NOTE FOR RUSSIAN-SPEAKING READERS: at the request of the group, that I happily agreed with, this interview was taken in Belarusian and will be published in Belarusian, as well is in English. There will be no Russian version this time.
Today, December 25, 2020, we celebrate the fifth anniversary of the first release of the mysterious LJOSAZABOJSTWA: "Staražytnaje licha". The best gift for such a holiday could only be a new album by the band, but to ask for it would be too early and brazen. But I got another gift: a lengthy interview.
Welcome to the pages of Bagnik Zine! Let's start this interrogation, as always, from the start. Tell us about the birth of LJOSAZABOJSTWA. What and when made you to form the group? When did it happen? What is the purpose, mission, or meaning of the LSZB?
LSZB: LSZB: The idea for LSZB came a long time ago, but was only realized in 2014, when both original members decided to play even slower than they had in previous bands. Honestly, it was assumed that LSZB would be something like a Beherit-worship band, but it all went through the ass and turned out as it turned out. The meaning of the band's existence is blasphemy, glorifying the Devil and playing metal, preferably gloomy and heavy.
When you created the band, did you have such an idea in your mind that there is a lack of bands of this style in the Belarusian musical space?
LSZB: Which one? Black? Death? The band was formed without looking to get into a niche or close a gap. We just play Death / Black Metal the way we got used to it. We also don't see a shortage of bands, just for most Belarusians, Death and Black is something like SIX FEET UNDER and BATUSHKA, but not, for example, AUTOPSY or DEMONCY, so almost no one writes about the true Krywian underground on many portals and blogs. Everyone needs bagpipes, towels and crying girls, and, of course, "originality". Yes, and what a lack of bands we can talk about, if every metalhead here or playing somewhere, or pretends to be journalist. But there is almost no regular listeners and metal fans. Life is a pain.
Thanks to the photo placed under the disk with "Głoryja Śmierci", you can see that now the group consists of 3 people. But how many people were in the line-up at the time of creating the band?
LSZB: From the beginning, the band was a duo of vocalist-drummer-bassist and guitarist-keyboardist, but at the time of recording the first EP, a From the beginning, the band was a duo of vocalist-drummer-bassist and guitarist-keyboardist, but at the time of recording the first EP, a separate bassist appeared. The band has been playing in a trio format for about four years. Maybe we'll take more crying girls later, to be like ZNICH or something.
Why did you decide to remain anonymous?
LSZB: It is stylish, fashionable, youthful. We didn't wanted to be another band, I didn't want to be another band, about which they would write something like "former members of such a band and a band of some kind." As it turned out later, the anonymity is annoying for many listeners, which also pleased us (for me, too - annoying, I mean - editor).
LSZB is a radically Belarusian-speaking band both on albums and in a "civilian" environment. Why was this approach chosen?
LSZB: Belarusian is a dead language, it is best suited for performing Death Metal, and for metal in general. It sounds gloomy and angry, and we don't understand why it seems "sweet-sounding" to some. Latin was used for the same reason - it was funny to read some great Russian comments about "cock-a-doodle-doo, they sold themselves to Poles", "I don't understand what language this is", "why you write in Belarusian in English alphabet" or "reeeeeee reeeeee Belarusian language is artifical and invented by Poles, mother russia father tsar no step back" even from our compatriots. We piss on faces of such "Belarusians".
Tell us about your sources of inspiration, including the bands that influenced LSZB music.
LSZB: You don’t have enough room in the zine. AUTOPSY! Also, in addition to the obvious MORTUARY DRAPE, MYSTIFIER and MASTER'S HAMMER, we can say that the sound of LSZB was influenced by the first two tapes DARKTHRONE, DREAM DEATH "Journey into Mystery", FLESHCRAWL "Descend Into The Absurd", CONVULSE "World Without God", MY DYING BRIDE "As the Flowers Wither", first releases of SLAYER, IMPETIGO, SLAUGHTER, BEHERIT, INFERNAL MAJESTY (demo), TORR, BESTIAL WARLUST, BLASPHEMY, CONQUEROR, PANDEMONIUM, SAMAEL, SEPULTURA '86 and '87, GOATLORD, MORBID ANGEL “Abominations…” and “Altars…” - we can continue, but the biggest sources of inspiration seem to be these.
"Staražytnaje licha" (2015) is your first release. Tell us a little about its creation and recording.
LSZB: When we started playing LSZB, we decided to limit ourselves as little as possible when creating the material, so it all happened pretty quickly. Also we haven’t played (almost) similar music so far, it was an interesting experience. The whole demo was completely ready half a year later and, in a very intoxicated state, recorded in one or two evenings at our rehearsal point. Two microphones on tambourines, the same microphones on guitar and bass. It is unlikely that the recordings were accompanied by any interesting stories, just two crazy people locked themselves in the garage and recorded something. Of course, for the glory of Satan.
In terms of general approach, sound and duration (if you consider the additional track from the CD and LP versions), "Staražytnaje licha" could be called a mini album. But you label it as a demo - why? Also, why did you decide to make a self-release first?
