DATE OF INTERVIEW: 28th July 2019
METAL DISCOVERY: Three years have passed since the release of ‘Blessed Brigit’, so can we expect a new Satarial album soon? Has any material already been written/recorded? What will lyrical themes be on the next record?
SATARIAL: Yes, we have already started recording a new album; we have already recorded most of the violins, flutes, various ethnic instruments, such as hardy-gardy, the Norwegian horn, and so on. On the new album, we will continue the trends from the old albums, but will add a lot of new things. Lyrics will also be based on northern paganism, spells of Seidr and shamanism. The record, I think, we will finish by the end of the year, when we return from the tour.
(Satarial on the multi-sensory, emancipatory potential of their live shows)
"In addition to the visual and musical part, we use incense and magical spells. We want to give people a sense of freedom from dogmas and principles which hinder being in harmony with nature."
Photograph copyright © 2014 @lker
Interview by Mark Holmes
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UK TOUR 2019
Friday 30th August - Rotherham - Warhorns Festival
Saturday 31st August - Bristol - The Gryphon
Sunday 1st September - Birmingham - Scruffy Murphys
Tuesday 3rd September - Nottingham - Chameleon
Thursday 5th September - Edinburgh - Opium Club
Friday 6th September - Newcastle - Trillians
Sunday 8th September - Glasgow - Ivory Blacks
MD: I’ve read that you’ve run into various problems over the years, with shows being cancelled, being banned from performing, a false accusation of murder, and even being shot at by religious terrorists at a show in the mid-90s. Admirably, you’ve risen above all the shit, and continued with unbridled passion for what you do. But has it been difficult at times, to continue with Satarial, when faced with all this animosity and adversity? Do you feel the band is even stronger for surviving all the crap you’ve had to deal with?
SATARIAL: Iron is first heated, then forged with a hammer, then heated again and dipped in cold oil or water, and the iron becomes stronger and turns into steel. So Satarial became only stronger because of adversity. Of course, many musicians come to us and leave quickly. Most persistent of them remain, ready to sacrifice their comfort and full life for the sake of art. And these are not empty words for us.
MD: The general ethos of Satarial seems to be about freedom of expression through explorations of nature and mysticism, so it’s a huge irony that you’ve been faced with such censorship, persecution and harassment over the years, when your freedom has been compromised by religious fanatics, authorities, etc. Has this been solely in Russia, or have you encountered similar problems anywhere else in the world?
SATARIAL: Russia has been moving to the theocratic system for 15 years. The church has enormous power in Russia. When the ideals of communism collapsed, politicians and workers of the KGB joined the ranks of the Russian Orthodox Church and created a new state system based on religion. Belief in the bright future of communism was replaced with faith in God and paradise. And on the basis of faith a totalitarian militarized state was built, where they are taught to people that Russia is God's chosen country. There are already a lot of cases in Russia when non-believers are not hired on work, etc...
I would define the current system in Russia as religious fascism. Believers have much more rights, and rights of non-believers are violated by new laws. Naturally, in Russia there is no place for freedom of speech and freedom of art. But problems with the concerts of Satarial happen not only in Russia. Russian Orthodox organizations work in the Baltic States, Belarus, Poland, and of course, we had problems because of them. In Krakow last year, the club canceled our concert due to local elections. There were problems with feminists in Germany; they tried to accuse us of sexism. But, of course, there are more problems in Russia, including constantly incoming threats to life and health. For example, the deputy Milonow officially called for the infliction of physical reprisal on the participants of the Satarial, etc.
Here is a link from the site where there is a lot of evidence of pressure on the Satarial:
MD: In your home country, has the situation become better or worse over the years, for Satarial performing live?
SATARIAL: In Russia it only gets worse. Earlier, at least human rights activists from different countries helped. And now most of these organizations are banned in Russia.
MD: I gather your shows offer something of a unique live opportunity, where ritualisticand theatricalelements are synthesised with the music you play, to offer a multi-sensory experience. So, what can someone generally expect from a Satarial show?
SATARIAL: Music - it's already magic. This primeval language of nature and the universe. We make music, which is a guide to the worlds beyond consciousness. And we accompany music with magical visual imagery and shamanistic dancing. Almost each of our concerts - a ritual, aimed at harmony with nature and the invocation of the God and Goddess. In addition to the visual and musical part, we use incense and magical spells. We want to give people a sense of freedom from dogmas and principles which hinder being in harmony with nature.
MD: How is the live experience for you while you’re on stage? Do you get something different out of each show, depending on the audience, venue, setting, circumstances? Do performances always prove to be an emotional, spiritual and perhaps transcendent experience for you, where the music and onstage rituals are in perfect synthesis?
SATARIAL: We really like the live work on stage. This is another world; this is the magic that we create together with the viewer. And the waves of energy created by common work carry something new and unexplored. This is a very interesting experience, and you want it again and again. Of course, there were cases when we had to play at non-conceptual festivals, where the public is not ready for joint sorcery work, then these fantastic sensations are lost, but this is also an experience. We always try to change the program of performances and incense at concerts, depending on the phases of the moon and the season, it gives more energy at concerts.
MD: You’re back over here, in the UK, in August/September for 6 gigs and an appearance at Warhorns Festival, so will you be bringing your full show in all of its ritualistic, multi-sensory glory?
SATARIAL: Great Britain is a land with a rich history, where there are many places that have preserved the ancient Celtic wisdom. We like to play here and feel the special energy of these places. We like to learn all that the blessed Brigit open for us here. And we will try to share it with the viewer. In the last tour we found a lot of interesting and truly strong and magical places in the UK. We will try to give a transcendental atmosphere at concerts, so that the viewer will look inside himself and feel a connection with the antiquity of this land.
MD: As you’re celebrating what’s been billed on gig posters as “30 years of extreme metal”, will you be preparing a special setlist, to perform tracks from your entire history? Will you be unearthing any of those old A.M.S.G. tracks to play at the shows?Any new material that will be aired?
SATARIAL: We may not have thought it out completely, but we prepared a program based on completely new songs that will be included on our new album and a few old songs from previous albums.
MD: Finally, if there’s one overriding message and/or feeling that people take away from the experience of a Satarial show and your music, what do you hope it would be?
SATARIAL: I wish for all your readers to be free, to live in harmony with nature and to remember that after the winter always comes spring! Blessed be!