Well, the thing finally happened. I have been waiting to do an interview with a band I truly like for a very very long time.
I did not find the proper timing until now, but after being struck by the amazing album that is “Storming Voices of Inner Devotion”, I asked the band Svoid if they wanted to do this interview for my blog. To my big surprise they agreed and you can read the result below.
Read it carefully and listen to their new album, it is one of the best albums that have been released so far. The album is out now and can be purchased from the band’s label, Sun and Moon Records (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Thank you, Svoid, for the detailed and interesting answers, this means a lot to me!
1. Hails! Many thanks for accepting this interview for scrollsofdarmoth, it means a lot to me. What does Svoid mean, besides Storming Voices of Inner Devotion? Where did the band come from and why?
S: Hails, thank you for this interview.
The concept of Svoid was a way far from what we know today about it. First the name was there – I remember, this was a sudden decision -, in order to express the dimensionless nature of void, which can be the space between the stars. Originally I had to have a name for a one fold ceremony, held in 2009 to wrap one of my former works and attain once on stage, and it was the birth of Svoid back then. Later on I decided to gather all the ideas and start the development of something new that I was not able to understand as its complete shape at that time. It was so instinctive and faithful – and it was just the beginning.
2. Until now you have released 2 full lengths, an EP and a MCD. The evolution is more than obvious, the band has grown tremendously over these past 5 years. How did you do that, why didn’t you choose to stay in an obscure underground, were things would have been more easy, probably?
S: It was inevitable to be honest. When I started the band, I did not expect that to be like it is today. It was a reflection of such a deep meditation, or a resonance of the Old, expressed through the tools of Black Metal of course. “Ars Kha” was released and we were establishing Svoid as a full line-up band who can perform on stage, and everything we were able to do was done with these vibrations on our debut ceremony. Artists like us having completely different roots necessarily influence each others, and one of these influences was the demand on progression to never return. It is done what you did. You should not repeat that, since it is sealed and still. We realized that it comes so genuinely; so we let that cross through our minds’ eyes. It was not a mandatory task to be done that we shall sound completely different. It was a result of the projection of those individual sources, through filters carried from ages that we’ve passed by.
To be honest, it was never an aim to be a band doing the same through the times. If you speak through a particular language, then the audience is constant. But if you want, then you use the images of unseen and the words of the unspoken ones. This leads to the place of unboundness, which is self-inspiring, and not strictly on artistic levels. It is always a matter of subject to title something as an underground act, but I can’t really handle it. From our point of view the goal is to establish a link from our roots to the surface, and this purpose can be filled by either mainstream or underground contexts as well. Darkness always finds it path.
3. Last year you released a cover of the mighty Watain as a 2 song single (“Devil’s Blood” and a live, unreleased version of “Nightless Moon Mistress”). As a big fan of Watain, I was amazed how this version came out. What made you record the song that way and not just copy/paste it, like most of the other bands would have probably done it?
D: Indeed, our aim was not simply to cover the track. We had an experiment while creating our own version of ‘Devil’s Blood’. There is a certain vibe of Swedish Black Metal melodies and harmonics which is the core of Svoid‘s sound. We wished to keep it but we have given the song a new base by rebuild its structure using more traditional solutions (verse-chorus). Most well-known obscure bands acts are lack of memorable songs, and you have to listen to them multiple times to remember a melody. Our efforts are the opposite: You don’t have to know anything about our band when you hear it – let a single song find its way to your mind, let it catch the listener.
4. “Storming Voices of Inner Devotion” is, in my opinion, that kind of LP that makes an already good band brilliant. The simple fact that after “To Never Return” you have been able to record a metal album with so many non metal influences proves what you guys are really capable of. Where did this sudden change come from?
D: Thank you for your praising words. In fact it is not a sudden change. If you listen to our previous album, these beats were already there. But as I said above, the main aim was to play our religious black metal-influenced music in a plain, straightforward and see-through way. Previously many branches grew out of our music what we cut off now. We represent the dimensionless void itself and we behold it as pale as it is.
