ChileInterview: Joseph Curwen – guitar, vocals

Since this is the first presentation of the UNAUSSPECHLICHEN KULTEN on the web site rumzine, I ask you to start with the short history of the band.
We are from Santiago, Chile and start at 1999, under the “Occult Death Metal” concept. We are dedicated conceptually/spiritually to explore/experiment with the dark side of life and death, obeying the designs revealed/dictated by “The Old Ones”, in an ideological alliance with the literary legacy from the American author H.P. Lovecraft. Musically/Artistically, we are dedicated to preserve the Metal of Death like our ancestors: SADISTIC INTENT, INCANTATION, SHUB NIGGURATH, IMMOLATION, PENTAGRAM (Chile), MORBID ANGEL Old), NOCTURNUS, DISMEMBER, DEMIGOD, MORTEM (Peru), among others.

A lot of live presentations/rituals have been performed in Chile together with AFTER DEATH, IMMOLATION, GRAVE, FORCE OF DARKNESS, ATOMICIDE, DEMONIC RAGE, GODLESS among many others. During winter in 2013, we did a tour of 7 shows through Chile and Peru called Lucifer Poseidon sharing stage in 4 times with the Death Metal legend Mortem (Peru). Also, the rituals have been able to be celebrated in Europe: Germany, Italy, Portugal, Sweden, Norway, Poland, Holland, Czech Republic, Denmark, Belgium, France and Spain, sharing stage with Purgatory, Dead Congregation, Incantation, Necroholocaust, Voids of Vomits, and Affliction Gate on the two tours done in the years 2011 and 2014

Unaussprechlichen Kulten_live_666Your name comes from the work of one of the most influential writers ever H.P. Lovecraft. What interested you such a lot on his work that you derived from it also in case of the name of the band? Which of his stories do you personally consider the best?
H.P.L. has always been a source of inspiration to the lyrics: The “Truth” whispered as “literature” between lines, the knowledge about occultism it´s sarcastically delivered through “stories” poisoning your mind. I discovered HPL accidentally being a pre-teenager, i bought a book (non legal edition), I remember one of the stories in that book was “through the key of the silver key” and it blew my mind!! In that moment I decided to get the entire work, I read some stories so many times that I get to memorized some of them… Later I started compare HPL with some other authors, with their “sources”, with traditional demonology… Imagine a pre teenager with a poisoned mind with Lovecraft and Metal… To me one of the best is “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward” I was stoning by the personage called “Joseph Curwen”…. That little novel it is to me the most important work of HPL. Almost like a “confession” about his knowledge and the information that H.P.L. had access to.

OK, let’s move now to the news. How do you approach to its creation? Have you formed new songs together as a band, or was it work of individual members?
From “People of the Monolith” until today, the composition are done on the same way: I write the lyrics, riffs, arrangements and disharmonies of both guitars (according to the needs of lyrics). Once I show the guitar’s compositions to Butcher, the drums are 100% his responsibility, the cuts are adjusted in the rehearsal room (Butcher and me). In this last album NAMRU IMPETRADRUM MORTEM was integrated to the composition process: all the basses were composed by him in this VIII Chapter.

Unaussprechlichen Kulten_promoHow did the actual recording take place? How much time did you spend in the studio? Try to give us some interesting story in addition…
I think the album was recorded in approx. one month at DM6 studio (at home!) this year 2014, . Not only we have recorded all of our albums there, also our rehearsal room is there. There have passed more than 10 years in that place. Pablo Clares (the owner) has been a great friend and collaborator with us all this time! He knows how his works do. Besides he is also a big fan of Death Metal! In my opinion IT DOESN’T EXIST a better place in Chile to record Death Metal than there.

The new “Baphomet Pan Shub-Niggurath” like several previous editions took under their wings Iron Bonehead Productions. How did it come to your cooperation and how are you satisfied with their work so far?
100% Satisfied. Patrick from Iron Bonehead has been a good ally during this time. He helped us with the first tour to Europe (2011) and has done an excellent job of promoting both 7″ and with this new LP. To me, the most important work of a label is the promotion.

Unaussprechlichen Kulten_promo2South American scene belongs undoubtedly to the absolute best scenes in the world and complete legends are talked about the support of its fans. What is your sense about home scene? What do you think the fans fantastic support of the metal comes from in general?
You are right! In my opinion there are several factors: The first world currently lives in a comfortable way (the days of great wars are in the past) and comfort creates lazy people. In the third world, there is not much comfortable, you can see it in the everyday living where we have to be always alert even in the streets where there is always someone trying to attack you or steal from you. If you add to that the “social tension” like our “usual work” and the rest of social slavery, makes us having a short free time left, making frustrating to not dispose with ideal conditions to be able to rehearse, compose, etc. If you combine all those “ingredients” (anxiety, despair, anger, etc.) with some wit it turns for sure into something extreme in compositions and having radial postures. In conclusion for us Metal becomes an “attitude” theme than an “artistic” theme.

