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A chat with Septic Flesh

Symphonic death metal architects SEPTICFLESH have announced details of their upcoming eleventh studio album Modern Primitive. To coincide with the announcement, the band has revealed the conceptual new video for the album’s first single “Hierophant” and I had a lovely chat with Christos Antoniou.

Welcome to Metal Digest.

New album and a new video, there are so much going on, in the Septic Flesh world. How do you stay unapologetically creative in a music industry that repeats itself?

When it comes to Septic Flesh the core of the band remains the same. We work as a team, collectively. My brother, Sotiris, and myself. This has been extremely helpful; we have a lot of ideas that come from three different individuals. We definitely don’t feel oversaturated or burnt out. That kind of chemistry between us is still holding up well. When it’s time to create, all three of us sit down and talk, brainstorm and figure out our next moves. We, of course, cannot change our sound drastically; the distinct sound of Septic Flesh needs to be there.

“Hierophant” tells the first part of the story written by guitarist and clean vocalist Sotiris Anunnaki V titled “Salvation”. It depicts the experience of a high priest, acting as a human conduit between Heaven and Earth. So, we’re dealing with mysticism, the occult and a very specific theme. Why are you drawn to these subjects?

With this album, Sotiris wanted to highlight the concept of creation and self-destruction, so it fitted right in. “Hierophant” is the story of a priest sent from God who tries to take advantage of the masses by pretending to converse with God. The main point about that primitive, animalistic element that we cannot tame and it can be our self-destruction.

The ritualistic elements of the song made me wonder: Do you, as a band have your own rituals?

Haha, of course not. We prepare for each show, we might warm up but that’s about it.

This time you’ve placed the listener at the center of this forbidden ceremony. So, in a way you’d like to incorporate your audience into the ceremony. That shows an intention to connect with them and I was wondering in which other ways do you connect with your fans? Do you utilize social media?  

For me it’s all bout connecting with your audience through your music. If you can evoke feelings through your work and make your audience dream, you’re doing something right. We’re not really into social media, we’d rather let our work speak. Personally, I wouldn’t want to fall into the trap of posting meaningless content which is oversaturated today, I don’t think it would benefit me in any way. We’re keeping a low profile and letting the audience connect with us through the music. We’re utilizing social media in moderation.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned so far as an artist?

As my teacher used to say, the most important thing is to listen to a lot of music. Immersing yourself in lots of new music is the strongest weapon in your arsenal. Most people rely on social thinking that ‘likes’ and ‘follows’ is what matters but they would be better off using this time to search for new music to listen to. This is what helps you out the most, as a musician and as an individual as well. That’s where your vision lies.

The next question is about your roots, which happen to be the same as mine. Were both Greeks working either abroad or with people abroad. We’ve both spent a lot of time in the UK and I was wondering if you find that this comes with certain challenges. What does it take for a Greek musician to get to a ‘nuclear blast’ level?

I’ve heard about people facing challenges such as racism but I’ve never had to deal with it myself. We need to take a deeper look into it. Find the reasons why there are such stereotypes. The music scene in Greece had lots of issues, however, some bands managed to go above and beyond. There’s a tendency here to prefer other cultures, a xenocentricism if you will. We need a proper reboot.

It’s so strange that here metal music is still perceived as extreme and marginal.

You’ve been voted as one of the 50 best metal songwriters of all time How do you define success?

That title makes me very proud. But the most important thing is when an artist has fans that see him as an icon, they want to know about him and dream with his music. That is what really matters, to convince someone and convey that message. Having a vision, believing in yourself, and never quitting.

I noticed a very specific aesthetic around you and your work. There’s a consistency that can’t be missed. How important are aesthetics to you? And is that consistency all you, or a team effort again?

That’s a part of my philosophy as an artist and a part of my personality. It’s spontaneous. I like to keep a low profile and be true to myself.

What would you like to be remembered for?

That I conveyed a message with my work. That’s what I want to leave behind. Music that may influence others too. Music that will be admired and studied. That would be an incredible honor.

Until we meet again,

Chelf

SEPTICFLESH ARE:
Seth Siro Anton | Vocals, Bass
Christos Antoniou | Guitar, Orchestra
Sotiris Anunnaki V | Clean Vocals, Guitar, 12 String Guitar
Psychon | Guitar
Kerim ‘Krimh’ Lechner | Drums
Pre-order your copy of Modern Primitivehere: 
https://septicflesh.bfan.link/hierophant.ema

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