ZAKLON, one of the most successful projects of the Belarusian metal underground, despite its closed nature, this year literally went to the big stage, giving the first live showin it's history. Shortly before that, the excellent fifth full-length album of the project came out, named "Viatry Karačunavaj nočy", and this year marks the 8th anniversary of ZAKLON officially joining Possession Prods - almost simultaneously with me. And although the story of releasing of "Услед змёрзламу сонцу..." wasn't pretty, the project later returned to Possession, where it still staying. All in all, there were many reason to speak with Temnarod, the leader of ZAKLON.
[Photos used in this material are courtesy of Hitkiller.com and Metalheads.by]
Hello! Thank you for agreeing to this interview. The history of ZAKLON' creation is more or less known from your other interviews, so I ask the question differently: for what purpose did you create it?
T: Greetings. There was no specific goal. There is no goal even now. The goal is something that can be achieved in the long run when you want to reach a certain outcome. And Zaklon simply stretches like a cutting thread through my existence for already a couple of decades. Perhaps with the goal, in the end, to sink into oblivion together with its creator. If we talk about the reasons that prompted me to create Zaklon, they are quite trivial. I needed the embodiment of my ideas, thoughts, images and all that was bubbling and bursting in me. Like pus from a sore wound. This is what is happening to this day.
What inspires you to create new music?
Т: Of course, the main source of inspiration is the nature of Krywia. Its gloomy forest temples in the high vaults of which the winds sing their never-ending hymns. Countless lakes and rivers through which her blood flows. Certain places sacred to me ... And of course, my worldview, everything that I live in, and what matters to me. All this is reflected in the texts of my spells.
Can you call ZAKLON a pagan project? Does it have any outlined ideology?
Т: Yes, for sure. I do not know if this can be attributed to a certain tradition, understandable to the simple man. Still, I have my "gods" and my rituals. Paganism for me is theattitude, it's not just following certain canons, but harmony with myself and a deep understanding of the way I follow.
Unlike most "atmospheric" projects singing exclusively hymns to forests and fields, you never forget to speak against Christianity. Even the dates of writing / recording albums in the booklets you designate by years "anno bastardi". What caused this hatred of Christianity?
Т: Over the years, my hatred for Christianity has outgrown into contempt. What can be more pathetic and worthless than to kneel before the dead jew nailed to a wooden piece? How can you ask for something out there? Forgiveness, repentance... Sometimes even people, who are strong in spirit and body, do that. Christianity is most hated by me because of the fact that it makes the strong weak and the great ones insignificant. And it also exalts the deceitful adepts of it's fate. It's a deadly disease that hit the planet. It is possible to enumerate the reasons for hating Christianity for a long time, but much has already been said and written on this subject.
How do you feel about Satanism?
Т: As to something about which many argue and sing, but very few people really follow. About my deeper attitude, I will not say anything. As another effective way to annoy the lovers of the crucified Jew, this is excellent. Although it seems to me more and more real that adherents of Christ are also the most faithful servants of Satan. The way they defame their faith and publicly trample on the laws of their god is still surprising. The highest form of hypocrisy. But the flock still blindly follows them to the very furnace of hell! This is what they deserve. The very concept of Satanism now has so many interpretations that it's not for me to judge. But I will not say that Satanism is close to my worldview.
All music of ZAKLON has an exceptionally depressive and gloomy mood. It turns out that you are inspired only by the dark autumnal-wintery side of nature?
Т: No, of course not. I am inspired by nature in all its greatness and in all seasons. I do not glorify forests and fields, as you put it, I just feel them, and I try to look deeper, to comprehend a bit of the mystery of certain places. The sacraments that alien to mankind, the whisper of branches, the bending of the wind. I'm trying to comprehend the grain of that magic that fills these places. Of course, all this is projected and passes through the prism of my meager human mind and many details are lost and blurred. And it remains for me only by virtue of my ability to glorify all this in a tongue-tied manner and give it a certain sound form. And I have no power over what's coming out. Depressed and gloomy? Well, it turns out as it is...
What do you feel when people try to refer ZAKLON to so-called "DSBM"?
Т: If you mean the music where people smear their guitar necks with snots and sing something like:
I sit and look out the window...
Everything I see is shit...
And I feel melancholy ...
I'm holding a gun at my head...
... then this has nothing to do with Zaklon. Depression is a purely human feeling and this "genre" is not very clear to me. Although, many "DSBM" bands and projects play, in my opinion, quite interesting music. But in general, I do not care is someone identifies Zaklon with this genre.
