Wednesday, May 7, 2014

interview with abwehrschlacht done by patrick

this is an interview i have conducted with a fairly new war/black metal band from the u.k the band mixes in both the rawness of old-school black metal and the uncontrolled violent hatred of the most intense war metal bands out there. fans who enjoy their black metal intense,raw and not over-produced will love this band!!!!
patrick and winter torment web-zine

interview with erich von falkenhayn vocalist,guitarist for abwehrschlacht done by patrick

1.hails!! how is your week starting out my friend? please tell the readers a little about yourself.

Hails! This week has started off good thanks; I’ve been working outside all week which is never a bad thing; I work as an archaeologist. Further to that, I play guitar and sing in Abwehrschlacht, the Great War Black Metal band.

2.when did you first discover metal? who were some of the first bands you listened to? who are some of your "current" favorite bands?

I first discovered metal back in 1987 when Kiss released Crazy, Crazy Nights. Until then I didn’t really listen to much music but that totally blew me away. I was about thirteen and until then that was the heaviest thing I’d ever heard(!). My Uncle gave me an album of theirs (Dressed To Kill) and I played that LP until the groves wore out. But then I discovered Iron Maiden and all the Kiss went out of the window, a little later I heard Reign In Blood for the first time (about 1988) and all the Maiden stuff went out of the window! I had very strict rules on what I couldn’t and couldn’t listen to back then! Nowadays I listen to a lot of Black Metal, most of it from the 80’s to the early ‘90s when the scene was good. Burzum have always remained a firm favourite, but as for modern BM, I’m mainly listening to Wolves in the Throne Room a lot now. I also listen to a lot of other music outside of BM, I’m a big Johnny Cash fan and have been exploring a bit more Country music of late. I also love Krautrock and a lot of other psychedelic rock bands. I like experimentation when it comes to music.

3.when did you guys meet? was it long until you formend "abwehrschlacht"? what is "current"line-up? for readers unfamilar with abwehrschlacht how would you describe bands sound?

I have known ‘Erich Friedrich Ludendorf’ since my school years, as long as I have been listening to metal, in fact. Abwehrschlacht has always been around, by that I mean, in my second BM project ‘Immanis’ (not the modern Polish outfit), ‘Erich’ helped me out by playing guitars on my promo tape I recorded in 1993. So Abwehrschlacht is, in a way, an extension of that band, only dealing with different subject matters. The current line up is ‘Erich Friedrich Ludendorf’ on Bass and myself ‘Erich von Falkenhayn’ on Guitar and Vocals, supported by Drum Machine. Ludendorf also is the producer of all the sonic violence. We play very raw, low-fi, militaristic Black Metal.

4.abwehrschlacht is just yourself and erich friedrich luden dorf.when u started the band did you plan to keep the band a 2-person band or have you all searched for more members for a full-band?

Abwehrschlacht exists only as a recording band at the moment. We sometimes talk about playing some gigs, but we have yet to fix dates. So at the moment we are a two man affair as we work well together and know each other well enough to allow the recording processes to go smoothly. There has been no search for any other members, there’s no particular reason to bring more into the battalion for reasons already mentioned. recently sent me a "advance" copy of your upcoming debut demo "kaiser schlacht". how long did it take you two to write/record the songs on this demo? are you happy with how everything turned out?

The recording process was a weird one for the demo. The songs were actually recorded back in 2008, so they are quite old now. But there is a bit of an interesting story behind some of the tracks. The original intention was to record a song that lasted the full length of a CD, about 80mins. The first track we recorded, Blood Red Moon, was actually recorded during the full moon of December 2008 (perfect timing…) and was intended to be the beginning of that epic song. We had about five recording sessions for the song, but soon realised that all we were doing was writing separate songs and linking them together to get the long song we wanted. We managed to get about fifteen minutes of material together (you can hear this on our Myspace page as the ‘Untitled’ track) but also realised that at least two of the songs were strong enough to stand alone, these became Blood Red Moon and Weapon Be Thy Name. Then as the principle songwriter of Abwehrschlacht I came up with Die Sturmtruppen and Meat Grinder separately. I don’t like taking time over writing songs, I like things to remain fresh, so I don’t remember the exact time it took, but it wouldn’t have been long. Similar with the recording process, we try to do as fewer takes as possible of songs, again to preserve the freshness and original feeling. I’m happy with the final result, I don’t like over polished, over produced Black Metal, so to me the rawness is what I’m after and I think we got that. mentioned the copy i have is a "advance" so i was curious do you all have a release-date set for it? will you all self-release it or look for a label to possibly release it on?

There is absolutely no set date for the ‘proper’ release of the demo. We are planning on releasing it on cassette, the Old Way… But my job takes me to far flung corners of the world, so actually getting anything done is a miracle. We are looking at no release date until September 2010 at the very earliest, and even that is a conservative estimate! It will be self released, just so we are in control of every aspect of it.

7.the main theme for the band seems to be war mainly world war 1. have you always been interested in reading/studying about war? what is it about world war 1 that fascinates you so much?

Yes, absolutely right the main theme is World War One, the name Abwehrschlacht is taken from the German Military Doctrine of the latter stages of that war. I have always had a massive interest in studying military history and for the past six years I have been lucky enough to work as an archaeologist on First World War battlefields. We have excavated trenches and mass graves amongst other sites and this has given me great inspiration to write about the brutality and horror of that war. It always surprises me that a lot of Metal bands seem to dwell on the Second World War, yet the Great War is a relatively untapped resource for material. It is really fascinating as it ushered in the beginning of the new modern age. The war changed everything from the way the soldiers fought, to society, to the breaking down class boundaries, to industrialisation on a massive scale. So many things were changed by it, it is hard not to be fascinated…

8.this is going to sound like a joke question i know {but it is not intended as one} do you think we will see world-peace in our lifetime or ever? seems like they get close then someone does something to fuck it up.

