1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
Aubzagl are: Andy (Vocals), Paul (Bass), Arron (Drums), Jamie (Guitar), Phil (Guitar). We're a black metal band from Yorkshire, UK. Formed in late 2016, with members of many different styles of heavy UK bands spanning the last 20 years, including Errander / PSP, Reth, Canvas, Narayana, Gets Worse, Forneus, The Nothing, Narcosis, Soulfracture, Hundred Year Old Man, Esclavage, Chojin and plenty more. For fans of early Gorgoroth, Wolves in the Throne Room, Celeste, Dissection and other black metal with riffs
2.So far you have released a demo and an ep, musically how do they both differ from each other?
Jamie (guitar) - The demo is very rough and ready, we bashed it out at a very early practice so we were finding out musically where we were headed plus it was the first time I'd ever recorded anything. The EP is still me trying to learn how to record properly but it sounds a hell of a lot better.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band has explored so far with the music?
Andy (vocals) - Lyrically we explore a lot. The songs written earlier on tackle more traditional black metal themes such as nihilism, anti-religious sentiment towards organisations, daemonology etc. As we progressed I started tackling more personal subjects such as depression and suicide.
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Aubzagl'?
There's a fair bit of controversy surrounding the actual origins of our name. We each seem to have conflicting accounts of how it came about.
Andy (Vocals) - One night I was driving to Newcastle. On the way I stopped at a service station. They had a phone box there, and as I walked past it started ringing. I answered and the voice at the other end whispered one word: "Aubzagl." then hung up. To this day I don't know what happened but I had to suggest the name when we started the band. It seemed like fate.
Phil (Guitar) - I was watching Countdown and those were the first 7 letters on the board. When the camera panned to Richard Whitley they’d added corpse paint to him briefly in post production and I saw that as a sign that I should join a Black Metal band of the same name.
Paul (Bass) - In my teenage years, I dabbled in time travel, and on one particularly intense trip, which you can read about in my book 'Let's See Dnipropetrovsk', me and a friend who was just getting into Ukrainian history at the time, traveled back to the mid 1600s to see the Zaporozhian Cossacks winning many a brutal fight.
The leader was a monstrous chap named Errbzagaahl, and we got talking to him afterwards, and asked him about his unusual name.. we didn't understand all of it as we didn't speak much Ukrainian, especially not the 17th Century version of it, but from what we could make out, with the help of some very strange dancing on our new friends' part, is that his family named him that because as a child, he used to enjoy the stories told about a mythical and violent, black and red creature of Ukrainian folklore, which was called The Aubzagl. They changed the spelling slightly to rhyme with his sisters name, Berbrabaal.
That was a really fun day... when we returned I found a tenner on the floor, so it has really stuck with me since.
The REALLY funny thing about this is that it all happened on the same day that Andy was driving to Newcastle and Philip was watching Countdown (strangely before I had ever met him, and also the band was called this before I joined them, but, time travel, you know, it's a funny ol' game).
Jamie (Guitar) - Yeah it's an ancient Chinese proverb for ' He who goes to bed with itchy bum wakes up with smelly finger'
Arron (Drums) - It was both my kids' first word.
5.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that was presented on the new ep cover?
Andy (Vocals) - The artwork was actually a photo I took while travelling. I did an initial edit, then Paul made the final changes to what you see now. Most likely this will be our approach for the foreseeable future too.
Paul (Bass) - I really liked the original picture and how this edit came out though. It has a weird calm, creepiness, isolation to it, that made me think of a figure lost on the lunar landscapes of Iceland.
6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
Arron (Drums) - We've only actually played a handful of shows in the time that we've been together, but we've been lucky to play with some quality bands such as Terzij De Horde, Furia, Hexis, Ante-Inferno, Waerteras amongst others.
Andy (Vocals) - Our best gig so far has been our most recent, as every time we play I feel we improve greatly.
Paul (Bass) - Yeah the one supporting Furia was the winning one for me as well. The first gig was ace as well, after it being in the practice room for so long, it was great to finally put it in the live setting.
We're not one of those theatrical black metals. We're just a bunch of moshers who like all sorts of riffs playing the riffs we like that have a black metal feel to them. No fucking about. No frills. Just hard riffs.
As for our style onstage, it's basically just full energy assault of the senses.
7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
Paul (Bass) - We'll only be playing a handful of shows each year, in part due to 'real life' commitments and time constraints, and partly just because it's better for some bands to only play a select few here and there.
8.Recently 'UKEM Records' re-issued your ep on cassette, do you feel this label has been very helpful when it comes to getting your music out there heard?
Paul (Bass) - Yeah they've been very helpful I think. The limited box and the tape itself both came out excellently well, and the label channels got our name out to a fair amount of places we wouldn't have, so, it has been an excellent and exciting first team up with them.
9.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black metal?
Phil (Guitar) - Universal acclaim
Paul (Bass) - Three people from Mars downloaded the EP last week.
In all seriousness though, it seems to have been really good. Not something I've particularly kept a check on, but looking on YouTube, the EP has been uploaded quite a few times from people in different countries, receiving good comments, and it's been grabbed on Bandcamp from around the world, so, yeah, I think we've managed to get a nice worldwide appreciation for our first effort.
Arron (Drums) - All the reviews we've had have been really positive
10.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?
Phil (Guitar) - Jamie and I are in a Hardcore Punk band currently in the process of writing an EP and recruiting members.
Jamie and I are also in a Grindcore covers band that plays TV themes from the 80s and 90s. It’s niche but we like it.
Jamie (Guitar) - I play tv themes you look on disapprovingly
Phil (Guitar) - Not once have I looked on disapprovingly. Unless you’re not playing it fast enough
Paul (Bass) - I mainly focus on my own stuff nowaday under the name of The Owl (which will, in time cover a vast array of weird, dark, fast, slow, metal and electronic styles), plus an improv doomblackgrindnoiseviolencewhatever band called Sloth Hammer that record and play live occasionally.
Andy (Vocals) - For me, Forneus is still going (though now it's mainly me with a few friends helping rather than a full band) and I play guitar or bass in a myriad of other projects.
Jamie (Guitar) - I also play reverb in a moody indie band called The Mourning Singers.
11.When can we expect a full length and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Paul (Bass) - We're not planning specifically an album or a set amount of songs or time with any release. The next thing could be an album, or a 3 track EP, or a split, or all of the above. We'll know with each release when we have what we need.
Work began on the next 'thing' a while ago and we have plenty of songs, almost done, in pieces, and an infinite amount of riffs in the mind, the main obstacle is time and life... but, I would like to think that we would have another good bundle of songs done and recorded by the end of this year.
There will be riffs! Big ones too... and some twisty ideas... and some weird noises...
12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
Paul (Bass) - Everything I've ever listened to has had an influence on me, be it good or bad. The good has all combined into one big riff driven brain, the bad has shown me how not to write songs.
Big riffs, big songs, interesting progressions, weird noises. This is what I've always been into.
13.Does Occultism play any role in your music?
Arron (Drums) - No, but hail Satan!
Paul (Bass) - Hail Seitan!
14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Andy (Vocals) - Play riffs, love each other and punch Nazis.
Jamie (Guitar) - And wear suncscreen.
Aubzagl - Thanks for taking the time to ask us some questions!