Christian conducted this interview in support of the band Frozen Winds and the Metalmorphosis 2011 festival a few months ago. In the confusion that took place – postponment of the festival and Frozen Winds’ cancellation of their appearance – we never published it. MetalRecusants would like to apologise to the band and fans for this tremendous delay. Frozen Winds is a black metal band from Limassol, Cyprus and was formed in 2007 by Adonis “Goatlord” Kilonis and Romanos “Chaos” Panko. So far, the band has released a demo Luciferian Calls and and EP Prophets with Distorted Faces. Currently, the band is working on a new album – until that new release, enjoy the interview below.
Chris: Hello there Goatlord. First of all, I want to congratulate you on your releases “Prophets with Distorted Faces” and “Luciferian Calls”. Nice to see that “Dictator” isn’t the only Cypriot putting out raw, yet quality, black metal.
Goatlord: Thank you for the compliments, we are familiar with the figurehead of “Dictator”, who is also a friend of mine , and we are glad that we aren’t the only group in Cyprus putting out black metal music, despite our differences in style and approach to the music.
Chris: Listening to the release I have to say that you’ve captured a lot of the old school black metal aspects, and with respect to this I would like to ask what kind of equipment was used during the recording process.
Goatlord: The equipment for the recording was pretty standard, it was basically our usual gear that we practise with at home, an Ibanez guitar and bass and m3 synthesizer, and the gear the studio provided such as microphones and amplifiers and the drum set. We recorded everything traditionally from instrument into console and onto cubase, which was a great help with masteries, adding slight effects as well as adding reverb and delay to instruments rather than using pedal or amplifier effects.
Recording digitally also helped during our second release where our drummer was no longer around due to his family moving away from Cyprus as well as his studies, and a quality drum kit and some production know how went a long way to save the EP.
Finally, we always tried to preserve the old school black metal sound, raw and heavy guitar tones, and a drummer that beats the shit out of the drums rather than spank them gently. I am referring to our newest member Deathriser, who according to us is a fucking machine!
Chris: Along with the older school of black metal it would seem you try to fuse some modern black metal elements or as I like to call it “keyboard abuse”. This creates a very eerie atmosphere to an already abstract and dark sound. How did you turn towards this style between the older school of black metal such as Immortal, Darkthrone and Mayhem and the newer wave of more atmospheric black metal?
Goatlord: Well, what happened was, our main influences came from the Norwegian black metal scene, and as we started out the band, one of the founding members was a piano player. It was during the time that we founded the band that he decided to take his piano skills to the next level and adapt to synthesizers, when we first started writing he brought a synth around (at that time an old piece of shit that you see kindergarden piano teachers play) and played some stuff with us and we liked how it blended together. As time went by and he got better equipment and patches we discovered we could drive the music more and in different ways by taking advantage of the atmosphere and the soft yet eerie tones synths can offer.
However we tried not to abuse the keyboards too much and not make the music centre around the synths. We do this, because despite the fact that we enjoy the way synthersizers add to the music, we are not only firm believers of only adding to music where it improves the music, and not simply of our desire to add more, but we wanted to preserve a bit of the more raw sounds of old school black metal.
Coming back to or influences, we all started listening to black metal from different sources, myself and the keyboardist where very into the standard Norwegian black metal, such as Immortal, Darkthrone, Mayhem etc. However, when we started writing music I was influenced greatly by the underground black metal scene in Greece. It wasn’t a matter of nationalism, but Greece and Cyprus are sister nations and we share the same rich heritage and culture, something I’m quite proud of (as me and Samhain are both from Greece and Cyprus), and seeing that other bands in Greece were able to bring this traditional Hellenic feel to their music, why not try the same thing in Cyprus? So I wanted to accomplish the same thing up to a point, however I didn’t want to overdo it. Of course I did find my own direction to incorporate my pride for my heritage into my music, in a way.
Chris: One thing I have to point out is the Organ intro to “False Dominion”. It is damn orgasmic and reminds me of hardcore gory demon-killing in Devil May Cry, hehehe! –jokes aside, how do you usually structure your songs? What comes first and what goes last?!
Goatlord: We don’t really have a specific structure or formula when we write new pieces. We will be rehearsing, or listening to music, or just taking a shit, and we will think of something, or we will fuck around while rehearsing and find something we really like. And we pretty much take it from there. We expand on the ideas we found, and find riffs and licks that go well with them and lead into other riffs. Sometimes it’s as simple as sitting down and jamming for an hour, other times we will write lyrics and then find music for them, or we will do them at the same time step by step.
As our guitarist, Samhain, would say “There’s no secret, we are just 5 assholes fucking around on our instruments until we find something that doesn’t sound terrible”
I do have to say though, we usually have an idea of what we are doing or where we want to go with a piece when we start writing, sometimes we even know what we want to do with the whole album. For example, our new album is already developed thematically, and we know where we want to go with it and how we want it to sound, but it’s a general idea so we sit and write and finess it until the finished project does our imagination justice.th
Chris: What inspired you to start a black metal band? And what inspires you to continue, knowing that this scene isn’t the most promising.
