You Are Hearing A Mental Breakdown: An Interview with Lord Sar

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Last year, I became entranced by the bleak and sorrowful world of Sar Nath‘s Sorrow and Psychopathium Consummate. This was an otherworldly place of noise and fear, one sculpted by a very particular mind. Intriguingly, I began to notice Sar Nath’s sole member, Lord Sar, interacting with our Facebook page, so I reached out to him to discover what makes him tick. I expected the interview to be interesting, but I was very pleasantly surprised by Lord Sar’s glib and approachable nature. What follows is an unfiltered conversation on mental health, scene politics, and everything in between.

 

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W. – So you’ve been active as the sole member of Sar Nath since 2012. Would you mind talking about some other bands you’ve been part of? You’re also the sole member of Solitarrion, correct?

Lord Sar – That’s right. I made the other project out of an idea to really take on my favorite horror franchise, Phantasm, vibe and subject-wise, through my own interpretation. But it called for a different feel in my opinion. A bit more melodic death but also some slight symphonics, due to being based on films… so a film-score-like feeling was needed. So it wasn’t gonna be a Sar Nath thing, obviously, with my normal output being all about suffering, spirits, lost souls, and the truth in poetic metaphor and visa-versa.

You commented on Joe’s post about Myrkur that you feel there are a lot of ways to present darkness and “evil” in black metal beyond the tired tropes and ridiculous actions that have long been part of the genre. Do you see the music of Sar Nath as an extension of this? Your lyrical content seems to focus on psychological issues, correct?

Absolutely. The hate within the scene itself is showing how tired subjects can misfire. These younger black metal musians feel that living out the “evil” they write about is just “keepin’ it real”, or whatever, but it makes older and more experienced members of the metal community roll our eyes. I mean, I’m not that old, 35, but my age and up… we aren’t impressed and we see the negative types of “elitists” as brats. I am certainly as “evil” if not more than whatever occultist, or whatever worshipper they are is. When I am “Lord Sar”, it’s a morphing of a mental disease I suffer from, but a harnessing, a conquering, and a betrayal of the very darkness that plagues me. I’m a mirror of my own torment, and when it sees itself in me, it runs. Catharsis happens in that case, and I’m left as a gentle man who can lovingly interact instead of giving in to my psychotic tendencies that I could easily succumb to from so many years of illness.

That’s an interesting approach. Do you view art in general as a means of transcending struggle and difficulty? Is metal better or worse than other genres at acting as a form of catharsis?

I absolutely do see it as a transcendence. As a matter of fact, I use that very word to describe it quite often. Y’see, since I began losing my health, even worse than usual (I was a child with CFIDS), with the source of the issue, a wreck I was in at age 3, flaring up and coming back full force as a teenager, losing the use of my voice, moving the CFIDS into full-blown severe fibromyalgia and nerve damage in my neck… that came with a lot of mental problems, because not only does living with pain you know will never go away make you crazy, but I literally have residual brain-damage from my head getting smashed in. At times I lose cognizance and become a different, violent person. And doing what I do artistically is almost like magic, harnessing it into audial art, keeping it there instead of harmful outbursts, all the while creating something positive…even though it’s negative work…the duality and the taming of personal demons is beautiful. It’s like Dante walking through all 9 circles unharmed. And I feel purged and relived a lot of times afterward. So yes, it’d take the kind of music I do to fully be able to do this for me. You are hearing a literal mental breakdown, but a controlled one. A terror turned into one of mankind’s most ancient medicines – music.

Sorrow and Psychopathium Consummate has a very unique sound. Although I would generally characterize the record as DBSM, I hear traces of more noise-influenced black metal bands like WOLD or Wolok. Whom would you list as your biggest influences?

You’re on the nose about WOLD. To be able to look past what a human animal would see as a threat, be it a grating, grimace-inducing sound, or a type of person one would meet that looks or acts differently, and finding a rewarding artistry underneath is a very respectable ability for a fan of music and sound (or person, in general) to have. So, of course as a musician I wanted to include some filth for fans to dust off and find the treasure beneath, as my whole creative process does for me. Of course I’m into Mayhem and the greats of the darker and more malicious-sounding scene. It’s got a piercing sense of power to it. But bands like Borknagar really mean a lot to me, too. I try to touch that influence a little, but in a more despondent way, because afflictions do leave one weary and depressed. That is shown on the last track on the album about Japan’s Suicide Forest.

Do you draw influence from other works of art, particularly paintings, novels, or movies?

Yes, for sure. I’m huge into horror films. I like to look deeper than the surface on everything, though. So, even the silliest, goriest flick to one person might be poetry to me. And as I was talking about earlier, there’s truth to the fantastic. But deep, psychological horror really means a lot to me. Not much good seems to come out of the entertainment industry in the “above ground”, as I call it, these days. I mean, that’s an opinion… but I’m into the 80s movies, where it was interlaced with fantasy. More mainstream fans know Nightmare on Elm Street. Well, there’s a lot more than that out there that’s more than a guy running around after scantily-clad chicks. The Company Of Wolves, Waxwork, the Phantasm films that Solitarrion was created to pay tribute to… man, and those are just some that were well-known back then. If one looks beyond the grit and maybe “raw” work in film, even; you’ll find worlds, man. As for literature, I’m kinda you’re typical dark guy. Poe, Lovecraft, Anne Rice, Stephen King. Dante’s Divine Comedy is pure brilliance.

