Interview: Hail Persekutor
While we all may be familiar with Transylvania for being where Jonathan Harker goes to make a shady deal with an undead noblemen, most of us are less than familiar with its meth-addled black metal underground. This is why it’s a good thing Târgu Mureș’ own Persekutor have appeared on the scene. Goat herders by day, frostbitten satanic warlords by night, the duo that is Persekutor — Vlad the Inhaler and Ion Slasher — bring nasty black metal at the lowest of fis to the masses on their two-song EP, Power Frost. Steeped in controversy surrounding their much sought-after debut, this band is truly the world’s mightiest provider of Romanian amphetamine-inspired true black metal.
When I contacted them with questions, Vlad the Inhaler was gracious enough to answer them.
Let’s start with where you’re from—what’s Transylvania like? What’s the metal scene like there?
Transylvania is beautiful place in countryside, but outskirts of Târgu Mureș is kind of shithole. Is good place if you like gypsy, stray dog, and Silva Dark. We are enjoying these things, so is good spot with us. We are not involving in scene very much. For many years there is not much scene in Târgu Mureș, all is in Bucharest. Today, not sure. Could be metal scene, but we are not being involved. Too busy with goat.
Are you inundated with Dracula bullshit, being from Romania?
Dracula bullshit everywhere in Transylvania. Many fake castles of Vlad Țepeș. Sighișoara is birthplace, infested with tourists but not so bad as Bran, where fake castle is standing. Is real castle, but not for Vlad Țepeș. Here is open market of Dracula bullshit. T-shirt, coffee glass, bong brush, vampire soda. Endless.
How did you two come together to form Persekutor?
We are meeting in school since 9 years old. This is Communist Bloc days, so we are listening to bootleg tape of JUDAS PRIEST, WASP, and AC/DC. Also ARIA from Russia. Taking long time to get money for instruments for us. Cheap copy stuff, breaking all the time. No Marshall stacks or Gibson Flying V, too expensive.
Who were your influences during the creation of Persekutor? What bands left their mark on you?
Walking through woods, campfire and Silva Dark. Listening to wild hogs rutting in swamp plus VENOM, BATHORY and ANTI-NOWHERE LEAGUE tapes on booming box. Later discovering DARKTHRONE and BURZUM and IMMORTAL, kings of Norway black metal. DRUDKH from Ukraine is also favorite band for capturing true atmosphere of East Europe.
You refuse to show your faces in band photos—why is anonymity important to you? Do you guys have criminal records?
We are wanting focus to be on music, not on handsome faces we are having. Maybe someday mask come off, not today.
What happened with your first album, Angels of Meth? It sounds like your label, Thousand Year Reich, kind of disappeared in a blur of organized crime.
This is long story, cannot say much about. But Reich is criminals, yes. Big rip off masters. Some day real story will come out and families of Reich will be having shame in public. For now we are putting curse on them with professional witch. She is having beard and Old World ankles, so you know is real deal OK.
I have to ask about being on a label named Thousand Year Reich—do you guys have any National Socialist political leanings?
PERSEKUTOR is not Nazis. No. This label name is made up by dummies who are funding album and think is big joke. Endless bullshittings with these guys.
How would I go about getting a copy of Angels of Meth?
This is good question. Better question: How can WE get copy?
Is meth a problem in Transylvania? Have you done much meth in your time?
Amphetamine invented by Romanian chemist! Lazar Edeleanu is doing this in Berlin University in 1887. So we are having legacy here. Today “shake and bake” is popular, very dangerous method of chemistry. We are only smoking the evil in rare times when is necessary to stay up many hours for tend goat or in recordination of PERSEKUTOR tracks.
You’ve apparently run through many drummers. How did you settle on Doktor Impossible?
Doktor Impossible is machine. Literally is machine. Not person. Best thing about machine is that he always showing up for practice, never making mistakes! But now talking with famous US and A drummer about possible recordination for next EP.
The art surrounding Power Frost isn’t typical black metal—the light blue cover, the 1970s-style bubble lettering. Why go that route as opposed to something black and grimy?
All black metal releases is looking the same today. Black & white photografication, logo that no one is reading. We are wanting to stand out of crowd.
The tracks are super low-fi—was that intentional, or due to what recording equipment was available?
Recordination is always difficult for we. Equipment is old and not working right always. Many frustratings with this. But black metal is OK for lo-fi, so is not too bad. Maybe if we are pop band this is problem.
Tell me about the title track, “Power Frost.” What are the themes behind that?
This song is about freezings outside in winter, having limbs cuts off after turn black from frostbitings. Praying to Satan for saving, but he give you finger.
Have any of you ever dealt with frostbite? I hear it hurts like a motherfucker.
Ion Slasher is having two toes cuts off after frostbitings. He say freezings is more painful that cuttings.
I’ve heard of the Witching Hour—what, in reference to your track, is “The Twitching Hour?”
The Twitching Hour is song about staying up three days frying on amphetamine, going crazy. Also reference to Venom song “Witching Hour”, of course.
How’d you obtain “The Twitching Hour” from Scott Carlson of Repulsion?
Our US and A friend J. Bennett is hanging out with Scott Carlson all the times, doing heavy metal DJ night in Los Angeles, “Heavy Tuesday.” Scott is saying he wants to write song called “The Twitching Hour” one day. J is telling us this in e-mail. Many months go by, Scott is not writing song. Title is working perfectly with our song, so we are asking for permission… after we already put on artwork! Like J is saying, “You are snoozing, you are losing.”
Your bio says you herd goats by day—does that bring you closer to any Satanic beliefs or doctrines? Working with goats, do you find them to be Satanic animals?
Goats is only satanic when they are making noise outside window and we are waking up late with hangover. A hungry goat make more noise than Satan himself.
Do you believe in goat sacrificing, or would that be like harming one of your own?
We are only killing goat for eating. Killing goat for sacrifice and no food is for moron.