Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Sarpanitum Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording of the new album?
TH: Really we have been getting on with our own lives outside of the band. We put a lot of time into writing and recording the album which we are happy with so just excited to get it released and out there. We have started some writing towards the next album to follow but we are not rushing ourselves. Both myself and Tom (Innocenti) have moved away from the midlands and Birmingham in recent years and establishing our new lives and careers with Tom (Innocenti) in North Japan and Myself in the South West of England.

2.You have a new album coming out early this year, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
T.H: Well in sarpanitum we like to create heavy music that can blend nicely and create an atmosphere with melodies without going too melodic and loosing the brutality that makes us a Death Metal band. I would say that the material is in a similar vein to 'Fidelium' because it has melody but continues to be brutal with choirs like on 'Fidelium' but I would say frequent. Normally there is a understandable uncertainty with added choirs in Death Metal because if done too much the wrong way it can sound inappropriate and flamboyant which is not what we are after. We really feel it helps bring the "ancient" feel out more of the riffs and in a way acts as a 5th instrument coming in and out of the riffs. Also there is a noticeable increase in guitar leads throughout the album. There has always been occasional guitar leads and sometimes solos in tracks whenever we have recorded a release fans will notice an increase with this and also harmonizing guitar leads

3.The is the first recording to be released in 4 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?
TI: Not long after we recorded the "Fidelium" EP we drafted in some live members and started rehearsing for potential shows. Sure enough we played a few 'come back' shows which went down very well. The new album "Blessed Be My Brothers" was actually recorded in September through to December 2013 so its taken almost a year since finishing that to get it release. The time prior to that as I said was spent developing a live line-up and also writing for "Blessed...".

4.Your lyrics go very in depth with Sumerian and Middle Eastern mythology and you have also covered the Knights Templar on other albums, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?
TI: The lyrics for the first album "Despoilment of Origin" were written by former members so I can't shed much too much light on their creation unfortunately. Myself and Tom H were of course very attracted to the themes of that album and were on-board totally with it. We have always shared a passion for ancient history and the turbulent history of this part of the world is perfect for extreme metal. You are correct there is one song on the EP that vaguely (at best) details the founding of the Knights Templar however the other 3 songs deal with a couple of major events during the First Crusade. "Blessed..." takes this concept and runs with it a little more and goes into some other events from the following Crusades against Islam. Not only were we deeply interested in this period of history but we were also conscious to the fact that the geographical areas from where these accounts take place are essentially the same as those from where the mythology discussed on the first album originated. The cradle of civilization if you will, that no only appears to have been under almost constant turmoil since it's inception as such a place but even today it is still as contested as it ever was 1000 or even 4000 years ago.

5.I know that the band name is based upon Sarpanit who is also Marduk's wife in Babylonian Mythology, how does this name reflect the musical style that you play?
TI: I think as I said previously the themes of the first album which are more directly linked with the band name do share common ground with our recent direction. In terms of reflecting our musical style, the name being that of a mother goddess and a 'creator' of sorts reflects the grander and more majestic aspects of our music.
TH: Just to follow on from what Tom (Innocenti) said initially the name summerised the concepts on the first album being based around ancient mesopotamia and the cradle of civilization where as now “Sarpanitum” represents something that is ancient, decadent and majestic which I feel synchronizes with what we strive to achieve through our music.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
TH: Over the years we have got to play alongside with bands that we love and in the underground metal scene including some high profile bands like:Macabre, Ulcerate, The Monolith Deathcult, Svart Crown, Insision, Psycroptic. I think really any show where the crowd really enjoy the set, any show where we have had a decent sound and enjoy the partying after haha! One that sticks out in my mind vividly would be when we played with Macabre and The Monolith Deathcult in our hometown Birmingham. I have been a huge fan of The Monolith Deathcult since there first record when they were just called "Monolith" when I was 16/17 and around the time of my 18th birthday I went to see Macabre play in either Leipzig or Halle, Germany then only a couple of years after that experience I was standing the other side of the stage with both these bands and that to me was a really awesome feeling to be playing with those bands! Over all a great experience and an excellent show!

7.Do you have any touring or show plans once the new album is released?
TI: With me and Tom on almost opposite sides of the globe it would be difficult to organise any live performances. However, given the right circumstances and the right amount of planning it is something that we haven't ruled out as a possibility for the future.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black and death metal?
TH: From what we have received quite positive but I would not like to speak on behalf of people who have perhaps heard our stuff and not wish to comment towards us. I think because we infuse various styles of extreme metal and add atmosphere it can easily give room to compliments of criticism. Either way we enjoy writing that style and if other people enjoy it even better.

9.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part?
TI: I myself am involved in a couple of solo projects namely Onryō which is a back metal project which features a vast array of influences. The other being another historically themed project I've called Soðlic which will deal with the history of pre-Norman conquest England. Again it is melodic black metal but this time with some minor folk influences.


10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
TI: We have already begun writing ideas down for the next album. I think our aim for the next one is to be even grander and ambitious in scale but perhaps also darker with a touch more brutality.
TH: Yeah we wanted to focus on something brutal yet uplifting on "Blessed" so something that will perhaps have some elements of that but bring in variety.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
TI: Other than the mutual 'classic' bands we both adore such as Immolation and Hate Eternal (I won't bore people with a huge list), more often than not a staggering amount of this album was written with renaissance choral music and also even earlier Christian and Arabic music in mind. It's amazing how effectively style of early music can be produced on a guitar. It might not sound that obvious on the record but when you compare it makes a lot of sense.


12.What are some of your non musical interests?
TI: Personally I'm interested in exploring my surroundings here in Japan on a daily basis and having a good time with friends. Other than that just enjoying listening to and making music. A touch of reading and a very minute (these days) amount of PC gaming.
TH: I enjoy exploring and having day trips with my girlfriend and our dog around the countryside and the seaside in South West England in particular the coast and historical sites. Aside from that I enjoy meals out, reading, cinema, occasionally catching up with friends, watching documentaries and computer and PlayStation gaming. I don’t do as much gaming as I used to but every now and then.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
TI: Thanks for the interview!
TH: Our mainwebsite for the time being is our facebook page which can be found at www.facebook.com/sarpanitum . You can preorder our upcoming album from willowtip records at http://www.willowtip.com/bands/details/sarpanitum.aspxand buy our previous material and eventually our upcoming album and merchandise from http://sarpanitum.bigcartel.com/ although please email to notify us when you have placed an order to sarpanitum_sales@hotmail.co.uk as we have had some communication issues recently with Big Cartel.
If you wish to contact the Sarpanitum for interviews and to the review the album please contact liz@earsplitcompound.com or go to http://www.earsplitcompound.com/site/contact/ . : Thanks tall involved for arranging this interview and for everyone who has taken the time to read the interview and we hope you enjoy our upcoming album “Blessed Be My Brothers” via willowtip records