The following interview was done by L'Instrument 'Zine....
Who is Mourning the ancient, and what are its views ?
Mourning the Ancient consists of one other person and myself. It began this way in the fall of 1995, and it will end this way one day. Generally, we don't infuse any views into our work beyond that of a webzine. Our film, however, gave us the chance to do that. But we'll talk about that later in the interview.
How long have you been into photography for?
Since 1995 basically. We began with the only equipment at our disposal, a cheap instant camera. All of our early works were done with primitive equipment, mostly due to a complete lack of funds. More recently we've finally managed to obtain a digital camera which satisfies our needs.
Please describe your work in a few words.
Well, it is hard for me to describe our work in many words really, let alone a few. I think it explores aspects of life and death. Some of it is brutally dark, while some of it attempts to display innocence and beauty.
Have you ever experienced problems with people rejecting your work and/or trying to interfere?
Yes indeed we have. Lots of censorship. Which is why our photo CD's are on CD-R instead of CD-ROM. We approached a number of businesses only to be turned down because they personally didn't like our work. More recently the same thing happened with our film. The first few places turned us down and informed us not to return once they saw our material. These tyrants who think they have the power to censor us and play god as to who views and does not view our work have never stopped us. To the contrary. They only make us more determined. They see the expansion rune, i.e. pentagram, and are scared off from the beginning. They are perfectly programmed drones, accepting all of the lies they've been fed over the years as absolute truth. Yet, we live in a land supposed to be free, which prides itself on being amongst the most free in the world. Yet, where was our freedom of speech, expression, or religion? The results of years of hard work, suppressed. And for what reason? Out of at least a dozen instances they could give none. Freedom? I spit on the lie they masquerade as 'freedom'.
You released two compilations of photos on CD-R. What are the main differences between them?
The two CD's span different years of our work. Our second CD we had various artists contribute music tracks which play as you are viewing the picture galleries, we also created music for that purpose, which led us to doing a CD under the name Primitive Supremacy. Somewhere down the road we'll release a third photo CD as well, which promises to be more diverse than the previous. It will also contain a much larger amount of material than the last, which was over five hundred pictures.
What feelings do you try to express through your photos?
It is quite vast, since we've done so many different types of pictures. We tended to explore darker aspects of things in the past, usually with a semi-medieval, pagan tinged atmosphere. In the past few years we've explored a much broader array of themes. Most importantly, we try to capture emotion into our work. Largely the emotions have been 'negative' ones, simply because we project into our work what we feel.
Mourning the ancient is getting to be a more and more vast artistic project which now includes music with Primitive Supremacy and even video. Will there be a limit to your creativity?
We've never actually planned any of our projects, outside of our film. More than not, we usually work on a whim. Some months and years have been more creative for us than others. 2002 has perhaps been our most productive, seeing the release of both our Primitive Supremacy CD and our film. Perhaps before we will find a limit to our creativity we will have long lost our motivation to express ourselves.
About Primitive Supremacy, is this project getting fully independent of MTA, or shall both projects remain related?
Since Primitive Supremacy was born from a necessity dictated by the second Mourning the Ancient photo CD, we'll always see it as related. We are always in need of music for our photo CD and film projects, so it's useful to have a reserve of tracks available.
What kind of music do you play with PS, and how will be the forthcoming releases?
It is a dark, obscure insanity. I imagine the following releases will further this goal.
You released recently a video. What is featured in it?
First, the soundtrack really shines with some brilliant music contributions I should mention. Peter of Abigor wrote two fantastic classical pieces. Mikael of Thy Primordial wrote an excellent key-based piece. Also are great contributions by Xanataph of Beltane, Mark of ...The Soil Bleeds Black and Necros of Theatres des Vampires. Additionally, we filled in the rest of the soundtrack. It is very interesting to see the amazing talent of the musicians who typically play fast black metal. All of the tracks contributed are exclusive to the film as well. The film itself is very rich in symbolism and atmosphere. We unleashed a lot of our own negativity to create something substantial and positive. It is a vision into madness and despair. Of dream and nightmare. Those interested can obtain a copy for themselves at : www.mourningtheancient.com
MTA is also a zine. Why did you make it a webzine, instead of a paper zine as planned at the beginning?
