martes, 30 de enero de 2018


1. The band was born in 2014, at that time you were three members, what led you to create the band and to choose the name Malokarpatan?
At first – and this lasted for a very short period only – I intended the whole Stridžie dni
album to be just a solo project of mine. I always loved classic 80s black metal (and 80s
metal in general) and after doing a very different kind of music in my previous band, I
longed for something that would take me back to simpler teenage years. But already during
the recording, I decided to include two old friends of mine – HV and Temnohor just to make
the album a bit more diverse and interesting. The band name is a tribute to the region where
we come from – Little Carpathians (Malé Karpaty in our language), so Malokarpatan means
an inhabitant of the Little Carpathians region. Very simple and very unlikely to be used by
any other band, so a good choice I guess.

2. I suppose one of the things that led you to create Malokarpatan is the black metal bands from Eastern Europe and more specifically from the Czechoslovak scene of the nineties, a scene that is not very well known outside of your borders, except for Master's Hammer, what can you tell us about all this extreme music that was released in the nineties in your country and that has not transcended?
I think it came out more naturally – we weren't really intending some kind of a tribute to the old Czechoslovakian scene, the idea was simply just to play (black) metal in its primordial form and the local touch somehow started to shine through it. But as the band evolved I started to realize our identity more clearly and now after two albums and a third one slowly in the making, I think I can safely say we are continuing in the tradition of old bands from this geographical area – Tormentor, Master's Hammer, Kat, etc. What those bands had in common was a background in classic heavy metal and a disregard for any norms. So I feel that is the spirit of early black metal from this region – a dark form of heavy metal with eccentric qualities. For less known bands from the old Czechoslovakian scene, you might check out Amon, Tudor, Moriorr, Dai, Toxic Trash and Cerberus (album called Trójska vojna).

3. The origin of the musicians that make up Malokarpatan is diverse, however I can recognize bands like Krolok or Algor, is it complicated to combine all the different bands you belong to and at the same time find time to work in Malokarpatan?
The biggest complication is for our drummer Miroslav, because his original band Algor is
also active live and he lives in a town one hour away from the rest of us. But so far we have
managed this pretty well in most cases. Sometimes we have to cancel gigs in one of the two
bands if the other one has a concert on the same day. Our other bands are not really active
live at the moment so it's far easier to manage. Malokarpatan is the fastest working one,
others take their time

4. In a short space of time came the release of your first album "Stridžie dni", how was the process of composition and recording of this album? I guess quite satisfied with the impact achieved by "Stridžie dni"?
Stridžie dni was a fairly easy album to compose, because a large part of the material were old songs I wrote when I was about 15-17 years old and I just re-arranged them and created new lyrics for them. Other ideas were new, but I've been slowly working on them when there was nothing going on with my previous band Remmirath. So in the end I had even more material than I was expecting. You can view Stridžie dni as a homage to old underground black metal and its oddities. We were extremely surprised about the amount of positive reactions it generated because there was no ambition for it to become a well-known or popular album.

5. Shortly after the incorporation of Miroslav and Peter, their incorporations are due to reasons of wanting to give a new dimension to your music or also to the fact of being able to offer concerts?
Both. I needed their help for practical reasons – live gigs, but of course since they are
talented musicians, they brought something extra to the bass and drum arrangements. I just
give them the basic song structures and they are free to come up with anything they see as
fitting – in 9 out of 10 cases I will keep it according to their wishes. 

6. The musical richness of your compositions and the atmosphere recreated in your albums I guess it will not be easy to perform, how is the process of composing and recording an album like "Nordkarpatenland"?
 Nordkarpatenland was definitely more difficult to compose and record than the debut, but still, most of it is quite simple music (intentionally), so there were no major complications. Drum arrangements took the longest time because our drummer is a perfectionist when it comes to this, otherwise it was mostly easy work. As for live versions of the songs, you of course always lose a part of the studio magic, but we try to come close to it by at least using samples for the parts with keyboards and so on. I think our music is both atmospheric and raw, so live gigs just emphasize the raw elements more.

