It's really a tragedy! I mean, how big could these Swedish guys have become in the meantime if they wouldn't have diappeared from the face of the earth after the release of their magnificent Listenable debut album "Demonication (The Manifest)" about ten years ago? At that time LUCIFERION simply used to blow everyone away with their uncompromising attitude, their intensity and their sheer brutality - all mixed with unbelievable over the top musicianship extravananca. LUCIFERION was without a doubt Europe's ultimate answer to the major league of Florida Death Metal (DEICIDE / MORBID ANGEL) and ready to conquer the (at the time rather dusty) Death Metal throne! But instead of coming up with a follow-up release rather quickly the guys ended up going seperate ways to focus on different musical projects and put out album number two, "The Apostate" just most recently. Reasons enough for us to contact mainman Wojtek Lisicki for an update on the band's activities: past - present and future...
First of all let me tell you that it's great to have you guys back after all those years... As you may be aware of yourself, your debut album "Demonication (The Manifest)" is considered an alltime classic within the Death Metal scene, so I was wondering, why you didn't continue on with LUCIFERION right away?! I mean, what made you take such a long break from it after that album got released?
Hello again Frank! Yes, it has been quite a while… 8 years to be exact. This is also approximately just as long we as haven’t spoken, isn’t it? The thing is that it doesn’t feel like that for me. I live a quite timeless live. Anyway, between 96 and 98 I locked myself in in order to create the material for the next album. I was extremely inspired and focused. My motivation was absolute and had its source in a pure passion for the compositions I was being materialising. I didn’t do anything else between those two years... except for that I also parallelly wrote the material to my mystery-Metal album. Except for some missing riffs the material for a whole Luciferion album is finished and since then laying here in my computer in midi-form, ready to be recorded. Although, it’s so extremely complicated and complex that no wonder that the thought of releasing it back then (or even now) never came up. This material was and still is before its time… Since 98 I have been involved in building up the grand machine of Lost Horizon, which made me totally focused during those five years; a focus that also worked like a pause button of time. The rest of the band was also involved in other bands that with time became their first priority occupation. Michael joined Dark Tranquillity in 97, me and Martin reawakened Highlander, than later became Lost Horizon and Hans has been active in several bands, like: Crystal Age, Diabolique, Dimension Zero, The Great Deceiver
As probably not all of the Death Metal fans know, you used to be part of the traditional Heavy Metal act LOST HORIZON over the past couple of years and even released two excellent albums with them on Music For Nations. But it's said that you parted ways with them now. Is that true? What is the reason for that? Will you focus your musical strength on LUCIFERION exclusively again from now on?
No, I won't do that. As I love music I will always do what gives me satisfaction, and my musical horizons are wide. I am also very varying person in question of styles. Still, Luciferion is one of my priorities. No doubt about it. When it comes to Lost Horizon, I left because I absolutely couldn’t stand the members’ Sunday-musician and hobby attitude. But I don’t want to get on details now, I will explain this subject thoroughly later on when the time is right. The backward, autocratic and totally uninterested company was the second problem and in the bottom the main source of all this. I couldn’t either tolerate the attitude of the European Metal business’ hermetic coterie and the ass kissing around. Those three main reasons, are the ones for why Lost Horizon didn’t became a world band.
Besides the "Demonication (The Manifest)" album, LUCIFERION also contributed some cover tunes to a bunch of compilation albums back then... Would you like to tell us more about the intention behind that and which songs you did and why you particularely chose them?
First of all it was a pure pleasure. That was the absolutely main motivation. As the band didn’t exist (it was put on ice in 96) we also wanted to keep the band’s flame burning in a way. The choice of the songs was based on very obvious criteria – if we were lucky and got to know about the tribute in an early phase of the plans we could chose a song we liked most. If we were late we took the best song of those that remained. But it never was a problem, as there where so many great songs. More than that – it would be an interesting challenge to do a cover on a semi good song.
How about your live activities? Did LUCIFERION play any gigs in support of the debut album? And if you did - where did you play, with whom and what kind of experiences did you gain from those shows?
Yes, we definitely did play gigs, before and after the release. I think we did altogether something around twenty gigs, which is not much, but at that time there weren’t that much gig opportunities as nowadays. We didn’t have any booker or agent, not even close. On the other hand we hadn’t either that sick panic-need to have gigs. Simply, if we were invited we played, and then mostly on festivals around the Europe where we – strangely enough – headlined some of them... Which bands? Man… I don’t remember… I mean, who cares. Well, I remember Dissection, Marduk, Amon, Dark Funeral, Throneaeon, Dark Tranquillity, Sarcazm, Lord Belial, In Flames, Enthroned...
