DESASTER is one of Germany’s leading forces in the metallic underworld today, and with their last offering "Divine Blasphemies" these Metal maniacs keep on prooving that METAL IS A WAY OF LIFE – nothing more, nothing less. I really enjoyed doing this interview with Tormentor, the almighty skintorturer, because he represents the incarnation of a pure Metalhead to me… the way it should always be! So, relax, turn up the volume of your favorite vinyl, open a can of beer and take another dose of Metal through these wise words… BANG THAT HEAD THAT DOESN’T BANG!!!!
DESASTER exists since 1988, but it seems that you finally begin to have quite a cult status in the underground for the last 4 – 5 years. Moreover, your new album "Divine Blasphemies" is out by now, so let’s speak a bit more about your current happenings. Have you got some intensive touring activity in sight?
"Hi Nathaniel, du alter BITBURGER-SAUFKOPP!! We have played a tour some months ago with Holy Moses and our friends of Fatal Embrace through Europe. We played, for example, in Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Slowenia, the Netherlands etc. The tour went very well for us because we met a lot of great maniacs and friends. But the number of visitors wasn’t as high as the organizers had wished for. A lot of problems came together and the biggest problem was that the promotion wasn’t that good. After the tour we played three more gigs and then took a short break. Only doing interviews, the lay-out for the new release and a lot of other things. Also all of us, except for Infernal, have got a job. But anyway, the live battles will start in February again. And I can tell you we are hotter than ever!! Aaarrrrggghhhhhh!!! We are in a good contact with our friends from Bruchstein Records (who did the Holy Moses tour as well) and we organize together the next tour with mighty ZEMIAL from Greece / Australia in June ’03. We hopefully will be able to conquer Scandinavia, Poland and the north of Germany as well as some other countries. Some open air gigs are confirmed in Germany and Austria as well!!"
Only Infernal remains from the original line-up… The band was formed around 1988. How old were you at that time? What are the motivations that pushed you to stay true towards Metal music and its way of life? What happened to your ex-members… Did some of them cut their hair, and refuse to hear Metal now?
"Infernal was about 15 or 16 years old when he started to play guitar and do some “chaotic Metal” with Creator Cassie (b / v) and Alex (d). I think it’s the magic and power of Heavy Metal that gave all of us the power to continue with DESASTER through the years. We like to play our music, meet friends at concerts and drink beer with them. Playing our music is like an orgasm for us. And we need that a lot!! Hahahaha… Heavy Metal is more than music or a trend. It’s a life-style. It comes straight from our hearts and we absolutely believe in our music!! About the ex-members, I only know that Creator Cassie nowadays plays in a local Hardcore band, Alex stopped drumming and the same goes for Luggi. Thorim plays (if I’m well informed) in a local rock band. And Okkulto does nothing at the moment, I think. But I have heard from a friend that he’s learning to play guitar now!! But there absolutely is no more contact. I don’t care about him!!"
Your previous singer Okkulto left the band in 2001. Why? I heard a lot of people who think that his voice is better than the one of Sataniac. Personally, I also enjoy Sataniac’s voice… He reminds me a bit of VENOM, but with enough own identity. Any comments on this situation? How does Sataniac feel in the band now? Does he keep on crushing with his other band DIVINE GENOCIDE?
"Yes, Okkulto left the band after the Wacken Open Air 2001. I think that he did have several reasons for leaving the band. But the most important thing was that he changed his life style. Don’t get me wrong, he still listens to Metal. But he told us that he did not want to play live anymore and we saw him only at the rehearsals or on stage. And that wasn’t the right way. Desaster is not a band, we’re friends and normally do a lot together. But many more things happened, but that’s too private. You know, Okkulto was a really good singer and we were shocked after he left the band. But we never thought about stopping the total DESASTER!! We searched and found a really great vokiller in Sataniac! I like his voice much more because it’s so powerful and full of energy. I think it’s not the point if his voice is better than Okkulto’s or not. It’s only important that the voice fits to the music!! And I think, if you listen to the new album, you’ll hear that something has changed. But you don’t miss anything!! So Sataniac does a good job, right?? We told him that there is no need for him to copy Okkulto’s voice. He needs to go his own way in the band. The old singer needed nearly 10 years to sound the way he did in the end. In live-battles Sataniac is like a beast and he became a really good friend as well. That’s the most important thing!! Most people might say that changes like this are never good for a band’s music, but listen to our new album and then you can decide!!! The horde of Divine Genocide is rehearsing at the moment to write the last song of the band’s history. It will be released on a 7” to show the end of the band. That’s bad but it has nothing to do with Sataniac’s choice to join DESASTER. He had problems to find a new and good guitar-player for Divine Genocide. So he will close that book of evil!"
