|Worship is still painfully alive. Will grow, improve, or fall apart|
After Max Varnier died in 2001 (r.i.p.) many thought this would be the end of the extreme doom duo Worship, consisting of Max and Doommonger Daniel. Things were quiet for a while, except for two posthumous releases. Last October, in our first interview, Daniel unveiled that he was making plans for continuing the band, inspired by what was left behind by him and Max. Since then, things have gotten into a fast lane (for doom, that is) and in june 2004, Daniel and two new bandmembers (Kuolema and Satachrist) entered Worldsend Studios for the recording of two new songs. Now that the future is secure, I asked Daniel about the new music, the upcoming album Dooom and some other things. We met once again on IRC and went on until about 2 AM,which accounts for the slips and the famous quote.
To start with, a lot has changed since last time we spoke. The most important thing being that you have found two new bandmembers and that the continuation of Worship is now a fact. How did this joining come about?
D: I got in contact with Kuolema over Worship's label Painiac, he is doing Unpure to Christ and Escape from Flesh and has his own studio running, Worldsend Studio. It was too obvious that I will record with him. And I definitely need someone to whip me on, with Max gone and all, so a line-up is what Worship needs. Satachrist is my oldest friend and initially brought me to doom early nineties, so he was my first choice for the guitar. This way, Worship will be able to play live some time!
So in June you went into Kuolema's studio to record two new songs, how did the recording session go?
D: Still goes, we are adding finishing touches. We took this session as a test, and we three get along quite well. Satachrist and me have linked minds anyway, and Kuolema just fits splendid. Both bring new ideas into the pot, and will even bring their own song writing ideas into the game, which was up to know my exclusive domain. This will be something.
Who did what exactly, up until now?
D: This is some kind of weird growth we have here. Kuolema is doing bass and the drum arrangements now, it's still open if he or me will do the drumming on "Dooom" next to any parts of Max we'll use. Martin does the deep guitars and additional guitars like a steel string semi electric we used for one song. I do my usual lead guitars and the vocals on these two songs, again this says not much for Dooom, where we can use my voice, Max's voice and even torment other people's throats.
I think many people are anxious to know how much influence Max will posthumously have on the upcoming recording. How much recorded material (and perhaps lyrics?) do you have as a legacy?
D: We, or I maybe, needed to remind myself that Worship can live if I do, so it was decided to record 2 songs without any part of Max involved. I cannot always build on Max's influence now he is gone, if Worship were only Max I couldn't go on with this (or not long). But as Worship is also me writing (up to now) 100% of the music, I feel privileged to not let it die when I want it to live. We will use some elements of that fucked up last studio session we had when almost everything went wrong in our electric chamber in France. There are some fucking great things caught on tape which I will have to use on Dooom. Max's part in Worship will never ever be forgotten. Full Stop. But if someone thinks I am cut off without Max, creeping in his shadow and not able to do anything at all without him in Worship, or without using some old retained ideas of his, and I can only persist when using his still-warm influence, I hope we will prove them wrong. Worship is still painfully alive. Will grow, improve, or fall apart.
I think that's a clear statement to all skeptics...
D: The more you hate me for what I do with Worship, the more I become like Max.
Indeed, I hope that settles it for most people.
D: I hope not!
How come, what exactly do you feel about the statements some people have been making about your continuation of Worship?
D: We are judged by the number of our enemies. And the volume of outrage makes a band. So more of that, please. Many forget my part of Worship, maybe because Max drew a lot of attention to him, which made him what he was. I don't care as long as they give the new stuff a try, or on the other hand hate it so loud that every one get's really interested.
About the new material (or what I've heard of it), I think it is clealy a mix of the old and the new. I mean, the music is totally slow, empty and doom, like we are used to, but the acoustic/steel guitar you mentioned is a new element. Are there any other ways you feel the new songs differ from those on the Album and the singles?