Do you think metalheads fixate on the darker aspects of media (or even existence in general)? I tend to think of myself as a generally cheery person, but I too love horror movies and weird fiction.

Yes, we do. I say that as an observer as well as from social experience. One thing I love about metal is that it has a lot of respect for history, telling of wars and cultural horrors of the past, killers, corruption. The real stuff is just as engrossing as the fantasy content. And on the other hand, if you look back at history, when there was no metal, mankind in general fixates on the darkness. Even in stories and songs that have been shared with children. So it goes even further after adulthood. For instance, I’m personally a necrophobe. My spirituality doesn’t help. Belief in spirit can somewhat comfort, but it doesn’t take away a raw, primal fear. Mine goes further, due to affliction from an early age. I’ve been aware of my mortality since I was barely old enough to walk. So, fixating on dark things, like death, cruelty, unexplained demonic happenings, all that stuff…it kinda helps us transcend as well. Helps us rise above the inevitable, the realities we can’t change. I feel that a lot of metalheads have consciously caught on to this, and as an extreme sort of people, have chosen to take it that much further.

I’ve actually noticed talking to people who read the blog that a lot of metalheads suffer from nightmares or insomnia. Do you think that’s connected?

Well, given the fact that I am nocturnal, live like graveyard shift hours, and basically have to stay up until my body gives out in order to sleep… well, yes, haha. I do suffer from fever dreams, waking up in a sweat, but also; being heavily medicated does that. You can’t take your meds when you’re asleep, so you’re gonna have some trouble when taking a break off that while you sleep with a chronic nerve disease. As for the nightmares – to me, a nightmare is more like dreaming I’m being cheated on by my wife, or my cat getting killed, or something that would really bother me. But given how dark-minded I am, I’m actually one to enjoy the dark, decayed situations in “horror dreams”, when there’s cemeteries and decrepit houses and monsters. Those dreams are awesome. I do use some of that imagery in my lyrics and liken it to real life in order to paint bleaker picture. I’ll be including lyrics in my releases soon, since I’ll be in control of what I release as the owner of Hypnosia Recordings. It’s not like you can understand a word I’m garbling out with my vocal style, anyway. But there’s a lot of emotion and I’m not monotonous in my delivery, so the sentiment does get conveyed, regardless. But yes. Insomnia and nightmares are a part of it, to answer the question directly.

The production on Sorrow and Psychopathium Consummate is pretty raw. Your bandcamp page describes it as “anti-audiophile”. I take it this an intentional choice to render the music more caustic, but are there other reasons for the sound?

Yeah. I noticed when I was younger that rarities and really intimate recordings, like Emperor‘s Wrath Of The Tyrant or Thou Shalt Suffer‘s Into The Woods Of Belial excited me, really made me feel like I was in the same house, the same ROOM with the band in their most PURE creative state, as it came, direct from the muse. And there’s also that emphasis we talked about regarding WOLD and “noise”. It’s rewarding. Music takes you to another place, at least I hope it does, if one claims to be a fan. Otherwise you’re just a casual listener and use it as background music. But since it takes you away, it’s great to combine your own journey with the evident intimacy and raw emotion of the musicians that made it. And I feel like people put way too much emphasis on their expensive sound systems and showoff-to-the-Joneses mentality, trying to make everything sound impressive. You should be able to hear a dusty, crackly record, the note-choices, the spirit, the creativity from the composition itself, if even at a low volume, and be “taken away” as I speak of. But intentional grit, with enough clarity and fidelity like my process, is an artistic choice, and the listener will understand, or they won’t. They can go find a “front page” black metal band that took a year’s time and income to make for that. You’re hearing my blood right as it bled. And that can’t be bought.

Two notes on this. One, I wrote an article late last year where I argued that artistic intent behind a record should impact the way we listen to and enjoy a record. My example was Tetragrammacide’s Typhonian Wormholes: Indecipherable Anti-Structural Formulæ, but it seems to me you’re implying the same thing. Is that correct? Second, what would you recommend as the ideal setting for enjoying a Sar Nath album?