What about UNAUSSPRECHLICHEN KULTEN and live performances? Under what conditions are you willing to play live and in what you think that your concerts are different from other bands?
Something I’ve heard a lot and that I also believe is true: our strength is in live performances, more than studio records. We value a lot our presentations, On stage you do not see “normal” people, stifled by the “social slavery” of every day, we are in trance , we even do some “necromantic experiments” before a show , a total “spiritual exacerbation”, only in this way can we let “flowing” like a possession and being a “tool” to the “cause” that we serve, acting as a “medium”

We use some paraphernalia like bones and skulls, … I can´t give you more details cause I don´t want legal problems. In some cases, cause is not possible to carry our bones on a plane, we use only a big inverted cross on the mic and our sigils… sometimes a comrade ensures to desecrate a local cemetery and have one for me then I perform a brief ritual to invite the dead one then just put my mind in blank. I recall once when the skull I used was wet and stink, the smell was so intense and gross that It was inevitable for me not to get nauseous when I toke a deep breath, that helped a lot, was almost like being stoned on nausea, memorized lyrics works for me as a “mantra” I remember when I finished that show I was exhausted I felt “hollow”, it was a great show.

Unaussprechlichen Kulten_live2The new “Baphomet Pan Shub-Niggurath” does not deny in itself the heritage of American school of brutal death metal. What belongs to records, which you would definitely recommend? What has interested you in the last time?
You’re right !. We have much influence from the School of SUFFOCATION and his sons. There are many bands from that style (not just American) that are influence for us. The first album of INFERNAL TORMENT, SEVERE TORTURE, DERANGED, DISGORGE (Mx) PURULENCE, AMAYMON, MORTICIAN and classics of course like GORGUTS and MONSTROSITY. Today I hear many brutal bands like AZARATH, ANIMA DAMNATA, BLASPHEMIC CRUELTY, INVERACITY, HATE ETERNAL among other

Yet to previous question: if you had to appoint five most favourite recordings of all time, which would they be? And how would seem the similar chart concerning the plate covers?
Probably if you ask me tomorrow, I’ll tell you another 5 names … well what comes to my mind now is:
DEMIGOD: Slumber of the sullen eyes
INCUBUS: God died on his kness
SLAYER: Hell Awaits
MAYHEM: Mysteriis dom sathanas
MERCYFUL FATE: Don’t Break the Oath

KREATOR: Pleasure to kill
DISMEMBER: like an ever flowing stream
SLAYER: Reign in Blood
METALLICA: Jump in Fire
AUTOPSY: Acts of the unspeakable

Unaussprechlichen Kulten_promošNew came out, inter alia, in really good-looking vinyl version. What is your relationship to this type of media? Do you prefer LP, CD or MC?
We are music collectors, so we like us all formats, cassettes, vinyls, CDs. The vinyl is a format that allows better resolution, better appreciation of the Artwork, BUT a good song, is a good song independent if appear on YouTube, MP3 or vinyl double multicolor ultramegagatefold. For us, as all this is not just “music”, everything is important, including the live performances until formats (vinyl, CD, Tape etc). we try to do a solid job in all aspects of the band, starting with the composition in the Metal, good lyrics, graphic art should be also good (covers, photos, layout etc), sound good in studio and live, interviews should be informative and are also another way of expression to which we should pay attention, it’s all part of our proposal, everything deserves attention and serious work, so we take special care about the “Formats”. Finally it is not just “entertainment” , what we are delivering is “ideology” in the form of “art”. There is also a CD version by Dark Descent from USA, and a limited edition CD (300 to Chile sold out) under “Compilation of Death Zine” (Sold Out).

New “Baphomet Pan Shub-Niggurath” is the third long-playing opus. Try to compare it with the previous two plates “Wake Up in the Night of Walpurgis” and “People of the Monolith”. Unlike “People of the Monolith”, this third album ( chapter 8 of the whole work) in my opinion is the best we’ve composed so far. Although it’s not perfect, I think it was more fluent than the previous ones. Talking about music, guitars are completely complementary in this album, the basic formula of guitars “repeating riffs” is not there, and many times they create polyphonic atmospheres together with the bass guitar (listen to it with headphones! This way, guitars will finely appear). “Wake Up in the Night of Walpurgis” It is very different from the previous two, is much faster, violent and full of changes. I think this first album (our debut) reflects our anxiety and despair for capturing many ideas in a short time.

In your discography are, amongst others, demos, EP and split recordings. What is your relationship to the similar types of recordings? What are their benefits for the band?
I’ve always liked these small sizes (7 “). As only comes one or two tracks, the bands are obliged to make good songs, nothing of stuffing! That is the reason why in general in the past, almost all EP 7” always were very good (Eternal Darkness / Phallus Cult !!!!)

Unaussprechlichen Kulten_liveHave you prepared some merchandise for the new?
Apart from the official formats (CD / Vinyl / Tape), we also make own merchandising: T-shirts, stickers, Pins, etc. However at this point everything is sold out. Pan Baphomet Shub Niggurath T-shirts was sold out during the european tour.

What is (except works of H.P. Lovecraft) your greatest source of inspiration? Not only musically, but overall?
The Death and his mysteries!, his cultists, art and imaginary about Death. The Nigromancy, spiritims… i.e. , the core of the Death Metal spirit.

What are the existing responses to the news “Baphomet Pan Shub-Niggurath”? How do you personally look at the new after some time?
Overall pretty good by the independent media and “Underground”. However for most of the media “mainstream” we’re a band’s doing a “boring” style.Personally, nothing special.

What are your plans for the future?
The first half of 2015 a new split 7″ will be released under Iron Bonehead (with a legendary Chilean band), and we expect record our new album in the second half of 2015.

Thank you for interview. Something at the end…
Fake Skulls = Fake Bands!



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