FRANCE MAY NOT BE YOUR USUAL PORT OF CALL WHEN IT COMES TO HUNTING DOWN SOME NEW BLACK METAL, BUT PERHAPS A CHANGE OF DIRECTION IS NEEDED IF HELL MILITIA ARE ANYTHING TO GO BY. WITH THEIR THIRD FULL LENGTH JACOB’S LADDER BEING UNLEASHED LAST FALL AND STANDING OUT AS THEIR BEST SO FAR, WE CAUGHT UP WITH GUITARIST T.PERSECUTOR TO DISCUSS THE EVOLUTION OF THEIR EVIL CREATIONS.
You had said previously that when recording previous album Last Station On the Road to Death you could only record at night and when you were “fucked up”. Did you follow a similar sort of structure when writing Jacob’s Ladder?
No, for the first time we almost recorded everything by daylight and in a more classical way of studio recording. We of course still got brainfucked but this time we had almost normal hours. One of the main reasons was that the Bayern in winter is freezing cold and we were warming up with wood and alcohol…
Has the reaction to Jacob’s Ladder been as good as you had hoped?
Reactions have like always been great or flat. We aren’t doing a kind of music that can please everybody and anyway that’s not the purpose either. The main surprise for me was the reaction to the cover. I really thought people would hate it, and that’s what happened when a small preview was first out, but then the reactions were really good about it and I got many demands about why we didn’t use it for the LP or if we would do it as a poster. This proves that Black metal people are not just like usual metal heads that don’t give a shit about other kinds of perverted arts, or that people into Hell Militia have tastes close to ours.
How do you as a band feel your sound has progressed since the Last Station… record?
I really enjoyed recording both. Let’s say that the previous one needed a fucked up recording and this one needed a more focused recording. Of course we can’t record anything just like if we were going to some kind of work, but still this time, we were clear at least half the time of the recording. Also this time, I have followed the mix with the studio far of 9000 km. That was pretty interesting as a change and I think it gave the sound engineer more personal touch, even though we have given it our soul as well.
Jacob’s Ladder is a story from the Bible and it would appear almost mocked on the album artwork. How prominent is religion in the music of Hell Militia?
Hell Militia is not meant to gather people to any faith. It is more directed to people that are already into the Faith or the great politic disorder. I don’t feel there is mockery on the cover, but I intended to show the twisted part of the prediction – vision of Jacob, and in a more modern way, how people appeal to high moral values in words, but have very different acts.
Is there a particular reason as to why you have decided to play without a bassist?
We have only changed our bass player. Now our VJ, S. is playing bass in the band as he is a bass player, and we are already working with our new VJ. In fact, the band is taking a new turn and I really believe the new line-up will be the best thing that ever happened to the band since I first recruited members.
Many people complain that it is hard to do anything original with black metal nowadays. How do you feel you differ from the rest?
A famous French writer said in the 17th century that all has been done and said, what is left is how it is done. You know, I’m into many different kinds of art, and nobody likes changes and things that have been done before are always better. Of course I loved the beginning of Black metal, but I am more excited now about many things. I think that there has been a lot of great works in all kind of arts recently. I like my old 1990’s records as I like many today. Most people who complain are people that have lost the flame and are stuck in a fake golden age.
How do you feel about bands like Watain bringing the occult and black metal into the mainstream?
Watain is a great band and they haven’t changed since their success. They didn’t sell their ass and deserve it. Who could blame them? No matter how much you sell, as long as you make it for a higher goal.
The French BM scene seems to be ever growing. Is there a mutual respect between the bands?
It depends, there are many bands that are linked with strong brotherhood like Hell Militia, Aosoth, temple of Baal, VI, Decline of the I and many others. I don’t think it’s growing especially, it’s mainly more known.
You have all been known for taking on many musical projects at once. Has Hell Militia now become a priority?
It has become my priority ever since the second album was out. Jacob’s Ladder is really the first album that has been made as a whole and with all my time. I have worked the artwork and the songs at the same time, taking all necessary time. Then we all rehearsed until we were satisfied and really felt it. This album has opened new ways of working for me, and I already see how my writing has changed since.
2012 saw a large step for Hell Militia as you signed to Seasons of Mist. What are the plans for 2013?
We are working with the new line up, and we have quite a bunch of shows and festivals, so time will be needed to take that new album on stage. Then I have started to bring new songs to the others, and I am starting the new artworks as well.
Published in Ghost Cult Magazine