'We Represent Satanic Energies,
Our Music and
Death and the Devil.'
you are a black metal fan I would suggest you pick up a copy of
Drakonian Paradigm right about now. It's a refreshing,
insightful, ambiciously crafted take on a genre that has been
inundated by bands of complacent sounds. Though not fully
groundbreaking, Drakonian Paradigm possesses a take that sets itself apart by
charting new – lyrically speaking - blasphemic territory and
marrying it to a musical style that's well...more musical than a
thousand symphonic black metal bands combined. The interview was
answered by vocalist / guitarist Vetis Monarch. Read on and
spread the word..
- I would like to talk about the start of Weapon. The demo and
the first 7 inch were recorded in Bangladesh. Please speak about
the start of the band. Besides the recording was there much
activity in the band in Bangladesh?
The band was
started in Calgary, Canada in early 2003. In the summer of 2004
I was traveling, and one thing led to another until I found
myself back in Bengal… in fact, for much longer than I had
planned to visit. There weren’t many typical band activities
back then, primarily because all involved were aware that their
tenure in Weapon would be temporary.
- Is there a metal scene in Bangladesh?
always been a vibrant metal scene in those parts, but when we
were growing up, hardly any of the active bands had any real
ambition to pursue a metal ‘career’.
- There seems to have been issues with the line up. As the liner
notes list it, the band was a quartet during the recording, but
I believe that’s not the case anymore. Are you actively seeking
new members? What was the issue with the line up?
Weapon is meant
to be a 4 piece. A couple of the guys who played on ‘Drakonian
Paradigm’ are not in the band anymore, but we have already
replaced them. The lead
guitarist left because he lives in another city, and the commute
was getting to be too much for him. We were disappointed to see
him leave, but now we have another killer axeman in the band.
The bass player wasn’t working out for a number of reasons that
I won’t get into, but it had much to do with the fact that he
could barely play his instrument.
- If your music is a Weapon, what do you aim to destroy? What’s
Satanic (anti-cosmic) energies. Our music / lyrics celebrate the
mysteries of death and the Devil.
- Before we move on to the record, I would like to get your
opinion about certain aspects of the black metal movement. The
messaging in Weapon’s music struck me as sophisticated.
Especially in comparison to that of other band’s lyrics that
limit themselves to blasphemy. Do you believe that this works to
I would be
lying if I said that we don’t strive to be above the mundane.
The last thing we want is to be even remotely associated with
bands that (A) plagiarize other bands’ music / lyrics (B)
discuss the merits of goats, grenades, beer etc.
- Do you believe some of your lyrics may go over people’s head?
works to our advantage. People who are seeking Death / Black
metal with a genuinely sinister message will understand what we
are about, and therefore, find the entire Weapon experience
incredibly rewarding. We couldn’t care less if our concept /
lyrics go over anyone’s head… that’s their problem, not ours.
- How important do you consider the message to be in black
For us the
music and the lyrics are both equally important; it should be
thus for all bands within the realm of Black and Death metal.
But at the end of the day people will adhere to the music, we
know this. Very few people will read and remember our lyrics,
and no one will give a fuck about what I declaimed in
- What’s first message or music? Do you believe the audience
I think the
audience ‘gets it’ to an extent. It depends on who the audience
is. We like having a certain level of mystique and we granting
some room for interpretation. Giving it all away will in fact
ruin it for the audience.
- Like with any other genre the black metal scene is plagued
with sound-alike bands. How do you believe the music of Weapon
stands out from the rest?
We strive to
make Weapon better and stronger than every single one of our
influences put together. The idea is to make the best music we
possibly can, otherwise, why even bother?
- Is it only Weapon’s music that stands out or is there
something else about the band that differentiates you?
I think we
stand out lyrically and conceptually as well; the way we connect
different Left Hand tradiions is genuine and hardly common. As
Mystifier once said – “evil BY evil.”
- How did you get to the attention of The Ajna Offensive? This
label has quite the impeccable roster so far. And let’s not even
talk about the flawless presentation of their release. What is
your opinion of their work so far?
I was in touch
with them even before things started going sideways with Full
Moon Productions. The Ajna boss had obtained some Weapon EPs and
was taken by our lyrics and music. It was as simple as me
approaching the label about working together. So far it has been
great working with AJNA – one of the few labels who put quality
before quantity and are very picky with the bands they sign to
ensure said quality.
