I recently discovered Dutch Satanic Black Metallers ASAGRAUM through the “Live in Rosenheim” video, which totally impressed me right from the start. I immediately liked their material and the overall sinister atmosphere of their performance, so I wanted to know more about them. When I did a little research I quickly found out that this all female act had already released two full length albums, “Potestas Magicum Diaboli” and “Dawn Of Infinite Fire” in 2017 and 2019 respectively, while their third one, “Veil Of Death, Ruptured”, just came out via Edged Circle Productions. So yeah, I’m definitely a late bloomer here. The following interview with the band’s guitarist / vocalist / songwriter Obscura was conducted and published by Hungarian Kronos Mortus News, but we got the permission to release it here as well (thanks again!). So read on if you also want to find out a bit more about ASAGRAUM…
There’s nothing better in the morning than being woken up by satanic girlie music. Of course, you are not only remarkable for being a female Black Metal band, but there exists a multitude of values in ASAGRAUM! Please summarize the most important things for us!
“I grew up with the legendary Black Metal albums of the late ’90s and early 2000s, and created ASAGRAUM to be a honourable continuator of this type of black art. We are a spiritual Satanic band, representing the left-hand-path and all that it entails.”
So far you already released two albums, and now the third one is out, courtesy of Edged Circle Productions. Obviously, we don’t hear radical changes compared to the music you played in the beginning, but still, you’ve always been evolving! We can envision your place somewhere around GORGOROTH, MARDUK or IMMORTAL. The current release is maybe a bit more melodic compared to its predecessor, but it’s still aggressive and 100% Black Metal, though! What can you say about that? Who is your ideal target audience?
“I appreciate that you compare us with these great Black Metal bands that have been around for many years! Our new release is more melodic indeed, focused on both a hypnotising, ritualistic atmosphere and a haunting sense of despair and nihilism. Our target audience? The traditional, old school Black Metal audience of course. And whoever else is interested in us and has the right mind to understand and appreciate our music and left-hand-path ideology.”
How did these eight songs come into life? What did it take to come up with them – and most importantly, when / where did the inspiration come? Do you usually do a lot of thinking and changing about your first ideas?
“I went through a lot of personal shifts and unusual experiences in the last years, which I expressed very much in the music and lyrics of “Veil Of Death, Ruptured”. I have a strange way of working, I think. Usually I write all the songs with one guitar and rehearse them with A. Morthaemer on drums. Then, when drums are recorded, I change major parts and in some songs all parts of the first guitar, start recording everything and write and record all second guitar and bass parts, lyrics and vocals in a hyper focus that lasts 2- 3 months. I get into an unusual state of mind during that time and don’t do many other things. It feels like the end result comes to me from the spiritual realm in these months.”
What could you say about your time in the studio? Was it easy to fulfill your wishes?
“I record everything on my laptop wherever I see fit, so for sure that’s easy. Dirk Verspaget recorded the drums and Bas de Rooy did the mixing, Tide Studio London the mastering. We got a very satisfying result from all of them.”
The current album cover art is a bit different from the earlier ones, as it’s you who appear on it. Why did you consider it a good idea?
“”Veil Of Death, Ruptured” is much more personal in terms of theme and lyrics than its predecessors, which is why I thought a more personal image on the cover was appropriate. We pose as the “Witte Wieven” from the Dutch myth. Not dead, not alive. One with the filthy, rotting water and the bones of the dead.”
For someone who doesn’t like Black Metal, how scary do you think it is to see and hear you? Have you ever had problems in the civilian life with people who found out what kind of musicians you are as girls? How silly would you call someone’s way of thinking who rejects this kind of art?
“I’m not sure what people out of the Black Metal scene think about this band in general, but the people I introduced to Black Metal for the first time were definitely not scared. They either thought it was just weird or they liked it. But I usually hang out with people with a bit of intellect, could imagine some religious morons or petty snowflakes getting scared or offended for sure, especially anno 2023. Luckily I am independent in all aspects of my life, and perfectly able to avoid such people.”
How did you get to the point where you are now? Why did Black Metal become your favorite genre? Did your love for music start with this particular genre?
“Yes, my love for music definitely started with this genre! Listening to GORGOROTH, MAYHEM, DARK FUNERAL, DISSECTION and some other great Scandinavian bands in the early 2000s defined my love for music and for Black Metal!”
What kind of bands do you sympathize with? Who do you consider a good friend with whom you like to spend time? How open are you to make friends with others?
“We have toured a lot and have friends all over the Black Metal scene. I think it’s a big part of the pleasure of touring and playing live to meet like-minded musicians!”
You’ve played a lot of live shows over the years. As the band only consists of two persons, could you mention those, who you usually invite as guest musicians to play with you live? Is it possible that eventually they become full band members over time?
“It’s a deliberate decision of me to keep ASAGRAUM a 2-persons band. This because I don’t feel the urge to write or record the bass and guitar parts with anyone else. Also it is easier to do as much live shows as is pleasant and necessary to grow our audience to the level I wish it to be, working with a varying line-up of live musicians. Many musicians have other work-and family obligations, and with a varying live line-up this is not a restriction to the band.”
I saw that you will play live next year at the Wacken festival. What kind of expectations do you have towards the gig? Also, where and when can we expect a tour for the new album?
“Wacken will be awesome, a great opportunity to win some new souls for true Satanic Black Metal We got several offers to do a Latin America tour. We are still checking the options, but this is very likely going to happen in 2024, combined with some USA dates.”
The devil be with you always, who will make sure that the band remains on the right track! Thank you for your answers!
“Thanks for your time and interest! Hail Satan!”