Make a Change... Kill Yourself
Make a Change…Kill Yourself is not your typical suicidal black metal band, their music being much more elaborated, complex and layered than the usual SDBM band. Incorporating ambient elements, pianos, female voices and acoustic guitar parts, MACKY manages to create an original blend of gloomy, atmospheric black metal. Ynleborgaz (music & instruments)– known mainly form his great band Angantyr – together with Nattetale (lyrics) gives all the necessary details about this project. Read this fine chat, then make a change…
I must say you have chosen a very captivating/noticeably band name, which I think is already a 50% triumph. The name has a really thought-provoking effect. What is the story behind the name?
Ynleborgaz: When I realized what suggestive powers we were dealing with, I wanted to maximize the effect by having an” in your face” moniker that I knew would be noticed. So Nattetale and I threw some names around and very quickly agreed that Make A Change… Kill Yourself was the most fitting name for this project.
You never had (official) demos with Make A Change prior your debut LP, which in most of the cases is weird. Not having a demo recording how did you manage to obtain a record deal?
Ynleborgaz: There never were any demo recordings as I expected it to be a 1 album project at first. I received the suicide letters, and created the music. All the while I was in contact with THR because of Holmgang, and I presented some of the pre-recordings to him, which he really liked.
Are you satisfied with terms “depressive black metal”, or “suicidal black metal” regarding your music? Do you agree with it, deny it, or you don’t care how people tag your music?
Ynleborgaz: I don’t care what people call my music. It’s really up to the listeners and what it awakens in their minds. Personally I tend to get really depressed when composing and listening to it, so I would definitely call it depressive.
Nattetale: I’m satisfied with the term suicidal black metal, because in my opinion it’s the main purpose of m.a.c.k.y. Ynleborgaz read some of my lyrical expressions throughout a period of self destruction. My pain lies in every single word of my lyrics, no more, no less.
The drink Absinthe appears in one of your lyrics. Moreover there’s a line “Some pure alcohol should definitely make the blood run quicker and make the pain bigger. “ Absinthe (and usual alcoholic drinks) influenced a lot of artist’s way; I must ask you if you ever create under its influence and what do you think of writing music under the influence of drugs, or alcohol?
Ynleborgaz: Alcohol enhances the emotions I get when I compose music and makes me concentrate on what I’m doing. It sucks me into a world of imagination and melodies and I come out with great compositions. (and hangovers…)
Nattetale: I do not now with Ynleborgaz, but it opens my mind totally. Drugs create a universe one never thought existed. In some of my great escapes from reality, I have seen things a normal brain wouldn’t even fantasize about. So to answer your question, yes I have created lyrics and music under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
The line “join me” is present in many of the lyrics, for example: “Join me in this wicked state of suicide.”, “Join me brother of blood.”, and “join me in an early death”. It seems like you want to convince others to join your cause. These are just metaphors? Or would you like to infect people with the suicide philosophy? You also stated once, that before the forming of MACKY, you never imagined yourself doing this kind of stuff.
Ynleborgaz: That’s true. I didn’t think I could make this kind of music, but the suicide letters made me discover a whole new world inside my head that made me capable of creating these desolate landscapes of depressive melodies.
Nattetale: I would say that it is hard to convince others just with lyrics, it takes brainwashing to convince people to suicide. And even if some people were to follow my lyrics I hope that it is because they somehow can relate to it. I for one do not want any stupid teenagers using our music as a rebellion towards their Mom and Dad.
Did you ever tried to kill yourself, or have you ever thought about killing yourself? Do you believe in “after-life”?
Ynleborgaz: Even though this world is a boring place I have never tried to get out of it on purpose. I am an adventurer of the mind. I often think about it and even imagine what it would be like, and what the consequences would be… I am not a religious person so I don’t have any firm belief in an afterlife, but I’m hoping to get a great surprise when the time comes to leave this stinky place.
Nattetale: I have no comment on the first question. Read the lyrics. I do not believe in an after-life. Life=Death. That’s it.
Chapter II from your debut lyrically is also a kind of anti-Christian statement, which is not the thing people associate with your band. Do you hate the Christian concept, or do you more hate its negative effects - over the centuries - on society?
Ynleborgaz: Both. All through history the cross has been kind of a free pass for people of the cloth to do whatever they wanted without consequence, and in current time, the state and church are combined in many ways, so you have to get permission from the church to do a lot of things. Christianity’s followers in Denmark are currently decreasing. It’s good that people are starting to break free of the mental chains in which they have been trapped for so long.
Nattetale: I hate the fact that christianity took over our northern heritage. Our forefathers who wouldn’t turn to christianity were slain. In fact one of the first genocides were made by christians, it is one big lie. Just go to a church, the only people you will see are old people that are afraid to die. I would say that I despise christianity.
Do you ever listen to other bands from the so-called “depressive BM” scene?
Ynleborgaz: I didn’t know that such a scene existed. I really enjoy listening to slow melodic black metal songs and many bands that are not categorized as “depressive” or “suicidal” has made such songs.
You used female (spoken) vocals on your first LP. I think that was a brave idea, knowing the fact that most of BM fans react very oppressive to female vocals. Who is Demonica, what was the reason of her appearance on the first LP and why she’s not present on your new album?
Ynleborgaz: I don’t care about other people’s reactions. I think that Demonica’s voice sounds really good on that album and it adds one more dimension to the music. I have known Demonica for some years now, and she has always been a serious singer. Now she is involved with another band and has moved away from Denmark.
Moreover, who is Nattetale, and how come that he just wrote the lyrics, while you composed all the music? Can he be considered as a member of the band?
Ynleborgaz: He certainly can. Without Nattetale there would be no band. It is because of his letters that MACKY was born.
