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Savopipo (Black Anima)

Interview with Savopipo from Black Anima
by Yiannis Dafopoulos at 29 October 2008, 10:58 AM

The underground hides many surprises for us, metalheads. It may be hard to find them but I guess it isn't so hard for them to find you. At least that's what happened with BLACK ANIMA, a Swedish band that sent us their latest release for a review. And as you know, after the review comes the… interview!

Hello Savopipo! I was really amazed by your new album. I believe that it is rare to come across such high quality and honest bands nowadays. Tell us a few things about BLACK ANIMA. How did this whole thing start?

Hi and thanks for your kind words! I've been playing guitar, writing my own songs and listening to extreme Metal for quite a while but I actually never seriously thought about trying to go public with my music until in the autumn of 2006. I had been reading a lot about religion and occult stuff in general and Satanism in particular, as well as philosophy and politics and how they all interact in forming the short time span we call human history, and one night a female voice came to me in a dream. The voice told me I should go out and oppose all that is religion in the world and that I should do it by using my music. In the dream I asked the voice for its name and the voice replied, Black Anima. When I woke up I found the major part of the lyrics for the song Female Demon written on a piece of paper lying next to the bed. Maybe this all just sounds silly to you but that's what happened and that's how it all started.

I noticed that you are a pretty energetic band. In only one year of existence you have already four releases, two demos and two full-length albums. Was the material on those releases written at that time or did you have stuff that you had written in the past? Why did you release all these stuff so quickly?

I write fast. A song of medium length usually takes about three hours to write (lyrics included) and when it comes to recording I try to not overdo things. Of course there are re-takes but I don't dwell on things too much. I guess that those are the reasons, together with the sense of urgency I traditionally carry with me in this project, for producing all that music in such a short time. And to answer the first part of the question: yes, all the music for each release was written after releasing the previous disc, with the exception of Drink From The Chalice Of Hate and Nocturnal Beasts (that occur on two different releases in two different versions) of course.

You come from Sweden, a country with tradition in extreme Metal. Which Swedish bands do you like and which bands in general have influenced the sound of BLACK ANIMA?

When it comes to music (as well as most things in life) I tend to take a liking to things that I judge to be original, honest and heartfelt. I listen mostly, but not only, to extreme Metal. Some of the bands I enjoy are MAYHEM, METALLICA, MOTORHEAD, SATYRICON, ISKALD, IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST, VENOM, SODOM, CELTIC FROST (and to single out some Swedish bands), DARK FUNERAL, DISSECTION, BLODSRIT, BESATT, OFERMOD, VISCERAL BLEEDING, LORD BELIAL, ONE MAN ARMY AND THE UNDEAD QUARTET, ULVNATT, SVARTSYN, CANDLEMASS and DIABOLICAL. Please note that the names aren't ordered in any way.

Everything you have released until now was self financed. Why haven't you signed to a label until now and why do you prefer releasing stuff on your own rather than waiting for a label to release them?

I guess the answer to all parts of that question is Artistic Freedom. If I was to find a label that could assist me in pressing, distributing and marketing the material, at the same time as it was letting me make all the decisions when it comes to the music itself, then I wouldn't hesitate for a second. But I don't think it's likely that a label such as that would approach me (and I just don't have the time to spend looking for one) so I just release the music myself. I make a very limited number of records (less than 50) and give them away for free. I also make the music available on the internet for anyone to download and listen to. One could say that BLACK ANIMA is the true essence of Underground and that's the way I like it!  

How did you decide to make Astaroth a permanent member of BLACK ANIMA? Until then you were doing everything on your own…

When I first started the project I got some really bad feedback to the way I was singing so I had the vocal area identified as an area where something must happen. After I recorded the song Nocturnal Beasts, Astaroth approached me and asked if he could record a new song track for it. I thought it was a good idea so he recorded it and by impulse I mixed it into a duet between the two of us. The duet thing was very much to my liking so it developed from there. Since then my vocal style has improved a lot (so I'm told at least) but I still think that Astaroth adds a lot to the project. What I'm trying to create, with Astaroth doing vocals on some songs and myself doing vocals on others, is a Stanley/Simmons effect. Some people prefer my vocal style and some people prefer the more traditional BM vocal style of Astaroth but they can all listen to BLACK ANIMA.

Your new album is entitled White Noise. Why did you choose the specific title? What does it mean?

You know, there are people everywhere doing nothing but talking and when they are talking all that comes out are words without meaning. You know the people I'm talking about! I wanted to write a song about all these hypocritical bullshit bastards and I pictured all those meaningless words coming out of their mouths like white noise (which per definition is a sound made up of all possible frequencies there are). After thinking about it for a while I decided that I wanted to also make the music of the song reflect the concept of white noise so I recorded it the way it is on the album and added the short lyrics to it by screaming more than growling it in a completely out there manner. I was quite satisfied with the result and when the time came to put together the CD I came up with the idea to have it progress from the initial short and unmelodious White Noise to the more symphonic and extensive Sotarintamaa thus turning the song White Noise into an introduction of sorts. That also automatically gave me the title for the album.

Your music is mostly based on Black Metal, but it features many classic Heavy Metal elements that make the overall result have this veil of mystery around it. How would you describe your sound? How did you reach this sound? Was it something you wanted or did it just happen?

When I sit down and play my guitar what comes out of the speaker is the music. In my mind everything that is near and dear to me comes together to create riffs and harmonies and if I think it is interesting then I keep it. I do extreme Metal first and foremost for myself and that enables me to incorporate anything I feel add to the experience without thinking twice about being true or whatever people want to call it. That in turn creates a hopefully unique sound that people with open minds can relate to. I know a lot of people have a hard time coping with the diversity within my music but I don't force my music on anyone, all I ask is to give us a good listen and then if you don't like it just leave it at that.

Have you thought of having session members to play any gigs or is BLACK ANIMA a strictly studio band?

The thought crossed my mind but there are no immediate plans. For the time being I'm happy letting BLACK ANIMA remain a studio project but one can never tell what the future will bring.

What are BLACK ANIMA's plans for the future? When are we going to see a new BLACK ANIMA CD?

The plan is to develop sound wise and music wise in a way that makes the music of the project appealable to more people without losing the originality and sense of honesty that I think it carries. A new release is scheduled for spring and if everything goes as planned it will be available in time for the two year anniversary. I've more or less made the decision to have the next release be an EP for several reasons. First of all I'm eager to see what people think of some new things that I hope will be on it and secondly I believe that in a world that's moving at the speed that ours does you have to keep hammering your things home in order to keep people's attention. So instead of recording a full length CD very fast and risk creating a bad record I've opted for recording an EP. Keep your ear to the ground!

 Thanks a lot for your time and I hope you keep treating us with some pure and honest music for a long time to come! Anything last from you?

Always follow your convictions, do unto others as they do unto you and keep your eyes and ears open for the next release from BLACK ANIMA!


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