March 26th, 1666
VADER - REVELATIONS - METAL BLADE
VADER - BLOOD/REIGN FOREVER WORLD - METAL BLADE
VADER - IMPRESSIONS IN BLOOD - CANDLELIGHT
VADER - XXV - REGAIN
It is called Revelations and it is a mean album. Death metal of the purest variety, the latest Vader album received an excellent review here and went as far as being Metallian.com's Album Of The Month for June, 2002. In that context, it was clear that we would seek to speak to the band in order to further explore the album. It was not going to be simple though. For despite several inquiries and follow-ups the band was simply indisposed. Weeks passed before Ali "The Metallian" gets hold of main man Peter on a telephone line marred by disruptions, interruptions and technical hiccups thanks to an electrical storm in Poland - 11.07.2002
We were on vacation. It has been nine years since anybody in the band had any free time or vacations. We decided to stop playing and save two months just for us. We wanted to relax and prepare ourselves for the upcoming tours. We are beginning to tour in September and will be rested. We will spend time with families and friends until then.
Peter, the last time we spoke was probably seven years ago. At that time you were dropped by Earache and in the middle of an unsatisfactory contract with System Shock. You were wondering why you don't hear back from your American tour agency and felt rather disappointed. Fast forward to 2002 and Vader is on Metal Blade, touring constantly and generally doing well. How do you account for the turn of events?
It's really hard to say Being a musician makes it difficult to say what was the reason, why we are successful and what happened. The reason is we are very busy guys. We like the metal scene and we still have the same passion as in the beginning. I think that is the main reason.
Furthermore, we have a very good relationship with our manager Mariusz. He has been our manager since the beginning of Vader. You can say we have built the Vader empire together. We have a familiarity between the band and the manager. That is really helpful. As usual cooperation is better than a competition with people and bands. We just do what we like to do and what we want to do and we work pretty hard for what we have. That is my opinion.
The situation is far from good in North America. Of course the situation has turned to better since we signed to Metal Blade, but if you talk about North America there are still problems. This I can't understand and hope with Revelations the situation improves.
What problems are you specifically facing in North America?
For example the Reign Forever World EP was not released for the North American maniacs. I can not understand why and finally after long discussions the American office of Metal Blade decided to put it as bonus tracks for Revelations. It was not easy though. I think it would be much easier if the record company would be more open to what the band and manager offer because we are not going to rip off anybody - especially the record company or the maniacs. We want try be available in North America and that's the only reason! Cooperation... a very important word and shouldn't just be a word. It is very easy to talk about it, but nobody understand what it means.
On the good news front comes the report that Revelations is charting in Poland. Is this important and substantive or merely a marketing story?
This is more like something you get on our website. Bands like Vader in Poland are not welcomed by the media. We are in a far better situation since we play so much outside Poland compared to the rest of the metal bands. The situation is slowly changing for the better. We play more in America and Japan and have become more popular outside Poland. Now we are trying to open minds and open eyes and ears for the rest of the metal bands with the Polish mass media. I think Vader helps metal bands because, we are different from pop bands, but there are still millions of people who want to see or hear bands like Vader on TV and radio stations. We have changed the situation a little bit. - just a little bit.
It is not that important to us as a metal band, but is important enough to the scene and other metal bands to put it in our news and information section. We feel like we are part of the metal business, but not part of show business. What we do we do because we love it. It is a big success to be professional one hundred percent. To be a professional musician playing in a death metal band is not so easy anywhere in the world. If we can have any type of success then we can say something.
Focusing on Revelations, one sees that the cover depicts a demon who is smashing two cathedrals. Firstly, which cathedrals are they and more importantly is the cover symbolic of the September 11, 2001 events in America?
There are many symbols in the music, in the lyrics and also on the cover. I shouldn't, and will not, explain the symbols because imagination is an important key to the art created by Vader. It is one of the most important things for us. The human race is losing its imagination and that's why we try to keep imagination alive.
The symbols are pretty clear. You can see the churches, but others may see towers. What happened in Manhattan last year is probably the main influence to think about Revelations, to record the album and to make it sound the way it sounds. What happened after the attack, when humanity thinks about it and the prophets, apocalypse, the human race and its end were the main impulse to record such an album. This is the apocalypse and the album is pretty apocalyptic. That's why the cover reminds one of the apocalypse and is taken from the old books about the devil, the beast destroying symbols of religion which is a part of humanity. It depends on your imagination though and that's why so many people can see so many pictures looking at that cover. That's good and that's why I am talking about imagination as the main theme to understanding Vader.
The album was initially billed as being called Epitaph, yet emerged as Revelations. Why did you change the title?
I changed it to make the apocalyptic feeling stronger. The work 'revelation' is more strongly connected to the end and the apocalypse. It better explains the feeling of the album at the last minute.
Aside from the title, the band's line-up has also undergone a change with former Hunter bassist Simon replacing Shambo. Why is Vader experiencing line-up changes between albums?