- Drakonian Paradigm really struck me. Raw sound. Yet the
music is not your average run of the mill, one track minded
record. There is a lot of musicality to the songs, no just one
tempo and blast beats. Some of the songs are broken into
separate passages. What ideas are brought in first? Is it all
born out of a riff?
It can start
with a bunch of riffs or one single riff. Some songs come
together in a matter of hours whereas others can take months to
finalize. We don’t spend too much time on ‘analyzing’ riffs – if
we like it, it stays, if not we move on. The lyrics are almost
always the last part, because I can spend excruciatingly long
periods perfecting the feel of the ‘verse’. Inspiration can be
found within a paragraph of a book, an old painting, or just
mere observation of the unfolding banalities of life.
- Musically, can we speak about your influences and about the
as our musical foundation is concerned, we can blame the usual
suspects like Samael, Mayhem, Deicide, Blasphemy, Carcass,
Tormentor, Sabbat, Morbid Angel, Mortuary Drape, Entombed,
Rotting Christ etc.
- Something that struck me about Drakonian Paradigm are
the lyrics. First, they are long. Contrary to most lyrics, is
not comprised of short verses, instead, usually the lyrics just
evolve. The lyrics of “Remnants of a Burnt Mosque” specially,
this tells me that getting your point across is what matters.
Can you speak a little a bit about the lyrics? What is the
setting under which you write lyrics?
I don’t need
any special setting to write lyrics – no candles, incense etc. I
feel as though the Lucifer Himself brings the word to my
fingers… it’s hard to describe because I have never thought
about how this actually works. My primary objective with the
lyrics is to make sure that they retain a level of mystique, but
at the same time, they must firmly establish the premise. Jut
big words and random occult references do not make for good
lyrics – the substance must be there.
- Drakonian Paradigm was recorded in two periods. First,
during a session in September and then in October. How was the
recording process and how long did it take? Was it entirely
produced by the band or did Stew Kirkwood had any say in the
song structure or even the sequencing?
process lasted for 11 days altogether. Stew Kirkwood actually
gave us some very good suggestions that we used. The man is not
a metalhead by any means but he is a fantastic producer, period;
he didn’t have any say in the song structures or sequencing at
all, just parts of the mixing.
- How happy are you with the end result?
We are happy
with how the album turned out overall, but I can’t say we are
satisfied with the production. This is because of where it was
recorded - it has nothing to do with Stew Kirkwood. When you
record an album in a demo level studio you cannot expect it to
turn out all that great.
- The last song on the album is called “Remnants of a Burnt
Mosque” and it actually appeared on the Violated Hejab EP
of 2005. Black metal typically only deals with Christianity but
avoids other religions. What is the song about? Please speak
about the song, about its motive and target.
The lyrics are
there for the reader to decipher the message of the song in its
entirety. Essentially the mosque is being used as a metaphor of
the self that must be erased (burned) to make way for one’s
- Is it an attempt to equalize your disgust with all religions
instead of just Christianity? Why do you think that bands
usually avoid speaking out against Islam, when in certain parts
of the world is such an unpopular religion?
not just some “Islam-bashing” tune; Weapon is not about bashing
religion simply for the sake of it. Yes, the title will provoke
Muslims to react, and we like that. Those dirty rats have had an
easy ride for far too long. Most BM bands are fucking wimps or
uneducated and therefore never take on Muslims or Jews.
- Knowing how extreme some Muslims can be, are you afraid at all
of the way some people may react to it?
We are not
worried about some camel-riding jihadists showing up at our
gigs. A Satanist’s existence is one of constant strife, not
- Please list the records that have influenced you the most as a
music fan and as a musician.
If I were to
consider different genres of music this list would go on for a
long time. I have neither the time nor the patience to make that
kind of a list, so I’ll just mention the most important Death
and Black Metal releases that shaped me (in no particular order)
Mayhem - De
Mysteriis Dom Sathanas
Morbid Angel –
Blessed Are The Sick
Root – Hell
Symphonies of Sickness
Zygotical Sabbatory Anabapt
Left Hand Path
Bolt Thrower –
Realm of Chaos
– Secret Sudaria
Fallen Angel of Doom
Vader – The
Like An Everflowing Stream
Satanic Blood Angel
And many, many
- What’s next for the band? Touring/more writing?
We are writing
the second album right now and gearing up for some gigs. If
things play out the way we want, a tour will follow.
Read our review
of Drakonian Paradigm