Interviews

Tsjuder Interview

Hey hello!

Hello!

Can you hear my voice?

Yes, can you hear me?

Yes, yes, perfect!

Excellent!

So excellent, hello, let me introduce myself. My name is Zsolt, and I’m from the Hungarian metal webzine kronosmortus.com and it’s so great that we can make this interview and have the chance to ask you a few questions! Let me start with a general one! How’s everything is going in your life right now? How well can you manage living the life you want?

Just perfectly. It’s a lot going on, both with the work and also with Helvegr. Many interviewer coming up – you’re among the first ones – and we have had like one year break now, without thinking about it, but now everything is happening at once, so… But all is good.

That’s good to hear! I know that you’ve been existing for a very-very long time and I’m sure that the black metal fans know you quite well – but still, could you just please try to define your music and describe it in a few words!

Two words!

Few, just a few! ????

Black metal, yeah. The music is black metal. As easy as that. When we started the band, we decided or we wanted to play kind of the rawest form of black metal or… yeah, so… we kept to that still, going for long.

OK, yeah sure. How important is the external appearance to you? Do you think the importance of these external features has changed over the years in black metal?

Yes, changed a lot. You see a lot of bands who use corpse paints by external that stopped doing it, and that’s their choice of course, and I think very often it’s… if you look at many of those bands – not necessarily all of them -, but their music also kind of changed a bit, I think. So, the bands that still play the same kind of raw black metal you will see them will still also use corpse paints and all these accessories. For us it’s part of, I think, the band identity, I would say. You would never see us play a show without the full makeup and everything. So yes, it’s important for us as a band identity, I think.

OK. You disbanded in 2006, but luckily it didn’t put a complete end to everything, because you’re back. How deep did you go back then and what made the band important again that led to the continuation?

Yeah, what I think happened was that we have played together for a long time, and we were not 100% sure of what kind of direction we wanted to take. And we were lacking motivation, and Draugluin… actually I said the other day that at that point he really wanted to play more thrash metal, and we have always agreed if Tsjuder would change kind of musical direction, it won’t be Tsjuder anymore: we’ll stop instantly. So, I think both of us needed to get some time away from each other and the band, so yeah, I started to play with Krypt and our former drummer, Desecrator, so me and him started Krypt, and Draugluin and Antichristian and Seidemann from 1349 started Tyrann. So, and I think it was just two years before we got back together. So, we just needed those two years I think, and then we started out without telling anyone. It was just the band and we knew that we were playing, because we were not sure that we would start again, so we yeah… I think we were rehearsing and making music for the Legion Helvete for about two or maybe three years before we let anyone know that we were back.

I see. Your last album was “Antiliv” in 2015. What would you highlight about it? How did the fans react to it during the live shows?

That’s actually a hard question. I think that the thing with Tsjuder is that we have never been really good at making albums. I think we have been much better live, so we’re more a live band than an album band. And I think that was the same with Antiliv. I mean, we were happy with the album, but maybe the problem was that we were part of the process what we didn’t understand everything, and it was just another album, if you compare it to Helvegr which is a totally different case. But the reaction to Antiliv has been very good, and I don’t know if it’s a better reaction live, when we play songs from Antiliv or if we play the other songs from the older albums – I think it’s pretty much the same. It’s all about making a good setlist with different songs from different albums, and songs that match somehow. So, but I think the reaction was quite okay.

Thank you! So, after your previous record it was pretty quiet for a long time in terms of new songs. However, several interesting releases were issued thanks to the Season of Mist, like a DVD with a live recording, a special reissue of your first EP and I think a compilation of the first 2 albums. I think it’s a very good thing that all these stuffs could be realized, and I would like to ask you, whether it was all your idea? Did you motivate the label to do so, or did they actively want all these goodies in the first place?

