Exclusive Interview: Goatskullt talk Writing and Recording “Tevras”!

Completing our creature double feature with Helsinki Finland’s Goatskullt who have unleashed Hell with “Tevras” the fourth in a chain of EPs that include “Refuse To Exist!“ and “Kinahmia“. A Second Wave of Black Metal outfit, they like to combine elements of Hardcore Punk, Speed Thrash and Folk Metal into a stranger than fiction Witches brew…

What did you learn from the studio time from your previous EP “Kinahmia” that you took into the recording of “Tevras“? Most important lesson was to do things on the spot. We rarely ever do demos, the version we start to record is the one that ends up on the release. Also, the first take is usually the best, the one with the most personality and energy. There are a lot of things so-called professionals would consider flaws, especially in the vocals, but once they are on the release they just add up to the character of the music. People who want pitchperfect shit that clicks like a metronome should just stick up to their Five Finger Death Punch albums. Black Metal is real music for real people

How does the writing process of a new Goatskullt track start? Melody, riff or rhythm first? Personally, I think you never go after songs, songs come after you. For me it usually begins with a sung line. The melody and the rhythm just strike like lightning. That is what happened with “Ruho” for example, suddenly I just realised I was humming a chorus for a new song with lyrics and everything. Once I have memorised the part, I start to try out what kind of chords would fit. Another natural process is to just pick up the guitar and see what happens. When I’m alone I’m constantly strumming. This is what we also do when we write stuff together, we just throw riffs at each other and see how things progress and rise as we emulate each other’s ideas

Lyrically “Tevras” runs on themes of Mortality and Death loosely based on Finnish Folklore; do you find writing a cathartic process? Without a doubt yes. For those who understand the words, I think it is all quite obvious. And like I mentioned earlier, the lyrics mostly just come to me like a lucid dream and I don’t like to tweak them too much later. Especially this time the lyrics are a burst of aggression. The title of the EP “Tevras” loosely translates into “The Slaughter” or “The Slaughtered” in english, and it is an allegory of our suicidal modern world slowly rotting, heading towards a dead end. Also the title reflects the fact that all living must once die, and all that exists will one day either change form or simply cease to exist. Everything is contradictory these days, most people are like cattle waiting to be slaughtered, simply shutting their eyes until they reach their grave, without ever really questioning anything or taking a stand

The production of the EP is raw and dark; lo-fi guitars, fuzzy bass heavy with treble and an artillery shelling of drumming; how important is that jagged edge in creating the Goatskullt music? Would you ever consider doing something more polished? To me, our sound is pretty polished especially compared to a lot of the more raw stuff out there. This sound just fits us perfectly at the moment. I can’t see how we could be more polished without ending up sounding like regular radio metal bands. Actually, I think we are heading for more murkier sonic planes in the future

For us gear nerds out there, can you tell us what you’re using gear wise (pedals, strings, drums etc) to get your sound? Hell, I’d like to say I’m just the singer! To be dead honest, I don’t pay too much attention to the equipment the other guys are using. For a fact I know that the guitars were recorded with a Gibson Firebird, but I can’t go too much into details about strings and such. The drumset is a huge Pearl kiosk, I love to abuse between breaks. The vocals I always record with a beaten handheld Shure

What difference would it make to you as a band if you could land an endorsement from a gear manufacturer? Well, I think this is not relevant for a band of our stature. But sure, it would be nice to simply walk into an importer’s warehouse and pick up what we please. A signature guitar or tom-toms? Sure, why not, let’s go totally Gene Simmons here

Tevras” by Goatskullt is out now and available over at bandcamp

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