interview: Oscar Wendt
‘Throughout the time of Let the World Burn activity, we’ve always approached MasseMord the same way you approach a whore.’
One of the main reasons we travelled to Belgium for Throne Fest this year was to witness Furia and MasseMord live at the same festival. Being the body of the Let the World Burn activity, both bands are fantastic and very different representatives of the Polish black metal scene – very spacious and autonomous. We couldn’t miss that opportunity and decided to briefly speak to Namtar who, being one of the founding members of LTWB, is a MasseMord’s frontman and plays drums in Furia. Soon after MasseMord’s show, we sat in the car a had a short talk about both bands. Here’s the result of our chat.
The Goat Tavern: Hi Namtar, we are just after your performance with MasseMord at Throne Fest. Yesterday, you played with Furia on the first day of the festival. How do you think your music was received here in Belgium?
Namtar: You would have to ask the people that were receiving the music. My opinion about the festival is very positive. First of all, positive from the organisational point of view, but also because we spent really good time here.
Both Furia and MasseMord are very different bands, it was great to see how differently the music was received by people. But your role in both bands is also very different. You play drums in Furia and are a frontman of MasseMord. Is it difficult for you to switch when you play with both bands at one festival over two days?
I think it’s not a matter of any difficulty to switch. I could easily play both concerts on the same day. It’s not a matter of emotions, it’s more about the technical point of view. I wouldn’t play both concerts on the same day as one of them wouldn’t be done well for 100%. And if you’re supposed to play a show and give 99% of yourself, then why bother? So that’s what we try to do – if we play with more than one band at a festival, we want this to be a 2-day event. We did it before and I don’t think I had any problems with switching. In Furia I’m in the background and in MasseMord I’m the facade, there are of course quite different emanations of emotions diversified by their direction: MasseMord is more external while Furia concentrates on digging into yourself. Yet emotions are pretty the same.
photo: Namtar live with Furia, Throne Fest 2017, June 2017 copyright: Dawid Krosnia / The Goat Tavern
photo: Namtar live with MasseMord, Throne Fest 2017, June 2017 copyright: Dawid Krosnia / The Goat Tavern
Do you think that Furia was understood by people here in Belgium?
In one of the interviews Nihil said a very interesting thing which is worth quoting here. He said that when you are listening to Norwegian black metal or bands like Swedish Shining, you don’t necessarily need to understand all lyrics to feel the emotions which accompany the music. I think it’s a similar story with Furia. Whether they understood it or not, I think that’s a question to particular individuals. But I think there is a lot of space in Furia’s music so the emotions can be perceived in different ways.
Exactly! The reason I wanted to mention that was because I spoke to my non-Polish friends who have seen Furia yesterday and they definitely felt it. Furia creates that kind of atmosphere which takes you to the Moon and back. I think it’s a difficult job to do that in the way you do it. Everyone can interpret the music differently but I think that they way you transferred that atmosphere worked for people.
You know, it’s quite difficult to me to take an attitude towards those emotions because you are asking the wrong person. I’m responsible for holding whole show together and, actually, I’m the person who can’t sail away too much. Somehow in everyday life as well. On stage I’m mainly in the muzzle yet it allows the rest to do their emotional work. Therefore, I’m approaching Furia’s shows from the very technical point of view.
Why, in the recent years, does it seem that you put more attention to Furia than MasseMord? Are you planning to work more on MasseMord?
It’s the question that a lot of people ask us and I think however we would like to answer, it will never be satisfactory. I mean, surely Furia is absorbing us a lot at this point. All things that are going on around Furia right now are extremely crucial and we are assuming that this is the path that we want to take. I’m talking mainly about our performances in the theatre. I’m also talking about the new concert offers for us, starting with Metalmania and ending on the Japanese tour. So it’s quite difficult to muster our energies to do something else. But we always try in our spare time. There are several reasons for that. We think that continuing MasseMord in its current state seems aimless. That doesn’t necessary mean we used up our ammo and there is no more negativity within ourselves. Quite opposite. However, nowadays the black metal scene looks too mediocre and we feel that it is not appropriate time for new MasseMord to emerge. Besides there is also huge intimate background beyond mentioned reasons.
