The Meads Of Asphodel and the difference between stupidity and genius

For the past decades the UK given birth to a many great bands like Cradle Of Filth, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Saxon and Motorhead. Now the little isle in the Atlantic has delivered another great band to check: The Meads Of Asphodel. Praised by Metal Hammer as one of the best underground bands in the UK. The band recently got signed to UK based label Candlelight Records. That led to their recently released debut album "Murder Of Christ The Jew". If you don't have any inking of sense of humor I recommend you at least listen to the album. The album is cornicopia of humor, crust, punk and black metal with a little pinch of spacey Hawkwind like progression.

Good evening to you Metatron how things been going for you in 2011 so far?
With the new album out and being received quite well the year is going splendidly.

To get me up to speed since I don't know much about the band can you give a brief history of The Meads Of Asphodel and how long the been together?
I formed the band in 1998 and the musical direction has changed little since then with the musical vision always to challenge the listener and try out different ideas, although technically we have improved tenfold since the early days. The lyrical content has always been about Biblical maters whether Old or New Testament related, as well as Human idiocy, cruelty and religious fanaticism.

The Meads Of Asphodel got signed to Candlelight not too long ago. Give a brief explanation how the band get signed to Candlelight and why the band decided to go with Candlelight?
They approached us and it seemed the right thing to do. We still hold onto our underground ethos as this is where we are most happy to be.

I’ve been listening to your new release "Murder Of Christ The Jew". It's a very different album from most recent releases within the past six months. I like the way the band mixed it up it's far from being a boring album.
We have always made music this ay and all out releases have this style of anything goes musical headfuck. Black Metal is our foundation and we can weave into this simmering rage Doom, Space Rock, Jazz, Medieval and Eastern instrumentation, numerous vocal arrangements and various levels of intensity. The new album is a total concept on the life of the Jew, Jesus [or in his original tongue Yeshua]. The only time you run out of chances is when you stop taking them, so we always do our own thing and fuck the world!!, But who are the idiots and who are the normal ones? The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.….The two most common elements in the world are hydrogen and stupidity. This is the confusion that makes senses once to unravel the mist, and that’s our music in a nutshell.

What the reaction been so far? Has it been more positive than negative?
I think ignorance fuels any disdain towards this new release. The facts are in the title as Jesus was Murdered and he was a Jew. The song Jew Killer, is about Pontias Pilate, the Roman Governor and he was a murdering bastard. Men are sad, fantasy-ridden, fragile, creatures, and this album reflects that as domost of our releases. The album has generally been received very well.

I feel the title of the album is more in your face that what caught my attention plus as a listener it kept my attention.
The Title is very controversial in many ways and will attract the attention of those who would pass it by otherwise. I do think the music is equally provocative in its own twisted way. Facts sometimes have a strange and bizarre power that makes their inherent truth seem unbelievable, yet reality is down to ones own perspective most of the time.

The band also doing the recording of the album got some members of Bulldozer, Sigh and involved in the making of this opus. How the band manage to get these people come on board for the making of this album?
A.C.Wild from Bulldozer was on the first album. This new release has Mirai from Sigh and Hoest from Taake, as well as Vincent Crowley from Acheron and Alisa Coral from Space Mirrors. All these guests add their own identity to an already adventurous musical nightmare.

What kind of instruments the band utilized during the recording session?
Mostly the normal guitars, bass and drums. Keyboards and violin, Theremin, trumpet, Acoustic guitar, also make their mark.

What I like about the UK metal scene not every band don't sound like a clone of other bands. You think in your opinion that what make UK metal scene so unique?
The UK scene is not very productive in terms of quantity but the bands are mostly unique. With Cradle Of Filth, Bal Sagoth, Napalm Death, Akercoke, Anaal Nathrakh, Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, Carcass, all either standing alone or starting a specific genre themselves. Black Sabbath basically invented Heavy Metal, and the British NWOBHM has been instrumental in shaping extreme Metal as we know it, so we are extremely proud to be part of this tradition.

Most of the bands I was listen to growing up in the midwest came from the Uk Judas priest, Iron Maiden, Motorhead and Saxon, they had their own sound. I feel that if I wrote a book about the history of metal the first definitely begin with the UK, cause these bands pretty much started metal?
Indeed, as I have mentioned, Metal music has its roots in the uk, although many other lands have made their mark. Where would we be without Metallica, Slayer, Celtic Frost, Scorpions, Behemoth, Enslaved, Emperor, Morbid Angel, Amon Amarth, Fintroll, etc.

I'm amazed how the band manages to mix all these elements of punk and progressive with a pinch of black metal it's very unique style. Was it hard at first and how long it take for the band get it down pat?
It is again down to the land we dwell in. Punk and Metal go hand in hand here and we have a great affinity with both styles and we covered many punk bands on our recent split cd with another UK band, Old Corpse Road. This is how we have always made our music so it comes natural. Most mysteries are only mysteries to the blind. There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unkowns. That is to say, there are things we know we don't know.
But, there are also unknown unknowns. These are things we don't know we don't know. Welcome to the world to the Meads of Asphodel.

How much of an influence Hawkwind been to the band?
A great influence on my vision of how a band can remain true to its roots and Hawkwind are just as they was 40 years ago. If we can have just half the respect Hawkwind have then it will be a great honour. I always say that without Hawkwind there would be no Motorhead and that would have a very different impact on how we see metal today. Hawkwind are a band who swept me along on a wave of Hashish and ACID, a band who immersed me in Valium and magic mushroom tea many moons ago,. I remember sniffing lines of powder and munching cakes filed with THC. Maybe those days gave me the serrated mind I have today. There really is nothing like believing you are a blue Lizard playing the accordion on a bald mans head. I'm not crazy just ask my guitar...

Are there any plans for a tour in support of the album?
Like Bathory and Darkthrone, we have not played live and for the time being have no desire to do so. As the music industry implodes with the effects of internet piracy I shall watch and see how things pan out in the years to come. We will always be around though.

Well, I got to hurry off. I like to thank you for taking the time to answer the questions. Is there anything you like to add?
Never squat with your spurs on, and if you are a nobody, and nobody is perfect, what does that make you? Many thanks for your time and we wish you well.
Interviewer: Paul Lewis
Mar 8, 2011

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