Vokodlok

 •  Posted in: Kogaionon Interviews

There is a new band on Romanian territory, a fashionable one maybe? We will see inside the following short discussion with Gardrak (Andrei), the guitarist of the band.

Hello Andrei. You've just finished the recording of your debut. Are you satisfied with it?

"Ave! Yeah, we are satisfied about the final result. Anyway there are a lot of things that might have been sounded better, but we tried to do the best we could with less money. So we recorded the drum parts in Taboo Studio and the other instruments and mixing and mastering in Dreamcast Studio."

Your sound follows the Raw Primitive Black Metal way, without keys or any other modern atmospheric ingredients: cold Heavy riffs, morbid and demonic voices, crushing drums. Why? Isn't a kind of limitation?

"Our style is skull-crushing Raw Black Metal, this is what we feel and like best... And we don't think this is limiting. We think this is the purpose in Raw Black Metal, to create brutal heavy riffs, demonic screams and morbid feelings. I mean that every style has its own limitations; Death Metal, for example, uses powerful and low guitars, earthquake voices, and if it crosses over these limitations it gets in another style, for example Black/Death Metal... and so on."

I listened to two tracks from your new album and I must admit your music is very furious, fast and aggressive. It's a mixture between old MAYHEM, DARKTHRONE.... It's more a Norwegian sound than a Romanian one. Am I wrong? What does originality mean for VOKODLOK?

"Well, it's natural wanting to sound like something good and not sound shitty like our Romanian sound... And these are the bands that started all this feelings, furious and aggressive, and inspired us since the beginning. For us originality means, in Black Metal, to create new and depressive moods for the listener, without copying other bands songs and riffs, like many local bands (not only in Black Metal) do nowadays and finally sounding more like cover-bands. I admit it's hard, at the beginning, to create something very original, so you must start from some other's band style, and I say style, not playing almost the same songs, but in time you earn experience and you can develop a style of your own."

Let me know more details about your debut, about tracks, about cover, texts...

"The songs, generally, speak about one of the eternal things in life, which is certain and cannot be avoided: Death. But taken separately, the songs speak about different things: 'Decay', is about the hatred against the glorification of god, 'Names on the Pyre', about the disgust against the religious inquisition in The Middle Ages, 'Silent Disturbance', about the destruction that man is capable against of his own life, 'Infinite Path of Unreality' is about death and what may come after it, 'Tormenting Spirit' is about vengeance, 'Conjurer of Suffocation' speaks about the inner beast and the fear of unleashing it."

What can you tell me about your deal with Beauty Of Pain? It's a young label, are you satisfied with Alex's work?

"Our collaboration with Beauty of Pain Productions began with our demo, that Alex released it on CD and he distributed and promoted it very well, mostly abroad but also in our country, so we both, being at the beginning, decided to help each other...

'Unchain The Wolf' was your demo, very-well received in Romania and not only. But I saw no major differences between the old and new sound. The only remarkable change is the actual synchronism and the quality of interpretation. Can you offer me more details about this issue, please?

"There are two important issues that we must discus here: the quality of the sound and the conception of the songs. Anyway, I believe that the production of the album is far away superior that the demos sound, with a clearer sound and much powerful atmosphere. And about the conception of the songs, we really are going on the same way we did on demo, but with a little more complex, fast and aggressive riffs... This is the way we feel to play..."

Vokodlok is an old Romanian word, which means werewolf (vukodlak). Isn't it a pompous name with a possible Dracula-inspiration? Transylvania, Romania, Vlad Dracul/Vlad Tepes, Bram Stoker's tale... What is the band's concept and which is the link between the name and the Black Metal...

"Well, this subject, the werewolf, is pretty much used in many Hollywoodian movies as they did with Vlad Tepes, that has nothing to do with Dracula as they are trying do make people believe... And we don't give a damn about these movies, which the only purpose producers are trying to achieve is to make as much money as their fat asses can contain... We wanted be represented by a symbol that could describe the ferocious, the bloody and the morbidity of our style..."

Otherwise, Andrei, what means Black Metal for you?

