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A new Worship album is already well in the can and shortly to be announced for preorders. The band is something of a different prospect from the near-solo project that produced 2012's 'Terranean Wake'. Our very own Madness spoke to Daniel "The Doommonger" Pharos about how things stand here and now.

Interview with Worship.

Sepulchralis (Drums), DoomNike (Bass), Doommonger (Guitar, Vocals), Satachrist (Guitars).

1. The Doom metal community is considered to be quite a close and strong one. How difficult was it for Worship to gain a certain cult status?

Doommonger: I am glad that some people’s taste is as twisted as mine, so that they like the music we are making. I certainly didn’t follow any recipe or strategy to make that happen, so I have no idea how hard it is to attain such a thing. I can only say, I have always loved sad music, and this is a wonderful outlet for that passion!

2. We saw you last year at the Brutal Assault festival. Thanks a lot for an amazing gig! :-) Which do you prefer most – to play at festivals and share public or to have "private" shows in clubs?

Both have their charm. It is great to reach (terrify?) a lot of people at once, but a close, tight venue is better suiting to our atmosphere I think. When I am in WORSHIP mode, it is wrong to see people fetching beers at 5 bars, or getting something to eat at the other end of the festival, or any other sign of life. I prefer a dark, quiet room with no distraction that would help your mind escape the horrible thing we subject it to.

3. What is the main message of Worship? Which emotions do you want to stir up in listeners?

Message is a heavy word. We have no agenda, political or otherwise. Maybe we have the message "Life sucks" in all colors and shapes – but when we are on tour, it usually doesn’t. Yes, we like themes surrounding the evil side of religion, the end of the world and other grand epic stuff – but it’s music, to enjoy or hate as you please. The main emotion is of course sadness, despair, with a bit of false hope.

4. According to your own experience and feelings, what is the current situation on the Doom metal stage worldwide?

The only things happening in the world of doom that interest me are: Where can I play next and how are my friends? I almost never listen to any records, that’s just the weird way I am. That way, one could argue, my stuff stays quite true to myself. I am completely oblivious to anything "you have to do as a doom band" or any trends or movements. It’s just raw, honest emotional music pumped out of my rotten insides, shaped and formed by my influences from the time around the foundation of the band, my progress as a musician and of course the influence of my fellow band members on stage, on tour and in studio.

5. In 2000 you had a very curious experience – a split with grindcore band Agathocles. Not so typical, and quite an unexpected mix :-). How did it happen that you released this split?

Max was excited by that idea, because it was disturbing and unusual. He loved to shake things up, to piss off people and to disgust. I was the moderate one, mostly interested in the music. Max was all over image, promotion and stylistic ideas.

6. Minding WORSHIP history and all misfortunes, is WORSHIP more a project of one man (reading – you) or has it became in course of time “a band”?

We four never felt as close as a band as after that 2012 tour, our first real tour with WORSHIP. That tour truly transformed us into something else, hard to explain if you were not with us in our little van. It still is much of a one-man-show, with me writing all the music, but I am working on completing the transformation. This time, everybody will play their instrument on the album, not me playing everything except drums like the last time.

7. Do you get messages and mails from your fans? How close is your communication with those outside the club?

Most feedback is still on tour, and that’s the best time to talk. I heard lovely feedback, disturbing feedback, humbling feedback. I also get emails and facebook messages. One should lie and say "I am above any feedback", but that’s not true. Any artist is a bundle of arrogant thoughts, doubts, fears and moments of self-delusion. Feedback helps me remember what WORSHIP is, what the whole thing is worth, where we stand, what the strengths and weaknesses of the different albums might be etc. I might be one of the harder cases: I work on material in my head for years, it takes ages until anybody can give me any feedback about anything, I have to wrestle with the songs all by myself for ages.

So keep it coming.

8. What was the weirdest tour/gig in your "career"?

Hard to say. Maybe the very first one, where we arrived horribly too late and were only able to play 2 songs, then had to drive (none of us sober) to sleep in a squat house full of weird animals and a toilet without walls in the garden.

9. When did you realize that you want to become a musician and which bands and albums influenced you? Which bands formed the contemporary Worship sound?

DOOMMONGER: Mhm. I picked up a guitar 23 years ago, and sounded shit for many years. Can’t remember a decision to become a musician, it just happened despite my being crap. Today, I am a fulltime composer, so who would have thought I would go that way – I didn’t.

Doom was the first metal genre I felt I belonged to, even if I got quickly sidetracked by death metal. Most influential must be old Anathema, who were the first to show me: "Hey ,this can be combined? Cool!" Other bands that must have had an influence on a young Doommonger innocently strumming what would later become Last Tape Before Doomsday are: Tiamat, My Dying Bride, Solitude Aeturnus, old The Gathering and Godsend.

10. Is there anything that you haven’t embodied yet? What aims do you have so far?

We want to go places. Play more tours, longer tours. Reach distant cities, barely survive great adventures. Write even darker and more disturbing songs, for more and more twisted people, defile bigger stages and smaller venues … This is quite good, we would like to have more of this, please.

Click HERE to discuss this interview on the doom-metal forum.

Visit the Worship bandpage.

Interviewed on 2015-09-12 by Madness.
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