How would you describe the music and the concept of Saturnian Mist to someone who doesn't know a thing about your music? Are there some bands you could be compared with, in one way or the other?
Z > Saturnian Mist is a living Grimoire of Satanic & Occult BLACK METAL, a movement, a channel, a vessel, a weapon and an altar; all in service of the methods of approaching and penetrating the depths of human mind & universal laws within - Music is the concept, ideology is the concept; ideology is within the music; every written, spoken or played word is a serious statement of the mysteries that lies under the archetypal SATAN. A Shadow, a threat; thus Saturnian Mist is everything you want and don't want it to be.
How did Saturnian Mist originally form, and how did your musical and ideological style develop? Was SM born with a certain idea or a mission for it's existence, and if so, has it changed to this day?
Z > Saturnian Mist was born in 2006 A.S. and its existence's function was (and still is) to create a strong enough bridge between the Ideas of archetypal darkside and formal arts in order to make it a one holistic contiguity. More our presence with these Ideas develop, more does the musical, lyrical, visual and bodily representation as well.
It seems that your line-up has been a bit unstable, and you've used many session members. What's the current situation with the line-up?
Z > We do this for an IDEA, and this is why we and thus the IDEA itself keeps certain influences outside from the inner circle of the TEMPLE where the magic happens, but to spread the word and to strenghten the TEMPLE we have had great hands and minds working with us during the years with more or less session mentality. One could say, necesessary, instead of unstable. Now, we have first time in Saturnian Mist's history a permanent line-up with no session musicians in active use but what comes to indirect or passive assistance (session), is visible at our releases - where we have had and will have guest writers on lyrical side, for instance.
Does the band have a leading figure, who would for example have the final word considering the lyrics or your musical direction?
Z > Crown is as huge as the amount of work. We do this work for the sake of this work thus the Idea shows and tells us its forms of manifestation.
What does your name represent, and how about your logo? Some of your releases also feature a sun with the omega-symbol on it, what does it stand for?
Z > Word "Saturnian" does not have direct translation, but in some contexts it is translated as "The Reign Of Saturn God", and "Mist" as matter is like thickened air - all penetrating, holistic - being physichal symbol of PANTHEISM ("God is all, and since we do not recognize ABSOLUTE as a God, the nearest thing to this Idea, is archetypal SATAN refered as SATURN in alchemical & hermetic tradition") for us. Together, only two words near to "Saturn's Mist", but through the existential glasses, it is a symbol of the Pantheist Reign of Saturn God a'la Satan.
And a logo: Sloppy, vague and simple but still touching, like Black metal itself as a genre. Inverted crosses should speak the language of denial and the all seeing eye, lidless eye; the eye of SATAN above them refer to what is essential in BLACK METAL. Denial, the act of destruction in order to find the way. And the Sun-Omega symbol.. Sun is the life giving entity, and the Omega, the symbol of the END and DEATH. What if the greatest life-giving and creative entity would be the greatest destroyer of all and vice versa? What kind of life it would be? Point is that the polarities are just cups that are half empty, put the hands together. Dead can't die.
While on topic: what is Saturnian Mist's core ideology? I know that you explore the many sides and views of satanism within your lyrics, but what are the things that remain constant despite the view point?
Z > Core of the Saturnian Mist's ideology is the same as the one of Occultism's, as it is said before that "Truth is the highest obligation" - Pekka Ervast. But what comes to its expression in Arts, it is also said well before "Artists use lies to tell the truth". To know something is merely a one step. What to do with that you know, would be next and also what SHOULD BE DONE would follow it. It is when comes the ethics. To say the "world is", doesn't mean that it should be that way. Being is a fact, but how it should be is a wormhole away from the fact (ethics) which eventually WILL change the fact. This wormhole, ethics, is like Alchemy; to purify yourself everything around you turns to gold not the otherway around. And what comes to ethics, in Saturnian Mist's point of view, it is Satanism. An emphasis of archetypal Satan and everything associated with its essence under the question "Why world should be?" spiced with statement "The World shouldn't be!". And now we are again with the question, What if the greatest destroyer is the greatest creative power of all? The act of destruction in order to MAKE the way.
"There is only one truth, others are just wrong interpretations" is true, no doubt, but think this together with the saying "Artists use lies to tell the truth". Everything is symbolism, every little or big thing, even the lies and wrong interpretations are symbols, even the single word is one... We explore the many sides and views is to say, we explore the symbols which are the gateway to these ideological views we present and most important, the gateway to the immovable core of our world and existence who hates himself and everything that is emanated from HIM and which/who is known with many names, many faces, many attributes through the different times and cultures...
