Our road meanders similar to that of the master, through the works of prominent humans and daemons: via that divine digger through excrements Nietzsche, via the aloof intellectualism of Sartre, via that dark netherworld of Lilith's cave and those tunnels of night, via the dark windlings of Dostoevsky and his minions, via Plath's aesthetic tendency towards ending human life, via the superhuman artistry of Proust and via the merciless violence through poetic inspiration of the Norse sagas.
To Open with this conversation is more than obvious to ask you which were the principal points which forces you to express yourself through a musical platform as BOLESKINE?
First of all, we’d like to thank you for your kind words and this opportunity to express our opinions and ourselves, and perhaps it would be a good start to give a short background story.
Thoughts about mysticism and the occult started to pervade our minds at an early age, when we began studying shamanism and similar subjects. Quite soon – after but a year or so – we discovered a small bookstore located in the eastern parts of the Gothenburg city centre. This store – Dolores – was truly underground, and specialized in selling quality books on occultism, underground comics, and pornography of all sorts.
The large occult book section was quite expertly chosen by the employees, especially one who, several years later, got the idea that he should start an occult coffee shop called Café O’Kult. The store was for many years probably the best vendor of occult material in all of Sweden, with new high quality books coming in every week. Like everywhere else, Gothenburg has its fair share of shops selling books on spiritual subjects (the proper term is new age) – but Dolores was unique in that it only sold truly occult books and no new age books at all. Books by the Master Therion could be found by the dozen, along with books on the Golden Dawn, Satanism, Magick, Yoga, et cetera. This was before the Internet, so this was of course a blessing for anyone interested in mystical matters.
Thus, it was not long until we both encountered the works of Crowley. Although hesitant at first, we soon dove into his vast production. Even if we did not understand it all, we still had that inclination of the mind that made us feel as if we were ”at home” when reading those books. One could say that, even though we encountered Thelema at that time, our thoughts had touched the subject long before.
Our musical influences were early synth and metal. Much because other bands in those genres had already worked with, and expressed, mystical occult ideas and concepts. Of course we enjoyed the sound as well.
Let’s put it like this. Thelema is the starting point (and sometimes also the end point – Alpha and Omega) for almost everything, both for the music and our thoughts and reasoning. We are truly Thelemites in many ways, but our minds and actions are also heavily influenced by ancient Hinduism and Lamaism (ie. Tibetan Buddhism). Thoughts akin to Luciferianism (a rather undefined term anyway) have also had some influence.
Throughout our spiritual development we have followed the ”philosopher’s road” – contemplating and meditating rather than evoking the Djinn through rituals of the blazing sword. Mysticism is our way – in ways.
The motto ”Do what thou Wilt” is at the centre of our philosophy. Living according to, and truly understanding, this creed is a burdensome path to choose. It is the narrow road. A person who completely lives according to ”Do what thou Wilt” is already enlightened (although we have not reached that far). Thelema is enough for everything – as long as you actually understand it. Thelema is not about saying ”Will” before supper or reciting Liber Resh four times a day, and so on – those are just rituals. They have their value, but may actually become an obstacle in the path.
Musically talking BOLESKINE has so many influence from rock, gothic, industrial… So, how has evolved the musical identity since the beginning anno 1990 until now anno 2008?
Our thoughts have become more refined throughout the years. The passing of time functions as a chisel, slowly removing unnecessary pieces from our own selves. Our music has walked the way of circumstances. The lyrics and inspirations have become increasingly Crowleyan over the years – the earliest lyrics were not rich in nuances, but over the years they have become more profound.
Musically, we have become more direct and our soundscapes are rawer. We do not consider ourselves to be bound by genres. We have never strived for, nor wanted to, mimic the sound of popular bands (like Depeche Mode, Slayer, Therion et al.). Neither do we compare ourselves to them. However, we do have some musical influences (a nice contradiction), even if we do not sound like them. For example, bands like Joy Division and Autechre could be considered influences.
And which are the main perspectives do you want to archive with BOLESKINE as a sublime creative art? And what’s the principal emphasis do you express through each guitar chord, each lyric, each emotional pattern developed here (the 4 released tracks)?
The answer is simple: Mysticism and occultism, and how these concepts influence what is commonly known as reality. Of course, we have gothic undertones, but they are not connected with the so-called gothic culture or gothic imagery. Perhaps we could talk about the gothic world of ideas, which tends to become popular in regular intervals throughout history. Terms such as ”the sublime” and the gothic interpretation of ”terror” (as opposed to ”horror”) are things that we strive to express, hopefully not in a cliché kind of way.
Refering the name BOLESKINE, how important was you visited the BOLESKINE house in 2004? And how such visit influenced in one or another way your development in the band knowing the strong energies handled there back in time?
Joachim B: Our use of the name Boleskine stems from the earliest days of the band, although at that time we did not have that strong a connection to the place. I must say, that my visit to Boleskine House made a great impact on me. It also gave me a first-hand impression that was later translated into the lyrics to the song ”Boleskine”. In that song, the ravens that circle the house see through my eyes, so to speak. The visit (or pilgrimage, if you will) gave me a new start, and greatly influenced me, and I am sure that this in some ways can be heard in the songs.
Any special comment when firstly you arrived to Boleskine house? And what’s the most important aspect you must recommend to those whose want to go there?
