Thursday, June 9, 2011

Second Wende interview - with S. Stormhammer of Valkynaz

Zamiel of "Wende" Interview (by Stormhammer)



Thanks for meeting with me, Zamiel, I appreciate the opportunity
to pick your mind! And thanks again for being interviewed by me
as well as Transylvanian Forest E-Zine!


You’re very welcome.

So, I've known you a long time, brohammer! How long has it been
since you first came up with the idea ov Wende?

Yes, you’ve known my music since before it was described as ‘Wende’.

In some ways, I’ve always had the idea for Wende, I simply had to make myself ready to find it. It some ways, Wende hasn’t begun yet, it’s still in the process of meandering.

I find that events or actions commonly described as having a beginning, in actuality had no ‘beginning’ at all, having only gradually meandered into existence. Do wars only begin with the first death? Does love only begin when you feel it? Can it begin before you develop the capacity to love? Does knowledge begin with studies, thoughts and practice? Can you gain knowledge before you are ready to learn?

Originally, I wrote music, fully completed, and put it on my computer so I could listen to it. It was for me, for my own use, and belonged to nobody else. How nice to be a listener and a creator too, you always have exclusive music on hand! It had no name, and why should it? It simply was my music. Why should I involve others? I could play every instrument just fine for my purposes, and they could never understand what I wanted to hear as well as I could.

For a long time, nobody heard it, until I decided, vulnerably, to show it to my friends only. I only gave my art a name when asking necessitated. I put very little thought into the first few name choices and figured it wasn’t really important, because the name was for them, not for me. I knew perfectly well what it really was. Eventually I realized that giving the art a name and direction need not be a limiting exercise, so much as a focusing one. The concept of Wende, active long before it ‘began’, took focus in the spring of 2008.

I couldn't agree more, especially considering I first heard your demo
albums from when you had no name for Wende. Since your newest
release, Vorspiel einer Philosophie der Zukunft, I've been listening
to the Demo album versus what you created with it. What new things
have you conceived since your self-titled demo?

I should first mention that I’m very unhappy with how the demo sounds, and I’m in the process of re-recording it right now. I didn’t arrive at this decision lightly, but then again, I never considered it ‘finished’ anyway. It will be called ‘Dritte und Edel’ and should be considered the first Wende album, though obviously recorded out of sequence.

I’m planning a four-album canon, though there may be more music in the manner of Wende outside the four. The first of the four (Dritte und Edel) sounds primarily depressive and morose, as it attempts to tell the story of the going-under and defeat of the ancient and the noble, and innocent, the turn from the path of centuries, and the coming of the plague. To speak the word ‘European’ is to speak of sadness. The second album (Vorspiel) sounds primarily introspective, open and ‘suspended’, and should be the catalyst for a new philosophy, or perhaps a return to a more ancient philosophy. The third album will have a violent and disjointed sound, as the borders and walls of our prison are cast aside. The fourth album will have a calming and serene sound, and will be the beginning of the new way and a rebirth. This is Wende, to call attention to our dying world, and our dying minds and offer an escape, the chance of turn.

Long since you've released these two albums, I've been obsessed with
your musical processes! How has it been since then that you decided
to change things up? How have you worked on things to where they're
so different between the Self-titled demo and Vorspiel einer
Philosophie der Zukunft?


Well, most obviously, Vorspiel is better recorded, I’m much happier with the sound, and probably won’t change anything in future recordings.

Vorspiel is more thought-out than the demo, more time was spent on focusing the message, and more energy was spent on giving intention to the sound. Personally, I don’t feel that Vorspiel is very different from the demo, it’s simply a continuation of what I felt was successful.

I wanted to give Vorspiel a very spacious and ‘open’ sound. Like the wind on the barren upper reaches of a mountain. I also wanted the tonality to be somewhat obscured and esoteric, so the listener is not quite sure where the chord is rooted, or where it exists, as if the music resides in the grey-scale between tonalities. Not giving away ‘secrets’, but I highly recommend the music of Debussy, especially “La cathédrale engloutie”, and the music of other impressionist musicians too, e.g. Ravel or Satie.

I wrote rhythmic, melodic and even chordal leitmotivs on Vorspiel to enhance the message of the text, and give deeper meaning to the music. It may take a more discerning ear to pick up on all of them, I don’t know, but understand: everything on this album is intentional, and everything was done for a reason, perhaps multiple reasons. I can’t tell anyone how to experience my art, but listen deeply and intently, discover the keys to my meaning but also discover keys to your own meanings and nuance. And listen to future works, not all musical concepts are paid off in this album alone…

The text was written to read like a story, or perhaps two stories, which may or may not be related. Each track attempts to address what I feel are the most pertinent concepts of philosophy, at least to the philosophy of the future – War, Death, Truth, Solitude and the Self, Time and Nature.

