Interview: KING SATAN
Title: Chaos

The fact that the Finns around singer and songwriter King Aleister Satan not only musically but also visually rely heavily on signification has brought them forward considerably since the 2015 formation.

Now the cursedly original troupe from Tampere unerringly goes for the Industrial Metal bull's-eye with the third album „Occult Spiritual Anarchy“! 

Master Aleister truly has a lot to say - the following dialogue of two conviction offenders brings the interesting intentions of the Scandinavian rebels to the respective point. 

The new album "Occult Spiritual Anarchy" - what Anarchy is meant ?

„What I mean by ”Spiritual Anarchy” is about the breaking the chains which enslave your mind. It's not the absence of order and meaning, but development of your own sense of order and the meaning after the breaking of the chains of pre-established answers, rules and behavious codes for existential struggles. It is a method and process where someone really can become oneself and establish genuine connection with one's own emotions, (spiritual) experience and intelligence. This has been one of the fundamental themes of the whole band ever since the beginning, together with this so called ”Clowning is serious business”, and ”Spiritual Anarchy” it is kind of psychological, philosophical and spiritual equivalency of what political anarchy is, but this album is not about the political anarchy obviously. It could be probably understood as a part of a continuum born from Nietzsche's philosophy (especially re-evaluation of all values part there) and Chaos Magick, combined with Satanism, or at least the archetype of the Devil who plays crucial part of this process.“

And how does it feel for you, especially within the damn pandemic? A 'rollercoaster' within?

„To be honest all this feels now somehow insignificant as the world is facing other kind of disasters which all who follows the news knows all about. But about the pandemic, in the beginning it felt very surreal, and I was really frustrated that all tour plans and other plans backfired because of this, as we just released our second album ”I Want You To Worship Satan” back then and managed to play 6 shows of that album release tour before first lockdowns came to be. It of course stopped the world for couple of years, and naturally cancelled our all confirmed shows. But I adapted into it eventually, as then I had time to do lots of other things that I didn't have so much time before to do. I worked still with music a lot though but not related to performing, music is my biggest part of my lifestyle after all, with shows or with no shows. And we as a band just decided to start to work with new music then instead staying idle, use the time in our advantage, and our becoming new album ”Occult Spiritual Anarchy” was produced during this time. But I love live shows a lot, so of course I'm more than thrilled that some tours seem to start again - unfortunately the support on the European mainland for the industrial legends Die Krupps during their ”Bright Side of Hell Tour 2022“, which was already confirmed to us, was cancelled due to Covid. But we are still strongly hoping for our own shows in Finland and Europe.“

I hear highly listenable material on all levels - what is still your very special formula to create this as extreme as catchy music?

„In the beginning my recipe was to find out what happens if I combine The Prodigy, Deicide and Turbonegro influences. But after that when the solo project grew into a full line-up band, the method changed to be little bit more diverse. For now, for outsiders it might look like we have no clear formula, and even to my bandmates it looked first like that, because the formula is more closer one of my mottos that I live by: ”Chaos is the Law”. I am kind of committed to long term spontaneity, hah! But anyway, I am constantly writing texts, composing and making demos and experimenting with music, eventually patterns emerge from these, and I see some theme concepts coming together with some texts, demos and aesthetics and then I tie them together and this is how our albums are born. But of course also my bandmates give me their song ideas and they also sometimes come together with these bigger pictures. And when the demos are ready, my bandmates, who are all much more skilled musicians than I, will take the compositions to the next level with their own instruments and add there their own ideas. We kind of brainstorm the songs into their final form this way. And same goes for the song ideas and demos of my bandmates do. The end result has been more or less a group effort ever since our 2nd album.“

Who of you guys composed the lion's share of the new song material? 

„Well, with ”Occult Spiritual Anarchy”, it was similar like in the past, as I did the most of the compositions and songwriting from the zero stages to demos, but like I said, the end results are always a group efforts one way or another. Sometimes it can be just adding one riff to a song I composed otherwise, like ”The Faces Of The Devil” on our upcoming new album is good example of that, to where EF-13 and Hekate added small, but very important compositions there into the interlude part of the song. But also both of them composed one song 50/50 style with me with this album.“

How did your collaboration for the new work go?