To be a member of the band means you have duties and you have to respect some rules. First you have to respect people, the listeners. When you decide to be a part of a band like Vader, it means to suffer (laughs)...OK, maybe it's not a torment, but the price is you have no time for yourself and you have to pay attention to the band and spend time with band members for more than half the year or more. You look at the same shitty faces all the time and not everybody can stand it. The problem with Shambo started two years ago and I tried to explain it to him in detail. It's not a must to play in a band, but if he decides to do that then he must respect some of us. He forgot about that. He forgot that as metal bands we play for the people. He lost control and he lost respect. That was why I had to say 'hello' and then say 'goodbye' to him. Now with Simon in the band the atmosphere is refreshed and we feel like friends and you can hear it and see it. If you see us on stage you will know what I am talking about. We have to feel fun with what we do and lately we lost that, especially me, because I had to explain the whole time things and that was a problem and we finally got the band back together.
If you were given the task of writing a review of your latest album, then what would you write?
For me it is pretty natural. I can not explain how or why. I know I want it and I am pretty happy doing it. I am more happy knowing more people are hungry for it - for Vader. I am not like an engineer who can talk about Revelations.
There are two songs from the album which I would like to highlight. One is the action-packed The Code and the other is Revelation Of Black Moses which is slower and enjoys a great vibe and depth.
Those two songs are pretty different compared to the rest of Vader's creations. The Code has like a classical heavy metal riff. Interestingly this is one of those riffs I wanted to save for my project Panzer X. I never had the time to release it though and finally decided to release several of those riffs on a Vader album. That's why you can find them as different, especially compared to other albums like Litany.
Revelation of Black Moses is a different story. This song was written for the Black To The Blind album (of 1998) and because I knew it would be a slow and long song wanted to keep it for later. It has a special atmosphere and an apocalyptic feeling and so it was ideal for Revelations. That's why it was a timely one and I used it at the end of the album as a conclusion. The song is long and has three parts.
Many many many maniacs already love that song. At first it surprised me, because Vader usually is about blasts and fast and something absolutely different. I am happy because it means that our fans are open for not just blasts, but brutality with different elements.
Why is this Moses black? Having read the lyrics you seem to be referring to the historical Moses of Egypt.
One more time, no explanations about anything you feel, read or listen to with Vader. It's your mind, your feeling and your imagination. It's your world and that's very important. This is why I never explain my things. Each story has an influence of course, but I don't want to sell my picture. I don't want to steal your picture and want to give a chance to you and everybody to create your own. It's like reading a book which is something different than watching a movie. I want to be a book and not a movie.
Peter, why are there different versions of the album in each territory. You have opted to release different tracks on the Polish, Japanese, digipack, etc. versions.
We have recorded about an hour of music and I placed just thirty minutes on the regular edition and the rest of the songs were spread among the record companies. So our Polish label got a special track, same with Metal Blade and same with Japan. That's why the album is not 55 minutes long, but just 35 or so. Which edition do you have?
I own the North American edition...
You got the longer edition with three bonus songs and that's good. The North American maniacs finally get the mini-album, because it was bad that they didn't hear those songs.
That is well and good, but the reason you gave is not exactly a good one. Why not give all the tracks to every territory? As it is, diehard fans will have to buy at least three CDs to hear all the songs.
That's not my decision. I can not do anything. This decision is in the hands of promoters and record companies. What I have to do is to record and then my job is done. Then I need to prepare to play live. Of course I am involved with pictures, covers... but how many songs and stuff, unfortunately is not one hundred percent in my hands.
Speaking of playing live, what can you tell us about your next release which is slated to be a live video?
We have already booked a TV studio here to record such a show at the end of the year. This video will be released next year. We already have a DVD with the old material that was recorded on tour with Morbid Angel in Europe. The DVD version has additional stuff which in my opinion is more interesting than the main material. There you get discography, pictures, bootleg shows, an interview and so on. The next video will also include more than just the main live shows.
Peter, to end this interview will you give the readers your opinion of the scene and how you perceive the bands of today?
I never like to talk about my opinion. That's my way. I respect anybody who tries to do anything. I am sorry but that's me (laughs). I try to be pretty open to everything which is happening in the music scene, but of course sometimes I should be... because there are too many real shitty bands. The problem is in them because they think they are the best in the world! The basics should be cooperation and not competition and this is a natural selection. Somebody who doesn't understand the meaning of music and the rules will disappear in one or two years. That's why an opinion is not necessary - that's natural selection.
The problem in the scene is this concept of cooperation we mentioned before. I am from the old school and I remember... several years ago something bad happened and there started a stupid war inside the metal scene. You know, like thrash against black against death and that was pretty stupid. I think it's over, or almost over and I am pretty much happy, because metal is metal and we got enough enemies around who will never understand that music. We should be together.
Singer/guitarist Peter, second guitarist Mauser, bassist Simon and drummer Doc will begin a whirlwind world tour in September. Revelations is now available at better record stores worldwide.