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András Nagy (Sear Bliss)

Interview with András Nagy from Sear Bliss
by Yiannis Doukas at 29 April 2008, 6:54 AM

During the ending of 2007 SEAR BLISS offered us another one perfect album entitled The Arcane Odyssey. Take the opportunity from this interview and try to listen to them, because are one of the most well - hidden secrets in the European underground Black metal.

Hello Andras, congratulations for The Arcane Odyssey. How is life in Hungary? Your new album is now in stores can you tell us your impressions? Are you satisfied with the result? Is it something you would like to change now?

Hails! Everything is fine over here. We have a quiet period now, as the shows will start in spring, so right now we are enjoying winter. Regarding The Arcane Odyssey I can tell you that we are still really satisfied with even though we started recording it nearly a year ago! There are always a couple of things which could be done better but all in all we are really pleased with the result. I strongly believe this is our most complete album so far.

What were the band’s activities after the release of Glory And Perdition? Are you satisfied with the support of Red Stream? How did you achieve tThe contract with Candlelight?


After releasing Glory And Perdition in 2004 we started working on our DVD Decade of Perdition which was a really hard work and took a lot of time. Beside this we re-mastered, re-mixed and partly re-recorded our first three releases which may be released later this year. Plus we had a European tour and live shows meanwhile, so as you can see we worked a lot in the last few years. Red Stream was cool to us but their abilities were limited and we felt the need of switching label. We wanted better European distribution and more efficient promotion, so we were looking for a new home for SEAR BLISS.

Candlelight showed interest and actually I was already in contact with them because their sub - label released the FOREST SILENCE (I play the guitars in that band). I sent them our Glory And Perdition album and they offered us a deal for three albums. This is how it happened. I’m glad we can work with them.

   

The production is once again perfect. Can you give us more details about the studio’s days? Did Viktor Scheer help you and in what details? Do you find the role of producer necessary?

This was the longest time we spent in studios. We started the recording in March and we got the finished masters in July. We used different studios this time and of course there were some breaks between them but all in all it was a really hard and long work. I personally enjoyed it very much as I like working in studios, it’s a very exciting process for me. It’s great to see how an album takes its form step by step, though at the end I was really tired. I have never spent so much time on an album. We focused a lot more on the details now, every tempo and every note was well prepared.

Viktor’s help was crucial. At the first albums we thought we don’t need a producer but later we discovered how important is to have a producer. Especially longer works like our new album, the musicians can not control themselves. Viktor’s advices helped a lot to make a better album and to reach a higher result. Also, he is a great friend of ours and he knows us very well plus he played in SEAR BLISS back then, so it’s a great advantage without doubt. Personally I believe he is a really professional and highly underrated producer in the metal genre.

Your artworks and covers are always brilliant. Same goes with The Arcane Odyssey and the mighty cover of Jozsef Tari. What are your thoughts as you watching it? Is it possible for cooperation again with Chris Verwimp in any future releases?

I watch the last two artworks quite much as they’re hanging on my walls. They look amazing, really. Jozsef Tari is probably the most underrated painter in the scene. He is incredibly talented. He uses magnifier for the small details. Too bad our albums are not available in vinyl format. Especially the artwork of The Arcane Odyssey means a lot to me as it depicts a great ancient Hungarian legend. I also like the artworks of Kris Verwimp and I can imagine a cooperation in the future.

The cover is a representation of Hadak Utja saga, isn’t it? Can you tell us more about this saga? Did the lyrics of Blood On The Milky Way and Path To Motherland have any connection with this? What are the other songs concepts?

Hadak Utja is one of the earliest legends of Hungary. This saga is about the origin of the Milky Way in the Hungarian mythology. Csaba (son of Attila the Hun) was the commander of a mighty army. Whenever the Hungarians were fighting against enemies, Csaba and his army helped their Hungarian brothers and fought by their side. Many years after their death, the Hungarians were fighting in a desperate battle. The pagan Hungarians sent their message to Csaba with the wind to get help. All of a sudden the dead army of Csaba was seen on the nightsky as they rode towards the enemy. The enemy was frightened to death as no one dares to fight against dead souls.

After the triumphant battle was won Csaba and his army went back on the nightsky towards east (where the Huns originally came from), leaving the path of stars with the sparkling hooves of their horses. The sparks remained there forever and the legend says this is how the Milky Way was born. That’s right, Blood On The Milky Way and Path To The Motherland are strongly connected to this legend. Being the first and last song of the album together with the artwork give a frame of the whole concept. However the rest of the songs have nothing to do with this saga, you can find the same fighting spirit in them. Actually, you can find it in each of us in the band.

