1. Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?
Yes, we’ve recorded our second album, ’Lime Veins Bleed Rust’ in Summer 2013. In that year we had a couple of gigs here in Hungary, for example supporting Lord Vicar or Dordeduh.
Meanwhile we processed the releasing conception, and finally self-released on tape it in this year. We also contributed in a such interesting national art contest: we worked out a new song based on an old Hungarian folk-tale (we have an utterly rich legacy of tales) but this event is unfortunately cancelled by the organizer. So we’ll record this song some time in the future. It will be a next chapter musically also, a more nature-influented composition.
2. Your new album was released in May. How would you describe the musical sound of the newer music and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
We had the aim to stretch the borders of our Black Metal-based genre and create an exciting yet solid and mixture of our own. We also used totally non-metal solutions, touching apocalyptic jazz, austere rock or some natural ritualistic stuff. For us, above experimenting there’s a principle – result has to stay dark, rejecting fun.
Basically, our new album definitely shows progression. Now we have a constant line-up for years so this time we had more creative time to set out ideas. We were very young at the time we composed our first full-length, around 18-19 years old, and we’ve became a little bit more experienced. This time we went to a studio which mainly does alternative/rock/pop releases and the enginner is a huge fan of vintage amplifiers, instruments which fit our ideas very well. We tried to sound NOT like the modern fashion - and we succedded.
3. The band labels itself 'extreme garage rock' - can you tell us a little bit more about that label?
As I know, none of the genre names can describe what we do, so our vocalist Kristóf came up with this tag. Sometimes we had to define ourselves but we didn’t want to use ’Black Metal’ term anymore. Look at us – we have nothing to do with traditional satanic atmosphere, we’re different.
I try to unravel it… ‘Rock’ mainly stands for our separation from Metal clichés (And ‘karst’ is also a type of rock…); ‘Extreme’ marks the usage of extremities in musical instruments and vocal tones; and ‘Garage’ refers to our dirty, old, punk-ish sound and the opposition to polished, soulless production.
But it’s important to notice – we are always open to any creative solutions describing our music.
4. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music and also how would you describe your progress as songwriters over the years?
Our main lyricist is Kristóf, our singer. On ’Lime Veins Bleed Rust’ he turned to be more extroverted unlike the 2011 debut ’Cleaning a Cave’ which dealt with rather self-exploring topics. We both got inspiration from mystical creatures, ancient fears, beliefs – and from reality: the bleak perspectives of the coutry side, the dissolving order of civilization and basically our world, near ready to collapse.
Being the primal song-writer I can say my composition techniques developed through the years because my music studies, I learnt music since my childhood - and also because my private interest in this profession. Personally I am highly enthralled by the work of nowadays British/American pop producers. Although I don’t use this knowledge directly in writing the music of Karst, it helps a lot if I know structures of more foreign genres.
We are not a jam band, we couldn’t be – our songs usually follow strict composition, particularly in the relation of guitar and bass. But we don’t want to confuse fans with causelessly complex tunes. I believe that the best result is when listeners couldn’t notice how hard to us sometimes to perform certain parts. It should remain an inner challenge for us.
5. The band was originally known as 'Nebulosus Fatum' - what was the decision behind the name change and also the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Karst'?
We used the name ’Nebulosus Fatum’ from the beginning, 2005 to 2009. At that point we realized that this can’t fit our music anymore so we changed it to a shorter one, Karst, which also has more connection to ourselves. It refers to the geographic structure of our hometown’s surrounding mountains as well as a metaphore to our composition: Although usually I am who comes up with new ideas, the main result always the work of 4 men. Just as water flows though rocks, unbounding minerals…
6. What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
During the Nebulosus Fatum times in 2009 we had the opportunity to play in Rijeka, Croatia – it was the first experience abroad and we had good memories. In 2011 when our present line-up debuted – at the album releasing of ’Cleaning a Cave’ – we did such a memorable gig using surrealistic lamps on stage. Another unique one was a the so-called date of Mayan Doom in 21st December 2012 when we did a cover show of Ater Tenebrae, a Hungarian raw black metal band we honour for a long while.
Besides these events we have played many shows in Budapest, the capital, supporting totally different acts. It was such a pleasure to realize we can play with anyone from extreme genres, mainly because we don’t sound similary to anyone.
On stage we wore torn suits with ties, ’representing the rootless generation of post-socialism’ to cite from our biography. For our new album we made new outfit, now we are in patched vasts with white shirts, hailing to our favourite bands and our own roots.
As our fans say we usually play powerful live shows, not just standing and gazing to our instruments, even if only 3-4 person are in the audience. We don’t care how much reaction we got from the audience, these primal spiritual energies have to be unleashed from time to time.
7. Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
Sure, but the opportunities are quite tight here. So far we were only gigging in Hungary, mainly accepting invitations to self-organize concerts in our hometown, Miskolc. For us the best would be touring in other countries too. During the years we have learnt not to manage things ’at all hazards’. Touring is like this: when the time will come we’ll be ready.
8. Currently the band is unsigned - is the band interested in signing with a label or do you feel that they are obsolete in the year of 2014?
We are heavily interested in signing with a label, it could help us so much. Of course many DIY bands can exist without support from the background, we have plans which could be processed only by this next level. It would be a pleasure if our art could reach more ears by wider distribution.
But I have to say even if I think signing with labels or going on tours are usually important things for bands, their lack can NEVER stop our creative ideas to execute. We have quite vivid visions where to move with our music and what kind of plains we’d like to touch. These aren’t depending on any other circumstances.
9. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal and extreme rock?
I don’t know if anyone is a fan of ’extreme rock’ or is it considered to be an existing genre…
Usually we have good reviews from time to time. Fortunately as we experimented a lot of different people are into Karst from punk/noise fans to open minded extreme metal listeners. Or even if the listener don’t like what we are doing we always take effect.
10. Are any of the band members involved with any other musical projects these days?
Definitely! Our vocalist Kristóf plays villager death/groove metal with his other bandCageDeadDogs, they’re about to record their first demo. Balázs, our guitarist plays bass in another experimental, atmospheric metal act called Perihelion.
I generally deal with music everyday. The other bands I take part in:
- Svoid – occult, anti-cosmic metal, here I play drums and do backing vocals. (www.svoid.hu)
- Voltak – my suicidal post-punk trio where I am the vocalist/guitarist. We play sombre music like The Cure did around 1981. We’re about to record our first full-length but this project is put on ice, nowadays I don’t have for it… (www.fb.com/VoltakOfficial)
- La Ment – esoteric necro pop duo, like Ellie Goulding or A-ha meets Burzum. Being here the multi-instrumentalist I work together with a singer. (www.LaMentOnline.com)
- Manőkken Proletárz – alternative pop band from Budapest, here I do drums and backing vocals. (www.manokkenproletarz.hu)
- Szekeres András – newly I became the session drummer/backing vocalist of András Szekeres. He is originally the singer of Junkies, a quite known Hungarian rock band. It’s his so-called solo project, mainly alternative rock like Oasis. (www.fb.com/andras.szekeres)
- Eclipse – it’s a progressive metal band from our hometown, formed in 1990, I became involved as a drummer this year. Hope it will work, we’re still just rehearsing.
So there’s so much things to do from day to day.
11. Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
As written above we have nearly exact plans what to do in the future. On our next release we’d like to cover some jazz standard classics in the raw Black Metal-ish way. We’ll release it next year.
Besides it we are into acoustic ethno music and we are looking forward to try this organic instrumentation and create more so-called forest-like sound with acoustic guitar, clean vocals and folk instruments, still keeping the dark Black Metal heritage with blast beats and shrieks. Instead of leaving behind what we do now musically we rather make a totally new set for non-metal concerts. It’s the first time I speak of these new paths in public… so we’ll see when they come together.
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?
Well, we are definitely influented by the Scandinavian Black Metal scene of the early 90s like Darkthrone, Burzum, Gorgoroth. When we add other elements to our music I don’t care where it came from, composition for me is based on deeper intuitions. I don’t like to be needlessly exact, go and listen - find our influences yourself! Find out what do our music have to offer to your aesthetic system.
We’re listening to quite different artists, hard to name common favourite. With Kristóf we like to idolize old school Swedish Death Metal such as Unleashed or Dismember, with him and Balázs we’re huge fans of bands from Norway mentioned above. Other band members like dirtier tones from sludge, punk or hip-hop scene. Nowadays I listen mainly to earlier bands of extreme metal, Black/Death stuff, darkened indie rock, post-punk, up-to-date pop singers like Ellie Goulding or ritual dark ambient for sleep like Equimanthorn, a side project of Absu. I rarely stay on one particular band or artists, I keep on know as much as possible and search for new ones.
13. What are some of your non musical interests?
I’m into antique times, faded religions, Sumerians, Egypt, spirituality, occultism, human sacrifices of old ages, death cult and suicide. Mainly against present times. They aren’t necessarily connect to Karst but come through me in in a rather indirect method.
Kristóf studied anthropology, he has more to do with the world surrounding us, also he’s quite into hedonism. Balázs deals with advanced mathematics, his long time favourite writer is Vonnegut. Tomi is hugely interested in football. These things make the line-up so diverse and multi-dimensional.
14. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thanks for reading through my words. I have nothing more to say. „Every nation marches singing, every nation towards death.”