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Bornholm - I think there are people who are listening to different types of metal music and there are musicians who play what they believe in. I always wanted to do my own music and not to belong to any scene or something like that Aanbevolen

Geschreven door

Bornholm is a pagan metal band formed in Budapest in 2000. Named after the Danish island of Bornholm, the band was founded by Ferenc Olajos, Vesanus, Astaroth, Mordan and Melkor. In the beginning they were very focused on their idols Bathory, but also on symphonic black metal, like that of Dimmu Borgir. In 2001 they recorded their first demo ‘Awakening of the Ancient Ones’ EP. After a few line-up changes, they released their debut album ‘On the Way of the Hunting Moon’ in 2005, with only guitarist Astaroth left from the original line-up.
After European tours with the bands Arcturus, Mayhem and Enslaved, they released their second album ‘March for Glory and Revenge’ in 2009. Because so much time had passed during the first two albums, the band worked on the follow-up album while touring for the album, but it too was only released in January 2013 and is called ‘Inexorable Defiance’. In 2013, they also accompanied Alestorm, Arkona, Ex Deo, Varg, Kalmah, Wolfchant and Thyrfing on the Paganfest European tour.
Of course, the band has not been sitting still in the meantime.  In 2016, the band released an album 'Primaeval Pantheons' and on 5 November a brand new disc 'Apotheosis'.
On the occasion of this release, we had a nice conversation with Peter Sallai , singer and inspirator of the band.

Who is Bornholm? How did it all started, tell some more about yourself?
The band was formed in North-Hungary in 2000 by me, and I am the musical mind behind it since then. I am a guitarist and singer on stage. It is not easy to talk about 20 years in an answer  and I did it in several previous interviews. Everything started when I left my previous bands and I thought I wanted to make something different. Something darker, spiritual and something that is more than just music. Black Metal is far more than just music, it was back in time when we started the band and I found my place in this musical world. We came from a different era, everything was far more real and there were awesome bands in the scene internationally. Something has disappeared since then and we try to bring back something, to continue and to find what have been lost. But it is very important to say that we are not living from the past, the present is more important. What we do, we do it here and now.

With over 20 years of experience and five studio albums till now,
BORNHOLM are no longer strangers to the scene. What where the low and highs till now?
I can answer similarly. So many highs and lows, but the most important is that we are here, and we can do what we want. As I think back it is clear to me that it was necessary to go through all these things. How many highs and lows are in the life of a person? In a band's life even more.

Now we ready to talk about ‘Apotheosis’. I like the doomy atmosphere, and very intensive way you guys bring back the most scary thoughts, but it also feels like ‘a blanket against dark thoughts’ to me. You agree? Is that intentional?
No, absolutely not. Dark thoughts are important, and we do not want to help anyone to fight with their own demons or to find answers to their questions. This album is about reality. This is full of heretic thoughts, sometimes surprising and so different way of thinking. Good and bad is subjective, and the most important to unify the opposites. Not to decide, but to merge them, all opposites. There is a force that is an angel and demon together, you can call it Lucifer, Prometheus or as you want... and there is a being on earth also that has good and evil inside, and it is the man itself. So rise above these things, be your own god, the only one what governs you is yourself. If you act without knowledge, it causes chaos, it is not about that. More like to form a new order from chaos. It has a doomy atmosphere, of course, because we are at the end of the current world. The two columns are crumbling now, the two pillars of science and religion. You can see those two things collapsing, and rising  a new order, which is a synthesis of these two things called Gnosis. But at first everyone goes to Hell to experience the reality behind the fake modern world of silly rationalism. This is the way to free the mind and to become something else. Something godlike. It is a process, and that is the reason of the title "Apotheosis". Love the darkness, learn from it, and get the light also to become everything. Everyone is their own savior. It is dangerous to talk about it nowadays when religion and the science are showing their ugliest face. I am above these things, I don't take part of the game. I just show it.

Can you say it’s a very personal album then?
All of our albums mirroring my personal thoughts, so of course it is. It contains occult references, but through my eyes but I tried not to be so subjective. I try to be like a medium, not a prophet if you know what I mean. Every album is a fingerprint of an era, a blueprint of a period of my life, what else can be? For me the music is a form of expression of art, not a tool to entertain someone. Today everybody wants to entertain as much people as they can, for the biggest amount of money they can reach. Everything is loud, harsh and empty. But I think if someone says the truth that is against everything everyone going to hear it. I want to be the enemy of this world, no to help to survive, but a tool for the many to destroy it, because it is necessary. People feel that there is no future, they afraid of the tomorrow... why? Form your own future and there's nothing to fear of. Yes, it is dangerous, but the courage, the spirit of the true rebellion is missing now. Back in time when this genre - metal- was not so accepted, everybody was more courageous, now we see a bunch of smooth, slimy, empty bands who are taking care of the feelings of everyone. This album is not like that, and Black Metal is not like that. Not about to serve something - good or evil -, but to rule. This aristocratic attitude is that what is missing now from Black Metal. Do not serve, as Lucifer said, don't even you going to be cast down to hell. Do your own will, that is the most important.

