Spotlight on … Acârash.

*When did you really get involved into music in general and into metal specific? Who was responsable for your interest in (metal) music?

My deep affection to heavy metal started when I was about 14, I guess, with Wasp, Twisted Sister, Scorpions and other bands. A couple of years later I fell in love with Black Sabbath and Thin Lizzy, which probably are the two bands most responsible. From there it developed into all kinds of musical interest, as I delved into folk music, classical music and of course learned my way through heavy metal and more extreme stuff.

*Which artists or bands did influence you the most?

Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, Watain, Abandon, Bathory, Behemoth, Forgotten Tomb

*Which instrument do you play and how and when did you learn to play? Did you had lessons in school or private lessons? If so, was that because your parents expected that from you? Or did you learn to play the instruments by yourself? Do yo still follow some lessons?

I am a very good bass player, a decent vocalist, a competent guitar player and can also find my way on the piano. I started out with a cheap bass and an acoustic guitar when I was 15, and taught myself by passion and creativity. I was never a practice guy, so my skills are a result of making music and playing it. I spend a lot of time researching and testing stuff on guitar, always trying out new takes on a scale or what not.

If I practiced more, I would of course be faster and more technical, but as it stands I can’t really afford to spend more time than I already do. To the extent that I read or learn stuff its mostly compositional, like new scales, tweaks or stuff thats helpful in the songwriting.

*Do you follow other or are you intrested in other styles of music beside metal? If so, what is the music you prefer to listen to?

I listen to a lot of different stuff. I’m still into some folk music, both European and American, a lot of classical music, mainly German and Russian composers, although one of my favorites are Finnish.

*Is music a full time job for you now or do you have a job beside music? If so, what kind of job are you doing? If you would be really succesful with music, would you quit your other job?

Haha, I wish. It’s far from a full time job. Running a band is expensive, and we invest a lot along the way. Although I regard our music as absolute top notch, it’s a long way from releasing a record to reaching all those people who would potentially like it. And even if we did, the art of making an income as a musician today is not simple. I have combined playing music with promoting and organizing gigs and festivals, which is a great way to work within the scene. But right now I’m focusing a lot on a different aspect of my while, which is to be a non-fiction writer. I’m in the process of writing my second book, so it’s pretty exciting. But as you can imagine, neither of these occupations are lucrative, so let’s see how it goes.

If I made enough money on the band in itself, I would still write books and still organize festivals, for sure.

*If you could start a band with other musicians on other instruments, which artist would you pick for wich instrument and why? (Something Like an “All Stars Band”.) Would you still go for a occult doom / black metal band? Or would you do something completely different?

There’s lots of projects and styles I would like to try out, given the time and opportunity. But if I had to choose right now, I could see myself starting a more aggressive band, a fast and progressive black metal-project. There’s a lot of great musicians I would like to work with in such an environment, but let’s say we have Inferno on Drums, myself on the bass, Morgan Håkonssen and Pelle Forsberg on guitars. The vocals could vary, we would invite different vocalists for each track in the studio. That could work.

*If you had been banned to an uninhabited island and you may pick 5 albums to listen to, wich albums would you choose and why?

I would need some variation, and something both for different moods.

Jean Sibelius (‘Symphony no. 2’) – This Finnish guy wrote music like few else, and this is probably his deepest stuff.

Black Sabbath (‘Black Sabbath’) – The mythical birth of a thousand genres, this record really needs no explanation to a metalhead.

Marconi Union (‘Distance’) – Excellent ambient music for slow thoughts.

Behemoth (‘The Satanist’) – A modern masterpiece, where Behemoth hit their absolute peak combining black and death metal.

Acârash (‘Descend to Purity’) – Even better than the first record, this album has a profound nerve which is pretty rare.

*Every new album of a band or an artist is the best one, that’s what they always say. So here is a chance to promote the album. Why should a music lover buy your album? What are the standout tracks for you on this new album and why?

This album is probably the perfect album for the dedicated metalhead. It’s got a lot of eerie black metal-feel, flawlessly combined with depressive doom and more catchy hard rock and heavy metal. The songwriting is high class and the delivery is honest and delicate.

See “CD-Review” for a review (written in Dutch) for the new Acârash album ‘Descend To Purity’ (Dark Essence Records) –

*I suppose you will promote this album through live concerts (when of course everyting is getting back to “normal” after the Covid 19 disaster). If so, would you prefer small clubs or big festivals? And is there a chance we can see Acârash in Belgium?

Well, we did have a lot of plans, but now it’s all wait and see. I will book shows for the fall of 2020 and long into 2021, so we will have a nice schedule pretty soon. But whether it’ll stick is hard to tell, with all this sickness. We like both the intimacy and the closed sound of clubs, but festivals are always a great way to meet your fans as well. We would love to play in Belgium, and my guess is that we will play in your country either later in 2020 or during 2021!