Thursday, January 14, 2021


Hey black metal maniacs,
Francesco Bazzurri strikes again!
After reviewing the Tristwood's new album with enthusiastic tones, he interviewed them. Its his first interview for Timpani allo Spiedo 'zine and I have to say that this debut as interviewer is fantastic not only because his questions are very good but also because Neru, the Tristwood guitarist, answered in a very interesting way. The consequence of all this is that we are in presence of a in-depth interview that is about not only the (black metal) music but also about the Art in its general  concept, crossing boundaries that are not so common in our metal world.
So, here you are the first interview by Francesco. Enjoy it!

Well, let’s begin our interview with the usual question: what are the origins of the band?

I can answer this question as follows: we are Tyroleans and have a close relationship with the gloomy side of the mountainous and forested landscape in the Alps. Part of our origins and our roots therefore lie in the roughness of our living environment. But we never wanted to combine folk music with metal, because we feel that the mountains, their spirits, and nature deserve something better than simple, pagan melodies. The fact that our sound is so electronic, lightning-fast, and elusive also suits us, because there are so many places in the mountains that are simply inaccessible. And that is how we rate ourselves: Tristwood's sound structures resemble the mountain flanks, rocky outcrops and exposed mountain ranges of our homeland: they are challenging, sometimes overwhelming and, depending on the degree of difficulty, can be explored or climbed by very few. That surprised us 20 years ago, at the time we founded the band: we wanted to write catchy songs that portray the barren, fantastic, abstract, extraordinary of our nature, our living environment, our ideas and visions, but whenever we composed music together in a room, the most ferocious avant-garde metal materialised into sound. At that time we didn't even know what we were creating. Today we would call our first mini album “Fragments of The Mechanical Unbecoming” a work of art that wants to be discovered. At that time, however, we rubbed our own eyes and ears because we were surprised after the recording, what we had created without any external pressure: a pure and real sound experience, which will pull a listener far away from the conventional musical canon of metal music.

And what are your musical influences?

The influences are difficult to describe. To be honest, we were all very influenced by the music groups of the 1980s and 1990s. In the case of Jegger, Deimon and me, obscure grindcore, death metal and black metal bands played an essential role, but industrial bands from the early 1970s are also probably a reason why we sound the way we sound. It's always difficult to say which bands played a role with us, but bands like Killing Joke, Celtic Frost, Napalm Death, Dismember, Nihilist, Demilich, but also Van Halen, Slayer, Grave or Emperor certainly play a role. But you should not forget that we are very much inspired by the Second Viennese School around Arnold Schönberg. All in all, the influences are very different and that makes it so difficult for many reviewers to categorize our music.

Your band stands out for stylistic choices and it’s very interesting to notice this contamination of sound. How much researching is important for you ? And is it also like a cultural element?

I would like to start with one thing: we are a band that is not satisfied with the stylistic rules of musical scenes and subcultures. That also has to do with a misunderstanding during the formation of this band. At the beginning of our band career, we believed that further development, artistic expression, and the idea of ​​art would play a crucial role in the metal scene. We were wrong; however, I would say in retrospect. We were and are those musical outsiders that we have always been. We try to create worlds of sound using a wide range of approaches. But to come back to your question: for some listeners we mix different styles, from our point of view we sound homogeneous. This means that we absolutely stand behind our music in terms of sound, because it cannot be conceived or created in any other way for us. But that means that we make unorthodox or even contaminated music for many. But, as you correctly guessed, it is about further developing and driving the musical idea behind Tristwood and thereby giving it the chance to become something unique in today's musical culture.
Of course, research also plays a decisive role here. Theater productions, listening to extraordinary music albums, various forms of the visual arts, philosophy and literature in general play a special role here.

Besides the music you also have a powerful and strong storytelling. Can you speaking about it? 

Yes, the story behind our new album "Blackcrowned Majesty" combines elements from the literature of symbolism. Perhaps some of the readers are familiar with Franz Kafka. In addition, the limitless artistic implementation of stories, as Franz Lang did in his silent film "Metropolis", also plays an essential role in how we approach our texts. The texts themselves are, on the one hand, spontaneous, intertextual, concrete, and then again abstract, fantastic, and in part lean towards Dadaism. For the new album we have decided to stay true to a crucial element of our work, the non-publication of our poems and lyrics. Rather, we would like to encourage the interested listeners to dream and only offer a background story that provides the framework for a hike in the dream world that we have created: the album "Blackcrowned Majesty" itself deals specifically with the return of Ar’ath, the aforementioned majesty of the title, to Ma’haxul, a broken continent. In a musical but also narrative way it is described how it flows to the north after it has been broken up and is crowned again by its loyal followers. As in any good story, this one also needs a middle hero, an outsider who is torn, not rounded, but rather an outcast. This figure is Rauthra, a particularly dark fellow. He is represented in the story as a black and gold shining Hädhrit, a horned hybrid creature, and is visible on the cover of the album. He is an escaped slave, of the lowest birth and protagonist of this story. If you want to know more, you can read the story on our homepage, which will go online this year. Parts of the story will also be posted on Facebook from time to time. So, it is advisable to like us there to stay on the ball.

