I N T E R V I E W S


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Noise Records, 9/98

1. Is the 'INVICTUS' album related to the 'MARRIAGE OF HEAVEN AND HELL' concept?

"Yes it is! However, it can also be enjoyed as a completely separate entity as well. One does not need to be familiar with the previous work, in order to relate to, or get into this new one. INVICTUS, stands up as an album on its own. If a person is familiar with the 'MARRIAGE' then of course it's easy to spot the references/relationships! For example the "'EMALAITH' theme returns in 'A WHISPER OF DEATH', and it is quite obvious in the lyrics, that the 3 albums are connected."

2. What is the main connection or theme of the 3 works?

"Well... That is a long and involved story!!! Do you want to buy me dinner and some wine while we discuss this??? What ... no time!!! Ok, I'll try to be as brief as possible. The albums really have several main ideas. But in the end, they boil down to the one major concept of the Triumph of the unconquerable HUMAN SPIRIT!!! Our capacity for endurance, our powerful Will, our determination and drive, is the motivating factor behind all 3 albums. Of course we also have the death/resurrection theme, the Eternal/Immortal Love theme, where regardless of what happens our hero & heroine, EMALAITH & ENDYAMON remain joined in either life or death. This is that elusive unconditional love that all people seek! These two have it!!!!!!! A very strong theme of rebellion and overthrowing tyranny, is found here as well. What could be more tyrannical than an all powerful deity??? Here we have MAN/WOMAN rebelling against the GODS/GODDESSES! Humanity is proclaiming itself DIVINE!!! (As it should). It's Life , Death & THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD!!!"

3. The album is very aggressive. Why is this??

"Well... I'm more fucking pissed off than ever before !!!!!!! Ha, ha!!! I believe that it's half the actual power of the songs, and half the way the songs were actually captured on this tape. I tried to create more of a live feeling for the production of the album. I wanted to capture the attitude of what the band is like live, and everyone was behind me on this, from the rest of the guys in the band, to the enigneer. 'THE MARRIAGE' albums' songs are aggressive as well, and live they sound very fucking heavy!!! In the studio on those albums we didn't quite capture the full animal magnetism of those songs, where as on 'INVICTUS', I think we are much closer to that achievement! Also the subject matter was a tremendous inspiration and catalyst for that aggression."

4. What can you tell me about the meaning behind the cover?

"In life there are various problems, or challenges if you will, that need attending, or straigthening out. Perseus cutting off the head of Medusa, stands as a symbol for humanity rising up, facing its fears, demons, terrors, problems, challenges, etc., and saying I will conquer you all, I will get at the root of this problem, I will take my sword and plunge it through the neck, heart and soul, of this problem and win!!! I will survive, kick ass, conquer, persevere, continue, overcome etc.. In a phrase, 'THE TRIUMPH OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT'!!!!!!!"

5. Is all this that you speak of based on reality or what?

"Do you have a death wish??? How can you ask me such a question?

6. Sorry I was just wondering about the inspiration behind all the lyrics/philosophies and such!

"I can assure you that no matter how fantastical the concept/lyrics/philosophy may seem, it does in fact have its basis in reality!!! All is based on either my life experience or my observations of life, and the people in my world. Of course there is poetic license and fantasy woven in. But that doesn't change the core facts of the reality of these situations! The names have been changed to protect the guilty, ha ha, but the facts still remain!"

7. I didn't realize that you were such a touchy interview subject. Sorry about that.

"Hey relax it's ok. Generally I'm pretty calm but every now and then when someone pushes the right buttons or doesn't take me seriously, I get a little crazy. Actually I think that I am getting more insane due to all this composing/recording."

8. What do you mean?

"In order to create, a person has to open themselves up to various forces. Some of these forces are positive, others can be destructive, if inviting it. It's a question of challenge, exploration, and stretching the boundaries of your existence, and evaluating, or re-evaluating what it is you've found, lost, or invited to stay for dinner. Let's leave it at that for now."

9. What can we expect for your upcoming Tour program?

Expect the unexpected. A little bit of the new, some of the past, like the 'MARRIAGE' etc., and perhaps a touch of the earlier years as well. We will probably do some things that we've never played from the past before. We like to keep everyone interested, entertained and on their toes. If you've seen us live before, then you know that every night it can be a bit different. Our catalogue is quite extensive, so there is a great deal to draw from. Of course also every night someone will tell me one of two things. Either we didn't play their favorite song or more often, we did!"

10. Is this 'INVICTUS' album the OPERA you have been promising?

"No, it is not. However it is a very promising OPERA!!! Someone could if they so desired, come up with dialogue and a cast of characters and create the 'MARRIAGE CYCLE OPERA', I'm sure. It has all those dramatic ingredients that Opera has, love, death, power, struggle, conflict, beauty, pain, joy and peace! With the inclusion of 'INVICTUS', I can see a wonderful OPERA TRILOGY, or perhaps a movie! Yea, let's go!!!!!!! The OPERA you are referring to, is the plan for next year. I will compose (I've already started), a METAL-OPERA based on the Ancient Greek Myths concerning THE 'HOUSE OF ATREUS'. This should be finished by the beginning of next year. It will be an album by VIRGIN STEELE, as well as a stage production which will premier in Germany, in the cities of TRIER & MEMMINGEN. We of course will Tour in support of it as well!!! OK my good friend, that's all for the moment. Keep well and see you on Tour next month!!!!!!!

CHEERS, PEACE & BY THE GODS TO YOU !!!!!!!

11. Wait! I have one last question. What is your meaning or message?

"We are trying to invoke the powers that were lost. We want everyone to feel energized, powerful, confidant, and in control when they listen to this music. It is positive, uplifting, and has healing properties! Feel integrated, MIND, BODY, SPIRIT!!! Don't let your Spirit be broken, remain INVICTUS!!!!!!!!!!! This power is growing, from one, springs many!!! Pick up your Sword and join us!!!!!!!


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