The finnish Death metal band SLUGATHOR was ressurected for the duration of an interview, to clarify some points and matters of the grave. Answers by Immu (Drums).
1. How does it feel to answer an interview about SLUGATHOR while the band split up in 2010? Is it something cool, or is there a strange little taste under the tongue?
Immu: I don’t feel much at the moment. I have very warm thoughts about our past but on the other hand the past is past and we have all moved on. Right at the beginning I have to say that Slugathor reunion of any sort seems very unlikely or even impossible. That’s the way it is! Sometimes I just … Miss the old days, you know. I think that’s natural.
2. I'm still not sure about the meaning of "Slugathor", except it stands for something like "Total death". Could you dissect the word on an etymological point of view, and tell us where it comes from? (Slug-gate-thor?). And what about the Slugathron? Was it a futuristic machine of total devastation?
It’s just a great band name. We can’t reveal much more. Oh well: Yes it’s “IT” (a creature).
3. What are you best remembrances of the SLUGATHOR years? Was it rather about some good gigs you played with other good bands that should be remembered because of the great aura? Was it rather the time you spent writing the first songs in dark rehearsal rooms, while no one gave a fuck about death metal, and you probably felt in a very obscure and totally underground underworld?
it really well how it was, at least to me. Especially there was
this mood for death in our rehearsal room because we knew that black
metal was “in” and death metal “out”, but we knew that we were honest
and doing the thing we wanted. In the end we got quite much respect
for that, it seems.
4. The band was created in 1999. After 3 demos and a split, you released the first album "Unleashing the slugathron" in 2003 and the second one "Circle of death" in 2005... Don't you feel sometimes you appeared 8 years too soon? If you had come with this kind of Death metal in 2012-2014, you could even have played bigger festivals!
Never really thought that but perhaps you’re right as one festival (not so big though) contacted us about such Fest possibility in 2013. Also our label Drakkar told about some chances in France or what so ever. Anyhow, it was not possible to reunite like I told in the very beginning, and those who are waiting for a reunion of Slugathor, should just calmly keep up listening to our old records… Check out the question number 10 if you want to know what’s happening now-a-days with Slugathor member bands/projects, etc.
5. You released 3 albums, on Agonia, Time before time and Drakkar. Which were the best and worse experiences? If you could change something on one of these albums, what would it be?
Of course not signing to Agonia.. haha.. well, it’s past now. At the time we thought it would be cool to release the album on Agonia, because it was very underground label in the beginning. The vinyl version never came out… shit, should do something about it or release it by ourselves! I guess I don’t even have to mention that we were unsatisfied with the deal we got from Agonia. Drakkar was quite cool to us, they were treating us like any other band (of our size). I don’t think their profile suited Slugathor perfectly as I heard the CD is not selling very well (Hey, black metallers! Buy our “Echoes from Beneath” album!) Time Before Time was maybe the most underground label of all those 3 ones you mentioned, but definitely he did good work in both promoting and selling our shit. Also the vinyl version… it was great! Only thing with TBT to complain about was the layout, so in that aspect Drakkar was certainly the winner. But as a friend, comrade and true supporter Tomasz of Time Before Time was the best!
6. Did you collect the paper zines with SLUGATHOR reviews or interviews inside? Perhaps you remember how many interviews were answered in the past? Did you notice a pick of "popularity" for the band? Perhaps it happened at the time of the second album "Circle of death"?
Some, I think.
We were interviewed so many times that probably I don’t even have
all the mags. It’s not that big amount of interviews, but I think
something around 20-30 interviews. Yes, I noticed that things started
to happen during “Circle of Death”, and I knew it because we had
just recorded a damn strong record!
7. Why did the band split up after the release of the third album "Echoes from Beneath"? Were you simply tired with this kind of metal, didn't have enough inspiration to compose anymore, or were there problems between the musicians?
You should ask this question mainly from our composer, Tommi (now in Desecresy). If not him alone, I think at least Tommi is completely satisfied with the current situation. And one thing I have to tell: In a way we are better friends now after all the years spent together… and all the shit there ever was is now just past.... Maybe it’s because we don’t have to look at each others faces too often anymore.. haha
8. After the third album, did you write some songs that weren't recorded or released?
Yes, there was unreleased and unfinished album which shall remain unreleased for 90% chance.
9. Do you imagine a comeback of the band would be possible in the future?
10. Tell us more about the current projects from the previous SLUGATHOR members. I know it's easy to find infos on the web, but it's always cooler to hear the words from someone who was involved (And perhaps you could give us crusty details?)
OK, so if you
want something new by us, check out Desecresy! Tommi and our live
bassist Jarno are both in that band and there is similarity musicwise
as well! Xtreem Music just released their 3rd album and I have to
say I like it and the last album was really good too. It’s very
strange death metal of some sort but still keeps you going deep
in a trance like state of mind. It’s a different state of mind like
when listening to Slugathor, but you can for sure hear who has composed
the songs there.
