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Interview: Storm (From the black metal band
I recently had the opportunity to interview
Storm, the man behind the black metal band Masshu. In case you're not familiar with Masshu, here is
the band's bio from MP3.com, copied and pasted for your
Masshu plays dark and compelling music
that deals with Satanic symbolism and occultism. The name Masshu
refers to a mystical mountain in Sumerian/Babylonian mythology
that was thought to be the gateway to the "underworld".
In some occult texts, it is even the lurking place of the
"Ancient Serpent", the Devil or Satan. Originally from
Phoenix Arizona, the band was conceptualized by guitarist and
vocalist, Storm, in the summer of 1996. Later, joined by drummer
Genocide, Masshu recorded "Into The Darkness" in 1997,
which the band produced themselves. It took until 1999 for
"Into The Darkness" to be released, but it still stands
as a great Black Metal recording. Not typical of the American
Black Metal scene. Storm is now the sole member of Masshu and has
released a mini CD called "Pandaemonium". The title
means: the abode of all demons. In Milton's "Paradise
Lost" it is the place built by Satan's orders as the capital
of Hell. The CD features three new songs and two previously
unreleased demo versions of songs from the "Into The
Darkness" CD. Currently Masshu is compiling new material for
Storm - Guitar, Vocals, Keyboard
Genocide - Drums(1996-97)
Guitars, Drums, Vocals, Keyboards
Into The Darkness(1999)
P.O. Box 1804, North Mankato, MN 56002-1804 - USA
Michael: Greetings, Storm.
Thanks for having
Storm: Greetings, thanks to you as well for doing this interview.
Michael: According to your MP3.com bio, "Storm is now the
sole member of Masshu..." Where's Genocide?
Storm: I believe Genocide is living somewhere in New York state
now. He left Masshu to pursue other interests. His
contribution to the "Into The Darkness" recording is
appreciated, and he helped to make it a memorable recording.
Michael: During the recording of the "Into The Darkness"
album, you employed a female vocalist for spoken word parts on the
tracks "Into The Darkness" and "Churches
Burn". My question to you is: was she hot? She sounds hot.
Storm: Ah yes, the lovely Iggerath. Yes, she was very hot. At that
time, we knew some lovely goth girls. A girl named Naamah was
originally going to do the vocals. On the day Naamah was
scheduled to do the parts (a friday the 13th, actually), she
brought over her friend Iggerath and suggested that she do it. She
thought that Iggerath had a better voice. I'm pretty happy with
the result, think it worked out nicely.
Michael: I'm sure you get this question a lot: does your throat
hurt after recording?
Storm: Yes, I do get that question quite often. Usually, the only
time it hurts is if I haven't done any vocals for a while. During
the time of the recordings for "Into The Darkness", we
were practicing quite often, so my voice got quite used to it and
it didn't really hurt. With the exception of a few tracks, on
which, I was fighting a cold. That did hurt a bit and I don't
think the vocals came out as good as they could have.
Michael: I'm having difficulty learning/picking out some of your
guitar parts, because I'm completely tone deaf. I'm also tuned to
E, so my guitar goes, "dunt dunt dunt", as opposed to
"GRONK CHUNK CHUNK FLOP". Is there any Masshu tablature
floating around? (For "Into the Darkness" please. I'm
not even gonna attempt the stuff from "Pandaemonium" There's some crazy sweep
picking on "Walpurgisnacht" I cannot begin to
Storm: Well, thanks. I'll take it as a compliment that there may
be some guitar parts beyond your comprehension. Sorry, there
is no tablature that I have written for any Masshu material. I gave up writing tablature quite some time ago. It became too
tedious. I just keep it all in my head. Perhaps I'll make an
attempt at writing some tablature down for you.
Michael: On to "Pandaemonium". Who is performing the
spoken word part on "Beholding Baphomet"?
Storm: That would be me. I would have liked to have female
vocals for that part, somewhat like the parts on "Into
The Darkness". I'm a sucker for female vocals, heh heh. But there was no one available at the time of the recording.
Michael: Is "Leviathan" performed completely with
keyboards? How did you record it? It's certainly interesting. It
would be wonderful as background music to a horror movie.
Storm: Yes, "Leviathan" was created completely
with a keyboard. I was visiting my comrade Bruce
"666" Venegas, from the band Embalmed, for our annual
"Walpurgisnacht" celebration. He had a very expensive
keyboard that we used.
Michael: So you're working on a new recording? Without giving too
much away, what can you tell us about the new material?
Storm: Well, so far it is heavier, faster and I feel it has more
mature occult lyrics.
Michael: When do you think we'll be able to hear it?
Storm: It's tough to say when It'll be finished. The writing has
been kind of sporadic. I write whenever I'm inspired to do so.
Michael: For the gearheads: What kind of equipment do you use?
Storm: I mainly use my Gibson Explorer guitar and my old Crate
G-40C amp. with Celestion speakers. I like some of the older Crate
amps but I haven't been too impressed with their newer stuff. I'm considering getting a
new Line 6 amp. As for recording, all the older Masshu recordings
were done on my Tascam Porta03 4 track. For the new recordings, I'm using my iMacDV G3,
with the Tascam US-428 mixer/controller and Cubase 5 recording
software. I use a Boss DR-550 MKII drum machine. And I have
an Optimus keyboard, with which I can use either it's built in
sounds or control the synths in Cubase, via MIDI.
Michael: Will there ever be a live Masshu tour?
Storm: A tour? I don't know. Perhaps Masshu will play
live someday. I will need to either find a full line up for the
band or guest musicians to play live.
Michael: I have short hair and I'm fairly clean cut. I often wear
polo shirts. Would I get beaten up at a Masshu show? Be honest.
Storm: Most definitely, hah hah. There's no doubt that some metal
heads can be pretty judgmental, if you don't wear the proper
"Metal Uniform". Most of the shows I've been to,
everyone is usually pretty cool. You get all different types of
people. You'd probably be okay. Just wear all black, you're better
off wearing black than the "wrong band" shirt. You WILL
be harassed for that. And please, NO polo shirts... heh heh.
Michael: Tough job interview question: Where do you see yourself
(and Masshu) in five years?
Storm: Total world domination.... muah ha ha ha haaa, with hordes
of disciples reveling in the flesh and worshiping the image of The
Beast. On a more humble note, probably not much different from
now. I hope to have some more recordings out and to be
respected... and if I have some other musicians as full time
members, perhaps we'll play live.
Michael: Before we go, I just want to gloat about my Pandaemonium/Into
the Darkness double-CD. How many of these puppies exist?
Storm: Ha ha, lucky you. You are one of the very few people to
have one of those. I've only made a few copies for friends and
Michael: Thanks again for the interview, Storm. We're looking
forward to the new CD.
Storm: Thank you. Ave Satanas!
BONUS! Masshu MP3 downloads!
MP3.com is currently in limbo, so I'll host a
couple of Masshu songs right here (Masshu CD's will be available
ALBUM: Into the Darkness
GENRE: BLACK METAL - (2.77 MB) MP3 File
GENRE: BLACK METAL - (4.01 MB) MP3 File
Masshu merchandise can be ordered here:
Cassettes available for the album "Into The
Darkness". For ordering information, send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or, write to: Masshu; P.O. Box 1804, North Mankato, MN 56002-1804