Interview with Groza

Tuesday, December 6, Exuviath, Mauna Sol and Groza played in Quantic. Exuviath was born two years ago, with Alex and Dragos, two ex-members of Hovercraft, one of the Doom-Death...

Tuesday, December 6, Exuviath, Mauna Sol and Groza played in Quantic.

Exuviath was born two years ago, with Alex and Dragos, two ex-members of Hovercraft, one of the Doom-Death pioneers in the 90s. They blend old school Heavy metal with modern elements. Sadly, my commitments at work kept me away from their performance, having arrived when they were just finishing their performance. I heard good things about them from all my friends and made a mental to see them next time.

Mauna Sol is a project that came to life in 2016 and it’s a side project of Mariu Licu from The Thirteenth Sun, a band that I don’t think needs any introduction. I was extremely excited to see what this band is about. They didn’t disappoint, starting with an unholy growl and some riffs that projected you directly in a Norwegian wood. The first song ended in long instrumental passages, with Progressive influences. I think sometimes in the middle of the concert I heard some parts that were of Post-Rock influences. The problem with this is that I found that sometimes it lacks coherence. I’m all for fusion of genres, if the result is something fresh and unexpected, but here it confuses the listener a bit, you don’t know if you’re to Black Metal, Progressive, or what. For the sake of the lead singer, that is very good, I’d rather them stick to Black Metal.

The band that closed the evening was Groza, another relatively young band, formed in 2016 in Germany.

Their performance in Quantic was surprisingly good. Yes, they sound a lot like Mgla and they don’t shy away from saying so. But, as opposed to Mgla’s gig in Quantic, the sound was clearly to Groza’s advantage. Their energy on stage and stage presence is also a plus, and I noticed some original elements in their compositions, so I think they have something to say in the future. I had a good time listening to their concert, and so did everyone around me, in the club.

After the concert, a surprise was set for me, and I had the chance to speak to them and to interview them. This strengthened my belief that Groza is a band worth keeping an eye on. The guys are very down to earth, have a great sense of humor, are clearly intelligent and well-spoken and, the most important quality for me, they are extremely honest. You can find the interview below, and I would like to finish this article end by wishing them best of luck in the future!

Din Intunerec: Hello! We’re in backstage at Quantic Club and the concert just finished, so, hello guys!

Groza: Hello!

Din Intunerec: It’s your first time here, right?

Groza: In Bucharest, yes.

Din Intunerec: What are your impressions after this concert?

Groza: It was fucking amazing; it was very good! We really enjoyed the gig. We didn’t expect that so many people would show up. Also, the passion of the audience was beyond our expectations. Organization, crew, everything is just splendid. So, we loved it, yeah.

Din Intunerec: Ok, so I know one of the members in your band is from Romania. How much did you know about our country before you came here?

Groza: I told them many, many times the history and so on, yeah. It’s kind of like a meme…. Whenever we go someplace, he is very good at history. He’s very good at history, he’s always like educating us.

I’m like a “profesor de istorie” (history teacher). Yeah, and yeah, I’m, I’m into it. I was born here, and I love the history of the country. I’m just like a teacher for you.

Yeah, we also created a Jingle for him. Just whenever he’s telling something about history, it’s like just playing. It’s like a running joke. Yeah, it is. But we kind of knew what to expect because we’ve been to Romania before, like 3-4 years ago, I think three years ago.

Din Intunerec: Where exactly have you played?

Groza: Played in 2019 in Cluj Napoca and Baia Mare, but Bucharest? This is the first time in Bucharest.

Din Intunerec: So, you’re in tour now and your next stop is in Greece?

Groza: Yes, Thessaloniki, the day after tomorrow. OK. No, no. Ohh Athens. I’m sorry. Yeah, Athens. And afterwards it’s Thessaloniki and Sofia and Bulgaria that’s left.

Din Intunerec:  Do you feel touring it’s more exhausting or it’s more like your draw energy out of it? Like how do you perceive this?

Groza: Well, it depends on the gig, so sometimes it’s very exhausting. Parts like the driving and having to set up and having not many time for doing this. But in general, it’s like you get so much energy from the audience and this pushes you and afterwards sometimes you have just like a fucking big high.

And you, you’re just standing there after the show and just enjoying it, have some memories and just like being grateful for the people being here.

You also like get into a kind of routine with us, it’s like it takes like 2 or maybe 3 gigs to get used to it again, you know, being on tour. But then after you have that, it’s kind of like the same procedure every evening. So, we kind of have this routine and we just make it work in the same place every same procedures every year.

Din Intunerec: I wish to talk to you a bit about your band and more precisely about where do you draw your inspiration from and what are your influences.

Groza: This if influences are obvious, I guess. Yeah. So maybe when talking about the influences, you obviously must mention how we started this, I mean kind of started. As a Mgla worship, basically. You know, you were going to ask about that. Yeah, you’re smiling.

