Hi again, Reverend Bizarre. The first question is obvious: The journey of the Reverend ends. Please tell us, why!
Albert: To cut it short, our time just ran out. There is and end for everything. This is not what we planned but you can´t always control your own life and things that happen to you. Personally for me there was no way to go on anymore without major changes in my life, not JUST because of Reverend Bizarre, but for other reasons too. Reverend Bizarre was the first thing I was able to cut out as these other things meant more to me and were deeper inside of me. These other burdens were in a different level so to speak. I continued cutting things out, but finally I found myself completely lost. Now I am slowly coming back but still unsure about many things. I am sure though that the death of Reverend Bizarre was the right thing to do, especially when thinking about the last gigs and how great they were and this last album which is our best work. Without knowledge of the end we could not have done all of this with such quality!
How is the feedback for this decision (Fans, friends, etc.)?
Albert: Of course many people feel sad, but they seem to understand why these things happened and they respect us for being so strict with our vision and not going on for wrong reasons. I am sure there are also many people who are happy that we will be no more. We always had enemies too… loners doing their miserable bed room recordings and writing to message boards and so on. None of my friends were really surprised to see this happening as they knew how tortured I was. They know me and that I always do what I really feel inside.
You once promised that each Reverend Bizarre Album will be different from the others. And you've made it. But please explain: In which way does this hold for "So long suckers" in your opinion?
Albert: I think So Long Suckers is the most varied and surprising of all the records we ever did. It has so many different things in it. Still the same time it is strongly connected to our past and in a way our future too. I am sure this album will be one of the reasons why some people will remember us. This last album makes the whole circle complete. It is return to the beginning and same time it is a large leap ahead.
How do you write a song that is longer than twenty minutes? Does it grow for weeks or do you have the whole vision in mind at once?
Albert: Some of the separate ideas that are now found on this album have been with me for more than ten years. Earliest parts are back from 1991. But I never sit down to write things, they just come to me. Of course arranging things and making everything finished demands also conscious work. Making music is very natural to me. I will go on doing it as long as it is like this. The day when ideas won´t come anymore will be a great relief. Then I will start doing something else or perhaps I leave this planet. I do have brief moments when I see the whole thing inside of me very clearly! It really is a vision, I see the music and hear the colours or something like that. It is hard to explain. Then when I take my bass or guitar I just play what I felt in this strange state. When I go for a walk in the woods the music comes to. Or when I am drinking coffee in my friend´s place…It can happen everywhere, every day. There is no difference between songs lasting for 2:45 or 29:33 when thinking about it like this. Except that it is harder to do short songs. I am really bad at it. I have succeeded only few times.
"Sorrow" sounds like tears, pain and emptiness. What is this song about?
Albert: I know that you won´t be surprised if I won´t reveal what it is about…and I am quite positive that many listeners will get the picture anyway. What I can tell you is that when I wrote those lyrics it took me a long time before I decided that I will and could use them. I felt bad for releasing this material. It is different thing to write very openly about your own things, troubles and sorrows, but when it touches someone else too you start to worry about things. I do not want to exploit with other person´s feelings and pains. These lyrics could be from a diary if I had one. I am still bit embarrassed about the whole thing but I am glad I dared to sing it. Now it is there. This whole album is very naked and skeletal. You can really see through me if you want to.
Please tell us something about "One last time" as well. It is much more hateful than the other songs.
Albert: Hateful? In what way? I think it is about feeling warmth for the last time before you sacrifice yourself for your land, which I probably would not do anyway, but neither I would beg for anyone to come close to me hah! It is not hateful. It is cheesy!
"Funeral summer" is a classical Doom track. Right?
Albert: If you say so.
The hymn on your new album is "Caesar forever". Some facts about this one as well, please!
Albert: I pass this to Peter who wrote it. All I can say is that it is the epic song that this album needed even when I was not that sure about it in the beginning. I liked the song, but I felt it might be bit too far away from the others. It is far a way, but I was wrong. It is good that it comes from a another soul and mind and brings new colours to the whole thing. One fact is that I could not understand what Peter wanted me to play in the outro of the song. We did not speak the same language. So now you can hear few minutes of Peter playing my bass in the very end.
How and why did you choose the album cover?
Albert: By heart. I had some other ideas in my mind too, but then I remembered Jan Toorop who´s art I love. I went through most of his works and finally had few options, including my all time favourite from him “The Three Brides”. I however decided to use this one, which is actually a version of “The Three Brides” in a way! The title of the album creates nice contrast to the artwork.