I think the compilations and all that has been Season of Mist. So, they have asked us, and yeah, it’s been their idea, which is a good thing. Except for Throne of the Goat, the EP – that was our idea. So, we decided to re-record the songs for Throne of the Goat, so we did that actually on the same date 20 years later we recorded it. So, we spent some time in our planning for that. It wasn’t that much: we recorded it in the rehearsal room, and it was quite as the original, but still we spent some time on gathering the people and to make it. Beside from that one, everything else has been Season of Mist – but they have kind of pressed us a little bit, and they also pressed us like when are you going to the studio for a new album and… But we have always told them that we will enter the studio when we are ready to enter the studio. So, it’s a good thing that they have some stuff in between. But we also talked about maybe we should record an EP or just do something, because 8 years and it’s a long time.

Yeah, definitely. Actually, not so long ago it was in the news that the new album is coming – and also a new video was revealed, and actually many people liked it. Of course, we get what we need from the songs: rawness, coldness and „hatred type” of things. Will the other songs on the album be similar to that? Could you please tell us something about the new album entitled “Helvegr”!

Yeah, the album is I think like all of our albums: we tried to make like a variety of songs, like not the same songs eight times in a row, but maybe one slow song, couple of like full on fast songs, and some songs which are more thrashy, songs that are more death metal songs. So, we tried to make it interesting, not like the same song through 45 minutes. And so yeah, Gods of Black Blood is… it’s unique, but it still represents the album: it’s one of the directions or one of the varieties. But still there are other songs which are kind of the same similar buildup. But we have always tried to start the album with a brutal blast, so to say, like to start with full force. So, next week we will have the release of Iron Beast, which is the first song on the album, and that’s much more, I would say, in-your-face black metal, more full-on, compared to Gods of Black Blood. And we also have like the song Helvegr it’s really slow. It’s probably the slowest song we’ve ever made. So, we have a little bit of everything.

Sounds interesting! And concerning the recordings, I would like to ask you, who should be mentioned as guest musicians on the album and how did the band line-up change compared the previous version?

Yeah, so one of the reasons that we spent eight years in between the albums is that we parted ways with Antichristian, so at one point we decided that we were going into different directions: it was me and Draugluin going this way and Antichristian going that way. And we tried to make music, but it just didn’t work, it just hit the wall all the time. And we figured out that it’s not possible to continue like this. So, it’s a shame, because he’s been in the band for 20 years, and has done lot of great things with Tsjuder. On the other hand, it’s… the band has been me and Draugluin from the beginning, and we are very… I mean, we can have our disagreements, but still, we want the same thing. And if we, if I start to drift off, Draugluin will tell me that’s not for Tsjuder, that’s not for the band or something. So yeah, that was one of the reasons that it was eight years. And then we talked with Jon Rice, which we had been in touch with before. We talked about him playing in the States with us some years ago, and yeah, we just contacted him, and asked if he would be interested, and he was interested, so he did the drums. For guest musicians, it’s only Seidemann from 1349. He’s been a big part of the whole process actually: he’s been listening together with us and giving us feedback and also he joined with his vocals on Gods of Black Blood. And then it’s Pål who is actually the producer or the sound guy. So, he played some guitar solos. So that’s them. And during the process it’s been more people involved, I mean friends of us, many people who played with Tsjuder before, has a listen and given feedback, but on the album it’s only Seidemann and Pål.

I see. The album will be released as far as I know on 2 June by Season of Mist, and there will be special formats available, notably the clamshell box CD and the LTD vinyl box, which will include a bonus song. What kind of extra stuff will get those who buy them? How many copies of the album do you think you will sell?

I have no idea. But the bonus is quite cool. The clamshell box will include Helvegr album, and it will have a separate album, which is a tribute to Bathory. So, it will contain five Bathory songs, and Frederick Melander, the founder of Bathory he’s playing bass on those five songs. So, that’s the reason why we did the Bathory recording, because he wanted to do it and we felt that that it was perfect, so… And what other stuff, it’s to be honest I don’t quite remember, because it’s been so much back and forth, and I think the best way is to check Season of Mist. There will – I think – there will be some metal poster and patch and pin. I think the best way is to check the webshop of Season of Mist. And also the Bathory tribute will actually be released as a separate album, so…

Yeah, it’s very interesting! I also think that it will be impossible to resist this new release, because any kind of disappointment is totally out of the question. You guys are too evil to break down such a good thing. 🙂 On a scale from 1 to 10 how evil would you describe the new album?

