jueves, 13 de octubre de 2022



1.Asgrauw has been active for more than ten years, specifically since 2010 and its line-up has only been altered in a position such as drummer, when did you decide to create the band? Why did you choose the name Asgrauw and witch reffers to?

Kaos: In fact we started as a 4-piece band, we had two guitar players but one quit during the demo period. In 2010, Vaal was looking to start a new black metal band. He asked our previous drummer Takk to join and he asked me to play bass. 

Vaal: I knew Kaos from a bar. He was a punker, but liked to try black metal. This same night, we found the second guitar player and we started thinking of a name for the band. Soon, Asgrauw was born. Asgrauw refers to a ashy-greyish color, a moon setting and a grim sphere.

Kaos: After two years, Takk left us, because he moved to Austria. Soon after that Vaal and Batr meets at a mutual friends birthday party and Vaal invited Batr for a rehearsel session. And since, Asgrauw found his true form. 


2.Kaos and Batr are also part of Meslamtaea, a band with a distinctive sound and proposal, you just have to pay attention to a couple of albums like “Geketend in de schaduw van het leven” and “Niets en niemendal”, how does it fit and what can Asgrauw offer differently from Meslamtaea? And what priority do you give yourself when it comes to composing and editing material from both bands?

Kaos: The main difference between Asgrauw and Meslamtaea is the (sub)genre. Asgrauw plays a traditional form of blackmetal, Asgrauw worships the second wave and adds some punk influences. Meslamtaea is much more experimental. This is Batr his brainchild.

Batr: Meslamtaea is around since late nineties, long before I joined Asgrauw. I write all Meslamtaea’s music myself at home, and our Belgian Flugel-player Izzy and 2nd vocalist Ward (Kaos) add their ‘thing’ to it. Asgrauw is something totally different. There’s a real band spirit. We have a weekly rehearsal, we play live and we make our music together. The only similarity between these bands is that we play extreme metal, and we share band members. Also we record all the music, ourselves, in our own studio.


3.Loyal to your biannual date, you have just released your fifth full-length “Façade”, a work that perhaps brought more pressure on your part after the good reception generated by your previous “Ijsval”, how was the composition process and recording of “Façade”? What brands of instruments have you used in the process?

Batr: "IJsval" has received positive critics and we are always happy to hear that. But it is not the case that this creates a certain pressure when writing new music. We basically just make what we feel like, without worrying about possible criticism.

Vaal: We actually didn't feel any pressure at all. Every time we create new music, we just try to push the limits of what we can do. That way we can develop our songwriting and recording. For us, it's somewhat a natural process. I wrote the riffs for Façade. During the rehearsals, we add the drums and bass lines. During this process we sometimes correct some riffs or we mix some ideas together untill we all are happy with the final result. As soon as we perform the songs like we want to, the recording process starts. I use a Jackson RR3 Randy Rhoads guitar and a Shure SM 58 mic for the vocals. 

Kaos: I only play Cort bass-guitars and non other.

Batr: I use cheap cymbals, I’ve found in the sales section. Because I trash them all the time.

4.The sound of this “Façade” has become more direct than your previous works, preserving, yes, a melodic tone within a characteristic black sound. How would you describe the sound of the album for those who haven't heard it yet? What main differences can the listener find with respect to “Ijsval”? What bands have influenced you when it comes to defining the sound of this new album?

Kaos: Façade is much more aggressive than IJsval, but still atmospheric. 

Vaal: Yeah, on the album there is a mix of high tempo agressive passages and more mid-tempo melodic and atmospheric tunes. IJsval in general is more atmospheric in comparison to Façade.

Batr: We felt like doing a more aggressive and fast album and that needs a certain production. We wanted a more direct, louder sound for Façade instead of the thin atmospheric guitar sound of IJsval. 

5.Both in Asgrauw and in Meslamtaea you have always faced more “worldly” themes in your lyrics far from Satanism for example, even in some of your albums you have opted for conceptual albums, is this the case of this new “Façade”? What themes do you cover in this new album? Who takes care of the lyrics of the songs? Does the music adapt to the lyrics or vice versa?

Kaos: Façade has some kind of conceptional theme, all songs deal with dead, or better said they deal with life and how to live with dead. Do you need to fear it, embrace it, what’s dead? Vaal and I write the lyrics together, we both writ our own parts but do it together. The music always exists before we write the lyrics.  

Vaal: For us it's important that the lyrics fit to the song, so that's why we start writing lyrics after the music is done.

6.Your covers follow a line, let's say classic, within the black of the nineties, who has taken care of the artwork of the new album? What do you want to represent with this cover and how does it relate to the content of the album?

Kaos: The new artwork is made by Luciana Nedelea, it represents the Dutch misty nature. In the background you see an entity that was chained by death but is in struggle and breaking chains. It represents the human will of extending life.

 Vaal: The covers of our previous albums Krater, Gronspech and IJsval were made by a good friend of ours, Jeroen Putman who did the paintings by hand. With the covers we want to represent the theme for the album in a grim and dark kind of atmosphere.

7.You have never been a group that lavished much on offering concerts, will this situation change as a result of the edition of “Façade”?

Kaos: We don’t play that much concerts since we all have a very busy agenda and family life. But if the line-up is something interesting for us we are always ready to look what’s possible.


8.For the release of the new album you have worked with the English record label Death Prayer Records. At what point did you decide to change the label with respect to your previous album and what do you think you have gained with this change?