I have read  that Apotheosis is not only a showcase of
BORNHOLM’s tonal development, but also goes back to the origins of the band’s history, can you tell more about that?
Yes, musically we tried to step forward. This is a most essential album, the sound and themes containing so many things, that our music is about. We had to stop a bit, and the world also stopped around is. It gave us a chance to rethink everything, to reform and to define ourselves. I think this album is a milestone, a new beginning. This is what we are and we get rid of everything else that influenced us. If you listen to the album you hear our own metal. I guess it goes against the current trends, this is what we believe in. Of course it is not perfect, an artist is never satisfied with his own work, but we became the closest to it. We let the creativity flow, we tried to create our own world. We don't want to fit in the scene to go with the masses, we go against them. I think this is the power of this album. When I founded the band the situation was almost the same. In a totally different musical world, I started to do something that was totally the opposite of everything that was trendy back that time. We show the individuality, the true conviction of ourselves musically.

Also there is almost the fight between light and darkness, same thing agree, and is that intentional way you choose?
Darkness and light are not about the fight. Every light has a shadow and the darkness allows the light to shine, it gives the background for it where everything gets it's it's sensational. The right to the decision is the true power, not the way you choose. If you choose you'll be ruled by the way itself. This power is the will, the free and true will.  The light and the darkness just tools to fight not the aim or the power to serve. Serve your own will and wake up. A sculptor puts the clay on with one hand and takes off with the other, this is the way of creation. The hand me just the tool, left and right just the mirrored image of themselves. If you look at yourself, you can see it. You have everything to be the sculptor of your own life. Natural and supernatural are both the part of this world. Rational and irrational gives meaning to each other, nothing is less than the other.  Unify the mind and the heart in yourself and you become a different being. Do not listen to any of them separately. You are one system, do not fight inside, everything is a part of you. This is a pagan attitude which has been lost thousands of years ago. For us this is paganism, not a musical style or looking back to the never existed illusion of the past.

It also goes in many directions, you don't get bored for a second, during the virtuous walk through dark thoughts, here too conscious choice?
I write the music from inside, not only from the mind and not only from emotions, both of them has its own role during the process. I think to be conscious doesn't mean that I find out everything as a plan. It is dumb I think and the result going to be something that is not honest, not true. To be conscious is to know that if you do, you row, it's going to be unique because there are no two similar people in this world. Be the consciousness of something higher and become this higher self. There are things that are unexplainable in words or in writing, their nature is different. More understandable through symbols or seals. I just open myself and this is what comes out, some like it, some not, but that's I am. Our music is changing as the time is passing by, as the personality changing year by year, but the face is always recognizable. That is the most important, be yourself, but try to do everything better than before.

Meanwhile, there is the single 'I Am war God' and recent ‘ Spiritual Warfare‘, there is also a story behind it? which one?
This is not a concept album, it has no story, but there is a philosophical line that drives the listener through the whole album. "I am War God" is about the warrior's nature, the state of mind when somebody goes into a battle. It is ancient,  a genuine force that can be called god of something. Necessary thing, but not the aim of life. A tool of life, to survive and to win. In a physical world is needful to have physical power. In nature, war is a daily thing, but if you look around you see a calm, beautiful landscape from above.  "Spiritual Warfare" is about a different scene of the fight, an astral world a more hidden, unseen place where will fights against the will. A magical ceremony, a ritual has been never just a play. It is a tool to use these forces what governs the world, it is the gate to a field where everything will be decided. If you want to be more than you are, something will fight against you. The first thing is you will what's gone be attacked, this is the base of everything. If you win that fight you deserve to step forward.

What are your personal expectations of this record?
We can just play music and to record an album. But you know when it's releases it starts to live, it's own life after. We create the music, and after its repercussions to our lives. It is a very exciting process. So we haven't planned everything, we let it live and we are open for everything that comes. This is balanced, we create is and it creates our future after, like a butterfly effect. Everything can happen and nothing, let's see if it is true what we are talking about or not. My conviction is that it is, so this is a very exciting period. A lot of new things happen, and we try to fulfill the expectations.

Bornholm has a lot of changes within the lineup. I thought you were still the only original member of the band. Can you give me a reason for that?
Of course, there is a reason. That is the nature of this thing. Different people with different aims, different possibilities and talent. Sometimes to change is necessary. I could tell stories about everyone, but I think this interview is not about that. Who has to be here, is here. Who not, it is better for him to be elsewhere. I cannot force to do everyone, and I don't want to. Because personal problems, musical differences, lack of talent, family, a lot of things can cause this. If somebody works with people knows this perfectly. For me the band is like an entity, it is necessary to believe in to exist. If somebody doesn't believe in the band or its music, why should be here? Since the beginning I write the lion part of the music so I never let cause serious changes in the music if someone comes or goes.