I may or may not give further account on the concepts and creation of Vorspiel on

The self-titled demo was nothing more than that - a demo, I never really intended to have it listened to by anyone but me, though I happily gave it to anyone who wanted one. I also handed out four song cd-r copies to people at Skinwalker shows I felt were worthy, in an apparently futile attempt to gain some underground recognition.

I agree full heartedly with that as well, my friend. It's unfortunate
that more people involved in the underground scene use it as a way to
"be different" from others than others that actually have a deep
passion and recognition in the importance ov the actual music and the
message it brings. Speaking ov which, I've noticed a lot ov
philosophical ramifications going into the process ov creating
between your two albums. Any ideas you'd like to identify for our
readers, other than those stated above?


I suppose reading through the lyrics of my albums is enough to answer this question.

Dream, with no fear of the journey. Be wary of all done in the name of tradition and authority, the great murderers of thought and life. Become who you are and let your ethics happen upon you, Hold reverence for the nature of nature, and have confidence in nature. Seek a profundity to life, and do not be obsessed with empty things. Be aware and conscious.

Well said! As you stated, you also play bassist for the Washington
band Skinwalker. How has that been and what sort ov tricks have you
picked up since starting with these bandmates?


I enjoy the project. The direction is very different from Wende, Both Insomniac and Blacksmith are great guys, and we’re good friends outside of the band too. It was nice to experience a different approach to this music. Realize that probably only about 10-15 people in our entire county listen to this music, let alone play it. There’s been a lot of traveling, playing, camping, late night recording sessions, early morning return trips, and a fair amount of libations.

I feel that the sound is firmly rooted in the past, and that’s not so bad, considering how laughable the music has now become, by and large. The sound is dirty, unrefined, raw and violent – everything it should be. Tricks? Maybe experiences.

Skinwalker has played live in several cities since this point! How
involved are you with the band's songwriting and focus and what hopes
do you have for the future, regarding Skinwalker?


We’ve played venues from Seattle to Helena, though have yet to reach Canada or Oregon. The price of petrol is now beginning to reach EU prices, and though on a personal level, expenditure slides ever higher, hopefully we’ll see widespread adoption of a more European outlook on fuel and transport, though I doubt it.

I’m very involved in every level of Skinwalker. I wouldn’t waste anyone’s time with my presence and not be involved.

In the future, the agenda may include a small label, or it may not. More shows, more music, maybe a small tour. Nothing too assuming.

Working with my own set ov bands, I know how taxing it can be to meet
a deadline for a release. How is it you retain your own personal
lifestyle along with that ov your bands? (Including others than
Wende and Skinwalker).


Wende and Skinwalker never impinge on my life, if anything, my life gets in the way of my music. I’ve always felt it important to have my art be a projection of me, but also important to myself be exemplary of my art. There’s always (increasingly) room for imagination and fantasy in art. But there is no great disconnect between Wende or Skinwalker and my ‘personal’ life, there’s budgeting of time and that’s it, I live the same life throughout.

I’m always wary of people that live fantasy double lives through their music. It can be done sure, and done very effectively, but I simply don’t believe those bands that sing of gore, murder, suffering, arson, suicide, heathenism, heritage or revolt and lead normal, boring lives. They’re simply circus performers, entertainers, and sometimes they don’t even entertain.

I’ll briefly mention something here that’s important to me. If your band glorifies ‘Satan’, ‘Lucifer’ or the ‘Devil’ and sings of being ‘Satanic’, you’re a Judeo-Christian band, and you play Judeo-Christian music. Satan is a Jewish character, and is shared by all three Abrahamic religions. To believe and give credence to this concept is to believe and give credence to the Judeo-Christian world-view and paradigm of thought.

I fully abhor this world-view and its violent, destructive, life-hating, anti-culture message. Don’t give it the time of day, my brothers, let alone speak of its concepts through your music. You sully yourselves.

Well put, mighty Zamiel! I fully agree, it is the assassin ov free
thought throughout the world! But it is time to wrap this up. Thanks
full-heartedly for your time brohammer! If it's within permission ov
both you and TFE-zine, I'd like to do a review on at least one, if
not both Wende albums! They are really good and deserving lime-light
in my opinion!


-S. Stormhammer, Transylvanian Forest E-Zine

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