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Helmuth (Belphegor)

Interview with Helmuth from Belphegor
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 18 April 2008, 11:59 PM

With the Eastern holidays at our doors we thought that it would be an excellent occasion to ask Helmuth from the unholy, blasphemous Black/Death metal band BELPHEGOR to give us an inside look at their masterpiece Bondage Goat Zombie. So, please enjoy the blackness of the demons that come with this band from Austria!

Hell greetings from the Metal Temple! First of all let me congratulate you on the new album, there is some evil stuff there!

Thanks for liking the new Werk. Hell yeah, we do what we always do, to keep the hellfire burning, to raise intensity and dynamic. Lemme tell you, we are now there for so much time, and it still is fun, the feeling to produce hard music is still in us, I’d say we are even more ambitious than ever before. Its amazing. I think, Bondage Goat Zombie is our most mature effort up to day, this time we have managed to melt ultra blastbeats and heaviness to one union. The nine tracks reached a higher level of dynamics and structured brutality. No bullshit when I say we will give the demons the strongest songs we?ve ever made. This album is fucking roaring like an M-16 firing and razing everything to the ground har har.

My first encounter with your music was in your Chicago Concert with ROTTING CHRIST. How was touring with my fellow countrymen?

Yeah, we have been touring constantly since November 2006 when the record Pestapokalypse VI came out, since there we played worldwide more than 140 shows and toured our asses off. Canada, three times Usa, Russia, Brazil, Europe, Mexico, lots of major summer festivals like the genius ’Wacken Open Air’ or ’Graspop’ in Belgium, to name a  few,….an unforgettable time. And also the last 26 dates Usa run was beyond amazing, we shredded our blast-hits into the crowd with the highest possible aggression.

Besides that, we had a great time, really cool and down to earth guys in IMMOLATION, ROTTING CHRIST and AVERSE SEFIRA and it was fun to sharing the stages, absolutely amazing. I had such a blast with my fucking Metal brother Themis. The first three weeks we get fucked up and totally wasted each second day har har.

Ok, let’s go to the new album, how did it take you to write the music in Bondage Goat Zombie?

I’ve bunkered myself with Serpenth and session drummer Torturer into our rehearsal room. We continued to develop and refine the songs over and over again. Never before have we spent so much time in the rehearsal room, and never before have we put so much energy in our new material.

I mean, Bondage Goat Zombie is typical BELPHEGOR, but we are a lot tighter on that album and had more rehearsals than ever before. Also the sound wall is intense as fuck and dominate, like a crushing extra punch in your face.

What is the meaning of the title? Is there a concept story behind the lyrics?

The topics are, Bondage, S/M, and the devil, it fits perfect to the majestetic hymns, this time the lyrics are focused on Marquis de Sade (1740-1814). Most people don’t realize, the word sadism comes from Marquis de Sade’s name. The album title fits perfectly with the concept, verses, thats always important.

BONDAGE: The album deals with bondage, S/M all the fetish stuff, you know and overall inspired by the themes in the work of Marquis de Sade. GOAT: Our trademark since the end of the 90s. ZOMBIE:  This goes along with my opinion that there are people who are brainless, fucked up zombies who sleep-walk the earth, infesting it like a fucking plague you know, its about rebellion, free will to take your own decision, follow your own path and do not let them break your will. In my opinion freedom is the most important thing in life.

You mix German, English and some Latin (I think so) in the lyrics. How did difficult is to combine all this to BELPHEGOR’s music?

Our sound has never been so massive and fresh, and I’m more than sure that this album gain a new dimension for the band. This time we increased the percentage of German poems again, next to Latin (church speech) and English. Each language has its own atmosphere, toughness in its pronunciation, thats the main reason why we have been mixing it since 1994. Besides, you can/t translate most of the old verses, poems, chants we use, cause the sense would be defaced. The lyrical content just has to always fit the cover/ photo/ booklet art and melt the whole into a cold unit and give the brutal music more power.

 The vocals sound more extreme than in Pestapokalypse VI; did this happen intentionally or it just happened in the studio?

Yeah, I entered the Studio and that was my goal you know, you hear the most aggressive and rawest vocal work I’ve ever done.

How difficult is to sing like that during live performances?

