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Petr Blackosh - Master's Hammer

Interview with Petr Blackosh from Master's Hammer
by Martin Knap at 16 February 2019, 8:27 AM

Peter Hošek or Peter Blackosh, as he’s also known, is veteran of the Czech Metal scene, a prolific musician who throughout his musical career was involved in a number of outstanding bands and projects. From the late eighties to the early two-thousands he was the guitarist for the cult underground Czech band ROOT. Currently he is – among other things – the guitarist of the legendary Czech Black Metal band MASTER’S HAMMER, one of the First Wave of Black Metal bands that Fenriz of DARKTHRONE fame cites as a big influence on Norwegian bands. Newly he also joined the Swedish Black-Thrashers NIFELHEIM as axeman. Metal Temple's own Martin Knap talked to Peter about the olden days of the Czech Metal scene when he MASTER’S HAMMER frontman Franta Štorm and others roamed the streets of Prague, about MASTER’S HAMMER's return to live performing and about his other musical projects.

Tell us about your musical beginnings. You’ve started to play in bands at an early age. How did it all start?

I’ve started listening to Metal around 1984, but I’ve already had a passion for electric guitars, so I was able to start playing really early on. As a kid groving up in the 70s and 80s we’ve used radios, tape decks, vinyl players instead of amps back then. As a teenager while playing in some half-baked garage bands I’ve met \[ROOT frontman] Big Boss and with a group of other metalhead friends we’ve formed Total Metal Fan Club. Then we’ve squatted a pigpen near the town of Slavkov \[also known as Austerlitz] – where the battle Battle of Three Emperors took place – where also the cabal called ROOT came into existence. I never thought of me being a musician as career, we‘ve always looked down upon people who were purpousefully building a music career. We were’t about that, we were about authenticity. We had no “career plans”, we were musicians because we had passion for Heavy Metal.

Can you talk more about the music scene back in those days behind the so called Iron Curtain, when artistic expression was supressed by the ruling Communist Party?

Well we had a Metal fan club, but this existed all around the world even before our club was founded. These were groups of young Metal fanatics who corresponded with bands from all around the world. You can learn about this history from the retrospective book about ROOT “Root: Temné kořeny, 1987-2017”. Things weren’t all too different from other places in the pre-Velvet Revolution period. \[We had] VHS tapes, vinyl and cassette players. There was a DIY fanzine culture spread with type-writers, copy machines and fax. The Iron Curtain had cracks in it, who was looking for contact with the outside world could find it.

Master’s Hammer had quite a big comeback in the recent years – there were feature articles in music magazines about the band, sold out shows in Czech cities and you’ve toured abroad. Why is the band suddenly popular again?

Well, it happened that on our South American tour we had only 50 people coming to our show. The underground scene is unpredictable and brutally honest. I would avoid the word popularity – bands who draw huge crowds are popular, not us. The band hasn’t played live for 25 years and in that time its acclaim internationally in the Metal underground, so Metal maniacs were – still are – courious about the band. But Štorm wants to take a break from live shows for a while, we can’t change his mind.

How do you feel about the latest MASTER’S HAMMER album “Fascinátor”? Can you name your favorite MASTER’S HAMMER albums?

I don’t think that my opinion is important, what matters is if the fans are satisfied, right? But I think it came out well. As for the older albums, I really only was a fan of MASTER’S HAMMER back in the eighties. I didn’t even listen much to their debut “Rituál”. I used to listen to the demos a lot and after the Velvet Revolution Štorm sent mi “Jilemnický Okultista” – I’ve traded it with him for a cassette with CRUX’s  \[Blackoš’s first band]album “Scream of Death”. I like the demos the most and then “Mantas” (2009) and “Vracejte konve na místo” (2012) – but I can’t say all the songs on these releases, so there isn’t any “top album” for me. I won’t comment on “Šlágry” \[last MASTER’S HAMMER release before a long hiatus] – that was made completely in jest and is not to be taken seriously.

How long have you been friends with František Štorm? Do you have any interesting stories involving him from back in the day?

Me and Franta know each other since about 1988. We would go to concerts and bars together in Prague, where a couple of metalheads met; we would also hang out with guys from \[the Czech Blackened Thrash band] TORR and so on. I also knew \[MASTER’S HAMMER] timpanist Silenthell from back then. We would get drunk and rowdy and make a cause a ruckus in hotels and so on. Nothing out of the ordinary really. Franta also – as some of you may know – did the layout for ROOT’s debut “Zjevení”. All of it came together spontaneously – we all were at the wrong place at an inopportune time.

