ANCIENT RITES is from the Flemish territory of Belgium… very anchored in strong Traditionalism and Nationalism and has a reputation of a country with the least amount of tolerance for immigration.Their pride in the culture of their ancestors in proven in their music…This band,formed at the end of the 80’s have encountered many problems during their career…primarily with line-up changes…but this of course did not take away from the band’s persistence and their will to bravely continue ANCIENT RITES has maintained a huge reputation in the underground and could be considered a legendary band from the OLD Black Metal scene…It is clear that dark infernal forces have had the back of this band from the beginning…There was a pivotal show in Athens,Greece in 1993, where the Devil Worshippers in the crowd reacted to front man Gunther and the presence of the band as likened unto a reincarnation of BATHORY!
01 - To begin, can you introduce the members of the band and tell us
how old are they ?
Bart : guitars ( 21) , Pascal : guitars ( 23 ), Walter : drums ( 22 ) and
myself, Gunther : bass and vocals ( 26 ).
02 - What bands were the members a part of us before integrating into Ancient Rites?
Bart played in a band called Retaliator, a Thrash Metal band.Their demo is still available…Others have played in a few bands but had done little with that.I played in several bands such as Subversion and Addix.Addix put out some vinyl releases but they are no longer available… I played with a ton of other bands but we never made studio recordings…
03 - Looks like the reactions to your demo were positive everywhere…So how do you things will turn out at this point in your career? Do you think the difficult part is over and a future of satisfaction and pleasure awaits?
Things finally seem to be turning in the right direction…Next week we are going to record both 7”s in a very professional studio.One of these seven inches will be released on Wild Rags Records which will give the band good distribution in the states.One CD is being prepared and it is expected in the near future, as we had been promised, some pivotal concerts with some great Death Metal bands…but I never fixate on the future…
For example, everything with the band was fine for some time…then just before an important concert at a festival,Philip,our guitarist, died in a car accident with a friend…Also,there was also a tour planned for the UK that was all of a sudden cancelled…This was because the band organizer decided to leave England.Faith can be a strange thing…You never know what is going to happen but that has not kept us from continuing…We have not had the best luck as a band…
04 - How do you reconcile your satanic visions with the feeling you had when you learned of the death of your friend Philip?What values do you grant life as a Satanist?I also ask myself this same question because I do adhere to a statute of Aleister Crowley: “Kill Your Enemy.”
When Philip died, I lost one of the most loyal friends I had…His death was difficult to accept and still is but I have not changed my view of Satanism as a result.Philip was also a Satanist and we had many discussions about death and the afterlife…Now,he knows the answer…wherever he is…Is there really a second life?As far as Satanism is concerned,there is a lot of false information in circulation.Take human and animal sacrifice for example:This has nothing to do with Satanism and belongs to world of fantasy and horror movies.People who practice such rites know nothing about REAL Satanism…They are merely frustrated ex-Xtians who live out their morbid imaginations and are hypocrites that are full of shit!Satanism has a much more positive meaning:One is to be their own go and to develop their inner strengths and I am not referring to supernatural strength…We are not to turn the other cheek…When someone slaps you , slap them back twice as hard!Your question refers to thee vengeful side of Satanism…
Well, I am not a violent person but if someone gets in my way I can rage!I will not stand with those who do not support me but it does not mean necessarily kill them or my enemies…But ultimately,I would not really care if any of them died
05 - How many times per week do you rehearse?
We rehearse at least two or three times a week.
06 - So, tomorrow you land in Modola, Italy to attend a Death Metal jubilee with Resurrecturis…and also Grave and Trifixion…Tell us more about that…?
I like to travel a lot and visit other countries…And this is primarily because I love History! Yes, I wanted to go and see this festival…I had the money so I decided it to be a good idea for a vacation…I do not have a lot of money so I only go on a trip once a year, unfortunately…
07 - Do you think there are too many bands in the current scene?
