Interview with Triptykon

Darkness and diversity

Hello Tom, I’m honoured that you accepted my invitation to answer some questions. Tell me about this new musical project or yours TRIPTYKON.
It is simply utterly impossible to condense 34 years of a musical path and personal history into a couple of sentences in an interview. But it is exactly this history, and many particular events therein, that led directly to the existence of Triptykon.
Triptykon is a dedicated musical continuation of Celtic Frost, minus issues such as egotism and intrigues that devastated Celtic Frost from within. That Triptykon is free of such appalling and immature issues is evidenced by the fact that we have been together as a stable line-up for over eight years – far longer than any line-up of Celtic Frost.

How do you feel about when you think of Celtic Frost times and what it turned out to be now? What do you think of the metal scene when you look at it now? Do you think it changed in the last couple of years?
Celtic Frost was my life’s work and my life’s content. It is painful and a disgrace to have lost such a unique group, in spite of all its internal problems, and it will remain painful to me forever. Celtic Frost was a flawed group in many respects, but also a very unusual, artistic, and courageous one. I am proud of some of the things we created together, and I am cultivating Celtic Frost’s legacy and style with Triptykon, with greatest respect.

Let’s talk about a bit about Romania. You had a gig here at Metalhead Meeting. What do you think about Romania? What about Romanian public?
None of us in Triptykon had been to Romania before as far as I know, and we thus did not know at all what to expect. We were given a very warm welcome both by the promoters of the festival as well as by the audience itself, and it was thus quite an honour and a huge pleasure to play in Romania. In all honesty, the efforts by the staff of the festival’s organizer were extremely professional and considerate far more so than in certain other instances we have experienced elsewhere in the world. We are very grateful to have been invited and to have been able to perform.

Triptykon is already at the second album Melana Chasmata so what’s theme and inspiration behind the new album?
Our second album is far more representative of our personal emotions as human beings than it was the case with our debut. Some of the band members experienced rather challenging periods in the private lives during the years we worked on “Melana Chasmata”, and I think this is reflected within the music and the lyrics.

You’ve done so, so much in your career, where does Triptykon sit?
I feel I have been granted far more than I ever dreamt of as a young teenager, when I wished to become a musician but the reality of my situation made this seem extremely unlikely. Thanks to the chances given to me by the audiences throughout the many years since then, I have been able to create albums, play onstage, and write books. I am very, very grateful for this.
I thus see Triptykon very much as some sort of conclusion of my path, for as long as it might last. Triptykon has no plans or agenda, I simply would like to play and record the music I am passionate about. No more and no less.

Let’s get back in time. Tell me about Hellhammer times.
There again, how am I supposed to compress a very complex story into a couple of lines in an answer in an interview? Hellhammer was many things for all of us, and it has a complicated history, both leading to the creation of the group and following its termination. It would take a book to describe it – and it actually did.
Hellhammer was the basis, however, upon which everything else in my life was created. And in many ways, Triptykon is a kind of continuation.

You wrote 2 books “Are You Morbid?” (the official history of Celtic Frost), and “Only Death is Real” (an illustrated history of Hellhammer and early Celtic Frost),let’s talk about a bit about them.
These books are highly autobiographical of course, even if I really tried to tell the story of Hellhammer and Celtic Frost as realistically and unbiased as possible. I am currently working on my third book, which will be a continuation of “Only Death Is Real” and thus cover the history of Celtic Frost and Triptykon from 1985 to today. Once again, it will be a large-format book with uncounted rare photos and artwork.

What we should expect from Triptykon in the next few years?
Thank you a lot for your time, was a really honour for me to talk to you. Hope to see you again in Romania soon!
TGW: As I said above, Triptykon was no particular burning ambitions. We simply would like to create unusual music, produced to a very high quality. This is the group’s purpose. Music, as pure as possible, and nothing else.

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