|Worship is very close, personal, raw - a chunk of the blackness that is us. We left everything out that didn't seem to belong there.|
Worship is a band with a cult status in the underground doom scene. Their music is unrelenting doom in its purest form. Unfortunately, in 2001, Worship drummer and vocalist Fucked Up Mad Max decided to end his life. The sole remaining member, Daniel (the Doommonger) decided to honor the legacy and released parts of the finished material the was left in Max’ wake. 2002 saw the release of Last Vinyl Before Doomsday and a split 7” with Mournful Congregation. All Worship releases were strictly limited and as such very difficult to come by. Worship was an underground band musically, personally and commercially. Now, a year later, precious little about the band is to be found. The most important source for information remains the official Worship forum (http://worship.munichmetal.de) which is maintained by Daniel himself. It is through there that I made an appointment with Daniel to see if there was anything he wished to share with the doom community. The result of a very pleasant meeting in an IRC chatroom is the interview below:
Hello Daniel. First of all, thanks for doing the interview.
It's unusual for me to get interviewed by someone who is a successful musician in the same genre. New experience. Usually interviewers can't distinguish between a guitar and a fish.
Well, we’re not so succesfull yet, but I like it so far.
Well the reviews were berserking with foaming mouths…
Yes, they were quite good… (smiles)
Shall we start?
A lot of people have heard about Worship, but know little of the band. Could you give me a short introduction on how Worship came to be?
Worship is basically a cooperation of two very different personalities. We met in a similar situation like this: Max had his magazine Océan Morphique and wrote for several others, I had several bands and he interviewed me a couple of times. We became friends, and only much later did I learn that he planned to do a band. Which came to me as a surprise but I couldn't resist, as Doom was the first genre that caught me totally and I never had a pure doom band. We recorded "Last Tape before Doomsday", which was released several times in various forms, a couple of EPs. We couldn't finish the album "Dooom" though before Max died.
Is it correct that Max plays drums and does the vocals and that you play guitar?
I was responsible for the music, we both did the lyrics & vocals together, Max played drums on the later recordings.
You mentioned somewhere in an interview that the songs on the EP's were more aggressive because of Max' influence. How different was the musical direction in which you were both thinking?
Max and I were opposites and had much in common. I was thinking more like a musician, he was thinking like the Underground Beast that he was. Though he had many distinguished favorites that many people wouldn't guess. For Max, the element of shock and violence was a very important influence, I am more the silent depressive one that tries to evoke more silent emotions like sadness. The combination in Worship was of course very lethal in music, and we had to constantly test our borders, which was quite rewarding because I would say we were good friends, too.
How did you go about writing songs? Was Max able to express his more extreme feelings in the music that you wrote?
Maybe I have to add that deep inside we felt quite similar, miserable and anti-human, so we had a common drive towards creating Worship. Only with different vectors. Max strived to become as noisy and fucked-up as we can, I tried to become the most depressive, broken and ruined. To use an image: We went on the same path, looking in different directions. Creative dichotomy/diversity.
How did Worship's unique sound evolve? How did you come up with something that sounds almost ambient at times and still evokes such extreme feelings?
Thanks for your nice view. Well I can only say that I used the doom that always resides inside of me, and brought it to tape. There was no great plan. Worship is very close, personal, raw - a chunk of the blackness that is us. We left everything out that didn't seem to belong there.
Yes, it does sound like that now that I think of it. Worship is (to me) doom in a distilled version, stripped of all the things that might make it less doom.
To hear that from you, I feel honoured.
I can find very little influences in Worship's music, but are there any that you care to mention?
Doom must be an influence, obviously. After I listened to basically everything in my early years - being the brother of a DJ who played everything from techno and electro over rap to wave, rock and metal - Doom was the first "genre" I claimed my own. I was brought to it by my mate Martin who plays with me in Beyond the Void and The Darkness Within, and among my favorites were and are bands like Solitude Aeturnus, Candlemass, old The Gathering, Anathema, My Dying Bride and many others. A bigger influence might be the circumstances that formed us, painful memories, broken times and twisted mankind.
What are some of your favorite bands at this moment (in any genre)?
Hmm. I listen only rarely to music, not sure why. I guess it's a little because I get easily exhausted when listening to music. I don't know if you can follow. If I listen to music it's usually something special. Still, among my all-time favs are Depeche Mode, A-HA, Pink Floyd, The 3rd & The Mortal, At The Gates.... A lot of different stuff. Today I am hearing Bohren & Der Club of Gore, a cool band that I am honoured to count to Worship's "fans". Bohren is a Doom Jazz Band, great sound. Thanks to Fred of Painiac for the hint.
All right, now back to some other things.
I waited for this question. Well, I said earlier that "Dooom" wasn't finished before Max's death. And I said here or there that I don't think I can do it alone. But it appears I am not alone. Ongoing support by the doom-struck underground and by the Worship spine such as Fred of Painiac Productions encouraged me a lot. So, recently, I started to work on the material again, cautiously at first, but then I found that I am closer to Worship than I ever was before. I worked over the original songs, added and changed parts and wrote on new material. The song list of "Dooom" is slowly regaining Unlife. I blended the old and the new, used the old relicts and threw it through the new me. There will be the old vocals of Max and new vocals by me, and so on. I think it will be a powerful mixture that is closer to the image of Worship I hide inside than anything we published before, as weird as it may sound.
