HI! HOW ARE YOU? WHERE ARE YOU? Hi! I’m fine, thanks. I’m at home now in my comfortable cave, it’s late night and I’m listening to some good music. YOU’RE BACK FROM PLAYING THE BRUTAL ASSAULT FESTIVAL IN PRAGUE! HOW DID THINGS GO? It was great. This was the third time we played at Brutal Assault and it has always been great. Great crowd, great atmosphere. Anyway, we were a bit tired as we had a great show at Sziget festival in Budapest the day before and there was an afterparty, so it was a hangover show for us at Brutal Assault, haha. We wanted to leave Budapest at 12 o’clock due to the big distance but we found our drummer at 3 pm somewhere lying in the Sziget festival area, hehe. We had to drive as fast as hell to arrive in time and he was sleeping during the trip and finally everything went well. Anyway, since Brutal Assault we had a show in Budapest and tonight we’ll go to Holland for a minitour to support our new album. IT’S YOUR 10TH ANNIVERSARY WITH SEAR BLISS THIS YEAR! HOW DID YOU CELEBRATE? DID YOU TAKE SOME TIME TO LOOK BACK ON THESE YEARS? We celebrated it with a great show in Budapest in February. We invited some ex-members, too, and we played a very long set including songs from all our albums. The show was recorded and filmed professionally and we want to release it on DVD as an anniversary release, later this year. “GLORY AND PERDITION” HAS BEEN OUT FOR QUITE SOME TIME NOW – HOW HAVE REACTIONS AND SALES BEEN UP TO NOW? HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE ALBUM YOURSELVES NOW YOU HAVE A MORE OBJECTIVE PERSPECTIVE? It seems that “Glory and Perdition” is our most successful release so far. Sales-wise I don’t know yet, as it has been released only two months ago so we are waiting for statements. The responses are very good and we have never got so many positive reviews before. As far as my opinion of the album concerns, I think this is our most powerful album and it has the best sound we have ever produced. I like it but as always, it could have been done even better. THE NEW ALBUM ONCE AGAIN SHOWS YOU CLEARLY POSITIONED IN BLACK METALS ELITE. STILL, YOUR PRESENCE IN THE MEDIA DOES THIS POSITION NO REAL JUSTICE. DO YOU FEEL JUST A LITTLE BIT LEFT OUT, WITH ACTS LIKE CRADLE OF FILTH OR DIMMU BORGIR CLAIMING MUCH BIGGER SUCCESS? We really don’t care. We do what we do. We play what comes from inside. If there are people who like what we do that’s great but if there was no one we would play the same music. THE PRODUCTION IS SUPERB! HOW MUCH TIME DID IT TAKE TO ACHIEVE THIS CRUSHING YET REFINED SOUND AND ESPECIALLY THE VERY NATURAL INTEGRATION OF THE “ACOUSTIC” INSTRUMENTS? We spent one and a half month in the studio to record, mix and master the album. It was a hard work but it was worth doing so… This time we used a more professional studio and our former guitar player was the producer and he helped a lot. He knows our music and we know him well, so it was really comfortable to work this way. We always combined acoustic instruments to our music, so we had some experience in this. TALKING ABOUT THESE INSTRUMENTS – HOW FAR DO YOU FEEL CAN THIS APPROACH STILL GO? HAVE YOU EVER FELT LIKE LEAVING THEM AT THE SIDE AND REDUCING YOUR BAND TO THE MERE BASICS? No, brass instruments will always be part of Sear Bliss‘ music. It is kinda trademark of our music. We don’t want to leave. We would like to give even more creativity and space to them. It’s important for us to be exciting musically. A QUESTION FOR ANDRAS: THE HARMONIES AND SOUNDS IN YOUR KEYBOARD PLAY SUGGEST YOU HAVE A DIFFERENT BACK GROUND APART FROM METAL – THEY ARE MELLOW AND LAVISHLY BEAUTIFUL. AM I CORRECT? Thanks for your compliments. Actually, I listen to some other music besides metal, so the influences may come from there, I guess. I always enjoyed expressing moods with keyboards. “BIRTH OF ETERNITY” COULD WELL BE ONE OF THE BEST BLACK METAL SONGS OF THIS YEAR: COMPLEX, YET INCREDIBLY FLOWING. WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE COMPOSITION PROCESS THAT LED TO ITS EXISTENCE? I’m glad you like that song. It is one of my favourites, too. Actually, it was the first song we wrote for “Glory and Perdition”. It came really naturally. I created the keyboard parts at home firstly and then we built it up in the rehearsal room. It was born so quickly that I hardly remember the process. Anyway, the best melodies and songs come naturally, in a way you can not remember it. We always compose what comes from inside. “SHORES OF DEATH” AND “DREAMS SPECTRE” ARE QUITE A BIT “RAWER” AND “HEAVIER” THAN THE REST OF THE MATERIAL. WHERE THEY POSSIBLY COMPOSED IN AN EARLIER OR LATER STAGE OF THE PROCESS? Yes, they were among the last songs we composed for the album. Probably the last two ones. Simply we felt that. We always express what we feel in the certain moment in which the song is born. There is more anger in those songs for sure. “LACUS SOMNIORUM” STARTS OFF LIKE AN ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE SONG – ONLY TO END AFTER 50 SECONDS. WHY DIDN’T YOU BOTHER TO BUILD A “REAL” TRACK OUT OF THIS MATERIAL? It was planned to be longer but it was enough finally. “Lacus Somniorum” means the “Lake Of Dreams” and we wanted the listener to sink immediately into it after the songs are over. It is a short and straight album. It wouldn’t have fitted if we had put a long outro after the songs. EVEN THOUGH YOU HAVE A PREFERENCE FOR EPIC FEELINGS, MOST OF THE TRACKS ARE QUITE SHORT. WAS THERE EVER THE THOUGHT OF INCLUDING A LONGER COMPOSITION ON THE ALBUM? All our