You don’t have a website. Is this an accidental thing, or do you want to avoid this?
Ynleborgaz: It is indeed on purpose. I didn’t want Make A Change... Kill Yourself to be featured anywhere on the internet. I am really growing tired of all the new web communities where people can present their bands. It’s just too superficial.
Besides MACKY, you are involved in a lot of other bands/projects. Do you mind saying a few words for each of the following band of yours!
My hearts blood and imaginations keep
4 warriors come together and create interesting things
The response to the ancient voices calling to us from the past
Not involved. I only did session keyboard on 2 demos and live-drums for 1 show.
Which band of these is closer to your heart, which band/music of yours portray the best your person?
Ynleborgaz: Angantyr is probably most important to me, because in a time of solitude and betrayal it helped me grow strong and independent.
Angantyr’s concept is about your country’s history/ancestry. However, what’s your opinion on band’s who take political attitude in their lyrics, for example bands belonging to the National Socialistic Black Metal scene?
Ynleborgaz: I generally think that politics and art should not be intertwined.
Being involved in so many projects, it must take a lot of time, plus you also perform live with Angantyr and Holmgang. Can you have a normal job besides these projects? What are you doing for a living?
Ynleborgaz: It is true that it takes a lot of time to be a part of all these things, and I try my best make a living off it, but I still have a part time job on the side to cover the normal expenses and get more musical equipment.
What is the meaning of your pseudonym “Ynleborgaz”? What do you think is the reason why most of the people involved in Black Metal uses pseudonyms?
Ynleborgaz: The meaning is very personal to me, and those close to me knows it.
I’ve read that you did write some ambient music to some short horror movies you made. What kind of short movies are these? Are you interested in movie-directing? Which are the movies you prefer?
Ynleborgaz: I was studying at a film school some years ago and made some short films. They were supposed to be horror films, but more or less turned out as special effects experiments. The music was very good though and I will probably use it for something later on. I got my share of movie directing on that school and don’t think that I will explore that path any further. I watch epic fantasy/adventure movies, sci-fi, horror and historical documentaries.
Do you think that with Make A Change… you reached to contribute with new things, elements, ideas to Black Metal? What do you think that differentiate your band from the other bands of the (depressive/suicidal) BM scene?
Ynleborgaz: hmmm… I don’t know about that. I can’t say I have ever heard this particular style with the exact same elements before, but there are probably thousands of bands out there that have escaped my attention. I mentioned earlier that I didn’t know a depressive black metal scene existed, so I wouldn’t know what to differentiate my music from.
What is Black Metal in your view? Music? Lyrics? Attitude? Religion? Way of life? What is the essence of Black Metal?
Ynleborgaz: I believe in individuality, and despise copycats. I think that the foundation of Black metal is rebellion against christianity, and it’s more than 1000 year old grip on the northern countries. Then there are a lot of roads to go from there. It is up to one self to find the most suitable way of existence.
Are you in touch with the Danish BM scene? Are you familiar in general what albums, bands appeared in the last years? Do you have any favorites amongst the recent BM albums, bands (be it Danish or not)?
Ynleborgaz: I have come to know many people in the Danish scene over the years and it seems that most of the old bands from here have either split up or are at a serious standstill. But the ones still active are as strong as ever, and a new generation of metalheads is also showing its ugly face. Some very interesting bands are about to surface so watch out for future bands from Denmark. Among recent releases is the debut mini CD from VARDLOKKUR called “Med Døden Til Følge”. It’s highly appreciative and offers a whole new approach to the music that Denmark hasn’t heard before. Also the revived band of BLODFEST offers some amazing hypnotizing Black Metal on their album “I Kong Skjolds Navn”.
Do you have a good relation with your labels: Total Holocaust and Black Hate Productions? They seem to be an excellent label for your kind of music. Do you have a written contract, or your relation is just a mutual reciprocal assignment?
Ynleborgaz: I think that our relationship is good. They let me more or less do what I want, and when they disagree with something, it always turns out much better after several discussions. We have no written contracts.
How come (besides that you didn’t have a demo), you never appeared on any compilation, tribute, and you didn’t have any split collaborations?
Ynleborgaz: I have always preferred to create concept albums, and never thought a single song could represent the band properly. But before the recording of “Make A Change… Kill Yourself II” I was asked to record a song exclusively for a compilation, and I actually had 1 song that didn’t fit the others. It is also the first MACKY song with Danish lyrics, and the compilation will probably be released in early 2008.
What is your favorite music format? Vinyl, CD, tape? Do you have many releases in your collection? Do you think it’s important to release Make A Change albums also on vinyl?
Ynleborgaz: That depends on where I am and what I’m doing. Tapes in my walkman, CD’s in my car and Vinyl in my home.
What other, non-metal music do you listen to? Who are your all time top bands/albums?
Ynleborgaz: I really enjoy old traditional folk music played by authentic instruments, and I also listen to artists such as Enya, Vangelis and Jean Michel Jarre.
My personal top 5:
King Diamond – Abigail
Ulver – Nattens Madrigal
Kvist – For Kunsten Må Vi Evigt Vike
Morbid Angel – Blessed Are The Sick / Leading The Rats
Bal Sagoth – A Black Moon Broods Over Lemuria
To close this interview, please tell me what is going on right now with MACKY and your other bands. New releases, gigs, any worth mention things?
Ynleborgaz: Well… new albums with Angantyr, Holmgang, and Make A Change… Kill Yourself has been released this year, so that’s one chapter ended. Another is the Angantyr live shows where the last out of 8 shows was recently played on Wolfszeit Festival in Germany. The nearest future is about live shows and recordings with other bands than those 3. But ideas are forming and the future looks interesting.
Thanks for your interest and support.
Hails from Denmark,
by Robert Sun