You are members of the unholy Hellbangers Moselfranken… That must be really great to organize gigs with bands like DEVIL LEE ROT, IMPIETY, UNPURE, PENTACLE and of course METALUCIFER (but we will talk about this one later). Are there many people coming to these gigs? Have you already had to endure the presence of some poseurs? I heard that you have a kind of "bad boys" reputation, hahaha!!! Have you already tortured some faggot hippies or damned hip hoppers???
"Yeah, we are members of the Hellbangers Moselfranken for more than 5 years now. We have organized our release party for “Tyrants Of The Netherworld” 2000 here in Koblenz with DESASTER, PENTACLE, METALUCIFER and METAL INQUISITOR. A really great, traditional evening. More than 300 Headbangers came that night to see the bands play and it has gone straight ahead into a great, big party. Also the first official HELLBANGERS FESTIVAL was a good party. Bands like ROOT, SECRETS OF THE MOON, DEVIL LEE ROT, DESTRÖYER 666 and the assholes of DESASTER gave the crowd a big fist in their fukkin’ faces!! For this event more than 450 people entered the gates of the Juz Andernach (near Koblenz). We are / were proud to have organized such a great concert and that so many people have followed our call. Hahaha, yes, really?? The Hellbangers are bad boys?? Sounds good, but we are in the first row pure metallic alcoholic annihilators!! Nothing more, nobody in the club likes fights… only a little bit of aggression is good for a great feeling on parties. Hahahaha!!!"
Will you take part in KUTTSTOCK 2003? Have you been at the 2002 edition of this pure Heavy / Black / Thrash Metal festival? How come that you are not so well known in France? Have you already played there? Where do you intend to tour to promote the new album? Have you some opportunities to travel to South America to play there? It seems that the Metal freaks are really into your stuff over there…
"Jens, the organizer of the KUTTSTOCK fest asked me last week to play. Of course we would like to play there!!! We didn’t go to the 2002 festival because we did play another concert at the same time. But it would be great to play there!! No, we’ve never played in France. I don’t know why, but I have heard that there are no promoters for Heavy Metal concerts!! Is it right?? What about you?? Can you organize something for us??!! We are ready for slaughter!!! If there’s someone who wants to book us, feel free and ask!!! (Hell, I am moving my ass like I never did in order to make you play in Strasbourg in October 2003 with PENTACLE, dude. I will do my best in order it happens! Hope it will not be during your tour in Brazil – Nathaniel) About promoting our new record… we will do the same as always. Play some single gigs, do a lot of interviews and so on. As I told you before, a tour with ZEMIAL from Greece / Australia is planned for 2003. There are also plans for a gig in Brazil. Yeah, I have been told that in South America some DESASTER fans are hungry to see us live. It would be more than a dream to play there. And we are very lucky to finally have found someone who will organize a gig for us down there. If everything works out like we have planned it we will go to Brazil in October."
Talking about South America, how do you like the DESECRATION OF VIRGIN mag? Are you in touch with maybe bands from this continent? What are your favourite South American bands?
"I have some great pen-friends from over there. They are totally possessed by Metal and absolutely cool!! My favourite bands, besides the wellknown bands like Sepultura (old!) and Krisiun, are, for example, Headhunter DC and Viper Brazil. Hey, of course I like the DOV – mag. King Wolle is a good friend of ours and he’s so much into the South American scene, that’s unbelievable!! Hahahaha!!! I like his “chaotic” lay-out!! It looks fuckin’ brilliant! Some time ago I wrote some articles and interviews for him…"
You are not afraid to give yourself some challenges, like to play with METALUCIFER, the Heavy Metal band of the almighty Gezol from the Japanese cult act SABBAT. How did this adventure begin? Have you had the possibility to play more gigs with the original line-up, than the one at the DESASTER party? How was the trip to Japan? What do you think about the so called "exotic" bands coming from Asia, South America…?
