The Ruins Of Beverast

Interview taken from the Cross Of Black Steel magazine Issue # 2, done by Mirgilus in August 2005.

Let's begin by you enlightening us with a bit of a history, and please take us up to date with your current happenings. You're also a part of Nagelfar, could you tell us a bit about this band also? What’s happened with your previous bands like Graupel and Heemat?

At the moment, I am composing new material for The Ruins Of Beverast, besides from studying and working. The Ruins Of Beverast is the essential effort for me. There is nothing besides it. Nagelfar have split up in April 2002 at the climax of a serious break between our guitarist and the rest of the band, so there is nothing more to tell about them. Heemat was no band of mine, I just helped them out on the drums on their demo tape. Two friends of mine are responsible for Heemat and write the songs. As far as I know, they want to start something again in the near future, but I am really not sure. I have never been a Graupel-member. I know that it is spread through the internet, but it’s not true. The ex-Nagelfar-vocalist Zingultus is a part of them and I still share a close friendship to him and the rest of the band, but I have never been a part of them. Anyway, their debut album “Auf alten Wegen” (“On Ancient Ways”) is out now and I guess you should check it out...

How would you describe the music of “The Ruins Of Beverast” to those yet to hear it?

The Ruins Of Beverast is kind of a factory of apocalyptic soundscapes and sceneries. As I compose the lyrics before the music usually, one can regard the songs as a sort of movie to run before the mind’s eye, you can say. All of the music is very gloomy, oppressive and inconvenient.

The concept of “The Ruins Of Beverast” is described as Anti-human, opposite BM. A perception which seems to grow more and more common as the days go by. Tell us in your own experience the biggest faults of humankind. Our greatest errors and shortcomings. And lastly, how this philosophy fits in with you yourself being a human?

Well, up to now I have not really composed an index of humanity’s biggest faults... It’s just so obvious, I mean – I live in the city and just need to go outside to become aware of the fact that noone should handle me a weapon. Just now while I am writing this there is a fashion parade going on outside my window accompanied by these shitty Techno-beats which beat me out of my chair, so what more do I need than to take a look upon these maggots enjoying this infantile and ridiculous spectacle? Turn on the TV and the horror will continue. The German TV presents propaganda for dullness. The duller you are, the cooler you seem. And what do you think – the people believe it. The personal horizon which a human being is willing to allow itself diminishes daily. It is trendy not to be interested in anything but fashion, celebrities and sensation mongering. In Germany, nearly ¾ of the pupils are not even able to handle their own mother tongue anymore, they cannot write, they cannot speak properly. And they are not even guilty for that, because all their environment convinces them of the fact that this is not important anymore. Germany has thankfully adapted that from this terrible American trend mania, but the tendency to make life easier without having any awareness of the consequences is a global trend as I believe. This is no philosophy, this is daily personal experience. The term “philosophy” is used completely inflationary meanwhile, it is not necessary to formulate my perception of humanity as a faceless and manipulable flock of sheep demanding a leader to structure their poor mind. However, I am one of them, and unfortunately I am aware of that, which is a real horror in everyday life. I wish I would counteract this more often and more consequently.

Why did you choose this strange name “The Ruins Of Beverast” could you explain the history behind this name?

Most of the names of today’s BM-bands are boring and usual, I do not like expressions without own feeling. Nevertheless, I do not think “The Ruins Of Beverast” to be that strange, because it is an “event” that is well known in ancient Germanic belief. Beverast is the bridge between Asgard/Gods and Midgard/Humans, “Bifröst” in ancient Northern language. There are several processes that initiate the Ragnarök, that means the end of the world as our fathers knew it. One of this processes is the bridge of Bifröst crumbling down, thus “The Ruins Of Beverast” is kind of a synonym for the apocalypse that is not Christian, not modern, not earthly anymore. And it is the sight of something impressively giant destroying itself and all around it. That’s what the concept of The Ruins is all about.

The music of “The Ruins Of Beverast” is very dark sounding, with lots of folk elements, and dark ambiental touches. There are indeed some great bands today who capture the raw, cold feeling of how black metal was perhaps intended. What are your thoughts on the many off-shoots of this genre? Like additions of clean male and female vocals, keyboard enriched sounds, etc..?

