ANCIENT CEREMONY "Fallen Angel’s Orchestra" english version
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1. Returning back to your roots, I'd like to ask you first: who gave idea of the band's name ANCIENT CEREMONY and what particular ceremony was meant in your case?

No specific ceremony is meant with that name, it just shall evoke associations to the dark, Satanic and extreme music we are creating. The name was by the way only Ceremony in the very first days of the band but as a Dutch combo released a 7" under exactly that name short before our first demo was out we decided to add the "Ancient" to avoid misunderstandings and state our indvidual ambitions.

2. Our last interview with you was more than a year ago. Can you tell us briefly some news from your life: how's going your study? what was some important live-shows? etc...

My sociology studies are interesting but couldn't advance very much for I am simply too busy with the music. I started becoming a concert promoter more than 5 years ago, moreover am doing some distribution and promotional work, selling stuff via Internet and not to forget the management I am doing for my own band.

We played at lot of shows in 2000 on international territory and have more at hand for the end of this year. The best was definitely in July when we appeared at the Nuclear Storm festival in the Czech Republic which took place the sixth time. The crowd in East European countries is simply so fanatic and we love to play there even if we get hardly enough money to pay the travel costs.

3. Your first mini-CD was released on Alister Records. Then you've worked with Cacophonous. So your new album is out on Alister again. Why did you decided to part your ways with Cacophonous and return back on Alister? How long are you planning to continue this cooperation with Alister?

We'll perhaps join another label in the future, depending on certain developements, for example how things will go on with Alister and which offers are coming in from reknown companies of the Metal-scene. Cacophonous were OK, we had a great artistic freedom, really high budgets etc. but there was also a slow communication and some of the royalties were never paid. Nevertheless I'd declare the cooperation between them and Ancient Ceremony as positive in total...though it was better to leave them. Unfortunately not many releases are set to be expected in the future from this once leading label in the extreme Metal underground and we did not see our future there too due to several reasons.

4. This time your album was officially licensed in Russia to Irond Records. Why did you decided to do it and also add some exclusive bonus tracks for Russian edition of 'Synagoga...'? What do you expect from this cooperation in future?

We have many fans in East Europe and know that it is very hard for them to pay the high prices we are used to pay for CDs. That way we hope to set most of them in the position to buy "Synagoga Diabolica" to a good price they can easily spend. The bonus tracks shall make the album even more attractive to them and furthermore shall be seen as some kind of tribute to all those lunatics who keep the faith not only to our band but also to the Metal-genre in general- though it is definitely harder for them to do so than for most people here in the West.

It is moreover better to have influence on an officially licensed version of course. Pirate CDs are better than no CDs but a real license is better than pirate stuff.

We could paint our own picture on the fanatism of the fans in the East during our shows in the Czech Republic and dream of playing in Moscow (or Russia in general) once a day and also see this special version for your territory as another step into that direction a bit.

I hope and think the cooperation with Irond works well for both parties so that we can continue with it for future releases.

5. Where and when the songs for 'SD' was recorded? What was line-up during recording session and what's AC's line-up today?

As all previous releases in our history we again recorded it at Alister Studios, located in the neighbour village from where I'm living. We also rehearse in their building and it is the headquarters of Alister Records too. Peter, the label owner, appeared as sound engineer whilst I and our bass player Jones mixed "Synagoga Diabolica" (after I had worked together with Bruno of DAS ICH for the last epic "Fallen Angel's Symphony").

The line-up in the studio is exactly the same like on stage: Me, Chris as "vocal demon" (like the German press is declaring, haha), Patrick Meyer on the guitar, Jones plays the bass, Achim Mattes smashes the drums, my girlfriend Cynthia Schilz is responsible for the chants and diabolical female speech whilst Christoph Rath (the only session member for studio and stage) performs the keyboards.

6. Did you drink a lot during recording session?

Definitely...mostly blood - and also some Desperados (beer with Tequila) and vodka-cherry, haha.

