When the whole crossover scene was at its height it didn’t matter if you were hardcore or metal. You were all equal. And that is where I find SATANARCHIST. Answers by Mark – drums and lyrics John – Guitar and vocals Anders Ekdahl ©2017
You have one of these names that do not really tell what kind of metal you play. How hard was it to come up with the name?
John: The name wasn’t all that hard to come up with, it just occurred to me that there’s never been a band called that. It wasn’t a situation like we had a band that needed a name and we had to think of one, I came up with the name before we started writing the music and we tried to write music that did the name justice.
Mark: The music we play is a sort of collision between black metal, thrash and punk and the lyrics exist at the intersection of satanic imagery and radical politics. I’d say the name reflects all this pretty well.
As I am sure of we are quite a few that are rather new to you guys could you give us a short introduction to the band?
Mark: We’re from Portland, Oregon. We started playing together in late 2009 in a black metal band called Spectral Tombs. We put out a couple albums and did a US tour. About three years into me playing drums with them the other two dudes left the band and John and I decided to keep playing together.
John: We wrote the first few Satanarchist songs when Spectral Tombs was still a band and when it turned into just the two of us all of a sudden we thought about finding other people to play with, but figured it would just be easier not to.
We all carry baggage with us that affects us in one way or another but what would you say have been the single greatest influence on your sound?
John: Satan and Anarchy. And Dissection.
Mark: Also doom metal has been had a big influence on our sound. When we started writing together, whenever we’d hear doom metal we’d be like “let’s play the opposite of that, something interesting, something with riffs.”
What is the scene like in your area? Is it important that there is some sort of local scene for a band to develop or can a band still exist in a vacuum of no scene/no bands?
Mark: Some bands can do great stuff coming from smaller towns without a whole lot of other bands around. We’re lucky to be in a place with a bunch of good bands and great places to play. Sometimes it can get hard to keep up with, there can be three or four killer shows on any given night and you have to pick, which can spread people pretty thin. Then you’ve got smaller towns where less goes on and shows in those places can rule ten times harder than big cities because people are psyched when bands come through, it’s kind of a catch 22.
Something I have often wondered about is if you feel that you are part of something bigger and greater when you play in a band, that you are part of a movement sort of?
Mark: Bands can’t exist in a vacuum. We’re definitely part of a larger metal community in that if there weren’t people to book and promote shows, go to shows, buy merch, let bands crash on their floors, etc, then there would be no bands, shows, records or tours. A movement, though? That implies a group of people organized to create change, and it would be nice to see the heavy music community band together for social change but we’re not there, at least in metal. Benefit shows are a good start though.
When you play the sort of music you play I guess you cannot have birds and bees on the cover of your album? What is a great album cover to you?
John: Baphomet in Black Bloc holding a pair of Molotov Cocktails standing on a pile of skulls.
What is your opinion on digital verses physical? Is digital killing music?
Mark: Digital is just sort of the way it is these days. The internet makes it easy to find, collect and share music. It might be making it harder to get rich with copyright bullshit but that’s not really the goal of a band like us. It definitely helps DIY bands reach more people. As far as digital vs. physical, I personally think the most valuable medium that a band can offer is a vinyl LP with a download code. I love having the solid hard copy with all the art, but realistically I’ll also want to be able to listen to it when I’m outside the house too.
What kind live scene is there for bands like yours?
Mark: There are a few bands in Portland who I really appreciate what they’re doing and it’s fun to play together. Portland has been changing a lot and some great venues have closed down or changed hands, but there are still a good amount of solid places to play in town.
When you play live is it a happening or do you see it more as a party?
Mark: Clearly, the party starts when we start playing. No but seriously it depends on the venue. We still play anything from house parties to stages with lights and stuff. Sometimes everyone’s just getting drunk and knocking each other into my drum set and nobody cares if we fuck up, other times it feels like we really have to perform for a critical audience.
John: But either way we still rip as hard as we can. We’ll still put on a good show no matter who shows up.
What would you like to see the future bring?
Mark: More shows, more touring, more albums, more friends. I’ve always wanted to tour in Europe, hopefully we’ll get a chance with this band sometime.