At which point of time did you make the decision to resurrect LUCIFERION and how did things develop from there?
It was in 2000 when Michael and me thought that the time has come for the next strike. We felt that even if we all are very busy we could manage to record an album (at least of this shorter kind) in the periods when we are not that busy. So we did the first attempts in 2001, recording some of the instruments, which were the drums, guitars and bass. Then in 2002 I recorded the solos and written the synthesizers. The lyrics was written in 2003 when we also recorded all the vocals. We also did the mix and mastering then. But what must be kept in mind is that many of the small new parts and corrections right up to the very last days of the mix. That was possible, as we worked exclusively in ProTools and everything was digitalised and trigged.
The new album "The Apostate" is not exactly what I would consider a "real" album, as it only features five new tracks, a CELTIC FROST cover and your 1994 demo recordings... Why did you choose this kind of release instead of a full album or mini CD instead?
The original plan was to release a collage album containing the promo-demo, the Celtic Frost cover and maybe even something more relevant that could fit to this release. A collector’s item for the die-hard Luciferion fans. Successively, it has grown to what it is today. The hunger of releasing new songs was too strong to resist.
At which point of time did you write the new tracks on "The Apostate" and how do you personally judge them in comparision to your older stuff?
'New World To See' – some of the original parts written in 1995, 'Destroying By Will' - written in 96, 'The Apostate' and 'Become Or Be Gone' - original parts written between 1996-2000. All songs perfected and spiritualized between 2001-2003. As they have been put together quite recently the material is an interesting mix of an older sounding and a totally modern execution and styling. So their oldness is only in the very bottom. If I have to compare them I can say that there are a lot of differences still it sounds like Luciferion. "The Apostate" is much more aggressive and airy while "Demonication (The Manifest)" is more brutal and heavy. There is more middle range, especially on the guitars. The album is more technical and much faster. There are six different kinds of vocals. The synthesizers are now a constantly used instrument on the album, but not irritatingly conspicuous. Generally it’s much more mature.
I suppose the biggest difference to "Demonication (The Manifest)" is the permanent use of keyboards this time... When and why did you decide to incorporate them into your brutal Death Metal sound?
The reason for why they are quite limited on "Demonication (The Manifest)" is that we didn’t have that need of having so much keyboards on Luciferion’s music back then. Maybe it was also because that that record was our first facing of studio misery. The work was a chock... We simply didn’t have strength to even think about the keyboards more than what’s on the album. This time we had all that was needed and we used it. Generally, as keyboards is my absolute favourite instrument they will always be on the works I am involved in, in one or other form.
Unfortunately I only have a promo version of the album here, but there seems to be a kind of lyrical concept connceted to the songs... Would you mind telling as a brief summary of what it's all about?
I will do it more detailed on our site soon, but briefly I can tell you that I continue on the way I started with Lost Horizon, but in this case in an aggressive, rough and darker form. It’s all about subjects that are around us, but hidden beneath the surface of the trivial life. Those subjects are very real and actual, but still mystical, psychological and often spiritual and philosophic. This is a genuine thing and not another fantasy-darkness stuff that the most of the bands occupy themselves with, thinking they are discovering the "existential mysteries", of which, unfortunately, the biggest part is unworldly ridiculous nonsense. Living in a cocoon of imaginary world not having any palpable effect on the surrounding life and society, in fact being only victims of their sad existence that the reigning authorities see only as harmless social drop-outs while they continue to pollute our minds, bodies and spirits with their doctrinal way of life that WE DON’T WANT! It’s time to understand what the life on this planet is all really about.
You've dedicated the song 'The Voyager' on your debut album to DEICIDE and IMMOLATION... Do those two bands still have the same impact on you as back in those days when you wrote that tune?
No, not the same – no band have. But in the very bottom of Luciferion there is always Morbid Angel, Deicide and partially Immolation when it comes to Death Metal inspirations. But there is so much more than that
When was the CELTIC FROST cover recorded and for what reason? Was it supposed to appear on another tribute album or something?