That is what I am saying, yes. You should allow yourself to become obsessed during the listen. I know exactly how to listen to and become immersed in works like the album you mentioned. It’s brilliant stuff. I’m not only into things like that, but Nekrasov, and especially stuff from Mories like De Magia Veterum, Cloak Of Altering, and Gnaw Their Tongues. To “get” that type of material, my usual suggestions are don’t just casually listen, don’t fixate on how other albums sound. Don’t think about “traditional standards” or even dare to think “They only sound this raw because they are untalented”, because a lot of times it’s a choice, just like with my music. Many listeners kind of think it’s weird that a lot of times my unmixed or unmastered, rough drafts are actually glossier, cleaner versions. I don’t release them that way. That’s unfinished. I use degraders, distortion, much love for reverb like in the golden days of metal. And I spend a lot of time making sure these songs sound the way they do in my head before I accept them as a final version. And a lot of the emotion behind the writing is decay, depression, illness, malfunctioning of self. So, naturally, the music is going to sound dirty and unhealthy. The production will get more powerful and hard-hitting on the angrier, more furious parts. But I keep it nasty. Especially if I have a melody that would come even close to sounding “pretty” if produced cleaner. So that kinda answers both questions. Take it all as obsessively created and trust that it’s real just the way it is. Let my emotions and sentimental intent become your empathetic feelings when listening.

You almost sound as though you consider yourself a shaman walking us through personal demons? What would you like users to find on the other side? To connect this question to the previous one regarding transcendence, what do you think we can learn from metal as an art aside from how to deal with negativity?

Well, being that I’m here, conversing with you, in a healthy and coherent state of mind shows that I do transcend above my personal demons. The thing is, I don’t see the need to shelter myself away from them. Rather, I use them. Look at it like a devil coming to trick you into doing his will by offering you power and granting desires, well… it’s a fucking DEVIL, man. It doesn’t want to help, nor should you feel bad for getting back at it. So use the power, get the dark’s help, then betray it and live to tell the tale. And so, listen in that way. Know you’re hearing tragic things, but use them to your advantage.

A question for the gear nerds: Since you play all the instruments yourself, would you mind walking us through your gear setup and equipment?

Well, I find my own process to be quite impressive… with risk of sounding arrogant. But not for the reason you’d expect. haha The people that DO understand are impressed that I can move them as I do with as little as I choose to use. I like a variety, a different world, a different house, a different room with each track, depending on subject-matter or lyrical content. I usually use just my laptop, with it’s built-in mic customly set up to my precise specs, so I can just sit there and just have a mental breakdown and not worry about a mic. My laptop has a great sound setup. I’ve been pretty loyal to Ibanez and Peavey, regarding guitars and amps, since I started. I use a 6-string RG that I got cheap, and a Soundgear bass (when I decide not to program a cold, industrialized bass synth). And that’s another thing. I’m a “box-clicker”. Synth keys and drums. I microscopically chop up and piece together little boxes into other boxes all night long for my backing instrumentation. Sometimes I move a tiny fragment a little off, time-wise, just enough to sound like an actual band, which I do realize is kind of a contradiction, since I have a colder, noisier side. But there’s a humanity behind it all, too. I make sure of that.

That sounds like an interesting approach. I often hear complaints about black metal bands that use drum machines sounding too processed or inorganic. Do you think that “perfection”, if you will, takes away from the atmosphere you’re trying to achieve?

Well, yes and no. Perfection as an adjective is a subjective adjective. But in the way we’re talking, it’s a sure thing that I wouldn’t want my material sounding like a bunch of robots trying to emulate human black metallers. That’s how I feel about a lot of the newer tech-death bands and all. With few exceptions, like the ones going for a sci-fi theme where it makes sense, I value old-school technique as much as possible, especially since I do digital recording. I like the cold, mechanical feel behind me in the way of mood, like a serial killer’s unwavering cruelty and disregard for cries of mercy and all that. But that’s more of a vibe-based analogy. That’s as far as it goes. As for what I said about “perfection” being subjective, I feel – to my tastes – what I produce is perfect for what I’m trying to convey through my final product. But it’s by no means perfect by typical standards. I’d rather have a Mysticum or older Limbonic Art feel than this computerized-sounding hogwash I hear from some of these audiophile tweakers.

So what would a suggested listening session of a Sar Nath record entail? Sitting in the dark with a lit candle, haha?

Haha! No, I don’t demand that kind of reverence. I may be a black metaller, even a very dark, depressed one a lot of times, …but I’m still METAL, man. I am not some weird warlock dude walking around my house in cloaks all day mumbling incantations. True, there’s an ambiance and atmosphere to even harsh methods like mine, and that takes a little attention to detail in order to fully understand. But I still make sure to kick a little ass. A lot of people do consider Sar Nath to be DSBM, but it’s not the kind that never changes tempo, never shows any influence from the classics. One thing I make sure to do is make the music digestable both ways – whether it’s sitting and paying close attention, or watching horror on mute (which I do often, and that is also a suggestion for listening to my music) while you browse the web, make your grocery list, live your life! You’re hearing a guy die and be resurrected metaphorically over and over when you hear my music. Well, you can’t be resurrected literally, so just jam it and LIVE. Learn from the fact that I am a very unhealthy guy, both mentally and physically, and I’m still here making this stuff, talking to webzines. There’s your transcendence. Anyway, I’m not gonna say it isn’t rewarding in the more reverent listening way, if you’re that serious about dark music that you’d do so anyway. But no, there’s no need to treat my music like some sort of Lovecraftian incantation.

This seemed relevant here.

I read online that you’ve had some issues with Merdumgiriz that caused you to self-distribute through your own label. Care to expand on that?

