“This is the end”. At least so croons Master Motorsåg of warlusting black metal maniacs BESTIAL MOCKERY. Coming straight of stage at New York’s Marytrdoom Festival and into the inquisitive lair of KIM KELLY, she finds out about best-laid plans and how it’s better to burn out than fade away
It’s a clear, humid night in one of Brooklyn’s many warehouse districts, and you’re sweating like a whore in church. The concrete maze you and a few hundred other leather-clad, sticky longhairs have crowded into smells of sulphur and swamp-ass; the air conditioner’s broken, the toilets are backed up, and the drinks are overpriced. This is Hell, and fittingly so, for the murderous apparition that’s just stalked onstage demands nothing less. Martyrdoom, NYC’s nastiest annual underground black/death metal festival, is upon us, and the reason we’re all suffocating ourselves and clutching $10 whiskies is about to begin. This is fucking Bestial Mockery’s final live performance, and they make sure it’s one to remember. Gasoline and chainsaws and ragged, hoarse howls punctuate the rapacious din, as some of Sweden’s most demonic souls hurl themselves towards oblivion and we hurtle down alongside them. It’s hard to believe that this night marks the end of their first, last, and only North American appearance, or that they only reunited last year. The fire burns blacker than ever, but, as my sit-down with wild-eyed vocalist Master Motorsåg would reveal, it had all unfolded exactly as planned, according to a blood pact made long, long ago.
“Since Good Friday, or Black Friday as we call it in Sweden, of 1995, we decided on every release and every career move, if you even can call it that. I’m a hypomanic, bipolar, and Warslaughter doesn’t realise it but he’s fucking out of his head, so we thought that if you were going to do something, you gotta do it Genghis Khan style; do it proper, or else you can just skip it.
“We take some of our biggest inspiration from punk, but not the thing about them not thinking about it; we use violence and chaos to create havoc and mayhem, but when it comes to everything around it, when you’re a black metal brat as myself, then you take a big impression from Euronymous. Besides the execution, he had been a guiding star, the guardian of anti-morality, and this scene needs more terrorists. Doom said a very good thing when they said ‘making punk a threat again’, and my only regret from tonight, besides being too fucking high, was that I didn’t punch more people in the face. Then again, when I got soaked in gasoline, I told the audience that if you fucking coward cunts got a match, feel free to light it on me, ’cause I could easily go out in that fashion.
“Even if you don’t create chaos on a bigger scale, you at least should be able to create chaos with the things you can affect, and that means punching someone in the fucking face,” he rattles off, barely taking a breath, blonde hair hanging in his face and eyes burning. “At the return gig with Vulcano a year ago, the only thing I asked from the audience was that everyone should turn around and punch anyone who stood behind them in the fucking face. At least 27 people started to bleed, and three or four of them were cutting themselves and had to go to the emergency room, so I mean, the revolution starts with you. The fucking mayhem and the fucking violence start with everything you do. Even if you just throw one fucking battery into nature, it will do some fucking harm, and in that sense I take much impression from our beloved Doctor Crowley. I don’t fully agree with ‘every action is a political action’, but at least if you try to be the master of the temple, then you can try to think of making every action a magic action.”
To say that Motorsåg (who introduced himself with a firm handshake and a “Johan”) is an intense individual is a bit like calling Margaret Thatcher “slightly disagreeable”; the magnitude reveals itself the longer we speak, and his earlier mention of manic-depression begins to make sense. The man is a bundle of malevolent energy and seldom stops talking for a moment, especially once the conversation falls upon his musical heroes and the bands that initially helped for his vision for what would become the hammerblow heresy of Bestial Mockery. He’s got no time for fakes, trends, or copycats, and worshipful respect for those who earn it.
“Even though it’ a crappy genre with all these people copying Blasphemy, Blasphemy are the fucking masters; they make everyone their fucking bitches and they put everyone in their place. They are some of the few people that I really consider my friends, because it’s one thing to shake hands in the black metal scene, but the first time I met them, like 12 or 13 years ago (this was prior to 9/11), those crazy fuckers were bringing barbed wire, a military oven, fake grenades and bulletbelts on the airplane from Canada! I thought ‘What are you guys gonna do? You’re gonna start a fucking war?’ and they didn’t say anything right then, but then they gave a very good response before their Sodom show at Wacken: ‘We’re gonna bash some German police’ and I thought that was the only thing really good said in black metal since Euronymous died,” he states. “They’ve been a guiding star too, you know? Tons of bands are wearing gasmasks and having goats’ heads but no one fucking does it in the same way as Blasphemy. If you ever would tattoo anything like Christian people do with ‘What would Jesus do?’ then you should ask yourself ‘What would Euronymous do?’ or ‘What would Blasphemy do?’ My arms are full now, but when I was high as fuck I got some tattoos on my stomach, gigantic Bestial Warlust and Nunslaughter tattoos; I think I’m fucking set…” his attention wavers, distracted by a few moments of tattoo chatter. My Bathory goat gets a smile out of him, and then, it’s back to business.
