Interview by Maciek (March 2013)
Photos by Rafal Kudyba and Marcin Pawlowski
English edition: Andrew Patrie
THE SONS OF BELZEBUB & BONG
The name Belzebong is a combination of two words: Beelzebub and bong. What did you hope to express by using such a moniker? That you are keen on both the darkside and smoking? Or, was the name thought up only for fun?
Wow, you’re a smart guy, haha! We meant both in fact, or better: to walk the Left Hand Path with a horned bong in our hands while having fun. That’s the main point.
Burning Abyss is rather a death/black metal fanzine and we know nothing about your genre, so it would be very interesting to know what the stoner/doom/sludge scene looks like in Poland. Could you introduce the readers to the milieu? Do you have your own (maga)zines, labels, festivals, etc.? What country has the best stoner scene? And, is it easy to get groupies and get laid when playing in a stoner band in Poland, hehe?
The fact is that when we started our sonic journey it was just a couple of bands playing mainly in BLS/Down/Kyuss/EHG style. Looks like we were the first to summon the Horned One from the bong with our sounds. Nowadays the scene is still growing. We have good doom bands like Dopelord, sludgy Vagitarians, Silesian O.D.R.A. and a shitload of new bands calling themselves “stoner” just because they try to sound like Down, but we don’t bother. We just do our own shit with really great help from doomsmoker.pl and Ceremony Booking who are doing a hell of a great job with gigs/promotion. I have to mention Days of the Ceremony in Warsaw. Man! Pentagram is a headliner this year, yeeeah! As for the groupies – you have to ask ’em in person, man, haha. :)
We are all laymen, so, please, explain the differences between doom, sludge, southern, stoner, etc., and try to define each of the genres, OK?
Well, you’re now stepping on really slippery ground, man. Visit doomsmoker.pl – there’s a topic on that; one can spend hours on this discussion. We’re Belzebong; we play joke. We give you poo as dope (and literally it once happened, haha).
The best bands in your genre are...?
The best ones. :)
Kielce is quite a big town but, metal-wise, not much happens there. You do not even have a good metal music store there. As far as bands, there are only Belzebong, Bestial Raids and a few young (promising from what I have been told) bands and...that is all. What is the reason for such a poor scene?
Show me the city in Poland with a good metal music store, man! In fact there was one small metalshop a long time ago in Kielce, but it’s an old story. The truth is we live in four different cities now, only our bass player lives there. Dunno the reason, man. Have to ask someone else.
Kielce is also famous for its Jewish culture. Has it affected Belzebong in some way? Maybe the atmosphere of the city made you focus on Qabbalah, Yiddish, or klezmer music?
It is? I always thought that was the attribute of Cracow. We do not focus on the things you mentioned.
The Bay Area boys sang about ecology, “the system,” wars, etc., deathheads sing about guts and death, black metallers – it is obvious, but what about sludge/doom bands? Is smoking dope a major theme, hehe? And, are there any Satanic or political bands as well?
The main topic is freedom, of yer mind and soul, so ye can focus on whatever ye want – drugs, space, nature, occult, myths, left hand path, politics, everything, man! Do what thou willt shall be the whole of the Law. Anyway – we don’t have any lyrics, etc., so we don’t care ‘bout it either.
As far as the lyrics, are there any taboos?
Your mother and sister, but there are some exceptions, haha.
Have you met with any sign of intolerance from a death or black metal band? How does “my” scene treat you?
“Play faster” was the best and funniest thing that we once heard from a knucklehead metalfan during one of our shows. If someone doesn’t want to see us live or listen – that’s his thing, not ours (and he most probably shouts Slayer!!! after a couple of beers). We do our stuff, and we feel damn good about it.
I associate your genre with marijuana; marijuana is a plant, and a plant means Nature to me. I am curious; what are your relations with Nature and its forces? Kielce and its surroundings have a few beautiful places such as Kadzielnia, Wietrznia, Holy Cross Mountains, etc.
Yup! We like to taste the gifts of Mother Nature in Her surroundings, man!
Is it true that you recorded an instrumental album because you had not found a (good) vocalist, hehe?! What kind of vocal(ist) would suit Belzebong best?
It’s neither true nor untrue. We had one once, but as legend says – we forgot to take him to one of our shows. And that’s how Belzebong is. We do not need vocals; one can get high with only our sound.
Many Polish bands say that, if they were born in a Western country, they would gain more attention and recognition. But the examples of Vader, Behemoth, Decapitated, and Hate prove that hard work pays off. Don’t you think that a country of origin is just a lame excuse for poor songwriting or a lack of decent promotion? Does Belzebong, in any way, “suffer” from being born here?
Nope, not at all.
In November 2012 you went on a European tour: Smoke of Madness. It means that a young, Polish band CAN if they WANT, doesn’t it? Tell us some funny stories from that tour, please.
We wanted it for sure; on the other hand Sound of Liberation gave us their helping hand and it worked. In fact loads of people want to see us live in their location, and we do our best to get to most of them. We’re preparing now for an April/May tour, during which we will play at Desertfest Berlin and London, Heavy Days in Doomtown, Copenhagen and I think ten more places over Europe. Bong will tell what comes next.
Smoke of Madness tour itself was crazy - burned amps and lost guitars during the first days of the tour. The rest is recorded on vintage VHS camera tape, but it’s just for us, not for a wider audience.
I know that you pay a lot of attention to the visual side of your live shows, as one of your members is a light engineer or something. But shouldn’t music defend itself, especially live (in a recording studio you can use a lot of tricks, can’t you?)?
Most probably you have seen us live and know that we sound the same as on the record or even better, haha. The rest of the show is a concept to get the audience more confused and/or to make them more comfortable to get high with our show.
The final smoke is yours. Thanks for the interview.
There’s no such thing as “final smoke,” as long as we live. Keep your bongs burnin’ for the Goat’s glory!