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......::::SUMMUM SILENTIUM (Switzerland)::::......
Date: 23rd, September 2013
(Answers by Apophis - Vocals)

Just 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! 

1. 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?

Apophis: Hi. 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 ways.

Basically I 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.

2. How would you describe SUMMUM SILENTIUM as a whole? Is there anything that makes the group different compared to most new and upcoming bands?

Apophis: 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 authentic.

3. - 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?

Apophis: 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.

4. Do you have serious opportunities for live shows in Switzerland? What are the most memorable shows that you played?

Apophis: 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 that evening.

5. Can 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?

Apophis: 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.

6. What are some of your interests, occupations and hobbies outside of composing sick music?

Apophis: 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 better.

7. Let´s 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?

Apophis: 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.

8. How would you define black metal? In your opinion, which ones are the best underground bands into this genre currently?

Apophis: Oh 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, Austere etc.

9. What would you consider the hardest part about playing in an Underground band?

Apophis: Of 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.

10 . What are your thoughts about the underground scene and the Swiss scene in particular?

Apophis: I 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.

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