Hello Sebastian and thanks a lot for accepting this interview. I think that your band is better known in the Romanian metal scene than in your home country. Still can you sum up a short introduction of Sado Sathanas for our readers who are not familiar with your band?
Hahahaha, come on! I might be right that Romania became very important to us, but that doesn’t mean that we are unknown at home, even if I must confess that we have some in kind of relationship to Romania. Sado Sathanas was founded in 1996 by some teenagers who have been addicted to extreme metal. Now the band consist of some old guys, four of them founding members, but beside of that nothing else changed. We released two albums so far and consider ourselves as a traditional black metal band.
I think that you were asked multiple times before, but how did you manage to become so well-known and famous in Romania?
I have no idea, I just can offer some assumptions: When we came to Romania for the first time in 2008 or 2009 in some areas beside of the big cities maybe it was not very common that an underground band from abroad plays in a local club. Furthermore, it seems that we found the important persons for our approach to run a band in compatibly to the structures in Romania. We are well connected to bands, promoters, merchandisers, clubs and metalheads. But why? I don’t know. Most of them we met by chance. A miracle so to say. We like the people in Romania and it seems that they like us as well. Maybe another reason is that we try to help bands that we like to get shows in Germany, and they help us to play shows in Romania. An interchange so to say. So, that’s the way it is…
Your latest release is Nomos Hamartia “The Law of Sin”. This record was very well received in the underground media and you also toured in our county. How do you describe this record? What was your main inspiration and who composed the music and the lyrics?
Well, this record means a lot to me and us, because we invested more time and money than ever before. It is on a higher level than our first album considering the sound, the music and the lyrical concept. On our first album, Opus Diaboli, in my opinion we lost the focus a little bit, because we recorded everything in our own studio. We had no pressure back then and we wasted our time with discussions about the sound, and maybe it was a mistake to put so many tracks on it. Our idea was to give the people the most value for their money and we released more than 70 minutes of music on this album, but sometimes less is more. Nomos Hamartia was recorded in Munich by Michi Zech, and he is a man with perfect skills and experiences to record an album like this. The main composers are our guitar players Martin K. and Martin H., but from time to time the others also came around with some ideas, for example the chorus part on P.A.N. Demonia was on me. I wrote all the lyrics expect of this track, that one is based on ideas of our singer Giacomo.
How do you see Sado Sathanas after over 20 years of existence? What did you innovate over the years?
From a musician’s point of view, we tried to avoid innovations for a long time. We wanted to play music in a very close frame influenced by our heroes from the 1990’s. That doesn’t mean that we ever tried to be a copy of them, but to keep the spirit. For a long time I had the opinion that black metal bands founded after 1999 should be ignored. Of course, this attitude was ridiculous. I think that we opened our minds when Martin H. joined the band in 2006. He is a little bit younger than us, and he came along with interesting new bands. We still have our roots in the 1990’s, but nowadays we are much more open to other sounds and styles. From the perspective of the band, I think it is a little bit more complicated. When we started the band, we have been very enthusiastic to spread our music wherever we can. That changed as soon as we realized the rules of the business part of the game, like pay to play and bullshit like that. Sado Sathanas is not everybody’s darling, because we always refused offers like that and never paid any cent for helpful reviews, and we named some Zines that asked us for. In the last four years, we refused most of the show requests, and we made a (black) sabbatical because of new situations in our lives. Maybe all that was not very clever form a business point of view, but on the other hand, we are free to do what we want, for example to come to Romania. But back to your questions and talking about innovations: What do you mean? We are Black Metal-Rednecks as fuck, not far away from being a Black Metal Taliban. There is no need for innovation my friend, hahaha.
Have you ever been thinking of collaborating with other bands from Romania? What are your relationships with other bands from our local scene?
As I mentioned, we are in exchange with a lot of Romanian bands and we try to help each other as much as we can. Over the years I booked or recommended bands like Gothic and I.A.D. from Petrosani, Dordeduh, Syn Ze Sase Tri, Ordinul Negru, Transceatla and Negura Bunget from Timisoara, Sincarnate from Bucharest, Guerrillas from Cluj, Spiritual Ravishment from Oradea, Laudrage from Targu Mures and some other acts for club shows and underground festivals. There is also a plan for a 7-inch vinyl split with Sincarnate since some years. I didn’t give it up to make it real and I hope that we can release some stuff soon. But I must confess that the delay depends on my band. We are really slow.
I saw that you encouraged the “band exchange” between Germany and Romania. I find this very interesting and creative for both sides. What is your opinion toward these collaborations? Do you think that these facts strengthen the scene making us more united and giving a positive example?
