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Interview mit Sanctus von Disolvo Animus

Interview mit Sanctus

Malte H.: Hey guys, how are you?

Sanctus: Hello Malte, thanks for the interview on behalf of DISOLVO ANIMUS. We are pretty fine, currently preparing for a few live shows throughout Greece.

Malte H.: Before we start: I guess many of our readers haven't heard much about DISOLVO ANIMUS. Would you like to introduce yourselves and your band to us?

Sanctus: Of course. DISOLVO ANIMUS begun back in 2006 sounding more as a symphonic black metal band rather than the death metal face it's been showing today. Since then the band released a demo, a promo, an E.P. and at last, two months ago, the debut full length "Aphesis". Throughout the years, there have been many lineup changes, but as it comes out, this album's lineup will be steady for a while.

Malte H.: You've released your debut album "Aphesis". Congratulations! I guess, you're glad with the result? As far as I read the reactions on the album are pretty good so far, right?

Sanctus: "Aphesis" is our debut album, which means that our experience in productions, mixing and mastering are still poor compared to bands of our scene, with 3 or more albums on their backs. For this reason, we decided to cooperate with two great musicians for the recordings and mixing/mastering processes. We recorded the whole album in Bob Katsionis' (FIREWIND, solo, etc) personal home studio. Bob helped a lot with bringing the beast out of us while recording. The mixing/mastering was held by Fotis Benardo (SEPTICFLESH, NECROMANTIA, etc) at Devasoundz Studios, another really talented musician. This cooperation was the key to our sound and the whole outcome of our album, because this particular person really knows what a death/black metal band should sound like. He's into the scene for almost a decade, so his touch on the sound of our album has been successful. As for the reactions, people seem to like and enjoy our album, something that gives us energy for more live shows and hopefully more albums in the future.

Malte H.: After the warm-up let's get right into the stuff. Compared to your 2009's EP "Aleatoric Morte" your music has become more extreme. There are quite a lot Death Metal influences nowadays. I would describe "Aleatoric Morte" as a Symphonic Black Metal album, but "Aphesis" is beyond that. It's the epitome of what to call Extreme Metal, isn't it?

Sanctus: I think that your description suits the case perfectly. The band used to play symphonic black metal with a few death metal elements. But what's the point in making an album exactly like the first work? That's when we decided to use all of our inspirations, to mix up our different thoughts on extreme music and this ended up into "Aphesis", a blackened death metal album. As a band, we consider this album as a work of modern death metal, despite our black metal appearance. There are points where black metal becomes the major sound landscape but, as you said, it's more like an epitome of many different extreme sounds. You'll hear extreme symphonic parts in few cases, you'll hear guitar solos - not that common to bands of the black-death metal scene - and at last you’ll be able to hear some really extreme death metal.

Malte H.: If I'd have to compare your style with some other bands, BEHEMOTH and late DIMMU BORGIR came through my mind. Would you agree with it?

Sanctus: Well, BEHEMOTH have been a great influence to most of our members, but we haven't ever been into any effort of trying to sound like a specific band. We are fans of many Polish bands, as well as American and Swedish. We are also, a lot, into more underground bands, those that keep the spirit of extremity alive, away from publicity. But I can see why these specific bands come into mind, it's mostly because of the feeling and the production I guess. But it's still an honor for us to be compared to such great bands.

Malte H.: Unfortunately I haven't had any lyrics, but it seems like there is a deeper concept behind "Aphesis"? What I've figured out of what I heard, your album seems like a pretty hard stroke against religion and christianity, but also against todays society. Would you like to tell us something about the lyrics?

Sanctus: Our conventional view of history and religion as a proof of human progress is wrong. It is founded on a pernicious myth of an unachievable utopia that in the last century alone caused the murder of tens of millions. This concept "Aphesis" - the Greek word for "Absolution from Sin" - tears down the religious and secular beliefs, that religions insist, are fundamental to the human nature. So, through "Aphesis" we question the need of believing in a higher power, we question the origin of this need, we question this organized crime against man's thought, called Christianity. Of course, Christianity isn’t the root of all evil, there are several religions far worse than Christendom, such as the Muslim religion, and many others known and others still underground. We are not worshipers of any kind of higher power. We acknowledge nature and the cosmic harmonies to be the only truth, yet not in favor of man's will. One thing's for sure. Misplaced faith in our ability to improve the world, has actually made it far worse.