Kaos: Technically we are still on the same label. Death Kvlt Productions released IJsval. In the meantime the label changed it’s name to Death Prayer Records, after the merge with Goat Prayer Records. We were glad with the publicity at the time of IJsval’s release and that’s the reason we stayed with this label.  


9.You belong to a circle of Dutch bands that calls themselves “Zwotte kring'”, what can you tell us about Dutch black metal bands and about “Zwotte kring'” more specifically?

Kaos: Zwotte Kring roughly translated from our dialect as Black Circle. Zwotte Kring is a collective of a couple of befriended bands and projects of likeminded people that are close to us. 

Batr: We have a few projects directly related to our band members, like Sagenland, Meslamtaea, Stuporous and Schavot that all go under the Zwotte Kring banner. But also there are bands of very close friends in our circle, like Teitan and Grafhond. 


10.The recording and mixing of the album has been done by Batr, is it something that you feel comfortable doing on your own and having, if possible, a greater weight in the final result of the album? Did you think of working with someone external to al band to carry out this process?

Batr: Being able to record and mix yourself has only advantages. It is very effective and efficient. When we have material that we feel comfortable with, we immediately go into our studio. There is no time pressure, no stress. no clock ticking, increasing the price tag. If a recording is not to your satisfaction, we will adjust it later. Moreover, no one knows better how we want to sound than ourselves. We don't need an external producer for that. For me, producing is a hobby within the hobby. Every album we go one step forward and we learn new techniques. We do have friends who listen to our mixes. So we are not completely in our own bubble. For mastering, which is a profession in its own right, we have so far gone to professionals.


11.How were your beginnings in music: first concerts you attend, first albums you buy? What happened in your lives pushed you to want to be musicians?

Vaal: The first concert I visited was Iron Maiden in Ahoy Rotterdam. Iron Maiden was the start of my interest in metal in general. Soon after that I explored the subgenre black metal and was immediately grabbed by it. First bands I listened to were Dimmu Borgir, Mayhem, Dark Funeral and Cradle of Filth. After that I discovered more umderground black metal bands. I always had interest in playing guitar since my 8th year. First took some lessons, but from my 17th i started to play in bands. After playing covers, I wanted to develop my songwriting and create music from scratch.  

Kaos: My first real concert was Nile. Not specifically my favourite type of metal, but a friend invited me. I was born in 1990 so by the time I got my own money to buy things, I already found out the existence of Kazaa. I downloaded so much and don’t even know with which band it started. But I think one of my first records that I bought was Misfits – Earth A.D. During that time I was more attracted to the violence and danger in punk. Maybe because there were just a little bit more active punk bands at that time and concerts in the area. For me, music has always - and still - works as some kind of therapy, I can put in all my emotions in it, especially the negative ones. 

Batr: Via the usual way in hard-rock and metal (Van Halen, Maiden, GNR, Metallica) I went to thrash and death metal. I was especially charmed by 'Gothic' by Paradise lost, with those mystique, heavy sounds. That album has planted a seed. The internet wasn't in our houses at that time when I got interested in extreme metal with us (90's) so it took me a while before I discovered black metal, which had exactly the mystique sound I was looking for. Emperor, Cradle, Enslaved. The classics! Ulver's "Bergtatt" in particular touched me a lot. In our area there were few like-minded people when it comes to metal, but there were two stages in larger cities where a lot of death and black metal was programmed. There I saw bands like Marduk, Dark Funeral and Sear Bliss. Shortly afterwards I was allowed to perform on those stages with my own bands, that was a thrill! But in those years I couldn't find like-minded people for a black metal band, so I learned to play all the instruments myself to start a one-man project Meslamtaea. That project is still – or I should say again – active. Sagenland also dates back to that time, which was founded around the millennium. Although the first feat of arms was only presented in 2005.

12.What album represents for you the essence of black metal? What recent albums have you bought?

Vaal: For me Dimmu Borgir's Stormblast and Emperor's In the Nightside Eclipse are the fundaments of black metal. If you ask me, black metal needs to have some melancholy, atmosphere and furiousness at the same time. Last album I bought was Vargrav's Reign in Supreme Darkness. They certainly know how to bring the 90's second wave black metal style to your ears.

Kaos: For me the essence of black metal is the energy that it holds mostly negative emotions but also the mesmerizing effect of it at concerts. 

The latest album I bougth was Akhlys – Melinoe. Further I’m more a straith forward black metal guy. I like Whiskey Ritual – Black Metal Ultras & Luctus – Stotis a lot.

Batr: As said, I’m looking for mystique and atmosphere in black metal. So I go for Scandinavian classics. Ulver’s “Bergtatt”,Emperor’s “Anthems”and Dimmu’s “Stormblast”(the original of course, not the remake). 

13.What future plans do you have for Asgrauw t in terms of upcoming releases, concerts or reissues?

Kaos: Asgrauw will play on october 22 together with Doodswens and Zwart at Dynamo and on December 18 at Waalhella together with Cirith Gorgor, Sammath and Azanul. And we have some concerts planned in 2023 but we can’t say much about that for now. Asgrauw has no plans on re-issuing older albums but we are open to discuss.

Vaal: We have a single recorded that will be released in 2023 and in the maintime we keep writing new material. 


14.Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions for Black Metal Spirit, if you want to add something for Asgrauw's followers this is the place. I hope the questions are to your liking.

Asgrauw: Thanks for your support! 


Nexul ‎– Scythed Wings Of Poisonous Decay 16,99 €

Vinyl, LP, Album, Limited Edition
Limited to 400 copies. Jacket pocket flooded in black. Includes printed insert and poly-lined inner sleeve.

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