Exactly, you said about…
Maybe, I’ll just add something cause it’s also important. There is one more thing – throughout the time of Let the World Burn activity, we’ve always approached it the same way you approach a whore. You feel like doing something wild so you choose your lady and you do it. But when you don’t feel like doing it, you choose a different option. This is how we’ve always treated our projects or bands. So this is us in 2017. What I mean is that I can’t imagine that we would dive into this extreme negativism again which I can’t personally believe the same way as before. Nowadays, looking at the scene and reading some of the bands’ lyrics, I don’t even feel like being part of this community. It is hypocritical and illusive for me and, in fact, I don’t know why some many people are being deceived. So maybe that’s another reason why I wouldn’t like to do MasseMord in its current shape.
photo: MasseMord live at Throne Fest 2017, June 2017 copyright: Dawid Krosnia / The Goat Tavern
Right, I think you partially answered my next question because I was wondering if your attitude changed since you created Let the World Burn. Do you actually perceive the scene and the world differently now than, let’s say, 10 years ago?
We matured in a way. As musicians and, first of all, as people and I will refer to Nihil again because he said that we had started MasseMord when we had this rebellion and aggression in us, we were naive. And this naivety strikes from the music and this was our hallmark. However, we’re not as naive anymore and I think that if we were gonna do some material, we wouldn’t do it just for the sake of doing it. We wouldn’t see the purpose in it. It has to be thought through in terms of emotional or lyrical load. Our message of no message/attitude to the scene has always been the same. We were always surprised with people manifesting that they don’t want people to tell them how to live, what is right and wrong and, at the same time, they’re doing the same thing. They follow some conventions, I don’t want to say trends because it’s got more global character. But if someone can’t think outside the box only because of being concerned, then we’re talking about some paradox. And this paradox has always been our target.
And again, you’re touching a little bit on what I was going to say next. Because when we talk about emotions on stage, I was a bit shocked because it was the first time I have seen MasseMord live. I could definitely see those feelings, this anger, this aversion towards people. I was looking at you on stage and it made me think – what actually pisses you off most in people?
I once said that the inspiration for our feelings we get from each day. But I think it sounds a pretty much terse. I think it’s impossible to answer that in black and white categories – ‘mankind pisses me off, I hate people’. It’s not like that… I think that negative emotions are a kind of projection of something I don’t agree with – this hatred, anger and objection to what I see. But it’s not that I oppose something because I don’t like this or that man but it’s more like his presence itself pissing me off. I think that this hatred is a the big bag where you can put the lack of acceptance and anger. But do I hate mankind in general? If you perceive mankind as impersonal mass that follows the track through certain thoughts and conventions, then yes, I could say that mankind pisses me off. This is because it approaches life without any reflection, that all people do the same thing and follow the schemes without any development.
photo: Furia live at Throne Fest 2017, June 2017 copyright: Dawid Krosnia / The Goat Tavern
Right, I think this answers my question. Tell what’s next on the agenda? After you’re coming back from Belgium you’re continuing with some theatre performances with Furia but what’s next?
Furia fully absorbs us now and after some performances in the theatre in Cracow, we will be playing some theatre shows in Gdańsk. Then some festivals. For now, we have Wałbrzych confirmed [Metal Mine Festival]. Probably, there is another one coming but it’s not for sure so I don’t want to say anything about that [this has been later confirmed as Furia’s show at Brutal Assault]. Then, we have a tour in Japan in September. Then, at the end of September Furia will be playing in Gdańsk at a festival together with Tides from Nebula and Jarboe [Smoke over Dock II]. In November, maybe we will do the Polish tour and we have some show confirmed in December. So, Furia will be active all the time. Also, some of the autumn theatre shows will happen too I hope so until the end of the year, there’s no way we touch any other projects. Apart from that, Furia’s materials are waiting to be recorded, and from what I know, there is a bit of that already.
And I think this is a good conclusion to our conversation. Good luck with everything and thanks for two awesome shows. Do you have any last word to your English fans?
Are there any? If there are, then I invite you to our shows in the UK, which may be happening soon, so that you can travel to the moon with us.