Estonian band Thou Shell of Death is interesting fellowship which ic covered under the robe of mystery, not only musicaly, but also with their live performance. Questions about band and some more interesting things were done by S. and answered by leader Ingmar.
S: Hi Ingmar, we didnt have talk for a long time. How are you? How was winter this year in Estonia?
Hi Stanislav. Yes it has been quite a while. I'm doing fine and winter here ...wasn't a thing that we could call winter.
S: Some people know that you are organizing festival Howls of Winter Nights, how it was this year and tell us something more about it´s idea and organization.
Howls of Winter was really success this year. Festival has almost doubled the number of public. Financially we can call it disaster, but atmosphere and all other things were just perfect. Next year edition is already half-booked. The idea is to bring some underground black metal highlights to Baltic States. Mostly I invite band by my own taste not by the „name“ or „popularity“. I hope I have invited here some less knows bands that will be legends in future.
S: Your last two releases were done by Austrian label Talheim records. How did you start to work out with this label? Did you get more attention from western Europe after you started to work with them?
For sure we have attracted more attention in German speaking countries, but point of having label is that band can concentrate on the music and other tasks are handled by the label. We have trusted our label and we don't regret it. All the attitude and quality is priceless. As our music, so are the things ...moving slowly. But things are moving and we're attracting more attention world-wide.
S: Let´s go to beginning of your band. All mighty metal-archives is telling that you started in 2010. Before that you had project Kurdhost which´s demo was released at 2005. What did you do in those 5 years? How did you created Thou Shell of Death?
I wouldn't count Khurdhost as a band. It was some kind of teenage school time project „the punk band that every metalist have had“. I was active in bands like Wrath is Evergreen and Viirastus. Actually Thou Shell of Death grew out of Viirastus. First TsoD song was created for Viirastus but it just didn't fit the idea. Also this time i wanted to do thing so, that everything is under my control and that was birth of TsoD.
All the musical activities gave me enough experience so I won't make mistakes I've done before and probably that's why TsoD is more successful. Success measured by just my opinion not by popularity.
S: How does look like creating process of your music? I imagine such music as a really deep and personal opus of one mind.
New TsoD material just „happens“ in special mood and condition. Usually I don't fix anything after I've written one song in one day cause I want that mood to stay in that song. Sometimes I write intro and leave it in my mind for some month and then it takes only about hour or two to finish it after. It really depends and it's individual with every different song.
S: Your last release is EP from 2015. Do you have some plans for this year? Maybe some full lenght album?
The second half of 2015 and the year 2016 were planned to be quite quiet for TsoD. We took/take the time for inspiration and writing new songs. The plan is to release next full length in 2017 but we don't schedule exact dates as we don't want to hurry. This year we only have some shows planned in Autumn and that probably the only activity you can hear about us until next album.
S: What about live playing? I saw that you played in many countries of Europe? Where did you like it the most? How people are reacting on your very specific music? And what is the most important thing for your live show?
People in such small area as Europe are really different. Everyone have their own advantages and weaknesses. Our last experience in Minsk is that I'll never forget ...not the best and biggest stage we have played, but it was probably one of our best shows as the public there is really empathetic.
Most important thing in giving shows is that we have to get the experience that's some kind of unique or special. Better be the emotion negative than coming back to home with empty mind.
S: You have played last year in Lithuania (not for the first time) on Kilkim Žaibu festival How was this show? Lot of people are saying that his festival is very unique (I agree as I was there). How do you feel there and is this festival somehow special for you?
As we dont give open-air show during daylight, it's quite hard to get good slots for us ... it took quite much time to prove ourselves. For sure the festival is really unique. It biggest „underground“ black/pagan metal festival on Baltic, but they can keep it somehow cozy. That atmosphere is something indescribable, so I probably cannot find any words about that.
S: Btw Lithuanians are saying that Estonians are their „strange“ cousins. Do you have also some jokes about them? From my point of view it looks like that Baltic States are holding in real brotherhood is it also in metal music scene?
I don't know jokes about Lithuania (but i know jokes about Latvians). Me and quite much metalheads in Estonia probably visit more Lithuanian festivals that Estonian ones ...so yeah, we have brothers there.
S: Estonian bands are not so known in Europe in general, but there are some bands which are like icons of your country. Which bands do you like from your own scene? Or better, tell us and our fans something more about Estonian black metal/pagan metal scene.
I don't want to point our specific bands as I know most of guys and maybe someone who won't be mentioned will find it offensive :) Sometimes seems that the black metal scene here is again rising into highlight it was during 90s, but there isn't anything so complete or enough old, that I can be sure it would last and won't die soon. I like that the black metal scene here is small and same time really loyal.
S: Your music is influenced by nature and it is really noticeable from your music and artworks on internet. If I would like to travel to Estonia one day, what places you would recommend me to visit? Do you have some special experience from nature (maybe you lost somewhere or got into troubles)?
First I have to tell you that you should sure travel Estonia. It's a must. Comparing to Slovakia we don't have mountains. I recommend going to islands (Saarema and Hiiuma) ...the nature there is some kind of different than just forest. But i have to say that „usual Estonian“ forest is still different and quite unique, so things that may seem normal to us may be something new to you. You should also check ancient Varbola fortress – it is not the usually stone building, but walls/hills built by human hands. That fortress has also important part in TsoD music & ideas.
I'm not the guy who travels much and likes to hike, but definitely I prefer sauna (especially Estonian sauna) with little bond and beer to the night in the city.
S: One my friend was recently with erasmus in Estonia. He visited lot of cities and places. He strongly recommended Tallinn and Tartu. As we know these cities are really important for your history. How important is for your history of your land and nation? Are Estonian people patriots?
Actually we don't have much more „cities“. Estonia is small in numbers but big in our hart. History is important. I hasn't been much time actually since restoration of independence and we don't take it as „usual thing“ as probably Western Europeans do. We still remember these horrors, may we witness these by our eyes or by speech of grandparent, who tell stories as these happened without correcting everything to „fit in“ books.
S: Here is place of your last words. See you on some gig!
Thanks for the nice interview. I hope to be back in Slovak mountains soon!