How did you enjoy the MASTER’S HAMMER world tour?

I liked the view from the airplane the most, in Latin America I liked the volcanoes the best. At the beginning of the tour we had dwo days off in New York City, where we roamed in the downtown streets, drank in Irish bars etc. The next day we’ve visited Bronx and Brooklyn. The next day we’ve headed to Baltimore where Maryland Deathfest took place. The night before we’ve played we had a few beers with Danny Lilker and some other cool people. The day after we took a stroll around the town, went past the brothels on riverbenk and we were off. After that we got to Mexico, which was pretty wild. There were armored vehicles and police armed with assault rifles. We had to get used to the sound of gunshots and explosions in the distance, the windowpanes in the hotel would shake the whole night. We tryied not to worry about it too much and went on with our journey.
I’ve enjoyed rides through the suburbs, on roads along magnificent gorges and up towards sky-high mountain ridges, whatching cities from thousand feet high. Our day-off in Guatemala old city was great: seeing the smoking volcanoues from behind the ruins of the old churches and smelling the sulphur in the air. Equador, and Chille were really nice too, but on the flight back from Brazil I got sick from the air-con and had to recuperate for weeks after that.

We had to kill germs with a lot of brandy of course on our trip, we got tons of mosquito bites, they had us fill out immigration form when we were at the brink of exhaustion from sleep deprivation and hangovers. It was actually nice when a flight got delayed and we could get some more rest. In sum, it was quite a crazy adventure. I’d like to thank our promoter Tomáš Fiala, technician Victor FC Barbosa and sound-guy Ondřej Pospíšil. We couldn’t have made it without them. Also all the festivals in different countries that we’ve played – Beyond the Gates, Stockholm Slaughter, SteelChaos – were really great.

What about the strippers on stage, didn’t that distract you during the performance?

We’re no youngsters anymore, plus we’re used to that. The girls enjoyed themselves, they like to flaunt what they have.

Let’s talk about your own projects a little bit. When it comes to your own music you write both melodic and atmospheric (CALES and some ROOT songs are quite atmospheric), but you also keep making heavy music (like your solo-Black Metal project BLACKOSH). In which direction will you go on your future solo projects?

I’m not sure if I’d draw a line like that. I make heaps of different kinds of music – even if it’s just for myself.  I don’t have any concrete vison yet, there is quite a lot of material that is souitable for a CALES release. BLACKOSH was originally a one-off project, but I have eight new songs for that. I’m concentrating now mainly on my collaboration with NIFELHEIM, because we’re planing to record a new album. Time will show what comes next.

Are there any plans to re-release CALES‘ albums? Albums like “Bonds of Togetherness” či “The Pass in Time” are considered cult classics by many, they deserve to be brought to a wider audience.

I’m producing all the albums of my solo-projects myself, and to be honest I‘m not sure if I’ll put out any new albums. If then it will be self-released. But I’ve put out six albums with CALES that still could be appreciated by a wider audience, so I don’t see the point for now. Two albums – “KRF” a “Return From the Other Side” – were re-released on vinyl in the past, for now there are no plans so far for re-editions but if someone is interested then sure.

It was recently announced that you’ll be NIFELHEIM’s new guitarist. How did that came about? Did they invite you after playing shows together or was it planned for a longer while? Is the band planning anything interesting in the near future?

We know each other for twenty years, the first time I’ve met them was in Sweden in 2001. One of their guitarists left, so I was asked to replace him. We’re excited about this and will announce coming projects soon.

Do you follow Czech and foreign Metal releases? Do you draw inspiration from any new bands or do you stick with the classics? Does anything in particular inspire you right now (not just music)?

To be honest I don’t follow new bands much and don’t really listen to any music. Only occasionally. I’m too busy for is and when I have free time I use the time for my own musical activities. But I keep an eye on the underground Metal scene, just to know what’s going on. I don’t know what classics you’re talking about, I believe that some of the old Metal should remain underground or be forgotten. We all listen to loads of music throughout our lives, intentionally or not, Metal music and other kinds of music. For me it’s not about sitting down and thinking: I’m going to write a song in which I’ll combine this element with another. I at least don’t write songs with this purpouse in mind. Inspiration is something, that comes from my inner self.



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