Sunday, January 16, 2011



Welcome to Transylvanian Forest E-zine! how you been?

Thank you mate. Fine thx.

1)When did your band start, and why did you start it?

I started it this project late 2009. I started it because I needed something to vent I suppose.

2)How many members are in the band and what is your role in Plaag?

5 members: Razend on drums and he’s freakin’ awesome on it I might add, Lava on Bass (who also plays in Demonic Empire and Persephone’s Blade and is a very skilled musician and a wonderful dude to hang with), Triest who is the elder of the pack on guitars, talented as fuck and always ready to rock and Mist on 2nd guitar, Mist is like the glam-hair-metal-part of Plaag on stage: plays like hell, loves make up and booze and is always in for a little guitar dance whenever possible. Lastly there’s me Somber, I write and pre-record all the music and lyrics and only handle the vocals live. I also do the artwork, networking stuff and promotional necessities.

3)How long have you been part of the "underground" for?

Almost 20 years since I started listening to underground black metal. A part? Since I started the Plaag project I guess.

4)What other hobbies OR things you like to do besides your work with your band Plaag?

Painting and drawing, designing logo’s if I find the time.

5)How has the fan reaction been so far to your unreleased album Ugh! ?

The people who’ve heard it so far are very positive. The songs are online already because Misantrof Antirecords offers the album as a free download as well anyway and I never bothered to keep the songs hidden. I love instant feedback since I’m totally new at songwriting and feel I have a lot to learn in order to master the art of making the most headbangable in your face filthy rock songs ever. You can already listen to it on the Misantrof website but only from January 30th the songs will be downloadable for free. Yes for free J

6)Is this your first album? or do you have demos and such before that? any previous or past bands?

First album ever and also the last album ever as a solo musician. This album was recorded by myself in my house on a very cheap portable studio and with absolutely no budget. Vrangsinn mastered the songs at his house and this album is the outcome. It’s near from perfect. It’s totally not well mixed, I did the best I could - really that’s why I want Plaag to record in a real studio next time and with a real studio engineer because I’m sure that there’s a lot more potential in it than shown on this album –, but it is a 100% honest blackhearted rock and roll album. It needs to be played loud, it has filth, it has nasty written all over it and it’s limited to 200 hand numbered physical copies with a nice 8 page booklet.
The next album will be recorded in a studio with all band members playing their respective instruments and that’s what we hope will be possible by selling these physicals and playing shows. The music will however still be written and pre-recorded by myself since Plaag is still my artistic project. An ongoing painting of sound I think. Or something.

7)What do you think of black metal today, and its importance in your area? or any other area?

Thank you for asking that question but before your readers get the wrong impression, Plaag is not black metal. Plaag is slightly influenced by black metal only out of homage to the genre.
Black metal today to me isn’t among us anymore. For me black metal existed only in the early nineties. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not that typical ‘hey the inner circle was real’ and ‘hey I am true, look at my pins’ kind of black metal freak, I just learned the term ‘black metal’ at an early age and I will always associate that term with the bands that were doing it back then. The Norwegians. Somehow even they themselves don’t seem to be able to get that early chillingly windy feel into it nowadays. Apart from a few that still remain. I still like what they’re doing and it’s nice to see music evolving, that’s not it, but it simply doesn’t qualify to have the term black metal printed on it. But hey, that’s just my opinion.
It’s logical then to say that for me there is no black metal in my area and I don’t think of musical genres as really important matters anyway.

8)How long have you been making music, or listening to music for?

Listening since I can remember, as a kid we owned a record store for a while and I guess it never left me.
Making music for about a year and a half.

9)What bands influenced you the most?

W.A.S.P., Bathory, Darkthrone, Dokken, Motley Crue, Gwar, Judas Priest, Carpathian Forest, Thorns, I, Twisted Sister, Skid Row, King Diamond, Tankard, Carcass, Pantera, Slayer, D.A.D., Tigertailz, Y&T, … dude that list is endless, how can one not be influenced by what he likes and has always been listening to?

10)How long do you think you will be making music for? and what are your goals in the future?

As long as I can afford to and as long as my girl puts up with it haha.
My goals are to have phenomenal wealth and fame of course. You know, the thing Jonathan warns about on Wasps Crimson Idol basically.
Nah, no goals really. As long as I can keep Somber and my private self separated like this it’s ok for me. It’s not easy being schizophrenic you know J and as long as I enjoy myself doing this I will keep on doing it.  