You are a strongly ideologic band. Which comes first, music or the lyrics, or can a separation like this be made at all? I have noticed that your songs vary a great deal from each other, and especially all your releases have a distinctive sound to tell them apart from each other. Are these choices and changes fueled by the different lyrical views on each release, and to find the aural side that would compliment and empower the lyrics as much as possible, or how do you team up these two core elements of your expression while searching for new ways of expanding your sound?
Z > First comes the IDEA. Everything else are just forms and thus symbolism. Chord is the wordless word and the word is the chordless chord. They're different languages to say the same thing. Ideology is just not talking, it is also WILL, WILL to ACT. Like there are many more languages than the ones of spoken or written word, bodily, emotional, mental, spiritual... Like I said before, every written, spoken, played and performed word and chord is a serious statement of our Ideology and HIS Will and thus there can't be separation or priorising between the question which comes first.
This doesn't of course mean, that anything can be presented as heralds of the GREAT WORK. There are plenty of bands that act deeply ideological, but have nothing to offer musically and plenty of those bands who have nothing to say and thinks they're artists. Again, put the hands together. It isn't enough if other half is strong, but FORM have to be strong too alongside the ideological message that it would be heard among the other voices. How often those who are speaking on the top of the others have actually nothing to say? And how often those who are quiet have most to say? What if the strongest voice would speak the mouth of the silent ones? What if the works of Art could speak the language of Esotericism and the essence of Esotericism could speak the language of Arts? Philosophers can go write books and guitar heroes can play Rock. We offer the counter point where these two languages combine and summon something that can't be presented only as words or chords, but as an emergent (more than the counter parts) feature. In another words, even everything is symbolism and symbols, it doesn't mean that all of the symbols are equally strong or describing. And what comes to diversity of our works, why to do something twice? What is more boring than some artists that make one album every year again and again and again... They're not artists, they're just plain musicians. If you fear of change, how do you can do anything real?
As mentioned earlier, all your releases seem to have had a different theme. Your debut demo was (e.g.) about gnostic mysticism, while it's follow-up was about the left hand path. Feel free to speak something more in-depth about these themes if you wish to.
Z > Debut demo was about Mysticism (the meaning of Mysticism is that the meaning is beyond the words and the words only circulates the circle when the essence is much more deep than one can describe it in spoken language) in general and how it can be carried out under the archetypal Satan, yet its language based loosely to the tradition of Gnosticism where SAMAEL (manifestation of archetypal Satan) crowned himself as GOD above everything.
Concept of Repellings was actually the same, but with slight changes. For instance, the Hermetic tradition stepped out along with Veda-tradition to support the Gnostic language and from these traditions we pulled out the violent aspect of enforcing, demonology and ritual magic which were the methods within the methods of Mysticism to break the circle of symbols and take the leap of faith when falling to the darkness and nothingess all depart from the mental sanity and dungeons Man built himself in the past. And what is that which definites the Left-Hand-Path? It is the enforcing and the denial; running on the stairs and stabbing every creature to death that comes the way (creature in this context can mean a concrete demon or abstract structuralism of norms & ethics, which suits for the observation...)
After the two above releases, you released a split with Creatura. I understood that this release was supposed to come out between the demo and Repellings-EP, but ended up being released quite a while after Repellings. Is this the reason you've kept rather quiet about the release?
Z > That's true about the release schelude. In chronological context it should've come out before Repellings. The other thing is partially correct since the thing of being quiet is more or less dependable about the issue that it is limited only for 400 copies but yes, it's like returning to the past if priorising it over Repellings.
Would you like to tell us something about the musical and lyrical background of the split? I found it's opening track to feature a great deal of waltz in it. As the split features stylistically in-between music that shows your evolution from your demo to the EP, are the lyrics similarly "in-between" these two releases?
Z > Its like golden words floating above the dark waters and the drawing of the magic circle around the magician for the protection of demons which eventually will take everything, but the Manas, and the true self. It's the step which is located between the demo and Repellings, all in all what you said is well observed. If Repellings would be like lose of control and diving into those dark waters in order to reach self-illumination (to become a demon) & Split would be like emphasizing order and balance (to control the demons) - and building a tower that can be sacrificed eventually (since without it there's no self-illumination... ) And since every written or public word that claims to be Esoteric, is only pseudo-Esotericisim and this is because that true esotericism cannot be put on words, we can say here that when we're talking about demons, you can see a correlation like DEMON = TRAUMA in psychological language and pseudo-esotericism, but it isn't a lie when the encounters and experiences with the demons is being described as they've been described, and that is true esotericism...
The split features a really bare visual side, as did the demo from '08. The split's front image features a horned figure in front of radiating light, and the back cover has a cloaked figure in front of a barred window. What does all of this represent?
Z > Since there aren't any personified deities, because the essence of the universe by its metaphysical & transcendent layers are only Ideas and thus energy; it means that these are impersonal beings. Human interpretation and imagination enclothes these beings with its psychological and empiristic history, so often they are being observed as personified entities - which only means that one projects one's own personal attributes, from imagination or from personality, above these beings. The front image shows the traditional interpretation from personified Satan, but only as a vague shadow in the front of Illumination... and it should explain itself through this.
And the back image? In folklores and myths there's a myth of the Reaper and he arrives when someone is near to death to "collect the bill". Well, we do not questionable the manifestation of such creature, but we do questionable its essence on these myths. Think about Jungian archetype of Shadow: Human psychology & imagination enclothes this usually as black or dark creature which can be seen in hallucinations, rituals or dreams.. And "regular people" almost never think through their throughts that are left in the dark and unrecognized, thus this Shadow archetype is everything they're but unconsciously (see Satan) and if people do not deal with this during their lifetime, when they're about to die, they see this creature since their physical existence has begun to loosen its grip which causes the extra sensitivity to psyché and thus makes the Shadow visible to conscious mind. For this is one interpretation, and thus the Reaper is a SHADOW archetype and in a way it's understandable why it is seen as traditional Reaper. Another interpretation for this is of course the GATEKEEPERS from the Esoteric Traditions throrough the history of which everyone can read more about let's say Blavatsky, Steiner, Aggrippa or Crowley... (but it must be said that these interpretations doesnt negate each other.)
How important is your visual side to you overall? I've noticed that you like to keep things minimal, but at the same time all the visual elements seem to have an important reason behind their existance on the releases. Are they there to add a whole new dimension and viewpoint to the lyrics to those who understand the reasons behind them, to deepen the lyrics, or are they there to serve as a "stripped-down synopsis" of the lyrics to those who don't seem to understand them?
Z > "The older I become, I see everything is symbolism and when you understand the symbols, you understand the secrets of the universe" - Jean Sibelius. Visual image is to represent the same thing in different language (visual) than the ones of lyrical and musical languages tells as well. But when it comes to visual image, why there are statues, icons and paintings in the Temples? Yogi's can meditate them better than the formless Ideas, when they've started walking their spiritual paths. It's said before that the Temple is within Yogi's mind - but that doesn't mean there can't be a Temple outside as well. The keyword is that there's no difference if the Temple exist outside or not, addiction... - "One through nine, no maybes, no supposes, no fractions. You can't travel in space, you can't go out into space, you know, without, like, you know, uh, with fractions - what are you going to land on - one-quarter, three-eighths?" - Apocalypse Now!
You took part on the "Helvetin Musta Peto" -compilation with the track "Armomurha Itselle," or "Euthanasia for Thyself." What is the track about?
Z > It's about existentialism and enforced sacrifice. I myself like when artists do not explain their works with too much detail and thus it gives great responsibility to listener. And I take it granted to approve the same rule since most of the times, artists themselves don't fully know what they are saying because the more higher levels of reality are speaking through them (archetypes). In other words, there are usually more what the creator intended to create or recognize.
The above mentioned track represents the less conventional or usual side of your expression with it's calm and atmospheric guitars and highly echoed vocals. Do you have intentions about pursuing these directions in a longer form at some point?
Z > Who knows.
"Armomurha Itselle" is also one of the two of your songs that have Finnish lyrics. Is there any specific reason behind these songs not being sung in English? Both of them seem to be featured on your more obscure releases, namely the compilation and your split with Creatura.
Z > Some things are easier to say in other languages, and some things are almost impossible to say with other languages. In this case, situation made the rules. And the lyrics of "Sydänveren Malja" from the split with Creatura is written by Luxixul Sumering Auter from Cosmic Church since we liked his way to use finnish in order to bring forth the Occultism in poetic language, not to mention that the themes where 1:1.
In retrospect, are you satisfied with your releases this far? How about the labels? Do you have a label picked out to release your next album?
Z > It's like when one release is done, the ones who made them died at the same time... and for them they were the best. But we're not the same persons anymore and this way it becomes a matter of opinion of others, and since releases are like own children - you can't see them with those eyes the others see them. We've had talks with releasing the debut, and the talks have been good.
