SAMMATH – This term is made by those who think they are elite
Sammath består i utgangspunktet av Jan Kruitwagen… og han liker ikke brettspill eller PC spill. Ei heller liker han terminologien TRUE BLACK METAL. Det han derimot liker er kjapp intens black metal med blastbeats og mye gitar. Han kjenner ikke til nyere norske band, men personlig så tror jeg, ut fra det han sier selv, at både Keep of Kalessin og Pantheon I ville falt i smak hos denne karen. Les selv hva han hadde å si, og se om jeg tar helt feil eller ikke.
Please tell us about the band members and what they do in the band.
Jan Kruitwagen, answering the questions, I am the founding member, write all the lyrics and music and play the guitar. Until this last album I have also record all the bass. Ruud Nillesen plays bass on this album (live also) and Koos Bos is the drummer. Andy from Magnificat performs the guitar solos. He's from the Mexican band Magnificat. Anyone interested in reading more should just read our bio or see metal archives. Most band members have their own band in which they also write music and lyrics, but in Sammath they only perform my music. It wouldn't be Sammath if they write the music, even though some of them do have some influence on the song structures.
Could you please give us a brief outline of the history of the band?
I started Sammath in 94, first demo that year, first CD on Folter Records in 98. Until now I have released 4 full length albums and three demos. First it was primitive black metal, since then I have let some more thrash and death influences into the music. The last CD seems to be a combination of all the older stuff but better written and performed. We started performing live in 2001, as I don't like to play the same tracks over and over again live performances are scarce. A complete bio can be read on the homepage but its pretty much standard, no ritual murders or church burnings.
The name of the band… tell us about it, how/why did you choose this name?
I took this from Tolkien in 93, before the entire black metal world got names from it. Its actually Sammath naur but I left the naur off; to me it has no meaning, just sounds metal.
The creative process of making the music… tell us a bit about how you create new music?
Sammath albums take me about two years to write. Maybe two hours a day of composing, writing riffs, lyrics. I always have the song titles ready before and the main lyric theme or chorus, I always write the rest of the music around this. Usually the breaks and guitar, bass, solos were added later. I think I wrote about three complete demos before reaching the last stage. It's always hard to stop and be satisfied with a track; you also have to watch out that you don't work on tracks to long killing the atmosphere. Once the demo is to me likable, I call the drummer and we start to rehearse the tracks. I record the guitars with a click track and then we enter the studio for the slaughtering drum recordings, I still cant be believe he lived through this, haha.
Where do you draw your influences from, musically and non-musically?
From the first Norwegian black metal bands like Gehenna, Mysticum, Satyricon and a lot of Australian war metal bands. Also many thrash bands from the early, late eighties, Metallica, Coroner, Deathrow, those bands were a big part of me getting into metal. Old Kreator, German thrash and bay area thrash metal. Non music it would be religious idiots, more than enough inspiration. Old war books are also a great way to find subjects for lyrics. Some classical music also is very inspiring, the crazy stuff from the beginning of the 20th century.
What if any is the key element(s) in your lyrics?
War, arrogance and detest for religion. All songs deal with mankind's lust to destroy and arrogance as a way to overestimate ones power. Anyone with a gun can shoot another, no one is god. We are all flesh and bones, and we die in many sorts of ways, but death is always waiting to take you. I describe wars, the way a grenade impacts on a trench filled with soldiers. How fire wipes out entire cities. I just describe war and death in the form of extremely fast and chaotic black metal. Most of the lyrics are just certain words that correspond well to the violent nature of the music.
Could you describe with your own words the latest album "Triumph in Hatred"?
It's a blazing storm of blastbeat, chaotic black metal with 80's solos. Until now many good reviews, only people that don't like the constant high tempo seem to dislike the album. It's just a matter of taste, I like fast black metal. I'm not here to change the style, or have the need to do something original; I'm pretty much a conservative black metal idiot. Some reviewers have described it as a combination of obituary style solos mixed with Angelcorpse, quite a pleasing comparison. The cover is a drawing made by Tony Koehl especially for this album. On LP it looks killer, it's a bit of eighties tribute with the look and feel to this cover.
What is your goal with Sammath? World domination or local superstardom?
Neither, personal ego. I don't like most people, so stardom is certainly not something I desire. I earn good with my job and have never had the intention to become famous or rich, that's pretty fucking stupid too, if you ask me, if you want to get rich don't make black or death metal. I want to make good black metal, the rest is not interesting to me. I just enjoy and need to create this type of music; if I was doing it to become rich I should have thrown in the towel 10 years ago.
Could you please tell us a bit about the metal scene in Holland?
The black metal scene in Holland is pretty big. In the 16 years we have been around we have seen many kids come and go. The bigger their mouth is the worse their music is. There are some damn good bands, Salacious Gods, Fenris, Brandhaard, Infestis (new band of Sammath live guitarist, but promising), Cirith Gorgor, Kjeld, and some more melodic stuff like Carach Angren. It's very hard to keep up with things these days, so many good bands. I think I don't even know half of the bands these days. The scene is ok; a lot of people who think they are more evil then the other are very pathetic. Also a lot of internet hero's who just chop anyone's head off who promotes their band online. I liked the old days better, when you had a problem with someone you would talk to them, now you have to take a lot of shit from idiots sitting at home behind mommy's computer. But the scene in Holland is growing.
Black metal now and then… do you see a difference, a development in Black Metal since the birth of this genre?
There are too many bands, but there are also more good bands, hard to explain really. I seem to long back to the tape trading days. A lot of people I was in contact with simply disappeared. But the scene is bigger than it was then. I think the biggest problem is too many bands, too many labels. Quality and quantity are totally different things. You miss a lot of good albums due to the huge amount of releases. The bands are not that different, till enough people around who understand what black metal is all about. I think many different forms of black metal are starting to weaken the scene though. I still believe good bands will be picked up, but it's hard for bands to get a deal anywhere these days. My biggest irritation is from all the downloading, music has not half as much power as it used to. I don't burn CD's at all, if I like an album I want the original, I guess the younger generation simply doesn't know better, but they aren't as loyal as in the beginning, today its black metal Monday and hip hop on Friday.
"True Black Metal" is a term we meet from time to time… what lies behind this term, in your opinion?
This term is made by those who think they are elite, because their shitty little band is so evil, fuck them. Fuck everyone with their opinions of how black metal should be, but truthfully there are certain artistic barriers which I think many bands simply trample upon. Christian black metal and all those pathetic emo depressive faggots probably made that true black metal is a term people use to describe the way black metal should be, the ten rules of black metal. But it is in my opinion totally useless. Once internet appeared, true black metal was lost. There are so many bedroom black metal bands, if you are part of the scene for a long time, about 20 years, you see what true is, its passion for music, not for imagery or theatrical gayness. Also those new bands that spend more time with how they look then music is to me the biggest disappointment in black metal.
What do you know about the Norwegian metal scene apart from the history of the Black Metal scene here?
I don't really follow the scene as much as I would want to, I only know the black/death metal bands from 91-95. I really have no knowledge of anything else in the Norwegian scene. I do know that in the period 96 – 99 a lot of crap bands were releasing CD's on big labels just because they were from Norway, which must have been terrible for your scene.
Finally… what is your choice of game entertainment? Board games or consoles?
None, I always hated wasting time on games, only as a kid I played board games and some computer games, but never spend much time playing games on the computer; I was busy playing guitar or going to concerts and getting drunk. I have twins of 16 months, my time of board games will come again soon I fear.