The following interview is done with Xanataph...

Perhaps its most fitting for you to give a bio/history first, since outside of New Zealand not too many know of your existence.
      Daemon was formed in late 1992 from the ashes of my former band Bloodwych. After going through a couple of drummers and vocalists we arrived at the lineup of Me on lead guitar/vocals, Jude on rhythm guitar, Jim on bass and Kori on drums. With this line up we played alot of shows, some festivals, did a live TV broadcast, made 3 demos, one of which was released on cassette in limited edition and our first Album on CD, which we recorded in Auckland at York Street Studios.
      After we did this album, Amoniath took over on drums for about 6 months until our manager at the time fired him... Kori was reinstated as a session drummer... but this lineup now was unstable mainly due to musical and philosophical differences between me and the rest of the band/management. So eventually in early 1997 they all quit. Which was quite handy because I already had Daemon reformed with Amoniath on Drums and Noslohcin on bass and we were planning on firing them just about 2 weeks after they announced they were quitting...With this lineup we did 3 South Island Tours and released our second Album "Neodeath" on Halloween 1997. After Noslohcin left to go to university, we borrowed the services of Damballa from another local band till his band went to Australia. In April this year, we found DeadBC who has fitted in very well. He appears on the live tracks on Demise By Will, our '98 promo cd. We are currently trying out a new rhythm guitarist.
Tell us about Beltane, your other band. How does this differ from Daemon?
Beltane is a very different thing to Daemon, after I heard some of the new wave of black metal back in 92/93 I got quite inspired and recorded a song called "Into the Night," which I played all the instruments... and I had the name Beltane. I thought it was cool since if I was born in the Northern Hemisphere, Beltane would be the day of my birth. On a Friday the 13th a group of us went tripping and I discussed the prospect of forming a black metal band with Dyrkyn and Thyiendalen, who played in a death metal band called Inverted Christ... they were more than into the idea... so Beltane formed that night.
      We used to rehearse in the old Daemon practice rooms late at night with black candles. Above the practice room these xtians lived and we used to get them very upset. Then they complained to Daemon's manager and he got pissed at us using and almost losing the Daemon rooms...yet we persisted. In April 1995 we recorded a rehearsal cassette on really low-end equipment, however the results surprised us... it's now been re-mastered and re-mastered and re-mastered. We also did one live show that year , which is the only time Beltane has ever performed live.
Then there was a stage where Dyrkyn was not around much in the scene and Amoniath (whom at the time was not yet in Daemon), filled in on drums. Eventually the original lineup got together with me, Dyrkyn and Thyiendalen got into it again only to have Thyiendalen leave Nelson to become a chef (*and he's not bad at it either!!! ha ha). So now it is just me and Dyrkyn but Benatari sessions on bass sometimes.
Describe to us the sound of these two bands...
Daemon is kind of like Death Metal crossed with some Black and Thrash, and quite rocky in places. Beltane to me is melodic Black Metal although not your typical sound. Probably because we're from New Zealand and its like a musical vacuum over here... you hear the albums but don't really see much live, and of course overseas acts are few and far between.
Neither bands are as of yet signed to a label and its all self-financed and distributed, so how can someone interested attain the cds?
It's all very underground at the moment, we would like a decent offshore deal for either band but haven't mainly cause we're slack and haven't really sent that much out... but that is changing now cause we have the promo CD. So at the moment we have them on our own label, Noctum Media, which can be contacted through email at: nm@ts.co.nz or 94 North Road, Nelson 7001, New Zealand. Krystgristle from Subcide Productions is also distro'ing our stuff, he has alot more underground connections. We are also developing the label, we'd like to have more extreme acts from around here...like Hallowell, The Adversary, Kaz Bisarre, and some of my solo stuff. And other things like side-projects from the Daemon and Beltane camps.
Here in the States, one doesn't hear much at all from NZ, and even more so with regards to BM/DM. So tell us about the scene there.... are there any other bands that anyone outside of NZ would recognize?
The scene here is very small, but growing...with the comeback of Heavy Metal looking quite certain (I think, what other music would suit the apocalypse!!!), this is helping the scene to expand.. alot of the younger bands are playing in a Black Metal style over here... Probably the Nelsonian scene is the most organised and has a reasonable history and quite frankly, very hard core into this stuff. We are organizing a Black Metal Gathering for the summer Solstice that will be interesting to see how many make the pilgrimage to it!! Demoniac is the only real extreme NZ metal band to have made it out of here... they relocated to Britain a couple of years ago. I would very much like to get out of this country for a while!!!
Lyric-wise, what are some of the topics dealt with?
Daemon is quite varied in the lyrics, I often write occult based, fantasy type stuff, cause I'm an escapist at heart! Though we also do Blatant anti-xtian lyrics, and songs of despair about the shitty state society is in... For some reason I think Demise By Will has some sort of psychotic, violent feel about it. Lord Of Chaos is about the occult experiences we have had in the scene over the last few years.
      With Beltane the lyrics are more personal expressions about things, the new stuff is going to be quite ethereal in approach. On the current release, Evoking... is about summoning the gods of war before a battle, ...Halloween is obvious, but like a sabbat of the past, Blood and Lust is about literally being cut up, self mutilation as part of practicing magick basically, Dark heart of the Woods is more Dyrkyns song so I couldn't really comment. King Of Hell is in fact about the final war and watching all the stupid xtians wait vainly for their impotent god to arrive and he never does, while Satan's Shock Troops wreck havoc on earth.
Based upon what you've said then it's obvious to me you share the feelings many others do worldwide about Christianity. Elaborate on your beliefs on this subject. Have you been to church or read the Bible?
I have had what I'll call "Occultic Awareness" since I was a young child. Surprisingly no one has ever tried to say I'm a schizophrenic! So anyway, when I was young I thought I would see some "spiritual activity" at church so I actually demanded my parents to take me there! Once I got there I studied all their books and doctrines and after hearing nothing about the occult other than it was evil, I decided that the church and xtianity is a STEAMING PILE OF SHIT!!!!!
      Throughout the years as I have learnt more and more about the ways of the world, I have come to the conclusion that this society sucks and it's entirely because of xtianity!! And these people are sheep... clinging to a doctrine that denies knowledge, denies life...and our fuckin laws are ultimately based on this trite!!!
      Man will cause the apocalypse, we don't need god anymore... try a few H-Bombs!!! ha ha... I think there are organisations out there at the moment that are bringing the predictions in Revelations to pass.. for their own ends and their ends will fuck it for all of us!!!
One of the things about Christianity that bothers me most is its hypocrisy , how in history they murdered untold millions in the name of a 'God' not even of their own soil or blood... One of their glorious Ten Commandments states ; 'Thou shalt not kill', yet, in the same 'holy book' it also states-'Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live'... such hypocrisy can be found throughout their Bible, and it's fitting, for most of its followers are hypocrites themselves. What are your thoughts on the inquisition and the untold amount of our ancestors whom died in the name of Christianity?
Well for a start, in the crusades they conveniently reinterpreted 'Thou Shalt not Kill' to 'Thou Shalt not kill xtians'! Fuckin hell! That's lame! They are a religion of organised hypocrisy really, I think it works simply...they make you take two simple lies as reality, one that there is this master-god up there in the heavens, two this book was actually written by him! The book, they say, proves the god, and god proves the book... it's like a double blind kind of thing.
      But then as an organised religion, each group has it's own doctrine, this conveniently modifies the 'raw statements' in the bible to ones that suits their arrangement more. Now that the flock is well brainwashed into believing this crud, all the minister has to do to implant his own agenda is to rattle off some shit and quote from 'the living book' and that's it, they swallow it hook, line, and sinker!
And at the opposite end of the spectrum, there lies 'Satanism', another strand in the web of Christianity. Either there is Anton Lavey's brand of 'Satanism' or there is the 'pagan' brand, which is really but the old religions warped by their Christian enemies. And of course there is the Christian media type of Satanism-the baby sacrificing, goat's blood drinking... etc. etc... Your thoughts on this?
Firstly, I have heard of a definition of Satan that well extends before xtianity started shitting on this world. That is : That the word "Satan" is made up of 2 words Sa (the force that drives the universe) and Tan (The force that put Sa in place). That definition suits me well as I think that 'dark religions' have always existed, so that's kind of what my belief settles around, like I'm into Chaos in a big way...like this force that's streaming through the universe, like an ever flowing stream, and you cannot stop it, but you can ride it... when you do you become more at one with the force. Most people don't befriend chaos, so like weeds in the garden they are constantly trying to eliminate them, but the more order, which oppresses this force they try and set up the harder the force snaps back at them. So this then makes me envision life as this wave of chaos that I'm surfing, sometimes well and I manage to stay up for a while, some times not so well and go under...but the more I become at one with this force the less I go under. So I am trying to learn more about it by investigating the occult and practicing magick. I guess I am also quite pagan in my approach, so kind of a Left Hand Path pagan thing, BUT I do consider myself a Satanist, per my definition.
      Socially, and not spiritually, I find the ideals of Anton LeVay very satisfactory...i.e. The Strong will Inherit the Earth, the weak shall inherit the yoke" And my favorite...If a man smites you on the cheek, kick 'em in the head! ha ha...
But I find alot of Levayan Satanists quite stupid and ignorant of the forces that exist inside this universe, they bury their heads in the sand and go.." If you believe in anything other than material then you are like the xtians" But I thoroughly disagree, I've seen so many supernatural occurrences, to me it is more than believing in them it is actually KNOWING they exist...from seeing them...however nothing I have seen neither confirms nor denies the existence of a god or Satan. All it proves is that there is a Super-reality which most people never know about, sadly Levay'ians are so dogmatic in their dissing of this that I think that THEY are like the xtians...because the essence of xtianity is not god or Jesus it's a mode to conform peoples beliefs...this is what Levay Satanism does as well...I think that to be a true Satanist, first you have to be a freethinker.
I also think its important to understand, that unlike Christianity, the old religions saw a balance in this world and beyond it. They worshipped not only the, 'lighter' side of life and death, but also the 'dark' forces. Their deities could also coexist with one another for the most part... unlike the Christian God 'for I am a jealous God...' who ordered the idols and images of all other deities destroyed, as told in Dueteronomy. But I think we've dealt on this subject for long enough.... Let me ask you this... if you could control the way you will depart this earth... which way would you choose to die?
Well, I would like to take a few with me!...like detonate a nuke in the middle of a city or something...and be atomized! To die in battle that is all I wish...to die with my boots on!
Which brings the question of life. If you had to say, what is its meaning?
Life to me has no meaning, at least that we can understand, I think to really say what life means you would have to be above the sphere of human life to begin with...this then rests with the gods...its like a computer cannot contemplate its own meaning...but a human being outside of this and greater can... same with humans and the 'gods'. The best I have come up with so far is to try and distract myself from this mundane existence by having lots of fun, or otherwise being sidetracked by projects to do. Otherwise I would go truly mad with it...
Tell me about some of the things that inspire you musically and non-musically ?
I get a lot of inspiration from thoughts and concepts, like conceptualizing and trying to unravel the mysteries of the universe... It's like the search for the Holy Grail, a never-ending kind of journey I think. I also think that the means is the ends. Actually I get bored alot with life and yearn for a superior plane of existence... this is what drives me in my occultic ways.
Also a pet one of mine is Apocalypse theories, final war and/or big brother stuff.. I think there are too many ignorant people out there and it's not a bad thing to try and re-educate some, so to speak... so to this end comes the inspiration for a lot of the themes prevalent in Daemon's lyrics... Beltane's would be the more indirect, ethereal occult influence.
Tell me your definition of 'big brother?'
'Big Brother' to me is the manifestation, proliferation and association of certain powerful individuals, corporations and governments and their efforts to homogenize the culture to their own washed-out-brain dead drone models of ideal workers, and repress any kind of free speech, and basically remove liberty. They will attempt to accomplish this with digital technology and new and traditional methods of mind control...anyone for a chip in the forehead?
And how do you see them achieving this?
Basically in the way the police force reduce crime...rather than gross suppression of the real criminals, they prefer total repression of the populous. Like the new noise laws here... they have this thing called the resource consent act and it basically considers noise as pollution...now what happens is if someone complains about say a Black Metal band practicing... the noise officer just arrives at the perimeter of the property and...this is it...makes a subjective opinion on the sound, but doesn't use an actual Decibel Meter to gauge the volume... so the bands get stopped but the old cunt cutting the grass with the loud lawnmower doesn't.. all this from some crappy citizen phoning and complaining.
You're familiar with our 'Select Quotes' section of our site... where we ask the bands we interview their thoughts on the world and its future, so I guess your time has come... what are your thoughts?

