úterý 25. ledna 2022

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Interview - SIK SALVATION - Death metal is a huge distraction and freedom in creation.

Interview with death metal band from Slovakia - SIK SALVATION.

Answered Martin Pazdera (vocals) and Lukáš Trón (vocals, bass, quitars, drums), thank you!

Translated Petra, thank you!

Questions prepared Jakub Asphyx.

Recenze/review - SIK SALVATION - The Death Manifest (2021):

Ave SIK SALVATION! Greetings to Slovak cemeteries! I want to start by paying a tribute to you. When I received your album "The Death Manifest" for a review, I had a lot of work to do so I started to listen until on vacation. And what didn't happen? I haven't listened to anything else for fourteen days! I think you really went well. Can you please describe to us how this material was created?

L: Hi Jakub! UF!!! I don’t know what to say! Just WOW.... thank you very much for your compliment and we are very happy you like our album so much. Well, how the album was created? Everything started alongside with corona epidemic. I had much more free time because the classwork was online, so I started to play with many music ideas. After some time, I had finished a few songs

M: Jakub hi! I'm very happy that SIK SALVATION has improved your holiday, perhaps you have really rested and gained strength for the next year, which I believe will be much better than that fucking year 2021. Thank you for the nice words, we tried to do our best and basically everything we experienced last year. Lukáš overestimates me; I just came and growl. The tribute belongs mainly to him for putting everything into the final form. When Lukáš sent it to me and I heard it, I couldn't believe my ears. The massive raw Swedish sound just convinced me to go on our first meeting. Then I said yes to him…

I'm a little confused about the SIK SALVATION status. Somewhere I read that you are a project, somewhere else a regular band. But you indeed are only two in the band. Are you open to the possible joining of the new members as well? Are you looking for new musicians?

L: For now, we are only the studio project, but I can say we compose the music together as a band. We would like to get the band on the stage; hence, we already have some volunteers for live playing. However, we don’t look for additional members to join the band as official musicians.

I read somewhere that you got together in a pub. I am glad there is still a metal band that did not meet on the Internet, haha. I have been listening to PERVERSITY from Prešov for many years; I am a big fan. I know it lives pretty well in the underground there. But you two were active in other bands. Can you tell us the whole story behind it and how did you end up with style called Swedish death metal?

L: In my case, it started with my first band IRIA, where I still play the drums. Thanks to my bandmates, I got some basics of composing music, playing the guitar, etc. I don't know if I would have found a way to make music without them, and I'm very grateful to them for that. In addition to IRIA and SIK SALVATION, I have some other studio projects. And my father, who is the best teacher in this field so far, showed me the way to death metal (metal in general) because he always shows me some new band that I am entirely out of. One of the first death metal bands I heard were Swedish by pure chance - BLOODBATH, ENTOMBED, GRAVE, but of course, there was also America with SUFFOCATION, DEATH, and so on.

M: I got to Swedish death metal as a teenager quite interestingly, through the band OPETH. I was listening to a lot of progressive metal at that time, and I had OPETH in my ears 24/7. I liked Mike Åkerfeldt's growl, and I knew about him that he works in other projects besides OPETH. Somehow naturally, I got to the BLOODBATH project, where I liked the diversity of the staff. Each BLOODBATH member played in their successful main bands, and together they created one whole, one emotion. This emotion that I had during listening to death metal once caught my heart and still holds me. Basically, now we are in a similar situation like this Swedish colossus (OPETH). Everyone has their own other projects, bands in which they try to express their emotions. Our emotions met in SIK SALVATION, and I am pleased about that. Many may have been surprised at how it is possible that I switched from romantic vocal positions in GLOOM to dirty growl as if from the graveyard. It wasn't about finding a new expression but rather a reminder of when I was more into death metal. After all, I am inspired by contrasts not only in music but also in everyday life. When I have more death metal mood, I express it. If I want to be gentler, I'll do it. There is nothing in it. Only the desire to live your life to the fullest, in all its contrasts.

