my soul, and this is a lifestyle, and only then it is music. In Black Metal there is no place for compromise, although of course not everything should be understood literally. But we live by the principle - Black Metal is intolerance! This is what you should remember if you plan to connect yourself with Black Metal. A.M.S.G!
E: Black Metal for me is a style of music (anti-music) where sincerety and your views go alongside with the hatred to the world around you.
In your opinion, do the so-called NSBM / RABM and other "political" styles have the right to call themselves Black Metal? After all, even if they work with subtle matter such as esoteric nazism, they still mean the destruction of racial / class enemies for the benefit of the other categories of humanity.
P666: It is very difficult to answer unambiguously because what was called NSBM before has nothing in common with the modern NSBM. Those who really "work with subtle matter such as esoteric nazism" of course have something in common with Black Metal. But those who turned this all into near-football with the aesthetics of the Third Reich - no. There are plenty of examples of the latter.
E: For me, Black Metal lyrics style has long been a driving force for the ultimate incarnation in music. NSBM as an independent style can not be considered as true black metal, even if there were representatives of this trend amongst the bands working from the very beginning of classical black metal. For this ideology, there have always been other styles of music. RABM? Huh, I never even heard about such style (I envy you! - author.).
What do you think about «Black Metalatheism» where which groups actively exploit Satanism and associated aesthetics with_symbolism, but position themselves as die-hard atheists who "believe only in themselves" and so on?
P666: Black Metal can be only Satanic. Everything else is just metal with dark aesthetics.
Tricky question. Quoting Plague666: "People have the right to do everything they want: to play music, stand on their heads, sing about the boat in suits of platypuses, but please, do not touch the sacred, do not call your music black metal. Black metal is always one. And it must be traditional. If there is no tradition, there is no black metal. If there is no idea, there is nothing". And then: "I would like to play with EMPEROR or with MAYHEM in their current line-up. I would have been very interesting". But the words about standing on their heads and singing in suits of platypuses - this is a fairly accurate description of what modern MAYHEM are doing :) You can't call them a traditional band, so as EMPEROR, who refused thinking about anything else except making money on their old stuff. Is there any contradiction here?
P666: Nah, there is no contradiction. The question was initially asked "if only", so the answer is appropriate. This is a tribute to past merits. It just will never happen, and by the way, contemporary EMPEROR with_ MAYHEM are not such queers and posers as most of today's Black Metal stars.
Tell me a bit about Niemaracz Clanif it's possible. The organization is not really closed, but because of the mass of incomprehensible people on the Internet and in the real life it's not at all clear how many people and bands the Clan contains, what it does and so on. What are the goals of the clan? How and when was it founded? In what state is it staying at the moment?
P: The period of the highest activity of our organization fell on the era before the mass Internet. We have a lot of people, I will not describe the hierarchical structure. The objectives are: to unite a circle of people with similar views and ideas, to unite bands of a certain style, to create something like a controlling body that would keep order, so to speak. Well, and would produce a quality Black Metal in the most true form, but also some stuff in the accompanying genres. And in those days it was possible. Now people are emboldened, because you have video fixing of everything, anonymous resources and social networks. ime dictates its conditions, and we have changed, but have not disappeared. Our activities took a slightly different form than before. But we are still Legion, and we continuing to do the same, but on a better level.
I wonder if Niemaracz was / is engaged in some non-musical activities?
P666: Next question, sheriff.
At the Niemaracz Clan event that took place in October 2016, , the performance of KARACZUN was announced, as well as information about the finished new album of the project. As a result, neither the performance nor the album took place. Why did this (not) happened?
P666: Yes, that's right. Unfortunately, the circumstances have developed so that KARACZUN could not take part, and it is highly doubtful that it will rise from non-existence. Alas…
PESTILENTIA and Niemaracz Clan have a reputation of unfriendly and generally dangerous passengers, which is best to avoid. I consider this opinion erroneous, but probably I am biased. Do you consider this reputation deserved?
P666: My answer is: Every punishment seems not joy, but sadness at it's moment; but having taught through it, he delivers a peaceful fruit of justice.
Who wrote the rhymes like (sorry, I just can't translate this - author):
«СЛУШАТЬ БЕЗУДЕРЖНО СУТКАМИ СТАНУ
Я PESTILENTIA И LATANU
И УГОРЕВ НАПИШУ ВСЕЙ ФРЕНДЛЕНТЕ Я:
LATANU NIEMARACZ PESTILENTIA»?
You should collect them all and release the merchandise!
P666: I have no idea who the author is, but the verse is excellent. I support the idea about merch. I'm thinking of fucking carpets. It will be very fresh.
What are your favorite bands from Belarus?
P666: EXHUMATOR, DALAKON, KRUK, ŠMIERCIESLAŬ, GODS TOWER (selectively), VERWÜSTUNG, EXIMPERITUS, POSTHUMOUS BLASPHEMER (selectively), and I also want to highlight not a favorite, but a really worthwhile band VICTIM PATH (today's line-up). I'm sure that these guys will show everyone how to do things.
Thank you for your answers and your time! By tradition, I leave room for sore / unspoken / fuck offs or simple farewell to readers of Bagnik Zine.
P666: Thanks for the interesting questions. I hope that the information vacuum has slightly decreased and that someone will make appropriate conclusions. Live by Satan, guys.