Interview: BALTAK
Title: Never surrendered

For an entire decade the warlike activities of the Macedonians 2.500 years ago is revered under this band name. 

As always the traditions and legends around this antique indo-Germanic people filled in quite manic type and manner the lyrics of all previous disks, which perceived the unlight of the world under the banner of Baltak. 

What began once as graceless agitating and aimed uniform Hyperspeed Black Metal, tended quite recently sooner in a more varied, thrashy-barbarous Metal direction. The 2003 released album „Makedonski Boj“ – translated: Macedonian War – lies already a while back, but Gorgoroth, the captain of Macedonian ancestry behind Baltak, living in Australia, is busy as well as ever.

And the mighty screamer, who maltreats also yet the guitar and the bass, holds at its conceptual historic line as always with iron perseverance. 

So adjoins in not too distant future, according to after its information, the re-publication of long time out of print 1995 debut album „Macedonian Darkness And Evil“ – including a DVD.

Hey Gorgoroth, how are you feeling these days and which expectations do you have, regarding the new „10 Years“ release and the re-release of Baltak´s debut?

„Well it’s been 10 years since the debut was released. Since 1997 the album has been sold out and was never re-pressed. 8 years have gone by and during that period of time the other titles were still available. The 2nd album “Zaginatiot Grad – The Lost City”, 3rd album “Kral Na Dva Svetoj – King Of Two Worlds“. Since 2003 the most current album “Makedonski Boj – Macedonian War“ was released. From the Dutch label Displeased/From Beyond was released a 7” EP in 2004 as a limited edition of 500 copies with 2 tracks from 1998. Throughout these years people ask me and talk to me concerning the debut album. Knowing that a lot of people do not own this album these days, I had decided to release a special version. A limited edition of 1.500 copies digi CD/DVD release. A 10 year anniversary edition with 3 bonus tracks and a DVD containing clips of the old Baltak gigs from 1994 till new years gig 1995/6. The gigs were all recorded with a handy camera also using the handy camera’s microphone. The picture quality is not that bad. The sound quality is very raw and brutal with a lot of power. A lot of people in the past have always been telling me that the debut is the most extreme album of Baltak so it’s also good for all the Baltak fans today to hear this album of Blasting Macedonian Barbaric Evil War Metal. This album is good for the fans which are getting into Baltak these days and good for their CD collections. It’s a very exciting experience again it’s like this release is about to get reborn as a new title it also brings memories of the old days, the fun, the gigs, good memories which have been arisen once again.”

You are vocalist in an extreme Metal band. What Metal really means, in your own opinion? What message delivers it for the true followers to date?

„Yeah I’m a vocalist front man of probably maybe one of the most extreme bands these days from Australia. A lot of bands have come and gone. But Baltak still survives the battle. Metal for me for myself is a lot more then what most people can realize. Metal is a way of life a religion a cult. As for the situations for Baltak, metal is also a cultural belief of my ancestors many years ago. Way before Christianity and Satanism were ever thought off. The message that Baltak forwards to all listeners is the extremity of Macedonian history mainly the times of Alexander The Great and his ancestors.”

Which are your other hobbies beside music?

„I love Horror films, music DVD’s and Science fiction films. I also like to read. I also like to go out and meet new people, have a few drinks & laughs with friends etc…”

Through which problems did you had to go through after the release of the last album „Macedonian War“?

„Well there had been a lot of moments of stress through a lot of bullshit, rumours etc… Mainly all the negativity arose from Australia. For a real strange reason a lot of bands mainly Black Metal bands, people here were very upset and disturbed ‘cause I had recorded & produced the Baltak album in Germany with also a drummer from there as well. The problem is that I had given a lot of chances to musicians here in Australia but no one could cut the extremity and the tightness of the Baltak music. I still survived through the lies, the manipulation. The only people that had no problem with me were mainly the Heavy Metal, Power Metal scene which had a lot of respect for me, because I had stuck with what I was doing for many years now and never given up. I have over come a lot of things and am still activated and in control of all actions that were against myself & Baltak. In the end I know who my real friends and Metal brothers are.”

How much are you still satisfied with the result of the songs for the last Baltak album „Macedonian War“?

„I am very much impressed with the whole outcome, the songs actually are a lot better played then the previous drummer I had here in Australia. Only if you could actually hear the difference between these two recording you would hear that the songs are played tighter and faster then ever. Some tracks were even shorter by a minute because they were played faster. In my opinion the tracks sound a lot better now then they ever had. The German drummer Lord Of Aeveron was very impressive for me and we both had a great time rehearsing, then the recording at the Polygam studio’s in Pirna/Dresden. We have also been talking for another Baltak album when the time is right, when I am able to return back to Germany again.”

Which are the most musical differences on the last album to the previous releases of Baltak? Guess, mostly the speed has been taken down a bit.

„Well I wanted a different approach for this 4th release. Yeah the music speed was taken down, due to the fact I wanted to do this album more of a thrash/black metal approach then the full on blasting Black Metal. I feel that the song structures are a lot better on this current release then the previous 3 albums. I also wanted the guitar riffs to be a lot more musical and melodic with more different changes, less predictable, more interesting to listen to, also still holding the Baltak vibe but in a different light.”

