Winter is upon us all and if there is one band that I instantly feel like it portrays its severe beauty through their frostbitten sound, it would be Finnish act Lathspell and their blackened incantations.
How have you been guys?
It’s all good, after several years of hibernation we have now activated again. The new album is nearly finished and we are looking forward to playing a few live shows during the coming spring.
Let me start off by asking you what exactly your band name refers to and does it have any connection with J. R. R.Tolkien’s renowned sequence “Lord of the Rings”?
Lathspell was chosen by our original vocalist and founding member T. Varjalehto. It’s clear that the name was taken from LotR, as so many bands did then. The meaning behind Lathspell suits the band very well, as it means “the bringer of ill news.”
Lathspell is an underground black metal band obviously, but what more can you tell about it? Some background facts/info?
There’s really nothing exciting to tell, we are a bunch of drunks from a small town, doing what we do naturally. Black metal and the philosophy behind it is a part of all our lives, I can personally say that I live for this.
You’ve conquered the black metal underground ever since 1998 according to MA. Who or what inspired you to give birth to music of this type exclusively?
I was 16 when we founded Lathspell, at the time black metal and everything surrounding it was still fresh and mystical, we all listened to BM and DM, basically anything obscure and extreme. By that time a few of us had gained interest in occult and satanist literature, all these things resulted in the creation of Lathspell.
What has changed during the span 1998-2016 black metal wise? Is this genre getting stronger yet more versatile or its purpose is getting washed away?
The basic idea of black metal being the Devil’s music is getting more and more obscured by the masses of hipster scum bands that take the musical approach and inject politically correct lyrical content into it, steering away from the classic aesthetics. These fucks are destroying everything we have strived to keep alive. There are still good bands around but finding them amidst all the shit gets harder all the time.
For the extensive period of time you’ve been crafting your sound as we know it nowadays, what were the biggest challenges you’ve ever faced? Additionally, what are some of the most unique moments that you recall instantly concerning Lathspell?
I think most challenging have been the lineup changes, the original vocalist was kicked out of the band twice before quitting completely. Also our first drummer quit because he wasn’t interested in metal music anymore, a complete turncoat. These are the biggest reasons why we got our shit properly together as late as 2008, when we dropped T. Varjalehto out and took on a second guitarist, Kostamo. The current lineup has held up since then, and I couldn’t go on if any one would leave the band.
Let’s talk about Lathspell’s lyrical focus. Satanism is the core of what you create and it’s been so ever since your first demo “Deviltry.” Looking back, how much have you changed and/or evolved your style of writing lyrics?
I quess there hasn’t been any evolvement per se, on our early releases Varjalehto wrote all the lyrics and most of the time we didn’t even know what the lyrical themes were about as he didn’t let us read the texts. Since “Reborn in Retaliation” I have written the lyrics, it’s pretty simple stuff with heavily satanic message. Apocalyptic visions and glorification of the Devil’s reign.
I’ve seen/heard other bands stating that black metal is meant to be the music of the Devil and that fact should not be overlooked in terms of lyrics. Do you agree with that?
Black metal can’t exist without Satanism. All these bullshit bands like Liturgy and whatnot singing about their shoelaces may go and fuck themselves. Satanism is an integral part of black metal and it should apparent in the lyrical context.
In the sense of the previous question, how do you look on bands who claim to be playing black metal but worship nature and sing about epic themes?
Well, if you don’t go totally on hippie side and treehugging, I can accept nature as a part of the themes related to black metal. To a great extent the nature surrounding us is a source of strength and it feeds the black flame that burns within us.
Your latest album “Impious Incantations” made me a huge impression and I still play it every once in a while. Solid work, indeed, though it seems like it is a very underrated album. What are your impressions about fans’ reaction about it? Do you think the album got embraced by the public, so to speak?
Impious Incantations was not promoted to a great length, therefore it propably didn’t rise to the knowledge of the greater audiences. But that’s the way things have always been for us, and to be honest I don’t care. We are an underground band, doing music for underground people. All of the feedback we have received is positive.
According to your Facebook page, you’ve completed the final recording session on your upcoming record. Should we expect some drastic changes in both musical and lyrical manner?
It’s definitely recognizable Lathspell, four epic hymns for the glory of the Horned King! “Torn Cold Void” will see a progress soundwise, we have received help in the mixing process and it definitely blasts more violently than the older albums. I’m very excited to hear the end result, we are in the finishing lines now. A couple of the new songs will be included in our upcoming live sets.
Have you set a release date and can you tell from now if you will continue to work with Misanthropic Art Productions?
If everything goes as planned, the new album will be released at the time of Steelfest Open Air in May, where we will also perform our first festival gig. Misanthropic Art Productions is now defunct, so it is most likely that I will release the album on my own label, Patologian Laboratorio Productions.
Now let’s step outside the music borders and talk about life. How do you feel things are going in a global scale? Where is humanity going – towards ascension or descent?
Europe is doomed to fall under the weight of the immigrants. The whole western civilization is under threat from the muslim extremists, and for all I can see most of the european countries just let these bastards walk all over us. Governments preach tolerance and finally get trampled. Religion will be the death of peace.
What’s your take on the means of life? Is it worth to live just for making fortune or there is a higher purpose?
If life was about making money I would be a huge failure. I don’t see making a fortune as something that would make me happy, I mean of course it’s nice to have enough money to survive but it’s not everything there is to life. I have dedicated my whole adult life for creating music, without it life would not be worth living. I don’t have friends besides my band mates and other bands’ guys, I’m not interested in entering the mouse wheel of starting a family and working all day to provide them. I make a minimum wage, I run my own small label on the side and I have time to create my music.
How do you want to be remembered eventually? Is music your ultimate legacy?
I honestly haven’t given any thought on that, I don’t focus on those kind of things. More important is to focus on the matters at hand. The past in memories and tomorrow a mystery.
Thank you for your time to answer my questions. I am looking forward to hearing new music from you! You are now welcome to end this session just like you want.
Thanks for the refreshing interview! Hails to all those who support real underground black metal!
Follow Lathspell on Facebook HERE.