Malte H.: I read that the band's name DISOLVO ANIMUS also could be translated as "Souls under decomposition". Thinking about it, it seems like a connection between those two topics I figured out on "Aphesis". Mankind is being patronized by religion. It's saying "Believe in this and that and don't you ever dare to believe in anything else!". Just correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like kind of a decomposition of the own free will and overall a decomposition of the whole soul.

Sanctus: The analysis of our name can be summarized into this phrase, you are right. "Aphesis" isn't a concept far from this, indeed it has a lot to do with the patronization you already mentioned. People are forced to act under the fear of being judged by a force never seen, never truly experienced, and when it comes to uneducated people or victims of socialism, well there's a lot of misunderstanding of religion there. So, you end up with a society of sheep, against sex, against people of different religions etc. Let's be honest, even if god exists, I strongly doubt that man is of central interest within the creation. A small change in the amount of energy that the sun of this Galaxy produces, and mankind will be past. So, there is no need in organizing your entire life for an equilibrium that isn't within your own powers. Man's spirit must be free. Free to experience, free to make mistakes and at last, free to learn. Free to live. We stand against religion, and against dogmatism. Personally, I'm happy to see young people staying away from religion but in the same time looking for alternative codes of ethics, ways of respect, and means to a more humanitarian rotation.

Malte H.: The topic is maybe a little bit dangerous, 'cause there are so many metalheads saying that music and politics are two different things. But your country actually has to face hard times, so I imagine living in Greece is actually not the easiest way of life.

Sanctus: Well, politics have inspired many metal bands throughout music's history. Also, the choices of politicians infect a citizen's life whether this person is a doctor, a lawyer, a musician or whatever. So we couldn't say that politics don't inspire us or don't affect our lives. Or to set it in a better way, politics and this entire shitty situation our country undergoes has upgraded our personalities into an extremer version. When people around you suffer, can't afford to pay their bills, others can't even afford the feeding of their children, you can't - even if you have some savings or even a good job - stay uninspired. Greece is going through a terrible situation with no shine at the end of the tunnel; this makes our music darker, but in the same time, our lives, a lot harder. And it makes me sick to see that there are still people praying to god for a change. Instead of changing their lifestyles, or starting a revolution in their own way, they pray. Not all of our people though. There are some really intelligent Greek citizens and I'm not categorizing them according to their belief or non-belief or by their political views, with eyes open and hearts ready for anything. Under these circumstances, it's really hard to live in Greece this specific period of time. Let's see what the future’s gonna bring.

Malte H.: All this political stuff and the anger which maybe grows inside ones heart 'cause of this: Is this influencing your music?

Sanctus: Yes, as I mentioned, you cannot stay away from society. We are part of our society, and of course, changes, ups and downs within it's structure affect our music and inspire our minds. Anger and disappointment seem to be the major emotions in everyone's heart. We are fighting for a change. And this won't come without the presence of a spiritual revolution. The opening of our eyes, of our minds is a prerequisite for the change in our society.

Malte H.: As we talk about Greece, let's talk about the metal-scene there. There are some Greek bands like ROTTING CHRIST, ASTARTE or your friends of AENAON who made the step to be well-known beyond the borders of Greece. In fact they also play music on a high quality.

Sanctus: The Greek scene counts 26 years of existence. One of the oldest bands and the first to hit the road outside Greece is ROTTING CHRIST, which happens to be the largest metal band along with FIREWIND (power metal) in our country. ROTTING CHRIST is a unique horde, one of a kind, respected by everyone within the cycles of extreme metal. This means a lot. AENAON on the other hand, is a band of the new era, friends of ours as you mentioned, with a great perspective on the extreme sound combining jazz and black metal in a great way.

Malte H.: The greek metal-scene seems to be alive and it also seems like there are many good bands out there in your country?

Sanctus: There are also many other great bands here in Greece doing excellent work, and I truly mean it, not in a patriotic way. Bands such as TARDIVE, DYSKINESIA, AGNES VEIN, ENSHADOWED, DEAD CONGREGATION, ACHERONTAS, ACRIMONIOUS, KARMA VIOLENS, RAVENCULT, MORTAL TORMENT, SICKENING HORROR, UNIVERSE 217, PLANET OF ZEUS, WE.OWN.THE.SKY, are made of borderless compounds; many of them are respected in their own scene, but in the near future I'm sure you'll be hearing a lot more of the Greek scene. There are fireworks being made.

Malte H.: I talked to some Italian bands in the last few months and they all said that it's hard to find something to play live in Italy. Is it comparable to Greece or is it easier to find something where you're able to play your stuff live?