Albums "Шэпт чорнага лісьця" and "Сымбалі нязбытнага" are different from all your other records in terms of sound. They are coarser, raw and more straightforward. In my opinion, there is a consistent development along the line «Услед змёрзламу сонцу» – «Nikoli» - "Viatry Karačunavaj nočy", but «Шэпт…» and «Сымбалі…» seem to stand apart. Did you plan to separate them somehow from the others, or did it happen on its own?
Т: Of course not. I did not plan anything like that. When I compose an album, I try to reject everything that was written before it. completely dissolve in exactly what I'm working on and do not think about previous or future albums. As if from a clean slate. Therefore, as it turned out, it happened. Although, this is already a matter of subjective perception. And I'm sure that not everyone will agree with you.
Why only one of your four demos was re-released? I'm aware that you were offered to release a collection of the best tracks from all the demos, but you refused - for what reason? How do you feel about your old records today?
Т: The agreement to re-release this demo was achieved a long time ago. And, for reasons unknown to me, the release was very much delayed. About the re-issue of the remaining records, I did not receive adequate proposals at that time. And now this has completely lost relevance for me. Yes, there was a proposal to release a collection of songs from the demo, and not even one. But, I decided to leave it as it is. Let these shaggy demos live in the underground on the old CD-Rs. I am very much in touch with those old records. Yes, today I would have done much differently, both in terms of music and lyrics. But, thanks to those records, Zaklon is here now.
Tell me about the little-known tribute to ABYSSIC HATE which, in addition to ZAKLON, involved THE TRUE ENDLESS, BORGNE, CRYSTALLINE DARKNESS and XERION.How did you fit into this venture? Why did you play only an intro and outro on it, but not a full cover song?
Т: It's all simple. I was invited to participate in that tribute by writing instrumental prologue and epilogue. I had certain unattended experiences of a similar mood. So I agreed and recorded these songs. I do not like making cover songsthat's why I did not talked with the label about it. As far as I know, this tribute came out only on the cassettes and now it is quite rare.
On all ZAKLON albums you actively use interludes with the use of ambient and folk instruments, and you do it very well. Maybe you have a desire to work in this style more often, to record something?
Т: This idea has been living in me for a couple of years. And, I'm sure that one day it will be embodied. But ... Everything has its time. And the time for this has not yet come. But the inspiration is already firmly in me, and it takes deeper roots. But it won't be Zaklon. It will be a different name, different music, even if it has a lot in common conceptually. As for these interludes, they are not really "musical" so to speak ... These are some scraps conveying the atmosphere, giving Zaklon that very depth of the sacrament, the ritual depth. This is a very important aspect.
Tell us about your label Forestland Productions. For what purpose did you create it?
Т: The sole purpose of Forestland Productions was to publish my demos. When the need for this disappeared, the label ceased to exist.
As your publisher, I can say that ZAKLON is one of the most popular formations from Belarus at the moment. Do you somehow notice this? Given that you rarely appear at concerts, so many still do not know how you look 🙂
Т: Honestly, it's quite surprising for me to hear that. And even more so, I do not really feel this. I only know that people consider my creativity pretty good, judging by the reviews. And as for the fact that many do not know how I look, this situation suits me perfectly. Although the last show certainly tore off some veil of secrecy, heh.
About live shows: the first live show of ZAKLON in history was held recently, and this show, I must say, turned out just excellent. What are your impressions? Do you want to continue? How did this idea come about - to give a concert?
Т: Impressions are excellent, in many respects due to the excellent organization of the concert. I think that the first live ritual of Zaklon was a success. It was pleasantly surprised that the audience accepted us so well and supported us. Although, frankly, I almost completely abstracted from what was happening in the room and gave myself entirely to the riot of the elements.
Do I want to continue? Well, at this stage, I feel the inspiration to continue. And, it is likely that this will happen. I'm not making more far-reaching plans yet. But I can say for sure that if the shows will continue, these will be very rare individual rituals. I had been carrying the idea of a live performance for about three years already. Although for many years of the project's existence, I was opposed to this idea, and repeatedly stated in all interviews. It seemed to me that the scene would kill the very magic and sacrament of Zaklon' music. But time passed ... I saw a lot of great shows of interesting bands and projects ... And I began to get an understanding that maybe it's worth one time to speak from the stage with Zaklon. And here, from time to time, there were proposals to play on different festivals. Interesting or not. Well, in the end, I matured and began to search for musicians. The road was pretty thorny, but I'm pleased that the Norns brought me exactly with these people.
Did you played on stage before?
Т: Yes, I have some experience. In 2007, Niemaracz Clan organized a festival which was called THE STRIKE OF WINTER II. Among its participants there were such groups as
Blackdeath, Deofel, Кощуны, Smiercieslau, Pestilentia, Madness, Unlight Forest, Albarutenya
I played a song with the band Madness. And Unlight Forest - it was my project.
