Tuesday, 10 December 2013
An interview with ... Odium Records
What's this then, Nazgul? The clue's in the title: it's an interview with the Odium Record label, run by the accursed-one, Phil Knight
And I care because...? Odium released one of the very first Uruk Hai demos on CD-r, and as such have their role in the history of all things Hugin
Nazgul has posted a few interviews in the past with labels that have had an involvement in supporting Hugin's various projects. It's been quite a while since the last one, so as an early Christmas treat here's another for you: Odium Records, of deepest and darkest Wales, whose involvement is interesting as it comes at either end of Hugin's recording history to date. Back in the year 2000 it was Odium who released on CD-r Uruk Hai's "Elbentanz" demo, and then who later popped out an unofficial CD-r version of Elisabetha's "Isten Szek" to no acclaim whatsoever, and in so doing inadvertently created one of the hardest of Elisabetha's releases to find! After this small burst of activity the trail went mystifyingly cold, until out of the clear blue sky in 2013 a split CD-r release has surfaced, featuring early tracks by Odium (the band) and Uruk Hai.
Armed with such arcane knowledge, an interview with the man behind all of this was therefore one of those things that seemed like a good idea at the time, brimful of ale and good cheer as Nazgul was. "Let's get an interview sorted out with Odium Records," thought Lord Nazgul, innocently, "he'll be an interesting character and has had a hand in some of Hugin's musical history..."
And so it was that a carrier raven was dispatched from the ramparts of Castle Nazgul intent on seeking out the almost mythical beast that is Mr Knight, with a small but perfectly formed set of questions designed to shed light upon his involvement with our esteemed Austrian hero. But inevitably, of course, the answers that were returned were sanity-tearing blasts of blasphemous bile, dredged up from the seventh circle of Hell by Mr Knight and his fiendish horde of fiery pig-buggering imps. Nazgul should have known better, and even now pauses at the thought of unleashing such demented ravings upon you, honoured reader.
And yet ... the truth must out! So without any more pause for thought read for yourself the depraved utterances of the Beast of Wales, with his twin-fuelled influences of perversion and alcohol...
Welcome to Honour and Darkness! You are known for being both an underground label owner and founding the project Odium, amongst others - how did your involvement in the music business begin?
Hailz and thanks for this opportunity to ramble on about my music. It began many years ago. I lived for metal, the urge to make music was not that strong until I heard Black Metal. From that point on I lived to make metal for the glory of darkness. The record label… who knows how and why...
Is there a philosophy or mission statement behind Odium, the record label?
No, not really. Anything dark, sinister and different I suppose.
The entry for your label on Discogs states "small label based in Wales, now defunct" - is this the case, or are things bubbling under the surface?
In many ways the record label is still going, but I simply have not the time to do the distributing part. All releases are available to those who ask. There are possible plans. I would like to think that from now on it will be 7" releases only.
Running a label sounds like a glamorous lifestyle, but I imagine it's far from it! Can you give us some insight into life in the underground scene?
Running a label properly is up there with running… any business I suppose. Ball achingly dull. Life in the underground? My life in the underground is so underground my girlfriend doesn’t even know fully what I do music wise. My family is clueless as to what I get up to as well as my friends. I don’t discuss idea’s with anyone or share musical tastes with any one I have face to face contact with. Quite sad really.
Is music your sole business activity, or do you make a living in other ways too?
Money from music? Are you mad? Ha! My business is engineering. My job ranges from scientific consulting to research and development. Quite a strange job that changes from day to day.
What's your view of the metal scene in the UK at the moment?
Is there a metal scene in the U.K.? Have I become that detached? Akercocke was awesome. Anaal Knakerath, awesome. Ordog was excellent…
Metal Archives lists your current and former band involvements as Odium, Forest Perversions, October, La Bete, Woods of Desolation, and Emit. Give us a thumbnail sketch about each of these projects, and any others you have been involved with?
Odium is the main project where I perform all duties. Raw Black Metal that’s progressed through the years. Some would argue that point.
Forest Perversions was a collaboration with H. Morgan, a superb drummer from the solo band Daear. We conjured one demo before she left for England to join severed Heaven.
October. Experimental noise, found sound with unsettling satanic metal undercurrents (I feel I just made October sound more interesting than it actually is). Odium and October just grew. Odium songs start when I sit behind the pots and pans that make up my drum kit and I bash away for half an hour until a few minutes of usable drums come out. The strings are built around the drums using riffs that I had been playing around with. Nothing is written. October happens when I find noise.
La Bête, inspired by the French horror sex picture of the same name is a project of mine that utilises a drum program. It required a rather inorganic flow and a more structured approach to music than I'm used to.
