Interview: Artisian

Moloch Hate

“Our biggest achievement? The fact the band is still on the go after 13 years, doing our eighth album, and the tours we have done are good, we have toured all over Europe.”

Artisian are arguably one of the longer serving bands hailing from Derby but perhaps one that you aren’t aware of if you aren’t on the black metal scene.

As the man behind the band Moloch says they have now been together for more than a decade and are working on their eighth long-player which will be released later this year via label Salute Records. Over the years they’ve played across Europe and supported many of the biggest names on their scene. “We have toured with Marduk twice, Mayhem, Gorgoroth twice, Napalm Death, Enthroned, Nachtmystium, Dark Fortress, and many others.”

Set up as a solo project Moloch has at times performed solo, others with live drummer and more members. But being born as an individual project it means he is behind the sound of the band. He said, “I set the band up in 2004 as a one piece – I was fed up with bands falling apart! So I bought my first guitar – I am a bass player – down tuned it and set up a barred blues tuning, bought a drum machine with a foot switch, wrote a set, recorded an album and booked some gigs.

“The first time was horrific! I was used to being on stage with three or four other guys but all eyes were on me only. I did this about eight times before I got a live drummer. If anyone leaves it’s never an issue as I can gig as a one-piece again and have done most of the albums like this. The line up has changed over the years, people move on, girlfriends tell people to leave and some people get fired for being lazy!”

Taking sound influences from hardcore punk and black metal the blackened crust scene fuses two genres which have previously remained quite separate, but have many cross-overs in style and ethos. “Naming our influences…that’s hard! I suppose for Artisian it would be Dark Throne and Discharge, Totenmond and Immolation. I have lots of other influences though, they come through in other projects.”

Both locally and nationally the scene, like others, has a fluctuating attendance at gigs but a strong following. “The scene goes up an down in my own personal experience. I tend to use a booking agent for tours and he puts us out on packages with other established acts and people come out for those shows, some of the small ones are very well attended too. Phil Core of Torturous Promotions works exceptionally hard in the local scene and has good turn outs for his shows, but its all very fickle; a small local show can be rammed or quiet, and large shows are the same – although the established acts may not tell you that!

“Locally the scene is not bad. I was at a good black metal night in Notts a few weeks ago at the Navigation. It was well attended and really good quality bands.”

Driven from a solo project it’s unsurprising that Moloch writes and records much of the music himself, following a fairly DIY ethic, not unusually in the blackened crust scene. “I do it all, apart from the drums. I get a riff in my head, I sing it into my phone voice recorder – all very high tech – then sit down and play it on the guitar, then record it on my laptop, write out the tabs, do the bass lines, then the lyrics. I record them to a click and whoever is doing the drums or drum programmes will do that last, if its drum progs its usually the same guy who is doing the recording/mixing and mastering.

“Its all very lo-fi, raw and necro in fashion, its adds to the atmosphere of the album and overall sound that we are trying to achieve. It moves, develops and changes each release, depending on what the focus of the subject matter is; sometimes the albums are hotter with anger and rage, and other times a lot colder with despondence and other vibes.”

The band rarely play Derby but currently rehearse at Dubrek. New album Ghost In Fog, recorded at the Music Shed will be out in the summer.

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