LSZB: It's a bit weird for a band to start right away with an EP or LP. Demo is called demo because it's an attempt to try something, to find the sound that we'd like. It is likely that if we did not like the demo, the LSZB would not exist at all. But the result was good. I can't remember why we released the demo on our own, but after a week or so we didn't have any copies left, and there were some offers from the labels for reissue.
A CD version of the demo was released on Polish Hellthrasher Productions. How did it turn out that you made a deal with this label? Were there many suggestions?
LSZB: There were few suggestions, but they were. Paweł from Hellthrasher himself contacted us and immediately offered good terms and also did a great job of distributing the release. We would die if we'd try to distribute it ourselves I guess.
“Staražytnaje licha” was definitely the most pleasant surprise for me in Belarusian metal of that year. According to your observations, what was the reaction of the listeners both from here and abroad?
LSZB: Thank you for your kind words and support. Abroad - downright fucking amazing, maybe there is more music listeners like. Literally a few people bought the demo in Belarus, which is not surprising, because it was a period when Tabolich once again shared something with someone, and nobody cared about another demo from another band. Those of our compatriots who heard the demo, expressed outrage that it does not sound like Behemoth and that there is no slam. Even now, 99% of what is sold by the group goes abroad. I think we have to demand some benefits for exports already.
In 2018, the demo was released on vinyl by the famous Drakkar Productions, how did it turn out?
LSZB: Drakkar themselves came to us and offered to release both (at that time) releases. Ben from Drakkar USA worked on that, and he managed to release a demo on 12-inch LP. The vinyl version of "Sychodžańnie" wasn't released because due to personal problems Ben was forced to transfer control of the label to other hands, and the contract was canceled after that. Obviously, the God cursed us for not loving him.
Already on the first release your lyrical and aesthetic style was formed: apocalyptic images and cruel blasphemy, sometimes presented in the form of dirty swearing. Did it work naturally, or was there an original goal of keeping as far away as possible from the whimsical sophistication inherent in modern Black Metal
LSZB: We wanted to demonstrate the "dark" side of the native language, because how much else can you sing hymns of forests, rivers, mosses and lichens? We don’t condemn that, but it has become nauseous already. Well, we also don’t see ourselves as exquisite religious figures who would engage in goethic practices in the light of black candles in the ass. Only evil, primitive and stupid, like a caveman, blasphemy. This is how
Your lyrics are definitely deeply anti-Christian. But does it have a place for Satanism as a religious element or some spiritual influence? And is there a place for it in your daily life? Also, does your hatred of Christianity have more or less specific validity, apart from the Black Metal tradition?
LSZB: Christians here (in Krywia) have a lot of power, and almost no brains. Of course, we despise them. As for Satanism from a religious point of view… You know, Satan obviously shit on his followers, shit on sects, shit on education and shit on metal. Satan does not need you to be wise, independent and self-sufficient. Satan wants you dead. And we regularly poison our bodies. This is our sacrifice, this is our ritual.
EP “Sychodžańnie” (2017), your first “official” release. Tell the story of its creation. Were there any special conditions that would distinguish it from the demo?
LSZB: Except for slightly better recording conditions, everything was as before. The EP was more like working on the mistakes that were made during the demo recording process. I can't remember why "Sychodžańnie" turned out in the EP format, because in terms of duration in modern realities this release could be the full-length album, but we have what we have.
The "Krywian Metal Hell" logo is used in the "Sychodžańnie" design. Interestingly, there is no such logo in the design of the full-length album. What is the idea behind this logo?
LSZB: The slogan “Kryŭjan metal hell” roughly describes the state we were in during the creation / recording of "Sychodžańnie" - the sound of a shimmering metal storm coming from beyond time and space, as it sounds in the minds of reproducers. Nothing particularly secret, it should be considered in connection with the neighboring brand.
What is Krywia for you?
LSZB: The grave. Darkness. Hell. What has disappeared or never even existed. The hidden monument, towering over forests and woods, majestic and monstrous in its essence.
"Sychodžańnie" stands out with the use of samples from Belarusian-language cinema. Tell readers which films you used. It’s also interesting to know what role cinema plays in LSZB’s work - is it just a tool, or something bigger?
LSZB: It was a film based on Karatkevich, "Mother of the Hurricane." The samples are the best fit for the lyrics of the release, but who the fuck are these metalheads reading the lyrics in 2020? Cinema is definitely one of the sources of inspiration. There are a lot of good movies, but nowadays it is most often hidden under the rubble of AAA slag and popular shit. But this does not mean that the search should be suspended.
What are your views on the dark music scene of our country? What local bands do you treat with respect?