Sanctus: Well, finding a place to play your music live isn't that hard. There are lots of underground venues, especially in Athens and Salonika, where you can book a live appearance. The problem lies within the unwillingness of the Greek fans to support their local scene even if the bands are doing fine outside Greece, comparing to groups coming from foreign countries. This isn't the case for every Greek band though, things have changed a lot lately, but still, there are things that need to be done. One good thing about Greece, despite the crisis, is that many bands, big names, and underground-sized as well, seem to be visiting our place for live shows; live gigs are not a phenomenon taking place seldom. So, you can find opportunities to play in Greece, but sure, not that many in comparison to central Europe. Things are different there.

Malte H.: Talking about playing live: The last years DISOLVO ANIMUS haven't had a constant line-up. There were many comes and goes and it seems like the band doesn't come to rest on this case. Is it right to suppose that you haven't played much live at this time? And coming to think of the future with a constant line-up now: What may we expect of a live-show performed by DISOLVO ANIMUS?

Sanctus: It's a fact; we haven't played many live shows in the past 3 years. This has changed lately, and we're back in track. We've played as a supporting act to the Swedish horde, NECROPHOBIC, and to an old Greek band ROTTING FLESH. In the spring, we'll participate in a tour round Greece, headlined by ROTTING CHRIST. So there are plenty of shows coming up, despite our period of silence over the past years.

Malte H.: Nowadays it's easier for bands to be recognized by the metalheads through internet stuff like Youtube and Facebook. We also made contact via Facebook, haha. So the internet is quite a chance for young, unknown bands, but it's also a dangerous thing in fact of people just downloading music without paying. It's a difficult topic to talk about, I know, but - if you like - I would like to hear your opinion on that one. In some countries downloading music is the only way to listen to metal, 'cause all those metalheads are being pursued by the government and religion.

Sanctus: Well, interesting question! The Internet, has actually made many things easier for all of the people involved in the music industry and of course for the fans as well. It is easier to communicate, to listen to one's work, to book live shows etc. Now, as for the downloading topic, I'd say that there are so many bands out there, it would be impossible for someone to listen to their music without getting the pirate mp3 format online. So, in some cases this situation suits a fan and the artist as well. It prevents the fan from buying something he doesn't really like, and gives an advantage to the musician; the band can share it's music without even playing a live show in an underground venue in a country far away, but it's still easy for someone from that particular country to find out about this bands music. The disadvantage from all of this is that people usually won't buy the CD, because the mp3 players are the most common way for listening music, and then many don't care - as it used to happen for many years - about the booklet, the lyrics etc. This leads to lower income for the band and also, something more serious, according to my opinion: Less attention to music. Tons of mp3s, tons of discographies and torrents, and no one pays the same attention to the music as he/she did a decade ago. Shit. This is totally shit. And I'm a victim of this fashion as well. I download, all of us do, but I still buy CDs / vinyls. Still, my head is filled up with many things and I can't cope with each one of them at the same time. I hate this musical era! I hate the mp3 format! But it's a necessary evil of our times.

Malte H.: We've done it! We passed all those serious and difficult topics and nearly reached the end of this interview. Two last thinks and we made it. Beside music in what things are you interested? Any hobbies you'd like to tell us?

Sanctus: Well, reading and studying are my basic interests. Some fitness and martial art programs fill in the gap between studying and sleeping. And there are also lots of moments within the day that I'm going to rest and listen to new releases or older stuff.

Malte H.: And to summarize this up, I've got five keywords for you. Just write down the first thing coming through your mind by reading them:

Sanctus: Black Metal: Freedom & Rebellion

Aenaon: Jazz & Black Metal

Angela Merkel: Nice woman, beautiful look, sensational voice. What? Disagree?

Germany: Friedrich Nietzsche "Stützend" - hope it's the right word as far as I can remember!

Malte H.: That's it. We've reached the end so I'd like to thank you for your time and answers. Keep up the good work with DISOLVO ANIMUS and come to (the north of) germany as soon as possible, so that I'll be able to see you playing live, haha. And sorry for the delay on this interview!

Sanctus: I would like to thank you on behalf of the band, this has been a very interesting interview, and thanks for the support. We'd really like to visit Germany for some live shows, and we're looking forward to a European tour the following year, as well.

Malte H.: Now it's your chance for the final words!

Sanctus: Keep up the good work with and stay extreme forever and ever! All hails from Athens.

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