Some confusion has been surrounding Aosoth and their continuity… fake news or reality? In order to shed some light upon this issue and tell us more about Aosoth and Antaeus, MkM had an intriguing conversation with Pest Webzine…

The band’s been around for 16 years already but there’s information online saying that the band dissolved in June and that MkM wanted to cancel the release of the album. What changed ever since then? Why is this being spread if the band’s still active?
There are individuals who do assume things or are not able to read statements and in the end, depending on where you search for your information: there would be contradiction. Just like any news: check with the source. Yes, the line-up has been dissolved, but it had been dissolved 3 times already in the past 16 years. About the recording itself, when there is an issue or a parasite damaging its process, one could consider the desire to cut/remove the cancer and let it rot elsewhere.

But then one finds information saying that Aosoth with continue only with a studio line-up. What is true and false after all?
There are still some ideas floating around for a future Aosoth recording, yet it’s not planned so far, there are way more important matters to fix. I do not have time for any of this right now, in due time I will see what I will do and with whom. But people should not expect something similar to the third era of the band which had BST as main composer.

Did streaming the full album "V: The Inside Scriptures" before its release boost sales? 
No, but it does prevent from a low quality version being leaked from someone else. Boosting sales is quite a strong word considering our sales (under 1000 copies). I just checked and we did reach 40k of streaming. It’s a lot, did not expect that many (but it’s still not much if compared to other bands in the same vein).

Your latest album "V: The Inside Scriptures" was released in November via Agonia Records… now that 5 months have gone by… how are fans reacting to it? 
I wouldn’t be able to comment really. We get less feedback than on the previous recordings, also out of my personal copies, I might have sold less than 5 copies so far to people around me.

Some riffs included in this album were written when “IV: An Arrow in Heart” came out in 2013. Why did it take so long then for it to be released?
BST has his daily job + the BST studio on the side, plus his main bands (mostly the order of Apollyon), so it does take time to compose and record a full length. Also, if joining a tour, you focus more on the set list than recording new tracks. Keep also in mind that there is always some delay in between the release of an album and the time we sent it to the label. Sometimes up to six months, so there is enough time to come up with structures and idea. Artwork wise, there were already talks about the follow up to Arrow in Heart while it wasn’t fully mastered.

“V: The Inside Scriptures” are Aosoth’s first studio recording… why haven’t you opted to record your material in a professional studio before?
?!  All full lenghts of Aosoth were recorded at BST studios. Were you mistaken with the drum recording?! Then yes, the BST studio does not allow real drum recording, so the session took place in another place (hybreed studio If I’m not mistaken) but that’s it. All guitars/bass/vox/mixing/mastering were done at BST studio.

The album "V: The Inside Scriptures" has received awesome reviews… each time you read a great review… how do you feel? And when you read a bad one?
I do check those I am being sent, there are good ones, bad ones, it’s up to anyone to describe what they experienced. Only thing that would annoy me is when non-accurate statements are given, or weird comparison done. One review did compare the album to “latex cult” from Impaled Nazarene… nothing against Impaled Nazarene whose first album is among my fave, but damn where the fuck could one hear a link between our recording and “latex cult”…

In the last 3 full-lengths you have used Roman numbers in the title… why?
To read them as chapters & scene from a play. My mind as the theater and my ghosts as Actors and one voice to narrate it all.

How complicated/easy is it turning your suffering and pain into music and lyrics?
There is no “how to” or regular process when it comes to those lyrics. It all depends on outside events, my mood, the energy I have at that time.

How do you manage to maintain the rage/anger within you album after album? 
I am still Alive, I am not at peace with myself, nor with what/who surrounds me. There are times when I need to refill my energy or focus on other matters, but as long as the flame is within: it will burn. Also keep in mind that none of the bands in which I am taking part do have a “mandatory release schedule”, having to do an album per year or so…. Or having to tour as much as possible. Touring makes not much sense to me anyway, not with that style & how I perceive it.

You usually record vocals in one or two takes… why not more? 
It would just be too formatted, less live, I do prefer the raw impulse to the sterile over rehearsed tracks. Those lyrics and recording were meant to capture a moment in time, I do not express myself through Aosoth or Antaeus to have something on repeat or a “sing along”, this is not my aim. I guess this is the only area where I do express some kind of Chaos, while I am rather strict on everything else and quite closed minded + not open for discussion.

Are you a man that prefers to do things on his own? Is total control of major importance to you?
There are choices to be made and I would rather analyze all and make sure that everything goes accordingly. Being surrounded with the right musicians and label is important. Why waste time with scum and parasite? I do not have the time anymore for such waste.

What are the talents/characteristics that the musicians you work with need to have?
Similar background more or less, I have to respect them as individuals, no scene wankers or opportunists needed: I had that enough in the past & recent past.