Well, acutally I do not recognise a lot of folk elements within The Ruins Of Beverast, and to be honest, I don’t like folk elements that much... “Summer Decapitation Ritual” has a medievally inspired middle passage, that is because the lyrics demand it at this point. Well, however – I cannot estimate these offshoots globally, because some bands can really handle them well and musically appropriate. If you take a look at the godly UNHOLY, you’ll find that the female vocals they added fit perfectly to the lunatic atmosphere of their music, the early SATYRICON and EMPEROR – among several others - were masters when it came to the usage of atmospheric keyboards, and I use keyboards and clean male vocals for myself as well, so... if it serves to the atmospheric evaluation of a musical concept, so be it. On the other hand side, we certainly need not lose any words about this Gothic- or Neo-“Black”-Metal-kitsch, which is celebrated by these particular bands that once claimed to be Terror-Satanists, or by bands that got to know their own music style just a year ago – no need to mention names here, most of us all know who they are. I am not interested that much.

Tell us a bit about the topics and themes involved in your lyrics. Is there a point you try to convey to the listener? A feeling?

Well, the lyrics for The Ruins Of Beverast are the matrix upon which the musical expression is built. Most of the lyrics are created before the music, to properly transfer their guidelines into a musical shape. Some of them serve as a kind of outlet of personal inner proceedings, some others create sceneries of anti-human horror. The most significant task of the lyrics is to paint a surreal and bizarre picture of an unearthly landscape or scenery which serves as a transmitter of the individual atmosphere of each song, a transmitter of discomfort, gloom and contempt for modern reality.

Please comment the following: “Then all danced, my heroine/ unaesthetically/ to the war opera/ I was proud to start a killing spree/ with you”…

Just a small correction... it is “They all danced...”. The song describes a campaign of vengeance which is started by the narrator in admiring, but yet moanful address to Mother Earth, who lies dying after the so-called apocalypse has raged. Heroine is – in contradiction to some people who wrongly interpreted it as a drug – the female form of “hero”, and a form of personification for Mother Earth, who is encouraged to take revenge against her ignorant and merciless tormentors – that is “they” – who so miserably and dumb evoked the end of it all, enjoying dumbness close to nihilism, dancing “unaesthetically” to their own decay, without noticing it, without being able to estimate it.

Who is the man on the backside of the booklet?

Andreas Lacher, the owner of Kettenhund Records, who were responsible for the release of the first two Nagelfar-albums. He was stabbed to death in December 2001. As he was very much more of a friend than of a “business partner”, I dedicated this album to him, because it was the first work I released after his death.

It's been said, that Black Metal not expressing an ideology has no purpose, and is not BM. What are your thoughts? What is your ideology?

I disagree. Ideology is the saviour of the weak; for punks, Nazi-kids and religious lunatics, and I guess this expression is frequently used without a deeper thought. Ideology is an idol for those who do not want to stand out of the mass, accepting a bunch of dogmas as their total guidance without spending a deeper thought on it. Childish. It is important for me to set up personal goals to strive for or developing structures of an attitude that guides my own way, still these standards are set up by me alone and have nothing to do with an empty shell of an ideological expression. And I guess it’s just that what was meant back in those days; it was most probably expressed too superficially though, I guess...

What are some of the things that inspire you in this life? Could you tell us what you do in your spare time when not working on “The Ruins Of Beverast”?

Not much, I’m studying. As studies have become ridiculously expensive in Germany, I have a job besides them. Both in combination rob most of my spare time at the moment. The remaining time is reserved for all my musical/creative matters.

Name some of the greatest books you've read in your life.

I do not read much besides specialized literature for my studies, I do not find any time to continuously read a book. The ones I read before I started studying are not worth mentioning. They were nothing that is settled in my mind.

What one person of the past do you hold alot of respect for? And why?

I cannot hold deep respect for persons that I do/did not know personally. I respect my closest friends, that’s all.

Could you tell us abit about your involvement with “Van Records”? What are its goals?

The Ván is an underground label, no more, no less. Concerning our own releases, we concentrate on bands that are personally known to us as reliable and – above all – dedicated and self-willed characters. Besides, we have to find a way to their musical expression, of course. It is important for us not to be estimated as a BlackMetal-shop for the masses. Most of the items are total underground, yet not underground-“crap”, but mostly selected quality. However, the extent of the shop will most probably decrease in the future, we are planning to concentrate more on the label work.

