martes, 30 de marzo de 2021


1. Although Somniate was formed in 2017, the truth is that most of the musicians that make up the band are present in different projects to a greater or lesser extent related to death metal; How did you come up with the idea of ​​creating Somniate? Is Somniate a way to unleash your blackest side, in contrast to your other projects?

Marek: Despite being death or doom metal musicians at first sight, we have been listening to black metal since our teens so it made sense to tame this beast our way, too. First blood was drawn by Aleš Vilingr who felt that his two doom metal bands would not able to handle some of his rather obscure ideas. He had two songs´ draft in a preproduction phase (“The Sleepless Stone” and “Rephaim”). We started to cooperate on regular basis and after facelifting some of the older riffage, we managed to compose the rest of what is now known as “The Meyrinkian Slumber” together. 

2. Why do you choose the name Somniate? And what does it refer to?

Marek: It is a pseudo-anagram created from the letters present in the title “Gustav Meyrink: Golem”. Since the plot of the story is entwined with sleep on many levels, it felt like a way to go. 

3. Being already seasoned musicians in other recordings, how did you approach the composition and recording process of “The Meyrinkian Slumber”? How has your way of working in the studio been?

Marek: We created the album with Aleš using a ping-pong method. One of us created a segment of music, sometimes a single riff, sometimes half a song, and then the other one continued with his own ideas. When a song was done, we sent demos to the other guys. Not that we were some ruthless CEOs - many times, they put their own twist on the original takes. After all the music was done, I wrote the lyrics, splitting the vocal parts between me and Zdeněk. I usually deliver lower register death metal voices, the infamous black metal shriek is not my forte, to be honest. On the other hand, Zdeněk is always killing it, so we complement each other well. The studio recording with Jan Kapák was done in two smooth sessions. All the guys did their best. For mix and mastering, we are glad to work with BST, he made this record shine in its own way.

4. I see that Somniate has come to offer a concert, does the brand of instruments that you use in the rehearsal room differ a lot from the one used in live performances? How important is it for you to be able to bring the music from an album like "The Meyrinkian Slumber" live?

Marek: Playing live has always been important to us. By design, we tend to compose in the way that any song can be performed live without any major impairment, so to speak. Sound layers and additional guitars are not being overused in the mix, bare song structures are very same live and on the tape. Also no flashy studio magic was used when capturing the tracks, all the stuff can be played clearly and precisely in real life. It does not hurt that we use our own backline live in order to eliminate any unnecessary issues, too. With regard to your brand-related question, currently, we do use the same instruments during rehearsals, live and in the studio. 

5. The old town of Prague, the bridges over the Vltava river, the Jewish ghetto, the legacy of Kafka, maybe all of this ends up influencing the sound of the album in some way, how important is the inspiration of an album for you? City ​​like Prague when it comes to shaping your sound? How would you describe the sound of the album?

Marek: Despite the fact that we rehearse in Prague with two our bands, the bigger part of us is actually from Pilsen and its surroundings. It is also an old city with gothic style flowing in its veins, with the highest church tower in the country. The sound of any album is better off heard than described. Reviews cannot decide whether it is too modern or too obscure; to our enjoyment.

6. On the other hand, the theme of the album revolves around the work "The Golem" by the Austrian writer Gustav Meyrink, why do you choose this work by this writer to deal with in your texts? How is it important for the band everything related to esoteric themes? Do you feel a bit, like Gustav Meyrink or Kafka, trapped by the darkest and most mystical part of the city?

Marek: We all are trapped now, haha. On a serious note. Contrary to the truth that the major theme of our debut is still rather conservative and black metal-friendly, the former intention was to avoid contemporary BM clichés. One thing is that the nature of this genre is deeply connected with esoteric themes, the other thing is that we will never pretend to pursue any practical knowledge of rituals and all that funny business. 

In other words, we wanted to explore something obscure but without any satanic or random blood-fire-death stigma. Back in my college days, I wrote my master´s degree thesis on GM and one day, it just made sense to bring this topic back to life once again after all these years. Moreover, GM was a real seeker of ascension and lover of the ancient wisdom, he was more like a scientist of the supernatural than a mere writer of fiction - way long before it was considered cool (or fully legal). Rather more legit vibe than the one of LaVey or Necrodaemon Terrorsathan, I guess.

7. Who was in charge of designing the album cover, what does it represent and how does it relate to the content of the album?