Well, it’s nothing too malicious. That whole camp is fine, and I support extremity. But we just live differently. We value different things. And I won’t lie – I’m hard to work with. It’s why I’m a solo-artist. And whether I find another person to be difficult too is just my own feelings, and completely subjective. I mean them no ill-will. I’m even very good friends with a band or two on there, still. But not the label itself or the owner or his associates anymore. We had to go our seperate ways as to stay at peace. And that’s something I preach in the metal scene. I’m not into today’s newer “we’re gonna fix what we don’t like” kinds of false metalheads, the metalcore and deathcore scene, because I’m all about the music, it’s integral hystory, and metal not dividing. I became a metalhead in ’88. Even punk and hardcore were brothers to heavy metal and extreme metal. The warring wasn’t there. And so my search for peace and unity by not accepting these mall-fakes that really hate metal’s original incarnation, and want to neuter the theatrics and the heart out of it and make the average kid, short-hair and designer-shoes and all, stickers still on their caps, into being idolized like someone as hard-working as Ronnie James Dio or Lemmy.. .that search to be back like it was with the genuine metal family again is my focus. A positive thing, even though my music is inherently negative as can be. I want “good guy” results. And Merdumgiriz is about more than just metal and music. They are very much black when I’m grey. They surely are passionate, but my passion lives in different areas than theirs. I respect their choices. But totally aside from my foray with another associate, totally not regarding them or disregarding them… I always want my visitations into the black to be as defense, as a purging, while having that grey haze over it (giving me that depressive vibe), and ENDING in the white. That might surprise some, but it’s true. Art is a healer, and I don’t want to be a destroyer. You should only destroy what you cannot fix. And my relationships with others get destroyed easily because I’m a singular entity, and very picky. So it’s mostly me. Whatever color, or non-color, I am at the time. I guess it all boils down to me being hard to work with, and I probably said way too much. But go ahead. You can keep it, haha. I respect them, but can’t stay there. Okay… that’s done.

 

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I was born in Tyler, so I was genuinely surprised to see someone creating black metal in Henderson. What’s it like making extreme music in that particular region of Texas?

Honestly, it really doesn’t affect me at all. See, I’m a disabled agoraphobic with both physical nerve-damage, and PTSD driven psychotic tendencies. So I’m literally phobic of going out into society. Not because I’m scared I’ll get hurt (which could happen, because nerve-damage is hell), but because I live with my personality on the edge of a blade. I can fly off the handle with a look. So, I’m naturally a fucking monster, but I consciously want to be good. So, back to the good and evil thing. My evil is real as can be. But I have the other side, as well. And in that way, I know the pure horror of the opposition more than just someone on one side or another. But since I stay in almost all the time, only going out at 4 am sometimes to get smokes or something, my music is as personal here as it would be in Florida or Norway. Doesn’t matter. I’m a hermit.

How much new metal would you say you consume in your hermitage? Do you like to stay in touch with what’s going on in the underground, or do you listen to other types of music in order to create a safe space, so to speak, for your own artistic vision(s)?

Oh, I’m actually completely obsessed. I consume monolithic amounts of new genuine metal, as well as genuine punk, experimental noise, and ambient. So many great bands in their purest stage of creativity are offering free or “name your price” albums, and they are all so much better to me than anything released in the mainstream to represent metal. Well, aside from other countries. American’s supposed definitions of what’s what are so confused. And it’s not just extreme metal. We’re talking classic metal, traditional doom, NWOBHM-influenced bands (regardless of their residence), ACTUAL punk, horror punk, hardcore bands that are just as pissed as I am that the masses are ignorant to what metal or other genres of heavy music literally are. We’re presented with this Disney-version of subculture, and that is not rock & roll, man. And any real fan of metal and its offshoots know where it all started, and respect it… at least. I mean, I understand listening to mainly the genre you play. But to totally ignore, or all-too-often badmouth, the originals in the scheme of things is just outrageous and disgraceful. Not everyone is like me, and I get that, which is jammin’ Maiden, Fate, or Krokus vinyls 50% of the time, aside from the extreme metal I play. But acting like the newer versions of entertainment, these newer genres, newer trends, fixed something that didn’t need fixing is just infuriating. Branch out, do your thing. But do not be a purist in a world full of metal bands that could be brothers. It’s like there being thousands of religions and claiming not only that you worship the only truth, but others should be punished for staying true to what they have believed for years. It’s bullshit. But going back to what I listen to, there’s a lot of mailordering on my part, too. I order vinyl, cassettes, merch. I treasure having a piece of these creative artists in my hands and on my shelves.

Who are some of your favorite newer bands in metal right now?