"Yeah, I play in METALUCIFER as well, but it’s just a few times each year (or maybe in two years). It depends on the numbers of offers we get to play live. Until now we played 4 shows together. Two in Germany (Koblenz / Wacken Open Air) and 2 in Japan (Osaka / Tokyo). It’s always amazing to meet Gezol again. He’s one of the greatest and absolutely coolest people on this planet!! He’s totally possessed by Metal (like all of us). All of this started in 2000 when Costa (Iron Pegasus) and Gezol asked me to play the drums on the album “Heavy Metal Chainsaw”. I have been a Metalucifer-fan for many years now and it was / is a pleasure to handle the sticks for this true force of Metal. But don’t get me wrong… DESASTER is and will always be my No.1 band !! But it’s great to play the songs of Metalucifer every now and then. Next year we will play several concerts in the USA to show the American maniacs that New Way Of Japanese Heavy Metal is still like a fist in your face, hahaha!! About the line up: it depends on our jobs and if everyone of us will be able to be off for this time. But the Elisa brothers never play live. But we met them in Japan and they are so fukkin’ great guys. By the way… I met a lot of great maniacs in Japan. Like Akira of mighty Solitude, Shige and his Gorgon – guys, Heavy Metal Jakuza, mighty Neal Tanaka (the maniac on every cover of Metalucifer) and many more. We also visited Bill Andrews in his small Metal-shop!! I will never forget the time that I have spent in Japan and hopefully I can return some day. Both concerts were unbelievable and a lot of crazy Japanese maniacs came to see the gigs!! For more details take a look at the official METALUCIFER web page http://truemetal.org/metalucifer I don’t know so many bands from Asia. But all bands I know are very good musicians and I like what they do. Best bands for me are SABBAT, GORGON, SOLITUDE, IMPIETY and some more."
How do you see the evolution of DESASTER since the beginning? I have not heard the really first demo, but I guess that it must sound awful nowadays, hahaha!! Infernal says that he has never taken any guitar lessons. How often do you practice? Do you remember the first Metal bands that gave you lust to play an instrument?
"The most important thing in DESASTER’s history is that we never changed our way of music. Of course we became a little bit better at our instruments through the years (maybe, hahaha), but I think that you hear on each output that this is DESASTER. The first demo-tape called “The Fog Of Avalon” was recorded in the rehearsal room and it has a very raw sound. But this release is not less important for DESASTER as any output that followed through the years!! Each output means a special era of DESASTER and we are proud of what we have done in the past!! You’re right, none of us ever had a teacher for his instrument. Only I took some lessons years ago but I stopped because it didn’t really help me to improve. We usually practice between 2-3 times a week. But when there are special events like a tour, recordings or something like this, we rehearse almost every day. Infernal and Odin also practise a lot at home and I spend a lot of time in our rehearsal-room to make some “noise”. I think that Heavy Metal hell in general gave me the will to play drums. It wasn’t a certain band. My first time behind the drums was on a DESASTER concert back in 1993 on a concert here in Koblenz. After the sound-check I went behind Luggi’s drum-kit and started crushing his drum-heads… hahahaha!!!"
DESASTER carries an image full of castles and allusions to the Middle Ages. How come? How deep is your interest for this period? Do you also play real medieval music and go to medieval festivals in your area? Where are those castles located that you have on the pictures in the booklet of "Tyrants Of The Netherworld"? The cover picture of this album is so Metal, hahaha!!! Don’t you think that Metal has to keep its kitch or cliché touch, and should never take oneself too seriously as many Black Metal bands do?