I think humans are predestined to continue war as long as they exist. We will never see wars like the Great War or the Second World War again, but there will always be conflict wherever there are people. There are hundreds of wars raging across the world that are hardly ever reported, stuff happening in various mid African states that no one in the Western World cares about because there is no oil there. War is also a political means to an end, so as long as we have politicians we will have war. I believe it is human nature.

9.i know like myself you have been a part of the metal scene for 15-20 would you say the scene has changed. do you feel it has gotten better with technology or worse?

Ha Ha, this is a question quite close to my heart. Yes, back in the late eighties/early nineties I used to tape trade heavily. My first two bands, Xaztur and Immanis were very involved in the underground BM scene back then. I look back on those times with great fondness, I used to love the idea of finally tracking down a particularly difficult to find release. That has changed massively now with technology. With a few clicks one can find the entire back catalogue of a band and download it in seconds. I feel something has been lost by that immediacy. People talk about having weeks and weeks worth of music on their computers but how much of it do they actually listen to? I’m a collector, I always have been and always will be, but even I am starting to bend towards downloading obscure albums just so I can actually hear them. It’s good to be able to check out a band before committing to buying one of their releases, but I still feel like something is missing. Also the actual feel of the ‘underground’ is missing now. Back then it felt like you were part of something, a movement of like minded people. Now, it’s more detached, more clinical. I know there are people trying to get back to how things were (we are too, with our demo tape release), but we will never truly relive those times. They are gone.

10.when did you first become interested in playing guitar? are you self-taught or have you had lessons?

I became interested in guitar when I became interested in Metal, but could never afford one until I was about 17. I bought a bass when we formed Xaztur and basically learned that way. I’m totally self taught.

11.who are some of your influences/favorite guitarist? do you play any other instruments?

I don’t have a particular favourite guitarist, but as for influences or Abwehrschlacht, I would have to say Burzum, Venom and early Bathory. It’s not that we strive to sound like these bands though, but I guess part of their sounds comes through naturally. I like a lot of hard core punk as well, so I guess the simplicity of that comes through as an influence. No, I can’t play anything else. also handle the vocals for the band. when did you start singing? who are some of your favorite singers?do you do anything special to keep your voice/throat healthy?

Again this goes back to the Xaztur days, when I was vocalist for that band. And again my favourite ‘singers’ would be the ones from the bands mentioned above. I do all I can to keep my voice unhealthy! This is raw Black metal after all!

13.are either of you currently working with any other projects/bands?

Erich von Falkenhayn is currently rehearsing with an old band he was in over a decade ago that are in the process of reforming. They have nothing whatsoever to do with the Black Metal scene. I have nothing else but Abwehrschlacht. We both created the ‘Ninja Metal’ band Sudoku as a joke a few years ago, but that is on hiatus at the moment:

14.everyone has their own idea on what black metal means. so i would like yours what does "black metal" mean to you?

God, this is a tough question. How long have you got? I got into BM because of the imagery, the mystery, the danger and dynamism of the movement as it was back in the early 90’s. This no longer exists, with over produced bands popping up everywhere, all sounding the same. Look at the old bands from what is now called the ‘second wave’. Not one sounded the same, even though they were coming from the same influences. Nowadays BM seems to be anyone that has corpse paint on playing at a million miles an hour. It’s lost its way. It’s become commercialised and lame. It’s splintered off into numerous offshoots, all of which have no variety within their own circles. It’s an amorphous mess that needs heavy trimming. To me, BM is someone with a conviction that what they are doing and creating is right. It’s that feeling of strength and power through conviction, not the mindless copying of what has gone before. Black Metal is a strange enigma because it seems like it should have conservative boundaries but it should also strive to be dynamic. I’d far rather listen to a band like the enigmatic Ordog from Scotland with their mystery and creativity than some band like Ov Hell or Dimmu Borgir with their unit shifting production and imagery. are a part of england's metal underground. so i was interested in your opinion of the scene there? i have heard some great bands from your country.

To be perfectly honest I am not really involved in the scene as I was nearly twenty tears ago. I know very little about what is going on, so I really cannot commentate on that. I try to check out local bands that play where ever I can, but where I’m from there are not many venues for that kind of thing. That, I think is real shame.

16.who are some of your all-time favorite u.k bands? are their any new up and coming bands the readers should watch out for?

As I mentioned earlier, I think my favourite band that ever came out of the UK are the almighty Ordog. But finding their stuff is nearly impossible. It took me over five years to track down their first LP, and I only just learned the other day that they have three demos, when I thought they only had two! They’ve long since split up, but if you can get hold of their stuff they are amazing. Obviously Venom rate very highly on my list of UK bands along with Motorhead, Priest and Maiden (I threw off my teenage tunnel vision and got back into them…). As I mentioned before, I don’t really know much about the UK underground as it stands today so it’s difficult to comment. I will say, I saw a very young band called Fortress ( play the other day and I admired their balls to stand and play music that isn’t popular with their contemporaries. Check them out.

17.well my friend we have reached the end of the interview.thank you for taking the time to fill this out. do you have any final words for the readers?

Thanks Patrick, it’s been a very interesting interview and also my first for over fifteen years since I put Immanis on ice. Check out our stuff on myspace and keep watching for the Cassette release of the demo. Weapon Be Thy Name!

to listen to abwehrschlacht's militarist black metal check out the bands "official"myspace page here: