Martin Walkyier -Sabbat
Spring ahead noble banger, and journey with me pagan man. I bid you wayward sons to come hither to this moment in time spent with the "Wittiest Man In The World". One Man is responsible for creating the genres we know as Pagan & Folk Metal, his name is Martin Walkyier. I had the honor and privilegde to spend an afternoon with this voracious soul, who has been my source of enduring inspiration.
Through the brutal intensity of
A History Of Time To Come for Sabbat, he coined the term Pagan metal;
later after his exodus, he and the brazen fool ensemble known as Skyclad
laid the foundation for Folk Metal.
Nigh, three weeks have traversed since I was imbued in his presence. So many obstacles have delayed my sharing this vision with you. Thankfully, this weekend of celebrating the time of the Elemental Presence and the Feast of Beltaine have appropriated this message to a forclosure.
MettleAngel: Martin, thank you so much for agreeing to do this impromptu interview with me. My first question is quite honestly, which do you prefer: Sabbat or Skyclad?
MettleAngel: So how come they only booked you guys for four dates in the States?
MettleAngel: Usually, promoters plan for
about seven to twelve shows, you were booked for four confirmed dates,
so you will have people scouring from one side of the United States to
the other, making plans to attend.
MettleAngel: I'll bet Canadian fans were crossing the border for the New York show, and the show tonight. Mexicans will attend the California show. Bear in mind this is North America, and obviously not as geographically laid out as Europe, as concerns the metal spectrum.
MettleAngel: Now didn't Skyclad tour briefly in the States?
MettleAngel: Really? Do continue...
MettleAngel: Fuckin' Hell, so he wanted to keep 'em seperated! This is rather odd, because Silent Whales Of Lunar Sea turned out to be such a great album. I know a lot of people that discovered you during the Prince Of The Poverty Line/Silent Whales era.
MettleAngel: There is also a strong dichotomy between Sabbat and Skyclad. Sabbat tends to be more focused on paganography themes, and leaning about the heathenistic ways; while Skyclad tends to be a more politically based mentality, with an attitude of "d.i.y.", and a "think for yourself" motif. How did the logical dynamic progression come about?
MettleAngel: You mean the Monotheistic religions? It is true that Monotheism leads to consumerism, that very capitalistic/ Darwinian notion of survival of the fittest. I believe in unity, not the illusion of separation. Martin, your lyrics have inspired me to change my life. I've undergone a true metanoia, or change of heart. When I first discovered Sabbat, I was involved in the Christological milieu. Through the words and works of Skyclad, I found deeper meaning in the universe.
MettleAngel: That's right, in all the Pagan religions there was always the fertility goddess; the notion of the Sacred Feminine.
MettleAngel: He was the first emperor to make Catholicism the known religion in the world. Catholic means - of the one or universal. The original Christans were followers of the way, in essence wayward sons of Mother Earth. Constantine was a typical politician who based upon a dream, did what was in Rome's best interest. Namely, making Christianity (Catholicism/Orthodox) the world religion. Had his vision been of another God, say Mithras, we might all have different beliefs today. In retrospect, his dream was not really of Christ, but of the Greek letters "Chi" and "Rho", which symbolized victory. Rome is Rome, and even today they have a Nazi in charge. Getting back to basics, With the concept of Dreamweaver, how did you discover Brian Bates?
MettleAngel: Yeah, I concur with the notion: "Seek, and ye will find yourself on the journey". Then, did you decide after History Of A Time To Come, that the next Sabbat album would be based on the writings of The Way Of The Wyrd.
MettleAngel: Expect the unexpected! As soon as I got the Dreamweaver cassette, and realized that it was based on a book, I went to the local library and secured a copy of The Way Of The Wyrd. In the early '90s, I dwelt in the Pacific Northwest. When you drive down Highway 101, you view the ocean on one side, while gazing upon coniferous trees on the other. So I'm reading this book, which I found to be extremely subjective; immediately, enthralled in the essence, beauty, and majesty of nature, I begin identifying with the main character, thinking that based on my superior education it was my mission to change the world; when in reality, I was the one who was experiencing real transformation within. I was the one who rediscovered my soul's love for me, and my true mission, not to inculcate and force my beliefs upon others; but, to educate and teach by example. This was my mission of mercy.
MettleAngel: Or corrupted by faith in all powerful God, and not in service to mankind. Hence, the reason for our journey, to remember who we really are, and why we are here. It's like with anything, with all these corporations, they know that if you give the power back to people, they will intuit the fact that we are all one, and there is no separation. That's why racism, poverty, crime, etc. exists because of the illusion of separation and need.
MettleAngel: We are servants to a higher
cause spreading the knowlege and wisdom. I consider you to be very educated,
you have obviously read several known philosiphers, and you are truly
versed in Shakespeare. Ironically, I know people that love Skyclad, but
are quite ignorant when it comes to knowing the works of Shakespeare.
MettleAngel: Obviously, you are very engrossed in epistemology, and the theories of man.
MettleAngel: While reading Skyclad lyrics, I've noticed that in one chorus you can easily jump from Voltaire to Aristotle, back to Gene Roddenberry and that's utterly brilliant! So, you have learned that people view you as their sedulous sage.