"The most important reason for us to use pictures of castles and ruins for our layout is that we all like these medieval, impressive places. There is this special, intense atmosphere within these old walls. From time to time we visit ancient places here in our area. We have a lot of old ruins in the Rhine / Mosel – area. These pictures in our booklets are a part of DESASTER and we will use them for all of our releases. It gives a special touch to the whole record. Haha, yes… the cover is really good, we found it on a poster for an event on a castle called “Burg Rheinfels”. I think it was some kind of an opera. We liked that picture so much that we “stole” it and put it on the cover. Yeah, it combines the medieval aspect with the pure heaviness. Also the colour looks really good… I think a little bit of cliché is very important for a Metal-band. What would VENOM be without their image?!?! I think nothing!! Or MANOWAR, HELLHAMMER etc… But you need to take care that the image always stays true and evil and that you don’t get ridiculous. But still the music is more important than the image, right?"
‘Metallized Blood’ is the hymn to Metal I was dreaming of during the years, and you little bastards did it perfectly, argh!!! How had this idea to take several singers for this definitely best resumé of Metal music (lyric- and riffing-wise)? Toto from LIVING DEATH has an incredible Heavy Metal voice! How could you explain that all these poseurs pretending to play Heavy Metal nowadays try to copy the voice of IRON MAIDEN or HELLOWEEN?
"I don’t know!! You know, we didn’t go to the rehearsal-room and said that we want to write a “hymn”… we just wrote that song and we liked / like it very much. It’s a very simple song, no technical riffs or something like that. Just like a fist in your face… “Hellfire’s Dominion” was recorded in Velbert which is the hometown of Living Death and Violent Force. We are in contact with Atomic Steiff for many years now, and he helped us to make Lemmie and Toto sing on our record. And… yeah, all voices sound fukkin’ great!! Haha, that’s right, Power Metal nowadays is a very big trend and I don’t like most of all that bands. I like more the underground bands like October 31, Twisted Tower Dire, Metal Inquisitor, Delirious etc. or, of course, the older bands like Jag Panzer, Iced Earth (older stuff) etc. or most of all the originals. Most of today’s bands are only copies of bands like Accept, Helloween, Metallica and all that other cult-bands. But I think that trend more and more vanishes and the underground grows stronger again and that’s much better than such a big hype as two years ago when each band that was able to play a decent solo, did have double base and a high voice got a contract to release a record."
About Heavy Metal, what do you think about the evolution of this genre, and about the evolution of MANOWAR? How could you explain that after 1994 / 95, the Metal scene began to become more end more crappy, full of poseurs, and that the good old feeling to be part of a family has been torn to pieces? Do you enjoy all this new school of Deathcore and melodic Black Metal?
"Hahaha, yeah Manowar… I do like the new album (except for some songs) very much, but the whole hype that happened around this band is still stupid. It’s unbelievable that Eric Adams stands in front of 20.000 kids and screams “wimps and posers leave the hall”… what a fuck!!! But I like all of their old stuff, it’s absolutely 100% pure Metal… but nowadays… I don’t like this kind of groovy Death Metal too much… real Death Metal needs to be hard, evil and heavy. Like Asphyx, Soulburn, Grave, Unleashed, Morbid Angel also old My Dying Bride, Edge of Sanity are really good. But I think it’s not important how deep a voice is or how fast Death Metal is played. Most of the newer bands sounds like stupid HC with deep growls. But I also think everybody can listen to what he wants."
You are really close to PENTACLE, and often play together with them. How did you get in touch with the almighty Wannes, and could you explain your feelings about this band, and also on the evolution of ASPHYX / SOULBURN (RIP)? Why did you choose to cover the PENTACLE song ‘A Serpent In Blood Red’ on your split 10" with PENTACLE? Have you tried to change the song structure, or add some new arrangements? Have you also a so strong friendship with other bands?