Well, newer bands consisting of well-known members really don’t fit the requirements of the question, if you ask me, like Firespawn with legends like L.G. Petrov and those types of bands. (I would definitely recommend that one, though.) So I’ll stick to the more underground or lesser-knowns here. Cauldron Black Ram, Fell Ruin, Genevieve, Enthauptung, Howls Of Ebb, Autokrator, Goat Torment, Dhampyr, Absolu, Grift, When Bitter Spring Sleeps, Chiral, Sovereign, Iscarioth, Panopticon, I mean… I could totally keep going. Especially if I were to go outside of extreme metal and list more traditional metal (like Gatekeeper and the like) or things related to, but not literally, metal. But I’ll just say that was just a quick little answer about some that I have and enjoy quite a bit, that I can even find inspiration in, even if I didn’t grow up loving them like I did with Dissection or Satyricon, or the givens like Iron Maiden and my favorite artist of all time, the great King Diamond. I have been into his work since I was like… 10 or 11. I just know I started young! But really, a lot of those ones I listed move me as much as some of the more well-known bands. And it’s rewarding, because I search, and I find. And the treasures are numerous!

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Since you have multiple projects exploring different styles, how do you creatively keep them separate?

Honestly, it’s hard for me to include it all into one! There’s a kind of schizophrenia to being at war with your own polarizing moods. And they just feel like a whole different person is behind them with each. If I just stuck to doing all of it as one, it’d make Faith No More‘s Angel Dust look monotonous by comparison. And I say that jokingly, because that’s one diverse and brilliant work. And honestly didn’t expect to reference that album. So maybe there’s another secret to my mindset, perhaps. That’s just on my own personal level about seeing art like them, like straight-up bands, like completely different bands than either way. But it for sure was back when these stupid “genre-wars” weren’t going on. Angel Dust was actually done despite corporate gain, in spite of, even. People wanted more “Epic” and they didn’t get it. That band gave no fucks about how they’re taken, and still don’t. I actually have to now, since metal is so confused and everyone thinks if you play metal, you mean you play some sort of mallcore shit. That stuff isn’t “subculture”, us against them, rebellious music like metal and punk were meant to be. Johnny fuckin’ Cash is more metal than they’ll ever be. And he wan’t even metal. I’m talkin’ the adjective here. “That’s fuckin’ METAL!” You can’t say that when looking at a bunch of effeminate skaters that don’t even have boards, wearing bling, and doing duckface. I don’t care how hard they squeal. They need to quit using the word “metal”. Sorry, I went off track. But that is the thing. I want to just freely represent good metal and extreme art, because I only have one love that never gets compromised, METAL, and there’s all these ants everywhere. And I have enough problems of my own. Trying to define myself because I’m seen as something I’m not shouldn’t be one of them. And if I have to clarify that I don’t sound like Sleeping With Sirens or some shit to anyone ever again when asked what I do, I’m gonna give into my inner-psychopath for real! So yes, schizo. Both emotionally and having tastes from Prurient to FNM, to Maiden, to Cultes Des Ghoules. That’s how I keep it seperate. I like diversity, and having a whole label of different shit I did myself is rewarding. I’m going to change that, though. I’m talking to other artists that would like my backing. But it has to be on a friendly, casual basis, or I can’t do it. It can’t feel like “work” or they’ll hate me.

Are you able to name any of these other bands on the horizon for your label?

Actually I cannot name names because most of them do not have them yet! That, or they haven’t told me what the names are yet. I’m aiming to help younger bands that “get it” and that I can call friends. So I am keeping up with their progress, and ready to be there to release their stuff when they get ready. There are artists, making some great stuff, and planning to send to me. But other than the upcoming 3-way split with Sar Nath, Ecorche, and The Abysmal Gate – which is my way of weaning Hypnosia Recordings off of just being MY stuff – most of them are new. One’s goregrind, one’s experimental, noise kinda stuff. There’s more, but some are still in merely the planning stages. I do plan on offering my help to established bands I meet, too. But we have to hit it off and be friends to ensure no bad-blood can arise. I also have to make sure I am in the position to do them well and not rip them off. That happens too often.

Let’s go back to that “genre wars” comment you made. You’d argue metal is more fragmented now than it ever was before, but your conclusion is that it’s the underground versus mainstream, right? Do you see any tension between fans of the more extreme subgenres?

