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Sol Axis - Nothing is black and white - May 2004


It has been remarked that your sound takes strong influence from the likes of newer SATYRICON, particularly the "Volcano" album. What is it that draws you to this style compared to the more traditional form of Black Metal? 

Actually I would say later SATYRICON is still based on Black Metal, of course they have a very unique sound but they are, in essence, pure Black Metal. SOL AXIS has indeed been compared to this style, I would say because of our approach to the music rather than the music itself. I firmly believe in bringing something new to Black Metal, a unique personality. This is true of any artistic venture, why bother if you're simply going to try and copy what has been done? Instead why not create something new? Inject a new atmosphere into this type of music, something worthwhile and invigorating.

 

Having said that I can still hear a strong trace of a "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas" element to your sound. Is there a particular reason for this or was it just the natural direction for the SOL AXIS material to take?

Quite natural I would say, given that "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas" is a genre defining album, a genre we are very much still included in, it's hard not to have some kind of resemblance, even in a remote way. It certainly wasn't a conscious decision. That isn't how we approach song writing.

 

To me the SOL AXIS sound could easily sit alongside the current Moonfog bands like KHOLD and DISIPLIN. What is your opinion on these bands?

Again, these bands have unique personalities and I would like to think that we do too. They are not content with using the same old formula. Even a band like KHOLD who are very strongly rooted in primitive Black Metal, create an atmosphere of their own, injecting new life into the genre. Something I hope they continue with.

 

Because of your more modern approach to Black Metal does that mean that there will be a more modern and less traditional stage presence? For example will there be no corpse paint when I go to see you support the fantastic SECRETS OF THE MOON?

We will use a lot of the traditional elements associated with Black Metal but when it comes to penguin paint and such things, we shall largely try to avoid the clichés. We do wear war/corpse paint but draw the line at penguin paint. That's not really what we're about. For me, there must be a meaning behind doing these things other than aesthetics. Others seem to do it just to "look the part" but this isn't important to me. An effective stage presence is the goal, something which will complement the music and create the desired impression.

 

Ireland is an often overlooked country in terms of Metal, yet even in our own back yard there are actually relatively few Black Metal bands. With only really SOL AXIS, WITCHHAMMER, FUILTEACH and my own band DORCHADAS being "Black Metal" what potential do you see for our Black Metal to be a force within the Irish and indeed the global underground?
True,
Ireland is largely overlooked but, to be honest, there hasn't been much to contend with the global scene. There have always been fewer bands than most European countries produce, something which is changing, and a kind of laziness about our scene in general. There are of course those who have done great things, PRIMORDIAL of course, SHADOW SEASON and some others, creating music which puts us on the map. Lately though, others have produced worthwhile releases which give me great hope for the scene's future, particularly WITCHAMMER, who are making very extreme and original music. It's just a shame we have been behind for so long but the future definitely looks promising, we shall see.

 

Before the creation of the relatively new bands mentioned in my previous question Irish "Black Metal" only went as far as say PRIMORDIAL or GEASA, neither of whom could be in any way classified strictly as "Black Metal". Is their any reason why you chose to opt for the more traditional approach in this respect rather than follow the example of those two great bands?

PRIMORDIAL are one of those bands who have managed to keep the arcane, atmospheric element of Black Metal while still progressing and creating some of the most original music out there. They are a truly great band. Also GEASA's "Starside" demo was Black Metal through and through, they then took a more "progressive" route. SOL AXIS is a Black Metal band. That is what appeals to us most. We will continue creating extreme and original Black Metal, progressing along the way yet firmly rooted in this type of music. It's a genre I have never found to be limiting, I suppose that's part of its appeal in a way.

 

What does SOL AXIS spew forth in its lyrics? Are your themes traditionally Satanic or do you have something different to say?

Lyrical subject matter varies but never touches on Satanism and such themes. I personally would not want to validate Christian belief by acknowledging its adversary. Lyrics tend to deal with such things as cosmology, obscure interpretations of heathenism and its application to modern life. Those grey areas that remain unexplored by human consciousness. Nothing is black and white, there is only grey. History which would render accepted mainstream thought irrelevant if fully revealed. They deal with creation and destruction, the perpetual motion in which we live our lives. They are metaphors, never as straight forward as one might think.

 

Now that the demo has been recorded what are your plans for future? Given the positive feedback a follow up should definitely be in the pipeline?

The feedback has indeed been very positive and we have been working on some new material. The new songs definitely possess a definitive SOL AXIS sound but possess a lot more character than what we have done already. Stagnating is not an option. We will also record two tracks for a split 7" which should be out later this year.

 

Also what about gigging, aside from the support slot for the SECRETS OF THE MOON gig are there any other plans for SOL AXIS to gig in Ireland and/or abroad?
We are scheduled to play the "Day of Darkness 2004" alongside DISMEMBER and ANCIENT RITES this summer. There is also talk of others which are not yet confirmed so it wouldn't be wise to go into too much detail but we will definitely play quite a few shows in
Ireland. Europe will follow later as we really want to bring SOL AXIS into the live picture.

 

Just want to say thanks for taking the time to complete this interview, and to conclude I'm going to "borrow" a question often asked by the big chief here at “The Metal Observer”, Alex. Is there any question you would like to be asked and can I have an answer to it?

Hmm, I question things enough as it is without questioning myself. I'll leave things as they are as I think we've covered a few things already. I would just like to thank you for the interview and if anyone has any questions/comments feel free to contact me solaxis@eircom.net.

Discography:

2004: Demo (MCD, Demo)

Niall Kennedy



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