It's either:
a) a total war
b) big brother coming home to roost
c) Mother Earth kicking man's ass...
d)All the above.

Either way it's just a matter of time, quite possibly in our lifetimes and the shit will hit the fan!
Which of the four do you favor will happen first?
Well, I think big brother is already here and has been for a while, its a gradual process...when it gets too obvious there will be unrest and a war is inevitable. The natural chaos could, of course, happen at any time.
To quote Neitzsche: 'The world is beautiful, but has a disease called man.' We are without a doubt the most self-destructive creature this world has , and quite possibly will ever know. Not to mention the most egotistical, always proclaiming ourselves so superior to anything in nature. Sometimes even going so far as saying we've overcome and conquered nature... there is also another quote well-fitting...'Nature does not belong to us, we belong to her.'
If anything we are superior at destroying ourselves and the world around us. A nuclear warhead burns many times hotter than even the sun. How proud we should be to know we could destroy our very world many times over. Your thoughts on all of this?
Well, also how fitting that man is the gate, from with the ancient ones will reemerge into this realm! People should just look at the damage an earthquake or volcano does... who the fuck does man think he is to try and tame nature? Ha! I guess with the power of the atom, we can harness the real destructive powers of nature...who needs god? Man can do it himself now. There is a certain greediness that exists in human beings... I doubt that'll ever change.
Who would you say is the one person, past or present, whom you most greatly respect? And Why? I admire people who have what I would say Gung ho or a Hard Core kind of approach to life... real people... they're hard to come by but oh so important in these dubious times... like Hitler was, like I AM! I kinda respect Aleister Crowley for his occult work, but he's a homo so yeah... not that side of things...
Now, hypothetically speaking, you are granted one question by some 'All-knowing being' what would it be?
The secret of the universe of course.. How to transverse and inter-react with different realms. Power basically.
Your final thoughts and words of wisdom to the readers of Mourning the Ancient?
Ok, firstly thanx for this rather interesting interview, and all the best with MTA!!! Also, buy our CDs!! ha ha... its probably best to mail me at: nm@ts.co.nz Lastly...don't be a drone and keep your eyes and mind open!


A few of Xanataph's recent endeavors...

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