previous albums contained very long songs, especially the previous one, “Forsaken Symphony”. This time we felt it would be much better not to overwrite things. The mood of the songs claims for this. These songs would not be so straight and powerful with more length. Also, it is much better to perform this kind of songs instead of the long ones due to their energy. Direct and powerful, perfect for stage performance. ON THE OTHER HAND, THERE ARE A FEW HINTS AT PROGRESSIVE ELEMENTS IN “GLORY TO PERDITION”. DO YOU HAVE AN AFFINITY FOR THIS KIND OF MUSIC AND BANDS SUCH AS DREAM THEATER? No, we are not into progressive music. Personally I don’t like Dream Theater at all, however I respect their skill. THE VOCODER IN “REVERIE” WORKS BILLIANTLY. ANY PLANS ON EXTENDING ITS ROLE IN FUTURE PROJECTS? Yeah, probably. I really like experimenting with weird and futuristic sounds and voices. It is as exciting as working with my keyboards. I’m really into extreme voices, so I will definitely work on it in the future as well. I think it’s important to bring a fresh flavour into black metal but it’s also important that you should use these things only if needed. Not to overplay them… YOUR LYRICS SEEM TO DEAL WITH MANS POSITION IN BETWEEN THE ELEMENTS AND NATURE IN GENERAL. HOW COME THIS ISSUE IS OCCUPYING YOU SO MUCH? Because it is the essence of everything in life. We often forget to ask ourselves, where is our place in nature, where is our place in the universe. We are part of the cosmos, we are cosmic creatures but we are too busy with all the earth-bound things. Our earthly struggling is ridiculous compared to what is going on in the universe. Also, I try to give a personal touch to my lyrics. Actually, the lyrics of the new album are quite personal in some ways. “LOOK INTO MY EYES AND YOU’LL KNOW WHAT I’M YEARNING FOR” (“NIGHT YOURNEY”). AS I CAN NOT SEE YOUR EYES, WOULD YOU TELL ME WHAT YOU’RE YEARNING FOR WITHOUT ME LOOKING? This is a lust which is difficult to put into words. As I told you the lyrics on “Glory and Perdition” are very personal, including this sentence. I am full of yearning, feelings, moods, instincts. They drive me and I am possessed by them. This is what gives the energy for our music. I would not share everything for which I’m yearning for, as it is too personal for me but I can tell you that there’s passion in my eyes. THE ARTWORK IS BEAUTIFUL AND PERFECTLY FITS THE MUSIC. WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT GYULA HAVANSCAK, THE ARTIST BEHIND IT? WHY WASN’T GYULA CHOSEN TO DO THE COVER PICTURE AS WELL? Gyula made the booklet and the layout for the CD but the cover artwork itself was done by a highly talented painter, Jozsef Tari. He is definitely the most professional painter I know. Too bad he is nearly unknown, though he made artwork for Venom as well (“Wastelands”). As for Gyula, he is also a very talented artist. He creates complete layout for CD’s, for example he made the new Annihilator CD lately. He is a good friend of mine plus he is a professional bass player on the other hand. HOW IMPORTANT DO YOU ENVISAGE CAVUM, YOUR NEW SIDE-PROJECT, TO BE? ANY PLANS TO TAKE THIS FURTHER THAN JUST A HOBBY? THE FREE-TO-DOWNLOAD TRACKS SEEMED PROMISING… No, Cavum is not a new project. I was asked to do the vocals for their demo a couple of years ago. I was only a session musician for that recording. I think the result was pretty good. A mixture of progressive (death) metal with black metal. That’s all I did for them. I got nothing to do with them anymore, though they are nice guys, I like them. I have other plans now. I contributed to the band of our former keyboard player Winter. I played the guitars for his band Forest Silence. It is very great music, synth-based majestic ambient black metal. Right now I am working with the former Sear Bliss members on a special thing. We had a whole album written when we went on tour with Marduk in 1997 but then the band divided into two parts and the music was left untouched. I fucking loved that material and it always worried me that it was left in oblivion, so I was very happy when the former guys said OK to record it now, 8 years later. We’ve started recording it, step by step. Hopefully it will be released next year. It is going to be a nostalgic record, back to the early days. It will be very similar to our first album Phantoms. ANY POSSIBILITY THAT WE WILL GET TO SEE YOUR THEATRE PRODUCTION OUTSIDE OF HUNGARY? AS THE PROJECT HAS BEEN VERY SUCCESSFUL: WILL THERE BE A CONTINUATION OF THIS IDEA? I don’t think we could perform it outside of Hungary as the play is in Hungarian language with Hungarian actors. It would be too difficult to make it in English, too much work with too many people. I hope there will be a continuation of that because we enjoyed it very much. It was probably the biggest challenge we have ever had. THERE IS A LOT OF DISCUSSION IN THE BLACK METAL WORLD AROUND “TRUENESS” AND “OLD SCHOOL” OR “NEW SCHOOL”. YOU DON’T SEEM TO CARE. HOW COME? We don’t care at all. It is fucking childish to discuss about “trueness” and the whole shit. We do what we do and we are what we are. Black metal must be innovative as it was very innovative in its early days. Just take a look back, when bands like Venom and Bathory formed. They were absolutely unique and fresh. And I miss this uniqueness in today’s black metal. Of course, there are exceptions. It is only music that matters. We see no reason to play what has been played many times before and we will not speak about “trueness” for it is ridiculous.