Hello and thank you very much for granting us the opportunity to discuss with you. First of all, can you give us more information about Zuriaake?
Bloodfire: Zuriaake was born in 1998, catching the first wave of Chinese black metal wave. Myself together with Bloodsea are working on the song writing from the begin. Then we found the other three guys as live members.
When did you start this project and what are your main influences?
Bloodfire: We started this band in the winter of 1998. Our influence are coming from bands like Mayhem, Bathory, Abigor, Candlemass and Burzum etc. Bathory is the most important band for us.
I’ve read that “Zuriaake” means “lake of buried corpses”. Why did you choose this name and what does this represent to you?
Bloodfire: For Zuriaake, the most important part of our inspirations is coming from one of our greatest Chinese poet named Qu Yuan (Chinese: 屈原) (ca. 340 BCE – 278 BCE). Qu Yuan’s special life experience and charming works forms a complex, which all Chinese people followed until now.
This is rather to die honorably, worship mother nature and admire all the great ancestors. He committed suicide by jumping in a lake. Our costume of performance is from a ancient poem 《Jiang Xue》. The original sentence is“孤江蓑笠翁，独钓寒江雪” (An old man in his straw cape and hat sitting in a single boat, alone in the snow, fishing in the freezing and snowy river.)
In 2015 you released your second full length “Gu Yan” via Chinese label Pest Productions. Can you please describe us a bit this album? How was the reaction towards this record both in China and worldwide?
Bloodfire: <Gu Yan> is formed after a long period of precipitation, we are trying to find a way to understand the world based on our own philosophy. We can say that every song that you’ve heard from this album is comming from the experience and the inner struggle, but we don’t want to let these stories become some specific things to limit your imagination. We hope every listener can get his own space from our music, which can let you fell the experience of you passing by. Actually, we had aimed this goal from our first full-length album, we really want to make the cultural integration between East and West, to bemoan the universe and to pity the fate of mankind.
You recently toured across Europe. What were your general impressions about these concerts? How do you find the European audience and what is similar/different to the Asiatic scene?
Bloodfire: Our first European tour was a pilgrimage for us. Europe is a holy land of metal music, it is actually the root of the music we make. We played with so many awesome bands on the same stage, and we were deeply impressed by the European festivals — both in terms of the professionalism of the promoters as well as the high quality of the equipment. We didn’t expect so many fans in Europe, but our merchandise was sold out.
How is the metal scene in China? Do you collaborate well with fellow musicians and how are things working with your label?
Bloodfire: Metal scene in China is growing up right now. Pest Productions are trying to make more EU bands come to China and we surely are working on this program to make the scene become better.
At the beginning your lyrics were exclusively in Chinese. Now you considered to interpret them in English. Can you tell us first what topics do you deal with and how do you find them better for your artistic expression, Chinese or English?
Bloodfire: Zuriaake focuses on words (Chinese characters) first, then music. We think Chinese people are typical literature worshipers, and believe that our ancestors already created the most beautiful poetry. We think there is a soul deep in the literature, that is also on our music, in our blood & bones and in every mins of every song.
We had tried to find the best translator to make sure the lyrics could be understood by foreigner, and we are more or less satisfied with the final English lyrics. But there are still some imperfect part, because behind one Chinese letter there can be more meanings (we are better in expressing ourselves in a very complex and grandiose mood in a very simple text structure). There are more things we can’t show you depend on the English lyrics, Chinese is one of the most beautiful things in world and we hope that more people will learn it.
I’ve also read that Bloodfire studied for some time in Germany. How do you find the European culture and people in comparison to the Chinese one? How are things going back in China and what are you guys doing for a living?
Bloodfire: Yes, I have lived in Germany for four years, very precious four years, I love Germany, Berlin is like my second hometown, and now I am returning to Germany almost every year. I think the way of thinking between western and eastern country is a bit big, the most difference is the balance of the inner self-awareness and the personality of surface. Western people are same as both side, but Chinese people are more welling to be kind and hiding the real personality to get into the surroundings.
It might be hard for western people to find out the real personality from classic Chinese people. However, the feeling that is buried deep in the heart sometimes deepens. Myself and Bloodsea are both working in a university as teachers.
What does the Black Metal scene represent to you and how does Zuriaake fit in?
Bloodfire: Zuriaake is a band which is based on ancestor/nature worship and the loneliness & determination of a free personality. We are these souls that where exiled, so Black Metal is the thing we believe in and the only one we choose. There is no other way like Black Metal which can make an introverted, solitary emotion showing up as a resolute & madness way.
Thank you very much for your time, hope to see Zuriaake live. Feel free to add some last words for our readers.
Hey, all Black Metal fans in Europe, hope can meet you guys soon.
19-Apr-2018 Blackland Berlin Germany
20-Apr-2018 Helvete Oberhausen Germany
21-Apr-2018 Bambi Galore Hamburg Germany
22-Apr-2018 Roadburn Festival Tilburg Netherlands
23-Apr-2018 Magasin 4 Brussel Belgium
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Check out the latest Zuriaake – Gu Yan: