HUMAN SERPENT is a Black Metal band from Lamia, Greece, consisted of X. (vocals, guitar, bass) and I. (drums). Last year they’ve released an impressive album with the title “For I, The Misanthropist” which shook the foundations of the worldwide underground scene and established them as one of the most important, modern Greek Black Metal Bands! In the light of their new upcoming EP entitled “The Vacuity”, we asked X. to inform us of all the ongoing things in HUMAN SERPENT’s camp.
– Hello X. Can you please share with us some details about HUMAN SERPENT and your progress so far in the underground Black Metal scene?
X.: We have been trying to form a band since 2006. After countless attempts to find musicians, jamming sessions, experiments and various difficulties in other fields that were always obvious to us due to the place we live, we reached 2012, when we took the hard decision that we were officially going to stay a duo and we formed HUMAN SERPENT. We recorded our first demo “The Eternal Loyalty To Misanthropy” in the most raw way, with the help of a friend from abroad. And so, today, we count three albums and many other releases like splits, EPs etc…
– Your lyrics deal with nihilism and misanthropy…is your inspiration based on your own experiences or are you influenced by the numerous scripts of nihilistic philosophy (Nietzsche, Jean-Paul Sartre)?
X.: I could tell you that it had always been 60% personal experiences and 40% general knowledge and concerns. But now I would say that it is based 90% on my own encounters. You will ask: Are you misanthropists and nihilists in an era that everyone is a “misanthropist” and a “nihilist”? We are misanthropists towards everything that turns or has turned human into a potential garbage, a factory of potential decadence in its own “existence” and the other species of this planet. We are not misanthropists towards colour, nationality, gender or sexual preferences of a person. We are total nihilists towards today’s society. We strongly disagree with all the “have to” and all the definitions of “normality” when everyone is doing four steps forward and twenty-four step back. If anyone has a different view and sees everything peachy and nice, that is their opinion, but in our eyes, they are either sleeping awake or they are set for life. We are not the kind of people that associate the word “road” with a new supercar, if you get my point…
– What are the music scenes that have influenced you the most and which band do you believe that stand out from those scenes?
X.: We have been listening to Heavy Metal all our lives. We have been subconsciously influenced by many bands, either from the extreme sound or different kinds of music. Each of us has his own personal influences and “big” loves. For the last two years, unfortunately, we live in different cities and, to be honest, when we get together, we unintentionally listen to NWOBHM. It could be nostalgia, maybe because we are getting older, but we still like it…
– During the last years we have noticed an outbreak of new Black Metal bands in Greece, many of which come from the “unsupportive” rural areas. What is your opinion on the Greek scene and how can a country with such an infrastructure deficit be the place of production for so many and, at the same time, high quality, releases of the extreme metal sound?
X.: The Greek scene is one of the most active ones worldwide. I agree…this has both pros and cons. On one side there is will, dedication, vision and on the other there is intrigue, gossip, dog eat dog. Typical “Greek stuff”. Now, how can a country produce so much music? When everyone turns the back at you and you cannot have a good quality of life, no matter how much you try and deny your dignity, the need for expression is very vivid and expected. When they are asking you to be a clown for twelve hours per day and pay you peanuts and you squeeze every drop of you essence for the polished turd they serve you, I thing that the only thing that is left for you to do is express yourself in your own way. Personally speaking, I find what I passionately and entirely want only in my music. In there, I am everything, everything I tell you…It is a kind or a revolution and disobedience for me, even maybe survival, these days that the faceless individuality, solitude and tyranny of normality, thrive.
– In the last decade, apart from the normal, traditional power players, we see a lot of new bands forming in Canada, Poland and Island. What is your opinion on the modern Black Metal scene and the new trends in the genre?
X.: I observe, I search and listen. There are many good productions out there but I am not as easily moved as I used to be…
– What is feedback HUMAN SERPENT get about their releases? How did the world and the press (local and international) react to last year’s exquisite album “For I, The Misanthropist”?
