Interview with Maitri
Is the name of the band to be seen as anti-Christian or rather a symbol for irreligiousness?
Christian Death is not anti-Christian. We just want to open people’s minds about what’s going on in that aspect. Usually, people revere one little thing and they’re stuck in it, so in the end they don’t want to be opened to anything else. So we’re not anti-Christian at all; in fact, we’re using all the Christian beliefs to compose and to write about all the things that are going on in this life and that’s all a big part of it. And Christians, they don’t exactly live for today, they live for when they die, or what’s going to happen afterwards and that’s a total waste, I think, so that’s where the name Christian Death comes from. It’s not anything negative, it’s actually a positive thing for Christians, because that’s where they always look forward to.
You employ shock value as a “stimulation of the senses”, so I assume that you give a share of importance to aesthetics. Do you think a band should be only a sonic thing or rather a combination of both?
Believe it or not, this is, really, just us. It’s what we feel like doing and this is where we’re creating from. We write the music where we’re in certain moods, as we’re very spiritual when that happens; and when we’re creating a song, we’re creating the mood for ourselves too, it’s for real – everything is 100% us. We’re not trying to fool anybody and we hope people appreciate that. We never think “Hey, let’s do this tonight, or let’s do that”, no, it’s totally us.
Does the new album deal with an internal rebirth within the band or does the title sums up the ideas within each song?
We feel like this is a new millennium, a new Christian Death. We just want to go in a different direction right now, especially, because we felt like there’s such a big history with Christian Death that this was a brand new beginning for us and we wanted to start all over again but, of course, inserting all the concepts and all the ideas we had before, because otherwise it wouldn’t work.
Your sound and music are obviously Gothic in essence, but your whole universe is richer and more diversified than the standard and pigeonholed concept of the style. Tell me a bit about the lyrical spectrum of Born Again Anti Christian.
Personally, I’m very into serial-killers and people who go beyond their control, with courage enough to do all those atrocious things, or viewed by the majority as such. That’s what my lyrics are mostly about, concerning the way how I see other people with an increased level of shock value within themselves. I can’t believe that serial-killers commit those crimes merely to satisfy themselves, as I would never have that courage myself and sometimes I wish I could; I don’t know why, but it’s a different thing that I’ve never experienced before and that’s what totally fascinates me, everything about it blows me away. Curiously, when you think about what’s going on in life, it always goes back to fucking religion and that’s where the problem starts, so if you combine those two things, that’s very fucked-up.
Why did you lean towards this type of music and why do you think you indulged in this kind of gloomy, dark scene in the first place?
The band started in Los Angeles and I wasn’t a part of it at the time. In those days you’d just hung around with friends, witnessing a rise of a new musical scene and, ultimately, you’d wind up involved with it, so that’s what happened to me in the first place. V. is also a very good guitar player and he’s a key figure in the band. In the end, we’re not trying to go for anything, our aim is to follow what we feel like and what our hearts go by because this is the kind of music we like to play. Our new album might have a harder edge, but that’s what we felt like doing this time and if you compare all the other records together they all have a different touch to them. Personally, I had a lot of input on this one, as we wrote all the music together and I wrote most of the lyrics, so I had a great time. Was (Sarginson) is with us now and Coyote is playing the guitar on tour, so we’re a four-piece at the moment.
Tell me a bit about yourself and your early inspirations.
Let me open my diary and read you a page (smiles). It’s really not up to me to describe myself. I know how I am, but I don’t know how other people see me, so if I would tell you anything about myself it would be a bit presumptuous (laughs).
As far as inspirations are concerned, I don’t have anybody or anything, specifically, but I’m sure that when you grow up everything around you will, gradually, influence you in one way or another – be it in the way you dress or what you like to eat – so it depends on where you are or who do you hang around with and I’ve been with so many people all over the world that, in the end, it inspires me (even subconsciously). One morning I can get up, feeling depressed and I just listen to some sad music, while on the next day I feel completely happy and I’ll listen to something different, so it all depends on my mood and how I feel.
Do you have any concern about what happens with a record once you’re finished with it? Also, are you accessible to fans, in general?
Well, you always think about your fans, but you can not do everything for them. To be able to create music you have to be into it yourself, so you put your own input in there and if everybody else likes it too it makes it even better. It’s like, you can’t have sex by yourself, you first have to like it yourself to be able to give it to the other person too. But if you’re asking me how I would react if someone would talk to me on the street then yes, of course, I’m accessible: I’m giving pleasure to someone with that. Of course, where I live, I don’t see anybody, I only see trees (smiles). In the end, my main concern is that people like my music, but if they don’t like it, they can just walk way, it’s that simple.
Aristotle once said that Art is “either improving what Nature could not finish or imitates what nature did end”. What would you say that Art really is?
I think Art is an impression of your own self. For instance, you bloom a flower and it all depends how it comes out, how it grows out. I don’t think anybody could judge other people’s art, because it’s something very personal.
What do you think about your touring partners Cradle of Filth and Usurper? Are you aware about what happened in their scene in the last few years?
Usurper is fucking Metal (screaming)! It’s so great and powerful and they’re also a bunch of cool guys. It’s also a blessing to have us – Usurper and Cradle of Filth – getting along; we’re like a big family on this tour.
About those riots, I talked to several bands involved in them and I don’t think anybody should be killed, that’s not right; they got out of control and I don’t think anyone should suffer from something you don’t agree with. I didn’t hear that much about it though, I just know that there were a couple of things going on and that was pretty much it.
Are you familiar with Portugal?
This is the first time that I’m in Portugal and I’m very happy because I always wanted to come here, but we don’t really have much time off. My favorite thing in life is to try different types of food and I don’t have time to do that. I don’t know much about your music scene at all because, basically, when you’re writing an album you’re stuck in a studio all the time and then when you go on tour, trying to make it happen, you’re also stuck in a way, so this is like a never-ending cycle all the time. I don’t know anything about the new movies, I don’t know what the new bands are and I don’t know anything, really. Sometimes I pick up a magazine and I see those new bands and I don’t even know who they are, or what they sound like. If I could, I’d love to visit new cultures, as I learn a lot from that and it’s so interesting how everybody is different, how they live, how they think and how they’re a unit together. I haven’t been to Australia yet, but I’d love to be there some day.
Do you have high expectations for this evening?
Yesterday was a bit chaotic when we played in Porto; we went on very late, so I hope this show starts a bit earlier. I loved the crowd yesterday, but somehow I think it’s going to be wilder tonight. People are very nice and are all into this in a very positive way, so I’m really looking forward to it tonight and I’m sure we’re just going to have a blast onstage.