BALTAK

Aussies BALTAK shouldn’t be totally unheard off to all those of you into extreme metal. With a history that dates back decades there was no time like now to interview them. Anders Ekdahl ©2012

What has Baltak been up to recently? I sometimes see your stuff advertised in different magazines?
-I have been working on a new Baltak album all the music is done but needs to be recorded and completed after I finish the lyrics and also at the same time working on Battlegod Productions. With new albums out on the label by a number of bands, I have been busy with promotions and distribution etc…

You seem to make a big issue of the Macedonian heritage. What is there to it beside Alexander The Great (or is that the wrong Macedonia)?
-For a start I am Macedonian myself and I love my history, I am proud of my history during the times of Alexander the great and his father Filip and even before their time. I am also deeply into Ancient Macedonian Mythology which is passed off as Greek Mythology in today’s world. The Macedonian history is an interesting history no matter if it’s Ancient or Modern. There is always something going on over there.

Baltak as a band name has been prominent on the scene for a long time now yet it still seem to be only the most doe hard metal fans that know of you. Has that been a conscious decision on your part?
-Baltak has been going now for close to 20 years and during that time I have noticed a lot of support and help from a lot of people. Throughout the years I have been getting letters, emails from people / fans who have followed Baltak. Baltak is what made Battlegod Productions happen and the label was only meant for Baltak and nothing else. Things changed along the way and have decided to try to do other artists. Doing other artists throughout the years has now made Battlegod Productions a very well known label around the world. Also along the way I have been working on new Baltak material. Doing the 5th album now I want it to be a total killer on the music side of things that is what it is. At the moment there is one (1) new track on the Baltak myspace site called GAUGAMELA and this same track is first track on the Battlegod Productions compilation CD which is available with the DOA/SOD MAGAZINE from the United States. There will be 9 new songs in the near future which has outdone Baltak and gone on a new direction of extreme Metal. I believe on this new 5th album will take Baltak to a new level. This new 5th album is mainly with Anthony Hoffman (Mortal Sin, Grungeon and a few other acts from the local scene and myself also Buio Omega.

When you play the music you do and come from the place you do where do you draw inspiration musically from?
-Most of my inspiration comes from documentaries, old Macedonian films. I listen to a variety of music ranging from 70’s music all the way to modern times. Rock, Metal, Thrash, Death, Black, Power, basically almost all genres of metal/rock. When writing new material I try to clear my mind and do what comes out naturally without trying to sound like anyone. I believe music has a smaller part of inspiration for me, the stuff I listen to does not sound like Baltak influe

How hard is it to always reinvent yourself so that you don’t just rehash the same old over and over like an extreme metal’s AC/DC?
-That is probably the hardest thing to do is to be more original and different for every album. It is so easy to repeat yourself on music and even lyrically in different ways. At the moment all Baltak album are different but also the same on a different level for each album. AC/DC had a formula that they have been using all these years and it seems to work for them. As for Baltak I like a little more variety in my music.

I might be alone in thinking that the art work somehow has to have a connection with the music. How do you guys go about choosing art work and imagery for the band’s albums?
-The music gives me ideas, the vocals, the atmosphere. I get visions in my head from listening to the final version. I deal with artists and describe to them what I would like to have. Then they do rough sketches and show me to see. The idea’s I have normally turns out better if the artist and myself are on the same track. So far it’s all been well and good with all of that.

How do you promote Baltak without losing integrity and face? What kind of promotion would you stay miles away from?
-Back in the days Baltak was promoted on a smaller level except from being in bigger magazines like Rock Hard, Ablaze, Eternity, Legacy etc… also good reviews. Those days are all part of history and the way I promote my bands today Baltak will get the same treatment and be promoted on a major level with Sure Shot Worx for promotions and good advertisements in leading Metal Magazines around the world. Most people around the world know that Baltak and Battlegod are connected so I am sure seeing what I am doing today they can only expect the same promotion as any other release.

What has the social media meant to Baltak? Can you use those forums and still come out with your integrity intact?
-The Social media has been very important for Baltak, I normally do not go on forums. Really do not have the time with all the other activities I am involved with. I had done a lot of socializing in the past and still do from time to time at local gigs or when I go overseas. Knowing the Macedonian history really well it is hard for people to put me down ‘cause I have an answer for any question they throw at me. My integrity is always in intact.

How does illegal downloading affect a band like Baltak? What do you think of people calling themselves metal fans and still download illegally?
-Illegal downloading effects all bands I think. I am not a fan of illegal downloads, illegal downloads destroy bands and labels. A real Metal fan buys the albums. Sales have dropped around the world with a lot of bands and bands these days make something on tours and merchandise. It is really hard to make money of CD sales in today’s world. The only people that would buy the albums would be diehard fans of the band. The positive things is that at this time and age of the internet I have just sold out of all Baltak albums. The first two (2) albums were sold out years ago and only a few months ago I had sold out of the third (3rd) and fourth (4th) albums. The last copies are available in Germany by H’Art Musik http://www.hart.de and also The End Records http://www.theomegaorder.com for the United States. I have no more copies in stock. I am so happy to see Baltak still sells after all these years. Everyone I speak to says that Baltak is a cult band and it will always sell.

What do you see 2012 bring to Baltak?
-New Baltak album to be released and promoted, distributed worldwide. Hope it will all be done and released before the end of the year. If not by early 2013 it should be released by then. Only time can tell.

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