Right before their visit in Greece, we spoke with Schammasch about the band’s past, current state and future plans. Are you ready for a drive through the band’s secrets?
Good evening! Welcome to Metal Invader! Nice to have you with us; I believe this interview you will shine some more light upon your act and prepare us even better for you upcoming visits in Greece. First of all, are you ok? What are you up to these days?
Working hard on many things at the same time, as always basically.
Could you please give us some information about the formation of Schammasch and what were your ambitions when you first established the band?
I started off with B. back in 2009, out of the ashes of our former band to create something new. Our ambition was to create interesting music and building this band up properly.
As far as I know, the band’s name refers to Shamash or Šamaš, the sun god from Akkadian/Babylonian mythology. Was it a – pardon me – random choice of name, just because it sounded good and exotic, or are you truly interested in such mythologies?
Of course it wasn’t a random choice, given to the band’s efforts on how we treat things like meaning – shouldn’t that be very clear? We see the name as a symbol of Light, that’s what it means to us.
In an interview dated – I think – a year back, you mentioned that “The creative process of ‘Triangle’ helped [me] to manifest a quite clear vision of what [my] believes and views on life and spirit are.” Care to elaborate on that, if my question doesn’t make you too uncomfortable?
I believe in spiritual freedom, which I’m trying to express through my art. I see life as an endless, ever-changing stream, in which men & beings are just a temporary manifestation of energy.
What’s the main message Schammasch want to convey to their listeners via their music? What’s your main purpose, if there is one?
The expression of Light and freedom. We want people to forget about the concept they have in their minds and instead focus purely on what they experience in the moment they get in touch with the music.
When Schammasch started out, you were delivering your own perception of Black Metal. Later on, however, you incorporated more Avant – Garde elements. Did this happen ‘accidentally’ or did you intentionally decide to go down this path? Wasn’t recycling a certain formula the case anymore?
Again it was the aspect of freedom which led to this development. I freed myself from having to follow certain musical rules to be able to create music from my innermost self.
“Triangle” was a truly massive release in both terms of length and compositional matureness; it was exploratory, more adventurous and I honestly believe we finally managed to get a grip over your true essence. I don’t know, “Triangle” felt like it captured what you’re really made of. Would you say that’s actually the case? What would you say changed with “Triangle” since you were the masterminds behind it.
Triangle was the moment of breaking free from these boundaries.
In your last release, “The Maldoror Chants: Hermaphrodite” the lyrics are based on “Les Chants de Maldoror” by Lautréamont. What led you to this decision? Care to give us your insight?
I was fascinated by the book since years and always had certain ideas in the back of my head. After Triangle the time was right for realising them, since it was the perfect moment for something fresh.
A totally different question now… Do you keep up with the Swiss scene? I, for once, was fascinated by Bölzer’s latest release “Hero” and seeing them for the second time in April was an amazing experience. What are you listening to these days?
We keep up the contact with some of the Swiss bands of course, but I myself don’t go to concerts often, neither do I listen to much Metal music these days. I mostly listen to Ambient, since this music is reduced to the very essence. It doesn’t make me think or feel certain emotions and it doesn’t get stuck in my head or distracts me in my own writing.
You’ll be visiting Greece for the first time for two shows in Thessaloniki and Athens, booked by Krisis Productions. First of all, how did you come in contact with the guys from Krisis and what have you prepared for us? Are you as excited as are we?
The shows were booked by our booking agency, Krisis stepped in to save our Bulgaria show the day before, since we had to cancel a festival in Bucharest which was supposed to pay the flights for the trip. Else we would have had to cancel the show in Sofia as well. We will be playing a variety of songs from all records, focused on the Triangle material. Since it’s our first appearance in Greece we are excited of course. It’s always interesting to play before new audiences.
Well, that’s all from me, I hope I didn’t tire you much. Thanks for taking the time to answer everything. We’ll be meeting soon in Thessaloniki! Closing is yours! Would you like to send a message to our readers?
We hope you’ll enjoy our performance.