Goatlord: Look, it was never about money(what fucking money?),fame or success, but we started the band to write some good, heavy, raw as fuck sick black metal because we liked the sound and we liked the music. We enjoyed playing music and our instruments and we found the chance to do something a little different and say “I’m going to play some sick shit” in a society that is very engaged in conservatism and religion.
Black metal spoke to us not about “fuck religion” but about why organized religion took advantage of people, it wasn’t “fuck society” it was “fuck anyone who thinks I’ve got to wear a suit to be a person”. Black metal wasn’t just “fuck the things I don’t like for no reason”, it was about doing whatever the hell you want, being whoever the hell you want and giving no answers. Black metal was liberation for us, who had grown up in the conservative society of Cyprus as “outcasts”. I don’t mean outcasts as in we where weird fucks, we were just different, and didn’t give a shit about anything most people seemed to deem almost godlike in importance. It was an outlet for all our pent up energy and rage. We liked the occult and the mystic, so our black metal mostly revolves around subjects about demonology, mythology and occult mysticism.
Chris: Judging from your song titles, genre, as well as artwork (which is pretty Kvlt), one could easily tell what the main thematography of the band is. However, is there any message in particular your band is trying to bring forth? Or something that you want the listeners to know about what you talk about in your songs?
Goatlord: I do not wish to discuss lyrical themes because that is something personal for the band. However, one could fairly recognize what the thematography in general is, but not so easily what the deeper meanings are. We do hope with our lyrics that people would at least see and learn a bit about all the scripture and heavy heritage that humanity is a whole, from the Demonological writings that gave birth to “15th Spirit of Solomon” to the pagan Greek mythology that brought about “God king Punishment”. Now that we are starting to be a little bit more established as an existing band, it would be interesting if people will be able to listen, find interest and learn, not out of simple curiosity, but true interest, about the many aspects of mysticism, evil and dark spirituality that exist in this world, rather than retain the closed narrow minded spectrum they have been force fed from their youth.
I’d also like to add that we have never concentrated on Satanism or anti-Christian messages, (although we do agree, to an extent, with these ideologies) because that is something that most black metal bands get addicted to, in a way, and rather than speak against organized religion or drive nails into others beliefs, regardless of what we think about them (most of them are shit), We would much rather write about much darker and realistic themes, centred around practises of mysticism.
Chris: Your shortest songs are approximately 5 minutes, how big of a bitch is rehearsing them? Hahahaha, just kidding.
Goatlord: Rehearsals aren’t a problem for us. They are long, but we always feel we’d like them to be longer. We enjoy the music and getting together in a room to just enjoy and perfect our sound only creates more motivation for the music and the band in us. Whenever we rehearse we are reminded why we love black metal, and why we love our band and keep it going strong. New music is written and old music is perfected.
Chris: What are your plans for your future? Is Frozen Winds an “On” – “Off” hobby for you guys, is it something you take seriously, or are you just going where “the boatman” takes you (Trying to be a bit more black metal than usual for you guys, hehehe)?
Goatlord: It started out as a hobby, but during the 5 years Frozen Winds has been going, and the members who have gone and the new members we have, we have come a long way. We’ve improved from when we started in impossible ways and Frozen Winds as a band has evolved.
A few weeks ago, there was a moment where we sat back, while writing our newest album which has yet to even become rumour, and said “Our old songs sound like shit”. This wasn’t because they are bad but because at the stage the band is at, we have improved so much that our new music is on a whole different level than the first two releases. The new pieces have more power, more energy, they are more sadistic and more evil than anything we’ve done before. We’ve learned new techniques, and we have mastered old ones and we think it truly shows. And when the new release comes out we know Frozen Winds won’t just be a name in a backyard garage. It will kick you in the fucking face!
And as we have evolved as musicians, and our music has in turn evolved, Frozen Winds will evolve. We intend to take Frozen Winds not just as a pass time hobby but as a serious full fledged music project. And if people like our music they have no need to worry, there is plenty fucking more where the first two releases came from, and it’s more destructive and sicker than ever.
Chris: Any message you would like to black metal fans and more specifically “Frozen Winds” listeners?
To Black metal fans and Frozen Winds listeners, we would like to say a brief thank you for supporting our music, and a much larger one for supporting the black metal scene in general.
And finally, a thank you to “Metal Recusants” for giving us the time for an interview and taking an interest in our band, and our small, for the time, contribution to the black metal scene.
The band members are:
Adonis Kilonis (Goatlord) – Guitars and vocals
Jason Ananiades (Samhain) – Lead Guitar
Roman Panko (Chaos) – Keyboards/Synths
Arsenios Machos (Cerberus) – Bass
Andros Ioannou – (Deathriser) – Drums