Of course, Ur was one of the most important cities in Sumer, the ruins of which were discovered in 1617 by the Italian nobleman Pietro Della Valle. In 1917 it was archeologically researched by Englishman R. Campbell Thompson, but completely systematic excavations were done by Leonard Woolley in 1922. UR band from Colombia was formed in 2004, with original members Sargathanas on the vocals, Raven on the bass guitar and Baalbeherit (drums), which is active in UR with Hastur on guitar from the beginning till today. Thus, Atanh was added to the vocals, Shadow to the other guitar and F as the bass player. The first material was released in 2016 as a triple split with Morbid and Sauthenerom, and in the same year they released "R'Lyeh" debut. Music is true to classical Black Metal with lyrics dedicated to occultism, Sumer, Necronomicon and I definitely had to use it for this interesting interview. So get ready for an exotic ride with UR! Hastur (guit) replied.
Greetings to the mystical UR band. You will be probably a very unknown term for our country, so I would like to start by asking your name. The famed Sumerian city dominated by Nanna, or Sin, and one of the most magnificent ziggurates in Sumer was built for him. Why did you chose name of this city and what does it mean to you?
First of all greetings, We chosed the name based on that city near Eridu dated since the El obeid Period, one of the most ancient Sumerian cities and one with an incredible historical and arqueological value. We were always very interested in sumerian mithology so I think thats the main reason for the name.
Nanna was (or is) the God of the Moon. Does it have any greater significance to you? Do you often watch the Moon as a celestial body? Do you feel any special emotions when it is "hanging" in the night sky as our satellite? Do you also find inspiration from it for your music?
Of course the moon plays an important part into that musical inspiration, creates that feeling of infinite calm and at the same time despair and anguish, I often watch it and just think about the perception that a man of that time (Urīs time) would have had during long full moon nights surrounded by sand and Zigurats staring directly into the moonīs shine.
Since you are a rather unknown band for Slovakia, could our fans be aware of the cause of UR formation? What was the initial idea to form the Black Metal band? Why Black Metal?
Well at that time (we are talking about 2004) we were just a group of friends that usually rehearse on weekends, just for fun, and since we were always fascinated with both sumerian mithology and Lovecraftian horror decided to pull up a band with that kind of sumerian conception in mind. The reason for being a Black Metal Band is because our own fascination with the possibilities for that specific genre.
Your "R'lyeh" debut came out in 2016 probably at your own expense. Is it expedient and convenient for you to do it in this way than with a label? Where do you see the greatest benefits when you are independent? How would you react if there was an interesting label for re-release of "R'lyeh" and other materials?
As always there are pros and cons, being the main pro that any earnings regarding the album go directly to the band, but the biggest con is the distribution effort which have proved to be a pain in the ass some times, which is more easily done through a Label, but we didn't have support from any local Labels so we decided to do it on our own. If there is a good proposal in the near future with a good label, we would be up to the task.
How did you compose your material three years ago? Where did you get the greatest inspiration whether from music or even non-music spheres? Have you used any special rituals before or during recording, or everything went smooth from your consciousness / subconsciousness?
Not as smooth or conscious as we'd have liked it to be, jaja, but these are songs that we have put great effort into, we were mainly inspired by Lovecraftian lore, now for the musical inspiration, I think that each one of us had their own musical influences and used them to play their part into the final outcome. Regarding our rituals, we have our own personal rituals to prepare before rehearsing, recording or playing live, in the end each one of us look at the other and let know the everyone that the time has come!
Maybe you have already prepared new tracks for your next material. Could you tell what type of format it will be and what will or wont be different from "R'lyeh"? Did something change in your attitude or writing process?
Yeah at the moment there are 4 new songs, we haven't discussed the format yet, but the movement and diversity on riffs and lyrics has evolved which will make for a more compact, direct and absorbing material than the previously released songs.
Since you became interested in Sumer? We still know a little about Sumer from the overall puzzle which may not be ever folded. Some sources indicate this nation could have come from India, others say they were the original inhabitants of Mesopotamia and descendants of Ubaid culture, but the truth is still hidden. Definitely, each civilization was influenced by another older one, but at Sumer we know almost nothing. No civilization of their level existed before them...
I think that the main reason why someone gets interested in Sumer is their antiquity as a civilization, and their impressive knowledge of the sun, the moon, the planets and the stars, which gives them that context of sages, the eldest of all astronomers, mages and alchemists.
Have or would you ever want to look at Tell el-Muqayyar in Iraq, once called Ur? Have you been attempting at least mentally to get into these places at some point, and imagine how this civilization lived and worked? What fascinates you most about their culture, religion, magic, or anything else?
Of Course I would like to, those are some enigmatic and fascinating ruins, you can always think about them and travel in your mind, but I really hope I can visit the place some time soon. The most fascinating thing about them is their depiction of the creation, of the earth origin, the human race and the other races origin...
H. P. Lovecraft was also an admirer of this culture, which was discovered just during his life and he was probably fascinated by the revelation of the "curtains" of Sumerian civilization, which could have been reflected in his very first mythological stories. Therefore, linking the oldest cultural center with mythology and magic or horror was then strongly original. Do you believe in the connection of Sumerian deities and the magic of Necronomicon?
I really think that there is a strong connection between both, and of course that feeling of infinite smallness, that sense of anguish and despair and devotion to the old and new gods present in both Sumer and Lovecraft stories.
Do you own any version of Necronomicon? Have you ever attempted to practice this abominable grimoire or you think it is just a hoax and a trap for inexperienced wizards?
I have the William Simon Burroughs compilation, very interesting, wanna try it? Proceed with caution then...
What do you think about so-called Anunnaki, who were gods for the Sumerians, supposed to come up with a lot of information and experiences? Are the books of Zecharia Sitchin interesting for you as for example The Twelve Planet? Do you think Anunnaki could be Nephilim mentioned in bible?
Could be, there is no lack of writers that describe "gods" from ancient civilizations as unearthly beings from out of space, is always interesting to read different opinions and angles regarding this topic.
You come from Colombia, a land of drug empire, but also with beautiful nature and the like. What is the Metal scene over there? Perhaps the most famous band will be the powerful Internal Suffering...
Well Colombia is a lot of things, not just drugs, there is also a lot of good metal in Colombia, bands like Masacre, Etnocidio, Esbbat, Utuk Xul, Solemne Mortis, the list goes on and on, there is a lot of excellent material in Colombia, a lot of bands to be proud of...
Ok, that would be all from me, thank you for an interesting interview and wish UR everything what you want to achieve, once again thanks!
Thanks to you for the opportunity and interest into our work, wish you the best! \m/.
Hastur 22. 9. 2018 Mortuary
The Mad Arab