Tell us about musicians from live line-up - who they are, from where, and so on.
Т: Well, I think it's better to let them speak for themselves:
Сергiй DEF: Greetings dear reader! I'll try to tell you briefly how I lived and so on... I began to get fanatical with heavy music since 1985 while living in Russia in the city of Sverdlovsk. Re-recorded some stuff from LPs to cassette tapes - Iron Maiden, AC / DC, etc. At 87', I heard Bathory and started to fall into this abyss. Further, in 1989, after attending the first concert of local metal bands. I chose the heavy burden of the drum beater! Then everything was usual... Russian punk a-la GrOb, death doom metal in local band. Then came year 1995... at that moment we were able to play something else, and we created Black Metal band TIRON that existed until 1998'. We played 8 shows on local festivals. Our music was similar to Impaled Nazarene, and it brought attention of well-known Finnish publisher Anssi Kippo. Unfortunately, it happened too late (he saw our video clip on some VHS tape with compilation of underground videos), our collective was disbanded because of internal disagreements. After that, I was just a collector of heavy music for 10 years, working as technician. Also I played darkwave in different Russian clubs. But I always wanted something more real. So, I began to work on my skills again, learnt some new tricks. I started to play in the band Main Strike. After that I worked with different bands during some mini tours and shows. I want to thank everyone who was with me on this long path - thank you, brothers! I won't say any names, but all these bands are really good, their music is released on different european and american labels. Then I moved to Belarus, in the wonderful city of Minsk. And suddenly I became a live drummer of Zaklon - I feel deepest respect to this project's music. Thank you for reading this :) We still have much to do, but we don't afraid anything. The atmosphere inside the collective is good, so it means that we will do anything we want!
Alexey: Grim bassist from Silverfish district (Minsk), metal fanatic since 13. I was in a hospital with both hands fractured, and there was a metalhead with tape player and only one tape: SEPULTURA's "Roots". I liked it very much, it sounded like music of freedom to me. After half a year, I found this very tape at the kiosk and bought it, thus began my journey into the universe of the metal. When I was 16, I have been an ardent follower of metal and I propagated metal culture everywhere (now I don't give a fuck). At the same age I received a bass guitar, and I immediately started to play though I knew nothing about how to do it. A year later, I almost chopped off three fingers on my right hand, then I fractured my left hand, then was taken into the army, as a result, everything came to the point that I forgot about the bass, but continued listening to music. In July 2016 I came to the mountains Ergaki (300 km from Abakan) for two weeks, I wandered with savages of bear tracks, without any communication with the outside world. I had portable player with me. I'm a big fan of Marduk, I remember that moment when I turned on their music during the trip somewhere on the fifth day, it gave me so much energy, it was cool. So, I was again drawn to play. And I bought a bass guitar, slowly began to seek to cooperate with anyone. So in the end, I wrote to Temnarod when I saw his ad on a well-known site. I do not know anything about Minsk metal, although I remember the time when local metalheads were hanging around on some legendary places. We had a company in Silverfish, we hung out mainly in Loshitsa park, in the marshes nearby. These were empty places, so we we were doing what we wanted - lit bonfires, booze and so on, like all these fucked up teenagers. After that I had some meetings in different places, getting familiar with some people, but it's a long story. That's can tell about my life of metal warrior.
Agnethe: I'm from the glorious city of Minsk. Working as radiophysicist and a programmer, just graduated from university, I work as a junior researcher and am going to study further. I started playing classical guitar in times of senior school. In general, I believe that I should choose keyboards. But I had access only to guitar, and the idea of becoming a guitarist at the campfire and the soul of the company seemed to be tempting :) I did a lot of work, learned a few relatively technical songs, and after that I could lie that I have a musical education. The boys were amazed for a minute and a half of my stretching left hand, and then they were all going away to some of their comrades who plays all the songs on one string, has no voice or skills, but has charisma.
At about the same time I discovered heavy music. I started with hard rock, but I always wanted something more dark and raw. At the same time I began to dream about an electric guitar, in the first place it was interesting from the technical point. After some time,some of my friend needed a guitarist in the band, and they were looking so hard that they did not even looked at the ability to play, they just needed a body that could hold a guitar and make sounds. They listened to my demo, lent me a plywood electric guitar, and gave a month of time to learn the material - a bouncy melodic DM at 180 bpm. Of course, with such a start, I immediately got into trouble with the curve setting of hands and overstrain.
My wrists ached, and the sound was so horrible that in half an hour the blood flowed from my ears. But I was coming back.
Playing in the band gave me a feeling of close communication, contact on completely different levels.
As if you could express and share with others something personal - and it does not matter that the music is not yours, and strictly speaking, you'll never know what it's about. Play your part, listen to everyone and try to find this common feeling.
So, this is how it started. Then I slowly collected my own gears.
I tried to leave metal several times, but each time I started to get bored and returned. During the last break, I explored ways to determine the strongest proportions and rhythm by software methods, and I started to work on it. The topic was unexpectedly complicated. Then suddenly I heard the live rehearsal of Zaklon through the lamp heads, and at the university I was hinted that it would be better if I worked with generators of noise. So, my project remained jsut a set of programmed scripts. As for hanging out with other metalheads, I would like to, but it's impossible now. I guess I'm still a loner in life.
Terr: Acting drummer of the band Vox Mortuis, and now a live guitarist of Zaklon.
Since now you are more actively cooperating with other musicians, is there any chance that on future recordings of ZAKLON live drums will appear? Or for you basically leave ZAKLON solo project during the studio work?
Т: Yes, I would like to record live drums on the next album. And this in no way will disturb the balance of Zaklon' essence. I do not shut myself up in my work from ideas and outside influences ... If it helps to achieve the result I want, to feel - there will be no rejection. In general, my thoughts flow in this direction. Well, and whether to be a live percussionist in Zaklon, the future (if it will be) will show...
Are there any plans for the following ZAKLON records?
Т: There are inspiration, images and ideas. Understanding the general concept and understanding of what the next album should be. This feeling pervades me and with the advent of autumn the process will start. That's all I can say at the moment...
Tell me about other projects with your participation. What is their current status?
Т: At the moment, all my other projects are in a deep coma. I don't know if I will return to them, only time will show. Everything depends on inspiration. I do not see much point in talking about this topic right now. Perhaps in the future the same fate will befall Zaklon. As for Desolate Heaven, we recorded a remarkable album "Ashes" last year, and it was final destination. For me at least.
Obviously, you are experiencing the deepest connection with nature, and this has a key influence on your creativity. But how is this combined with living in concrete jungles in Minsk? I, for example, escaped from there just because I could not stand them for long 🙂
Т: I spend a lot of time outside the city. And I live in general on the outskirts of Minsk. At the first opportunity, I try to escape into the forests, to the lakes and the starry sky. There is no feeling that the city is "crushing me". In the future, I plan to move to a place closer to nature.
Belarus and Krywia. Do you separate these concepts? What do they mean for you?
Т: Belarus, for me is rather a kind of national idea, which our glorious (and not so) ancestors fought for. Self-identification, which, as an anchor, does not allow us to drown in the chaotic maelstrom of nations and races that now reigns in this world. Probably still a utopian idea of freedom from all these "fraternal" peoples and their hangers-on. When you can be proud not only of the glorious past of this people, but also of the present. And now I'm mostly ashamed of the rabble that inhabits this country. Alas.
Krywia for me is the source of everything. Something sacred, something much deeper. Yes, I live in Belarus. But when I listen to the songs of the winds - Krywia sings to me. When I hear the murmur of creeks - Krywia speaks to me. When I peer into the depths of clean lakes
- I look into the eyes of Krywia.
In recent years, many projects have been launched in the country that exploit the Belarusian culture. Many of them do this in yoko methods thoughtlessly encircling all sorts of symbols and writing clumsy texts on a half-belarusian language. In your opinion, is it necessary to popularize our culture, or is it a profanation which is worth fighting with?
Т: I do not care about this. Perhaps for you, as for a person engaged in publishing and media activities, this is an actual problem, but not for me. Of course, something that is accidentally heard or read can cause a certain reaction. Irritation, or even laughter at this. But in general, each person has its methods of jerking off, and I do not want to waste my time on that. I have nothing to share with these projects and groups.
I think you can be called a nationalist, but is it possible to imagine that ZAKLON has a place for any statements directly related to politics?
Т: My nationalism is boundless love and respect for the lands on which I live. And at the same time I hate the rabble that inhabits these lands. Who craps where he lives, without any idea of what kind of wealth surrounds him. So my nationalism is very conventional. And it has little to do with politics. Zaklon is the sound of embodiment of how I feel the pulse of the heart of Krywia. Politics is as alien to Zaklon as faith in a crucified Jew.
Which of the following you would like more: 1) the complete destruction of mankind as such; 2) total apocalypse with the death of all living things; 3) the death of the weak, the survival of the strongest; 4) your own version.
Т: Our planet is very unlucky. She got sick. There arewere parasites on it. And their name is "humanity". They bite into her flesh and suck her blood. Not for survival, like classic parasites. Simply because they can. I would very much like to see the end of the human era. See Ragnarok personally. Therefore, the answer is obvious. Destruction of mankind as a species. It does not matter how.
hanks for answers! If you want to talk about something else, dare.
Т: Soon all will end.