On Saturday, December 14th, 2019 Wolfrune Fest, Nox Music & Voodood Promotions Present the Danish gnostic occult rock band Parzival live at Death Disco in Athens, Greece. Opening act will be the Greek alternative rock band ULiar. Founded in 1999, Pazival is a Russian electro-industrial group based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Heavily influenced by Kapital-era Laibach, the group creates a bombastic neo-classical music with electronic percussion, plenty of string and horn samples, and dramatic vocals mainly in German. They will be performing here as part of their promotional tour of their latest album "The Golden Bough".

You started in 1995 as Stiff Miners and have already released under the name Parzival 10 albums that have experimented various genres such as martial industrial, symphonic EBM, atmospheric metal, darkwave and electro with influences from Russian and European traditional music. Did you ever think that the band would have had such a long history, and did you have from the beginning a clear picture of what direction the band would have?

Parzival: It’s a good question. Actually Stiff Miners started way earlier than 1995. The first album “Giselle” was released on Cleopatra Records in 1995, but the band started already in 1992. If you asked us in 1995, it would be very hard to imagine that we would be releasing a new album in such a distant future as 2019, but on the other hand we already had some visions and ambitions for the future development of Parzival. Music is a vision of art, and as long as you always have something to say with your art, you can go on as long as you have this artistic vision burning inside you. We have been going through a lot of different musical styles, but we enjoy to achieve something new with our music each time. We can not do a copy of our own music all the time, like AC/DC, but on the other hand you can hear the spirit and atmosphere of Parzival on all our albums. Basically it’s the same concept on all our albums, just with different colours”.

On your latest album "The Golden Bough" we see the return of electric guitars and acoustic drums making your sound more 70s rock - doom metal, but always retaining your epic and pompous style. What would you like to say about this change in direction?

Parzival: As we just spoke about, it’s very important for us to reach some new musical borderlines. And test ourselves on the things we never did before. So for Parzival it’s definitely new with the current influences, which put fresh blood in our wines”

In previous works you sung in German, Russian and Latin. The new album is mainly in English. Is this due to you broadening your horizons and taking it to a wider audience?

Parzival: Again, we would like to explore something new. All our previous albums have been in languages such as German, Russian, Latin, Sanskrit and even a selfmade language made by our friend Maxim, who helps us with the lyrics. We had one song in English, “Lord Of The Sea”, on our previous album “Urheimat Neugeburt” as a test, and we really liked it. So we continued with the English language on the new album. Not to get on MTV, but to try something new 😊

The texts used for the album "The Golden Bough" are based on the book of the same name by Scottish social anthropologist and folklorist Sir James George Frazer. What can you tell us about your choice for this?

Parzival: “The Golden Bough” name is indeed taken from the book by Sir Frazer. The thing is, we disagree with the author and his scientist work. Because in the view of Parzival, he put all his ideas in a very primitive way. In the way our album is called “The Golden Bough”, it’s almost like a reverse engineering of his work, but it’s only our personal view on his book”.

We saw recently you participated in festivals such as NCN (Nocturnal Culture Night) in Germany, Zagovor Festival in the Ukraine, the Wave Gotik Treffen and at Entremuralhas. How is it for you to perform live in various countries? Do you manage absorb any cultural influences during your short stay in the countries you visit?

Parzival: “We really enjoy visiting and performing in different countries. Actually, we always insist on staying a couple of days more in each country, even on our own expense, to experience the atmosphere and culture of each country we perform. To learn and know more about the place we visit. The same with Greece – we will of course stay some extra time before and after the show to explore Athens, and keep our Parzival tradition concerning this”.

The Dark scene worldwide has been going strong for the last 40 years! How do you see the scene today and the way it has evolved especially with the domination of the internet?

Parzival: “We think it is much more easy to promote the band and communicate with the fans than in the past. But on the other hand, everything is way too easy with just one click. People in our time demands news and entertainment from the artists on a daily basis – elsewise they will be forgotten. It is a very hard job for musicians to keep up with the audience at all times. About the scene, there is still plenty of good bands, but it seems like the “dark scene” have been going down for the last 10 years. Less and less people are coming to the concerts, atleast in Scandinavia, but also other countries. And this goes for both goth, neofolk and industrial scenes unfortunately. Because the artists within these genres can not produce news and videos each week to entertain audience in Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and all these SoMe channels”.

As a band that has sunk deep into European tradition, history and symbolism, how do you see the state of Europe today? Although one can say economically Europe is better off than other regions of the world, do you think ideologically it has lost its path, focus or vision?

Parzival: “We see things like that MAYBE it’s easier for smaller countries to stay together shoulder to shoulder with each other as far economy goes. But it’s also only MAYBE. From another point of view, economy is not everything that unite us. It’s not an axe of everything. For us, the way we see it – culturally roots of the European people is more important than economy. Because it is the roots where economy grows from. And as we know, European countries are also very different, and it’s bad when economy dictates over culture and religion. So it’s a very big question that will be too long to go way too deep into. We feel connected to all European countries, and enjoy the diversity of all European countries. But some cultural issues can also split. Let’s see how things will turn out the coming years. Question is short, but answer could last for years. We as Parzival can not make a certain statement about this, as these questions could turned to interesting discussions over an Ouzo or ten!”.

This will be your first performance in Greece. Have any members been here before? As a band, what will you be expecting to give and take from the Greek audience?

Parzival: “Yes, all members have been to Greece before in different parts of the country. We really look forward to perform in Athens, and meet all our Greek friends. We will perform our best show as possible to entertain our Greek audience, who will be the first ones to hear new versions of a couple of older Parzival songs. See you in Athens soon! Thanx for the support to Die Seele”.

Interview by Nick Drivas.

Photos 1 & 2 by: Maiken Kildegaard.
Photo 3 by: Falk Scheuring.