Lets talk about Doom Metal in general. Please describe the development of this kind of music in the last ten years.
Albert: It came back with force, but now I feel it has reached its heap. It can´t go further. Maybe it should return to the shadows again and become more obscure. Sometimes you should not get too familiar with things. I miss the days when I knew nothing about these bands and it was hard to get their albums…bands like Revelation and Count Raven and such…who later became friends with us. Of course I am happy about how things have become, but I am one of those who get bored with things that are TOO easily available. I want to seek and hunt and do research. I am happy that Peter´s new band starts with 7”. It is the right thing to do! I however am also happy that old classics from Trouble and Pentagram and Witchfinder General are nowadays available again, but I feel that Doom Metal is in the point where it will naturally take few steps backwards and return to underground. Or if it won´t it will become something else. When saying this I want to point out that I am delighted for the success of bands like The Gates of Slumber and Warning who really do what they want to do and with great spirit! I wish them ALL the best!
What to you like most in Doom Metal? And is there something you dislike?
Albert: I like everything in pure Doom Metal. Strength, spirituality, purity, down to earth attitude, riffs, beats, rhythms, intensity, minimalism…everything. I will never grow out of all of this. It is inside of me. What I dislike in Doom Metal is that certain people find it so “hot” thing that they like to steal that term and use it in their very indefinite projects. Hah hah! But it is not Doom Metal´s fault. It is fault of these assholes who know nothing about respecting the roots, which is the very heart of the whole genre. I like candles and darkness and silk and lace on girls and even red wine because you can get cheaply and pleasantly drunk with it, but I won´t mix this with the music I love.
In my opinion the top selling Doom bands do not stick to the original Doom Style anymore. Considering Candlemass, for example, I cannot tell whether it is still Doom they are playing, or if it is Power Metal already. Can you name some true Doom Bands?
Albert: Us, Minotauri, The Gates of Slumber, Cold Mourning and Orodruin at least. Even Warning went to new dimensions with their second album…I do not know if I do justice to them with calling it JUST Doom Metal. Well, I will add them to the list anyway! To me they are True Doom, because you can´t get much truer than their second demo!
Is there one band who can step up to the legacy of Reverend Bizarre?
Albert: Lord Vicar. No one else could hold up to the spirit WE had. Outsiders can´t understand how it was. And in a way no one can really do that. Reverend Bizarre was something special. Three guys and lots of turmoil. In my heart the legacy of Reverend Bizarre will live until I die.
In our interview in 2004 you already predicted that you once will stop recording albums, but that you will do some gigs every now and then. So: Can we look forward seeing you live on stage again?
Albert: You mean as Reverend Bizarre? No. If we had sucked badly in our last gig then perhaps, but as we did not it is over now. There will be no return. Maybe one day, if it happens to be so that we three are in same place and there is some party go on which I doubt as we do not hang around in the same social circles, we three could play few of old songs JUST FOR FUN, but we won´t be Reverend Bizarre then, but just three individuals sharing partially common past. I myself won´t be doing any real gigs for a while. I will do few guest appearances soon because I was asked to, but this means just two songs, and maybe I will do one improvisation thing, but that is all. I do not miss being on stage. Yet.
What are your plans for the future? In music and life?
Albert: I will go on with The Puritan, with even more intense way. I hope we can record and release a little pile of CDs and vinyls in coming few years! There is plenty of material. I will also continue my work in Armanenschaft. Lately I have been playing a lot acoustic guitar. I have songs enough for one album. Hopefully I can do that one day, just for the sake of it. I like to play those songs and maybe someone would like to hear them too. My plans on other sides of life? I do not have many plans. My life is a mess really, or actually my mind is. I wish I could graduate during the next year and get rid off the university. I wish I will find inner balance and peace and state of clearness. I am experiencing moments of almost too strong clearness every now and then, but I guess it has more to do with my mental condition. My plan is to become better person and even when some of my friends say that I am already on the side of the good ones I want to become even more. I wish one day I won´t cause so much sorrow for certain people and myself. I will keep going on with my music and art and same time try to keep my sanity and little hope for things getting better one day. My psychiatrist would probably say that I try to become a Christ. Hah! Maybe I am. And in the end there will be a little flash of light.
Best wishes to you all. Any last words?
Albert: Thanks and cheers to all of our friends all around the world. I hope you enjoy these last times with us!