1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?
We started to write new material in December 2019 and recorded the album in five days in May 2020. . Micke picked up the drums again! Then, three days of mixing in August 2020. Early 2021 we made a video to one of the songs (link: https://vimeo.com/user9150628/review/550352289/16c3febf13 ).
We had some jamming sessions with Lord Belial during this time because we all felt that we were far from finished with our work.
2.In August, you have a new album coming out, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
I wanted it to be ultra-fast; that is why we hired an external drummer - the songs are written entirely differently, so we had to adjust to the new situation and adapt the material to the drumming that could be made at that time. However, as things turned out, I am quite pleased! We wanted a straightforward and raw feeling, no “BS,” still well produced.
3.Every song on the new album has Satan in the title, how would you describe your views on Satanism?
It was the working material that was accidentally spread, on the final album the songs are not titled like that. (See enclosed pdf:)
I have never aspired to end up in “the hall of fame” or “with a star on a sidewalk with my name, no statue in my home town” - I just want to live my life the way I want, without any interference from world leaders, dictators, politicians, politics, religion, restrictions, laws, religious dogma, etc - all the things that wish to Grind me down or diminish me. EVERYTHING went through “god” and the church here in Sweden (and Europe) in the dark ages. To maintain some sort of constructive thinking, people who had free will were forced into the underground and started “secret cults” to research science and not trust god. These cults were, of course, seen as a threat by the church and were labeled as “evil” and “anti-god”-heresy because they challenged the churches’ power. Before christianity, we had a different culture, a more natural view of things. I have researched a lot in my days, about the Asa-gods, the Celtic tribes, and the roman empire. Historically, political leaders have always tried to subjugate the masses in different ways - and the roman invasion of Britain and the systematic genocide of the Celts, etc, then, in turn, the British Empire and the genocide of the Irish original inhabitants, the colonialization of every part of the world and so on could be compared to the christening of Sweden. When christianity entered our culture and our way of life, our way of thinking was stupendously diminished. My DNA is a little bit different than about 99% of the world’s population (I am very much a minority!) and in my teens, I as well as any other teen was searching for who I am. I guess something in my DNA is calling out to me! And yes, I devote myself to “the dark teachings” that every religion is so very much afraid of - and I indulge myself in free-thinking, and I revel in all different cultures from all time here on earth and beyond. E.g., Sumerian culture interests me very much. I stayed one month in a Shinto temple on the island of Miyajima in Japan, trying to understand why Buddhism banned that religion. I have seen king Salomo’s bronze coffin with the 72 seals, the Gates of Ishtar, Forum Romanum; I have researched the henges of stone along the coast from Spain, France, Cornwall, Ireland, Scotland, Sweden, Norway, and so on. Zoroastrianism intrigues me; what was printed in all those burned scriptures? Kabbalah, the Sephiroth. Nibiru, the elliptical orbit and the collision of planets, Marduk, etc. Zecharia Sitchin presents some ideas, but then there is the concept of pareidolia… I guess I am a rationalist á la Descartes with a zetetic rebellious mind, and also a bit of a romantic. I am very driven to find out everything that was destroyed by opposing forces in different cultures throughout the world, but since I am a slave to the society we live in, I am forced to work every day - slave to the “daily grind.” I believe that there are forces beyond human understanding and I am devoted to certain aspects of those powers.
Could we please have a STORM OF SATAN on the world, zero everything out!
4.Your older lyrics had more diversity while still being very satanic, dark and violent, are you planning on getting more diverse lyrically again on future releases?
We tried to regain that feel we had from rehearsing after school back in 1987 when we started out - no finesse, just pure and direct from the core. The next album will be quite the opposite!
5.The band split up in 2003, what was the cause of the split and also the decision to reform?
Black Metal became sort of mainstream, and when we were on tour in 2009-2010, we could see all sorts of bands trying to be more brutal and sound more extreme than everything else - just for the sake of it, not because they wanted to, it was like a competition, and I am not trying to win any competition, I just want to live my life the way I want and not be pigeonholed by a group of people that expect me to live my life the way they want it to be. I guess I “rebelled” away from the scene because of that.
6.Before you broke up you where working on an album called 'Spinecrusher', where any of those songs re-done for the current album?
Oh! I am impressed that you have heard about that! No, I trashed all that material. We made a continuation of the “When Kevin Grew Hair In the Palm of His Right Hand,” but we trashed that as well.
7.I know that the band was named after a Goetic demon, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in the Goetia, Demonology, Occult and Left hand Path traditions?
Unless I did not clarify in Q#3, I pursue all aspects of everything that all religions nowadays have tried to bury in the past. Coming across the material dealing with what you ask for is explicitly rather expensive and challenging, making it even more worth pursuing. The grimoire occulta: to truly understand all aspects of it as a novice is like trying to comprehend all letters of the Chinese alphabet while only understanding the roman alphabet. Meaning, there is a threshold that you need to climb and why reinvent the wheel when there are people that have tried before - so you read their research, and who inspired them, and so forth. Then, we all need food on the table, and researching is quite time-consuming + I have had to get three different degrees at university level, which means that I have had other topics to study for about 17 years of my life. This fact has made the process slow down, and I am quite far away from (the sun lol) grasping all aspects of the “teachings of the magi.”
8.Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
A Storm Of Satan is what we need! Rid the world of all ingrained dogma. In the end, the key might be to destroy everything and everyone. We wanted a picture that shows that - dead humans and ruins, total destruction of the mastery of the human psyche (the ruins of a church).
9.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance? We have never performed live, much because of the fact that the guidelines for a gig dictate locked doors, showers of blood, mace, and napalm.
10.When the band split up in 2003 the black metal scene was very different than what it is now, how do you feel 'Vassago' fits in 2021?
I think that music-wise, we stand out - we mix raw, simple brutality with extremely advanced leads and harmonies!
11.On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your newer music by fans of black metal? No negative response!
12.What is going on with other main band 'Lord Belial' these days?
I am actually on leave from work to record a new album right now! We will enter Sonic Train Studios with Andy La Roque on Wednesday this week (today is Monday 12/7 2021). We have ten new tracks. (The initialism of the titles to the ten tracks will spell “LORD BELIAL”.)
13.The new album is going to be released on 'Nuclear War Now! Productions', how would you compare working with this label to other labels that you have been a part of in the past?
In the past, there has always been a personal exchange between the bands and the CEOs of the companies (as it is with LB and HH right now as well). It is quite different. I have never met Yosuke in person, and his correspondence is always just business, so I do not know him at all. Even though I like that he respects my privacy, I would like to drink fifteen beers or so with him and find out who he really is.
14.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
The next album will be more dynamic and nuanced, + the lyrics will not be at all as straightforward.
15.What are some of the bands or musical styles that the band members are listening to nowadays?
It depends on who you ask, me personally? I sing in a choir as well, so I listen to baroque music for that part. For a long drive? Bathory!!! Exodus! (Gary Holt FTW!) Eddie Meduza! Old Black metal + death metal (Cannibal Corpse mostly). Micke listens to everything that is extreme metal, only. Thomas listens to everything, mostly Black Metal and death metal, and a lot of classical music; he is a highly talented guitar player.
16.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you very much for this interview! Your review was very fact-based; I like that unorthodox touch of leaving out euphemisms, metaphors, exclamations, and emotions.