Honestly it was not intended at first. After we asked some promoters in Romania we got no response or ridiculous answers like from the organizers of Frey Faxi in Sibiu “you are not nazi enough”, hahahahaha. Wild times. So, I started to write to some bands, but also fans and got some good connections to them. They helped us as much as they can. Some of the first shows we played in Romania had a very underground feeling so to say, but we enjoyed every minute. And our attitude was always “what you give is what you get”, and I don’t like to be in anyone’s dept. I realized that there are a lot of great bands in Romania, and we got friends with some of them, and we help them to play some shows in our area.
But there is more impact. In generally we can learn a lot from each other. There are advantages and disadvantages in Romania as well as in Germany (as in any other country), so we can see what works out sustainable and what not. And it’s possible to think twice about stereotypes, because experiences are stronger. Finally: Meanwhile there are a lot of musicians from German bands that played in Romania who come back as private persons for visiting shows or just to spend some quality time there. And sometimes we have visitors from Romania in our area. It’s became more than a matter of business. I think this exchange strengths the scene for sure. We can gain a chaotic, creative and fair network to share ideas, opinions, developments that is not regulated by someone else than the close involved people.
The positive example that impressed me most was the situation after Coro from Axa Valaha got a stroke short after the fire in Colectiv Club. There was a big solidarity not just by close friends, but also other bands and partners. I remember that there was a spontaneous charity event in Private Hell together will Costin Chioreanu, Natem (another band from Germany) and Sado Sathanas. In the same time fans, bands and organizers from Autumn from Hell Festival donated for his recovery. That’s the way it should be.
Do you have any plans to release a new album in the near future?
Depends on what you mean with “near future”. We already work on some ideas, but we are far away to enter a studio. We never have been the fastest band, and in the last years some other priorities like family and children took place in our lives. But I think that a new release will come sooner or later, and considering that fact that the first official album on a label was released more than 10 years after we started Sado Sathanas…, well, let’s see.
When we last met you told me that Sado Sathanas is planning a new tour. Can you tell us more about this tour? Should we expect more tour dates in Romania?
Yes, there will be a mini-tour in September. We booked four dates in Romania: Zalau, Petrosani, Bucharest and Cluj. I really regret that we cannot play more shows this time, even if I know that we have requests and offers from other Romanian cities. But all of us are gaining their salary from full time jobs, so we must tour in our vacation, and there is one more reason this time: Our bass player Ronny is back in the band after his bike accident some years ago, but he just can join us for single live shows. One week in the bus would kill him, so we need some help from a good friend of us. Taly from Gothic will help us out, which makes us very happy. He is an awesome guy, a very skilled bass player and he already has our patch on his vest. But we need at least two rehearsals with him. That means we will be in Romania for seven days, two of them for rehearsals, four of them for shows, and one day off to visit my place in Transylvania.
I know that you enjoy very much travelling to our country. Sado Sathanas played multiple times in Romania. You and your family and also your band members love very much to come frequently to Romania and you even bought a house in Transylvania. How do you explain your love for Romania and what do you enjoy most when you stay here?
Nice and easy: the landscape, campfire in the mountains, and the people, and I must consider that some of them became close friends to us. We enjoy the country, and we try to spend as much quality time there as possible. I just can speak for myself, but in Romania, especially Transylvania, I find my peace. I spend my time with taking care of my ground, growing trees for my tuica, hanging around with friends and visiting some festivals in the summer season. I bought a house there because I wanted to be the owner of a small part of Romania. Now it became also “mein Land”, and friends told me that I started to assimilate. Romania seems to me like Germany back in the days after the revolution in the eastern part where I come from. It’s a country in a rapid change. During the last years I felt that there raises a lot of creative potential and a growing conciseness about that in the Romanian population. The Rosia Montana movement, the development after the fire disaster in Bucharest in the Colectiv Club and the protest against the “Hotii”-politicians are signs to me that something interesting is going on there. Germany is about to lose its identity, but I think that will not happen in Romania, because – from an outsider’s point of view – Romania is still in a process to negotiate a common identity. Well, hard to explain, pula mea! These are topics for lengthy discussions at a camp fire.
Thank you very much Sebastian and hope to see you very soon. Do you want to add something else for our readers?
Neither drink Timisoreana nor eat yellow snow. And seriously: Tovarase Tudose looks awesome. See you soon in Romania!
Find Sado Sathanas on Facebook.
Check out Sado Sathanas Tour 2017 in Romania.