Brutalism - 2003

16. 11. 2003; interveiw by: Twan

For seventeen years, Attila Csihar has been involved in music. Since then he has become one of Extreme Metal’s most prominent and admired figureheads. Whether he’s writing or recording with his own bands, or guesting on other bands' records, he is, and always has been, heavily involved in the Metal scene in some way. When he formed Tormentor in the mid-80s, in his home country of Hungary, it wasn't long before the band began to gain notoriety as one of the most extreme groups around at the time. Whilst playing countless shows, the band recorded a demo CD, “The Seventh Day Of Doom”, which was only given a limited release.

A few years later, despite recording a proper full-length debut album "Anno Domini" and having gathered quite a following, the band split up. The album didn't get released until later on in Attila's career. But Tormentor were, and still are, highly regarded as one of the seminal extreme metal bands in the first wave of the genre. Based on this reputation, whilst simultaneously working on his own dark electronica band Plasma Pool, in '93 Attila was asked to sing for Mayhem. It was a role he accepted and with Attila, Mayhem soon recorded the extreme metal masterpiece "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas", which went on to be one of the biggest black metal albums of all time. This was the second wave of influential black metal, and once again Attila was at the forefront. Mayhem's impact was widespread and is rightly credited with spurring on a whole new generation of black metal bands. When Mayhem split in '94, Attila took some time out from the music scene. But he resurfaced in '98 when again, as a respected black metal figure, he was asked to join Aborym although initially he only provided guest vocals on the band's "Kali Yuga Bizarre" album. Before long, another of black metal's leading bands, Emperor, asked him to sing on a track for the "Tribute To Mayhem" album. Revelling in the chance to perform one of his former band's songs, he agreed and the record was released in '99.

Meanwhile, Tormentor's debut album was finally given an official release in '95, and became a cult album. After the working on the Mayhem tribute album and on the back of the success of Anno Domini, Attila along with the rest of Tormentor decided to reform and they recorded a second album, "Recipe Ferrum" that year.

Continuing to work on numerous side-projects, Attila still had other bands approaching him to sing on their albums. When the original Aborym singer left to pursue other musical ventures, Attila took on the role full-time. He was the vocalist on the "Fire Walk With Us" album, in '00, and its follow-up "With No Human Intervention" two years later.

Since then he has also collaborated with Anaal Nathrakh, Limbonic Art and SUNN O))) and more recently than that with Frost from Satyricon and Carpathian Forest among others.

Please give us a short introduction of yourself?

Hello Twan and Brutalism!

My name is Attila Csihar and im from Hungary. I've been playing extreme music since '86, when we formed our first band called Tormentor. Over the years i played in many bands and this compilation was made to let the people to hear a little bit about the more interesting ones. This compilation contains only unreleased versions of the songs what i have collected - but have not released - from the lats 15 years. We were playing underground music so some of these recordings are in rough quality, some are just demo recordings or from strange experiments while others are remastered excerpts from already released albums. Of course im still playing music and recently i wanna start my new label called Saturnus Productions (http://www.saturnusproductions.com) to make available or re-release some of our old recordings which are not more available officialy. E.G. Tormentor, Plasma Pool, ..also i have some different versions of some songs from Mayhem and actually i wanna start with them. Also there will be free downloads and mail-order stuffs, t-shirts..etc. on the website.

Do you see yourself as a worldtraveling singer? Just singing with bands you like?

Well yes recently i play in some bands from different countries. But all are representing different styles! My main band is Aborym from Italy/Rome and we are playing quite futuristic Black Metal (a mixture of Black Metal, Industrial/Techno and Classical musics) – we have 3 albums already and we will play more in live now, our next gig will be in London „Slim Light Club" which place seems to fit very well to our style. And there are the side bands: SUNN O))) from U.S.A. is an extremely slow ambient Doom band with Steve O' Malley and Greg Anderson where i do guest vox; Keep Of Kalessin (with Obsidian and Frost from Satyricon from Norway) is more like traditional but very fast and technical Black Metal – i just jumped in to record a 4 track ep recently called "Reclaim" will be out pretty soon – i really enjoy myself to play with such great musicians; Korog (is a weird blackened rock band from Hungary) it was needed to have a band while i'm here at home in Hungary so i joined them about 2 years ago for one album which's recording was just finished recently (not sure where will it be out); and there is Professor Fate from the U.K. which is more for the future with Irrumator from Anaal Nathrakh - its some "groovie" weird dark experiment.

Also recently i liked to help out here or there with one-song guest things just to help and push the U.G. scene a bit, like with FINNUGOR (is a Finn/Hungarian Black metal), and with YCOSOHATERON (Italian extreme noise-industrial)...

What is your criteria to sing for a band? Who would you turn down?

Of course first i need to feel good impression and artistic interest to do something, i mean i need to like the music and to feel sympathy. Then i need time to do that, my life is the music so i love to do it as i can but of course there are certain limits. I like to experiment a lot and i can learn from them. I like to do new and different things not boring but developing myself. But of course i do not do anything for any crap bands.