I reject that “Storming Voices of Inner Devotion” is a metal album. If you hear metal in it, it’s your point of view but we do not hang on this style. In black metal genre, “metal” itself has walls and borders what we do not need. We are ever Blackened, but not a metal band anymore, we are no one.
S: As said, it was more than a sudden change. This is an unbound transformation, and there is basically almost three years between the two albums, so most likely it is not a swift development in that sense. It was also the intention with the “Devil’s Blood” single as well – to add those footsteps towards this limitless reign that we feel like a crawling snake under our skin. And as the less straightforward influences entered into our music, it was a sort of eye opener for us.
5. Most of the songs have very strong post-punk vibes. The Cure, Joy Division, even early U2 come to mind when listening to the album. This was “unacceptable” in extreme metal some time ago, but recently some bands which had quite a solid extreme background changed their style while keeping their message. Svoid seems to somehow “fit” this category. Aren’t you afraid of the reaction this change can cause?
S: This is fateful if you want. When we realized that our musical attitude and aims crosses these genres, then reaching the most important sources was the best thing could happen with our context of expression. The bands listed in sequence are of course shared in this fate and we are pleased for it that it is finally visible and we are not a “religious black metal band” anymore. And this kind of furtherance is there within the common consciousness as well. There can be trends of course, or bands who are searching their sound in a sense, but these are timeless. If you do something, it will be always compared to something else. There are coeval bands of course, but if we would play attention on other bands, then we should miss the opportunity to listen to our hearts and evolve. For instance, recently we were compared to Tribulation, but for instance, our “Queen of Those Below” was written back in 2012 when Tribulation were more like a Death Metal band with these unavoidable things in common. So this is only a viewpoint if you like. People will have a look on your art through their own taste of music. Reactions will be there anyways, and if it results in a matter of far out opinions, then the few ones will dive deep within the context, so we are there where we are belong.
6. Please tell me something about the lyrics. They are not the regular black metal lyrics about goats, inverted crosses, unholy funerals etc. They seem to continue the Dissection legacy, as I find much resemblance between them and the ones Jon Nodtveidt wrote for Reinkaos. (And I say that in a good way). The approach is a very serious one and is based on the Anti-cosmic current. Do you identify yourself with this philosophy, with the Current 218?
S: The lyrical content is based on individual pillars, which are not one hundred percent related to any views and spiritual paths. We do believe in the divine end, which is an ultimate reflection of the dimensionlessness, the void and Chaos itself. The link towards the Current 218 is only one certain shape without recourse. It bounds many traditions established in the particular ages, and we are not the descendants of an order but the thousand forms of pandemonium, which is boundless. The Anti-Cosmic approach in this view is rather a synonym than a direct joining. Our aim is to reflect the inexorable Death and put into words as formulas.
7. On To Never Return, Lambert Ledeczy (Morbid Carnage, Fagyhamu, Tyrant Goatgaldrakona ) did some backing vocals for the album. Now, for SVOID, the guest features were done by Chris Naughton and Nick Wallwork from Winterfylleth. Their voices can be heared on Crown of Doom and the result is awesome. Do you think of using this kind of featuring for the next album, if there will be one?
S: Our guests always add something unheard, which is intentionally. When we develop such a material or we are at the realization phase, we used to listen to the result with our minds. More often a certain atmosphere comes more straightforward, what we can gain with someone from the external context. “To Never Return” was a way ceremonial and chaotic on multiple degrees, and Lambert was able to put his essence into the album. He was also really into our art since the very beginning, so strictly speaking it was more than obvious but still a honor to have his voice on the first album.
The connection with Winterfylleth started back in 2013 on their European tour with Enslaved, where we were a support band on the Budapest date. It was a memorable ceremony for both of us, and when we started to record the new album, the idea came through to ask them to leave their silhouette in writing. They added their vocals to track “Crown of Doom” which is one of the most chorus-based one. With their performance we were able to accent the overwhelmed context.
We have an additional guest on “Storming Voices of Inner Devotion”, one of the most iconic member of the Hungarian rock’n’roll scene, Attila Barbaró from the legendary Junkies. He added his lead guitars to “Forlorn Heart” as a partaker. The corresponding part of this track is ultimately rock’n’rollish and we wanted to emphasize this so well. We called Attila to write his ideas and put into “Forlorn Heart”, and you can hear the results. I think he literally caught the resonances of the track, we are so proud to have that happen to us.