I think it’s more up to the listener to decide that. I’m not rating the album by evil, I’m more rating it by my own feelings, when listening to it. And I don’t think we have any goal to make the album as evil as possible. It’s more a goal to make it, well first of all make the music we like, and by doing that hopefully we will wake some feelings within people. So yeah, it’s not about being as evil as possible, it’s more about waking up feelings, and maybe opening some eyes.

Yeah, definitely. How many new items there will be added to the merch set for the new album? How do you feel about the wide range of merch selection today? Because earlier it used to be that a band had one type of t-shirt and that was it. 🙂

Yeah, and we are not very good at making merch. So, I think Season of Mist will have – if I’m not mistaken – it’s three different designs. And they will make t-shirts, sweaters, long sleeves. And we also have our own webshop, where we will make our own merch, which is sold just through, it’s directly from us. So, we haven’t, it’s not ready yet, but we will probably make a design – it all depends on what comes to mind. It’s been mostly me, who has to try to design something, and I tried the other day, but it didn’t work, so it’s kind of the same as making music: I need to get some inspiration for a design. And we are, when we design our merch, we try to design what we like, and that’s in most cases it’s quite toned down, like not big glossy stuff but you know, small logo and inverted cross, I don’t know…. But we will try to get a grip and work on merch for this release.

And which was your latest live show, where you could see a really good crowd?

Well, our latest live show was in Atlanta, the States. So, we played there Jon Rice on drums, and I can’t remember, whether there’s been like a shitty crowd – that must probably be 20 years ago. But I think that all the gigs we have played does have a really good crowd. It varies, but yeah…

What can you tell us about the shows that are planned for this year? How many shows can we expect for the new album?

I think this year it’s not that many. We will play now in Belgium in Throne Fest, and then we have some shows which are not announced yet during the summer, but that’s it. And by the end of the year, we have a tour, which is also not announced. The only thing that is announced is Mexico, the so-called México Metal Fest. So, we will have some shows this year, but hopefully next year again there will be more. My understanding is that there’s still big backlog from covid, so all the bands that were supposed to play in 2020 are playing now, so…

I see. I think black metal was always in close connection with multiple forms of art. That’s why I think a wide variety of books might be interesting for you. Are there any? Can you name some of your favorite books?

For me it’s… I’ve never been really interested in reading. Never. When I was younger, I thought that Necronomicon was like a very interesting and inspiring book, but it’s been more horror movies for me. And not only movies but creating some crazyness in my mind. And yeah…

And besides music and horror movies, what else are you interested in? How broad is your scope of interests?

It’s too broad. I’m doing too much. Yeah, but I’m one of the things I’m doing quite much is I’m brewing beer. I’ve done that for almost ten years now, so I spend quite much time making different kinds of beer. I find that very interesting. And I like going… well, I live kind of in the mountains, I live in the middle of Norway, so especially during winter just put on your skis and go on top of a mountain, not always as exotic as it seems, but with the family and with the dogs or by myself. And yeah, I like cars. Old American muscle cars. And there’s a bunch more, but… So it’s too much, but…

Well, thank you very much! I think many of us in Hungary like your music very much, so do you have a message for the Hungarian fans?

Yeah, I really appreciate what you’re saying that you like Tsjuder – it’s a very well appreciated! We have been in Hungary a few times and I really hope to come back again soon! And Hungary is a great country I think, so just watch out for Helvegr when it’s released, and Iron Beast will roll over next week, so…

That’s excellent and thank you very much and thank you for the message, and also thank you for being here with me and answering my questions. I wish all the best for you and for the band, and let’s see when we can a live concert here in Hungary!

I hope so!

Yeah, hopefully it will take not much time!

I will ask Attila to put up a show! ????

But until then, all the best for you and the band, and thank you very much for the interview!

Thank you for taking your time!

Thank you, bye-bye!

Bye!


https://www.facebook.com/tsjuderofficial

https://www.instagram.com/officialtsjuder

The interview was taken with Nag on 13.04.2023.

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