Within the Dark Lord'S Silent Empire
CoC chats with Peter Wiwczarek from Vader
by: Paul Schwarz
With last year's _De Profundis_, Vader really showed the world what they could do. They produced one of the year's best albums and didn't sacrifice one ounce of the brutality they are noted for. The reviews were equally favourable, perfect ratings being a not uncommon occurrence. The fact that this was only their second album just added insult to the injuries of so many other bands who couldn't produce something as good on their fourth or fifth attempt, let alone their second, as Vader had. Despite all this attention, Peter Wiwczarek, the main songwriter for the band, is not a walking ego trip. He seems quite excited (although containedly so) that the new Vader album _Black To The Blind_ will be out in about two months' time, and he seems very pleased to be back on tour, and on tour with so many great, true metal bands.

CoC: So how has this tour (with Vital Remains Infernal Majesty and Malevolent Creation) been?

Peter Wiwczarek: We just started a week ago, and now we're in Paris. It's the sixth gig; it's been really good. We've played with Malevolent Creation twice before, so we're like brothers. The package is [also] really good: Infernal Majesty, Vital Remains... it's good, old, true bands, and it's a really good package, a really...Metal package. So I'm happy that we can join this package.

CoC: Are you planning to tour the UK again? I know you played two gigs last year with Cannibal Corpse.

PW: Yes, it was the first time we've ever played in the UK. [We played] London and Brighton; they were killer shows, but what I was very surprised with was the response, as it was the first time we've been in the UK. They were really good shows.

CoC: Your album did get ranked 17th in the Terrorizer albums of the year.

PW: Really?! Oh, I didn't know about that.

CoC: Yeah, you were above bands like Burzum and Cradle of Filth.

PW: I think what we may need now is better distribution. [Peter was told at this gig that their album is not distributed in France, where they are playing.] We used to be on a pretty big label a couple of years ago, but when we joined the label there were too many problems.

[Peter is referring to Vader's short-lived stay on Earache, who released their debut.]

CoC: How was recording the new album _Black To The Blind_?

PW: We finished the album just the day before we started this tour; it's brand new.

CoC: How's the sound?

PW: It's, uh...I don't know how to explain the sound. It's...it's Vader, you know, but the sound was maybe a little faster than _De Profundis_ was - but no, it's still Vader. It's not only fast, though; it's got a lot of different elements in it. Generally, though, the songs are maybe shorter and faster, with more blast bursts.

CoC: Were you happy with _De Profundis_, 'cause you know a lot of people worship that album?

PW: Yeah, a lot of people like that [album]. It's still the best section of the band for me. If we can give emotions to people, to make them happy, to make them stronger, [then I am happy we can do that]. It's brutal music, you know; it's death metal [and] I am very happy that people still like this, that they still need it.

CoC: Yeah, death metal was declining up until mid '96 when your album, Arch Enemy's album, and some other albums came out, and then everyone started saying that death metal was back again. '95 was a slow year.

PW: Well, death metal, black metal - sometimes it's just a name, but it's the music [which counts]. It's brutal music; it's a kind of expression. Every generation needs this same power, this kick.

CoC: Do you like black metal?

PW: Yeah, why not?! I think we're pretty close to black metal, because all the lyrics [in black metal and death metal] are talking about supernatural things - you know, generally about the dark parts of the world, about dark things, about different things, not about just living like this <motions to the room>. So it's like we try to make people think...about everything about the world, the underworld, the upper world, about every world.

CoC: Is that the reason for the title of the album _De Profundis_, i.e., "From The Depths"?

PW: Yes and no. _De Profundis_ is about the abyss. The title is in Latin; it used to be like a...I don't know the words in English to explain it. It's like a word to explain the philosophy of decadentism.: Now we are pretty close to finishing this millennium and so the feeling is similar. People are afraid of something [again]; they don't even know what they are afraid of.

:[I didn't quite understand what Peter meant, so I did some research. "De Profundis" is the opening phrase of the 130th Psalm from the Old Testament. In it, the psalmist calls to God from the depths of despair. I think Peter is referring to this Psalm, but more to the feeling which was felt at the time of the first millennium. When the first millennium came, people truly feared judgment day, and the psalm probably took on new meaning as the millennium drew closer.]

CoC: What about the lyrics to "Silent Empire"?

