Like most interviews, let's start with the cliche, tell us the most vital
parts about the bands history:
TUE: We formed in '93, first demo in '97, first 7" in '99 ("The Beast Is Come"). In the following years some members left and others came, and in '02 we recorded "Superstitiois Maleficiae", which was finally released in '04 on View Beyond as you know. We have recorded a promo with new tracks this year (2005), simply trying to gather some interest mostly from drummers, but we don't consider it a 'proper' release, since it has no 'real' drums. However, our first cd-release "Ordo Bestiae" was also just put out on Bestial Burst records (Dec. 2005).
With your 7" Superstitionis maleficiae, you guys made a good impression on
me. It's a very melodic and cathy form of "black" metal you guys deliver...with
somewhat unorthodox vocals ripping through the music. Tell me, has the sound always been the same since the beginning of the band?
TUE: No, but that depends on how you define 'sound' - certainly the early stuff was much slower, and the voice wasn't as developed. There is always progression... We don't seek to do things the same as in the past, nor to create something extremely apart, we just try to create some great songs where we are now. I think the basic expression has been more of a constant in the music than any specific sound, what we convey or express in the music has not really changed, only now this expression is more refined and using a slightly different vehicle. So both yes and no.
In general, how has Superstitionis maleficiae been received ?
TUE: Very well, considering it is a very UG release. It certainly provided us with more attention than ever before, mostly great reviews and several offers - that only a few of those have come into fruition, well what can you do... That just seems to be how small labels work - slow, if at all.
Got any recognition in the Danish scene?
TUE: I guess some, but I wouldn't really know, I'm not really into the 'scene' as such.
The production on the EP is good but a little flat, esp. on the guitar
department. Did you record in a pro. studio or went the old school way and recorded it yourself at the rehearsal place etc. ?
TUE: We had a chance to borrow a small studio for a few days, but we were very pressed for time. We did record everything ourselves, and seriously it couldn't have turned out much better in the time we had. The promo we just recorded we did in our rehearsal room, and in my own opinion it sounds a lot stronger (ignoring the drums), mainly due to more time and also more experience.
How did you land this recording in the hands of View Beyond Records?
TUE: A promo found its way to Pavel (this is a one man label), he was interested in working with us, and the 7" was the result.
Are you going to continue the cooperation with View Beyond Records or was it
just for this release?
TUE: Well, as I indicated View Beyond is a very small label, so also low on funds, nothing more was/is planned but if it is possible I'm sure we would work together again.
Has any other labels been interested in Exekrator?
TUE: Yes, there has been some interest, I don't usually like to namedrop anyone unless I'm 99% sure it'll come through, but actually a few deals were entered, so we'll see...
Tell us about the lyrics. Does it have any bigger importance in the band?
TUE: Hmm, not a 'bigger importance', but it is of course part of what we do. I don't box myself in regarding what I write, but the lyrics will usually deal with the darker side of things I guess.
I've always enjoyed exploring the discography of new bands I discover.
I haven't made any attempts getting your older releases. Tell me a little bit
TUE: We don't have a huge back-catalogue of releases, there is a demo from '97, don't know how interesting it is today. There is 'The Beast is Come' from '99, which actually was a full album, but only two tracks were released on a 7”. You will get to hear a bit more from it on the just-released 'Ordo Bestiae'.
I know you, Henrik, are kicking arse in other bands.
What about the other members activities?
TUE: Yes, as you said Henrik is kicking ass with Victimizer, myself and the other guitarist Mads are in another band called Nightshade, this is not really metal though, definitely not black metal... There is a minimal website at www.nightshade.nu where you can have a listen, but the new stuff we are recording, at this very moment actually, is going to be so much better. But not everyone will like this...
If I'm correct you've had a hard time finding a suitable drummer?
TUE: Yes, we have been very unlucky in this department... Hopefully it is just a matter of time before we find the right guy.
Mercyful fate and King diamond pretty much put Denmark on the metal map
which drags me to the next question. Your singer sometimes hits raspy almost King diamondesq falsettos. Has named bands been a big influence on you guys?
TUE: Well, those are great bands and I think we're all fans on some level. Of course you're always influenced in some way from what you like and what you've heard before. However, for me at least, that's where it ends. All that has happened in my singing and songwriting has been more of an evolution than conscious decision (other than wanting to rock your bones, heh). What I seek is the expression, the particular vehicle can vary... There is no dogma I follow, you try and find some common ground with the guys you work with, and the result, in this case, is black metal...
In my review of Superstitionis maleficiae, I described your music as
black/heavy metal. Do you think it's a fair description? Considering many black metal bands seems to have a problem with being connected to the 'heavy' word because heavy metal is "just music".
TUE: Well, we use the 'black/heavy metal' label as more of a descriptive one, however it could just as well be simply 'black metal'. What has happened is that today black metal usually refers to a certain musical style, but if you think back to the early days black metal was more about the expression not the sound or style... Both Mercyful Fate and Venom for example were considered black metal, though they did not sound alike. This is how we usually think of the term black metal, not as a musical style, but more of an expression or attitude maybe. And 'heavy metal' is not a swear-word to us...
What's your view on black metal?
TUE: Well, it's been part of all our lives for a long time and will be in the the future, simple as that. If you're thinking of the scene and the state of it, well, I really don't give a fuck about that anymore, there are many cool new bands and many more shitty ones, but so be it... I certainly won't be the one telling you what's 'true' or not. Forget about trends and use your brain instead!
The Danish underground has been in a big fog for me but in recent years I've
started to find some excellent bands popping up there, i.e Nortt and Angantyr.
Any words for the regional scene?
TUE: I was recently at a Victimizer and Strychnos gig, it really was an ass-kicking experience, more like ass-raping actually, haha – so I will recommend these two at least.
Has Exekrator ever entered the stage?
TUE: Unfortunately not in recent years, due to all the problems with the lineup etc. Hopefully we'll be able to play a few shows again in the not too distant future.
How does the future look for Exekrator? Any new releases coming up?
TUE: "Ordo Bestiae" has just been released, besides that there is a W.A.S.P. Tribute we recorded a track for which should be out any day now, other than that I guess it's just promoting “Ordo” a bit, and then writing some new shit...
Well, my questions is running out, so the word is free:
TUE: Thanks for the support & a great interview! Check our website www.exekrator.com for samples and news, and go to Bestial Burst http://personal.inet.fi/business/bestialburst/ to order the cd, if you're quick you'll get a free poster.
Thanks for the interview!