Yes, that was the idea that Laurent had, but there was also another guy from another record company that had it too simultaneously and he was first to carry it through. Laurent didn’t see any point in releasing an identical tribute compilation in the same period of time – quite understandable – and the project faded out. We recorded the song in 1996 in the middle of wood where the Nilento Studio was. If there would come an opportunity I would like to put this song on a Celtic Frost tribute.
It seems to me that you really like very long thanx lists, as they are always very in-depth on all of the albums you played on. Any particular reason for that?
Yes, of course. Every released album represents a past period in our life. One changes constantly and so do everything around. I think it’s important to underline the meaningful things that have affected your life by mentioning them in connection to your work. It’s kind of documentation for oneself at the same time an exhibition to the world about the character behind the creation. During completing and writing such a list you have to concentrate a lot to evoke and recollect all those things from the memory, which forces you to do a mental resumé of the past years. It’s very freeing and healthy for one’s self.
On the new album you have a bass player named Martin Furängen... when did he join LUCIFERION and what has he been up to previously?
Martin was in Luciferion from the very beginning. He is the original member. The problem is that he was in MI (Musician Institute) in LA (USA) unfortunately exactly at the time when "Demonication (The Manifest)" was being recorded. He continued to play in the band after his return. He is also member of Lost Horizon.
When I contacted you about this interview, you told me that you're in the US... What have you been doing over there? Holidays? Or do you consider moving there permanently?
Yes, I was on one month holidays, visiting my close friend Varyen, the ex-drummer of Damnation from Poland, who lives there and who also plays in a great Chicago band – Forest Of Impaled. A really good Black Metal band that would be a serious competition for the most of European bands! As for me, I am not sure if I could live in the US – definitely not in Chicago, where I was. It’s not a good atmosphere for a sensitive and deep mind. It’s all only about commercialism and everything is so superficial. Well, it’s nothing new I guess... But of course, there are other great values in that country that can’t be found elsewhere. Anyway, next time I will definitely go to an other part of the States.
You also mentioned, that you're really fed up with interviews these days and even wanted to stop doing them completely... What is the reason for that? Did you make any negative experiences with the press?
No, no, it’s not because of that at ALL. I simply see no reason to continue loosing whole days of my already miserable life on answering things that for me are a total regression or simply unbelievably uninteresting. I planned to not do any interviews at all in connection to Luciferion, but Laurent lamented dramatically, which is understandable. I very seldom read magazines myself, and when I do I simply can’t handle looking at these pathetic photos, miens, "gesticulations" and so on, neither read that standard rubbish. It’s all the same, on and on… – "What do you think about the underground in (some country)?" or "How would you like to compare the US-Death Metal with the Swedish one?" or "What is the name of the studio where you recorded the first demo in?" ecetera ... I mean – WHO-FUCKING-CAAARES!? I don’t have time and nerves for this shit. Also, all those standard questions that constitutes 70% of the interviews content are sooo boring. Where are all the interesting subjects!? There are a lot of people that actually have valuable things to say! I really suffer doing the interviews, as I don’t give slightest shit in ¾ of the asked questions, but I am still forced to dig in my head and in the past for the out-of-date or repressed information and answer the questions with a serious attitude. (…) Again, I do it only for Laurent of Listenable who releases our album, and in some cases like this to share my opinions and because I know that I am talking to a serious person (really no opportunism here). But generally I don’t need this, as it doesn’t make any difference for my wallet nor for my self-confidence. The album speaks for itself.
What can we expect from LUCIFERION next? Any shows planned to support the album? Will there be a follow-up to "The Apostate" quicker this time or was it just a one off release and the band disappears into nothingness once again?
There are actually no plans right now. We simply wait for the album to come out. You know, we are not an active band. All the members are busy elsewhere and I don’t think I have the mental strength to find new members after my burning out due to Lost Horizon. But as there already exists a material for the next album, ready to be recorded, there will obviously be an other album. When? No one can say. When some of determining factors meet each other in a perfect combination. Those would be: strength and motivation to carry it through (which I for now definitely don’t have being working constantly since 98 not getting a shit for it) and a one-album deal with good conditions and “inspiring” budget.
Ok Wojtek, that's all for now. All the best for the future. The last words are yours...
Ok Frank, big thanx to you for your help and support! And of course to V.F.T.D.S for the absolutely great review! And you guys, thanx for reading this and in advance for not just downloading the album from the net. Also great thanx to the old fans who supported Luciferion in the past! Stay open minded and conscious, and believe your inner voice! www.luciferion.com
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