7. Trying now to describe all the influences present in an album like "Nordkarpatenland" is something almost impossible, in it we can find elements of classic black metal, of the second wave, but also others such as rock and classical heavy , all this makes the sound of the band different, however for many people who do not delve into your music and just read some reviews, they will be left with the idea that you are another folk metal band. How would you describe the sound of Malokarpatan to someone who has not yet heard you? What is the reason for this amount of musical influences on you?
 Fortunately we only very rarely get misunderstood as a "folk metal" band – I mean it takes
just 3-5 minutes to listen to a random song from us and anyone can hear we have nothing to
do with that scene. The folk elements are very subtle in the music – mostly just
introductions and interludes, we don't play any happy violins over the riffs or so. For me,
our music is simply just black metal in its original form. There are no rules for black metal,
except to have a satanic/dark concept and play metal music. Mercyful Fate is as black metal to me as is Bathory, Venom, Sabbat, Burzum, Root, Necromantia, Ancient Rites or
Abruptum. None of those bands sound alike and that's the way it should be. Of course there
are tons of misinformed kids who think black metal originated on A Blaze in the Northern
Sky and that you have to play tremolo riffs over blastbeats and shrieking vocals, but their
opinnion is worth nothing. They should just read interviews with any of the early second
wave bands to understand where they were coming from and that they were building upon
an already existing tradition. All this aside, there is also absolutely nothing wrong if
someone calls our music simply Heavy Metal, because it is an actual fact. The reason for the wide amount on influences in Malokarpatan is simply that we listen to a lot of different
music and some of it comes through in our own songs. There's nothing worse than black
metal bands influenced by other black metal bands exclusively.

8. The letters of "Nordkarpatenland" are written in Slovak and the texts are inspired by tales and legends of Eastern Europe, how does the history of your region inspire you to write the texts of "Nordkarpatenland" and why do you consider it important to write about it?
It's the most natural influence you can have – to be inspired by your own history and culture. I grew up surrounded by these myths and stories, so it's very easy to write songs about them. I think it adds a certain originality and authenticity to your music. Before bands started to emulate each other, you could clearly hear the local influences in early black metal acts – Hellhammer were not necessarily writing songs about Swiss history and Mortuary Drape didn't necessarily sing in Italian, but they both had their own unique sound unlike bands from other countries, because simply their surroundings shaped them in a certain way

9. Scandinavian bands do not shy away from dealing with Nordic mythology in their lyrics, even bands from other countries use those same influences, however Malokarpatan uses a similar concept but focusing your own tradition such as Veles and Porum, is there much difference between Norse and Slavic mythology, what can you tell us about the Vedic age and how has it also influenced your concepts?
We are definitely not a pagan band and I don't want to be associated with such bands. Our look at the world of Slavic myths comes from a Left Hand Path perspective, which is in my opinion best personified in the figure of Veles – master of the underworld, of deep woods, patron of wanderers and magicians, trickster and challenger of Perun's order. I think his complex and mysterious character can be easily felt in our music. In the lyrics themselves, I prefer to write about lower beings and demons. I am attracted to primitive folk superstitions, fears of countryside peasants. I think it accurately reflects the character of Slovakia, which has historically been a predominantly agricultural land.

10. Many bands follow the path marked by the norm, that is, music has to sound this way because it is what is fashionable, which is the same as the band is Slovakian French black metal has to sound However, in your music, if there are influences and sounds that differentiate them from the music of other countries, even if they are black metal, we can also take the example of the Mexican band Xibalba. Is your country an influence when it comes to compose and how important is this influence?
Yes, I think ideally bands should sound like where they come from. And Xibalba is a great example of that – you could say the same about Tormentor from Hungary, Sigh from Japan, the old Greek bands or, of course, the early Norwegian scene. For me, it has been something I had to learn along the way. I definitely did a couple of songs in my older bands that were too derivative of the 90s Norwegian sound. Sins of youth, I guess. There isn't any "Slovakian way to play the guitar" because our country has never developed its own sound, but in a wider perspective, the early Eastern Bloc black metal has been typical for a strong influence of traditional heavy metal and a certain eccentricity – either in atypical production (caused by a lack of studios focused on this kind of music) or unusual ideas in the music itself (early Root has tons of that for example). I think this old and overlooked tradition can be heard in our music and of course our overall concept deals with our local culture too, so I hope we can say that we really sound like where we come from