"Black Metal is the supreme method of revealing the mad and the destroying force that has its lair in our minds..."

Make-up, an old trend, is interesting for you nowadays. Why? Do you have any connection with these territories?

"Make-up is still a trend... We see it as a ritual of Black Metal bands...Trying to revive the old warriors feeling before a battle... But we only use it in pictures and not in concerts because of the fact that it is a trend..."

'Mass Murder Genesis' is a strange name for Black Metal texts. I know you are not Satanist, but why did you hate Christianity? You are living in an Orthodox country, with acceptable Christian laws. Do you consider yourself a rebel of it?

"First, we are neither Satanists nor Christians ... we are simply atheists... We are much angry on Christianity because of the methods they used trying to be the only religion and to obtain adepts, instead of the free will of the every person... Murder and fear are just a few of these methods. And a think it's obvious who did most murders, the Satanists or Christianity to achieve their purposes, but both of them does crimes in the name of Satan or God. Another reason is that I see religion only as a form of politics that tried with the fear of god, to rule the world... And, as one of our great philosophers Emil Cioran said, the saints were only some electoral agents that tried and succeeded to convince people about their 'politic' program. And of course, if you don't agree with some laws you become a rebel, but nowadays when a lot of people are getting there eyes opened it is already a common thing. Anyway, Christianity is not the only subject which is inspiring our songs..."

Your nick-names are Strigoi, Blestemat, Freak, Gardrak. What does it mean and why did you give up your real names? It's a scenic one, maybe?

"Yes, these are scenic names but we didn't leave our real names... me for example I'm using my name on this album... on the next one I'll use another nickname maybe, it depend of our moods..."

You fired your drummer and replaced with Teodor (Freak). Why?

"We had reasons, of course... The first one was the disinterest of evolving; the lack of participation and not in the last places his skills... Teodor was a friend of us, at that time the played in another band, we borrowed him and then he became a permanent member."

You are a Medicine student and so is your brother, Blestemat, too. Could we expect a possible carnage, an experiment with animal-dissection or some things like this, he, he? Only in Black Metal name? What do you think about this kind of idiots who make sacrifices "in the name of ... "?

"Hey, why dissection animals and not humans, he, he, (just joking)... In our first year of study we had to cut in some dead human bodies, but only in the name of science!!! Of course it is stupid to kill those little cute, fluffy, friendly sweet animals, like cats, pigs and cows, he, he... But most of these bands take these animals already sliced from slaughter houses... Maybe you could expect one tooth extraction live, on stage... (ugly idea, you can try but who is the victim, a possible VOKODLOK's fan?-ed)"

Describe me the band members, the hobbies, the age...

"Well...We all like to listen to Metal, and not only Black-Metal bands, when we have time, 'cause me and my brother for example are busy with our shitty medicine study, and the others have jobs, we all are between 21 and 24 years... Computers, shitting, reading and drinking...".

OCCULTA is a project of your vocalist. Do you have news regarding this band, maybe?

"This is a two member band, it is only a studio project and it performs Satanic Black Metal...They recorded and will release shortly (January) their demo called 'Hymns to the Fallen Angel' on a split tape, along a Greek band called 'Unholy Archangel', released by Axa Valaha Productions."

What does the future mean for you? Musically and not only...

"We are trying to improve our musical experience by playing at as many concerts as we permit, in Romania and abroad, compose new songs and trying to help the Romanian Underground get to a higher level, as other European countries have, maybe organize some concerts and edit an Underground Magazine (very good idea, try to put in practice soon!-ed) ... And the not musically part is to try to get rid of the military service and try to survive the Romania's economical shit that buries a lot of its people."

Thanks for the dialogue and good luck! I saw in an interview that you sustain and support the church burnings... Why? Do you see a solution by this kind of childish action, maybe?

"Well, this is the nostalgia about the beginning of the Black Metal movement, which used barbarian methods, to make their message clear... Of course nowadays it is a childish action and this is not the method to fight this plague... Thanks for the interview... Hails to all..."

November, 2002.