Woods of Desolation was a collaboration between Darnel and I. He is based in Australia and would compose the drum and guitar parts. I would then finish it off with bass and vocals. This of course would often take months. I'm very busy with various non-musical projects and music can only be made when the time is right. Infuriating for most I would imagine. The demise of our collaboration died with my having to drive a round trip of 120 miles a day for work for 3 years. No time for anything but work. Thank the demon badger that that bollocks is over with and I can give more time to music.
Emit was a one time event. We recorded one session. That was a no go and exists on a tape somewhere and later some horrific drumming over a previous Emit session was performed.
Amongst the Odium label releases are early works by both Uruk Hai (Elbentanz) and Elisabetha (Isten Szek!) - how 'successful' did those releases prove to be?
Uruk Hai went out quite well, though I have no idea of how many copies. I'm not sure what happened with Isten Szek. I'm not sure it was an official release if I'm honest. If I recall I just slapped it on the end of October because of October’s overwhelming potential for disappointment.
You've clearly known Alex/Hugin for many years, do you recall how that relationship formed?
I remember long ago receiving a load of tapes from Beverina Productions as a trade. Within was Uruk Hai’s "Elbenwald". I was initially unimpressed to be honest. This was my first exposure to Uruk Hai. The rest of the story is lost to alcohol. I really have not the slightest clue as to why or how we came in to contact.
Have you followed his career since those early days?
I have greedily absorbed all his works since then.
What are your impressions of Alex Wieser, the man?
I would like to think of him as a colossal pervert, rampaging his way through desolate mountain settlements, impregnating many young maidens and leaving many bastards in his wake before retiring to his fortress of pure doom and composing songs of his conquests.
Do you have any particular projects or releases of his that you are particularly partial to?
I recently and gratefully received Elisabetha’s ‘Uber das Prinzip…’ - Goat-tastic!
Reverting to yourself, which of your own releases would you point someone towards to get a representative idea of your own music?
I'm not sure any single release is representative, to my diseased ears all are unique. One whole retched evil sack of shit waiting to disease ones mind. But saying that; La Bête's "La Bête", Octobers "Ossuary" and Odium's "Death" and ‘Unholy Deeds On Consecrated Ground‘ would be your best bet.
Are any of your demos/releases available to buy?
I prefer trades. Anyone wanting anything just contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org Money is not the reason one make’s Black metal.
I hear a rumour that long-lost Odium and Uruk Hai recordings have now been released....?
It was a planned split. The label at the time was interested until they heard my contribution. The label owner then had massive and unsightly anal leakage, passed out and had his eyes eaten out by a leprous badger. I then released my contribution as Odium ‘Solitude‘. It's nice to see the original plan come to fruition.
Through some quirk of fate, you become Prime Minister tomorrow - what law would you want to repeal, and what new law would you want to promote?
I read somewhere online that you once painted your car with matt black "anti-radar" paint?! Any truth to this story?!
The car needed paint. There was some old metallic paint used on army vehicles available. On it went. Temporary traffic lights failed to see the car. I bet you were hoping for some conspiracy theory reason. Ha! Quite boring I assure you.
Are there any funny tales from life in the underground scene that you'd care to share with Honour and Darkness?
None that I can recall I'm afraid.
Your house is on fire (no, really, it is...) - what three possessions do you save first?
I would use the girl friend to smother the flames while I hurl possession one out the window, my music collection (I'm cheating). Then I would liberate my guitar from the burning death before throwing as many Star Wars related items out the window (I'm a total Star Wars nerd). Then I would have sexy good times with the crispy body of my still twitching girl friend. All is now good in the world, awash in cum, warm in glow of my burning house, surrounded by my most cherished possessions.
Your 3 books and 3 albums for a desert island would be....?
Darkthrone "Under A Funeral Moon"; Dawnfall "Dominance Of Darkness". The third is a tricky one, early Pyre, maybe Graveland’s "Carpathian Wolves" or Darkthrone’s "Goatlord". Maybe some Kvist or even some early Barathrum...?
Your vote for the best cover art to a demo or album you've ever seen?
I have always liked the cover of Lugubrum’s "Winterstones"
What song would you ban - never to be heard again?
I am a firm believer in no censorship.
Just what is the story underpinning the occasional midget references in your emails...?!
Midgets are the spawn of Satan’s unholy fornication. They are to be idolised as such.
Well, you can't say fairer than that! Why not drop him a line and ask about trading possibilities, or just to share a reverence for midget-related activities?
Phillip Knight - musician; Legend!