How did the band compose the songs? Does someone come with an idea and you all work together or do you combine riffs that before existed as units? The parts of the brass instruments are from your trumpet player? Is he a metalhead? Its surprising Zoltans head – banging on stage, like Araya!

Usually we write music at home. It’s rather a personal thing. We don’t jam. We show our ideas to our each other and when each of us is satisfied then we start building up the song itself. Sometimes we write complete songs at home. We don’t just collect our riffs. During all these years we’ve learnt how to build a song up. The trumpet and trombone parts come from our trombone player. He is a true metalhead! I think it is a very rare thing to find someone who plays these instruments and is a metalhead at the same time. I think we are lucky.

I read somewhere that the bands name is from a Baudelaire’s poem. Do you like poetry? What excites you in Baudelaire’s poetry? Are there any other poets you like? Also what does give you inspiration for your lyrics? In most of them I see a description of some images with a specific feeling behind them. What is the role of lyrics in your music? Is there a possibility to determine a song like a soundtrack for these images I mentioned before?

Yes, I like poetry. Baudelaire’s poetry is very obscure and weird, quite sick sometimes, I like his decadent poems. The same goes for some Hungarian poets like Ady for example. The inspiration for my lyrics comes from my emotions. The lyrics plays an important role in SEAR BLISS’ music. They are not poems, their role is rather like an instrument. The lyrics together with music give a whole image. They play exactly the same role as an instrument. I listen to the music when I write these lyrics. I try to find the message what the music conveys. Music comes first always.

Have you ever wrote a song for a woman, or inspired by? Do you feel that love is the biggest emotion that a human can feel? Is it necessary to experience it for the understanding of hate? How thin is the line between these emotions?

Good question. I’m sure most Black Metal band would say, no we sing about Satan and not girls but I can tell you that yes, there are songs that were inspired by a girl. For example, the song called Soulless on our second album The Haunting. But there may be other songs inspired by someone, maybe not directly but certainly there are. I don’t think love is the biggest emotion that a human can feel. Everybody experiences it. I don’t know how thin is the line between love and hate but sure it is. By the way, I’m not in a love mood for many years now and I’m not driven by love. It’s dangerous.

How is the scene in Hungary now? Is there any new band you would like to tell us? Unfortunately, despite the fact that you have nice bands you are more known for TORMENTOR, which is a pity for the other groups. By the way TORMENTOR were great!!

The Hungarian scene is quite small but we have some very promising bands over here. For example, I would recommend FOREST SILENCE. Not because I’m playing the guitars there but because it’s a very special band with unique music.

What are the future plans for the band now? Do you plan any further live performances? Except Hungary which other countries have you visit? What would you think would be the best band for SEAR BLISS to open a gig?

Yes, we will play a lot of shows this year and we also would like to make a European tour. Right now we are looking for the possibilities. We already had two shows this year. We played at ’Ragnarok Festival’ in Germany in March which was fucking awesome. One of the best festivals, really. Plus we played a great show in Romania a few weeks ago. Besides Hungary we’ve played in Holland, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Italy, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Romania and Lithuania so far. I don’t know for which band would be the best for us to open but we already had the chance to open for some really great bands like SATYRICON, MAYHEM, MORBID ANGEL, etc.

As this year is coming to its end would you like to tell me some albums that win your interest? What are your feelings about the today’s black metal scene?

I have quite mixed feelings about today’s Black Metal scene because I miss the innovation and originality from most of the bands. Of course, there are exceptions. The new MAYHEM and the new BLUT AUS NORD album really impressed me.

The re – release of the Pagan Winter demo in how many copies was? I cannot find it and I think there is a lot of people who is trying to get it. Is it possible any new re – release?

The Pagan Winter re-release is a really hard to find item now. The original demo tape is even more rare as it was released in 1000 copies. I have seen it on high prices on the ebay once or twice. The re-release contained a very special epic 12 minutes long bonus track, which is one of my favourite SEAR BLISS songs ever, so I’m a bit disappointed that it didn’t got that much attention. By the way, the CD was released in 3000 copies I guess but I have no exact information about it. Good news is that it will be re-released again this year with two more bonus tracks and fully remastered, also it comes with a totally new booklet design. Also our first two albums will be re-released later this year with bonus tracks and totally new sound, etc.

Thank you a lot Andras, hope see you in Greece for a live. Metal blessings, close as you wish.

Thanks a lot for the interview. We hope to play in Greece one day. It would be great. Cheers.



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