I’m a huge fan of Hellhammer. When they came upon me they were not of this world. Never had I heard a band as extreme as them. Forward 30 years and you still find bands that hold that same aesthetic high. Bahimiron being one. Anders Ekdahl ©2011
What struck me at first was how much I came to think of the great 80s extreme metal scene when I listened to “Rebel Hymns of Left Handed Terror? What is it that influenced you in writing this new album?
Blaash – You pretty much nailed that bastid right on the head – we wanted to invoke the bands that we first started listening to back in the 80s and 90s that would start the blood a’ boiling…. be it VENOM, BEHERIT, BLASPHEMY, early SLAYER, POSSESSED, what have you. We didn’t want to copy as much as just churn out our own fevered visions of what the machinations of these bands did to our frenetic psyches as a whole. Throw into that a ton of pills, liters of 90 proof, blood and different oaths to the chaos and the devil and that’s where you get “Rebel Hymns…”
I also like that fact that you’ve embraced monotony as a way of writing music. When working with minimal movements in the music does that bring forth a totally different way of thinking than had you crammed tens of thousands riffs into a song?
Blaash – Monotony can be good or bad – kinda like the way I really like early BURZUM, VON, ABYSSIC HATE and so on. The ambience eschewed by repetitive rhythm or riff should not be ‘boring’ per se, but continually build the fervor of the song. We’re not fans of complicated music. So I’m glad you were one of those that also thought the material was not just droning boredom. Which it may be for some folks who don’t ‘get’ this approach.
How do you bring out nuances in the music without using massive orchestrations?
Blaash – Negative emotion combined all the different influences each one of us brings to the torture slab as the songs get written, beaten to a pulp and realized into a semblance of a frenzied organic creature. You don’t need complicated multi riff keyboard enhanced drum triggered female singing in background full New York orchestra violin section tomfoolery to create the nuances we’re aiming for, primitive, degenerate and vile is what the songs on this LP ooze.
How do you go about finding the right people to record with who understand your vision?
Blaash – Grimlord is an old ally of mine from the early 90s. He put this coven together around 2001/2 or so. With idea that everyone in the band shared the same drive, ideals and purpose behind creating the beatings of xrist. Basically we’re not in this to make anything prolific, for money, or for any kind of recognition. We do this because we would otherwise be planning the extensive fall of the social economic order brought on by the demise of right hand path religions.. heh.. Really though, Krag and Grim go back to the 90s as friends, and Jen is my wife – I would not be with somebody who also did not have diehard deathened hate that also is aligned with the BAHIMIRON blurred and scarred vision of death/black/nihil..
To me the art work, promo shots and everything else around the band is just as important as the music. What kind of presentation can we expect from Bahimiron this time around?
Blaash – Although I agree presentation has its importance, we try to dwell more on the music itself. For this LP the layout was spewed and lacerated by Grimlord and put together in finality by the Old Goat, Odin – we went blood red throughout the entire LP this time around, and caricatures of the deamonic and devil litter the innards, as would be appropriate for the lyrics that Grim has concocted.. Pix are part of the layout, and again, you will find that we are a diverse group though we still mesh well with each other. This is no different than any of the other presentations – simple and to the point – just like a shank.
I have a fascination with band names. Bahimiron seems like a very thought out choice of a band name. Where did you get it from and what significance has it taken now that it’s been in use for some time?
Blaash – Grimlord intially came up with the name in the mid 90s when he first tried starting up BAHIMIRON.. I believe there was one other member, Brian Fernandez and they collectively came up with the name after discovering its usage as an Alister Crowley term – “Bahimiron” means “bestial” and that is precisely what we want to convey with the presentation of our material..
Do you feel that you are part of an American underground black metal scene? Is there a scene to speak of? How important is it to be part of a scene?
Blaash – Last I checked the USBM scene is quite strong – there are many, many excellent bands, and we’re seeing more and more festivals as well. I guess we’re part of the scene, though we’re not very active due to the fact half the band lives in Arizona and the other half in Texas. I don’t mind one way or another about feeling the need to be ‘part’ of a scene. We have met and made allies, and I’m sure there are those that also dislike us – it’s pretty much the same in every scene (be it extreme metal or pop or rapcrap etc). People can bash the music all they want, it’s only if they make a personal attack do we decide to unlumber the rifles and shotguns.
The American black metal scene is different from the Norwegian and Swedish, the way it should be. What would you say is the biggest denominator that sets the American sound apart from the Nordic?
Blaash – The scandic sound (I’m talking early MAYHEM, BURZUM, EMPEROR, DARKTHRONE – the heavy hitters) relied on atmosphere and they were able to take inspiration from both their heritage and nature of their countries. I don’t know about you, but I live in a scumbag city full of drugs, rapists, murderers, and a society driven by consumerism and blinded into a contrite belief on a god with followers that like to touch little boy parts. I mean really, heh – I think the USBM sound should convey more a sick amalgamation of DEATH worship (as our society preaches) then laden with whatever we will pause and pass for atmosphere. Mind you that is only my take on things. We do have USBM purists that have sounds and music more akin to ritual, and there are some desolate and wayward areas of the US that can affect ambience and creation of music as well.
Being on your third album what kind of progression do you feel you follow? Is progression a necessary evil for a band to survive?
Blaash – I am NOT a believer in progression per se – I believe the band as a whole needs to agree on what direction the next release will be, and as long as everyone likes and feels the blood spillage of the songs, then so be it – I would be fine making another LP just like this one, if that one also made my trigger finger itch and my night vision scan for political targets. I’m not big into originality. I’m more for something that actually causes a temporal disturbance in my person – in other words it gets me off heh.
Looking ahead what do you see in the distance for Bahimiron?
Blaash – I know we’re planning on playing live in 2012 – it seems (again because of distance) that BAHIMIRON can either create (music) or play live. For the last 4 years we haven’t played live once. We’re going to showcase some of the newer material and shred it up right good and proper. Then we’ll see about newer material.