Din Intunerec: OK, it’s a bit obvious, but as a matter of fact, if I may delve in, it’s also obvious that you have some like original elements.

Groza: Yeah, thanks. We kind of evolved, you know, we have two records out and the first one I did almost like 80% by myself and I started this alone. I started writing the songs and then I invited the guys in. So the first one is, is a lot more of just my songwriting, like as a as a solo kind of thing. But with the new record we kind of changed the songwriting process very much. So we all contribute to the songs and that’s helped with just, you know, making it more diverse and having more layers to the songs if it makes sense, you know, just different influences from the guys.

It all just comes together. So the new record is much more diverse I think  than the first one.

Din Intunerec: I noticed that you had the tree of life or the mic’s stand. And also I notice you have a butterfly on your merch. So would you say that nature maybe is one of your influences?

Groza: Yeah, I think nature is the main source of inspiration. I mean, I can’t talk for the guys, but for me personally, nature is one of them. Nature and personal stuff is when it comes to lyrics, is like the main inspiration for me, because I think Black Metal has always been tied to nature. You know what I mean? It kind of fits, you know. It fits together.

Yeah, I draw a lot of inspiration from nature. You can see it on the new album cover. It kind of catches the atmosphere and the vibe of the record, musically. So yeah, we draw a lot of inspiration from nature.

Din Intunerec:  OK, talking about Black Metal. If I come to think of a Black Metal that emerged from the 90s like Satanism was one of the main things.

Groza: Yeah. Main things back then, yeah.

Din Intunerec: And now it’s like more than nihilism. So, would you say that nihilism is like the new Satanism?

Groza:  Yeah, kind of shifted. You know, you can see it in a lot of bands that the topic shifted. I mean this.

Back in the day as you said Black Metal was very much about being Satanic and being anti-Christian, you know, yeah it shifted. I mean it’s for us it doesn’t matter, we’re not so much based on like religion or anything. It’s more the nihilism thing as you mentioned. I think it fits the music just as good as the Satanic approach, you know what I mean? And I think nowadays Black Metal has kind of evolved compared to like when you compare it to bands from the. 2nd wave in the early 90s, you know, OK. So, I think there is a back then it was kind of…. people were kind of close minded and you had like this, this range of topics that you could choose. But now, it evolved a little bit more and it broadened the spectrum of what you could talk about in Black Metal and what makes sense. It’s very much about nature. It’s about, you know, personal stuff. So yeah, we’re not a Satanic Black Metal band.

Din Intunerec: Ok, so maybe Satanic can be perceived in many ways.

Groza:  Yea, it’s about freedom.

Din Intunerec:  Some people say it’s freedom of conscience, maybe. Some say it’s related to paganism. So, it depends.

Groza: Very much about personal freedom and about thinking for yourself instead of being guided towards some agenda. It’s very much about just being yourself. It’s also an inspiration. But we don’t take it like we don’t take it how do you say it? We don’t take it word for word. We don’t go like, Hail Satan and shit like that. It’s just the more abstract side of the whole thing.

Din Intunerec: Okay, so another thing that maybe everybody noticed right now there is a new wave of Black Metal bands. Most of them, like, coming from Poland or Iceland and so on. I’d say more people are drawn to this genre and I’d say that I was talking a bit with my friends between acts. Most of them are using masks or theatrical props or stuff like that. Would you say these things delude a bit the message of the music? Because people are maybe drawn more to the imagery and not to the essence, the message that music is trying to convey.

Groza: Maybe some people are drawn to some people call it a gimmick. I guess there’s maybe some people that are attracted to the music because of it. But for us, it’s always the music first and then the masks and stuff. It just adds to the whole experience. It’s all about anonymity and not having personalities in music, not having names as well, not having faces in that matter. I kind of take like, masks of the new corpse paint. It kind of is what corpse paint used to be in the 90s, everybody wore it and everybody now wears like, masks and stuff. I feel like there’s some similarities, some parallels.

Din Intunerec: The last question that I would like to ask you is like, what are your future plans? What do you see for the future, for your band? Say, next 5 years.

Groza: We don’t think that far ahead. At least I don’t. I mean, we just continue doing what we do.

Din Intunerec: Do you have plans for a new album?

Groza: Of course, yeah. We are writing right now; we just started the writing process for the new record and we are gathering ideas. We plan to tour a bit more next year, we have a big tour coming up in January and February with Harakiri for the Sky and Schammasch, we go all over Europe and then, the plan is to slow a bit down on the touring aspect, maybe play some festivals and some weekends, and really focus on writing songs for our next record and maybe even staring from the next year, it’s always on our mind.

Din Intuneric. Thank you for your time!

Groza: Of course, anytime.

Din Intuneric: I hope we will see you again.

Groza: We hope so too, thank you for the interview!

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