HI! HOW ARE YOU? WHERE ARE YOU? Fine. I am at Axis North Command, listening to Wagner, psyching myself up to answer some good German questions. “OBEY” HAS BEEN OUT FOR A BIT NOW. ARE YOU STILL 100% HAPPY WITH THE RESULT? Yes. The thing is fucking grim. THE ALBUM ALSO MARKS YOUR SECOND RELEASE FOR OSMOSE PRODUCTIONS. IN WHICH WAY DO YOU FEEL HAVE THINGS CHANGED COMPARED TO YOUR TIME WITH “DEATH TO MANKIND”? On a business level, things are different: marketing, recording/touring, budgeting and public relations. The propaganda machine is now an unstoppable juggernaut on full speed. However, our attitude toward this extreme style of metal remains the same: total apocalyptic annihilation! THERE SEEMS TO BE A CONCEPT BEHIND YOUR NEW WORK. AS I UNFORTUNATELY DO NOT HAVE THE LYRICS, COULD YOU TELL ME JUST A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE BACKGROUND OF THE ALBUM? Our lyrics tend to run on thematic narratives, from past legends to the mythology of the future. This particular case deals with human enslavement via technological authoritarianism. In short: hell on earth for all too afraid to open their eyes. TALKING ABOUT THE LYRICS: YOUR PREVIOUS RELEASES DEAL WITH THE ISSUE OF WAR. HOW COME YOU ARE SO FASCINATED BY THIS TOPIC? IS THERE ANYTHING WE CAN LEARN FROM WARS OR CONCEPTS OF WAR? Metaphorically, war is the greatest evil on earth. Every day life is easily comparable: stratagem, tactical deployment, execution, defeat and victory. Don’t over-extend your supply lines, and lace your boots up tight. It’s ugly out there. ALSO, SOCIAL DARWINISM (THE PRINCIPLE OF “SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST” IN A SOCIAL CONTEXT) SEEMS TO PLAY A ROLE. WHAT’S YOUR OPINION ON THIS? Logic paves the way over dogma. There is no emotional recourse to general humanity, and individual complexities are overlooked for the sake of consensus. Watch your own back because I’m too busy watching mine. IN THE CURRENT POLITICAL SITUATION, THERE ARE QUITE A FEW WARS GOING ON WITH DIFFERENT REASONS AND LEGITIMATIONS. I WAS JUST WONDERING WHAT YOUR STANCE ON THE WARS IN AFGHANISTAN AND IRAQ IS. CAN AXIS OF ADVANCE BE CONSIDERED TO BE A POLITICAL BAND TO A CERTAIN EXTENT? There is a huge difference between activism and observation. Axis of Advance practices the latter. Awareness through vigilance and spreading knowledge to the like-minded heathenkind on earth is our way. Afghan and Iraqi conflicts are only small pieces to a vast regional puzzle edging an impending global energy crisis. The North East Asian theatre will, however, have far graver ramifications if the current balance of power is disrupted. We shall see. We are not a political group, but we are not afraid to report what we know, nor are we going to stop questioning the dubious aims of the powers that be. FLORIDA VETERANS MALEVOLENT CREATION HAVE THIS YEAR RELEASED “WARKULT”, WHICH ALSO DEALS WITH WAR ON A PHILOSOPHICAL BASIS. HAVE YOU BY ANY CHANCE LISTENED TO THEIR RECORD? ARE THERE ANY CONTACTS TO OTHER BANDS FROM THE WAR METAL GENRE? We have countless contacts, but we avoid trend-happy, mindless fools intent on corrupting a pure form with inferior copying and blueprinting. TO GET BACK TO MUSIC: IT LOOKS LIKE YOU WERE STRIVING FOR A RATHER ORGANIC SOUND INSTEAD OF A “CLEAN” ONE – WHY? This style thrives in an atmosphere that is nebulous and abrasive in nature. It is the only way. THE SAME GOES FOR THE VOCALS, WHICH SEEM TO BE LESS “PRODUCED” THAN WITH MANY COMPARABLE GROUPS. ARE YOU OF THE OPINION THAT A DEATH METAL SHOUTER SHOULD JUST USE HIS REAL VOICE AND AVOID EXTREME EFFECTS? Effects must be chosen carefully to buttress the general sonic superstructure, not to impede nor steal from the overall onslaught. ON THE OTHER HAND, THE BEGINNING OF “GOD-EYE COMMAND” WITH ITS FRIGHTENING VOCALS AND GLOOMY AMBIANCE SOUNDS GREAT – ANY PLANS TO USE THESE ELEMENTS MORE OFTEN IN THE FUTURE? All albums will use whatever means necessary to achieve an aural blast of the most brutal proportions. WHEN I LISTENED TO THE ALBUM FOR THE SECOND TIME, I NOTICED THAT EVEN THOUGH ITS SOUND SEEMED A BIT BLURRY AT FIRST, YOU COULD ACTUALLY CLEARLY DISTINGUISH EACH INSTRUMENT. WAS IT IMPORTANT TO YOU TO KEEP AT LEAST A CERTAIN DEGREE OF TRANSPARENCY? You got through it twice – I salute you for your bravery. The album’s sound is expressly designed to illustrate a vast, thundering wall of tar-coated iron and steel, mincing its way towards you. Closer inspection shall reveal windows and fissures, however, and beyond those is the bleak, fire-ravaged landscape of doom, ever changing and erupting with ideas and insight, and the glimmering vomit of hell. Enter at your own risk. J. READ IS APPARENTLY STILL CONSIDERED A “SESSION MUSICIAN”. WITH DRUMS SO MUCH UP-FRONT IN THE MIX AND OF VITAL IMPORTANCE TO YOUR MUSIC, HOW COME YOU HAVEN’T AS YET DECIDED ON A PERMANENT MUSICIAN TO DO THE JOB? No one else is qualified to our knowledge. His mark is of the highest order. THERE ARE NOT TOO MANY SOLOS ON THE ALBUM. DID YOU WANT TO KEEP THINGS AS DIRECT AND TIGHT AS POSSIBLE OR IS THERE ANOTHER REASON FOR THIS? I only brought one chainsaw to Sweden and it could receive no further punishment. Next time, I may bring two… “OBEY” IS A CLEAR REFERENCE TO THE OLD N DIRTY DEATH METAL STYLE. STILL, AS THE ALBUM PROGRESSES, YOU SEEM MORE AND MORE CONCERNED WITH INTEGRATING GROOVY PARTS AND CATCHY ELEMENTS. AFRAID TO LOOSE THE LISTENERS’ ATTENTION OR A DISPLAY OF YOUR DIVERSE MUSICAL INTERESTS? Every song must contain many elements and moods that tie into the lyrical element. There have to be essential dynamics in order to prevent stagnation and/or one-dimensional sound issues. Also, the flow of an album must be robust yet fluid, creating an almost if not total cerebral-visual experience (best enjoyed alone in the dark). I ALSO THOUGHT THE DOOM-PARTS WORKED EXTREMELY WELL. DO YOU LIKE TO LISTEN TO BANDS FROM THAT GENRE AND IS DOOMY MUSIC A SOURCE OF INSPIRATION TO YOU? Doom is essential. Doom is essential. Essential. THE ARTWORK IS JUST A LITTLE BIT MORE ABSTRACT THAN ON “THE LIST” FOR EXAMPLE. HOW COME? WAS IT A CONSCIOUS DECISION TO MOVE AWAY JUST A LITTLE BIT FROM TOO CLEAR-CUT SYMBOLISM? There is a time and place for simplicity, but not here. The imagery cannot undermine the work within. AMERICAN BLACK METAL ICON XASTHUR MENTIONED YOU IN AN INTERVIEW, STATING THAT HE LIKED YOUR MUSIC AND COULD SEE SOME PARALLELS WITH YOUR RELEASES. BY ANY CHANCE EVER HEARD OF HIM? I have not formally heard the project, but I understand that it is atmospheric black hate worth investigating. YOUR CURRENT HOMEPAGE IS NOT EXACTLY UP TO DATE. DOES THIS MEAN THAT YOU DON’T SEE THE INTERNET AS PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT FOR PROMOTING YOUR GROUP? IT COULD ALSO IMPLY THAT YOU STILL SEE CONCERTS AS THE MAIN AND FOREMOST PLACE TO LISTEN TO YOUR MUSIC… To my understanding, the page is nearing construction’s completion phase. Concerts and word of mouth shall always rule promotional techniques. TALKING ABOUT CONCERTS: YOU JUST COMPLETED A ROUND OF CONCERTS. HOW DID THINGS GO? WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO VISIT THE OLD CONTINENT AGAIN? European tour ’04 was excellent. Presently, our tasks are to exploit past victories in said theatre by widening the campaign in early 2005. Anything is possible at this point, and we are locked and loaded! Salute to our German brethren who’ve stood by us so long! We shall meet again! Hail the End.