GOATPSALM sound like the most sick satanic band name that you could ever come up with. But how satanic and sick are they really? Anders Ekdahl ©2016
When you release a new recording does it feel like you have to start a new a couple step back because so much time has passed and so many new bands have entered the scene since the last album or do you just pick up where the last one left?
H.: Honestly, I don’t pay attention to how many newcomers emerged for the time of our silence and how many of them collapsed down the Hell for these years. Time is not an issue for us, because we have no contract obligations, no financial dependence on our project and no urge in new album just for planned tour and some novel songs for our set. We just got something new to express, that’s all.
Vaarwel: Actually, neither of these. We prefer to concentrate on our own work regardless of what is going on at the scene, how many new bands were started or what trends are now popular. Even if someone considers our brand new work as “obsolete”, we won’t care, and one may notice that “obsolete” is a fucking ridiculous and subjective term.
Do you have an aesthetic that you keep true to from recording to recording (i.e. stylistical same art work, lyrical theme etc.)?
Vaarwel: Well, some aesthetics we keep may dwell on some meta-level. Since every single Goatpsalm release is a deep devotion to particular theme, all of it is directed to complete the expression of it. So do lyrics, artwork, music style and so on. And if there is a scarlet thread that transpierces through all our music, it has its roots in Darkness.
How hard is it to come up with lyrics to the songs? When do you know thst you have the right lyrics?
H.: I have drafts of lyrics for our new mini album in front of me right now and their pages are almost black due to enormous amount of edits, insertions and corrections, so I can’t tell that it is easy for me. But when at some time I can’t find a thing to strike out or add to the text, then I will realize that it is done and we can start working on vocals.
How hard is it to find the right art work? What are you looking for?
H.: I made artwork for two last Goatpsalm releases and likely will continue to do so because it’s easier for me to do it myself rather than explain to somebody what we would like to see and how it could be done. Anyway, I expect an interesting work to do although working with your own band as customer is harder than one might think.
Vaarwel: Since the artwork is being made by band mastermind H., who is a professional designer, I guess this was never an issue. We always get what we intend to get.
Do you ever feel that you get misinterpreted because of the metal you play?
H.: Moreover, I even like the fact that people need much more than one term to describe our work.
Vaarwel: Indeed, as I can get this from reviews and opinions we have. There is a cognitive bias named “the curse of knowledge” which makes all subtleties and peculiarities of our music evident for us without any possibility to check it for being equally obvious for a stranger person. As a result, we would anticipate listener to readily have a comprehension of what we do but too often face the opposite. But importance of this is infinitesimal, while our music speaks for itself.
Do you feel that you get the recognition you deserve, nationally as well as internationally?
H.: I think it’s too early to speak about any recognition and we are quite unknown project with loose outlook. Hope that this question will be much more clear couple of years later, but not now, unfortunately.
Vaarwel: Almost all the recognition we get originates from abroad. Russian audience, with just several (but definitely important) exceptions, doesn’t give a single fuck about Goatpsalm, and we reciprocate this feeling. Not a big loss anyway. At the same time we unexpectedly got quite warm international reception of our last album, and hope that we won’t disappoint our listeners with further works. Thanks to everybody who likes our music and supports us on our way.
Is the end of physical close by or is there a future for all formats?
H.: I concede that physical carriers will lose their function at last and become a collecting target for quite narrow circle of enthusiasts that like reading booklets and wiping dust off boxes. At least it is the final aim of mainstream tendency to pack everything necessary into your cellphone and get rid of countless shelves with books and CDs at your flat. This tendency is somehow feasible taking into account that modern informational space is merely a clusterfuck of vague secondary garbage with occasional intercalations of something valuable that often remains unnoticed amongst shit of all sorts. And formatting your USB flash drive is quite easier than dragging garbage bags to the dumpster while bedeviling yourself with regrets for wasted money.
Vaarwel: No, it will be still demanded. Of course, not a way like before, in eighties or nineties, but there will always be some people who value physical editions of favourite records and are ready to support favourite bands. Look at the vinyl market – it seems to establish its equilibrium and even undergoes some kind of renaissance.
I get the impression that today’s touring scene is most made up of festivals or multiple band line-ups. Is it harder/tougher to tour today?
H.: It is a hard question for me because I didn’t participate in live gigs of any kind for quite a long time. I think you are right speaking that the crowd would readily visit a gig of four well-known bands rather than just one with local support. People are satiated and replete with information so they have to face more than solid argument to get their asses off the favorite chairs.
If you were to decide how would the stage show look like?
H.: It depends on what amount of money will pull our pockets down at the time. We are not King Diamond and won’t be able anyway to haul a trailer with dismountable mansion, pyrotechnicians and couple of actors getting their salary every month. So I would surely tell that show begins with band members riding the horned dragon from behind the small Stonehenge replica with consequent dissolution of this dragon into blood red mist, but in reality I am afraid all will be definitely simple: band members on the stage, strobes and video sequence projected onto the backdrop.
Vaarwel: I imagine that it will depend on material we would be going to present. Since every single Goatpsalm album is a peculiar entity, the very stage show will be related with song we intend to play. For “Downstream”, I guess, it would be some kind of ritual with some suitable outfit and properties, but one can definitely say when (if) the time comes.
What does the future hold?
H.: We are working on new songs and I hope this will be very interesting material – that’s all I can say for now.
Vaarwel: New psalms, of course, and only Abyss knows what they will look and sound like.