The following interview was prepared by Cursed Empire 'Zine #4 on November 25, 1999...

How did the idea come out to start MTA?

Well, back in October of 1995 we began to experiment with our brand of photography. The two of us also began talking about doing a magazine covering the music we appreciate. The idea naturally came to combine the two elements, incorporated with our specific feelings toward the world and existence as a whole. Back in this time we had originally planned for a paper edition of MTA, but after long delays we decided to publish online in July of 1998.

What is the main goal of MTA?

It is multi-faceted. It was designed to help promote the music we personally find worth in... while it is also an artistic expression of ourselves. It is the voice of opposition against such things as conformity, political correctness, 'new age' thinking and censorship, amongst many other things.

What does the name MTA mean to you?

Mourning the Ancient reflects our longing, our love for the old ways of the past-both not so distant and ancient. The men and women of the past are far more valuable to us than any living today. I look to the past for inspiration, strength and guidance. While I hold nothing but contempt and hatred for modern man and the culture and civilization he has built. It is a self-destructive, cowardly and filthy modern world.

Is there an ideological side behind MTA?

Of course, there are many ideals which MTA represents. Truth, perhaps above all.

"The truth is a lie...". This statement can be found in your web-site. What does this statement mean to you? Is there a deep meaning you try to pass concerning this statement? What does "the truth" mean to you?

It has a higher meaning. It refers to the lies that the world rulers and the international media pass off as truth. The deeper meaning is perhaps not to take things for face value. Television, newspapers, magazines, radio, the movie industry, schools, books... all of these things are often a cesspool of lies and distortions. Ultimately they are mass tools of control and brainwashing to their subjects. I implore everyone to seek the truth that they hide from us. While the truth may not 'set you free,' it will enrage you beyond anything else. Truth is often a matter of opinion, a self-styled point of view of the topic in question. But there are indisputable truths. Universal truths which none can deny. This brand of truth is what is important to me. One way these truths can be singled out is by looking toward nature and her laws and cycles. Man has deemed himself somehow above nature's laws and distorted her truths in order to serve himself. He will soon find the ultimate punishment for his offense: Extinction.

What do you know regarding American Ancient People (Incan, Aztec, Cherokee, Choctaw...)? Is there one that you are astonished for?

Well, growing up in our school system we are taught a rather stereotypical portrayal of the Native American people. There is a wide array of opinions amongst Americans regarding them. Some admire them for the natural lifestyles that they once lived (which all peoples of the past, let's not forget, once lived.) I often hear the argument that this land belongs to them, and that we, the white/black/Asian population are intruders... well, nature teaches us that no land belongs to any man. The Native Americans, in a broad sense, also believed this. When the early settlers came to them with offers to 'buy' land they thought it quite absurd that anyone could actually 'own' land. Ultimately, we are renting this Earth from nature. All of us are intruders, and given the chance most of us as 'humans' would 'take' what we want from another. By natures laws, who can deny the fact that she encourages this? It happens in the animal kingdom. It happens in the human kingdom. It always has, it always will.

What about Paganism in general? What about your religious views? Do you see it as a good or evil thing for mankind?

I do not specifically have religious views. Modern 'paganism' is often a distortion of the way things really were. Part of this is due to fools modernizing ancient beliefs to better suite their modern lifestyles. Also, a great deal of knowledge and culture was destroyed by Christianity. Despite this, from what I feel and have researched, I find a higher truth in much of the religions which Christianity attempted to destroy. On a more human level, the pagan religions were fashioned after nature's laws, they had many logical aspects to them which modern religion completely lacks. They possessed a balance so important to life and existence itself. The majority of pagan religions, regardless of the culture or race which believed in them, were nature oriented religions. On the other hand, on a not-so-human level, I also find great spiritual worth in the religious beliefs of our pagan ancestors.

Christianity has stolen many customs/feasts/sacred places from Pagan People of the Past and has changed its names. They have turned Pagan Gods/Goddesses into (Christians) demons, making people believe that the Christian God was "the good one," "the right one," "the true one"... What is your opinion about this? Why do you think people believed in Christian's lies? Do you think Christianity shall fall down in the future? Is that future far away from us?

