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Byron (Bal-Sagoth)

Interview with Byron from Bal-Sagoth
by Alex Farmakis at 23 May 2004, 7:46 PM

Metal-Temple's growing bigger and bigger day by day. Alex is our new editor and his first mission was to e-mail Interview Bal-Sagoth's singer, Byron. The band's currently in the recording process of their new album and Alex had more than a few interesting questions to ask Byron. Behold as what Byron had to say follows!

Your sixth album will be released soon. What should people expect from that album?

The sixth album is the climactic culmination of the Second Trilogy, and will be another wondrous and terrifying voyage into the baroque and fantastic Bal-Sagoth multiverse. The opus will be the darkest and most sinister release for some time, and will embody a fusion of both the essence of our earlier work and also our more recent output. Fans of everything that Bal-Sagoth have released, from 1993 all the way to the most recent album, will find something on the sixth album to both thrill and enthrall them. Our loyal supporters will certainly find many dark and sublime new surprises awaiting them. Watch for it during the fourth quarter of 2004!

I like very much all the lyrics of your previous albums. Will the lyrics of your new album be like them or will you have another subject?

The lyrics of the sixth episode will continue my epic fantasy/sci-fi occult mythology saga which ultimately forms the thematic basis for all our releases. The legendary Obsidian Crown saga from our second album will be continued on the new release. There are epic fantasy stories, historical tales, astral horror stories, and much more on the new album. Some plot points will be resolved, and certain questions will be answered. The origin and fate of certain characters will also be revealed. Essentially the lyrics of the new album embody a new and thrilling journey into the arcane realms of the enduring Bal-Sagoth mythos.

Some years ago there was a rumour about you. According to that rumour you had said that you will make only six albums and then you will stop playing music under the name Bal-Sagoth. Is there any truth in this rumour?

Perhaps. I have not yet decided whether the sixth album will be the final Bal-Sagoth opus. Perhaps I will continue the saga in other forms of imaginitive media, or perhaps we will continue creating Bal-Sagoth albums for some time to come. Rest assured we have plenty of material remaining in our twisted imaginations, certainly enough for a further six albums if we choose to continue! The legend of Bal-Sagoth is eternal, and it will never be forgotten.

According to your official website your drummer Dave Mackintosh will leave the band after your live performance at Wacken Open Air Festival. Have you found anyone to take his place yet?

We have not yet begun the recruitment process for a new drummer, but we will begin seeking a replacement sticksman later in the year. Jonny will play drums on the sixth album (as he did on our first three releases), and once we have completed the writing and recording of the opus, we will begin auditioning drummers. Already we have had many people contact us offering their skills, so finding a new drummer should hopefully not prove too difficult.

This year you will play live at Wacken. How do you feel about playing live in front of so many people in one of the greatest music festivals in the world?

It should be cool to finally get to play at Wacken. We have certainly played for large crowds before, for instance in London, France and Italy, but Wacken will be the single largest event we’ve played. We expect all the loyal die-hard Bal-Sagoth fans to be causing carnage and mayhem down the front!

As far as I know from a friend of mine who has the Greek Warclub and the Greek website (Nikos hails) some years ago you said that you would like to come to Greece to play live. Is there any chance to see you here sometime?

Yes, plans are currently underway to arrange some shows in Greece. We are hoping to play some shows in Athens and other locations in Hellas sometime around the release of the sixth album. We should have recruited a new drummer by that time, so that is the schedule we are aiming for. In the meantime, if any other Greek promoters would like to arrange some shows for us in the near future, please get in touch either via Nuclear Blast or via our official website www.bal-sagoth.com.

Which of your songs do you prefer to play in a live performance?

We like playing any of our songs from all our albums. There are particular songs which do seem to be fan favourites in the live environment. Sometimes I even let the fans choose which song we will play next. A dynamic and frenzied crowd response always makes the performance more enjoyable for us.

What is the audience’s response to your work and how is  peoples’ reaction to your live performances?

Generally we get a small but loyal and 100% dedicated core of our fans turning up at our shows; people who are driven by their passion for our work. Those people who are at the shows to see the other bands on the bill are often bemused, yet invariably entertained, by our unique brand of sonic carnage. We always appreciate the die-hard fans who attend our shows… they alone make the gigs worthwhile.

What are your musical influences?  Which are your favorite bands?

My favourite bands are Bathory, Celtic Frost, Slayer, Morbid Angel, Deicide, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Emperor, to name but a few. Other musicians whose work I admire include John Williams, Basil Poledouris, James Horner, Ennio Morricone, Howard Shore, Lalo Schifrin, Danny Elfman, Wagner, Holst, Berlioz, Mussorgsky and Avril Lavigne (!?).

When you are not in the studio or on tour what do you do for a living? Do you have jobs?

Some of our members have jobs outside the band, while some of us do not. Occupations which we have been involved with in the past include such diverse things as shark fisherman, glass blower, goat-herd, bell-ringer, and many others.

In conclusion would you like to send a message to our readers?

Mighty hails to all the supporters of Bal-Sagoth reading this. Many thanks for this interview. Don’t forget that our new range of merchandise is available soon, including t-shirts, embriodered baseball caps, hooded tops, string tangas, spaghetti tank tops, hot panties and more. Check out www.rock-bottom.de for more details. And be sure to visit our official website for information on the forthcoming sixth album and all our legendary releases so far: www.bal-sagoth.com. Imperius Rex!



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