I would like to clear up a misunderstanding, sometimes pagan black metal is associated with Satanism and worshipping the devil, of course it has nothing to do with that, but what is Pagan Black metal to you?
What people believe in is a not a musical style. You can express your thoughts, your opinion or your faith also through music. Journalist like to categorize the music, it is easier to write about a band if they belong to a genre etc. But it is artificial I think. The first is the music, and people can call it as they want. Look around in the world, is it sure that God is God and the devil is the devil? To doubt in everything is the way to knowledge. Atheism, of materialism is also just a religion... look, science today started to behave like a despotic religion. I say look for the truth inside of you, not outside. Do not kneel before anything. It is easier to exist in a system that was taught for you than to erase everything and build up something new, isn't it? There are god and devil inside, what I worship is deep behind the soul. To be pagan for me is to be independent. Not to believe what others say, doesn't matter how many of them doing that. A single truth is infinitely stronger than millions of lies, that is the reason that the biggest sin is not to believe. It doesn't matter, it is an organized religion, or an organized media, or rationalism, all is the same. Something you have to accept, but I don't.  This is paganism. To walk your own way, alone. There's no god above you, and there's no fear of anything in front of you. Live in the world, not on the internet, believe your own eyes, not the media and act as you want not the way as others want. You are being responsible just for yourself. A pagan, always looking for the eternal and the permanent, don't want to go anywhere, doing what the ancestors did thousands of years ago. To know the world, not to change it. Who doesn't know believes that it can be changed. There is an order in the universe and you cannot replace the Sun  to a planet.

Is there something like a typical Pagan Black metal scene in Hungary?
To be honest, I don't care other bands personally. We walk our own path and may bands formed and split up through the years, but that is not my business. We never had close friendship to other bands, and this is a lonely way. Black Metal attitude, you know. Better to separate from others. I think there are people who are listening to different types of metal music and there are musicians who play what they believe in. I always wanted to do my own music and not to belong to any scene or something like that.

We haven't talked about corona yet, what impact has this had on you as a band, or on you personally as a musician and human being?
Usually I don't talk about that, I have my own opinion. To be honest, absolutely nothing. It helped us to work calmly, gave time to think of us and the music we create but that's all. I do my work as before, I work at home 12 years ago... I'm doing my own business. I know it is trendy to worry about others and so on... but as I said, we are outsiders. If the world collapses, we create a new one for ourselves. There is the world of the masses who want to get back their old life, the problem is that I don't want to get back anything, because that world wasn't mine. That was the reason I started to play this kind of music, the philosophy of Black Metal rooted in somewhere elsewhere not in the modern ideologies. I see what was and also what comes. There is much more huge power behind it than any modern human being can imagine. This is a personal war, create and redeem yourself if you can and if you dare and step into a new age... or pass by with the old one.

What are the further plans for the end of the year and next year?
At first we want to relax a bit because there was extremely big work to create and to release the album, but of course we are preparing  for the shows next year. We are planning a tour in March across Europe with two Norwegian bands and we would like to play on as many festivals as we can. In the autumn there is a South-American round... but the most of the things just turning out. We goanna be in the rehearsal room most of the time I think until then.

Will there be a tour that will take you to Belgium, among other places?
Yes as I mentioned there will be and it going to Belgium as well! We played there years go and it is a beautiful country!

Apart from the band, I read in an interview that you also have a neofolk/ambient/martial project called 'Invinctus'… can you tell us more about that?
Nothing, it was just an album and I wanted to try something else not metal. It was a trip to another style, and not as meaningful or professional. Just a play. I'm not planning to continue that, Bornholm is enough for me to express my musical ideas. Maybe a really dark, violent, extreme metal project could be interesting to do, but not in the near future.

After all these years, do you still have goals and ambitions?
Of course I always have. That is the meaning of life for me, to continue my way to further goals. But I like to think just about the next step. There is so much music inside and to live a creative life is the best of all. To be a better musician as I was yesterday, to get closer the ideas what I have in my mind is always ambition. Never going to be 100% anything but to try to do it is a great way of life. To do better what I like to do. And the years passing by, that is the time. What was and what's going to be, both of them are non-existent. The present is the most important.

With all your experience in those twenty years, what is your advice to beginning bands?
I don't like to give advice to anyone. You know, if you give advice to someone, the responsibility is yours... Do your will at all times!


Aanvullende informatie

  • Band/artiest: Bornholm
  • Datum: 2021-11-15
  • Beoordeling: 8
Gelezen: 488 keer