Epic pagan black metal band Saxorior has finally released its seventh full-length album “Saksen”. This release comes seven years after the band’s previous work! It was the perfect time to talk to the band members about their last work, their future plans and of course about their 22-year career in the scene.
- Hello. I am really glad that Saxorior added a new chapter in their discography. What is the current status of the band? After seven years without a new release, I was worried that the band was put on ice!
(Andy): Saxorior was never put on ice. We have used the time to get some live experiences with me (drums) and Thomas (bass). Also to get new inspirations, because we don’t want to release the same album again and again. An album is finished when it is finished. Saxorior have never worked under pressure, neither with Einheit nor someone else. But now “Saksen” is finished and we are very glad with the result.
- Your last album “Saksen” is just released. Maybe it’s a bit too early, but what are the first reactions from your audience and from the press?
(Andy): Some reactions were sobering, but the most were great. Anyway, it is not possible to suit everyone.
- Seven years is quite a long time. What has changed all these years in the band? Is the line-up the same? Are there any significant musical changes in this new album compared to your previous works?
(Andy): Thomas and me joined the band 2008 shortly after the release of “Völkerschlacht“. Our line-up is steady since this time. “Saksen” sounds more epic, massive, groovy and less offensive. But it is not an easy listening album for sure! I disclaimed for the most parts of blast-beats and Kai experimented with clean vocals.
- How would you describe “Saksen” to someone who listens for the first time to Saxorior? Do you believe you could attract new listeners with this album?
(Andy): We have received some new listeners. I know that because they told me that.
- Is there any concept in the lyrics? Could you give us some info, since all of them are in German?
(Andy): The lyrics deals with the ancient Saxon history, from the migration period to the christianization of the pagans. The first song “Saksen” is about the invasion of Britannia per Saxon conquerors. “Litus Saxonicum” is about Saxon mercenary on duty of Rome against their own nation. “Irminsul” treat a fallen pagan sanctuary. “Blutbad von Verden” tells a story about Charlemagne who lets hundred of Saxons decapitated, until her leader Widukind gets baptized. “Sax” is about a sword who gives the Saxons their name. “Stellinga” deals with the last insurrection against the christian. “Hinreise” and “Rückkehr” are the in and outro, who deal with the thoughts of any person, who walk through the woods and think at the former years. All in all the album is like a mental time travel. Album owners can read the translated lyrics in the booklet.
- Are there any special recording facts, or guest appearances in this album that you’d like to speak about?
(Andy): During the recording sessions, I have smashed my left thumb with a hammer. This circumstance delayed the recordings for 3 month. The main theme of the song “Rückkehr” was composed by G.F. Händel and modified by Kai. You can also hear his children Maria (piano) and Richard (tubular bells) at this song. Kai don’t operate his studio anymore. But he still owns his old equipment and so he produced “Saksen“, partly in his cellar, partly in our rehearsal room.
- Do you intend to support the album with touring? Are there any specific plans / dates that you would like to share?
(Andy): I think we will not go on tour. In the past we have get some offers for touring. But we have rejected every time, because it’s not worth for us and would be our financial ruin. 3 of us have to support a family. If someone had a good offer for us, we would go on tour, but not at any price. But don’t worry, we will perform live at the weekends next year, of course.
- How is Saxorior on stage? What should your fans expect from you in your concerts?
(Kai): We are active on stage and build a lot of energy between us and the fans, there happen also some interesting things like burning keyboard or fire breathing for example.
(Andy): We will play songs from every period in the Saxorior history. New and old, fast and groovy, dark and epic songs.
- It’s been already 22 years since the band’s beginning. What do you remember from your first steps? What are your memories from your debut album “Return from the Dark Side”? Do you listen to your early works nowadays? What do you think about them?
(Kai): I remember some crazy and enthusiastic Metal-Fans full of ideas and illusions founded a Band called SAXORIOR. It was a constant evolution of playing and trying to find out our own style. When I hear the old stuff from time to time and realize what big steps we’ve done and it’s nostalgic. We had a lot of influencing music to build our own style and this is what you can hear from “Portant of Eternity” until today.
- The period between 1999 and 2004 has been your most productive ever, with 4 full-length albums in a row. Tell us a few words about this period. Was this the “golden age” of the band?
(Kai): It was a great time indeed and we spent a lot of time in SAXORIOR. We played a lot of gigs, but any time you realize that’s the way you want to go will harder and harder, so some times a hard fight for your music, because there are not only friends of your in the world…!
- Your next album “Völkerschlacht” was out 4 years later. It was the longest wait for your fans, until now. Is there anything you’d like to share about this album?
(Kai): “Völkerschlacht” was released in 2007, so 3 years later. During the recording sessions to “Völkerschlacht” our former drummer Micha leave the band and only one year later his successor Görgy and our former bassplayer Tille as well. So it was a lot of very hard work and sleepless nights. In these hard times came up more and more demotivations by it, and the final work on this album should be one more harder. But we did the best and it’s not bad within some great songs I think.
- Which one do you consider as your best and most complete work (before the new one of course) and which one was your most successful?
(Kai): “Never Ending Battles” is the album with this rough energy, it lives on, when you hear this true work. “Völkerschlacht” has this same power and someone could find even better! Successful?: Success is relative and I don’t care for it.
- Since this was your last work before “Saksen”, I’d like to ask you how satisfied were you with the album. Is there anything specific that you tried to improve or change with “Saksen”?
(Andy): Five minutes after a release, I find some little parameters that could be improved. However, I am very satisfied with “Saksen“.
- Now that you finally released “Saksen”, what are your expectations from it? I clearly find it your best album so far. Are you satisfied with the result? Do you feel “accomplished” with this work?
(Kai): I’m a perfectionist and will never be satisfied for 100%, but I think it’s the best we have ever done and I’m very proud for and very happy with it!
- During your long career, you have changed several labels. Your new album is released via Einheit Produktionen, a very serious label in my opinion. Tell us a few words about this deal. What are you expecting from this new cooperation?
(Kai): We are knowing a long time and Einheit Produktionen is an serious label indeed and we are happy about work together, because they make a good job and organize concerts too. Battlegod Productions works good too, but they sit in Australia and this is too far distance and too difficult work for longer time.
- Are there any future plans for Saxorior? I hope you are back for good and we won’t have to wait such a long time.
(Kai): We look forward and want to go out for many gigs the next time and after we plan to put the remastered back-catalogue of SAXORIOR in a box with some bonus stuff maybe, but this takes time again of course!
- Thank you very much for your time. Wish you all the best with your new album. Last words are yours.
Thanks too and stay true – SAXORIOR