Interview with: Archaic Thorn – C.L. (Guitars) and M.F. (Bass/Vocals)
Interview By: Beandog
Teaming up with Into Endless Chaos Records, German death metal band, Archaic Thorn have recently released seven tracks of uncompromisingly old school brutality, gathered together on their brand new album – Eradication.
We dropped the band a line to ask about their new release and how they got started. This is what they had to say…
Hi, thanks for taking some time out to speak to us! – How are you guys doing at the moment?
C.L. (Guitars): Things are going well for us. We are still active and rehearsing on a regular basis. Writing new songs and rehearsing old ones.
For those of our readers who haven’t discovered the band yet, can you tell us about the Archaic Thorn journey so far? How did the band begin and evolve?
C.L.: M.F. and myself started in 2010 with the vision to play raw, morbid and honest Metal of Death. About one year later we met T.R. He, with the same passion for this kind of art and sharing same visions of how a DM band has to sound like, completed the bands line up.
At first we were practising some cover songs, but it didn’t take us long until we wrote songs of our own. Our first emanations were manifested in 2013 on our first output, the demo “Hydra Throats.” Some local gigs here and there and two years later it was followed by an MLP called “In desolate Magnificence.”
Now in 2020 we´re finally holding our first full length “Eradication” in hands. We as a band are still in a constant progress of becoming more powerful musicians, songwriter etc. evolving together can be seen most likely as a living organism which is in everlasting progress to reach its most perfect form it will become in its entire existence.
I was interested to see the following words included with my copy of the new album, Eradication – “(We) spread the word of Messorem, as life is a beautiful lie and death the painful truth”
Can you elaborate on this and tell us more?
M.F: Of course, this statement is a part of the message we are delivering to the listener through our music. At first hand it reminds you of your own physical transience and the absolute certainty of it. This passing – which is commonly known as dying – is a transition into the primordial ocean we mostly describe as death, which is closer to reality than the world we are currently living in; a materialistic world which is more based on illusions than anything else. Death as the certain truth which will overtake everyone sooner or later at some point.
That all sounds suitably morbid for such a dark, death metal release; which brings us to the new music. Eradication is your first full length release. You seem very focused in terms of the themes you have included. Did you have a clear idea of how you wanted it sound before you started? What did you set out to achieve?
M.F: We have had a clear vision of our sound since our very first record, but it’s also still in constant progress. Our main focus for the album was to achieve an organic sound which represents this rawness and uniqueness we hear and feel while playing our songs live or rehearsing them. A sound which comes close to what we are representing live on stage. In my opinion we succeeded on that.
What can you tell us about the sessions themselves?
C.L: The sessions were a little bit challenging due to the fact we only had two full days in the studio to record everything. At first we recorded the drums, then all guitars, after that the bass and finally the vocals were done. Apart from some inconsequential problems, all went fine and we were more than satisfied with the end result.
And what the studio did you use?
C.L: Recording took place in Time and Dust studio in a town close to the place we live. Most important for our decision to record the album there, was the fact that people we are working with are 100% into this kind of music and have a good understanding for our own sound. And with the ability to capture exactly the sound we were looking for the album. With J. Lava also playing in a DM band we made a good choice as a recording engineer, he had several great references with recording and mixing albums for bands like Schafott and Vidargängr just to name a few. Now the sound on Eradication speaks for itself.
Absolutely! There is a rawness to your sound that leaves me feeling you are fans of the older, more primitive and brutal death metal – Who would you credit as your biggest influences?
C.L: Yes, of course as our name reveals we are more into the archaic and primordial form of this kind of art. But I wouldn’t choose the word primitive to describe what we are doing musically. To me primitive somehow describes bands who lose a lot of their own musical individuality and character for the purpose of a wider range of acceptance. Writing songs more based on simple patterns and pop like song structures for more “catchiness” for example. Music which is easier to get into as listener, you know. Musically we have many influences but some of them who had definitely an impact on us are Grotesque, Morbid Angel, Mayhem and Sadistic Intent just to name a few.
Indeed. You’ve described yourselves as having a “devotion and spirit for the morbid art of metal and death.” What is it about death metal that you connect with in such a powerful way?
M.F: It’s about a certain beauty in this music you are mostly doomed to search in other aspects of life itself. Which only can be found in extreme forms of art such as Death and Black Metal. Its also about strong feelings and messages you are only able to deliver through this music, you will never be able to describe or find words for it at all. We are all tied to this art since our early days in youth, it’s a main part of our lives and there is no turning back on this.
With that being said… are there any records in your collection that might surprise our readers to know you like?
M.F: My record collection contains a lot of records from different genres but mostly referred to rock and metal music. So, no surprising record at all I think.
C.L: My collection also consists of some hard rock and metal records. As a surprise I could add B.B. King, Neil Young or a classical LP with Vivaldi, Bach and Beethoven.
On a similar theme, can you tell us about your earliest musical memories?
C.L: The earliest memories I have are connected to Black Sabbath. This for me is still one of the most honest bands in history. (They poured the heaviness and power of music into an art form of its own. They did it with a credibility which has only been achieved by very few so far.
M.F: To me the earliest memories are those when I listened for the very first time to records from the collection of my parents, albums from Lynyrd Skynyrd, UFO, Hendrix and Black Sabbath. It is such powerful music which immediately caught my attention and aroused my interest in it.
Once you had discovered music, what inspired you to start playing an instrument?
C.L: Listening to music is one thing playing an instrument and becoming a part of it is another. When I first listened to music I felt a strong urge of becoming a part of it and do something powerful on my own. To me that means total devotion and individual fulfilment without feeling any boundaries of my spirit to something less important.
M.F: On that I can refer to the answer of C.L. – but my interest in especially playing the bass was growing while discovering the DM bands from the early 90’s US Death Metal scene.
Were either of you in bands before Archaic Thorn?
M.F: No, we weren’t in any band or project before AT. So most of our experiences and progressions we made were made during our time as a band. Sure we played our instruments before founding the band. But that was mostly a process of learning and getting the feeling of handling and playing the instrument correctly.
Who inspires you outside of music?
C.L: Individuals who follow their very own way of life.
M.F: Other influences are different kind of books, the legacy of ancient cultures, drawings, travels were made. Various experiences which everyone of us has and life itself.
Moving back to Archaic Thorn – can you tell us about your ambitions? What would you like The band’s legacy to be?
M.F: Our future ambitions are writing and rehearsing new songs, doing some live shows if possible. And keep it together constantly growing in every aspect. We don’t plan to quit the band in the future, so there are no thoughts on the bands legacy or whatsoever.
And, what can you tell us about the scene in your hometown? Any venues and bands we should check out once the pandemic subsides and we can all get back to doing what we enjoy!
M.F: There isn’t much to talk about, but we can recommend you some very good bands from cities close to our hometown for example Abyssous, Schafott, Evil Warriors and II you should check out if you haven’t heard of them so far. In our hometown there are no concert locations, but you have well known venues in the next bigger cities.
That’s great! It’s always good to hear recommendations from those involved in the scene. Thinking more broadly… Just for fun before we leave you – If you had to name the three greatest riffs ever committed to tape, what would they be?
C.L: Choose any riff from the following songs: Metallica -Master of Puppets, Black Sabbath- Iron Man and Dismember-Dreaming in Red.
M.F: You can choose any riff from Grotesques “Incantation” and Morbid Angels “Altars of Madness” and you will have them.
Cheers guys – Thanks for taking the time out to speak to us
Thank you for the interview!
Eradication is available on Download, Cassette and Vinyl – For more information, check the bands website – HERE