Always depends bro, I practice a lot that i can handle it.

What was your composing process? What is first the music or the lyrics?

I don’t compose fast, I started around May 2006 with the song writing process, about one and an half year i wrote and rehearsed for that werk. It’s always a huge challenge for me and i give everything for a new album, with each record we bring our sound onto the next level, thats the master plan.  We always want to offer the best to the demons who buy our albums and who support us with that.

The limited edition of Bondage Goat Zombie comes with a DVD; can you give us additional details?

Yeah, it’s the limited Digipak edition which includes a bonus DVD. There you’ll find the new video clip of the title track, in the typical BELPHEGOR charme. Behind the scenes, studio making of, live footage & BELPHEGOR maniac section. Release date was April 14th, worldwide, check it out.

BELPHEGOR’s lineup features two members and you recruit session musicians for the tour purposes. Have you ever thought of getting a full lineup and stop using session members?

Yeah, we always recruit experienced session members to guarantee the brothers an sisters an intense BELPHEGOR live inferno. I see it always as challange, to recruit fresh blood in the band, I always consider that as a chance to push the troup forward and thats the master plan since the beginning. You know,  It’s not a big deal, we are on the road all the time, shredding +100 shows each year. The BELPHEGOR core is solid and ready to kick some serious ass, thats all you need to know…

So, Belphegor is a demon who seduces people by suggesting to them ingenious inventions that will make them rich. How did you choose this as a band name?

Fitting our antichristian beliefs we choose to use a demons name as our bandname. According to medieval infernology Belphegor is said to be the demon of great discoveries and ingenious inventions. Since he was living in caves, the high priests threw down thousands of human sacrificed carcasses through shafts, to keep him mild and tame…perfect man.

According to demonologists Belphegor’s power is greater during April; this is why the new album was released in Arpil?

Behold! You learned your lesson Dimitris, yes we meant to do it, because we want to dominate the world har har. Anyways, BELPHEGOR will continue to keep the fucking devil and demonic spirit in metal music alive, thats all you need to know

This is your second album with Nuclear Blast. Are you satisfied with them? How did they contact you?

I don/t talk about business. Nuclear Blast doin a god job for BELPHEGOR and have perfect distribution worldwide, the first label that understand what we are doing and thats fine. You know, I’m pretty goddamn pleased with Bondage Goat Zombie, so to me, thats the most important thing at the moment.

The album’s artwork is excellent. Who is the artist? Were you involved in any way in the artwork?

Thanks bro. Yeah, Mr. Ralph Manfreda an ingenious artist from Austria followed my suggestions and did an amazing job, it look goddamn sick. I dig it and it was a pleasure to work with him again.

You describe your music as Supreme Death/Black Metal Art; can you explain more this term?

If it says BELPHEGOR on the outside, it`s BELPHEGOR what you fucking get har har.

You are going to tour Europe this summer and I noticed that you have booked a live performance almost every day. How difficult is to travel and perform live the same day?

The masterplan is, to promote the new album Bondage Goat Zombie on stage, worldwide. To kill musically in the name of the devil and to recruit new followers for the crusade of Death/ Black Metal. When we go on stage we want the demons to forget all the bullshit and simply have an intense time. Everywhere the maniacs are in a good mood, celebrate, go crazy, scream their lungs out, begin to bang,  is always great for the band and keeps you investing more and unleash more brutal energy on stage.

Are there any plans to include Greece on your tour program?

We wish man, BELPHEGOR looking forward to play in Greece since year now, really, its about time to shred there, just show people what we’re about.

You have performed in the USA and Europe. What are the differences between the audiences?

It/s still very exciting when we go on board of a plane and fly out of Europe to tour the world. But you know what, it principally doesn’t matter where we play, metal fans are cool people everywhere.

If you were given the absolute freedom to prepare the ideal tour package for BELPHEGOR; what bands would you choose?


Are there any plans for a live DVD release?

Not yet.

These were my questions. Add anything that you would like to close this interview.

Thanks for the space in the magazine and the great questions Dimitris. Regards to your readership and all demons who stuck with us, who just got into the band, or who came to the shows. Check the new album, entitled Bondage Goat Zombie, out now everywhere!!!



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