interview: Dawid Krosnia
‘…the core of Schammasch lies in the unification of opposites, thus forming the eternal light.’
The Goat Tavern: Hi, how are you? It must been busy last two years for all of you writing a triptych album? I think the response from the media is very positive so far in regards to Triangle. Did it meet your expectations?
Chris S.R.: It was mainly busy for myself when it comes to songwriting, since I do that part all alone. Yes, Triangle got a lot of positive reactions from many sides and I am quite satisfied with that of course. It was a risky move, so it was hard to figure out how the reactions are gonna turn out. I’d say they exceeded my expectations.
Is there any mathematic method or structure in this new release? It’s your third record, it’s called Triangle and, of course, it’s a triptych album. Is there a hidden meaning to this?
The fundamental concept isn’t at all hidden in my opinion. It needs just a little bit of thought and interest in certain things in order to be able to see it.
You’ve started Schammasch seven years ago, I think there is still lot of people who never heard about your band. Could tell us more why you’ve started the band, what sort of message is being the band’s name and your lyrics?
Schammasch has been created as the result of many different attempts from my side, creating a platform for myself to channel and express my artistic and spiritual energy. ‘Schammasch’, simplified, is a symbol for the sun, the core of Schammasch lies in the unification of opposites, thus forming the eternal light.
All your releases seem to be very ambitious and creative. It’s hard to finish listening to your records and not want to press play again. Where do you get your inspirations from?
From everyday life. There is no bigger source of inspiration for me than life itself.
Triangle and your previous album, Contradiction display highly skilled musicianship. Do you have any musical background? Have you attended any musical schools in the past or is just all self- taught?
Almost all of us are self-taught musicians. Personally, I taught myself everything I know about music and musicianship. My few attempts of learning from teachers all failed very quickly. I learn things best if I do them my way.
Personally, I think the new record will take you to many the new places. Are you planning promoting it with some tours around the Europe or the U.S.?
We are heading out for a nearly one month-long Europe tour in October, together with Inquisition, Rotting Christ and Mystifier. A US tour wouldn’t be possible yet, even though there were some offers already. We just can’t afford that, it’s very risky for European bands due to insane US laws.
All the emotions contained in Triangle are purely phenomenal! I must say that Above the Stars of God is that kind of song that puts you in another dimension, both mentally and spiritually. How important are emotions in music for you? Is that the throne you want to raise?
They are an important part but also something to overcome in some ways. Triangle deals a lot with overcoming boundaries, of which emotions can be a major part if one is controlled by them.
Sic Lvceat Lvx (2010)
Triangle and Contradiction were released under the American, Prosthetic Records. Why them and so far away from home? Do you have any new offers from the major players in the game such as Season of Mist, Osmose Productions and many other much closer to home?
We contacted a lot of labels, among them the ones you mention, after finishing the Contradiction album. None of these were interested, Prosthetic Records were. Not only were they interested, they had actual faith in us and never hesitated on supporting us with our unearthly release formats where many other labels would have just told us to fuck off. We are quite positive to stay with them for a good amount of time. I usually think that it’s better to work with one of the smaller labels and being supported all the way, than being on one of the major ones, but being one among a hundred others.
Your artwork covers are simply mesmerising. Is it the same artist behind all those covers? What do they represent?
Except for one who worked on Contradiction, and partly on the Sic Lvceat Lvx reissue and Triangle, there were different people involved in all artworks so far. The artworks are the skin and faces of the music behind them.
Have you thought about recording any of your shows for a DVD release? I could definitely see the new album played in full, all the songs have a massive live potential. When you play live what is the most important thing to you as a band? Where and with who it would be your ideal live package?
We didn’t think of such a thing so far. We are very self-critical when it comes to live appearance, and I don’t think we are ready for things like that yet. We aim to expand the body of our art through adding the energy and atmosphere of the live experience. I personally seek to dive into this dimension of my art completely, in a way which only is possible in these moments. I’d love to play with Dead Can Dance or Björk. But that will always be only a dream.
Thanks for answering some questions for us. The Goat Tavern wishes you all the best with the new record. See you somewhere live hopefully.
Schammasch will be appearing in The Underworld, London, UK on their tour with Mystifier, Rotting Christ and Inquisition on Monday 7th November 2016.