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Slechtvalk

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Some of you will start to frown when they hear the name Slechtvalk. Is this the name of a band? Yes, it is. In fact it's a Dutch word for the peregrine falcon, a bird of extremes. Slechtvalk as a musical project is also extreme, with its black metal sounds. Mastermind behind Slechtvalk is Shamgar. This interview will make you acquainted with his involvement with music and the making of Falconry, Slechtvalk's debut.

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Interview With: Shamgar

Date: Friday October 27th 2000

How: Interview over the phone in the Art For The Ears Radioshow

Other Bandmembers: Not yet known

Band's Geographical Home: The Netherlands

Discography: Falconry (2000)

Available Through: Fear Dark

Official Website: Slechtvalk

Interview By: mpo

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You've just released the album Falconry. It seems you come out of nowhere with this debut though you're not new to the scene. Can you first tell about your involvement with the metal scene?

Yeah. Four years ago I was part of a deathmetal band called Mordax. But after a year I left that band. And then I started Ascension. Perhaps the initiated know this formation. But it didn't work out like I wanted, nor a second try with Unsummoning. And then I started solo projects like Rebirth, Calceolaria, Dommer and now Slechtvalk

And with bands like Mordax and Ascension, did you do gigs?

I played live with Mordax. And with Ascension I only played live partly (laughs).

What's playing live partly? How's that possible!

Well, I played with a guest drummer and a guest guitarist. So it wasn't really the band itself playing.

Aha. And at one point you decided to go solo. You adopted several names. Like you mentioned Rebirth and Dommer. This year you decided to work with the name Slechtvalk. What inspired you to choose that name?

I wasn't really into the name Dommer. So a name change was obvious. And on the National Geographic (a TV station, mpo) I saw a documentary about falcons. And they also paid attention to the Slechtvalk (Dutch word for the peregrine falcon, mpo). It's quite a brutal kind of bird!

On the album there's also a tale about you as a hunter going into the woods with your falcon to hunt. I wonder why this tale was printed in the booklet as it doesn't seem to have anything to do with the music.

My initial intention was to make a trilogy of songs. But that concept didn't work out for the debut as I lacked inspiration. In the meanwhile I've written two songs for the trilogy and I want to write a radio play sort of intro to it. But that's a bigger effort for me to achieve.

I'm also wondering....The CD was recorded by you alone. How do you work out your music? You don't have a band to work out the songs in the rehearsal room. So, how did you work them out?

Well, there's a DOS-program called Fasttracker through which you can program everything. It doesn't work like Midi but it works with samples. It's just a matter of putting the samples in due order. I start with guitar and then I'll add keyboards, drums and everything else later on.

So you kind of tinker at it.

Yeah.

Some of the lyrics on the record strike me. Take for instance My Bleeding Heart that was written from the viewpoint of a serial killer. Of course it's true that black metal bands don't shrink back for dealing with extreme subjects, but why did you decide to write these kind of lyrics?

Yeah! Well, I can write as sugar sweet as Sanctifica too, but...I don't know if you read the review of their CD in Aardschok (Dutch metal magazine, mpo) but they got a very bad review because of the lyrics. Personally I think that a darker kind of lyric will be more appealling to the average black metal fan.

So that's your motivation. Something else now. In the credits I found something that caught my attention. There you thank -and I quote- "all the girls I once loved for the inspiration and for never returning my love and from making my heart grow numb (you know who you are)". Now here's my question: What's the influence of the girls on your music?

(hesitating) Uh, well, it's not really as influential as you might think. A couple of songs were written on nights when I felt a bit depressed. How do I say? I kind of felt desperate.

There's a song on the album called My Eternal Beloved. That song also deals about a girlfriend of yours, I guess....

So it seems! (laughs)

Does that have to do with what you wrote in the credits about the girls too?

Yeah, I never actually had a girlfriend. Only a girlfriend on a holiday but that's not the same. But I know a couple of guys who had    normal black metal girls as girlfriends but it never worked out. So I kinda felt like I could empathize with them. So, that's what got translated into the song.

So there's some frustration on your part too!

Uh, yeah (laughs)

Slechtvalk started out as a project but it's your goal to form a band. How's that process going right now?

A bit slow. I'm in touch with a drummer and a bassist but I'm looking for a relaxed guitarist. And he needs to be a real black metal guitarist because it's necessary to have at least one half of the band being into black metal. And I think it would be good if the guitarist contributes in the songwriting too.

And what's your exact role in the Dutch band Duister Maanlicht?

Hey! I'm part of that band for only a few weeks now. I met Anzorgheian, the mastermind behind Duister Maanlicht, only once. And the other guys I met only twice I think. But I don't write any of their songs. Someone else does that. So, I'm just the....I'm not even sure if they wanted me as a bassist or a guitarist! (laughs). But I'll find out!

Okay, it's quite clear what your involvement is! (laughs). Finally, I've got one question left. Currently you're writing songs for a second album. Can you tell something about that?

It's not yet in the recording process now. Musically it's gonna be a little more guitar oriented. Though there are exceptions. Like the song I wrote today which is just completely different. But overall there's a lot of guitar stuff. A bit like Vardøgr but also a lot like Dawn and Unlord.

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