X.: Generally speaking, the feedback has been very good. There are people that support us from the start of our existence and we are grateful. We have no complaint on support, the reviews we have had have been very positive but, even if they were negative, we would not mind. We are pleased with what we have done so far and we would not change anything, even if there were unfavourable comments. We play for ourselves first…
– You are about to release “The Vacuity” EP soon. Please tell us a few things about that.
X.: Those are songs I composed in 2016, when we finished “For I, The Misanthropist”. They were meant to be for something different I had in mind at that time, but never happened. Last winter I took two of those songs and started working on them, to see how I could adjust them to the HUMAN SERPENT sound, but with different vocal lines. It did not take long to achieve that, eventually. We had arranged to release those in a 7” by our, then, label but that guys’ mind got “burned” and he had to shut up shop. After that I was too bored to chase another label for the release and we were/are very disappointed with the different labels, so we decided to release it ourselves. We cannot do that in a 7” form due to financial reasons, so it will be a limited-edition cassette, only 100 copies, with a patch included, this November…
– Do the future plans of HUMAN SERPENT include a full album? If yes, what should we expect?
X.: Last May I gathered about ninety recordings I had “neglected” in my MP3 and started working on them. I had given up on my guitar for some time, but now I have started playing eight to nine hours every day and I am working on new ideas. In July we opened again our old rehearsal place, we bought some new equipment we wanted and we started the preproduction of our new album on our own. We have gathered enough experience to rely on ourselves. We have not decided where to do the final mixing and mastering yet, there is still a long way to go, but this is the first time we are 100% happy of what we hear even from the preproduction. I have finished with most of the lyrics, I have a name for the album and I already have something in mind for the artwork, even the colours on it. I would like it to talk about what is going on with my life right now. I have realized that being tough and strong and enduring extreme situations on your own, more than what anyone else could endure, is powerful but also exhausting. I would like the album to talk about my supressed side, a side I am to scared to show in a different way even to me, the side that is not a walk in the park but a raging beast that needs to take form and, if it stays within me anymore, will explode like a time bomb. I believe this album will make “For I, The Misanthropist” look like a child’s room….
– You clearly have a preference for self-organized concerts. From what I know, you have had your share of adventurous live shows, with a many “bloopers” in the Balkans and Northern-Eastern Europe. What experiences have you gathered from those shows and how do they differ from the ones in Greece?
X.: Every gig is a story on its own! Of course, in every story, there are pros and cons, things that make every experience unique. Bloopers are a part intimately connected to concerts. Everything now is part of our history, have their own character and have helped to form HUMAN SERPENT with greater maturity for the foreseeable future, until the correct moment comes again. As for the differences between concerts in Greece and abroad, that is mostly in arrangements, organising and making them happen (all the mood, the effort, the “running”, venues etc) As for gigs in pubs, I do no think there is a big difference between inland and abroad. Everyone is looking after their own pocket and it depends on how diplomatic you approach them to get everything smooth.
– In Greece I am aware only of one “hellish” show you had in a warehouse in Lamia and nothing more…. have you had any more gigs inland? Is there any chance to see HUMAN SERPENT live in our country in the near future?
X.: We had played in that warehouse (R.I.P.) one more time. The second time, the “hellish” one as you call it, we had invited INSANITY CULT from Athens and they had said in an interview that it has been their most intense concert, if I remember correctly. The vibe was great that night and helped to get everything very intense. It was indeed, remarkable… We have also played in Giannena, Heraklion in Crete and Trikala. As for a live show in the future, something is “fiercely” cooking. It was about time…
– Thank you very much for the interview. Please continue your savage course, I wish to you all the best! I will leave the epilogue to you…
X.: Thank you for the questions, for your support and I wish you well to what you do. SUPPORT THE UNDERGROUND AND THE PERVERTED LEVEL OF MOTHERF@CKING NIHILISM!
Interview: Giorgos Kolivanos
Transation/Rendering in English: Theodoros Apergis
Cover Artwork: Chrysa Antoniadi
Design & Editing: Alexandros Soultatos
Date: October 30th, 2019
External Link: HUMAN SERPENT – Official Page
Copyright © 2019 by THEGALLERY.GR