"Many years ago I bought “The Fifth Moon” Pic-MLP at Merciless Records after Volker told me that there’s a great Death / Thrash band from Holland. I listened to the record and I was impressed. So much energy and power… wow. Then I took my pen and wrote to Wannes. I told him that I play in a small German band called Desaster…hahaha… he wrote back saying that he owns all of our releases and so the story goes on and on. The first time I met the guys at our concert in Rotterdam on the tour with Behemoth. You know, we are absolutely on the same level and we like each other a lot. It’s really like a brotherhood. And I’m very proud to call those guys my friends. Their music is really wild, full of energy and absolutely aggressive. I like all their songs and, of course, Wannes’ mighty voice. He’s a fantastic front man as well. About Asphyx / Soulburn I can say that Wannes was unhappy about the split but now he can concentrate his whole energy on Pentacle. Haha, it was hard for us to find a song to cover because the song structures are not easy and we usually prefer to play the easier way. But anyway, we chose ‘Serpent In Blood Red’ and “desasterlized” it. I think it’s very important in today’s scene to have some real good friends. We have deep friendships with SUDDEN DEATH, NOCTURNAL, METAL INQUISITOR, TRIMONIUM, ex UNGOD, ZEMIAL, DARK FORTRESS, PRIMORDIAL, FATAL EMBRACE, DECAYED, UNPURE, SABBAT to name just a few."
On your new album, Mille Petrozza is singing some backing vocals, hey hey hey! How did you manage to get in touch with him? What do you think about the last KREATOR album, as well as for the last SODOM, DESTRUCTION and HOLY MOSES productions? It seems that nowadays there’s no typical German sound or scene anymore, like it was in the 80’s. Please tell us a bit about the underground in your country.
"Yes, I met Mille at the Wacken Open Air 2001 for the first time. We sat together every morning and drank coffee. And I know his girlfriend from a pub in Essen. He’s a really nice guy and very friendly. I like their new album a lot. I think it’s a mixture between “Extreme Aggression”, “Coma Of Souls” and some newer stuff. The last albums are not that good. But “Violent…” is back to the roots. And live Mille always does a great show for the audience, screams like hell and does a good job. Full of hate, aggression and power. The last SODOM album is great too. Last time I saw them live was at an Open Air in Portugal where we played together and they killed!! One of the best Sodom shows I’ve ever seen. And Tom and his guys are really normal Metal-heads without any “rock-star”- image!! But I don’t like the new albums of HOLY MOSES and DESTRUCTION. They sound too modern and absolutely clinical. Still Destruction on stage are really killer. We played with them twice until now and they are like a war machine. Holy Moses are ok, but they have lost much of their power. All in all it was great to tour with Holy Moses through Europe. Here in Germany we have a lot of good bands, as I told before, like METAL INQUISITOR, SUDDEN DEATH, FALLEN SAINTS, NOCTURNAL, THE EPITAPH, TRIMONIUM, HELVETE NATTEN, DARK FORTRESS and many more. I think the scene nowadays is much better than it was several years ago. But, believe me, it’s hard to get accepted as a German band here in Germany. Because most of the German Metal heads look at first to other countries and only afterwards they think… hey, in Germany there are good bands as well… But, I give a shit about all that. I want to make music… and if there is anybody who likes it, it’s cool… if not?!!? I don’t give a damn!!!"
What are the actual fanzines who really stay the closest to the true metallic spirit nowadays? Don’t you think that the scene is overcrowded with bands and fanzines who have almost no identity and who are just practising some cock-sucking between each other, just to support a so called underground?
"Hey, I’m not interested in all that shit. I like to listen to Metal music and bang my fukkin’ head off. I like reading some mags / zines like for example: Desecration Of Virgin, Tales Of The Macabre, Endzeit, Slayer and some others. You know, I think if a mag / zine isn’t interesting: don’t read it!! Everyone can do what he wants!!"
Great to see that that you tried to release the maximum of your stuff on vinyl format. Was it one of the reasons for you to quit Merciless Records, in order to sign with Costa’s Iron Pegasus Records (www.iron-pegasus.com)? How do you feel on this label? I read an interview of MORRIGAN in Franang #6, where they told that Costa was just interested to make money!!!! It sounds pretty stupid, but I’d like to know your reaction about these words.
"No, that wasn’t the reason for us to quit Merciless Records, he did a lot for the band and we are still good friends. We still meet from time to time and that’s how it has to be!! After 5 years of Merciless it simply was time for a change and we chose Costa’s Iron Pegasus. He’s really a great guy and we know him for many years now. He stands 100% behind us and we work together very well. We have our freedom to do what we want and that is the most important thing for us!! He also released a lot of great stuff…"
How was it in the studio for the recordings of "Divine Blasphemies"? Apart from Mille Petrozza, were there some more people invited on this album? How do you proceed to record your stuff (live or instrument after instrument)? According to you, what makes the sound of DESASTER typical?