While listening to your newest promo-release, some things really caught my attention. "Aura Mystica" features some ethereal female vocals, and "Gnostikoi Ha-Shaitan" has some church organs. Did you get some of the inspiration for these choices from church music, or how did you end up choosing them? One is bound to be reminded of churches and christianity upon hearing the organs. In your mind, is there a contradiction with using such a (dare I say) christian instrument within Black Metal - or could it even be seen as using the churches' own weapons against them?
Z > Aura Mystica's symbolism required female vocals, since the SIRENS have been presented as beautiful and seducing women throrough the history of mythology. And what comes to church organs... What would be more beautiful than a monumental Catholic Church or a Cathedral with golden altars and decorations stained with blood and an aisle full of bones of those who sacrificied themselves while the masters of ceremony used organs to play the hymns of darkside of existence known as Satan? It's just a form, itself a meaningless, a matter; but a beautiful and aesthetic form and I think it wouldn't be a problem for a real ritualistic & linga sharia Satanists to perform their ceremonies in Churches that had been took over with proper symbolism.
In other hand, it shouldn't be a problem either to see a meaning in a cold & empty industrial hall full of dirt, machinery and pollution if you plant an altar there. Question is, are you an aesthetician or an occultist? Like explained before, form shouldn't be an obstacle, but it can be amplifier, since for a real black magician, yogi or a monk it is irrelevant where you CALL HIM, since the altar and the temple is within one's mind and soul and it goes everywhere where Magician goes too. And again we are with the symbolism: Some symbols are better (or more straight) than the others. If one murders one with a spoon, it is still a murder, no matter if you did slaughter with a spoon or a AK47. Question is, what do you want to say with the instrument of killing? Spoon perhaps doesn't symbolize the glory of war well...
While on the subject: Black Metal is a musical tradition with strong ideological side and history. Have you ever thought about executing your ideas with SM outside of what's usually viewed as Black Metal, for example through using clearly different instrumentations or compositions of a different style, or was Black Metal as a style the only logical choice for you from the beginning already? Do you even see SM as a Black Metal band, and how do you define the genre overall? At least you're not the most traditional group under the banner. At some point people were talking about Black Metal and Satanic Black Metal, does a difference like this exist?
Z > We see BLACK METAL as a roof concept under which lies myriad of different types to approach its truthful essence, which can be reduced to Archetypal Satan. Take a look of Dissection and Judas Iscariot? What unites them? Not the form of musical approaching. And how about Von and Peste Noire? Or Deathspell Omega and Ildjarn? Much can be done without losing it's very essence and still be categorized under terms of BLACK METAL. One would say that nothing unites the bands mentioned earlier, not even the ideology. But if you remember how black metal as a genre was born. It was reflection and reaction to what was allowed, media-sexy, approved and admired in mainstream. It was everything that was left unthought, or was too scary to think about or understand. It was like a quiet man who swallowed his anger too much and too long and eventually bursted in flames with full of rage and hate. It was everything everyone wanted to be but didn't have guts to be, because of the fear of unknown. It was like a traditional drunken man who always says everything everyone else already knows or wants (subconsciously) but are too scare to face their true feelings since they hide behind the structuralism of approved society and norms...
You see, it is the darkside of existence, traditional and archetypal idea of Shadow, how Jung for instance presented it, which is very much similar to how the Idea of Satan is presented in religions (Shiva in Veda & Hinduism, Ahriman, Shabathai, Samael, Loki in Scandinavia, Saturn in Hermeticism) , literature (Goethe's Faust, Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita) and even the modern enterntainment or modern history. More often (almost never) they're conscious, but usually unconscious channeling of the archetypes, since they lies in subconsciousness... but it just tells the power of archetypes over human mind and how they work without recognition of conscious mind.
And this is the mechanism of the Shadow a'la archetypal Satan (Etymology of Satan is derived from the word 'Adversity' or 'Adversary'). It is the WILL to ACT, not to go with the flow - it is the channel of the existence's nightside's bursting into the conscious mind and to the arts and that way to the world of manifestation. You see, it doesn't matter if it's the raging bestial lust, egoistic violence, militaristic order or religious mysticism, ritualistic occultism, psychological destruction or philosophical nihilism... It builds around the SHADOW, it builds around the archetypal SATAN (I think it goes without saying to use this term describing the essence in Modern Western Society with Christian roots on it). Ideologies too are only FORMS as much as the musical ways of approaching. What is necesessary is to reach the IDEAS, immaterial and transcendent through these. And this is the WILL of Satan, through Shadow, Destruction and Denial... Coming out from the darkest depths and wormholes that society left open. So what unites them? Shadow, thus Satan, were they conscious or willing with this, it doesn't matter since there is a metaphysical and thus mathematical, a prior side of this fantastic and sinister essence. And still, a lot can be done under the latter one of the term black METAL too..