You bring to light a good point, and I believe it would be wise if someone in the underground would publish more information on the subject of the first part of your question. As it seems that so many are still in the dark about this truth. The music underground which we both are a part of is highly anti-Christian, and its been this way since its beginning. Much of this was originally motivated by the factors of rebellion and shock value (back in the late 70's-80's)... but now, I see the scene has changed a lot, and many musicians have, or are starting to learn the truth. Our black/death metal music scene has much become a vehicle of protest and propaganda warfare against Christianity. And of course, this is a very good thing. After all, Christianity has bombarded our people's minds for centuries with their propaganda and brainwashing. The difference is, we have a historical and factual basis when we speak of the true evils of Christianity. There is in our scene an international front of people from every different country of this world, who's ancestors faced the same Christian blade in the past. People who would never normally be in contact with one another due to geographic location, such as you and myself, have been united in a sense by music. Do I see a future without Christianity? I don't think it will be that easy. I think we are stuck with this menace for the long run. But, people are awakening to their lies. They are no longer believing in a 'god' that does not believe in them. But is it a little too little, a little too late? We need a stronger unified front to disseminate the truth of this matter.

What do you think about those Neo-Pagan/Wiccan shit that have risen nowadays? I think they are a blasphemy against the Ancient Ones because they believe Pagan People of the Past were a peaceful people that only loved Nature. They even accept Christians in their covens!?!?!? Your thoughts, please....

Well, I pretty much answered this in a previous question, but I'll try to elaborate. It's no secret, that even in the technological society which we live, people still feel a longing within them for the idea of 'god(s).' This is due to many factors. Some use this to combat their fear of death, their loneliness, their instability and uncertainty... and some I think generally feel something more than their human frames, and this motivates them to seek out their 'spirituality.' It's very easy for modern man to shun the idea of a 'god' in today's age. Science has largely become the religion of atheism. Many questions that we once associated with 'god(s)' have been answered by science. But, many remain, and some of these will remain forever. So there will always be a place for the idea of 'god(s)' in people's lives. But, on a deeper level, I have experienced many things which science could never touch upon. I believe there to be something more, but I don't need to place a name on my beliefs. It's rather something that could not be expressed with speech, let alone pen down or type. I've met a vast array of 'pagans' so far in my life. Mostly, they have left me with disgust. Although, of all the brands of modern paganism, based upon the people I've met personally, I do hold respect for the way of Asa-Tru. But even this way is based more on the belief of the particular clan, not some universal doctrine which all of them follow in some orthodox manner. And that's fine also, as long as the principles of the belief are held intact. Wicca is something which I do not respect. It is indeed a modern machine of feminism. But even within the branches of Wicca are many self-styled covens, so I cannot say with absolute certainty that my judgment carries to them all.

What do you think about the increasing numbers of bands from USA that mix NS ideas with Black Metal? What are your views on NS ideas?

Well, to answer this question, I think we would have to look at what black metal is, and what it stands for. In one example, as I mentioned above, black metal is usually highly anti-Christian, which in a sense would make it political. As much as some forms of government try to separate the two-religion and politics, the truth is, they have always gone hand in hand. Much of modern democracy is based on Christian views, although the first form of democracy was found in ancient Sumeria (usually, where there is power, religion is not far behind pulling on its strings, or attempting to gain a foothold). Above all, black metal/death metal has always carried a spirit of politics on the side. It is a music where people can express what is important to them, what is relevant to the world they live. It has, and should remain, an extreme, non-commercial forum of expressing one's thoughts and views. Extreme in the sense that the topics dealt with are outside the sphere of the common man. Not that these things are not also important to the common person, but rather that he either lazily prefers not to deal with them, or is afraid to express his feelings on the matter due to their often controversial nature. To discuss NS would mean giving a political definition for what it represents, or rather, what these bands think it represents. Why has this topic and specific political view found a place recently in black metal? Well, perhaps people are realizing that our present forms of government have failed. They have left the people of this world wholly unsatisfied, and the promises of freedom that democracy has offered us are sadly fading away. NS is obviously a stark alternative of opposition to the current governments that they feel have enslaved them. Largely, in the case of some of these bands at least, I think it is rebellion against what they feel is wrong. What has left their lives empty, left their potentials unfulfilled. Let's face it, most people have rather simple needs, regardless of race or country, most of all they wish to simply be left alone and be able to live their lives the way they wish to live them. When they feel they can no longer do that, they seek an escape, an alternative, a new way. I think this definition could suit many people worldwide, as the more people I interview and talk to globally, the more I realize, something has gone terribly wrong. It's also worth noting that regardless of the person's geographical situation, language, race or even religion, that people in general seem to share the same frustrations and anger toward the modern world. In the end, when all the tags and titles are stripped, all of us are equally slaves to the powers that be. We are heading toward certain annihilation if something drastic is not done soon. And those in power can deny this, try as they might, but the voice of the people, first a whisper of protest, is now growing into a shout of unrest. The winds of change are blowing on planet Earth once more.

