Hellride music (2004)

It's not often I get to interview true legends, so I jumped at the chance to exchange words with the most prolific vocalist in Black Metal history, Attila Csihar. The man has worked with Mayhem on the seminal De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas album, Anaal Nathrakh, Limbonic Art and most currently, Sunn 0))). This in addition to his own projects, the legendary Tormentor, Plasma Pool and the Black/Tech band Aborym. Now that's a fucking resume, son! Atilla talks about new 15 year retrospective album of his career, his views on religion and music, and much more.

Hellride Music: Greetings from the States and thanks for taking time out to do this interview, Attila. It must be nice to reach a point in your career as an artist and musician where someone actually comes up with the concept of paying tribute to you by releasing a "Best of.." (or in this case, a "Beast Of..") album. That has to be quite an honor. How did the idea of "Attila Csihar-"The Beast Of" come about anyway.

Attila Csihar: Hello Chris and thank you for your words! Yes it's a great thing to have this album and I'm also proud of that it came out in your country!

I had the idea to do a compilation since 2001. I had collected many unreleased materials from the past 15 years, so I started to sort the things out slowly already by that time.. I was in contact with other labels too but finally Southern Lord was more interested. Also thanx to my friend Steve O' Malley.

Hellride Music: What can we expect from this album in terms of music and packaging? How were the songs compiled?

Attila Csihar: They are unreleased versions of the coolest songs! Some of them are from rare old releases while others from demos or remixes and some others are even from old tapes! For example the Aborym tracks are remixes and the Tormentor tracks are from the original unreleased master tape while the Mayhem's are from a compact cassette, there is a live track from Plasma Pool and some interesting side experiments.. so all the recordings have their own story. All the tracks are from different periods and from different moods...

When I chose the more interesting tracks, I went down to my friends studio, to put together the final result...Usually I'm working with Gyik in VAA Studio here for the masterings. As I mentioned it was a longer process.. First we made the remasterings and mixes then we took care of the final order of the tracks, the spaces among them, and of course the soundscape. Finally it turned out also pretty long, its all together 15 tracks over 88 minutes.

The artwork was done by Steve O' Malley who is actually doing art works for Southern Lord releases. For the front cover we used a picture from the first Tormentor photo sessions from '87. The CD will contain a booklet with some info about the tracks and the bands, plus like a hundred photos from my story...

Here is the track list:

Aborym: Out Of Shell (2002 remast.), Plasma Pool: Chanceless Religion (1992 live), Tormentor: Heaven (1988 remast.), Korog: Worshipping of current (2002 demo), Anaal Nathrakh: Atavism (2002 remix), Mayhem: Cursed For eternity (1993 rough mix),Plasma Pool: Story of Flying (1992 demo), Professor Fate: Ghost dance (2002 demo), Limbonic Art: Serpently Inspired (Spontaneous Jamming, 2001), Emperor: Funeral Fog (1999 remast.), Plasma Pool: False the Saints (1992 demo), Aborym: Here Is No God (2000 remix), Mayhem: Freezin' Moon (1993 roughmix), Tormentor: Trance (1988 remast.), Sunn O))): Decay - the Symptoms Of Kali Yuga (2002 mp3 format) 24:11

Hellride Music: From a listener/fans point of view, that's an excellent package. Not only almost an hour and a half worth of music, but all the photographs and liner notes as well.

You've got an amazing history that must make your head whirl looking back at it.... , vocals on Mayhem's heralded De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas album, there were the years with Tormentor, the eclectic Plasma Pool, collaborations with Emperor, Limbonic Art, Annal Nathrakh, and now with your own Aborym, Professor Fate and Korog projects. It has to be tough to pick, but which project is the most satisfying to you? Why?

Attila Csihar: I like all of them for different reasons. Tormentor was one of the best in the 80's, Plasma Pool was an incredible feeling to play live, it was a great honour to play with Mayhem then to do a cover with Emperor, and was blackened fun with Limbonic Art and Anaal Nathrakh. Professor Fate and Korog are some side things for the future... so it all has different meanings to me. The Aborym Fire Walk With Us! album was maybe the most cool so far and I also like a lot to experiment in different fields... so I'm very proud of the SUNN O))) track for example (which is in mp3 format on the CD)!

Hellride Music: Can you elaborate on those current projects? Also, tell us a bit more about your work with Mick Kenney on Professor Fate.

Attila Csihar: My main band is Aborym. Professor Fate is a side thing for the future - we will do an album before or later it's a kind of weird groovie stuff with vox., Mick plays all the instruments but on this recording I played the guitars too. That's a cool collaboration.

