Gateway to an Eternity of Death
Finland has fling out many great Death Metal bands from DEMIGOD, DEMILICH, ABHORRENCE to current underground killer bands as VORUM, KRYPT or SWALLOWED. One of the newest hopes of this cold scene is MAVETH commando existing since 2007, their kind of Death Metal is darkest, raw, contagious, devastating and demonizing, you can still make certain of by their two official releases "Of Serpent And Shadows" EP and "Impious Servant" demo released this year. This interview was made by Deathaura and Diabolical, and on the other side at the keyboard was Christbutcher (guit, vox).
Hi Christbutcher, you were a part of Dethroned, is there any chance there will be a reunion or it's a definite end?
That's an impossible question to answer at the moment. I have the desire, and so do the other members, but nothing has sprung from that desire as of yet. There might be some studio recordings in the future, there might not. We just have to see how it goes. What does time allow and all that.
You've been coexisting within the shores of the death metal scene for quite many years, have you got the same passion for metal, evil and hate still burning in you after all those years?
My passion for true death metal is as definitive now as it was when I first heard "Altars of Madness" in 1990. I wouldn't be complete or myself if I wasn't in a band. I MUST create brutal, dark, hateful music. "Must" is the only word I can think of which fits how I feel about it. As long as I'm able, I will. It's just a part of me, as necessary as my lungs and heart.
You’ve moved from the US to Finland, how come and why have you picked up Finland actually. How long have you been living in Finland actually? Were there any things which you have had to adjust yourself to because of a difference to what you were used to from the US? How about Finnish prohibition, haha...? Do you feel more freedom here or whatsoever?
Well, my wife is Finnish and she didn't feel at home in the U.S., it wasn't as great as she heard. Also, some things were going downhill fast in my life. I quit a great job for an opportunity that didn't pan out unfortunately, and my savings was dwindling into nothing FAST. So, we discussed the idea of moving to Finland and did it. A lot of things are different here. Food, people, LANGUAGE! That was and still is the biggest issue for me. Anytime I start to feel settled in, I'm quickly reminded that I'm an outsider. But, I'm trying to learn the language. I don't drink anymore so, I don't get invited to BBQs or parties anymore either. Hahaha. I guess Finns don't like sober foreigners around when they're shitfaced and don't want to try speaking English anymore. Most people do speak English here, at least a little bit. That's the only reason I'm able to function and work here.
I’ve heard that metal is dead in the US... Most of the Europeans are moving back to home, just because it's not fun for them anymore there and the "land of freedom" has become rather a phrase than a reality. Do you, yourself, see any differences and what is closer to you, metal made in Europe or the USA?
Well, it matters not where the music comes from really. But, the scene is so crowded with shit music that you have to be open to find bands from anywhere in the world. I think the Europeans who are leaving the U.S. are finding out that it really is just a catch phrase. My mother land is filled with lies and corruption and no integrity from the McDonald's fed, MTV worshipping populace so, nothing will change. It will eventually become a tyranny, and I feel I left at the right time. I'm a proud American and always will be, but the U.S. government is burning paradise so to speak. Politicians........ you know how they are. Finland will remain my home, until further notice.
Maveth came into existence in 2007, how hard it was to find musicians with similar ideas when it comes to music creation? Who has come with the band's name and what does it actually mean?
It wasn’t very hard at all actually. Varkaus is a very small town so, word spread fast that I moved here and was looking for a new project. Ville and Mikko K. already had the desire to be part of a true death metal monster so; it was just a matter of making a few phone calls and meeting up at their practice studio. I wrote 95% of the Dethroned material, and that fact stays true in Maveth. They knew what to expect from me, and what I expected from them…….. no surprises. It was awkward at first maybe, but once I wrote ”Black Lord Titans”, ”Forge of Gadrial”, and ”Of Serpent and Shadow” we knew where we stood. Everything just flowed from there. The name Maveth comes from Alcameth, a good friend of mine. He also writes our lyrics as he’s finely tuned into the occult and an amazing writer. Maveth is an ancient urgatic god of death, and the Hebrew noun for death itself.
You've got a demo Impious Servant and a 12"MLP Of Serpent and Shadow. Is there a full-length in the works? Is it going to be released by Blood Harvest again? Is there any other info you could share regarding the number of tracks, the studio, which you will be using etc.?