8. You talk about Death a lot. Is Death indeed a Holy End? Do you think it is the final liberator/liberation of one’s existence?
S: We see Death as a final revelation if you want. We stare at Death with religious wishes. This life is a chain around the mind and at the edge the End will set it free. Our ceremonies are more like a reflection of the link that we establish between All and Nothing, between the two worlds. We are devotees of the non-existence and what we do on stage is related to the hungry void of the Chaos vortex which liberates our spirits. For the time being we bring Death closer. And once it will be there forevermore.
9. Do you see this album as the last one or you feel you can give more to this Void you came from? When do you think an adept of the Left Hand Path should end his existence (both artistically and as a human being)?
S: For me “Storming Voices of Inner Devotion” was about the same darkness, the same path to never return, but finally through the colorless shapes of null, which is essential. We were already talking about the music itself, but the primary message is above everything and nought as well. There is of course way to express this on a higher level, so the approaching future has more to tell on behalf of the inner devotion. This is not the last album for sure. The last thing we’ll do in this world under the banner of Svoid will terminate our existence in a way that we should not have further to tell.
Musically we will surely follow our intention, our sense which shines so bright on the surface of this threads. We have just impressions as today how it will take shape at the end, but it will be faithfully Svoid from each and every aspect. Void is formless and unlimited so that we add this to the task forces that lead us towards. We may reach the flames of the thousandfold manifestations of sounds that can reflect the breathless End.
10. Looking back at your live activity, you shared the stage with some notorious bands, old and new alike, that are deeply rotted in black metal and the occult, like Mayhem, Enslaved, Year of the Goat, Denial of God, Inquisition, Saturninan Mist, MGLA and Marduk. How important is a live ceremony for Svoid? Is this a better way to transmit your message rather than through a recorded material?
D: Playing live, making this impact on humans doesn’t really move me. It could happen without myself. I rather necessarily reproduce music on stage what I composed. But it’s only my own view and it is not as important as Svoid must be present live ceremonies as intensely as possible.
S: The live presence is fundamental. Not truly because of people who attend but from the viewpoint of reflections, which is coming from a higher perspective through us. We are not important as persons, this is not an “ego” part. But the all-dissolving fires shall be incensed through this world for sure. Of course, sharing stage with legendary bands is crucial from some aspects, but we try to avoid that external conditions influence that we do. Our aim remains our aim and shall not be determined by someone else. The reason and the given context should be there always and should be settled by our records as well for sure, this is a thing in common. But both have their own virtue and purpose that I fully appreciate without placing myself above them as person.
11. What sources do you use to get inspired? Where do you draw your inspiration from? (Both musically and lyrically).
D: I have to mention two sides. First, so called professionally or technically I have inspiration from many of nowadays most popular artists. Turn on the radio and I start praising how amazing as messages are wrapped perfectly in music. Then if you ask what do I stand for, I would say the spheres kept away from modernism and society. I think of my early years, dreams, bare mountains, untouched shores, beliefs of archaic times, cemeteries and corpses, and basically hatred against all.
S: For me inspiration can be en rooted by anything. From atomic manners of the invisible spheres ‘til the unseen horizons of the beyond-Universe it can be anything. A motion, a film, a sound or a fragment of those can inspire that I transform and pour through the substance of my spirit. Mostly I am influenced by these binding connections. Of course, I have some other – known – sources as well that I can relate to my soundscapes and words. The art of Ingmar Bergman for example is a foremost influence, of course not directly since Svoid is more abstract in its context. I could mention either the paintings of Kazimir Malevich or the evenness of the Mandelbrot set. I could mention the space between the stars. I could mention the grief solitude and self-exploring. And I could mention the bottomless wells of knowledge back from untouchable ages as well.
Thank you very much for the time you took answering these questions. The last words are yours.
S: Thank you for the well-prepared questions and for your faithful support! Follow the storming voices of your inner devotion!