Do you like the country you live? What are the positive/negative things concerning the USA? If you could change something, what would you change?

I like many elements about America. And I dislike many things also. To love something you naturally hate the things which are in opposition of it. I respect this land on many different levels, it was the place that gave me birth, sustenance, and a reason to fight. I think greed is a major negative factor which motivates far too many people here, but that can be said about any country. We seem to be a country motivated a lot by instant gratification. And I think that is also very negative. This has to do a lot with over-industrialization and the fast-paced environment of our work places. Many of the negative aspects involve human nature, and not necessarily being American. I think you'd find the majority of our problems in any country. Of course, our military's agendas I am in opposition of also. We have become the world police force, getting involved in situations which we are not needed, nor wanted. I'd like to also point out that many Americans feel this way also. Ultimately we have no choice in what our government does anymore. Money and power speak far louder than morals, honor and the voice of the people in today's age. We see our freedom dwindling away...

Let's talk about MTA itself. You started as a web-zine a year ago, but now you will release MTA in a paper format. Why is that? I myself think that paper 'zines have a underground spirit and web-zines will never replace its spirit. What about you?

This spring we will release MTA in a paper edition, which was our original intention. I agree with you, online 'zines lack the feeling that traditional paper 'zines have. And for that reason we've always wished MTA would have debuted with a paper edition, but as I mentioned earlier that wasn't possible at the time.

Are there any 'zines that have influenced MTA to start its journey? What are your faves 'zines worldwide?

I can't say any influenced us, or that I have a favorite. I was never really into 'zines, more the musical aspect of the scene. I do however have more of an attraction to the truly underground mags, be they photocopied and stapled or whatever. I like to see people striving for what they love, and doing the best job they can, regardless of the money spent printing it. The spirit is what's important to me.

What must a band have to be interviewed by MTA? What is the best interview you have already done?

Well, foremost we must like something about the band, primarily their music. These days we try to concentrate more on the unsigned acts who I feel need the support far more than these big bands. Bands in their demo stages usually have a certain hunger, a raw intensity that I like. I hate to see these big bands changing their image/style for a broader audience. Best interview...well, I like all of the bands we cover in one way or the other, or liked them at the time the specific interview was done, but I obviously prefer interviews which show the person's intelligence and wit. I like musicians who are not afraid to state their beliefs, who aren't afraid of offending others by what they truly feel. A lot of people, for example, don't really wish to talk about their politics, for many reasons like label pressure, they're afraid the media will attack them for their beliefs, etc.... recently we did an interview with Ordo Equitum Solis of Italy, which was a pleasure for me, since I have listened to their music for many years, and have hardly ever read much about them, and never an interview. So it is always nice to know the people behind the music. Although sometimes, I'm sure you're familiar with this, the band can disappoint you, and listening to their music afterwards is never quite the same.

You have released a Photo-CD. Could you tell us about its concept and ideas behind it.

The photo CD is a collection of our photography from over the years. Which contains a little over 500 photos, 95% of them exclusive to the CD. It's set up to run much like a webpage, utilizing Internet Explorer 4.0 and above as a viewer. It also contains music and video designed for it. We had countless difficulties in releasing this. The CD pressers turned us down when we approached them to mass produce it for us after seeing the imagery/photography. But, despite their attempts at censoring us, it's finally available through our website. And as a final note, I am very pleased with it, all of our work indeed paid off on a personal level.

You are planning to release a video, right? What kind of video will it be?

It's hard to explain in words... but, think of our photography in motion, but much more. It will movie-like, having segments based on different themes, totaling maybe an hour or so in length. It's a project which we are spending a lot of time and effort on currently.