Thanx for the technology its more easy to work together nowdays then in the past. We got the internet and the computers so its pretty easy and fast to keep in touch and send files over. Its also more easy to do recordings so its all cool i think. But in the same time if you are an artist, you wanna do only better things then before and thats the reason why its pretty hard sometimes. If you give your name that must represent a kind of level and fullfil some certain expectations from yourself and from the audience. Its sometimes hard like a training. I remember before i was almost deadly tired in the studio from the stress – it could be very hard when something is not working like you wanted – but recently i got more used to it. Of course i still give the maximum i can but its for the feeling and not for the more spended hours or thousands of takes in the studio. And i can never be satisifed only maybe years later when something become "legendary" and i still like it.. then i can say myself that was cool or awesome..

Do you try to put something of yourself in the songs of other bands? Giving ideas to the band?

Of course yes!! But i dont like to force or diffine the others what to do. Thats the underground, this artistic freedom!

How big are you involved in the music of your own bands/side projects?

See above...

Isn't it tiring to sing in so many bands? What do you do to keep your voice in shape?

Yes of course its tiring and its very good to keep the voice in shape. But as i told by the time you got stronger and can take more. I just love to do the shits what im doing. And one more which is important: you put the energy but its returns twice later.. when you hear the positive feedbacks from the friends, fans, and also from the press it fills you up again. Its a carefull thing. If you do some unexpected too much strange thing you can fail, but for me the underground is about this artistic freedom so luckily if you dont do too many mistakes or you change or correct them the people can still kindly respect. Anyway even the strangest music find its audience by the time..

Think it will help when you paint your face for the bands so people don't see they are dealing wit you again?

Well im doing the face paints more for the rituals and not for hiding myself from the people. I love the archaic art and if you see the ancients they used masks and different face painings.. its quite traditional.

With which band(s) would you like to records something? Or maybe trying to do a complete other musical genre?

Recently we made a couple of new recordings so im more into play live in the next period. Anyway we had some plans to do a Professor Fate debut album and another plan for the next year was called "Born To Murder This World" with Shane from Napalm Death, Irrumator from Anaal Nathrakh/Frost/Mistress/ProfessorFate, and Necrobutcher from Mayhem. We will see how it will going..

Wasn't it strange to record with Emperor a song of Mayhem? Did it gave a special feeling?

Nah.. that was a honour! The guys from Emperor asked me to do that cover and i really appreciated this idea since even i really liked Emperor that time. Their actual album "The Athems.." was one of my favs. I really like to play with cool musicians...

Are there other things you are doing in the metal scene? And how is the metal scene in Hungary?

Well i guess i mentioned all the guys im workin with recently. But i have many contacts with other bands from the scene form the whole world luckily with most of the greatest bands too..

Hungary is just a small country but as i sense recently the scene is getting better here.. its always waving you know.. the scene sometimes stronger here or there on the world, then it changes. But in Hungary what i like that recently more bands started to visit and play us. Myself also wanna do some organisations here for the future via Saturnus. I dont play too much live in Hungary, i prefer to stay a bit in the shadow here.

How did the UG scene changed after all those years? Is it better or worse? What could be changed positively for metalheads?

Oh its changed a lot. The underground is definietly got stronger i think thanx also to the faster communications. Of course its different. E.G. before there were only B/W flyers posted while today the same goes by the internet...Well i like that the scene still excists and thats the most important. Some bands got very big.. then they stop or change.. then comes another.. you know. I dont like to talk bullshit on any bands from the extreme scene since i still prefer -even the weak ones- to the commercial crap.

Do you collect music albums? On CD or vinyl? Or do you something collect totally different outside the musical business?

Well im not a big collector. Before i had a vinyl collection but sold them to one of my friend who is actually a big collector.. of course he promised that he will never sell them away so i can reach those old vinyls too if i need. I just got a lots of musics.. waves and cd-s also still some vinyls but mp3-s too. I just like to listen what i like thats all.

I cant stick myself to collect anything but i approciate if someone has a cool music collection.

Anyway im trying to collect at least my releases.. im not sure how many excist together with the bootlegs..haha.

What is your biggest fasination? What can hold your mind for days? Of course i love and fascinated by the music. The next thing is the sound.. i love the high quality sound systems such valve amps and high-end stuffs. Then im fascinated by the ancient cultures, mythologies and phylosophies from before the christianity. Especially the ones from like 5000 years before... EG hindi, maya, egyiptian..etc.

I also love the nature and the wilds.. but still like the "UFO" and the future/fiction stuffs ...

Do you have interesting plans for the future? Raise a family? Important to continue the family tree?

Actually im having a family. I got a wife with two kids. My son called Arion is 8, my daughter Julia is 6 now.

We have a part of a house with a small garden near a forest in the mountins here in Budapest. We should still finish the down floor here which is hard. Even i stopped music for some housebuilding reasons too (between 94-97), but when you got a family you got to take care such things you know..

Any statements about anything or nothing?

I wanna be one of the bests in what im doing..

Original on:

Back to interviews

© Bubak; bubak(at)irongatenet(dot)net
Since: 2006