LSZB: Krywia in the old days had a huge underground, with awesome bands like KRUK, ŚMIERCIESŁAŬ, THRASHER, KARACHUN, EXHUMATOR, PATHOLOGIST DEPARTMENT, TORNADO, SEPTIC SCHIZO, BLEEDING, MENTAL ECLIPSE, ROBBED TOMB, S.W.O.R.D., ŠTURM, WOLF'S LAIR and so on. Now everything is kind of sad… From what was good in recent times, from those people we do not know personally - the second full-length of PA VESH EN, ULVKROS, the last release of DOWNCROSS were worthy.
Is there a possibility of live performances by LSZB?
LSZB: Since we have a full lineup - probably, but it is unlikely we will look appropriate among the bands that usually perform here, and for a standard local listener, LSZB gig is likely to be uninteresting. For many musicians, live performances are the main reason why they exist / play, but for us it's not like that.
The digital EP “Lszb” (2019) contains the track “Pradbačańnie”, which was not included on the debut album, as well as a cover of DEOFEL. Strictly speaking, why did this track stay out of the board? And on what occasion was it decided to record the cover?
LSZB: The track slightly stood out in the quality of performance from the rest. LSZB does not record songs in pieces and does not use a metronome, and in "Pradbačańnie", obviously, not everything is played perfectly and evenly. When the album turned out to be almost an hour long, we decided it was somehow too fucking much for such music, and started looking for a useless song. "Pradbačańnie" was unanimous choice. As for the cover, Niemarač's releases from the beginning of the activity are a rather bright phenomenon on th Krywian scene, especially the second DEOFEL demo "Budučynja njaviečna". We just wanted to pay tribute to the past days and, in particular, DEOFEL. Once upon a time they were the power to be reckoned with.
It was promised that "Lszb" will be released on cassettes, but it will soon be a year after the announcement. Should we still wait and hope?
LSZB: The release on DIY tapes took place shortly after the digital version, but the entire circulation was sold out fairly quickly. The tape was originally planned as an exclusive release, so it is unlikely that there will be further reissues in the future.
“Głoryja Śmierci” (2020): debut full-length. Tell us about it. As I understand it, the recording took quite a while, and after that about a year went by before the album was released. Why was everything moving so slowly?
LSZB: The recording itself did not take much time, more time was spent on mixing and design. Also, somewhere at the initial stage of creating the material, one of the band members underwent some difficult changes in his life, which also derailed him and delayed mixing process. The recording itself required literally two or three sessions, after which a long search for the appropriate sound of the release began.
The album was released on Godz of War Productions, again from Poland. Why did you decide to change the label? In general, does cooperation exactly with Polish labels have any justification, or is it just a coincidence?
LSZB: It so happened that Paweł decided to focus entirely on the so-called second wave BM (probably after the success of Gjendød), and mutually recommended us with Godz ov War. It’s a pretty old underground labelwe like some of its releases, so why not? About exclusively Polish labels, we already had a label from France / USA, and a release in Chile is planned soon, so it's just a coincidence.
On "Głoryja Śmierci" there are much fewer fast fragments. Most of the music has a slow tempo and is very solemn. What caused such a change?
LSZB: LSZB was originally planned as a band that would play SLOW. And if in some songs on the demo and EP there were some curtsies towards the ancient Thrash Metal (which we all love), it does not mean that we have abandoned this idea. This is hardly a change, this is the result we have been striving for. Some listeners took our creative search for the end result and were disappointed - this is also normal, because you can not please everyone at once. As for the solemnity, hell if I know, where the solemnity is here, the whole album is recorded in one key, on two chords, and sounds more primitive than solemn.
I’ve noticed that all the covers of your physical releases are drawn as if in cassette format, vertically. Why?
LSZB: It's simple - it's a canvas format on which VR draws all the pictures for LSZB.
So far, Alexei Sedin from Ghostalgy Prods, who now lives in Paris, has been working on the sound of each of your recordings. Why do you use his services? Was there no desire to change the sound engineer?
LSZB: This is weird that you have such information. The sound of the album is entirely made by LSZB in an effort to bring it closer to what can usually be heard at rehearsals. We did not like the final result for a long time, so the work on the mix, including breaks, lasted almost a year. Alex, in turn, significantly helped on the first two records; having done a tremendous job on the sound, he literally saved the demo. Look, the tambourines for the demo were recorded with two microphones, the drunken guitars were out of phase, and all this was generously seasoned with imperfect acoustics of a concrete garage. Alexey is a very talented sound director, he gets our recommendations.
Does the group have a global development plan, or is all your activity still subject to creative passion?
LSZB: There is no clear plan, everything is very "chaotic". If there are any developments - we rehearse or record. If there are none, we simply poison our bodies and listen to heavy metal, all for the sake of Satan.
At the end of the interview, share your plans for the near future.
LSZB: If you want to make the Devil laugh, tell him about your plans. In the near future we will have only a draft of the next album and work on another edition of full-length. You see for yourself what is happening in the country; maybe we will all be shot dead (to hell with us then). So no plans so far..
Thanks for the answers and the opportunity to talk! Traditionally, if there is anything to add to the above, have no doubts.
LSZB: Hail Satan and listen to heavy metal!