Interview with Baest

Interview with Baest

- in Written interviews
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Let’s start with the title. What does «Necro Sapiens» means to you?
It’s a character, or rather several characters from our concept-album. Our album is a dystopia story, based on 1984. A Necro Sapiens is a part of this dystopic post-apocalyptic world, they are created by the Czar, the totalitarian leader who can take on different identities and philosophy. He’s creating this slave-race and slaughtering them. It’s also a discussion on human nature. It’s a human that has been stripped of all freedom. It’s based on the scenes in 1984 where the main character is being tortured and brainwashed.

Yes, and in that scene, the leading party explains that their goal is not to create a utopia, but to force people to submit to the government and die.
Yes, that’s what we wanted to create.

In addition to the sci-fi inspiration, there seems to be a horror inspiration. Titles like Meathook Massacre or Abattoir remind me of slasher movies from the 70s. Were you going for a sort of horror movies put to music kind of style?
Kind of, I had some inspiration from the second and third Exorcist movies. The second one is kind of rubbish, but the third one, with Brad Dourif, was amazing. I took a lot of inspiration from that. I also got inspiration from Cannibal Corpse songs.

There are other cultural references in your songs. You reference some villain archetypes, like the Czar.
I didn’t take inspiration just from the real Czar family but also from other villains, especially Big Brother. If you look at the cover, he has many faces. He is not a person, but more like an idea.

There is also that instrumental called The Forge, which reminds me of a legend about the Devil haunting a forge. What does it mean in the context of the album?
It’s about an intergalactic place where things are created, but it can be considered a sort of cosmic hell.

A forge is where you create new things, but here, it’s about creating bad things, people who are just weapons of a dictator.
Yes, it’s related to the Czar, which could represent Satan. It also represents warmongering and greed.

Do you think that life is turning into a dystopia or a horror movie lately? Did that inspire your new album?
Maybe it has, considering what’s going on right now. It may not be a completely hopeless, doomsday kind of world, but it could be considered a dystopia, because of the virus, and the force of nature, and the way people are all affected by the lockdown. We started writing the album before the lockdown, but then the pandemic came, and we thought it’s a perfect time to make a story like this, it’s like what’s happening right now.

Has the lockdown made it difficult for you to record the album?
Absolutely not, we more time to focus, experiment and dig deep into the topics and the songwriting process of the album. We had a lot of time to rehearse, so recording was easier. Our creativity blossomed at that time.

I found that quote in a book “If I didn’t have heavy metal, I’d be behind bars”. Is that the same for you? Do you make your music as a way to release some tension or to express the worst things that you sometimes think about but would never do in real life?
What were the influences for your album? I’d say it’s both very heavy

We’re influenced by Carcass, especially the Heartwork album a lot of death metal, but also with 80s’ metal, which is more epic and upbeat. We also listened to a lot of Opeth’s first albums, so some of our songs like Towers of Suffocation or Genesis have a progressive influence and sound different from what we’ve done before. We wanted to mix a lot of influences together.

Would you say that a lot of death metal or grindcore is a form of black humor?
Yes, it’s a part of our personalities, and it makes it easier for us to work this out. It’s about things depicted in comics and horror movies, but it also reflects violence in the real world.

It’s true, sometimes violence in real life can be worse than in movies.
Absolutely. I just watched that Netflix documentary about the Night Stalker. It was absolutely horrible, and it happened in the real world, to real people. There was no reason to that, just pure fucking evil.

Evil exists. Not everyone is going to meet the Night Stalker, but even if evil doesn’t affect us directly, it exists.
Yes. But I also think that people are not evil naturally, there is a backstory to every person who has done evil deeds. These are always complex stories. Some people may be evil because they have been treated evil, because of family, trauma or injustice. If you don’t treat people with respect or with kindness, they will not know how to treat people well. That’s a thought to hold onto.

Yes, if you don’t support people and don’t take their pain seriously, they will just resent you and want their revenge on the whole world.
Indeed. Some people act aggressive, and some are more introverted, they blame themselves. I think you have to find these people and help them, that’s very important. There isn’t enough support for psychiatry and mental health.

I also think that mental health isn’t taken seriously enough. We have a tendency to think that someone is crazy, so we shouldn’t bother with them.
Yes. Most of these mental issues come from somewhere, from surroundings, how people are treated, it’s not just genetics. It’s important to discuss problems with mental health, the way we act towards each other.

There are some horror movies that could be accused of portraying people with mental illnesses as dangerous because of their condition. Obviously, that’s not true, but it could give people wrong impression about what mentally ill people are like.
That’s part of the educational role of art. You can use it to teach people, and it always transmits some kind of message that people will receive.

Art is also a therapy, to express ourselves without being judged, silenced or misunderstood.
Yes. It can used to express more complex emotions, understand those issues. Music is an emotional language. Maybe it’s a better way to explain. It’s a direct way for me to express my emotions. It’s kind of aggressive, because you may have emotions that you’d rather express through music than through actions. Death metal is the musical equivalent to horror, violence and wrath. These are strong emotions, and if you express them in society, they are not accepted, they’re a taboo. So death metal is helping a lot of people express those feelings.

Yes. A lot of people say they don’t like metal because it’s too violent, but we need a form of music that expresses the violence of life.
Yes, because violence is a part of human nature, and it’s better to express it through music than through actions. Music is a good manner of expression, because you can say a lot of things, repeat yourself, have people reply but not necessarily listen. But with music, people will listen and remember it.

This is why we need a form of music that’s deliberately ugly, not because we don’t know how to make something pretty, but to reflect the ugliness of reality.
Yes, though of course, we need to find a balance between ugly and pretty. And going back to the topic of mental illness, we can use art to discuss the complexities of mental health, understand why people act in bad ways because of their illness, and understand the dark emotions that we all feel, and emancipate ourselves from those emotions.

Yes. People who have artistic expression have an outlet for their most negative emotions, and it’s absolutely necessary. This gives us a form of power over our emotions and our lives, as ugly and violent as they may be. And this is why art is necessary, it’s not a vital need, but it helps us live. Thanks for this interview, and thanks for making your album.

baestband.com

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