The video soundtrack will be done by several well known artists, including:

Peter K. of Abigor (Austria)
Absurd (Germany)
Necros of Theatres des Vampires (Italy)
Mark of ...The Soil Bleeds Black (USA)
C. Davis of The Mourning/Profane Grace (USA)
Robert of Demoncy/Mysterian (USA)
Xanataph of Daemon/Beltane (New Zealand)
Mikael of Thy Primordial/Indungeon (Sweden)

We will also release a soundtrack CD of the music appearing on our video. It should be a very unique release.

Besides MTA paper format and the video, what are you planning for the future?

Well, between the website, the video and a paper edition of MTA, that doesn't allow us much time for anything else unfortunately. Sometime next year we will release another limited edition photo CD I imagine. We'll see what the future holds...

Let's talk about musical tastes. What are the bands you listen to nowadays? Could you give us your 10 best albums ever?

Ten best albums... quite difficult, but I'll give you an example of some of my favorite ten from over the no particular order.

Burzum -Burzum-
Barathrum -Legions of Perekele-
Beherit -Drawing down the Moon-
Ordo Equitum Solis -Animi Aegritudo-
Bathory -Under the Sign of the Black Mark-
Abigor -Invoke the Dark Age-
Funeral -Tragedies-
Weltenbrand -Das Rabenland-
Countess -The Book of the Heretic-
Mayhem -Deathcrush

Very difficult to do, as there are so many others who deserve to be on this list.

What could you tell me about the American scene? Which are the bands worthy to be checked out in the USA?

The United States metal scene had been growing nicely the past few years. Lots of good bands have arisen. Among them are Judas Iscariot, Darkmoon, Pantheon, Demoncy, Myrmidon, Noctuary, Messe Noir... and probably many others I'm forgetting or am not familiar with yet. The US scene is growing fast, and beginning to get a lot of recognition due to the aforementioned bands and others.

Do you know/like any band/'zine from Brazil?

One thing I've learned through doing a music magazine is that the metal scene in Brazil is huge. Many bands, 'zines, distros, fans, etc.... Unfortunately, not many of these reach the USA really. Your band, Lament, I did find to be quite good, very true to the particular style and adding some unique elements to the art. I encourage more bands from your country to send us their demos for exposure through MTA, i.e. -review and possible interview.

I've been waiting for this question the whole interview.... MTA has asked this question to each person you have interviewed. What are your views on the future of the mankind? Do you foresee anything good/bad?

Yes, this is a question we ask all of those we interview, and more times than not, they answer with a 'negative' outlook toward the future. And I must agree. I have felt this way for quite some time, I can't say when exactly. Of course, there have always been problems in society. Wherever there are humans they will bring their problems with them. But, when I look to the way we are destroying and polluting our planet... when I look to the astounding over-population figures (over six billion now)... and all the world's government corruption and the filth that lay in the people's hearts these days, I can't help but have a dark attitude when thinking of the future. I have little respect for the human race when faced with these facts. We have little to be proud of as a whole, when you come to terms with the reality that sooner than later there will be none of us left to tell of our so-called 'accomplishments.' Every technological advance that is heralded as so great a benefit to mankind seems to bring us closer to oblivion. And in that respect we are all guilty and should be judged so. It's hard to believe that we have done more damage to this planet in the past century than we have ever done in the history of mankind. That is a fact. But does anyone care? Largely, no. These international corporations will continue to plunder our earth's resources until nothing remains. The almighty profit, greed and gain motivates all. And what's worse is they take us all along for the ride straight to our collective graves. But it's far more than just an ecological problem. People's hearts have grown rotten. Indeed their very souls have a disease. The only thing really left for us to do is brace for impact, and see who survives. But, sadly, we all know the truth. It is human nature, perhaps some elusive genetic flaw that makes personal gain override even self-destruction in most of mankind. We spit upon our ancestors, rape our children of their futures and slowly kill ourselves all in a days work for the 'superior species' of Earth. And, when it all comes toppling down, like history proves it always does, like rats we will climb atop our ruins and rebuild again, and ultimately, learn nothing. We are doomed to repeat our mistakes. While some might find this negative and harsh, it is truthful. Each and every one of us was thrown into our own little personal hell at birth, and now it's time for us to burn.

Last words are yours.....

I extend my thanks to you for the interview and interest...

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