23rd, September 2013
as they say, it`s quite difficult to categorize SUMMUM
SILENTIUM´s music to any subgenre of black metal. Because there
are melodic black metal parts, followed by black n’ roll
parts and post black metal parts. So I invite you to check
their music and judge yourselves. Emjoy!
Greetings here. Let´s start with short intro story. Where
did you dig out the name? How would you characterize the
development of your band during this 7 years?
First of all thanks for choosing us as an interview partner.
Our band name is, next to my person, the only thing that
remained from the beginning. “Summum Silentium” is Latin
and means “dead silence”. I just thought that this name
might fit quite well. I like the paradox to call a band
“silence” and play black metal. But the actual reason I
chose that name was to illustrate the silence of despair, of
a desperate life, but also the silence after a destructive
catastrophe. So the silence is meant here in very different
would say that we changed really a lot in those 7 years.
Next to the fact that all members changed except to me, also
the music has changed. We were starting as a symphonic black
metal band playing with a keyboard. So I think you should
separate the band in a first period from 2006 to 2010 and a
second period from 2010 until now. In the second period Waltýr,
Mischa and Jakoból joined the band. But the early years are
not totally lost. We’re still playing some songs that were
written in the old times. That’s the reason why we
didn’t change our name. But I think as a listener you
might hear which songs are new and which are old ones.
Because you can hear that me as the songwriter I grew older
and you also recognize that with Jakoból we were able to
improve our drum parts. There are also some tracks from the
early days that I’d like to change a bit and play again.
We will see how it develops because right now we’re
already writing new songs again.
would you describe SUMMUM SILENTIUM as a whole? Is there
anything that makes the group different compared to most new
and upcoming bands?
It’s difficult to say in which way we are unique. I’d
say that it’s the mixture between really raw parts and
very melodious parts that makes our sound special. Because
of that it’s quite difficult to categorize our music to
any subgenre of black metal. There are melodic black metal
parts, followed by black n’ roll parts and post black
metal parts. But we all know that it’s difficult to have
something unique as a black metal band in these days.
Neither the corpse paint nor any lyrics or riffs are enough
nowadays to become unmistakable. But it’s not our highest
aim to be unique. We do what we like, we act as we like it
and if that’s not enough then it’s bad luck. It’s a
pity that many bands just want to be special. So they’re
looking convulsively for something that has never existed
before. You should just do what you want and what you feel
comfortable with. That’s the only way you can be
Speaking of your debut album “Klartraum”, could you tell
us some aspects about the recording process and what is the
reason you took too much time to record something since your
creation in 2006?
The reason why we’ve never brought out an album for such a
long time is that our songs and our line up were just
changing all the time. We’ve never found a common
denominator in this point. In 2009 our keyboarder left and
everything was messed up again. I wrote new songs and tried
to rescue some old tracks which I still wanted to play even
without keyboard. In 2010 we’ve done some demo records
(which you can still find on youtube). It was only
battlegrim (our old drummer) and me playing on those
records. Even though the quality was horrible we liked it
and we didn’t even think about having them mixed better.
The idea of investing more money and doing a lot more
professional records came when Jakoból joined the band. It
was also the time when Summum Silentium finally got a fix
line up and changes were unlikely. So in 2011 we first did
some concerts and in winter we started doing records with
“Osi”, a friend of us who is doing records as a hobby
but really professional. The edited files we sent to Ralph
Beier for mastering. This was a great investment.
Unfortunately during 2012 the Swiss army forced us to have a
break again. So we continued in February 2013. And now
we’re finally done after so many years. You can imagine
what satisfaction it is.
you have serious opportunities for live shows in
Switzerland? What are the most memorable shows that you
Honestly there aren’t so many black metal concerts in
Switzerland. But it’s not that bad for us. Because neither
there are so many black metal bands. There are a
handful of “new” black metal bands so that we can
“share” the part of the supporting act between us. Every
concert was a great experience. But I think our biggest show
and also the best memory was the concert with Blutmond,
Valborg and most of all Farsot. Our gig went really well and
of course it was a great honour to meet the guys from
Farsot. We’ve even met Georg Börner from Coldworld on
you explain the method of songwriting employed by SUMMUM
SILENTIUM? Is the writing process generally collective or
does one member often craft the song on his own?