What do you think about the limited CD/LP/Tape releases in general? It's an admirable stance, to only share your work with very few who you trust. But as humans, I think all of us wish a certain degree of appreciation from our fellow man. And certainly that can be a negative thing in music, but without this desire to share, we would also be void of much art and music of the past. But where does one draw a line is more of the key point. Can a musician remain true to himself, and still sell a million copies of his work?

Well, I guess this is a question of authenticity and personal consequence. In my opinion, the accusation of being “commercial” or “untrue” to one’s roots is not based on (un-)limited editions, sale figures or coloured cover paintings, but on the vehemence with which one tries to reach for goals that are not appropriate to one’s own abilities. As long as a musician is able to properly estimate his abilities of performing or composing, he will consequently manage to set up individual goals. I have a strict idea of the extent to which The Ruins Of Beverast will spread their name and creations. There was a line to be drawn and that’s what I did and what will be valid for eternity. I extensively know the people that are able to find a gateway to T.R.O.B., and these are the people with whom I share my thoughts and whose opinion is fairly interesting to me. And besides – that is the important thing – they are the ones I try to “reach” to a certain degree. All that lies beyond is insignficant. It is not absolutely possible to encircle this amount of people exactly, but to a large extent it is.

It would also be interesting to know what you find are the good and bad points about your country?

Germany is a piece of earth which is full of scum, just like all other countries in the world are – hypocrisy, ignorance, glorification of stinking dullness, and affectionately accomplished double moral standards. Still, I have to arrange my everyday life here, and if you ask me about the disadvantages – Germany likes to boast with discipline, which is nothing more than conservatism and inflexibility. The Netherlands and all Scandinavian countries – for example – seem a lot more disciplined to me, and that is probably because they are not that eager presenting it. The most striking problem however – Germany has a giant remorse problem because of its younger history. You cannot speak the truth here if it is not politically correct. Criminal foreigners are being treated rather obliging, and you are frequently rated a “Nazi” when pointing out that this country has an alarming problem with criminal, maladjusted Turks and North Africans, which is nothing more than the truth. Yet, not to be discredited by the observant publicity, this problem is being completely ignored. The good points? We have some considerable natural phenomena and the best beer in the world.

What are your thoughts on religion, such as Christianity and its impact on the cultures of the world?

Well, what do you expect? I do not believe in a merciful invisible creature that benevolently leads us into delight. Consequently, I do not believe that this creature has a son that is immune against total death. I do not believe in a horned antagonist that is at war with both of them and selects the worthy out of the faceless mass to rearrange the forces of the world according to destructiveness and chaos. Throughout the past times, many of the pagan (if you interpret it as “pre-christian”) relicts have been adapted by the new belief, and are now interpreted as Christian symbols, ignoring their ancient origin. That is really not a new realisation. The few interested people know it, the mob does not. However, for me this has nothing to do with Christian belief anymore, but with universal modern ignorance and indifference. Christian religion is hardly existing meanwhile. There is nothing left any spiritual force and idea that guided a human way a millennium ago. It has become a commercialised, profane shield for the badly conscienced, and most of them leave me alone, so I am not interested. The original “biblical” form of Christian religion has not really a great significance in Germany anymore. Few are left that preach the Bible’s words, most people use religion to hide behind it or to justify their deficiencies, and most of them are not really kowledgeable about their “belief”, except from few desperate ones that try to act against oblivion. Most of the people here are momentarily occupied with condemning the insane happenings that arrive from the Middle East, because they see it on TV. TV tells the truth, you know. Actually, I am very interested in the times when (Christian) religion was spiritual and serious. I do not believe a single word of the Bible’s theses, yet it is an incredibly illuminating certification of the human psychological quality and the moral concept of historical aeon. And besides, the ancient world’s sceneries are perfect settings for atmosopheric art.

In your view, what lies in the future of the human race? Will things grow worse before better?