There is a another plan called "Born To Murder This World" with Mick, Shane (from Napalm Death) and Necrobutcher (from Mayhem) too... time will say how it will happen. Also recently I helped out in the Norwegian Keep Of Kalessin, Obsidian C. and Frost for a 4 track EP. They are both from the Satyricon line up. It was amazing to play with them! The EP will be out quite soon, by the end of September (at FaceFront Records - Norway ). Obsdian C. is Warlock on the strings and Frost is incredible.. and by now I have already played together with 3 of the greatest drummers in Black Metal to me: Hellhammer (from Mayhem), Trym (from Emperor), and Frost (from Satyricon)... and also it seems Bard Faust (ex-Emperor drummer) will play some live guest-drums with Aborym on one upcoming show in Moscow...

Hellride Music: Well, you're definitely keeping busy. Tell us about the famous collaboration with Euronymous on the De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas album. How did he approach you to do vocals? Did you have a feeling back then that this album would be something for the ages?

Attila Csihar: It's strange that it was more then 10 years ago... Euronymous had reached me because I was his and Dead's favorite vocalist when I played with the old Tormentor.. A strange sign that my artistic name was "Mayhem" in Tormentor while the band Mayhem already existed in Norway but I didn't really hear about them until '91 or so.

Hellride Music: You also have been working with Sunn 0))) as of late.... recording vokills for the upcoming White 2 album as well as joining them on-stage at the All Tomorrow's Parties fest in London. How did you get to know O'Malley and Anderson? How was the live experience? Do you see yourself collaborating with them in the future?

Attila Csihar: Ah that's a great collaboration! It was the idea of Greg and Steve from before, and I was glad to hear about that. They are the masters of Doom! I was busy with the new Aborym album that time and later shit happened with the state in Italy, so I had to record the vocals later in Rome since I had to stay there until my things were cleaned up. From this point of view it was good luck because I recorded the vox in Temple Of Noise Studio (the same where we recorded the Aborym albums) so I could work very well with C .Ice. It is like ancient dark ambient music I loved from the first listen... Then we played some live gigs together with SUNN O))) in this year. Honestly the gig on "All Tomorrow's Parties" was one of the best in my life! There were thousands of people and however they were shocked, they liked our show a lot. As I heard later, even BBC radio broadcasted this gig and it was on live also on Internet radios. What a surprise!

Hellride Music: Speaking of your time in Italy, in November of last year, you were arrested in Italy for possession of Ecstasy and hash. Can you comment on the circumstances surrounding this and where does everything currently stand? What effects will this have on your projects?

Attila Csihar: The police found more drugs on me then its allowable there. I was arrested until things were cleaned up. It was proved that I'm an artist, having a life ,etc. so later I was released. Anyway probably I will have another final trial to finish this story. I was quite surprised on the so many shits about us especially in the Italian press (it seems I'm not the most needed man near the Vatican). Shit can happen but I'm not alone with this drug shit in the history of music I guess, and man I'm not a criminal, I'm an artist! Okay the problems were enough, so I stopped using "heavy" drugs. But I still like to have a big fat joint with my friends because it's cool sometimes. That's a unique thing. I don't care what the today's common people think about that. Besides the music which is the most important in my life, I have family and we need to survive. I already worked in many fields, from teaching of math and physics to film productions and sound studio,s even to my house buildings beside the music. Recently I start my new label called "Saturnus Productions" (www.saturnusproductions.com) to re-release some of my more rare old work, but I can assure you will find also other interesting things on our website. The basic concept is simple underground: mail order, signed personal copies and free-downloads...

Hellride Music: Something that must be an oft-asked question for you given the history of your musical projects... What are your feelings toward religion...obviously not just Christianity, but all religion in general? Do you think there is a life beyond our existence on this planet?

Attila Csihar: I think there is a possibility to gain a higher level of existence behind secrets and that this mankind is mostly kind of primitive... It's a good question anyway. I think most of today's religions are completely false. For example, they are only adoring the "good god" which is false since there is the opposite "the bad" in nature too... It's very ironic to see the people going to churches to pray to the deaf walls. They think that will help... I think we are fucked-up by the morals that we had to learn from the first days here on this planet. I believe that man has a transcendental seed and aim of life but people don't like to think about that as long as they are under this hypnosis called the system. But the graveyard is coming closer every day and every minute so later comes the paranoia of death instead of satisfaction. Also it's too hard to face with the lost life-times, so most people get depressed near the end. They start to feel that all of what they have done was nothing more then weak fading material, useless back to the ground.. Its sad. I'm saying this at least "Love the Death as the Life!" on the second Aborym album.

I don't believe in the bullshit of Genesis. I think there were many civilizations on this planet before us. They completely destroyed themselves or just left this word behind to somewhere else. I believe in the other dimensions, mystical forms of energies, and the possibility to find another way to fuck off from here. We have a life and we should search for this, instead of living a periodic ant-slave life...

Hellride Music: Coming from the earliest days of the Black Metal movement, do you feel that the "true" black metal has been cashed in at all for marketing's sake? Compare Cradle of Filth let's say, to the early days of Tormentor. Has the movement been bastardized at all or is it just natural progression?

Attila Csihar: We need true music! We had enough of the commercial false crap!

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