7. 'SD' includes also cover-version of METALLICA's 'Creeping Death'. Why did you choose that song? Had you some other cover songs in plans before recording?

I was thinking about taking "Evil Never Dies" from Overkill or "Creeping Death" and then decided to choose that Metallica classic for it has been one of my faves in my youth and still is nowadays due to its great and powerful appearance. It is a song we all love and fits a lot to our concept for "Synagoga Diabolica"; I did a short introduction to it as well by taking some music from the soundtrack of "End of Days" (rather weak movie with only some strong pictures by the way) and added a quotation from the bible, to be found at "Exodus 10, 28" which then also gave name to this interlude. Of course we transformed the original into the typical Ancient Ceremony-style and the result is really fantastic...overwhelming reactions from the press and especially the fans worldwide simply state this!

8. Why your new album is called 'SD'? Why not 'Church Diabolica' for example?

I decided to take this title not only because it has a strong nearly charismatic expression and connection to the songs on the album but also because it was a description or better a term which got created in the middle Ages for movements and developements against the church and christianity - just what Ancient Ceremony is nowadays, haha!

9. You sound on 'SD' differs very much from previous releases. Why did you decided to return back to your roots and make your sound so heavy and uncompromising? Don't you afraid to loose a lot of your fans?

I and FJK founded Ancient Ceremony in 1991 with the aim to mix up extreme Metal with dark horror-passages and that's what we have fulfilled with the new album better than ever. Due to the attitude of some former members we went away from this goal too far mostly with our last release in my opinion but I definitely wanted back more to our roots. We are not the "commercial rock band with extreme vocals" we would have been if we had followed their feeble path and "Synagoga Diabolica" makes me proud for it is the very best release in the band history. It was a consciously wanted decision and it was important to feed the band with the needed fresh blood, the needed creativity and especially spirit again.

Moreover even most fans of our previous stuff shall be able to love the new epic after a short while...most listeners were really enthusiastic after having heard it the first time and most of those who perhaps preferred our two Cacophonous-releases said "Synagoga Diabolica" was fantastic but they had needed some listens to experience this. Though it is prior that we ourselves are satisfied with the compositions it is fuckin' cool to get such a positive feedback.

Goth-fans who are not so familiar with powerful Metal will possibly not agree but the real lunatics and Satan-lovers for sure will love the album to (Creeping) death, yeah!

10. During all AC history there were 13 musicians changed one another in the band. What is the reason for such often line-up changes? Isn't it prevent normal creative work in band?

13? Wow, I never counted that...really? Except for the bass player the line-up had been constant in the first five years. After "Under Moonlight..." there have been indeed a lot of changes and we never released two albums in a row with the same people. I am the only left member from the first day and even from our debut on Cacophonous but I am rather sure and also hope we can avoid further changes regarding the squad in the future. All former members had to leave inevitably because they had lost the spirit, the feeling, the soul which Ancient Ceremony desires for whilst the actual line-up is the best we've ever had when it comes to creativity, innovation and motivation. Let's hope this will continue and can be kept up!

11. A rumor is that you made some sharp-worded declarations in some Turkish musical magazines some times ago. What was these declarations about? And why did you do it?

I did and not only there...I do so regularly as I get asked about Satanism, religions etc. in 99% of the interviews and then present my individual point of view. Last week I appeared even in Germany's biggest tv-talkshow (!) dealing exactly with the same theme, it was alive broadcast and turned out really fine for me, I got many positive reactions from the whole scene and even from more "normal" people.

I hate these institutionalized religions for they make men to spiritual cripples that obey blindly to (a) deity(s) who was/were invented by fuckin' bastards. Satanism stands against such ridiculous weak shit and as I am a Satanist I not only "preach" the true and essential philosophy of being my one and only god through the music respectively my lyrics but do so also in interviews. I know that many people have problems with my attitude but I give a fuck!