MettleAngel: It's the same for us life is for celebrating, not excoriating. Damn, I love you British lyricists, is there something in the tea you drink? Take for example, Bruce Dickinson, Rob Halford, Jeff Walker, you get the point. Another one of your mates is Dani Filth, he also has a tremendous grasp on culture and world politics, and he manages to mangle his art into a sort of macabre poetry. How was it working with him on the Sabbat cover?
MettleAngel: He approached you, correct?
MettleAngel: History's time had finally come. Andy Sneap has actually remained quite active in metal, having just produced new albums by Exodus, Megadeth and Testament. Everyone wants to work with him! People who don't know Sabbat still know Andy Sneap. So, given the influx of Pagan Metal, and the recent Pagan Fest Tour; not to mention the succes of such acts as Cruachan, Skiltron, Mägo De Oz, and obviously Elvenking, do you feel Skyclad set the precedent for what they now call Pagan Folk Power Metal?
MettleAngel: I am impressed with how your legacy has endured, and how your vocal style has served as a unique constant. Were you ever called Death Metal?
MettleAngel: I know that quote to which you are referring. It's the case of the dead artist syndrome! Pagan times permeate, and in a recent pole statistic which I read, over 70% of todays youth who call themselves Christians, in America, could not even name the four Gospels.
MettleAngel: Rome is Rome. It's imperial, it's governed, it's a struggle for power. The more things change, the more they remain the same.
MettleAngel: Yes, a return to the "Pax Romana" a time of wine, women, and song. To a certain extent Jesus' teachings have influenced me, as well as the writings of the early father's of the Church. I consider myself as being what they called in Antiquity - a gnostic. That is I am always searching for the meaning of life. Your very words have summed up my raison de 'etre. Namely, "Who am I, what am I, why am I here?". Your very words, although witty and inciteful, have a very profound meaning, and strike at the very nerve of my being, and true essence. This is why I consider you my favorite lyricist of all time. Take a song like Worn Out Sole To Heel, how long does it take you come up with puns such as those.
MettleAngel: Well, we do this because we love to, we are fans ourselves. Plus one thing I've learned is I don't judge, I observe, I don't excoriate, I celebrate.
MettleAngel: You mean people who are inanely stupid? People who hear a vocabulary word and have no desire to know it's meaning, or those lethargic ingrates who are so lazy that they see The Lord Of The Rings movie, or read the cliff notes, in lieu of reading the actual text itself, in order to do a report on it for school! How could you not want to ensconse yourself in what that's about? There is wisdom in everything!
MettleAngel: The Black Metal ideology is one of "non-serviam", or I will not serve, and they're missing the point. It's all about master in servitude. When you get nervous focus on service.
MettleAngel: Or the Horned God of the hunt, who becomes linked with Lucifer. All this mythology becomes comingled, and people condemn what they most fear. That's why I've coined your word mythistory. There's such a rubric which people follow, feeling it always has to be by the book. People essentially miss the point when saying it's history. I say, well it's really the myth of his story. The Greek word "mythos" means storytelling. To the victors go the spoils, and winners of war,commonly men, record the events which we call history.
MettleAngel: Tell me about it, between the Pseudoepigraphical and Apocryphal texts, rich, land-owning male supremists made the ultimate decision for what we call the Bible today.
MettleAngel: I totally agree, and that's why I love metal, because when musicians write lyrics they explore these very topics, or what I like to call vile hypocrisy.
MettleAngel: We're the biggest geeks on the planet!
MettleAngel: Lawyer, doctor, cop...
MettleAngel: That is just like what Piggy of Voi Vod said when I saw them in '86 with Kreator. Namely to expel all your aggression at the show, and then go home and sleep it off. This is what Soothsayer means by free violence, or Exodus' good, clean, friendly, violent fun. Face it we're metalheads: we're geeks, let's mosh it up!
MettleAngel: Let us not forget how important the mothers of metal have become (points to MettleMaiden). They are shaping our destiny...
MettleAngel: This is why we are the teachers of the New Age. We are that very remnant who repudiate the penny dreadful drollery. Even though we are caught up in another fine mess and we find ourselves in trouble sometimes, we persevere in a never ending quest for the truth. Alright, switching gears, I'm curious to know how you got Gizz to play bass for Sabbat, as I'm a huge fan of English Dogs?
MettleAngel: Speaking of T-shirts, I noticed your merch man Johnny is wearing a Clan Destined design. Would you care to talk about this, many people have been inquiring as to what is going on with The Clan Destined.
MettleAngel: That asshole from Immortal sure did cast aspersion on your sanity. I'm glad to hear that you continued with The Clan Destined.
MettleAngel: This sounds amazing. In my eyes you will always be a shining star, illuminating inequality street. You are a true prince of the poverty line, my greatest inspiration. Thank you for the wisdom of Sabbat and the wit of Skyclad. Thank you for the music, the melody, and the message. Most of all thank you for indulging me this afternoon, tax day in the USA. Meeting you has been the measure of my success. It has taken 17 years to reach this very point, and with you, Wendy, and all the metal brothers gathered here tonight to see Sabbat, let's truly celebrate the moribund dance.
See also: review of the gig the same night