To those in the black metal field, the legendary names Sargeist and Horna need no introduction. Guitarist Shatraug is at the center of each of these projects and has contributed to a number of others. We are pleased to bring you this interview and are grateful to Shatraug for his time.
Sargeist and Horna unarguably are the two biggest names in all of the projects you have been involved with. Is there a ideological or motivational difference between those two?
-Horna is my firstborn and priority, always keeping it along a straight path to Hell, writing lyrics in Finnish as it was in the beginning of forming the band covering all sort of reaches and visions. Sargeist then, is entirely satanic in it’s essence and the most melodic of my creations. Motivation for both bands is no different from anything else I do – from the heart with devotion.
There are a number of projects that are listen on metal-archives.com that you have been involved with. When you are creating your work, do you go at it with the mindset of what project you want to aim for, or do you just let the music take on a life of its own and go from there?
-It happens both ways. Sometimes I don’t know in advance what will happen and other times I have a clear vision on what to aim for. Now and then ideas also intertwine with each other and there’s several occasions when decisions were based on a whim which project/band a certain song would go for rather than being precisely into it.
It’s been nearly 4 years since the last full-length Sargeist album and nearly three for Horna. What’s the status on these two projects?
-The new Sargeist album “Unbound” is recorded, mixed and mastered. We are doing final work for layout and the album will be out on World Terror Committee during this year. With Horna we have been focused mainly on live activities, but alongside I have been working on a new album as well. Before that we are releasing a special album for Japan made entirely of old ideas which were never recorded for one reason or another, featuring even as early material as two songs from 1994 before the band was even called Horna. Rest of this release is similar, forgotten script from the past. A real new album perhaps next year.
Do you have any planned releases for any of your other projects? Are there any that might not be mentioned on metal-archives?
-Any projects not mentioned there are of no relevance, nor does it really matter if I have been doing something additional or not, I certainly do not make music just to keep my name in publicity or celebrated… Even so, there will be a new Finnentum album and a compilation album from project Vritra. Both recorded long ago but I haven’t been too busy getting them released…
I gather from interviews that I’ve read that perhaps you view yourself as more of a “channel” through which you receive inspiration. Is that not accurate and could you perhaps expand upon that?
-What it means is I write music whenever it feels like it. I usually never grab my guitar just to try to make something, the feeling to create is already there before.
You just released a very limited (150 copies) edition 2 cassette box set of Sargeist through Goatlordth Records including “Satanic Black Devotion” and “Disciple of the Heinous Path.” How did this release come about?
-It was simply licensed from Moribund Records, nothing to do with us in fact.
It’s been argued in regard to these “Unblack” or Christian Black Metal bands that the “black” element is perhaps more of an abstract concept or could even refer to some of the darker moments of Christian history and the Bible; that it doesn’t have to refer to “Satan” per se. What is your response on this?
-Without satanism Black Metal is mere music. People can say whatever they want to justify their “music”, but to me it’s as holy as gospel and such, can not be fathomed without spiritual and religious bonds.
Have any of your shows been met with controversy, protests or threats of violence and if so… in what countries?
-Nothing to concern about. There’s always Antifa choking on their own vomit for having nothing better to do in their lives. I have always wondered why they do not go after actual skinhead bands and racists but black metal, but I guess it is because of the lame sheep mentality of “metal brotherhood” and other humanitarian crap which makes it an easy target…
How important is ritual to you when composing or performing?
-Everything is, in one way or another. Not every rite becomes a ritual, but every ritual is rite.
What other plans have you got for 2018?
-Missionary work for our Lord spreading his word on tours and with new music.
Many many years down the road, a very distant relative locates a box in the attic of an old home. In that box they find a box set labeled “Shatraug” including a series of albums from your history. What would you like this person to know about your legacy simply from listening to the music?
-Simply feel it.