Speaking for myself, since I heard Venom’s Black Metal album. I know there seems to be a big debate these days as to if Venom is truly black metal but I can say that back in 1983 Venom were definitely deemed black metal. It was then the Scandinavian scene in the early nineties that revived the spark.
There seem to be only a handful of U.S. black metal bands. Does Norway where a lot of black metal bands hail from have the right kind of atmosphere or do you feel that matters?
I don’t think it matters. Evil knows no boundaries, be it nations, states, or continents.
You guys apparently have some kind of affinity for Satanism. What led you into following that sort of thing instead of just not fucking with any kind of belief system at all?
Again speaking for myself, it goes back to my childhood. Since I can remember, I have always had an affinity for the occult and the supernatural. From watching movies, reading books and just about anything else I could get my hands on regarding the occult or the mystical.
Hailing from Florida, do you have a lot of problems with Christians giving you shit about your beliefs?
Believe it or not, we have never had any problems in the state of Florida.
It said in your bio that you changed your name from Azazel to Kult Ov Azazel to distinguish yourselves from other bands using the same name. Is this a name that is used a lot and what exactly does Azazel pertain to?
Yeah it had been but that was something we were unaware of at the time. Shortly after we did the demo I found out about another band from Mexico using the same name, then it was another band from Israel. We then found out about a Finnish one that claimed to be the original and that’s a whole other story within itself, but has since been resolved and I believe they were the first out of the many others we found out about. It was then the change was made and because we were signing a four album contract with Arctic music with worldwide distribution, we wanted to distance ourselves from these others and without having to change the name drastically since we had gained a good underground following through our previous releases. But the name Azazel can be found in all religious myths. In Christianity he is one of the chiefs of 200 fallen angels and one of the Nephlilim; the Watchers known as Grigori put upon Earth to watch over and reveal knowledge to the children of mankind but instead impregnated the daughters of men spawning inhuman offsprings and were then cast into hell. Azazel was to teach how to forge and use weapons of war. Now degraded to demon status when revealed in true form Azazel has seven serpent heads, 14 faces, and 12 wings. Judaism believes he was the angel that refused to bow before Adam and was cast out of the heavens. Islam speaks much the same as the Jewish myth, yet after refusing to bow when cast out of heaven his name is changed to Eblis and is transformed into “Shetan” to become the father of devils. So that in short is some insight into the origins of the name.
Can you tell us a bit about your latest release, The World The Flesh & The Devil?
We tracked and mixed it in two weeks at Mana Studios in Tampa, Florida by Shawn Ohtani and then mastered by Erik Rutan. Content wise it contains nine songs of heretical black metal.
What kind of situations or events inspire your lyrical writing?
The lyrics I write come from first and foremost the 30 plus years I have seen religion for it is, a means to oppress individuality, free thought, natural urges, and desires in return for promises of a delusional afterlife. Also a lot of inspiration comes from subjects on the occult, Satanism, nihilism, and the worldly happenings.
What makes this release different from previous releases?
A lot more time, thought, and effort went into writing the album plus it has better songs, a better recording, and superior production to our past albums.
What three songs would you consider the most representative of your band and why?
This is a tough one as I can’t narrow them down to only three songs. I think in album terms though it is easily the newest album.
What kind of touring plans do you guys have for the future?
None at the moment. There’s a small chance that we may get over to Europe in 2006. We will also be playing some one off shows here in the States, festivals and such so just check out the website for any pending dates, www.kultovazazel.com.
Any other thoughts or comments?
Thanks for the interview and support.
Kult Ov Azazel