11)Any gigs at all soon? and could you soon come to the states!? :)

Plaag is still in training mode for now. We’re planning on taking on gigs starting from March approximately. The rest of the band is now practicing really hard to make everything sound tight and excellent for you to hear when you come to see us. We are however already confirmed for Svartfest 2, a festival in Ostend in Belgium on May 28th. 
I would love to come out to the states man. Make the arrangements and we’re there mate. You see, we are currently still looking for a serious management so we can focus on the music only and give it the best we can. It’s sometimes very hard to do everything by yourself you know.

12)I read you are working with Daniel Vrangsinn of the mighty Carpathian Forest!?! how is that and how did you guys end up working together on your album in the first place for the mastering process?

It is very nice and also very welcome for an un experienced musician like myself. It was actually in the very beginning of the project that someone of the staff of Misantrof took notice of the song ‘Black Metal Rising’. It’s a cover version of CCR’s ‘Bad Moon Rising’ but with altered lyrics and a bit more attitude and fun basically. It’s not on the album since Mr. Fogerty of CCR didn’t give permission for it. Which is good, that means I succeeded in raping his song perfectly.
Anyway, we started to have some contact and then Daniel asked me to join in on the Holy anti fucking christmas compilation vol.2 release with a Plaag song. So I made ‘Christmas Time (the birth of a retarded child)’ for it. We kept in contact and I think the whole phylosophy behind Daniel’s Misantrof ANTIrecords is very renewing and might be a very good solution for future bands so I was very happy to jump in. (DOWNLOAD HOLY FUCKING ANTIchristmas VOLUME III)

13)What is your lyrical content mostly about?

Our fucked up society. In all it’s religious, social, cultural and subcultural layers.

14)Any bands that you like that are around today and part of the underground metal scene? name a few please!

Skitliv, Throne Of Melediction, Beyond The Morninglight is really awesome (and they’re also on Misantrof, so it’s free, but show support if you like them and buy the album anyway J), Godkiller (if he’s still active I don’t know), Arckanum, Taake, , Dehumanation, Shining, Gravdal,   …

15)What do you think could be changed, positive or negative in this world? and what do you think the people of the world should do about it? if anything comes to mind.

Religion should cease existing, now. Birth control is essential. Nature should be given back what is hers. To make it short, mankind should hold back for a change and rethink it’s entire essence in this wonderful cosmos.

16)What is it like in Belgium, and how long have you been living there for? and have you been to other countries as well?

I haven’t ever lived anywhere else so I have nothing to compare to, but it’s ok I guess. Al my money goes to the state but I think that’s what we’re all dealing with. This is a free western country so I am beneficed by that for sure. Too bad we have such a pathetic political ongoing here but at least it feeds Plaag with some lyrical matter for the future.
I have visited Bergen in Norway. To see for myself how the black metal scene is there. I mean you hear and read all sorts of crazy stuff in the media and I figured I needed to see it for myself. The trip was excellent, the people were very nice and welcoming, nature there is breathtaking to say the least and well yes… there is a lot of metal there. Met all kinds of nice and wild characters of the black metal scene and had a hell of a time. It would be truly wonderful to have Plaag perform at Inside or Garage in Bergen.

17)Does your music interfere with your personal life or does it all fall into place?

It’s more of a ranting of an annoying horridly sarcastic evil and sometimes funny entity/alter ego within myself, an otherwise perfectly calm painter. But it all falls into place eventually.

18)What type of music do you think your music is called, and why is it that?

I have no idea what others call it. I like to call it blackhearted rock ‘n roll or hellrock’n roll or something. You know, it is rock ‘n roll music essentially. I mean it are simple rock ‘n roll songs, nothing much to it, but it has a certain ‘stench’ to it. It’s blackened and mean and that’s what rock ‘n roll is to me. You know, it makes you wanna go UGH!
Fuck You Metal is a nice term too, Lava came up with that. You know since this is still the age of terminology it’s fun to come up with these. They don’t mean anything anyway.

19)I like the song Vaderland! what is it about? please explain! :)

It’s actually not my song. I covered it from a song the German band Nordwind released called ‘Vaterland’, they on their part covered it from another band but I can’t remember who. It has a strong sense of patriotism to it, the Nordwind version, and it always hit a sensitive note in me somehow. I mean, the way they bring it sounds so honest and almost frightened. With all the madness going on in this world I kept on hearing it on and on in my head but somehow with another melody. I figured I’d just try to record what I kept on hearing and this song is the result. It was actually the very first recording for Plaag as well. Kind of a tryout song. Out of patriotism, out of fear, out of curiosity? Possibly all of these.

20) Lastly, I like to thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to be my interviewee! and also what do you have to say to your friends? family? fellow bands? and everyone else out their before we close up this interview. Thanks very much Somber! Stay black & cold!!! UGH!!! :) -D

Thank you for the interview, thank you the reader for reading it.
Ban religion, ban fear and be free. And while at it, mix all that with rock ‘n roll!

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