That is great news, I'm glad to hear the Worship didn't pass on with Max but remains to torture our pitiful souls. (smiles)
Well I am still here to continue to spread misery in his name.
Another thing people were wondering is whether there will be a re-release of the old material on CD. Most or all of the old stuff appears to be very limited and at the moment sold out. Any plans on this?
A CD version of "Last tape before doomsday" is planned include something special. But to re-release all limited EPs on CD would be a rip-off, a slap into the face of the Underground, and even IF I would want to do such a thing, Max might rise to smash my head into the nearest wall. So I don't dare. LIMITED editions are just that. Sorry folks.
I thought that would have been the way Max felt about such things. So congratulations to those lucky bastards who have managed to snag one of those limited releases!
And thanks from me.
Now something about Max. He always presented himself in a very extreme fashion. Was the way in which he presented himself the true Max, or was he pretty calm in real life?
Max was extreme to the core, full of extreme views and hatred for everyone but still a honourful person, a good host and a true friend. If you don't hate him you have to like him.
Did Max have any other musical projects besides Worship?
There were several, for example BEER VOMIT, a quite successful fun grindcore band and KULT, a grindcore/death band in which I played guitar.
I think it is a great loss for the doom scene and the underground in general that Max passed on. Do you think you would have been able to produce more music together than you can on your own?
Max was the engine behind Worship, he sold 200 pieces of our demo in the first 2 weeks, what can I say? And as I am really busy and have too many things on my mind I need someone to kick my ass. Fred (from Painiac records –ed) is something of Max's disciple in that matter, he kicked my butt for years now to do the Worship album and here I am. Still, Max for his part didn't do it for success, rather AGAINST success. He was always afraid that we got too successful which is the brother of commercial in his eyes.
Speaking of commerciality, I recently saw a video by the band Krux (with Leif Eidling from Candlemass) on a popular music channel in Holland. It was a traditional doom song! Do you think that doom has the potential to feature some mainstream bands or is this just an anomaly?
Well Doom has not much movement towards commercialism. I mean, doom is basically melancholic metal. Doom Minus Metal is Melancholic Rock, or Wave or even Blues. I mean, its like saying "Lets do Rap without the rapping". To become commercial for doom might effectively remove "doom" from your music. My main band Beyond the Void is a modern, melancholic goth rock band. The spirit is similar, the means differ. A more "commercial" incarnation of doom? Good sad music. That's all that counts for me. But no commercialism with Worship. These are antagonists.
But you don't suppose that bands that are relatively accessible within the genre (My Dying Bride for example) might be picked up by an even larger (mainstream) audience?
MDB tried commercialism, it failed, they returned to their old self and are happier there I guess. By the way, they are just great folks, I had to honour to play support for them and almost played a tour with them. Unlike other bands they are really buddies. Guess what, they bought demos from me!
That's great. They still are one of my favourite bands as well, despite my love for more underground stuff.
The thing is: If you do what you do and you are successful, congrats. If you FAKE everything that is needed for you to be successful it's a different thing.
Imagine Worship suddenly using female vocals, massive keyboards, violins and a guest rapper.
I think I'd rather not. (smiles) Worshipanescence anyone?
(laughs out loud)
I think people should start a new band if they move too far away from their fanbase. That's all. Nothing against commercial bands. But don't step onto your fanbase.
One of the last questions now I guess. This year has been a great year for the doom community, with two underground tours, one on the way and many new releases by bands that had been silent for a while, things are looking brighter. (is that even possible in doom?) Do you think that in the future Worship might be able to play live?
We were planning gigs years ago but how can I alone play live? This would need quite some financial back-up (blessed be the good sides of commercialism *sighs*) as I won't find enough doomsters in my home town I guess. A side story to that: I once organized a gig here with Mirror of Deception (one of the bigger doom bands we had in Germany), Jack Frost (back then 2 album doomsters now quite successful I'd say!) and my band The Darkness Within. I spread several thousand flyers and we were happy to welcome 13 humbled visitors.
We had similar experiences with Pantheïst in Germany, but a lot better ones in Belgium and Holland, for example. Both gigs had more than a hundred visitors with Skepticism as a headliner.
Back to your question: I would love to. Anyone interested to play in a Worship live band and close to Munich, Germany, leave a note in the Worship Forum: http://worship.munichmetal.de
Or anyone willing to pay me some flights into doomier countries.
Well, that's also settled then. Perhaps you will find an oppurtunity in the future. I'll spread the word that Worship may be up for such a thing in the future. I for one wouldn't mind one bit sharing a stage with you.
Yeah bring it on! I will always leave a slot for Pantheïst open.
Who knows what the future holds…
Fancy to play with a goth rock band by any chance? (smiles)
Munich is a bit far though... (smiles)
I would like to say that I would be honoured if all three Worship fans around the world would pay a visit to the Worship forum http://worship.munichmetal.de Drop me a line! Thanks for the interview and “Alles Muss Doomiger Werden”.
Just words! German just adds that extra touch to it.
Thank you very much Daniel, for the gracious interview.
Thanks to YOU for the honour.
No problem, until we meet again, in whatever form.
Visit the Worship bandpage.