12. There was a fire in your rehearsal-room in February. Can you give us some facts about it? Was it deed of Islam terrorists? Did you get some menances from religions fanatics?

As a result of what I just mentioned one question before I get threats from several religious "organisations" here and there, be it via phone, email or whatever.

I really can not say 100% who was responsible for the arsonry in our rehearsal room which destroyed some inventory and the drumkit but the investigating police said that the Islam theory was one realistic possibility indeed. The case is still unsolved anyway but as we have a new drumkit and also a new rehearsal room we can bear that they'll probably never find out.

13. Give us some facts about incident at Brno Rock Festival?

It was a cool show with an enthusiastic crowd and though the weather was bad and rainy we liked the performance a lot. As we just went off stage and had entered our backstage rooms (located in an old kindergarten or sth.) police told us about the bomb threat. We had to leave the building immediately but as expected nothing could be found... Police said it was possible that it was again the deed of stupid religious fanatics, probably orthodox x-tians, who tried to fuck me and the band up due to my Satanic attitude, haha. Do not defy the Devil!

14. Do you have contacts with some Russian fans? How often do you reply to fan's letters via E-mail or snail-mail?

I get emails and so from all continents, sometimes also from Russia. I am used to asnwer all the incoming messages but sometimes it also can happen that a letter gets lost, that technical problems occur or so...but basically 95% of them are replied to.

15. Can you call us few the most interesting (for you) releases of 2000? Some words about CoF 'From The Cradle...' and The Kovenant 'Animatronic'?

(Aeh, if I'm right both works you mentioned were put out in 1999...) "Animatronic" is a cool album with great and sick vocals but is a touch too much stolen from Rammstein and Marilyn Manson when it comes to the guitar work respectively appearance. Moreover some songs are a bit boring but as said, a good album in total.

"From the Cradle..." starts with two fantastic songs which blow me away (though the title song is arranged like pop music, it has this typical structures...). After that the album loses its magic continually; the new version of "Funeral in Carpathia" is OK but not as supreme as the original. As I luckily also have the Russian version with all these fantastic cover songs (got some copies from the fuckin editor of this crappy magazine called "Metal City"...have you heard about him or his silly publication?) I prefer listenting to that edition. The Iron Maiden-adaption is fantastic and "Hell awaits" simply makes our version of "Creeping Death" only the second best cover song ever done, haha!

By now I do not have specific fave for 2000 (except for perhaps "Synagoga Diabolica", hehe) but I expect CoF's new work "Midian" to become an ultimate killer and moreover am looking forward to the new Rhapsody- and especially Children of Bodom-CD.

16. Do you belive in vampires? Did you met some of them in real life? Do you want to become a vampire by yourself?

Vampires are an interesting game of thoughts concerning new ways of evolution, a new design for a time like ours where you have to fight to survive continually. They anyway do not exist in reality the way we get them presented in movies and books (I nevertheless like literature and movies about them fuckin' much) and I so far only met psychical vamps, not the more physical orientated version.

Blood plays an important role in my Satanic practises as I use it as some kind of spiritual drug or currency to donate myself or to strive for higher steps... I am attracted by "vampyric women" anyway but prefer to stay the Devil I am!

17. When could we expect to hear to your new full-lenght album? Are there some finished new tracks for it?

We have completed three tracks of the upcoming album already and are actually busy with composing more stuff for it. We intend to enter the studio this winter so that the next strike can be put out in spring 2001 hopefully. It will be the consequent follower for "Synagoga Diabolica" with perhaps even more extreme changes between Metal and dark horror soundscapes.

"The Devil is the eldest friend of Wisdom!"

(Optionally you can add this at the end of the interview): Thanx a lot, Andy, for this impressive interview and best luck with Metal City. Would be fuckin' great to see some of you guys at an Ancient Ceremony-show in Russia once a day! Nasdarovje!

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