D: I think in a way they are a return to the album, in that way that it is closer to me. As we talked in our last interview, the album was very much me, and was created a lot without Max's influence. The singles were recorded together with Max and had more of his noisy wildness. Of course, my two allies bring in their share, more so maybe in the forthcoming recordings when we get more solid as a band-shaped project of sorts. But I have aged since, and my grip on Dooom and its song is much better than ever before. Everything I learned since then flows into the songs, making them much stronger than the roster for Dooom I had in the past. I am very into this material. I hope it will have the impact on others too.
Speaking about Dooom, when will you start working on recording material for the next album? What can we expect?
My main band Beyond the Void is drawing a lot of attention of course. We three are all quite busy, so we are moving things in the only appropriate speed for doom. Slowest. We have now recorded 2 songs for 2 releases, I can't fit anything in my schedule for 2004, I guess it will be 2005 then. Expect everything. We have a lot of wild plans, some are weird nightmares, others are falling into place already,
About the lyrics... Do you have any left by Max for the new album, and how much do your themes differ?
D: We always wrote our lyrics together, taking parts of him and me, adding them, blending them. Well, Max took the finished lyrics with him the last day I saw him, he wanted to transfer them into the PC. So I do not have them. I guess no one has them. I have only some early scetches of his parts. The whole idea for the story came only this year, when I dug everything up again, to look at it at a new angle. I wrote new songs, improved the old and then the concept hit me. Well what can I say. I cannot simply respark that original mood and record some things from years ago I do not believe in today. I must be behind it when I do it, so I have to put my present day spirit
Max once mentioned in an interview that he felt he had a special bond with nature. That is also a thing that is apparent in the lyrics for Last X Before Doomsday. Are your views similar to the ones he had, and do they still play a role in Worship today?
D: I think it takes three combined persons to gain "similar views" as Fucked-Up Mad Max. Nature is important for me, I share his godless views in that matter. Moreover, elements established in Last... are continued in Dooom, so I think you will notice a form of continuity among the innovation. But I cannot write lyrics that are important to someone else. Obviously. I can only write what is inside.
Are you also especially interested in Eschatology - the concept of the End of Times, if you like - as a theme in any of your work?
D: I am concentrating on Dooom now, which themes are post-apocalyptic, and I will have to write on it a while, so there are a lot of ideas and inspirations ahead, we'll see.
Are you satisfied with your relationship with Weird Truth and Painiac and the way they handle your releases. Were you content with the way Last CD was re-released?
D: Painiac and Weird Truth helped Worship a lot, and I'm very content. And I am glad I can finally move on to new material after those re-releases.
Obviously, playing live is a possibility now that you are a band again. Are there any concrete plans for a gig?
D: We need some getting assembled, and then I will hope we will be approached by some of the doom festivals. Our live performances will be few but terrifying. But for now we will record. I might kick some asses here and there, then :)
Well, I guess that wraps it up for this time. Anything you want to add?
D: Yes. How did you like the sneak peak rough mix of 'Devived', one of the two songs we recorded? (ha, a twist, me asking the questions!)
Oh dear... I was impressed. I wasn't really sure what to expect after a three year break, but from the moment it started I was reassured that it was a very natural progression from where you left off. I like the way it is reminiscent of the album, but with a new feel. The inclusion of the acoustic part is a very good choice I think, as it sounds very doomy, and also appropriately empty and desolate to fit in the Worship sound. Still minimalistic, and that's one of the strongest points, in my opinion. There you have it, interview and review all in one.
D: Haha good service. Thanks for shopping at Doom-Metal.com
Which reminds me, when can we expect a release of the new songs and in what form?
D: This will be two Painiac releases, one split EP with the song "Devived", and the other song will be on a three-way split, and it is a cover song. Yes, a cover song. But I won't say which song right now. The split partners will be announced soon by Painiac.
Well, that's it then. Any famous last words (what a cliché....)?
D: "I Am Fucking Tired." (The Doommonger) Thanks man!
Visit the Worship bandpage.