Tension. That’s a mild way to put it. It’s downright out of control. And it’s not that metalheads aren’t into what they are into, or don’t have things in common. It’s that the history of metal, going back to being spawned from rock and fucking roll, is becoming disrespected, treated dated, and actively being threatened by modern bands that shouldn’t have the power to threaten it, but the mainstream’s idea of what things are now, and that it’s somehow better, is the problem. I’d bet there’s some bands out there now that put on corpsepaint and play black metal, but say shit like “Fuck Quorthon! Bathory‘s stupid and dated!” I mean, it’s gotten that bad. We’re all familiar with the younger extreme metal bands having the attitude that they don’t like classic metal just because they can’t get into the vocals, but guess what, kiddies? A lot of classic metallers can’t get into exteme vocals. And I could honestly coach someone to have a good enough voice to do an extreme metal album of some sort in a few weeks. I can’t promise you I could help someone be a good classic metal singer in 10 fucking years. So the logic there is obvious if you do the math. And it says so much when thinking about it. The Myrkur thing… that shit just pisses me off. I’m not like…her hugest fan in the world or anything…but we have these kids that are in the position of representing our scene and they’re literally picking on a chick for being a chick. Yeah, her stuff is “pretty” and has a vibe women in general would find easier to digest than Katharsis or Darkthrone. But she likes metal. She obviously loves old Ulver. And I love atmospheric, woodsy black metal, too. It’s a good break when I need to chill but still want some blackened vibes in there. But the girl never claimed she was the way black metal should be and that all others should fuck off. She just wanted to hop on over to us, away from her alt-rock stuff, and show some love to some things she is a fan of. And what does our scene do to her? Gah. It is beyond angering. She has enough potential to gain the backing of Kris Rygg, a legend in my eyes, and that should be enough for people to approach her work with a more open mind. But these disrespectful brats not only think they have some right to write him off now, but they call call fathers like Mayhem “Gayhem”, freaking geniuses like Ihsahn a “hipster” as an insult, or some other “we’re better now” bullshit. And then I’m stuck having to tell everyone “No. Us true metalheads are not like that. We didn’t set out to make the scene this way. It used to be a lot more of a family.” And that shit is 100% true. I am not a newbie to this genre. And I remember only meeting a dickhead metalhead like one in a hundred back in the early 90s. And I do believe that it’s because of the same kinds of people that used to make fun of the poetic, deep, weird longhairs in school now having mainstream control of metal’s representation. “We” got defensive and stingey at the wrong people because of another kind of people. And it makes sense against bands like Emmure or Asking Alexandria. That shit is the antithesis of metal’s true spirit and it’s getting known as what metal IS. It fucking makes me mad, too. But that’s all the reason MORE not to turn on each other! My only hope for metal’s future is these revivalist types of bands. That’s why I’m not gonna hop on the anti-Ghost trend that’s so prevalent in metal’s younger circles. We NEED bands like that, bands that not only love the classic stuff, but the ROOTS of it, too. But, no. It’s not as bad in the underground. I know lots of guys like myself that keep it the way it was meant to be. And other countries are still a little more in-the-know about what’s real and what’s not. But I’m close to giving up on The US entirely, man. Our music scene here is terrible.

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Thanks so much, Lord Sar, for that very candid interview. It was a pleasure talking to you. You can keep up with Sar Nath on Facebook and get all of Hypnosia’s music on Bandcamp.

(Photos VIA, VIA, VIA)

  • Edward/Breegrodamus™

    Dang, good interview. It’s nice to see someone who reveres classic material in the way that he does.

  • People actually say ““Fuck Quorthon! Bathory‘s stupid and dated!”?

    Doubtful.

    • COAL ROLL

      probably the “brats” that he was referring to

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      Never heard that before.

    • Betty White’s Chewy Booger

      Probably uber-kvlt assholes mad at the fact that he used actual production rather than a mini cassette recorder out in the woods, and printed more than 666 copies.

      • Still… Very doubtful. I don’t think I’ve ever or will ever meet a black metal fan that hates Bathory.

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          Yeah, I’m not buying that sentiment at all.

    • LVL 11 BLACKBEARD

      Ridiculous

  • +1 for the Katharsis name drop. Hails!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIRZz0KbVsI

    • Dubs

      Dude has good taste.

  • Dagon

    That was a very thorough read. He definitely has a lot to say.

    The highlight for me was the insomnia/nightmares question though, because that really got me curious. I wonder if there is a higher prevalence of sleep disorders or certain events in people who prefer heavy metal.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      I would not at all be surprised to see a correlation between mental illness and heavy metal fandom, or even among heavy metal musicians.

      • Dagon

        Are we all disturbed?

        Please no David Draiman here. Thanks.

        • Edward/Breegrodamus™

          OOH WAH AH AH AH

          • Dagon

            Edward plz!

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            I recently read an interview with Chip King of The Body where he talked pretty openly about taking a host of medications. I’m gonna see if I can dig it up.

            EDIT: I did:

            http://www.ponto-alternativo.com/the-body-look-at-us-were-animals/

          • Dagon

            There’s a logic behind the themes and aesthetics of metal (particularly extreme metal) attracting people with some sort of mental disorder, we all feel like it’s true and we talk about it to death.

            But I wonder if goes beyond strange(r) individuals into clinically ill as well.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            The clients at the house I work at are into popular “heavy metal”, like the kind of radio stuff I liked as a teenager. I doubt they’ve had much opportunity for exposure to more extreme varieties.

          • Dagon

            I think extreme metal caters to nerds more than it does to psychos, honestly. Something about it fascinates people who are into fringe culture, that feeling of exclusiveness or whatever.

          • Edward/Breegrodamus™

            Well, I think there is a world of difference between being a psycho and being a person afflicted with a serious and persistent mental illness, but I get what you mean, and agree that most extreme music fans are nerds to some degree, lol

          • Dagon

            That was a poor word choice, I’m gonna edit that haha.