Do you have some particular writers as inspiration? Personally I feel in "Blackcrowned Majesty" some affinity with Moorcock’s dark fantasy or with the epic atmosphere of R.E.Howard. Am I wrong?

You're not entirely wrong, but the influences are more diverse. Tristwood is a musical group in which everyone deals with literature or other forms of narrative formats. The founding members, Jegger, Deimon and I, are readers of literary texts, but also quite inclined to philosophy itself. Of course, Michael Moorcock plays a role to a certain extent, the same applies to R.E. Howard, Jules Vernes or H.P. Lovecraft, who, with the creation of extraordinary worlds and stories over the past 150 years, have given us the opportunity to broaden our horizons into the world of the almost unthinkable. We also want to follow this tradition: we use this tool and create something new that has never been in this exact form. There is a proximity to narratives that play a role in the present. The Grimdark Fantasy genre in particular plays a certain role in the background story. And yes, because of that, there may be a certain zeitgeist behind it. However, you can assume, that the story will not follow the usual course…

You are brave guys facing an extreme music genre like black metal with innovative way. What are your future projects? And what boundaries will you cross?

Thanks for the kind words. We don't really see ourselves really as a Black Metal band, but the media probably decided that a bit. Regardless of how we are called, whether as Avant-Garde Metal, Blackend Grindcore, Industrial Death Metal, Industrial Black Metal, Art Grind or Post Extreme Metal, we will independently venture into new musical experiments that take us to the moment of true and real composition and recording. Lately we've been working a lot with analog synthesizers, buzzsaw sounds, then we have tons of guitar pedals to work with. We will probably not allow ourselves to be restricted so easily, not even by what is currently in fashion. Well, we have an EP with the working title "Vortex of Damnation" that will be released over the next several years. However, one focus is on keeping old promises. This means that we will re-release our third album "Dystopia et Disturbia" in CD format. That will probably be the next challenge for us. Then at some point we will release a 15 year old EP called "Svarta_Daudi". A cover is currently being painted for this. The whole thing will take some time. But I can say one thing in advance, all the lyrics for an album have already been written. A short story about the Ar'ath cycle has also been written. We have enough to actually record an album or even several again. But whether we do that in the end always depends on the time that is available.

Commercial or not commercial, that is the question. You have a strong position about this point of view. I’d like to know more about this.

There is an intention behind commercial music to generate revenue and profit. Of course, commercial music is often very good music. I am also a listener of many bands that are basically geared towards commercial success by releasing albums and performing live. But that also means that you are geared towards the market and what is currently trending. That was never an issue for us, even with the successful albums like "The Delphic Doctrine" or "Dystopia et Disturbia", which was released as a free format via Asliuum Netlabel 2010. We stayed true to our doctrine of researching real, new sounds, understanding our music as an art form and practically only maintaining contact with our audience. We are all firmly convinced that Tristwood has only existed for so long because the creation of extraordinary, unorthodox, challenging, provocative soundscapes has always been the focus. That means that we can only work with record companies that can handle this idiosyncratic way of creating music. But I would also like to say one more thing: music is always something extraordinary, something special if you don't copy the style of your role models in order to be successful, but go your own way. And that's what we have wanted to do with Tristwood for 20 years: we want to create something new, something that has never or rarely been there before, something extraordinary, even if that means that it will be a commercial disaster. Our goal has been achieved and we consider it a success, when our music is listened to by music enthusiasts, played in a play, at an exhibition, in an extraordinary radio show, but not when we are headliners at Wacken Open Air. So, I personally think, that success means something else. It should be about art and it should be about trying to create something unique…
But I have another thing to say. I've been working with Deimon and Jegger in Tristwood for 20 years, both of whom I would describe as absolutely exceptional talents on their instruments and vision. They are both real loners and basically not capable of creating commercial music. Basically, both are real and genuine artists, even if they would never accept that and are sure to be very pissed off reading this. When the two of them stand in the rehearsal room and create songs, it is like watching Jackson Pollock paint. It is a happening, a great unique moment that can basically be compared to an artistic installation. Perhaps one or the other can feel the magic that was created during the recording of "Blackcrowned Majesty". What I mean by that is the following: the album has nothing superficial, nothing artificial, nothing demonic, no ideology, no self-expression, it's pure, real, raw, it's just art for people who are looking for more in life and who do not want to be told what art and especially underground art should sound or be because of commercial reasons.


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