JB: I would like to refer to the term ”sublime”, used in question five above. It was actually a sublime experience – both awe-inspiring and fine-tuned. I was travelling with two friends – one of them also seriously interested in the occult and Crowley. The visit to Boleskine House was in many ways the climax of the journey. Already when we left Inverness I felt a true excitement – and upon leaving the house I felt a true sense of satisfaction. I tend to think that anyone influenced by Crowley easily will find his or her own important aspect, I was personally perfectly satisfied with just visiting and seeing the house.
Those interested should also know that it is easy to reach the house when in Scotland – take the bus to Foyers from the Inverness main bus terminal and look for the Boleskine burial ground – the house is on the opposite side of the road, on the hill. The current owners are of course not exceedingly interested in having people dressed in odd black clothing and wearing pentagrams constantly stopping by to stare at their house, so one should take care to respect their privacy.
Do you will continue experiment with the sound BOLESKINE has been developing or you will focus into a different expression level in future?
What we have done so far has developed in the right direction, but we have certainly not reached what we are aiming for musically – so yes, we will continue experimenting.
Talking about your personal life…what comes to your mind as the worst and best moments in your life? And how it has helped you to develop your artistical skills?
JB: A difficult question. I do not want to pinpoint any specific moments; instead I would rather speak of periods that have had different characteristics. During some years, I went through what could be termed as ”the dark night of the soul” that was rather destructive and defining – it mostly centered around fear, horror and depression, and I was on my way to destroy myself. Needless to say, nothing of greater importance was created during that time, but the experience is now something that can be fed upon. When it comes to better times, I must say that most of them are connected to evolution and important insights. For example, at the present time I feel that I am walking the earlier mentioned ”narrow road” with forceful steps.
Daniel D: My best, worst and most important moments are invariably those where emotions completely crush my intellect into a pulp, and leave it in that state for some time. Thus, the expressions of my artistry has always been dependent of my emotional life, although my inspiration has been dwindling as of the latest years, due to things beyond my knowledge and control.
What will come in a near future regarding BOLESKINE’s debut album? Any record label has shown interest?
We have been shown interest in some European countries, but nothing is set.
Using your imagination, how would you represent BOLESKINE from a visual concept regarding the spirituality of both of you?
We have some inspiration from the early 90s – like synth and hard rock. When it comes down to pure visuals – well, we’re satisfied as long as they don’t involve a mink or a staring child.
How perfectionist are you when composing, writing music for BOLESKINE? And where from comes the main inspirational source for the great track “The Tide”?
We are quite perfectionist, but for more on this, see the next question. When it comes to ”The Tide”, it was written in ten minutes by Daniel in a moment of pure inspiration. The lyrics are simple and precise enough – they depict Crowley’s last thoughts and feelings, before commencing his first Abra-Melin operation around 1900. Towards the end of the song, one can hear the musings of the princes of darkness on the subject matter. To put it simple: it’s a musical.
So, do you need to be in a special emotional state, mood when creating music, or it just came floating in you mind when start to play an instrument?
We have a very specific workflow. What should be noted is that we never do any band practice, which in itself is quite unique. Neither do we sit down and compose together. We always create separately, alone. We do it like this:
I. Daniel writes a short musical draft. This is usually discarded along the way – but it will act as a kind of fuel during the process.
II. The draft is given to Joachim who then starts writing lyrics, and starts experimenting with singing melodies and how the chorus could sound. This usually takes between a week and a few months. The lyrics are usually never changed during the rest of the process.
III. This, in turn, is given back to Daniel, who starts reworking the song – adding new musical elements. This can take anywhere between twenty-four hours and half a year.
IV. We listen to the result, and comments are made – usually, not much is altered. Thus, we record the vocals, which takes three to four hours at most.
V. After further mixing and evaluation, the song is released.
Give me your point of view about conformity, ignorance and passivity of actual society according what you can observe, feel?
These concepts, though difficult to define, should be considered as pitfalls. And they work opposed to "Love is the Law" – which advocates intellectual and emotional boundlessness – and ”Do what thou Wilt” – which reflects both the enlightened state as well as the thirst and striving.
We truly are. As you put it, our quest has indeed evolved into a struggle – against society in general as well as against our own imperfect minds. Our firm belief is that humanity as a whole will never evolve, but individuals may attain higher states of existence, through different methods. We ourselves have long since realized that the first step is to turn away from your described world of today. Only then can you truly start your Great work. Through literary advancement, intense contemplation and meditation, one can reach up to the brink of enlightenment. Recommended literature might be "Bhagavad-Gita" and "Book Four".
Do you think an excellent method to live in this existential plane is to learn to see with the mental eye? To see under the surface of apparent reality?
In accordance with Hinduists, Buddhists et al., we see reality as the illusion. This is a fact so fundamental that one does not even need to be enlightened to acknowledge it. Thusly, any other way of seeing than with one's mind's eye, would be to succumb to the illusion. However, this does not negate physical reality, so your chair will still support your weight – no matter what you think.
But, if you long to be successful on the material plane, you will need your material eyes. Using your mind's eye will only pull you away from "reality".
17-Mr Brink, thanx again for the support and sorry for delay and short interview. Keep on the spirit alive and close this as you want. 93 93 /111 ?
Again, thank you indeed, Edgar Kerval, for your interest. To anyone reading this, Boleskine can be found at: www.Myspace.com/TheBoleskine
93 93/93 Boleskine