For us, the choice of black metal derives from here, since it is not a genre not definitely in most traditional way. It is ever growing and developing by its formal levels, seeking the better ways to utilize the fruits of creativitiy in order to serve the cause. And since our cause is within HIS will, and in HIM, HE is solely our reason to do what we do. (And why we refer IT as HIM, since it is a real entity, not personified, but still more real than everything - and as refered before, personifications are only the interpretations of this essence, reflections living in a symbiosis with personal mind and it is totally impersonal.) And what comes to BLACK METAL, why to stop now? There are own Shadow within the Shadow (Black Metal) and a lot of things needs to be done and said not solely to outer world, but within. If we do something outside of BLACK METAL, we do it outside of BLACK METAL, and with whole another name or concepts since SATURNIAN MIST is a BLACK METAL band.
Would you like to reveal some of the themes you'll be going through on the upcoming debut album? Do you already have a vision of how the album will be as a whole, and are there some specific changes that your sound will go through? The promo's surprisingly raw soundscape got me curious if the album will have a similar one.
Z > "Gnostikoi Ha-Shaitan" ("Those capable of Knowing Master Satan") will be a pageant of the Path from the drowning into dark waters all the way up to the Holy mountain which was in the first place at the deepest depths of the waters below, and the every step towards the knowing of Master Satan is a rise and fall of different traditions and methods from the philosophy to magic and Veda to Voodoo... Simplistic said, a pageant of the Occult path within the dialogue between the archetypal Satan and the Satanist. Everything is planned, vision is a clear, we're waiting now the studiotime to be here... Promo is a well guideline to what full lenght will be, but the sound will be simultaneously RAW and CRYSTALIZED - and of course with more professional manner since we will record it in proper studio instead of 8-track recorder.
You've made a few live performances as well. What's the main reason for the gigs, and what are you trying to achieve through them - or in other words, how important are the gigs to you and to SM as a holistic entity? Are they more of a musical performance or a ritualistic one? How do you (try to) deliver your message to the audience in a live-situation?
Z > When we were playing at the Sathanas In Gloriam festivals at Netherlands in the last october, after our ceremony one guy came to talk with me. He was all shivering and said "I'm atheist, I don't believe in anything supernatural, God, Satan or demons whatsoever... but after your show, after what I saw there and felt during... I must really reconsider my beliefs and think them again carefully.." He felt it. He felt something that his conceptual system couldn't recognize. It doesn't matter what was it by the names or moral codes... He felt it, and it only matters. You see, its a glimpse from the world that is more than the eyes can see, no matter is it metaphysical, transcendent, energetic, psychological... there's plenty of theoretic schemes and ideologies that tries to explain them (See the archetypal similarities from Religions, Cosmogonies, folklores, social structures, science...). But he felt it, through everything that is built by a Man, almost near what it's like to be there... Now, I think this answers to your question.
I've understood that you're currently working on a full-lenght, what's its current situation? What else can we expect from you in the future?
Z > Full length and Repellings LP will be hopefully out in 2011 and we've had talks about some split releases plus more live ceremonies to come.
The tape-version of "Repellings" featured two rehearsal tracks as a bonus. Do you have similar stuff waiting to be released, or was this a one-time experiment? The rehearsal-versions do sound greatly different from your studio-recorded material; were they released to show a different side to your sound, or what is their purpose?
Z > After playing live our demo material we found different nuances there (since the songs are from the era 2005-2006 and we've developed technically a lot from these times) and we wanted to offer them in recorded form as well and since we noticed this not only from the songs, but also from the touch of playing during the live - and we wanted the live touch to be offered in recorded form as well.
Some of you have other musical projects working aside Saturnian Mist. Would you like to tell us a bit about them? I'm particularly interested in Creatura, for more or less obvious reasons.
Z > They're good bands.
If you could change one or two things in this world, what would they be?
Z > To take the sword... "You must be the change you wish to see in the world" - Gandhi
Shortly or not, express your thoughts or views about these four: Music, Human, God, Satan?
Z > "Every part of me is within your power / You are within every part of me"
- Beyond the Walls Of Flesh
Possess all. Why should our readers listen to Saturnian Mist?
Z > There are more in this world than our eyes can see or we can put a finger on... Much more...
This area is for whatever you want to say. Feel free to speak.
Z > Thank you for an interview. Gnothi seauton.