          • CyberneticOrganism

            I’M FUCKIN CRAZY MOTHERFUCKER I HAVE THESE WHITE OUT CONTACTS THAT WILL DRIVE YOU INSANE SON YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW

            https://i.ytimg.com/vi/V-sYWaOrLdI/maxresdefault.jpg

          • LVL 11 BLACKBEARD

            Lolol. Oh, CO

  • Waynecro

    Awesome music and a fascinating, thoughtful interview. Thanks, W.!

    • Dubs

      You’re welcome. This was a fun one.

  • I find the nightmares section to be interesting. Nightmares at the time are absolutely strenuous and uncomfortable, but I’m always fascinated by them afterwards. Lately I’ve not had any Nightmares, I used to get them constantly! Ever since I stopped being a raging alcoholic and started taking care of my self, the nightmares seemed to have gone away. Dreams are so odd.

    • Dubs

      I actually rarely get the “scary” nightmares. The ones that he mentioned, like losing a loved one, are far more common for me.

      • Oh yeah, I used to have the most sadistic and violent dreams imaginable. It was actually stressful to sleep at night and to the point where I’d just lay in bed and not fall back asleep. I’m glad that seemed to go away. Exercise and staying clean really cleared my mind out.

        • Dubs

          Exercise helps me control insomnia. I rarely get it now that I run pretty frequently

          • Yup! I hear that brotha. Morning and evening workouts do the trick for me. It’s lights out around 9:30/10:00 at night now (I’m exhausted). I never was a morning person partially because I’d finish a 12 pack of beer until 2:00 AM. Now I like getting up early and having 3 hours to my self before leaving for work. I’m like a totally different person now, it’s strange to think that I was the complete opposite at one time. You live you learn, then you die.

          • Dubs

            I go to bed around 10 as well.

          • Good man.

          • Dagon

            I always admired the way shifts in America start a little later. What time do you start working?

          • I get to work at 9:00 AM. Leave at 5:00PM.

            I’ll get up around 6:00 AM and fuck around in the morning. Exercise, listen to records, poop, so on and so on.

          • Dagon

            That’s a good habit. Some shifts here start at 7, school usually does. No one gets shit done because everyone’s sleepy.

          • It’s like Mike Williams says: “We play like we work… Slow”.

          • COAL ROLL

            so on is a good euphemism for masturbation

          • Or shredding on the drum kit.

          • COAL ROLL

            my personal preference is for the former, since I’m not a drummer

          • Enjoy your morning wood time.

          • Waynecro

            Morning wood is an indicator of healthy testosterone levels and makes putting on pants a bummer.

          • Dubs

            Tuck it up, brah. Just like I used to do in English class in middle school.

          • Waynecro

            Sometimes this is the only decent option.

          • Dagon

            Morning sex >>>>

          • Mmmmm, eye boogers and bad breath. Sounds vile is the best kind of way.

          • Dubs

            You have to get up to brush your teeth. You have to.

          • Hahaha.

          • more beer

            Or just hit it from behind. Then your breath shouldn’t matter.

          • Dagon

            Thanks for saving me that reply

          • more beer

            No problem.

          • Waynecro

            Nightstand breath mints, bro.

          • Dagon

            Next level

          • Waynecro

            Preparation is everything.

          • Dagon

            Plus that smell of sweat that build up during the night. Armpit sweat.

          • Dubs

            Bruh

          • Jex Thoth bro… Jex Thoth.

          • Dagon

            You know it

          • Waynecro

            Nature seems to approve this activity.

          • LVL 11 BLACKBEARD

            My testosterone levels must be insanely good

      • Dagon

        The worst nightmare I’ve ever had involved my little sister being abused by an old family friend. It was sort of a lucid dream and I remember the anticipation of knowing it was happening and busting down a door to actually see it. I hit his head with a pipe and woke up at that instant.

        It still troubles me when I think about it.

        • Dubs

          I’m upvoting this, but not because I like your dream.

          • Waynecro

            Indeed. Upvote for feeling Dagon’s pain.

          • Betty White’s Chewy Booger

            Same.

      • Waynecro

        Most of the bad dreams I have now seem to relate to stress and uncertainty in my life. It’s like my brain knows some bad shit is about to happen but not what kind of bad shit it will be, so it comes up with, like, ten different awful scenarios to play out in my dreams.

      • Betty White’s Chewy Booger

        I wake up usually 3 or more times a night, and have had sleep problems since I was a kid. My dreams rarely turn into nightmares, but they’re very fast moving and odd. Loved ones I’ve lost tend to pop up in there, but that’s happened less and less over the years.

    • Dagon

      Sleep is a fascinating topic. I usually didn’t remember my dreams but last year I had nightmares and lucid dreams very frequently.

    • LVL 11 BLACKBEARD

      These nicotine patches have been giving me some strange nightmares that my evening blackout cant even quench

    • Last night I dreamed I was murdered in a bizarre ritual in a friend’s closet. Then I was sent to hell, which consisted of scrubbing endless toilets. My only breaks were to play basketball with a fellow inhabitant of hell, or to have limbs severed. I hate basketball, man.

      • You and me both. Fuck dude, sorry to hear.