Well, back in 1995 we knew nothing of making a quality zine. And quality is something we strove for. We wanted to exhibit our photography as well, and a photocopied zine wouldn't have allowed that very well. The internet was the alternative we chose. As cold and impersonal as the internet is, it was the right choice for us.
The interviews feature bands coming from really various musical styles, from extreme metal music to dark industrial. Is there something common to all of them? Why did you choose such a diversity?
We interview a band first based upon if they can catch our interest. If the band has captured emotion, feeling, then that is essential. So much of music today is without either.
Now, let's focus on your personality. What beliefs or philosophy influence your lifestyle the most?
We're influenced by the deeds and beauty of the past. Likewise we are influenced by the decay of today. We try to capture this and present them both side by side in our work.
Viewed from Northern America, what do you think of the decrease of European cultures for 50 years now?
I think it is an atrocity. Preserving ones culture should be of the highest degree of importance, right alongside of preserving ones own life and that of his/her race. Our culture was forged from the accomplishments of our race through thousands of years. Yet, as you said, in the last fifty years, since the end of WWII, we see a vast decline. This decline, let me point out, is not exclusive to Europe but of the entire world. Mankind has forgotten the simple truths. The common man has been manipulated by the tyrants of this world. Gorged with enormous ego and greed, mankind has succeeded in destroying a good portion of this earth, and with it, inevitably, himself. Every conceivable vicious act has been committed by humanity over and over again, nothing is sacred, nothing is pure. No longer does humanity look to the earth in reverence, only in selfish desire for what can be taken from it for personal gain. What a horrid inheritance for the future children of the earth.
One can find on your site solidarity messages for Hendrik Möbus. Have you been in contact with him? What do you think of him as a leader and as a musician?
Hendrik Mobus is a distant friend to us, and we respect him for his fearless devotion to the things he holds dear. The last time we were in contact with him was before he was extradited back to Germany. That was when we did an extensive interview with him to try to banish some of the lies about his character and situation. The 'powers that be' wanted to silence him, first and foremost, not because he violated some of their ridiculous laws, like doing the 'stiff arm salute' at a show, but because of his ideas. They fear the truth, and they despise anything that questions their absolute power. Is it not they who are the criminals, even breaking their own laws in the pursuit of retaining their power? They are building an empire of slaves and drones, we are not cattle to them, we are much less. Hendrik is one of many who represent this injustice. Legally, he should have been granted political asylum in the Unites States, since the so called 'crimes' he was wanted for are not crimes here. They did an extensive search for him stretching from Europe to America. When they finally found him they certainly were not willing to give him up. So forget such thoughts of liberty, freedom and justice. Those are now outdated concepts of the past. Welcome to the future. A grim world where our international masters decide our fate at their whim. Ah, what a wonderful world.
What do you think of nowadays Black Metal scene? What are you favorite bands?
Generally, I think that the black metal scene of 2000-2002 has grown rather dull and boring. However, there are a number of exceptions. While I long for the old days, I do find release in some of the more recent releases. An example of 'recent' faves might be... Beltane (New Zealand), 'the true' Frost (Germany), Sadogoat (Denmark), Antaeus (France), Axis of Advance (Canada), Barathrum (Finland)... Some favorite older bands, which include some of the aforementioned, for example are: Burzum, Beherit, Ordo Equitum Solis, Master, Funeral... too many to list. Every genre of music has its ups and downs though. Black Metal will never die!
What artists influence the most your aesthetic feelings and thoughts?
One of my favorite bands is Ordo Equitum Solis. I'm not sure if they influenced me in any way, but they certainly created a lot of moods in the early days of our work. A sort of soundtrack to our early work. The feeling and intensity of their work is unmatched in their genre. Outside of music, the sculptors of Breker are fantastic and masterful. There are many artists of the past who capture my imagination.
Is there a message you want to spread for our readers?
First, thanks to you for the interest and interview. Second, seek the truth, or be imprisoned by lies. The Beast's power is growing, let our resistance grow with it!
Back to Misc.