Let's go to the new album. "The Death Manifest" is pure Scandinavian music. Nevertheless, I feel some other influences here. I don't know what it is, maybe your handwriting, and that's probably what fascinated me the most about the record. Additionally, sound is also essential. It's dusty, traditional, yet a little different. Where did you record the album? Who took care of mixing and mastering?

L: We recorded in my home studio White Death Studio. I with my IRIA bandmate Nihil, we managed the final sound. Moreover, Nihil sounded the bass guitar and helped with the mix, because he is a big expert in these things.

The cover art is traditional, yet different. I like the way you refer to old classic records from the 1990s, and at the same time it's "more modern". Who is the author and what exactly does the motive mean? For example, I interpret it as a skull of a man after death who looks at the blood-stained ground. It seems very nihilistic to me!

L: I am the author, but I created it under my brand “Emptybia Design”. Otherwise, one interesting thing in my opinion is that the motif of the cover is originated from the time when I went to primary school, so it is about 8 years old and is basically my very first cover, which I had drawn by hand using the pencil and crayons, haha. But to answer your question... the cover of the album refers to human selfishness. It is an abstract of the fact that as people never learn from their mistakes (for example, from war, or even this epidemic), a lot of "blood" always flows, it gradually accumulates, and Death thus reminds us that there she is still and always will be. This is how I interpret it, but if people find something in it, it will only be great.

M: I also see the image of today's society. We want to have beautiful shiny lives, we want to appear to others that we are OK and our life is great and that is the way we present it on social networks. But under this “mask” hides our egoism and all the diseases we possess as a society. It doesn't matter if there is a covid here or not. That's what we are, and the current situation just set us up a mirror. There could be a sinking ship instead of a skull, and it would still mean the same to me.

Not to mention that there are several guests on the record. Who, how did you get together and why them?

M: We wanted to achieve something more extensive, which would be interesting or different in terms of band staff. And I don't think it will be different in the future. Concerning the selection of guests, this was directed by Lukáš. He contacted everyone, they agreed and a great collaboration could begin. I think he relied on the big names of the death metal in our little country. The offer was accepted by Martin Lukáč, who is known to the metal world not only as the musician and singer of NOMENMORTIS, but also as an excellent publicist. The lyrics to "In This Chapel of Blood" are from his pen. Ľubo Lokša from bands MORDUM and CONTEMPT (Košice) recorded a wonderful guitar solo in the song "Deathsoul". PERVERSITY's throat Ďuri Handzuš sing with me in the song "Gravewomb", for which he also wrote the text. And Marek Kaščák from STABBED (Košice) joined us in track "Cremator" with vocal. The staff is really varied and it is basically such a friendly cooperation between Prešov and Košice.

The topic of the texts is quite clear and stylish again. Who wrote them and where did you get the inspiration for them? Death, inferno, war. Did you draw from books, movies?

L: The lyrics are a death metal classic, so more or less like you described it. But at least for me, some lyrics are a more personal matter.

M: There was no need to go to books or movies either. It was enough to realize how people had been behaving for the last two years, and the inspiration came by itself. Most of the texts were written by Lukáš, but as I mentioned above, some were performed by our guests.

I don't know if you will agree with me, but thanks to the fact that the SLOVAK METAL ARMY label has ended, it is as if the water above Slovak metal has closed a little. Juraj and I were friends for many years and thanks to him I was perfectly informed about what is happening in Slovakia. His death was a huge shock to me and it still hurts a lot. In addition, it seems to me that even though he received lot of critics on his work, Juraj did incredibly much for metal. SIK SALVATION, like other new bands, don’t have many possibilities to release their albums. Or am I wrong? Are you planning to release the CD "The Death Manifest"? What about vinyl, cassette?

M: Juraj has undoubtedly left a huge mark not only as a passionate supporter of the metal scene, but above all as a human. I would say that he literally sold the soul to metal, and I will respect him for this for the rest of my life. Over the years, he has created something that probably no one in our country has created in Slovakia. It is very sad for me to realize that he basically has no follower in such activities. I want to believe in better times for metal, as well as for young metalheads who want to move their music somewhere. I also perceive SIK SALVATION as something new, young, even though we both already have something behind us. I know that Juraj would like our music and would do his best to get us among the people. Unfortunately, Juraj is no longer with us and we must help each other as best we can.

