No rollercoaster ride for Agathodaimon

Interview with Martin from Agathodaimon, July 2009.

What are your lyrics dealing with mostly?
Oh, a nice question to start with… well, there’s no „mostly“, we’re not subscribed to a certain topic. It’s rather a style I’d like to stick to, a way of writing lyrics and the way emotions are evoked. Plus, the other members also write lyrics, and therefore there’s a lot of variety in all terms. Ashtrael for example is into bands such as Dissection and their way of writing lyrics, our old vocalist Vlad was very inspired by romanian poets, I sometimes try to write about personal feelings in an abstract way and so on.

In your new album "Phoenix" I can hear a variety of influences merged into your style, yet from a "one song to the next" point of view I'd say there is no much variety going on. Would you agree or disagree with that?
I don’t know if I understood you correctly, but I suppose you’re right if you say that inside a song, there’s not a wide range of styles, while we feel free to use a broad range of songwriting in general. In my opinion, it’s better not to have each song as rollercoaster ride, otherwise it would lose its structure and sound like a simple mixture of riffs.

You have nice melodic vocals as well. Perhaps every person I've ever spoken with about the extreme grunts or the raspy vocals, believed that this kind of singing will eventualy damage someone's "normal voice". Is this a myth or a fact? Any try out tips?
Well, our vocalist Ashtrael does both kinds of vocals styles for quite a while now, I only do clean vocals except for a few lines live. I believe there’s a way of doing it „right“, and meanwhile there’s more and more vocal teachers who can give hints and tips on this matter, or vocal courses on DVD like „The Zen of Screaming“ who are quite helpful in doing it right.

In which metal subgenre would you categorize the music you make if there was no harsh and guttural vocals in there?
Haha, well, that’s a tough question as I couldn’t imagine how Death Metal would sound without Death Metal vocals, but apart from the vocals, I’d say we have influences of Heavy, Thrash, Death and Black Metal in our music. But luckily, we refer to Dark Metal anyway- that’s a more open way to describe our music. Leaves room for imagination, but you’ll get a clue what the music may sound like…

I've read somewhere that in the early days of the band Century Media made you an offer to fund your second demo. I've never heard before about a big label doing this. What did Century Media expect from this deal about a demo which eventualy brought you a contract with Nuclear Blast?
Well, the simple reason behind it was that they liked our first demo, but would like to hear some more songs. At that time, we didn’t have enough money to record another demo, so we offered them to have the first option to sign us if they’d support us financially. It wasn’t a big sum of course, but it helped to pay our bills, hehe. And they also liked it, offered a record contract- but from there, it went downward. The initial contract wasn’t acceptable, we wanted a few things to be changed, and the guy who was responsible in that matter wasn’t available for weeks as he was always travelling. The weeks passed by, and we received more and more offers, and finally agreed to take the one of Nuclear Blast, as they simply made the best offer and also weren’t so slow, hehe.

What is the tolerance that the German black metal scene displays towards the NS black metal bands?
I would say there is no tolerance at all. There’s no way that fascist bands get any real support here in Germany. Of course there’s always a few crazy minded people, but hey, Black Metal and politics don’t mix. These people simply want attention by behaving as „extreme“ as possible, but I think when they grow older, they’ll realize that they’re behaviour is stupid.

Do you believe in any kind of supernatural stuff?
Depends on what you call as „supernatural“, but yes. There’s lots of things that we can’t explain from a scientific point of view and where science can’t answer all questions. As an example, just look at the universe. We know so much about distant stars and galaxies, and can be quite sure to tell how the universe began and how it will probably end, but the closer we come to the initial moment, the more questions occur. Where did matter come from, is there a supernatural being that created all? And if yes, who created it? The old question if chicken or egg was first there, hehe.

Do you have some ideology as a band?
The name already says it, its meaning. We try to give our best, we invest a lot of time into the band, and we try to follow our heart by doing the best music possible to us.

Which decade do you feel was the best for metal (and why)?
Haha, the second part of the eighties and nineties of course. That was when I was listening most intensely to music. There’s been a lot of styles that evolved from Heavy Metal in that time- Thrash, Death, Black, Doom… the metal scene was never more interesting than then. Nowadays, everything has been done, and new styles are rather a combination of old ones or a slight variation.

What stylistical changes did bring your line up changes over the years and what about the new line up?
Well, as everybody is or can be involved in the songwriting process, of course line-up changes also affect the music, but also your musical taste changes a little over the years. That’s quite natural, and I see no reason in trying to pretend that you’ll always find satisfaction in repeating the same style every year anew. I have respect for artists that stick to their style, but personally I wouldn’t enjoy it as I do like a wide range of styles myself, from Abba to Autopsy, hehe.

Which Gothic acts are you guys into at the most?
To be honest, no one. We’ve never been into gothic bands though we’re often labeled as gothic metal. But I don’t listen to this kind of music personally, same with the other guys. I think it’s the mixture of aggressive and clean vocals plus the use of keyboards that gets us into the gothic direction, but our roots will remain Black Metal.
Interviewer: twansibon
Jul 29, 2009

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