11. If we look back in time, we see that the concept of fear has acted as a dynamic element of society, especially in the Middle Ages and religion, is the concept of fear also present in "Nordkarpatenland"?
Definitely, I write most of our lyrics from the perspective of a simple, godfearing villager who is terrified of the supernatural realities surrounding him, especially behind the borders of the village and its safety – in the woodlands, moors and mountains. A major inspiration in this for me have been lyrics of the legendary song "Black Sabbath" by Black Sabbath – their archaic atmosphere of dread, evoking the sabbathical visions of Goya and foreshadowing the birth of black metal. From current bands, I think Cultes des Ghoules are the best at keeping this feeling alive. Our adaptation of that is not as sinister and primal, it's more like a Hammer Horror vibe or a scary tale which you listen to in the comfort and warmth of your house while sipping wine.

12. Outstanding mention also for the cover of the last album, able to capture the theme of the album in a visual way, who was responsible for the design ?. Elements such as mushrooms, elves, fear of the unknown are represented on this cover, all this has to do with Slovak traditions and mythology?
Thank you! It was made by Dávid Glomba who is probably best known for his work for
Cult of Fire, but also for many other bands. He is of Slovakian origin too, so he knows
perfectly about all the cultural references we use and he has actually added most of the
elements on the artwork himself. I just gave him some basic references and themes and he
came up with the rest. There are some obvious references to Slovak folk culture in the 
central figure of the highwayman, however, he is portrayed in a state of drunken frenzy,
staggering with a bloodstained weapon and a bottle of alcohol in his hand. He is seen
entering the magical world of folktales, more specifically its darker corners – as he is
surrounded by čerti (Slavic devils) and female figures such as Morena – the goddess of
death and winter, the Noon Witch, etc. The mushrooms symbolize crossing the boundaries
of the magical world and add to another theme of the artwork, which is intoxication. So
overall, we see a figure in a half-insane state, intoxicated and entering the world of myth.
That is pretty much all the album is about.

13. How were your beginnings in music, first concerts attended, first CDs that you bought? What made you want to dedicate yourself to music and create a band?
My history with metal and heavy music goes a very long time back to my early childhood, because I had older family members influencing me. My father was an old 70s hardrocker who listened to bands like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple and I also have an older brother who got into metal as a kid in the early 90s – I was fascinated by that music, the strange feelings of horror it evoked in me – I was often scared by it, but at the same time attracted. And as you can see, I've remained with metal ever since, even though I had a few years when I was tired of it and searching for other kinds of music. The first album I ever bought was "Into Darkness" by Winter – no particular reason, I think I just liked the title and cover. My first concert was, I think, some shitty local grindcore in an open air venue sometime in the late 90s – I wanted to visit gigs before, but my parents were not very liberal about this aspect. We didn't really get a lot of interesting bands touring here so the first really memorable gig is from several years later – when Dissection arrived here during the Rebirth of Dissection tour, it was a small club and we were sitting right in front of Jon Nödtveidt at one point, which is kind of eerie in retrospective, given that he killed himself less than two years later. And what made me dedicate my life to music and form a band? It was always my goal since I was a kid – already before entering elementary school I was playing around with toy guitars from parents. Every day of the week is somehow connected with Malokarpatan for me – writing music, lyrics, thinking of new concepts, answering interviews, preparing administrative stuff for live gigs or just communicating with fans online. And I am quite happy with things being this way – the music stays after you are long gone, unlike having fancy jobs, kids, excessive material possessions, etc.