I will follow up on the previous question. It seems that most people are only on Facebook; without this social medium, no one makes a move. They only draw information from FB. Everything is terribly fast; the band releases a record, everyone just shares and shares, but over time everything goes quiet, and not even a dog barks after the music. In my opinion, suitable labels and then concerts are the only solution. At concerts, only real fans with big hearts meet. Do you want to get SIK SALVATION into the world? Have you already approached publishers abroad?

L: Yes, we tried it, and there were a lot of them. But only a few of them answered. However, something is going on, but we won't reveal anything yet.

M: We want to keep the old-school feeling of SIK SALVATION music in the approach we want to promote the project further. Of course, without Facebook, Instagram, or streaming platforms, no one can move anywhere today, but as you said, that's not all. We'll see what the future holds, but what we can tell you for sure is that the album will also be released on physical media. We will inform you how and under what circumstances.

So now a few words about the concerts. I'm an old dog; I still believe the band will gain the most fans at festivals or on tour. Will you play live? I know, in two, it's a bit of a problem, but still. This is how you would get your music directly to people who don't spend their time on different networks but really support, perceive, and are faithful to the music. How is SIK SALVATION doing with the concerts?

L: As we mentioned above, we should have a concert line-up more or less completed, but it will take a very long time to synchronize together. We both have our main bands, but we believe that it will happen one day, but this year it will definitely not be.

M: When the right time comes, we will definitely deal with it. For now, however, it remains a vision for the future. In addition, we have to wait for the situation in our country to calm down, because people are confused and afraid. I was lucky to go around a few events with GLOOM last summer. But they could be counted on the fingers of one hand.

Every musician has their dreams. You also play with other bands, but what do you plan with SIK SALVATION? Where do you want to move the band? What are your idea and vision? Is it a festival, a tour with a famous band, or a record release with a good label?

M: First of all, we would like to release our debut on physical media and ideally in some good label. If we do a good promo, it will get into people's veins, and we will go even further. We would like to move it as far as possible.

Death metal is a demanding hobby and an even harder lifestyle. What does it mean for you? What do you enjoy most about it and how do you perceive it? How did you actually get to him?

L: For me, death metal is a huge distraction and freedom in creation. I enjoy it doesn’t have to be extremely complicated to be good. I prefer more straightforward death metal, whose songs are not the result of examples on a calculator. And as I got to it, I stated above 😊.

M: For me, death metal means creativity or the opportunity to express oneself fully, without hesitation, and maybe even so that it may not be pleasant for anyone. There is a considerable dose of sincerity, unbridled energy. For me, death metal is represented by the people who stand behind it and support it, even if they don’t have money for the bread. Juraj (Haríň) was undoubtedly one of them. All the honor to the death metal community not only in Slovakia but also in the Czech Republic.

I deliberately ask this question to all bands to do some promotion for the future. Please tell us what SIK SALVATION is planning soon? What can we look forward to?

L: At this moment, the new information is that "The Death Manifest" is nominated for the debut of the year in the Hard & Heavy category at the Radio Head Awards. We try to promote it as much as possible because we didn't expect it and it means a lot to us. So if your readers want to, they can vote for us; we will be highly grateful for that. And besides, we are already working on a new album, which should see the light of day next year. We have already finished some songs, and I think it will be a worthy follower of "The Death Manifest".

M: Lukáš said everything that awaits us in the near future, and I will just add that I am very much looking forward to it. Of course, there are more plans… everything we will gradually dose.

And this is it. Thank you very much for the interview and for sending "The Death Manifest." I hope to support you soon by buying a CD and not just an mp3. Thank you for your music, and I hope to see you somewhere at the concert soon. I wish you all the best with the band as well as in your personal lives! SIK SALVATION rules!

L: We thank you, Jakub, for this great interview! Greetings to the Czech Republic and your readers, and thanks to everyone who heard "The Death Manifest", downloaded, etc. We appreciate your support! Cheers! Ave metal ...

M: Thank you, Jakub, for doing this interview. May you continue to create such quality content as before. Maybe we meet at some great metal party!

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