"I think most important for our typical sound are Infernal’s great riffs. He’s a really good guitarist. He has the right feeling to compose good riffs full of power, aggression and heaviness. In all the years we have found our own identity and grew together. Nobody in DESASTER had a teacher on his instrument. Only I had some lessons for half a year but I saw that it didn’t help me at all and so I quit. Yeah, we have Mille on our new album and I think that he did a great job. Also our friend Blumi of METAL INQUSITOR / METALUCIFER did one solo on ‘Beasts Of Wrath And Victory’. For this record we entered our home-studio ToxoMusic here in Koblenz and I think Wally has done a fukkin great job!! Nothing really special happened in the studio because we gave all our energy into the recordings!!! On one day Götz from the German magazine Rock Hard came to the studio to listen to the new songs and, of course, he did have a big headache after drinking a lot of good, German Bitburger Pils and smoking some “lovely flowers”… hahahaha…"
According to you, what are the most underrated bands, past and present? How can you explain that bands like PENTACLE or SADISTIC INTENT, who are two of the finest purveyors of true Death Metal, still have to struggle to survive after all these years of dedication?
"I think there are a lot of bands that are / were totally underrated. For example the German band VIOLENT FORCE played very hard and fast Thrash Metal back in the eighties but a lot of maniacs never heard from them today. There were a lot of good bands back in time and nowadays like Morbid Saint from Mexico, Headhunter DC from Brazil, mighty Sabbat from “Nippon” or a German band called Secrets of the Moon. Of course both bands you mentioned before are fukkin’ great bands and important elements of brutal Metal. But I think, with these great bands the real international underground will never give up!! They have absolutely the best die-hard maniacs and that’s what keeps the flame of the worldwide underground unique!"
OK, I want to know your definition of the Metal genre and why you choose to make it a way of living. And could you also compare Metal to a beer? I am sure that one of you will say Bitburger, hahaha!!!
"In the first row we want to play our music and give a shit about all of that talking about genres. For us it’s the most important thing to do what we want. Desaster is a band that could not exist without the freedom that we need. I also like to play as many live-battles as possible, because all of us like to drink and bang with our fans and friends. You know, 50% of my daily life has to do with the band or Metal in general. 25% is my regular work and the other 25% is sleeping… haha… And that’s what I always said… Metal is not a fashion it’s absolutely a life-style. It’s a religion to me. I can truly say, that I can not live with that best and only true kind of music. And, yeah of course, Bitburger Pils plays a special role in all that as well, hahaha… Can you imagine listening to Motörhead, Slayer or Venom without a bottle of cold beer in your hand?? Hahahaha… I don’t think so!!"
Would you like to ask me a question?
"Is it right that our wine from the river Mosel is much better than the wine from France?!?! Hahaha!!!! I think so!! And why does a baguette in Germany taste much better than in France?!?! (Hey, don’t play with my nerves little tasteless German bastard! Hahahaahah!!! French wine is the best! That’s all! Ha! About the baguette, I guess that you ate it in the wrong places in France. Just come back and play some tunes before I feed your unholy "Bierbauch" with French wine and real French baguette! Hahahah! – Nathaniel)
Please vomit your last words and keep up the good Metal!
"Hey Metalhead Nathaniel, thanxx a lot for these good questions, I really enjoyed doing the interview… hail to all real Metal maniacs out there who feel the same metalized blood pounding like we do… see you on the next Metal-battles and keep the spirit of real Heavy Metal alive!! If there’s someone who is interested in merchandise like “Divine Blasphemies” CD / LP / TS or older CDs, “Hellfire’s Dominion” TS, buttons, patches write to Infernal’s “Snail-mail” address or to my e-mail address below!!! Or visit our web page: www.total-desaster.de BANG OR BE BANGED – Tormentor, anno 2003."
DESASTER, c/o Infernal, Jahnstr.76, 56218 Mülheim-K., Germany, email@example.com