You started Black Altar in 1996, who influenced you at this time and have your influences changed?
They were definitely Norwegian bands like Mayhem, Burzum, Emperor, Immortal, Darkthrone etc. Fortunately, I managed not to copy them, but I hope to create a fairly recognizable style for Black Altar. Now my taste have changed, still the first albums of the above mentioned bands are extremely important to me, although I rarely listen to them, and my preferences went more towards Swedish black metal, i.e. generally fast, melodic and with better sound. I also like Greek bands like Acherontas or Haxandraok, whose debut is for me the best album of this year.
You’ve been working with some great musicians including Lars Broddesson [ex Marduk and Funeral Mist], Alexandros [Macabre Omen], and Mauser [ex Vader]. How did you meet these artists and what was it like to work with them?
I have known everyone personally for a long time, so it was easier. E.g. I took Lars and the rest of Marduk on a full-day adventure to see Hitler's headquarters at WolfSchanze (it was 10 years ago). I've known Mauser for over 20 years, because Vader is from my home town, and now we both live in London, just like Alexandros from Macabre Omen. It is an honor and pleasure to work with them. I am also very happy that it succeeded. Mauser joined the band as a full member and we are slowly preparing to play the first gigs at festivals.
You plan to release a new split album at the end of June. Who else will the split feature, and what can we expect from this album?
The second band on the split is the Norwegian Kirkebrann. They play black metal in Taake style. Black Altar has quite an original one that is hard to describe, but these 2 songs that I put there were quite hit-like. The split is entitled "Deus Inversus" and contains 7 songs of a very interesting black metal mixture. The album is released by my label Odium Records as a digipack cd and limited vinyl in the standard and die hard version. The title song, "Deus Inversus", has a video clip as a promotion of the release.
After twenty-four years of not performing live, you now have two festivals lined up for the end of the year. Has anything changed, or is this just a natural progression for Black Altar?
That's right, neither Black Altar nor I have ever played any concert. There were several reasons. At first, the musicians of Black Altar's first line-up didn't want to hear about playing concerts, later when I removed them from the band, I stayed alone for a dozen years or so, started a family, children were born and I didn't have time for anything. I am also picky in choosing the band members and somehow nobody met my criteria. During this time I was getting various, very interesting offers and I had to say no. The situation has changed recently, since I live in London I have found that I have perfect conditions here to play and that either now or never. On the spot, I could not really find musicians who suit me, so Ondskapt members came to me and I brought a very good guitarist from Poland. However, this cooperation has not stood the test of time and they are no longer in the band. I have a new, full line-up, I was joined by Mauser (ex Vader) among others. Finally, I agreed to the first suggestions, and so we will play the first concert at Subterranean Manifestation Fest in London as co headliner. And later in November at Darkness Guides Us Fest in Glasgow, where the line up is unearthly. I hope everything goes according to plan and the corona virus pandemic will not prevent this.
A few years ago you moved from your homeland Poland to England? What was the reason for that and do you still have old contacts in the scene in Poland and are there already new contacts in England?
I felt that I had achieved everything in my city and would either leave now or be too old for it. I was always drawn to London, especially since I lived there before. When my business started to go worse I decided to leave and it was an excellent decision. I still have old contacts there and some new ones, and many new ones in the UK.
From where do you get your lyrical inspiration?
I draw inspiration from everything that surrounds me, mainly from occult books, films, sometimes from dreams, my own thoughts, and generally from the reality that surrounds me.
What are your future plans for both Black Altar, and your record label, Odium Records?
Black Altar's next plans are the premiere of the music video for the song "Deus Inversus", which will take place on May 25th, plus the premiere of the split with Kirkebrann and preparation for concerts. Then a vinyl split with the iconic Norwegian Vulture Lord, which returns after 17 years. As far as Odium Records is concerned, there will also be a release of the split together with an excellent Greek band Enshadowed as well as their new album. Then around September a new album of the Polish band Hell-Born, which returns after 12 years with a new material. It is a band of the co-founder and former members of Behemoth. I will release this CD along with the aforementioned Vulture Lord, who returns with a CD composed by Nefas just before his death 8 years ago. The new line-up includes musicians of Urgehal, Carpathian Forest, Tsjuder, Endezzma, Beascraft and Thornspawn. After these releases, I intend to significantly reduce releasing stuff and focus mainly on Black Altar.