Marek: After discussion with the rest of the band, I came with a crude general ideal of the logo and the hanged man in the lower region of the artwork. The final idea was masterfully executed by Raoul / VIEW FROM THE COFFIN who is an incredibly friendly and competent artist. The man below is deeply related with the Golem´s plot. Just read the book and you will know.

8. Despite being your first album, you have counted for the CD and vinyl edition with the label.

Marek: Without having a physical album released with a proper distribution, there is no point to have the album out in the first place. There is also a limited MC edition for those cavemen among us.

9. Lavadome Productions and for the cassette edition with Cloven Hoof Brewing & Releasing, how did the possibility of releasing “The Meyrinkian Slumber” with these labels come about? Are you satisfied with the editing and promotion work done by them? And since we are talking about editions, what format is your favorite when listening to music?

Marek: Both gentlemen did a great job with the distribution and layout of the editions. Since we knew each other for quite a few years, LAVADOME PRODUCTIONS and CLOVEN HOOF had been well aware of what material and people involved they would be working with and decided to support our endeavour. 

When it comes to consummation of music, my weapon of choice is Spotify (yes, please kill me now), but CD format is the best one for me to represent any music. LPs take advantage from bigger artwork etc. but there are inherent limits for length / sound of the album and for the booklet design that cause my eternal return to the compact disc.

10. What can you tell us about the extreme metal scene in two cities like Pilsen and Prague? Do you feel part of the country's scene?

Marek: What can I tell you without sounding like a complete douche... Let´s put it this way. There are many bands in both cities yet when it comes to their quality, you can count the really good ones on fingers. Too many sub-par grind core bands, too many pretentions “post” and “indie” bands, too much 80s rip-off. The black metal scene is virtually non-existent here – there is a huge fan base but only a few BM bands of various quality and impact. It´s great and sad at the same time that almost all the bands we love the most are the ones we share our rehearsal rooms with. But in a strange way, yes, we are obviously a part of the Czech scene, even if do things our way at times.

11. How were your beginnings in music, first albums that you bought, first concerts that you attend, etc. What did you do in your lives that made you want to dedicate yourselves to music?

Marek: Sometimes I ask myself, haha. I am not really good at retelling the eternal story of the artist´s ascension above the ordinary life through music.(*irony*) Since you spend your time writing about notes and their creators, you already know the drill. 

My first conscious connection with music was a 80s LP with “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” at the age of four or five. Born in ´84, I was a late 90s metal kid, my entry extreme metal albums were rather meat and potatoes back then. I was never into melodic metal, my first tape was punk rock than it escalated through “Roots”, “Demanufacture”, “Burning Bridges”, “Heartwork”, “Cruelty and the Beast” to “Vobiscum Satanas”, “Thelema.6”, “None So Vile” and beyond. From “mainstream” extreme metal into underground obscurity and non-metal genres.

Which album defines for you the essence of black metal? What was the last album you bought and what album can't you stop listening to?

Marek: BM is a genre far too wide to get your “essence” question done with one definite answer. But saying the first thing on my mind, “Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk” to be a pretty legit answer to me. 

I do not buy new music these days. The last thing I can remember buying was “Enemy of Man” digipak from KRIEGSMASCHINE. 

Well, I am strangely suspicious towards people who can tell their favourite artists immediately, my taste is ever-changing even during a single day so it is difficult for me to pinpoint any individual album.

12. Without fear of being wrong for an extreme metal band the possibility of offering concerts is a way to make themselves known and also one of their main sources of income with the sale of merchandising. With a situation like the current one, with concerts suspended by the Covid, how do you see the survival of the majority of the extreme metal bands without being able to offer concerts? In what way has the Covid-19 affected you as a band?

Marek: No live shows in the Czech Republic, all dead here. But we deliberately chose not to fall victim to this crap. We make new music and rehearse with our bands when it is possible. The wold-wide scene will survive. The biggest bands get still enough revenue to survive from merchandise and streaming platforms, the smaller bands always had to get shit done no matter what anyway, so once the water is calms down, all of us will carry on the best way we can.

13. What future plans do you have for Somniate, in terms of upcoming releases, reissues, etc?

Marek:  Long story short, the new record is in progress, the plan is to return to live performance ASAP, too.

14. Thank you very much for the time dedicated to Black Metal Spirit, if you want to add something for Somniate fans this is the place. I hope the questions have been to your liking.

Marek: Cut your flesh and worship Satan. Just kidding, don´t try this at home kids. Many thanks for the questions, stay strong.


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