We’re writing the full length now. It should contain 8 or 9 new songs and I think we’ll record in the spring or summer of 2011. We’ll do the tracking and editing on our own as we have in the past, with help from our friend Kalle once again. And we’ve got a few options in mind for the mixing and mastering…… we’re 80% sure which studio we’ll be going with on that, but we’ll reveal the details when the time comes. Blood Harvest is releasing the vinyl edition of "Impious Servant" as well in the future if nothing changes and if they want to release anything else from us in the future then we'll be honored! Both of our cd releases are sold out. They were very limited; only 100 copies of each and it will remain so. But, Nuclear Winter Records will release both on one disc very soon with new cover artwork and layouts combining the releases. So, anyone who missed out can still listen to what we have to offer so far.
There's an undeniable magic which vinyl still has even after years and your 12" MLP is a proof. What's your attitude towards vinyl format, are you a collector, doesn't matter if it's vinyl or CD...?
We're so very proud of the work Blood Harvest did for us on that release! We couldn't have asked for better quality than that! They gave us total freedom of design, even though they had a few different ideas than we had. We are all collectors of vinyl to a point. There’s just something so genuine and special about a good vinyl release. But, we’re also cd collectors. My personal collection is heavily dominated by cds, partly due to the fact that I lost my ENTIRE collection in a fire just after I moved to Finland. Cds, vinyl, cassettes…… everything. I'm rebuilding one release at a time but some were irreplacable. So, Jani and Ville have much more impressive vinyl collections by far these days. Hahaha.
There was a line-up change in 2009. What was the reason Mikko Argillander left?
Mikko A. didn’t just leave; he was removed from the line up. He was showing little interest in Maveth, and was having some personal issues which kept him from coming to practice. The chemistry wasn’t there all together anyway. But, once we kicked him out the only one we had in mind was Jani. I was happy to move back to the guitar position to make a slot for him in Maveth. He’s 100% death metal and the chemistry between the 4 of us is rock solid, and makes us feel like a complete unit.
Was Antti Boman (DEMILICH) just a guest/session musician? Don't you count with him for the future?
Antti Boman just recorded those back up vocal parts as a favor to us. We were talking after an Immolation show, I asked if he would be interested in doing it for us and he said yes. That simple. I’ve been a fan of Demilich, and Antti’s vocals for so many years so, it was amazing to have him on these recordings. We’ll bring him in to do every recording as long as he’s willing to do so!! I used to do that style of vocals quite well in the past, and I wanted it to be a part of Maveth in key parts since I've never done any recordings that way. But, I feel they are no longer as sick as they used to be anyway. So, with Antti available, why do I even bother trying!! hahaha
How important is the image of Maveth? Do you consider it as important as the music?
I don't know if we have an "image" really. But I can say I've never respected a band that doesn't take their music, or themselves seriously. And I do feel that the way you present yourself does effect the integrity of the band.
How do you actually create songs in Maveth and what are your sources of inspiration, be it bands or whatever?
I just write what I want to listen to. I'm definitely inspired by other bands, and anyone who has heard Maveth, Dethroned or even Cursed Divinty (there may be 20 or 30 of you out there) can probably easily hear my personal influences. Many of the songs for Maveth contain riffs I've had since I was 14 or 15, and never found a place for them until now. I made it a point to do so when I started writing the Maveth material. Now that the others have the feel for it, we're all starting to contribute to the writing process for the upcoming full length. I feel Maveth is my proudest moment, and the next recording will contain a few of the greatest songs I've ever written in my own opinion. I'm anxious to see what the underground thinks of it.
When it comes to the design matters, you've been cooperating with Daniel Desecrator. Will you cooperate further in the future, who's this guy actually? There's also a cover from Marco Hasmann on your myspace page. What release is this one going to be used for?
I just ran into some of Desecrator's work online and I was blown away to say the least. In fact, the image used for the cover of "Of Serpent and Shadow" was one of the first images I saw and I immediately contacted him since that image was the very definition of what Maveth is about. It belonged to another band but, they never paid for it so we took it. We will use him on all Maveth releases in the future as long as he's willing. The Marco Hasmann cover was comissioned early on, and was replaced by the Desecrator artwork. We don't feel it will ever be used at this point. Maybe it just doesn't fit us afterall. The concept was mine, and the end result is fucking great....... but just not what we're looking for I guess.