14. Despite being in 2018 I think the Slovak scene is not well known to the general public (Empyrion, Algor, Old Blood, Mora), what bands would you recommend us from Bratislava?
I think it is not very known for obvious reasons – we have a really small number of bands here and it just gets worse with each decade, with less and less people having interest in this kind of music. Another issue is originality – there are some exceptions, but most bands from here just lack any individual, unique vision and instead follow trends from abroad. I have a very selective taste when it comes to newer metal bands, so I'm not really the best person to ask about local acts, but from those we know personally I think you could check out Goatcraft, Radiation or Demolizer.

15. Your first album was like a bit unexpected, that's why at first it was self-edited, however with the passage of time it was edited in multiple formats, however for "Nordkarpatenland" you already counted from the beginning with the support of Invictus Prodcutions, how did you come up with the possibility of working with this label? Are you satisfied with the work done by Invictus? What format do you prefer when listening to your music: cd, tape, digital or vinyl?
If it was up to me, I'd be perfectly fine with just a regular CD and LP edition, but these days people request for all kinds of specific formats and limited editions, so I just get asked about this and say "sure, go with it, no problem". If they need it on limited tapes and different vinyl colours, let them be satisfied I guess. It's not important to me, I care about the music itself the most. I don't have a favourite music format either – LP is the best because of the big artworks and warmer sound, but I have no special fetish for it, CD is fine too. The most nostalgic format for me are tapes because I grew up listening to them but I haven't had a working tape deck for many years now anyway. Regarding our co-operation with Invictus Productions, I simply just got an e-mail from the label boss Darragh, he was the first foreign label contacting us and we basically agreed instantly knowing his history in the underground and the fact that he released a couple of amazing bands such as Negative Plane. We have a very informal, friendly contact without any written deals and bullshit and as you can see, we still remain under the wings of Invictus. The only change recently has been co-operating with The Ajna Offensive simultaneously, which makes the promotion and distribution in the USA much easier and of course I think I don't have to introduce the importance or history of the label itself. 

16. The incorporation of Miroslav and Peter brought the possibility of being able to offer concerts, is it very complicated to capture the music of an album like "Nordkarpatenland" live? How important is it for you to offer a good concert and get in contact with your followers?
You can never fully re-create the magic of a studio recording live. I am more of a studio type, so live gigs are a slowly acquired taste for me. I haven't been the greatest fan of them before, but since the music we play in Malokarpatan is far more fitting in a live setting than what I was musically doing before, I am now in the process of finally enjoying playing live. I try not to be too boring or stiff on stage, but we are different personalities in the band so everyone has his own approach to this. I think compared to the early gigs we are definitely evolving into a better live band now. And of course meeting people before/after gigs who often have a very deep connection with your music, that's a great feeling. We're definitely not one of those bands that just hide backstage all the time, even though I am an introverted type of person, I like to go out among the people and have some beer with them.

17. What future plans do you have for the band regarding concerts? Will there be a reissue of "Nordkarpatenland" in some other format? I guess you are not working on new compositions yet?
We just had a great gig in Slovenia some time ago, for the rest of this year we have two stops in Germany (Leipzig and Berlin), a small North American tour in the USA and Canada, Steelfest in Finland, Beyond the Gates in Norway, Linz-Austria and Old Grave fest in Romania. I am very much looking forward to those, because mostly they are countries we haven't visited yet. There will be a vinyl edition of Nordkarpatenland coming this year, probably during summer, along with a vinyl repress of Stridžie dni. I am already working on new compositions, in fact I started last year after having a few months break since finishing the Nordkarpatenland recording sessions. The plan so far is for the third record to be a concept album based on real happenings from the 17th century, which occured on the territory of what is today Slovakia. I think it will be darker than Nordkarpatenland, even though still keeping its classic heavy metal influence and a more layered songwriting compared to Stridžie dni. It might turn into the definitive form and indentity of Malokarpatan perhaps. Expect it probably sometime during 2019.

18. Thank you very much for taking the time to Black Metal Spirit, if you want to add something for the followers of Malokarpatan, this is the place. I hope the questions are to your liking.
Thank you very much as well for your support and interest in us! For the fans or anyone reading this, I can just say: follow your hearts and never succumb to the modern world! 

Gatefold Double LP in black vinyl with UV Spot laque and one exclusive bonustrack


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