No…I think there is enough space for everyone…Of course there are too many shitty bands out there and follow only a fashion statement…But they will disappear sooner or later…Only those keeping alive the True Black Flame of Metal will survive… The others vanish or transform into an entirely different genre…
08 - Who drew the Divine Baphomet the band uses on your flyers and correspondence letters? How did he manage to represent this image in such a dark and mysterious way?
Well…I found this book on Mythology…the creator of this masterpiece is unknown to me is not mentioned in the book…I am an artist myself and did a lot of art for the band…but this guy’s art kicks ass so I decided to use it for the demo instead of something from my own drawings…He is an excellent artist and always will be, whatever his name may be!
09 - “ Necrophobic…Can’t control the paranoia…scared to die!” What do you say about such a lyric.
Of course I don’t like the idea of dying…but it is especially the way in which someone dies that concerns me the most…To get older is like a full-fledged nightmare…losing your health and strength…and to live in a senile body does not attract me at all…Would it not be great to live in a young and healthy body until the day we die?On the flipside, I do not think life would have much meaning with Death..I have mixed feelings about Death and it is in this sense that it attracts me as a topic…
10 - What does think of the Italian metal scene ?
To be honest, I don’t know much about it…I know of the band Mortuary Drape and your band…I do not receive e-mails from your country and I hope that will change in the future…I would like very much one day to be in contact with all of the underground scene…
11 - Do you enjoy hardcore bands?
12 - What about the Swedish scene ? Do you have any all time favorites ?
There are a lot of cool bands in Sweden like Entombed, Unleashed,Dismember, etc….But the 7’’ of Macabre End is the best stuff from Sweden I have yet to hear…The title track song is BRILLIANT !!!
13 - Do you have any favorite magazines or fanzines ?
There are far too many to mention here ! Some of my favorites are ESOTERIC ( Poland ), SEPTICORE ( Belgium ), K.O.D.( Poland ) F.Y.A.F.T. ( Switzerland ), C.O.T.I.M ( Germany )…In general, I like underground music magazines and fanzines…I prefer them a thousand times over to big commercial hard rock magazines…I think they are VERY important because they are the only source of information giving us current news as to what is happening in the underground…
14 - Do you have anything to say about Pornography ?
Pornography is not my favorite topic to read about…But I own a few strange books about perversions. I am very interested in all topics as long as they are obscure in nature…
15 - Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law…What reflections do you have on this ?
I include this statute as part of my satanic beliefs…But I do not believe in enforcing anything I believe on someone else…This is part of an individual experience…
16 - Have you ever been approached by a charming bisexual boy asking you to fill his inner emptiness?
I've never been approached by someone like that though a transvestite tried to seduce me once ...IT’S EVEN WORSE !
17 - Ping Pong…Is not that the favorite sport of the communist chinese pigs ?Has the Belgium team already particpated in the world championship ?
No…Are Belgian pigs are too heavy !
18 - What do you think of the stinking guy outspread to my left who is named Chicco ?
He seems to be pretty lazy !
19 - Is it true that to be a Metal Poser the right way you must cut off your dick ?
I am sure that helps !
20 - So…Is Gunther a popular name in Belgium ?Are you proud of it ? I find the name Gunther really cool…It sounds so cold,deep and winterlike…I like it very much…The only other names that are better are Pippo and Ane Babb…Why did your parents give you such an infernal name ?Are they into Death Metal ? Is it something like Glen Benton ? He named his son Demoniac…
No…Gunther is not a popular name is Belgium…It is a Nordic name meaning ‘ Warlord ‘. I guess it is fine…And somehow I prefer my name over Pippo or Ane Babb…My mother gave me this name and you might be amazed at their open mind concerning music...They hate grindcore but they do enjoy bands like Slayer and Motorhead because they feel the same energy from this music as when they listened to rock n’ roll when they were young…My father helped me to attend concerts also…They are amazing just like Glen Benton is amazing !
21 - Share with us some last greetings or a bit of wisdom… ?
Thank You So Much, Carlo for this nice interview…Everything I do with Ancient Rites I dedicated to Philip, My Eternal Brother who has passed on…Fans feel free to write me and know that EVIL PREVAILS !!!
Interview : Carlo Strappa
(Mystifier Zine # 02)