Hello, I have found out your band only by chance on internet and I was captured by term Lovecraftian Death Metal. As I'm interested in H.P.Lovecraft and DM, I had to contact you. Please, write something about your band. What led you to found the band, what have you released till now etc....
SNAKES: Blessed Be! PHILOSOPHER was found in 2003 and plays in the original line-up since that time. When we built up this whole thing we soon found out that all members had the same level of appreciation and were fascinated by the works of Howard Phillips Lovecraft. Thus we decided Death Metal would be the MUSICKal "container" for our spiritual message. We released one Demo and two CDs since then. The Demo's entitled "Philosopher" and nowadays really hard to find, our EP "What Dwells Beyond" soon sold out in 2004, 2005 we released our current album "Thoughts" via Ruptured Silence Rec.. The album was recorded at Worldsend Studio. You may look at www.rupturedsilence.com to buy the album.
I'd like to know what style of DM you exactly play. Do you prefer US, or European way? Do you play more technically, or old school style?
SNAKES: We play the style that fits our message best. Our MUSICK exists out of subjective attributes.
Try to describe your debut album "Thoughts". Do you think it is exceptional by something? Are you satisfied with this stuff?
SNAKES: We are very satisfied with the output, taken the given time to record it. "Thoughts" definitely is stretching the boundaries of classical Death Metal as a genre. It is best to be heard as one compact piece of MUSICKal expression rather than an alignment of "singles". Do not shuffle the songs in order to keep the inner symmetries! As an old Turkish saying goes "In order to understand the ballads you have to listen to the ballads"- yet the overall MUSICKal structure make it a very enjoyable experience to connect to the inner key of the output. Once you find that key you might continue in your journey to the deeper meaning of things described on "Thoughts". Then, maybe, the experienced might understand.
In the older interviews you mention you are influenced by DM bands of 80-90's. What was your age at that time and how was you perceiving that monumental Death Metal boom, which was spreading especially from Florida?
SNAKES: We are inspired both MUSICKally and spiritual. Old school Death Metal is just a part of this. It appears to me that I find newer Death Metal bands less original and spiritually guided. Thus, they less impress and so inspire me.
What method do you use for song writing process? Do you have some special way?
SNAKES: Of course as every composer has itís own way to express his glimpse on the things that are called "MUSICK" when transformed into instrumental expression. While composing a certain pattern or part I use several techniques to become my own subconscious being thus connecting to the all-source of inspiration. Later I transform the reflections of my inspirational journeys into sound thus composing the whole song. It is - with a very close ear on every expressional detail - arranged involving the whole band.
What is most important to you in term of composition?
SNAKES: Subconsciousness. Being free of all influences thus becoming all influences.
Suppose that besides metal you listen also to different music.
SNAKES: I do. As I already hinted, in my opinion there only is one MUSICK. Everything that is truly inspired and no matter about the transformation, be it Death Metal or Free Jazz or Acid House. To give you the truth, currently I listen to only few music throughout the day. I don't understand the concept of music as "background noise", so IF I ever listen to a record I take the time and listen fully conscious and very closely. But that does not happen very often.
Many bands claim, they play absolute unique style of DM, not influenced by some. But subconsciousness is so strong, it remembers everything you heard, so you can be influenced subconsciously. In this case would exist the only explanation that really unique DM would be played only by MUSICKian, which had never heard this style. How could he compose this MUSICK style then, if he never heard this MUSICK?
SNAKES: You are absolutely right about that in my opinion. MUSICK is ALL about inspiration. Copying playing techniques and patterns might help but is NOT inspiration.
Do you prefer consciousness or subconsciousness at the song writing process? Have you sometimes tried to create MUSICK also under the thumb of drugs as e.g. ATHEIST, GORGUTS, CEPHALIC CARNAGE etc? Do you think there can rise specific hallucinate art after this manner?
SNAKES: I use the methods of old teached to me by greater men than I am. In my opinion drugs can be an effective way to "soften the threshold" between those mentioned states of mind. Nevertheless, it's the state that counts and everybody bears those states all the time thus making drugs in no way necessary if one knows ways.
Are there some limits of complexity? Can someone create music which nobody understands?
SNAKES: In my opinion there's strong linkage between so-called "personal" subconscious minds leading all in one pool, so to speak. So real MUSICK emerges all from that pool thus making it impossible to create something which can in no way be "understood" by no other human being. More interesting is the question how can someone reach that deep into the "pool" to create such masterpieces as the mentioned Gorguts or Cynic's "Focus" - but this leads us back on the subjective...
