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Interview von: Daniel mit Melechesh, am: 08.01.2007 ]

Man kommt nicht umhin erfreut festzustellen, dass es in letzter Zeit mehr Bands gibt, die aus den engen Nischen ihrer Genres ausbrechen und musikalisches Neuland betreten. Dazu gehören im Death- und Black Metal-Bereich vor allem Bands, die ethnologische und kulturelle Einflüsse verarbeiten, die man so nicht vermutet hätte. Nile etwa haben die Kultur Ägyptens erfolgreich in ihren Sound integriert. In eine ähnliche Kerbe schlagen Melechesch, die geografisch etwas weiter östlich agieren und sich die Kulturen Mesopotamiens zum Hintergrund gewählt haben…


Musicscan: First of all: Tell me about the reactions you already received for "Emissaries"

Melechesh:Reactions are very well... both from media and also from fans and supporters. So I feel relieved and encouraged!

Musicscan: Please recall the creative process, the Songwriting and the recording process for "Emissaries"

Melechesh: The processes takes some time and is intense, it stares with me writing the guitars, although now I tend to limit my self less which apparently is working for out better. While writing the guitars I also add the drums in my head then go and realize them in our own project studio after than I give the demos to our drummer… Sometimes I try things out also in the rehearsal room. It all depends. The recording of the album took a while, around 1 month of tracking in Woodhouse studio Germany, which gave us time to also be creative and expand some ideas. The Album got mixed twice actually the first mixing we got someone in Amsterdam, he the guy in charge of that did a bad job and that incident cause the delay of the release. We then mixed it with the Engineer who recorded us at Woodhouse he also owns his own studio, he did a very good job, I like the result, the label likes the result. Response wise

Musicscan: What first puzzled me, was the unusual, exotic sounding rhythm in the verses of "Rebirth of The Nemesis". There are a lot of different, rather exotic rhythms for an European listener. How did you come up with that ?

Melechesh: Well the thing with Melechesh is we are not Cliché with music.. yet we are not experimental in the sense of it being weird.. I think everyone that listens to it can get into it (unless they put a defensive wall in their brains). Anyway since day one we started off doing raw black metal but still had such drum patters and rhythms.. such Mediterranean rhythms have a very deep relation to the subconscious .. hence they can quite often stick to your mind!. I tried it in 1993 and felt I could headbang while playing my guitar ...it worked! It also felt very organic and authentic but also felt to me mystical in its own way and perhaps.. ritualistic .. naturally with time we refined this and also refined the guitar technique. But in the end it is Extreme metal...but original!.

Musicscan: Tell me more about the research you did for lyrics and music

Melechesh: Lyrically I read a lot about Sumerian , Mesopotamian mythology and mystical theories , but also I tend to read about various occult issue from the near east or mid east.. it I also a combination of my mind and various ideas and twists I get. Musically no research is needed … it all comes from the mind and soul!.

Musicscan: Why do you still sing in English? Have you ever thought about using an ancient language?

Melechesh: Well English is a near mother tongue to me personally .. I was born in Jerusalem to Armenian/Assyrian parents and went to international schools and such there I spoke in English with the locals and at school but also all the community I grew up in was so international we had to speak English to communicate!. Anyway I guess also English is a universal language nowadays! But I do use on this album specially made Sumerian and akkadian texts they were done with the help of a linguist scholar in the Mesopotamian languages so that also had a lot of meaning for me!.

Musicscan: Would you still define yourself as Black Metal?

Melechesh: Depends how you define black metal!.. in a particular way we are a black metal band.. we are a black metal band that basically invented the middle eastern black metal sound!

Musicscan: What does the Sumerian or Mesopotamian culture mean personally to you?

Melechesh: As I mentioned it is part of my heritage! But also I feel it unlocks a lot of fascinating issues which shaped how earth is now.. some call it cradle of civilizations! But there is more to it than that there is this whole cosmic connection to it... and I very much involved in it

Musicscan: Please tell me about your personal musical background and your view on the contemporary music scene.

Melechesh: Well I grew up in a house were we listened to mainly rock music and such and then got into heavy metal and thrash at a young age and then was more exposed to the metal underground.. at a later stage I started getting interested in Middle eastern mysticism and the eastern classical ritualistic music played by some musicians to reach enlightenment and I found that also amazing but as a musician you can never tell exactly what helped shape you to be the way you are I listen to lots of different types of music as long it is done with feeling and it is genuine. From Black metal to the older heavy metal and hard rock to 70ies psychedelic music to Middle eastern meditative and spiritual classical music so it is vast...so long it is good to my ears and I feel it is sounding sincere! But I also listen top other types of music as well. Contemporary scene well... Some leaders many followers... But as a scene it is very healthy as you know!. I notice some fans like bands sometimes for the wrong reasons ..

Musicscan: Explain the lyrical content of "Emissaries" (the album as a whole as well as the song)

Melechesh:... Lyrically and thematically as you know its Middle Eastern occult and Sumerian/Mesopotamian Mysticism and magick. There are many elaborate and deep ideas.. . one song is based on a 5000 year old text mixed with a strange dream I had!, I do add my own ideas and interpretations in the lyrics, also one song is based on the kabbalah and one about my view about the magickal aspect of the city of Jerusalem. The track Emissaries and Mysterium Magnum, basically does sum up a lot about the ideas of melechesh .. it is about the Annunaki ( the ancient gods.. who basically according to some theories are from another planet....)

Musicscan: What do you think about the band Nile, or what would you reply if compared to them?

Melechesh: No Comparison, totally diff, They do their own thing.. brutal ..really brutal death metal with eastern scales incorporated.. good music but diff music man! We do more black thrash! Totally different scales, riffing and drumming ..... Funny thing is two bands doing the same .. death or Viking or whatever thing wont get compared.. many sing about Norse mythology are not compared... we both have our separate themes and styles of music and even genres and still are compared!. Also ironically if one band sounds EXCACTYL the same as the other .. and same lyrics .. but one has Black metal vocals and one has death metal vocals... they would never be compared it would strictly be this is death metal band and this is black metal.. so again I get confused at the comparison.. we never had any Egyptian themes! And we get fan mail or even occasional non credible press saying ya man we love your Egyptian themes ( credible press they know their facts luckily for us)!

Musicscan: Any final words, statements, greetings?

Melechesh: The sleepwalkers must awake... or be ready to be lead like sheep! the ones who are awake must question everything.