From 2006 to 2011 it was only me writing songs. When jakoból
joined in 2011 he first just learned the old songs and
played them. Soon it was obvious that he was not only a
genius drummer, but also in general a great musician. It was
really helpful for me to have his support on song writing.
From that moment it was him and me doing the song writing
together. So now I still write the lyrics and do riffs and
melodies. Those I show to Jakoból and he adds the drums and
also tells me whether he likes it or not. I think you can
hear that on the songs that I created together with Jakoból,
the technical level is higher than on the older ones and
generally the songs are a bit more complex.
are some of your interests, occupations and hobbies outside
of composing sick music?
Next to our band we’re also good friends in normal life.
Jakoból and me we live very close to each other. Often
we’re on concerts or in bars drinking together. Right now
he’s doing a school for getting his matura so he can study
at university afterwards. Me I’m already studying
psychology at university. Waltýr is a computer scientist
and Mischa is working as a gardener. Unfortunately Mischa
and Waltýr are not living very close to us so that we
aren’t able to meet all the time. But I think it’s very
helpful if band members are also friends outside of the
band. The mood before concerts and during rehearsals is much
talk about your presence in black metal scene, do you have a
strong promotion around other countries, how has been the
feedback to your álbum so far?
Acutally we haven’t got any bad feedbacks to our album so
far. That’s good I think. People like the mixture between
hard and soft parts. We also heard compliments about the
voice of our new singer Mischa. We were surprised about how
far our album was spread around the world as we heard from
guys from Nepal or Chile. We’d never thought that our
music could ever be listened from people from so far away.
But it feels great if people like what we’re doing. As I
said in Switzerland there aren’t so many new black metal
bands. It’s not that popular in Switzerland. People prefer
death or thrash metal to black metal. Right now we’re
still trying to get more gigs so that we can maybe establish
once as a well-known band in Switzerland.
would you define black metal? In your opinion, which ones
are the best underground bands into this genre currently?
that’s a very difficult question. There are so many
subgenres of black metal and every of these genres has its
own view on what’s black metal for them. For me it’s a
possibility to express feelings about darkness, despair or
hate. I prefer lyrics about desperate situations. Like for
example “das Licht” or “Zwielicht eines Traumes”.
For me it’s something you have to feel. I don’t think
that you can learn to listen to black metal. These dark
thoughts and feelings have to be already inside you to
understand what black metal means. It’s not just blast
beats and screams. It’s like a way of life. Doubting
everything and asking about essential questions like life
and death is one important point which black metal contains
for me. But I also appreciate and love that dark, mysterious
atmosphere you enter after a while listening to black metal.
It’s music for people who like to douse into that sinister
state. Right now I really like these new shoegaze/post black
metal bands like Alcest, Lantlos, Woods of Desolation,
would you consider the hardest part about playing in an
course sometimes we think about how it would feel to play in
front of a big crowd. But on the other hand the atmosphere
at small concerts is very special too. I think it fits even
better, because concerts are also in rather small clubs or
bars, so we’re very close to the audience. Personally I
really like that. Another side effect is that as an
underground band there are hardly any people who don’t
know what black metal is about. The hardest thing is
definitely that especially black metal fans hardly accept
any new bands. It’s very difficult to persuade people from
new bands. The same people also do always complain if
anything is produced better than absolutely miserable.
You’ve certainly realized that our album was produced much
better than many old black metal albums. We’ve already
heard some complains about the quality of our drums, which
was produced “too modern”. It’s a small edge between
being an underground band and a “commercial” band.
What are your thoughts about the underground scene and the
Swiss scene in particular?
think the Swiss black metal scene is a very demanding crowd
on concerts. I’ve already heard from Bands
that played here that it was so difficult to please Swiss
audience. Often the audience doesn’t show any emotions
during concerts and everybody’s just standing there
motionless. That must be pretty hard for bands playing the
first time in Switzerland. Because actually they really do
like it, but it’s like Swiss people don’t dare to show
what they feel on concerts. Of course in my opinion there
shouldn’t be mosh pits or crowd surfing on a black metal
concert. But some headbanging or horns in the air would make
the bands on stage feel much better. Apart from that
Switzerland is a very nice country for underground bands. On
every concert of a well-known band there are one or more
supporting acts from Switzerland. They really care for new
bands and underground bands.