Why do you think Death Metal is absolute fascinating for some people and absolute disgusting for others?
SNAKES: How do you define Death Metal? Subjective thinking patterns I guess...not relevant.
H.P.Lovecraft influenced a lot of classic DM bands, but you are maybe the first in Germany, or am I wrong? How do you value national scene, e.g. NECROPHAGIST etc?
SNAKES: As far as I know, we're the only ones in Europe that are concerned on the great Poet's work. We are in contact to other Lovecraftian bands worldwide, such as the US "The Ziggurat" via a ring of knowledge. Besides that I'm not so deep into the local Metal scene, I'm not a very social guy, I'm afraid.
Do you think, your music is equally weird as tales of H.P.Lovecraft? Do you try to enrich your music by feelings, moods and atmosphere which glow from works of this American writer?
SNAKES: For a beginning, I strongly hope so. But as there's far more to HPL's stories than just the bare facts of the plot there's more to our MUSICK than meet's the adept's eye. Our MUSICK is how we express the feelings that emerge from us as a result of Lovecraftian atmosphere and our understanding of his and others poetic and quabbalistic work. Our Outputs feature some shorter instrumental pieces of a more "SPHERICKal" kind in order to keep the albums inner equilibrium, those completing the overall atmosphere of ageless fear!
What is your attitude to old German cultish DM band ATROCITY? Their first two albums "Hallucinations" and "Todessehnsucht" were in my opinion real DM jewels in technically complex DM. What do you think of their actual creation?
SNAKES: Actually I never heard of them.
H.P.Lovecraft. Your biggest inspiration. When did you met with his creation first time? What were your impressions after reading his works? And what were your dreams that night?
SNAKES: At the time I was a kid and the night I read my first Lovecraft Story "The Rats in the Wall" I couldn't close an eye - later to understand why! Man, I was scared that night; I guess I would have had interesting dreams had I just been able to sleep! Later reading Lovecraft inspired me to a series of paintings of which I dreamed. One motif of those dreams I found later on Morbid Angel's F-Album. Some of the paintings still exist but later fate decided the guitar as the main-way of expressing my thoughts.
If we take it little philosophically, where do you think Lovecraft had drawn inspiration from? It's interesting he was very unappreciated at that time, but today is worshipped as a cult, which has still more supporters...
SNAKES: This just giving you an impression of what hideous pieces of Art may lurk among Artists not known to society yet.
Imagine you'd have chance "to meet" with Lovecraft through necromancy. How would you react, what would you say and what would you ask him?
SNAKES: You really think I'd do THAT to Lovecraft?! After all he wrote on Necromancy?! I don't think it would be that interesting to meet someone of his genius in person. He exists in his work, and man, DOES he exist!
Lovecraft is no doubt joined with cultish book of Necronomicon. Do you think Necronomicon was only his fancy, or had it really existed (exists)? Do you think, provided that it would never exist, could someone write it today if he had sufficient knowledge and informations?
SNAKES: Does the world need one more grimoire? On that theme I suggest "the Necronomicon Files" by Daniel Harms an John Wisdom Gonce III- then decide by yourself!
Have you been reading besides Lovecraft also other authors? E.g. E.A.Poe, Arthur Machen, Algernon Blackwood, Lord Dunsany etc?
SNAKES: Of course, I strongly suggest Chambers and Smith, too.
What kind of fear is strongest for human according to you? Do you believe somewhere in cosmic depths exists ancient god Azagthoth, garrulous formless substance?
SNAKES: My beliefs about such matters cannot be subject of discussion here.
Do you already have prepared some material for next album? How will it be different opposite debut? That would be all, thanx for the interview. Can you write your Top 5? You have last words...
SNAKES: Yes, we are working on our next output yet, and from what I heard until now it will take everything one giant leap further from "Thoughts" - songwriting, arrangement, sound ... everything, just more MUSICKK! THX for the interview, hope to see you and all of your readers live next time! Check on our homepage for more infos and cool stuff !!! My last words are going out to those who understand and are adepts in the highest arts thus keeping the mythos alive, don't you forget the wonders of unknown Kaddath await the dreamer! Behold! CTHULHU CALLS!IA! KLU-LU FTHAGHN!
Lovecraftian Death Metal