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Divine Element

Interview with Divine Element from Divine Element
by Ilias Halastanis at 20 March 2011, 10:19 PM

Ilias had an interesing interview with the Black Metal band DIVINE ELEMENT who hail from Greece. Let's read what they had to say.

How you decided to start up with the band?

I think we started our band like all teenagers or inexperienced musicians in general do. More like desiring to be part of a subculture, trying to ape our heroes in order to borrow some of their fame, rather than having a clear image in our head of what we wanted to create of convey. Bands that will tell you otherwise are more usually liars rather than mature, elite individuals.

How do you come up with your band's name? Did you have something particular in mind?

We didn’t have anything in mind. Like most heavy metal bands, we searched for something grandiose and memorable. Our singer had initially proposed the name “Divine Element of Darkness” which was cut down to what it is today. In the beginning, it was an aesthetic choice that reflected an ambiguous inclination towards transcendence. Because every choice of words, even an aesthetic one, has inherent personal meaning, today we are able to further conceptualize it. The Divine Element (as, in man) is, in a metaphorical sense, what drives us forward to expand, to further our knowledge, to create, to make reality out of our dreams and ideas. It’s this indefinable thing in our psyche that makes us want more than just eat, shit, fuck and die. That essentially, pushes us forward to become gods.

You believe that bm should be commercialized and accepted by the music society? or remain underground and unholy?

Let me answer this with a question: How would you think blackmetallers would react if one day, the whole world including all mainstream television, radio etc were bewitched by a grand occultist blackmetal wizard’s spell and suddenly were turned to worshiping black metal? BM has a premise that’s all powerful especially in the underground; that only a minority, an elite, can truly ‘get’ black metal, so whenever something transcends the confines of the underground, then surely it must be garbage that’s made for 10 year old MTV people. This sometimes is the case, but for the reason that black metal is just too extreme in order to be handled by an audience without any aesthetical experience of extremity. Mainstream audience is in fact much more critical to bad songs, production, instrumentation, and stupid lyrics  than blackmetallers are, because, unlike them, they haven’t got used to listening to sub par music. Of course, there’s sub par in terms of technicalities/pure sound and in terms of spirit… So, in reality, there is no simplistic “we=elite, rest=crap” whomever’s mouth it comes from. Ah, and nothing “should” happen. I’d feel quite uneasy in a society which embraced black metal’s standards as the norm, though.

Which bands do you believe are the most succeeding ones, which of them you believe are the best, and which bands deserve to be idolized.

Nobody should be idolized. Especially black metal musicians, some of the most dishonest, egoistic and manipulating individuals in the arts and humanity in general. Success is interesting to me only on a subjective level, which means that successful is whoever is able to convey to me meaning, feelings of immensity, catharsis, and perfected musical creation. Some of them: Primordial, Moonsorrow, Bathory, Burzum, Blut Aus Nord, Deathspell Omega,

Do you believe it is right or wrong for various BM artists to openly express political ideals and beliefs through their music?

I believe it is essential that BM artists (or whoever artist for that matter) express their opinions and ideals, whichever these might be. First of all, because personal emotional honesty is a factor that creates art of major significance and impact: if one is passionate about communism and about black metal, he’d be an idiot not to create communist black metal because some short-sighted purists claim they can’t, or shouldn’t be combined. Secondly, art and especially music, has the ability to move people in a way that’s non-reachable by social discourse alone. It gives the ability to the artist to endow his or her convictions with the awe-inspiring, otherworldly emotional force that is art of a poetic character. I am not sure yet, if artists are the best kind of humans to look for answers concerning political matters (they tend to be driven by emotion rather by logic, but then again, also by honesty)

Many BM artists tend to use their music to serve their NS ideology, also forming an entire BM genre dedicated to it, the so-called NSBM. What’s your opinion about it?

Fascism and black metal share a couple of traits: an artificial sense of superiority towards others and misanthropy. One can easily see how these two can be interrelated. They’re usually both the results of social ostracisation. The most typical way to shut yourself off from an aggressive environment is to demonize and dehumanize it. “All people are inferior subhuman vermin” and “everybody’s sold to the Jews” comes from the same spring. Mostly from getting bullied in high school, by the way. It’s all dissociative fantasy in the end, that substitutes judgment and intensive, personal thinking for direct action towards a simplistic, clear cut goal, thus becoming the domain of mostly testosterone-laden idiots. The true “elite” anyway doesn’t feel the need to be self-declared as such, it’s perfectly happy (and safe) doing its machinations in the dark. (how many openly fascist great thinkers or artists can you actually find? Definitely none in the NSBM underground)

What is your point of view and personal ideas and opinions concerning satanism and the occult. Explain why. Describe how your routine is influenced by it and how it merges with yourself?

The occult sub culture is another form of social acting, exactly like false superiority and misanthropy, which is why it is so connected with black metal. It is also based on the elitist premise that there are certain things that cannot be shared with the common public, so they have to be codified so that they’ll be understood by the worthy ones. The fact that you’re not supposed to un-codify them and thus prove or explain their validity makes it a perfect social tool for teens to show off that they “know” or “do” something, without ever having to provide any evidence about it. Occult knowledge may or may not exist, but again, hardly on the booklets of black metal bands.  Satanic philosophy on the other hand, is something than can be actually useful to an individual, but as an extreme form of egoism, we find it quite appalling.

You see any future in black metal today and why? You think we should look from the past or sail anew to the future?

There is always future. Unless some atomic superbomb comes falling at our heads anytime soon. Black metal is good as a building mould: as Deathspell Omega have said, it hasn’t even came close to make reality any of the promises it holds. It needs to implement the raw psychological factors of its sound together with intensive imagination, effort and honest, adventurous thinking. Darkthrone clone bands churning out mediocre riffs and croaking about Satan is worse than talent shows with Britney Spears covers.

Speak about 5 to 10 sinister things you would like to torture with, emo kids and new wavers.

We don’t like to torture people according to what they look like, listen to or behave. On the other hand, this wouldn’t feel so bad on those that actually do.

Are you recording for a new album? Or are you rehearsing in order to record a new album?

We are on the process on writing our second album, so we are rehearsing now and then. It’s going to be a great effort from our side, so if you found the debut at least interesting, you might do well to check our websites from time to time or catch us at a live performance.

Thanks for your time guys. Any last words?

Thanks for the interview. We're slowly functioning again, writing material for the second album. In about 2 months the real work is going to start, so await news very shortly. One thing's for sure though: It's going to be big. Very Big. It's going to kick everybody's ass. (f*uck modesty, if you don't even believe it yourself, how the hell it's going to happen???)



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Edited 22 May 2022
 

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