You pay much attention to all details and hate it when things don’t come out the way you imagined. Why are details so important?
If you are referring to artwork, this might be linked to my previous work and how I view things (print/paper/ink).

In one Facebook comment Aosoth said “Live: hopefully never again! But in a fest or gig, most likely”. What does it mean? Interested or not? 
We (some of the Aosoth members) had a talk at that time to perform one last time; it was the drummer’s desire to perform the last album at least once. But as you can notice: this won’t happen.

How complicated is it being the frontman of two Black metal bands that achieved a cult status, Antaeus and Aosoth?
It might have been complicated to be affiliated to bands/concept I created or handled as frontman. But being cult: I do not think so. We did start years ago and I did stand time up to now. We did not compromise and we did stick to our values. There could be respect for that but being cult would be too much. Also, both bands are quite unknown in the underground scene, we are a “bit” known and have a die hard base of individuals following our work and that is something I am still amazed of, also considering that I can count some as friends now since we do share a lot of common views.

When you perform with Antaeus and Aosoth do you have a different “persona” onstage?
No, the atmosphere is different. Different context, same individual. I let go accordingly. One side has rage induced, the other was more sinister.

At some point you mentioned some people trying to trick you into trusting them. How do situations like these happen between adults? Jealousy? Envy?
Leeches being leeches. If there is a way to take advantage: some would not hesitate. It has nothing to do with adulthood – sadly. 

Supposedly you hate all tracks included in “Arrow in Heart” apart from “Rituals Marks of Penitence” and the title track. Why do you hate the other tracks so much? What happened?
Music does create a world in my head, I do associate visions to each composition and specific part or structures. When you perform with someone who somehow ruins it by adding either a “groove” aspect you did not pay attention before, or just behaving awkwardly on some parts. I mean, if a band member starts to do some funk moves that is not something I would expect nor think accurate. But with nowadays “open minded” actors of the scene, where anything can be done as long as it’s in good “spirit”…   Sorry no. Fuck that.

How does a musician begin to hate and loathe his own material? Why does this happen? Change in your feelings or state of mind?
How can a musician be so proud and never feel the need to judge his own work? I mean, it’s fine by me that some do get really satisfied, after all, they spent hours, weeks, months to achieve what they did create – I do know a few musicians really into their music and often playing their own tracks on repeat. They do create music they want to hear! On my end, I do capture moments of life & thoughts, not really souvenirs I would need to relive. A different approach to music.

What are you fed up with regarding the scene? There’s nothing genuine anymore?
Mmm am I fed up with the scene or worn out by how it works & its population? There are still Genuine people around, that I respect.

Would you say you are a positive person or a negative one? Why?
Realistic. I might react “negatively” to some individuals and would barely be “positive” for no reason. I react upon experience. Never been too enthusiast nor believing in lies or false promises. Each situation needs to be analyzed, checked, thought.

In an interview you supposedly mentioned that “my ailments allow me to regularly go through MRI’s, the quietest place ever and a veritable dream for anyone who suffers from anxiety and stress”. What’s the major cause of your anxiety and stress?
There is not a single specific cause, it’s a whole. Maybe years of excess, maybe my way to see life, maybe illness and how it does degrade both body & mind in the long run? What did matter & still does matter is on how I am having a smile each time I get such prescription given. I am also looking forward to test those isolation chamber, when emerged in salt water and darkness.

Having to deal with many health issues, do you regret some of your past lifestyle choices that might have aggravated the whole situation? Is pain an inspiration for you? 
No remorse, no regret. It has been done, I pay the price. It could have been handled with more care and respect but that was not the case. Also, I don’t think the 2018 version of me would have anything bad to tell the 1995 me.  Yet that old me might hate on how decayed I went… who knows. Pain: yes, it does belong to those matters that would inspire me. Anything that does impact myself could provide inspiration.

You manifested the desire to play live in a local venue due to the budget to play live abroad. Should there be more investment in culture? What could be done in order to help bands get more promotion and opportunities to play? 
Not of my concern anymore. There are still promoters paying bands to perform so I guess it’s fine by them. Aosoth was cheap and even with sometimes 0 euros as fee, it was hard to get the budget to travel to the place. We did turn down tons of “offers”. We also accepted gigs that would end up costing us money, just because we were interested in the whole idea behind the festival (bands performing, individuals involved).

What are your plans for the future, as a musician?
Nothing for now. Maybe the next Martröð? But for those who did follow that project, they know.  

Do you have a message to share with MkM’s followers, Aosoth and Antaeus fans and Pest Webzine/Slowly We Rot readers?
Thanks for having given us some time to listen to our work, and to some, shared similar moments.

Interview by Sónia Fonseca

May 2018