„It went very well and everyone involved with ”Occult Spiritual Anarchy” really transcended themselves, but this might be better to ask from my bandmates too, hahah! I kind of push them to the limits and I demand quite a lot from them, because I believe that the best efforts comes from there where the mind almost breaks down into pieces. I demand very much from myself too, and I never demand more from my bandmates than I would from myself. I believe that if you want to transcend yourself, you need really to challenge yourself. But the rules are clear with us, so even I sense some irritation from their side when the process is on, understandably when being pushed, especially at last stages when all are tired, all seemed to respect the process so no one snapped to each other and it was like a sports team mentality. They told me after finishing the process, that I was right to do what I did, as it really kicked the best efforts out from everyone. I actually watched lots of sports documentaries before recordings, so it might had influenced my producing methods in the studio, hahah.“

Is it allowed to ask you about any special musical influences which led to the new material?

„From my part, I am not quite sure to be honest. When the lockdowns came to be in 2020, I just locked down into my home studio and started playing like a maniac to beat out the frustration I had at the time, and after of couple of weeks intense process I realized I had blueprints for new album. And EF-13 and Hekate send also some demos which influences are not known to me either, except that Kate is influenced a lot from movie soundtracks. But from my part, I think the influences of this album comes from the times before I even had founded King Satan, from very deep of my subconsciousness, as I really had no conscious recipe, just went on with the flow. Our press said that there's elements of Industrial Metal, Death Metal, dance music and symphonic Black Metal, and I can agree with that, since I kind of grew up with all of that when I was finding extreme Metal and growing as a person, with artists like Cradle Of Filth, Dissection, Slipknot, Combichrist, The Prodigy, Ministry, CMX, Deicide etc. to name a few, so if I had to speculate of possible influences which are not at the moment apparent to me for aforementioned reasons, I would guess these.“

Were any Ups and Downs during the songwriting?

„The whole creative process, especially songwriting is a up for me, and when I have given my all to it, there's always a small mental breakdown which tells me that this particular process has now ended. Then I rest, rewind and continue again with regained perspective. I just always give my all to the process and live it through with the whole of my being.“

Industrial sounds … endless popular … legions & legions of bands worldwide - in which position between all the more or less similar acts do you see your own bunch?

„This question has been hard to answer ever since the beginning of King Satan, and it seems it becomes more unclear album after album, hah. We just want to do our own thing and don't care really about genre boundaries or pre-established patterns. Couple of things has stayed in my mind about this though, as one journalist once said about us that ”What if Slipknot and Rammstein had a baby, and little bit of Die Antwoord in it?” which underlines this and another one said that ”you are not that clearly industrial, and not that clearly Metal, but somehow strongly both”. And even industrial is very diverse genre starting from the Industrial Records/Throbbing Gristle times to Ministry and Rammstein etc all the way to electro-industrial like Suicide Commando, we still have no clear position anywhere here I reckon. Which is why we kind of cross many suitable territories at once, as we have performed in gothic, industrial and Metal festivals and events almost seamlessly, so when lacking of better term, let's call it Industrial Metal, hah!“

Nearly everything has changed since KING SATAN's foundation 2015, the world, the music business, the societies - how much have you changed, how much have your views on true art changed now?

„I think one of my problems might be that I haven't really changed that much, hah! I have been little too early with some things, and little too late with others, but lately it has felt that the things I have been saying and doing for the last several years, there are more and more people starting to understand what I meant with all these which is somehow reassuring. I think we live in strange transition phase right now, where the world around us has changed faster than the people in it and it causes most of the problems of our time. I just finished ”The Brothers Karamazov” by Dostoevsky after a decade from last time. And one of my thoughts was actually that people were the quite the same in 1800's as they are now. The surface mechanics, business and societal trends change, but the core seems to change very slowly. So, even the world around changes, the people are almost the same and this cleft between these two is now bigger than ever.“

Which styles of music do you like to hear nowadays then beside Metal?

„I have never been one of those who exclusively listens only Metal. There's lots of fantastic music available in Rock world, electronica, classical music, industrial too, and I don't really care about genres, its always between the lines, beneath the surface which interests me, even the lion share of this comes from the world of Metal and Rock.“

Anything you would like to add ?

„Thank you for interview! Hope to see you all live in 2022! Fuck the rest, Satan is best and Chaos is the Law!“

© Markus Eck, 20.03.2022

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