PW: Ah, no - you see, on the first album, I used to write 50 percent of the lyrics; now I try to make the music, and I have friends [who write some lyrics for me], who have more time and get much more of a chance to study things. "Silent Empire" was written by Paul Frelik, who is a friend of ours, has been for years, and the same with Paul Wasilewski. On the new album, those two people will appear again with new lyrics, and one more [person will also contribute lyrics]. I try to show the friends I have known for years, and they are still living with this kind of music and listening to this kind of music. There are not so many people left [who are like that], but they are death metal, or so called death metal, fans from the heart, not just 'cause it's popular, and it is a big honour for me just to make music for their lyrics. So each set of lyrics and each song was inspired by something different, mostly inspired by some books or the works of different magicians.

CoC: Lovecraft?

PW: Lovecraft, Crowley - more, more, more names. Sometimes it is hard to understand the lyrics if you don't know the book. Our way is to..is to give people inspiration for looking for all those books. We'd like to see them reading them, not just talking about them; we like to make people...angry for knowledge, you know what I mean. It's very important not be just another band talking about shit. Just to make people hungry for knowledge...it's dangerous, because this knowledge might be dangerous. But it's knowledge, it's...it's a kind of risk. It's like a choice in your life. It's a bit too hard for me to explain in English properly.

CoC: What about the covers album that you have done, _Future of the Past_? What was your motivation to do that?

PW: It is like a tribute album to the years and the bands who inspired us in the beginning. Apart from the Possessed, Kreator, Terrorizer, and Celtic Frost songs, we also put all the cover songs we'd done, so you can see the Sabbath and the Depeche Mode covers. [This was] because those songs only appear on promo versions, singles or whatever, and we wanted to put everything we'd made, or all the covers, onto one CD and forget about the covers for a couple of years.

CoC: So are they some of your favourite songs?

PW: It's hard, you know, because there were a lot of really good bands back then, and so it was just a piece of them, just a couple of names. When you think about Destruction or Infernal Majesty or Necromancer, it's a lot of bands. So we had to choose, and those were the most known bands in Europe. Kreator, Sodom is the beginning. Slayer is a big influence for us [also], so we had to do a Slayer cover - so we chose an unusual one: Silent Scream. It is a pretty heavy song, but even Slayer didn't play the song very often. I have it [live?] on a bootleg.

CoC: Are you Satanists?

PW: Satanists? That is a hard question because I can't say yes and I can't say no, because Satanism is a kind of rebellion for me [in my view?]. For sure: I am against Christianity from my heart, especially against the Christian church, because I know there is a problem in my country. It's fucking [political?]; they make problems every day in Poland, for everybody, and I am absolutely against the Christian church from my heart: I want to see them destroyed. I am not a Satanist, because Satanism is a worship of Satan, and I am into powers that are more ancient than Satanism - because Satanism follows the same path as Christianity but is just the opposite [belief]. I believe in things like Lovecraft's "The Necronomicon" and things like Sumerian magic and the more ancient gods.

CoC: Like Paganism?

PW: It's like Paganism, because it used to be at the beginning of humanity, of human civilisation, and it is belief in the natural powers. It is my belief. But, to be honest I don't like to talk about it, because people usually don't understand it. It is a personal thing. I'm against [organised/Christian] religion.

CoC: You released a live album last year which was recorded about four years ago?

PW: We recorded the album in 1993; it was our first tour in Europe and Poland. We did this album before _Sothis_, which was supposed to be a mini-album before the upcoming album _De Profundis_. Last year we signed a deal with Arctic Serenades to put this album outside Poland for the rest of the world, but we had problems because we haven't received a copy of it. I saw it in America; it is really well put together.

CoC: Yeah, I've got it.

PW: Yeah, but it's too bad we haven't got it. <laughs> I wish I had just one copy, just to see it.

[I arrange to send Peter a copy of it.]

CoC: Are you thinking of recording any more live albums - maybe one for this tour?

PW: Maybe next tour. The original idea was to record that sort of live album every year, after releasing each album. But it's a problem.

CoC: It's expensive to put out as well.

PW: Maybe not expensive, but there's not always enough time. Maybe this year when we have done a tour in Poland [we'll release one], because it is the best time to release the album; we get more of a chance to release this kind of album. To rent the equipment to do that [is easiest in Poland], so maybe this year, maybe next year, the new live album is gonna be out - like an official bootleg, you know.

CoC: Last question. Are you going to put your first two demos together on CD?

PW: Yeah, next month, under the title _Reborn In Chaos_. It's the original version, maybe a little revamped.

[_Black To The Blind_ is released in November by Impact Records and will hopefully be available in France.]

(article submitted 16/10/1997)

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10/16/1997 P Schwarz Malevolent Creation / Vital Remains / Infernal Majesty / Vader Something Old, Something New, and All Things Death Metal
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