You were a part of the bill of the the Black Mass Ritual festival, where, among others, Dead Congregation, Vorum, Grave Miasma performed. How do you remember this festival? Did you spend the whole 3 days there? Is there anything in the works for the next year and how many fans did attend?
We were absolutely honored to be a part of this fest! It couldn't have been better in my opinion. So many fucking great bands and definitely the proper atmosphere and attendance for us. We were eclipsed by Grave Miasma, Diocletian, Cruciamentum, Dead Congregation........ they just slayed all!! I wasn't there on the first day due to a scheduling conflict at work but, Ville said Vorum were sick as all! We played just before Grave Miasma, and I had to stay in the crowd covered in pig blood since I didn't want to miss a single song by washing my face in the back. But, I think maybe it was fitting for this particular performance anyway! Attendance...... it was packed but, I don't know the numbers exactly. 400 or 500 maybe? 150 when we played at best, but no one actually knows who we are yet so, it was pretty great anyway. We will play Hammer Fest next year, that's the only solid gig I know of at the moment.
And when it comes to Maveth playing live outside Finland, have you been getting any offers lately? Are you still having contacts in the US in order to have the doors open there?
We've had a few mentions of us playing abroad, but nothing solid yet. But, if we can get some shows set up outside of Finland, we'll be there. There has been some mention of us playing Italy, and one mention of Iceland. We'd be honored to do so. We're so unknown that I think it'll take us a while to build any kind of following. I have many friends in the U.S. so playing there isn't a problem..... it's entering the country!! It's not as easy for foreigners to just show up in the U.S. anymore. I can come and go as I please of course, but the other members are another matter.
Many bands gave up on creating their own websites and they keep fans informed via Myspace which is the case for Maveth as well. The current trend is using Facebook, are you yourself a fan and a Facebook user?
I use Facebook now, but never used it that much in the past. Myspace is starting to be extremely annoying so I'm completing the Maveth website and will no longer pay any attention to the MySpace page. I think our drummer Ville will continue to update it though. He also runs our Facebook stuff. I'm not so interested in those sites for band promotion anymore. Once MySpace took away the personalization, it's useless. I spent HOURS designing and coding our profile, just to have MySpace delete it all without any notice. I can put that much effort into our own website and never worry about someone else deciding what my page looks like. It's a bit of a shame since I really liked bouncing around MySpace and finding new, unknown bands.
What is your attitude towards Islam spreading over Europe? This is a topic which is discussed a lot in the media last few months. What is the situation in Finland? Do you consider Islam the same "evil" as Christianity is?
I pay no attention to these things. Islam and Christianity are both a plague for weak minded fools. Any organized religion is just a safety blanket for children who are still afraid of the dark. I had someone try to convince me that the dinosaurs were the giants mentioned in the bible...... an adult man, teaching this to his children. I told him the only thing I have to say to that is "You should be ashamed of yourself for being a grown man and believing something that pathetic, and even more so for teaching such nonsense to your children." Trying to have a discussion with someone that ignorant is nothing more than a waste of breath, so I try not to do it or even think about it.
Do you manage to merge your regular job duties and playing in a band well? Are you giving it 666%, breathing metal 24/7...? What are the bands ambitions like?
My job has very little to do with my personal life. I find it harder to make time for the band and my family life. I have a wife and a 2 year old son, so my sacrifice to my music is my family. But, not creating music would be a huge blow on my own self, and thus would ripple into my family life so the sacrifice is justified. Again, I MUST create music..... I MUST perform live....... that is me.
As for band ambitions, we're doing it. Just keep writing the hate filled, vicious, dark death metal we want to play. It's as simple as that. Even if no one buys the cds, wears the t-shirts, or attends the shows...... we'll keep writing the music we ourselves want to hear. Hopefully someone else likes it enough to book shows for us to slay. We record cds in order to spread our music so we can get these shows. We don't play shows in order to sell shirts or cds...... the sales are just to get us to the next city!!
What kind of opinion do your girlfriends, wives have on the music of Maveth? Are your relatives sharing your passion for the band & music?
All our families are supportive. Even if they don't agree with our message, or our image, our way of doing things....... they all understand it is who we are. There is no conflict there. My wife is a death metal fan, she loves Maveth, but she's a bit biased of course! hahahah
Thanks for the answers...hail to goat!
And Hails to you for the support and giving this new incarnation some exposure! We'll do what we can to spread our darkness across Europe!
Christbutcher 12.12. 2010 Deathaura & Diabolical