Which feelings have been gone through your mind during the process of composition for the „Macedonian War“ album?

„In 2002 when the rehearsals for the 4th album were taking place it was a great exciting feeling. I was so happy that I had a German drummer involved with Baltak. It was really the best thing I had ever done, at first I was a little nervous because also I had not played with a drummer from Europe before apart from Buio Omega which was also different because that was also a band, as for Baltak it was only myself and the drummer. It was more of a challenge then ever. Pushed myself to limits I had never thought I had. The adrenalin was pumping through me every rehearsal also even the recording. Working with Kai Uwe Schneider from Saxorior as the producer was great, the best I should say.”

Which are still your main influences, musical and lyrical?

„I still love all the classic stuff like AC/DC, Bathory, Black Sabbath, Coroner, Dark Order, Destruction, Deep Purple, Dio, Helloween, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, King Diamond and Mercyful Fate, old Kreator, Led Zeppelin, old Metallica and Megadeth, old Ozzy Osbourne, Pegazus, Possessed, Queen, Ratt, Sadistik Exekution, Sodom, Saxon, Slayer, Twisted Sister, Van Halen, Venom, old W.A.S.P., ZZ Top mainly that old 70’s, 80’s heavy Rock Metal. I like that stuff also ‘cause it was the music from my child hood. My modern influences would probably have to be Chuck’s Death, old Morbid Angel, Cancer, Darkthrone, Saxorior, Aeveron and Dunkelgrafen. I have a lot of influences, to many to mention. I listen to also a lot of instrumental Rock/Metal like Joe Satriani. I like my Macedonian folk songs from time to time. The musical influences have more to do then the lyrics. I am inspired by musicianship. The lyrics cannot have any idea’s from my influences also because they are in Macedonian and none of my influences are in Macedonian. I also love a lot of classic Rock mainly 80’s stuff is my best.”

Which lyrical contents gonna contain the upcoming tracks of Baltak? Will you write all the lyrics, once again?

„When the time is ready for the next Baltak album there will be lyrics printed again.”

To my mind the Baltak lyrics are each time very hateful. Do you feel it to sing those lyrics as a self therapy for your soul?

„Yes, the lyrics are very hateful. They concern the ancient battles over 2500 years ago. The Macedonians waged war all year ‘round under King Filip II of Macedon. Those were the most outrageous and extreme moments in History. When Alexander came to power it was more insane then ever. Fulfilling his father’s dreams Alexander was claimed as the Son of Zeus Amon. The lyrics hold all sorts of stuff from – from Macedonia to India even in Egypt. There is a lot to write about. The more I can express my emotions within the music and lyrics the more satisfied I will be. I feel that the Macedonian history should be known world wide so people can see and realize that the true Macedonians were Macedonians – nothing else.”

The conception of „Macedonian War“ dealing surely with some topics of death. How do you wish to die and to be buried someday?

„Death is certain, Life is not. No one lives forever. Only memories remain of those heroes that have done amazing things throughout time. Sculptors, art work, written information. When my time is over then I will go. I myself would love to be buried some day with all masters of all Baltak albums so in the future when I get dug up. They will have the whole biography of the Band then people can talk about this in a few thousand years time. For them it will be the find of tomb of Baltak with rare artefacts of those albums. Just hope that they will have CD players, ha ha ha. Possibly CD players will be out of date!”

Who did the frontcover artwork for the new „10 Years“ release?

„The cover art was re-designed by the Rev Kris Hades from Sadistik Exekution.”

Do you feel fully satisfied with it? Your own opinion about?

„Yes I am very much satisfied with this work of art. It has improved from the original 100 %. I would have to say my opinion would have to be it’s a great work of art!”

Which bands do you like personally out of the Metal genre?

„Black Sabbath would have to be my all time bands. Apart from that there are a lot of bands that I listen to. At the moment the CD that has been playing in my car on volume 10 is the mighty Saxorior, then before that I did not mind the latest Hammerfall. King Diamond’s “Puppet Master” is the best album I have heard for a long time. AC/DC with Bon Scott also with Brian Johnson, although they are not really Metal but heavy enough on certain tracks. I don’t mind a little Immortal. I like personally most Metal, it’s hard to say for me which are my best and favourite bands.”

What is your personal view about the ,modern-days‘ Metal scene?

„I would have to say that the Metal in today’s world is not really that bad. There are a lot of bands I don’t really like such as the New Metal shit from America. I hate that stuff, for me that’s not Metal but Gay Metal. Untalented musicians that only know a few cords and don’t really play with any emotion at all. For me I would rather the 80’s era. Also bands that play in that style in today’s times. For myself I would rather stick to my classic stuff.”

Which are Baltak‘s main plans for the future?

„I would love to do show’s in Europe. I hope in the near future Baltak can appear live on German stages with a German line-up. Only the best musicians will do. It’s been about 10 years since the last gig and I am sort of planning for the return of Baltak live to be held in Europe first.“

© Markus Eck, 30.07.2005

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