Of course they will, but noone is interested. The more and more egoistic attitude, personal overestimation, ignorance and superficiality lead to more and more dullness, primitivity and cause more and more mistakes and failures. The modern human being is characterised by the missing will to pass any knowledge to further generations (because it has none), by the obsessive absorption of medial crap and untruths, by the pleasureable disrespect for natural beings and laws, and by arranging the own little vision of the world into the simplest and most primitive categories. As this seems to grow worse day by day, where shall it lead us, I ask you? At least, most of them do not even recognise it. That is certain, because these phenomena lie out of their narrow vision. Possibly I am an urged pessimist, and most probably I am to be accused of just the same.

Do you believe there is anything that awaits you after death?

Yes, I believe in a great perpetual sleep. No more, no less.

What are your thoughts on the motto “Might is Right?” Do you believe in the survival of the fittest philosophy? These “natural selection” ways have been stifled by society, where the weak are often praised and glorified. Your thoughts?

What is weak and what is strong? I know such a lot of people who are physically strong but totally lack of any brain, and the other way round. This seems too global to me, and the “glorification of the weak” by society is once again nothing more than satisfaction of the own conscience or searching for recognition and personal advantages. And yes, I guess it is definitely comparable to the ideal of the poor Jesus Christ. Yet, in fewest cases human helpfulness or feelings of pity have altruistic background, often just the opposite is true, in my opinion. This has nothing to do with opponing to Darwin’s theory. But to return to the point, according to everyday experiences I do not entirely believe that natural balance is secured arbitrarily. The beings themselves are responsible for their personal situation, their physical and mental health and the progression of their knowledge and abilities. If one is either unwilling or uninterested or unable to gain control over these things, he will sooner or later be sorted out by the machinery of death, to secure the natural balance. No more, no less. And truly, this is one of the very few machineries in this world that still function the way they ought to.

Is there a part of history which draws you to it most? If so, why?

So many and none. My interest in history grows with the ability to revive ancient pictures before the mind’s eye, to make them real, and to imagine a certain scenery precisely before the mind’s eye, to walk on historically meaningful ground. That is a way of history that fascinates me in contrast to theoretic matters, and in this regard I do not distinguish between any epochs. My studying interest leans more towards the Middle Ages, particularly the Roman Empire Of The German Nation, yet I must admit that literal history does not approximately compare to the aforementioned way of experiencing the past.

How do you view paganism? Do you hold any beliefs that could be classified as “superstition”?

No. Actually, I am not really sure what superstition you speak about. Paganism has nowadays some definition problems. In times of the Romans the pagans were the “rural population”, particularly the uneducated peasant families that had no possibility or did not want to get in touch with the new religion. In Middle Europe, however, Paganism is nowadays interpreted as the religious belief of the ancient Germanic population. If you speak of the latter... I regard the ancient Middle and Northern European history as remarkably fascinating, and that is of course to a certain extent due to the fact that it reveals an era of my homeland that is intensively tried to be erradicated and denied, yet is much more significant and influential than its Christian successor, regrettably not accepted though. Furthermore, I regard the ancient Germanic myths as such a lot more fascinating, imaginative and impressive than all other religious appearances I am aware of, and they are a sea that is worth diving in.

What do you hate most in this world?

I hate a lot of things in this world, and I really cannot sequence them or put them in an order. And it is not important for me what I hate most.

What do you envision the last words on your lips to be, as you lay dying?

I am a realist. I truly cannot imagine that I will be medicinically able to say anything just before my death. I will be occupied with my throes of death and try to breathe as long as it’s possible. To invent some last words sounds a bit pathetic to me... still, I am not Goethe.

It is said, that everything worth living for is also worth dying for. Do you believe this?

Honestly, I have never been thinking about this up to now. Possibly it’s true; I know very few things worth living for, but to be honest – I could die for them all – druggy or drunk.

Give us a last glimpse into the future of “The Ruins Of Beverast” and what lies ahead? Long term plans?

No long term plans, because everything concerning The Ruins Of Beverast depends on my mood, motivation and available spare time. Some split releases are planned, and I am working on a new album which will probably be released still this year. Nothing is sure yet.

Lastly, your words of wisdom, and comments to your comrades and enemies world-wide?

No, I have to repeat myself... these are words that are all spoken through The Ruins Of Beverast, not through the internet or media. However, I thank you for your obviously deep interest in my blurred thought patterns, although this can become really exhausting...


by Mirgilus