      • Dubs

        Were you browsing Toilet ov Hell and/or clickhole just before sleep?

      • COAL ROLL

        but were your B Ball shorts camo or college logo?

      • CyberneticOrganism

        The other night I dreamed I couldn’t get off a bus. I got on by mistake and the driver refused to let me leave until we arrived at wherever he was going many, many hours away.

      • Salvador Dalí Lama

        Nothing sexual.

    • COAL ROLL

      See I’m opposite. Booze = no dreams. Sober = horrific nightmares

      • When I’m black out drunk I don’t dream obviously. It’s when I start to become sober. Then shit gets fucked in my head. Withdraw perhaps.

        • Waynecro

          The worst dreams I ever had, I had when I was learning how to sleep again after I quit drinking. Going to sleep naturally after having knocked myself out with booze every night for years produced some very strange dreams.

          • Learning to sleep sober was a big challenge. Lots of restless nights and anxiety.

          • Waynecro

            Yeah, I think it took three days without sleep before I finally crashed out naturally for the first time after I got out of the hospital.

        • Betty White’s Chewy Booger

          Yep! OMFG, when I was having tremors from the withdrawals years back (from drinking a fifth a day), my dreams were strange and nightmarish as fuck. A lot of dreams of my skin falling off, my teeth suddenly falling out, strange voices laughing at me, and the room turning into something resembling rotting/pulsating coral reef.

    • Salvador Dalí Lama

      I actually can recount some of my more vivid dreams over the years. Creepily, it’s almost as if I had actually experienced it. I do wonder where the mind’s eye takes you while your body rests. I’ve even used some of my dreams to help write storylines.

    • sweetooth0

      Eat spicy food before bed, gets ya every time.

    • nbm02ss

      I don’t remember my dreams/nightmares much, but when I do it’s usually of the teeth falling out variety. Apparently it’s a pretty common nightmare.

    • FrankWhiteKingOfNY

      When I was younger I used to have a nightmare that started at different locations, but it always ended the same. It started either at the beach, a swimming pool…always a place where there was a pool of water around to dive into. There was always weird shit going on at either the beach or the swimming pool, depending on which nightmare it was. I can’t recall all of it, but some pretty strange stuff was always going on. Either way, the dream ended when I took a dive into either the sea or the swimming pool and when I was under water, suddenly an eyeless dog swam past me. And that’s when the nightmare ended.
      Maybe it sounds stupid now, but it was intense when I was younger.

  • COAL ROLL

    I thought I had insomnia for years and years…tried all kinds of stuff..rx meds, black market meds…staying up later,sleeping later……turns out I just had fucking sleep apnea

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      Do you use the mask now?

      • COAL ROLL

        I have a nano thing…not a whole mask…just nose.

        • Edward/Breegrodamus™

          C Pap, right?

          • COAL ROLL

            yep. it was really weird the first few nights, but now it’s no problem.

    • a shitty job can produce the same symptoms!

      • COAL ROLL

        my job requires that I be shitty to other people on a regular basis, but I have no ragrets about any of that, because work is work.

        • have you ever tried Ambien? cause it’s >>>>>>>>>

          • more beer

            If you like to sleep walk and eat. It is unparalleled for these activities.

          • it sure feels good tho!
            i had to stop taking it when i found a fast food receipt in my car from 3AM the night before and no memory of going there

          • Dagon

            You stopped because it was Wendy’s

          • more beer

            That is really bad.

          • Halcion is crazy stuff too.

          • more beer

            They like to give that. To people doing alcohol detox.

  • Betty White’s Chewy Booger

    Awesome, raw as fuck music and definitely one of the more in depth and insightful interviews I’ve read in quite some time. Kudos to you and Lord Sar, Wubba Lubba Dubs Dubs!

    http://i.imgur.com/rXSzMno.gif

    • Dubs

      Graciass

  • Treebeard, Father of Fangorn

    To know that such evil make walk this earth and yet do no harm warms my soul. I have seen many great evils come and go, but in the end good will always overcome.

  • Matt Pike’s Sweaty Left Nipple

    Cool interview Dubs. Sar Nath’s “Sorrow and Psychopathium Consummate” is a gnarly beast of noisy DSBM.

    • Dubs

      Gracias!

  • frozengoatsheadupanunsarse

    An excellent interview, and bleakly absorbing, stirring listening. Kudos!

  • “Take it all as obsessively created and trust that it’s real just the way it is.”

    Love this response in particular. This is a thought-provoking interview from an unexpectedly cogent musician. Awesome.

  • dr.derelict

    Great work. This is powerful stuff.

  • I thought I’d return to see how the whole thing went over for the metal
    community here, and and it’s awesome to see such friendly and engaged
    discussions come from Dubya and I having this little

    conversation. As for the Quorthon thing…well, it was hypothetical, and
    I’ve met enough turds in the “scene” that the situation would not
    surprise me in the least. I would then proceed to ram an icepick into
    their ear…And for the compliments many of you gave my music, thanks
    so much! Keep it metal, and most of all, keep it REAL! m/