2011 September: Tragon @ Metal Hammer & Heavy Metal (GR)

Q: At first, I would like a few words to introduce the band to our readers.

A: Lord Impaler were formed in September 1998. In these 13 years of the band’s existence we have released 4 demos and a 4-way vinyl split, and this year we released our first complete album. At this moment the band line up consists of Tragon and Lord Nebulah.

Q: Admire the Cosmos Black is your first album. What is your feedback? Was the creation process and the end product what you were planning from the beginning?

A: The creation of Admire the Cosmos Black began around 2005 and it ended after a lot of hard work in 2009, and with the help of Hellhammer the result was actually better than what we hoped for. We generally hear good words for the album, which is always pleasant. In fact this is the first time we receive as much feedback from people who bought the CD and we are extremely happy they liked the album. It is very important to know that the money of those who decided to support us worth it, especially in those times we live, when people don’t feel like wasting their money.

Q: What does the album title mean for you?

A: The “Black Cosmos” is a reference to all those that more or less make up the idea of black metal. Darkness, loss, powers above human, epics and ancient cults. The title belongs to a song that speaks about all those, from our Promo 2005, and since we believe it matches the tone of the album we used it again.

Q: I would like to know which are the things that inspire you when you write your lyrics and music.

A: Books mainly. We read a lot and we read everything and anything. Beyond that, we try to keep our minds open because the inspiration that will give birth to the basic ideas can come from anywhere, movies, books, dreams, conversations and personal experiences.

Q: How did the cooperation with Hellhammer came to happen? Could you also tell me a few things about Knut M. Valle that did the mix and mastering of the album?

A: The story with Hellhammer is a somewhat funny one. We were making some trip arrangements with Knut, so at some point Lord Nebulah said to him in a semi-serious tone, “why don’t you ask Jan, since you are friends, if he would like to play the drums on the album?” and while we were laughing with the improbability of it happening, the answer from the other end came “sure, why not…”. You know the rest… As for Knut, he is more than just a professional, but also extremely approachable. He did whatever he could so we can return home completely satisfied, he worked really hard for the album, and he also gave us a small tour around for sightseeing.

Q: You chose to produce the album in Norway. What leaded you to that decision? Now that you have this experience, what differences can you spot between Norway and Greece in this area?

A: Just before we release Demo 2009, we sent some tracks to foreign studios to see what they could offer. We felt honored that Knut wanted to work with us, and you should also know that the cost was close to that of a typical mix/master in Thessaloniki! From the few things we got to see, I think that most bands up there really enjoy the successes of other bands, contrary to what we see here…

Q: If I am not mistaken, the ‘headquarters’ of the group lie in Kastoria. Do you have any trouble promoting the band because of your location, and what kind of trouble if so?

A: The metal community up here is unfortunately shrunken, the extreme metal bands can be counted with one hand and there are no metal clubs and no metal fans to support any effort. Fortunately there are now more and more ways to promote your work through the internet and they can mask the problem a bit.

Q: I see that the CD that I hold doesn’t mention a label. Was self-financing the album a choice of yours? Are you trying to get signed by some label?

A: All of the labels which we reached answered that unfortunately CD is a dead medium. Those who still buy CDs prefer the big names and just download the smaller acts. It is logical for labels to be afraid to invest in unknown bands. So we decided to put the money ourselves and print the album. We keep contacting labels of course, and we recently opened our profile at http://signmeto.roadrunnerrecords.com/artists/lord-impaler , an effort of Roadrunner Records to open up the A&R area to the people.

Q: What are the future plans of Lord Impaler?

A: We are already working on new material for the second album, while we are talking about the possibility of releasing an EP or some split before that. It is very early to at his time to get into details or drop titles.

Q: The epilogue is yours.

A: Thank you very much for the interest in Lord Impaler and of course for this interview.

Thank you for your time.
Interviewer: Panos

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