11. Did you already have someone tell you SLUGATHOR wasn't real death metal, because you had blast beats and something like a more "produced production" (For "Circle of death" at least)? For some (Younger?) peoples there was no real death metal album released after POSSESSED "Seven churches" or DEATH "Scream bloody gore" AhAh.
I can hear
you! Sometimes people do not understand the old feeling. Of course
Possessed or old Death are some of the best stuff out there… we
were composing music much later than them. In 2000—2010 or so… We
were not faking and we were not thinking that we are still doing
the same thing like in 1987. It’s just so posing. We were listening
to early-mid 90’s bands and I’m not ashamed of it! Bands like Morbid
Angel, Deicide, Grave or even Suffocation and likes were typical
sources of inspiration for us, besides the obivious Bolt Thrower,
you know. I also listened to bands like Slayer, Kreator and of course
some black metal too.. Mayhem, Burzum, Darkthrone, Beherit, etc.
12. If SLUGATHOR would have been a sex toy, how would it have looked (Perhaps some kind of giant war totem, to please the arrival of the giant ever flowing vagina from the gorgeous pleasure goddess? AhAh) and what kind of nice peripherals would have existed? (Additional spiked heads, vibrating middle fingers, bluetooth feet of cheer penetration)
I have seen a thing called Fleshlight on adult TV… Needless to say I’m not so desperate that I even considered ordering it.. hahaha… but I kinda understand your question! The answer should be like somewhere between the metallic Dr. Octopus (whose very strong mechanical appendages would instead be giant penises!) and a monster creature. I think you can imagine a scene very familiar from those certain anime slut movies where there are tentacles in all possible holes...
13. Looking at metal-archives, I noticed you played drums on many records, mostly drums, drums and drums! Why this instrument in particular? Is there something about your personality that feels much closer to beating the skins than playing guitars? Do you feel more concerned with the beats and rhythms than riffs and “melodies”? By the way did you compose some guitar lines in some of your past bands?
I just never really taught myself to play any other instrument so well. I can like play some very simple bass guitar or piano, you know. No, I’m not a composer but I have been doing arrangements for most bands I was involved with.
14. What were the best albums and demos of 2014 in your opinion? What was played in your Hi-fi the last weeks?
I’m going to
start up with some great praise: I really worship Mysticum - Planet
Satan and Master’s Hammer -Vagus Vetus albums. Ups.. not death metal
there.. I also only heard Blitzkrieg’s Back from Hell in 2014… (the
album was released in 2013). Then from death metal I listened mostly
to Dead Congregation’s Promulgation of the Fall. It’s a great record,
though not full or surprised. Bad ass death metal anyway… I also
enjoyed Lie in Ruins, Corpsessed and some others, but they didn’t
impress me as much as Profetus - As All Seasons Die mini LP.
15. Finland is known for having a commercial, almost "mainstream" metal scene, but we are interested in the deeper underground bands (It's weird how the word "underground" lost of its meaning in less than 10 years, sometimes it doesn't seem to mean much than simply "metal", as if every metal bands really had a deep underground approach and state of mind...). So can you tell us more about the Finnish UNDERGROUND in 2015: Interesting bands, labels, fanzines... What should we hunt at all costs or prepare to enjoy in the coming months?
Check out FINNISH DEATH METAL MANIACS FEST, which will be announced in January 2015! It will be both new and very old bands playing. Some interesting bands: Witchcraft, Cemetery Fog, Violent Hammer... Evil Angel is back too... Some labels to keep eye on : Metal Warning and Death Metal Maniac... haha... Fanzines: Macabre Overdose (only 1 issue is out) and Abhorrent Visions (number #2 is out now I think). Then there was Quadrivium 6th and final issue, which is not a regular zine but a 356 paged book with 3 CDs! This is underground.
16. Since you probably answered a couple of interviews in the past, you might have noticed if some kinds of music, kinds of alcohol (Or other "stuffs") worked better to find inspired answers? You know, some records that could lead to some kind of "philosophical" state of mind and help to take some distance from the very busy present... (Sub question: What did you listen, eat, drink or do while answering these questions?)
Ok, here is
my reveal: I was eating carrots and paprikas! Some salad earlier
too, True! I didn’t drink much. Only 1 glass of tap water which
is perfectly drinkable here in Finland. I’ve been cutting out heavy
alcohol drinking quite much in the past years, as I have kids, you
17. It's time to conclude, perhaps you could tell us about your future projects or something?
I already mentioned
Hostis Humani Generis. Nothing published yet, but very likely there
will be a demo in 2015. Quite mid-tempo/ slow old death metal. Then
I have my main band Witchtiger, heavy metal, which is on hold at
the moment – and nothing to tell about right now.