1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?
We recorded and mixed “Hegemony” in the spring/summer of 2016 later that year we signed a deal with Napalm Records who released the album last October. We played a couple of show in Switzerland after the release of “Hegemony” and shoot a video at the concert in Lausanne for the song “Rite of Renewal” which will be published next week. We'll start 2018 with the 70'000 Tons of Metal Cruise that will be followed by a few festival in Eastern Europe as well as our participation to the Wacken Open Air.
2.Recently you have released a new album, 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?
We had a progressive evolution with our sound throughout every album that we did and “Hegemony” is no exeption to that but more than experimenting we've consolidated our fondation adding some classics to our repertoir on the way. Basically we found our way with “Ceremony of Opposites” where we included keyboards in our music and “Passage” where we started to work with a drum computer. Since then we've build the band's identity with each new album and I think it would be fair to say “Hegemony” is the album that represent us at best.
3.This is your first full length since 2011, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?
Xy has spend a whole year working on a neo-classical project for the city of Sion wich ended up being released under the name “Sedunum” the fact that he spent so much time writing and recording that music that it delayed the whole process of the new S A M A E L album but somehow the album also beneficiate from that experience and that's probably one of the reason that “Hegemony” is more ochestral that our previous albums.
4.You have covered a number of topics over the years with your lyrics starting out with more of a satanic and occult theme before going into more political, space and discovery themes, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in these topics?
I've always been interested by things that where obscure, by what was hidden from the mainstream and that interest has been the base of my lyrics for the past 3 decades. First it was what was occulted from religion then things got more personal and with the time, I found a way to express my darkest feelings through my lyrics. I don't think we're a political band but it true that being exposed to more and more information about the world, led our latest album to be more connected with the world we're living in.
5.The band has been around for 30 years, what is it that motivates you to keep going after 3 decades?
There's many things that motivate us, one is the challenge to do better music, to come with something interesting that excited us. The desire to share our music with an audience is other that motivate us. We love playing live and this is were we get our biggest kick.
6.Do you feel your early material was a very huge influence on the second and third wave era's of black metal?
We were influenced by Venom and all the darker metal band of that time so if we influenced other band in our turn it is a good thing. We never try to mesure the extent of our influence on the current metal scene, our goal is always to come with something unic and exciting.
7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years?
Every show is an important experience for us, we never take it for granted that the crowd will react in a positive way, every show must be a great one and we do everything for it to be that way. The first time we play in a country is always something special to remember. Our first show in South America in 2010 when we played Rock al Parque in Bogota is something I'll never forget.
8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
We've mainly festivals booked for this year but we're still discussing with our management about a full tour to support the album.
9.How have your long time fans react to the musical style of the newer material?
We started playing new material two years ago, first it was “Rite of Renewal” then “Angel of Wrath” both have been very well received by the fans and by the casual listener. At this point we've played 5 new songs live and all of them received a great response. I guess that mean we've done something right this time.
10.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?
Dorp is currently recording music for his project Obsydians, Mak is also working on new music for a Russian band he's producing and collectively we've started Worship And Ritual (W.A.R.) in witch we only perform material from the 2 first S A M A E L albums. We played two show last year in Switzerland and we'll perform at Wacken this summer.
11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
This is always a mystery for us we never know exaclty what the next album will be like but personally I would love it to be in the following of “Hegemony”.
12.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?
We all listen to a lot of different music styles from classical to electronic to industrial to whatever feels right when we listen to it. I'm personally looking forward to the new Judas Priest album right now.
13.What are some of your non musical interests?
We all have our own interests, as far as I'm concerned, I like reading, having a good glass of red wine with friends, going to see art exhibitions and having a walk in the mountain whenever I have the time for it.
14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
I'd like to take that opportunity to thanks all the people that support our music, not only you make our dream come true but you are the dream.