“Nowadays, at Ross Bay Cemetery, they have so many guards you can barely even go there. When Black Witchery did their initiation, their fire baptism at Ross Bay, they had to fight off the guards! And I mean, if you don’t want to risk your life for the things you dedicate your life to, then you dedicate your life to shit.”
For a Swede who first got involved with black metal while the ashes of Fantoftkirke were still smoking, Motorsåg is awfully devoted to Euronymous. Perhaps that much-documented Norway-Sweden rivalry was overblown and fetishised by outsiders… or, perhaps, some things are just too important to cleave apart with lines drawn on a map.
“The thing is, I honestly don’t give a shit about Norway, because we made a very good scene in Sweden! They had their run and they fucking blew it after the church burnings stopped,” he spits. “We have Bathory, Funeral Mist, Obscurity, and nowadays the best Swedish band is Irkallian Oracle; in my book they should be one of the biggest bands around, because they are one of the few that really live their ideology. Anyway, it’s like Impiety said on ‘Salve The Goat ‘ EP, back when they were really killer; ‘Baptise the Norwegian fjords in shit.’ For me, everything in nature is like ‘Fight Club’. I want to see those beaches I have never seen drenched in oil, I want to breathe the smoke. That divide may exist, but we in Sweden have always stood with punk as well, look at Bathory and Entombed, Treblinka, even Obscurity, even though some label them death metal they were so ahead of their time, much like Order From Chaos, who were beamed from a horrible future. They were both ahead of their time and way past their time, and only now, like when they played two years ago that they got the proper respect that they deserve.”
Despite his homeland’s rich metallic heritage, our narrator is far more enamoured of foreign drugs, particularly of the Australian and American strains. Bestial Mockery ceased live actions once they strode offstage at Martyrdoom, but several members tear shit up in the guise of Rawhide, a dirty rock ‘n’ roll band who were booked for a few dates surrounding the festival. Their Philly show brought them into contact with one of USBM’s blackest new hopes, Ashencult, and it seems they made an impression – and landed themselves in the same breath as some pretty fucking impressive company.
“In America, you have some really good bands like Midnight, Manticore, Black Witchery, Ashencult, Nightbringer. Besides Incantation, I always hated the death metal scene, though, because Euronymous told us, ‘If you got hoodies and sweatpants on you are the enemy’ and it was very important not only to make ourselves the enemy of hardcore, but also of death metal because it was so hollow until Dead Congregation surfaced, they really rejuvenated it and put the occult back in it,” he mentioned. “Black Witchery was really who inspired me to turn my gaze to America, but I also remember in the mid-’90s when Warslaughter got hold of NME’s ‘Unholy Death’ and it was one of the greatest things that has happened to music in my life; it was like an unreleased Venom record, and we haven’t done many covers, but ‘Black Knight’ is really one of the songs I love the most.”
He pauses for breath in the hot summer air and fidgets a bit on the makeshift bench we’re perched upon before launching into the story of how Vomitor ultimately changed his and Warslaughter’s lives for the better.
“I grew up with the Spear Of Longinus demos, and when Vomitor’s first demo came out, it’s the only time in my whole life I went hitchhiking. I was selling drugs at the time so I didn’t care very much but still I’d never go hitchhiking even if there were a bunch of bricks of brown gold waiting for me, but in 2001, me and Warslaughter hitchhiked down to Holland to see Vomitor play. They played with Nifelheim and that was one of the best shows I’d ever seen; they only had a demo so they did five songs, one Longinus song, and a couple of Blasphemy songs while the Blasphemy guys were there, that for me was a highlight. It was how I wanted the black metal scene in Sweden be. I got into it a year after the church burnings, but in Sweden people were having altars without practicing the fucking rituals. Me and Warslaughter sold our souls to the devil when we were 13 and 15! We didn’t want to realise that about the Swedish scene because we thought they were the real deal, but then someone told me ‘This is melodic metal’ and since I don’t understand music, I only know what I like and do not like; it was like that feeling when you fucked a really fat girl high as fuck and then you realise, ‘Oh my god, she’s a sick as fuck STD-infested whore!’
And then I saw them all with their black dyed hair and gloves, and I thought ‘You’re the reason I hate this scene’, and luckily, we found out about these marvellous bands like Sadistik Execution and Bestial Warlust, then we renounced our Scandinavian attachment – ‘We never want to hear about you fucking cunts again!’ Then most people started to hate us, and I think that’s what gave us the motivation to actually carry on. At that time, people in Scandinavia were laughing at Beherit, because they didn’t come from Sweden or Norway, so everyone in the high class metal bands were laughing at them like, ‘Ooh Australians, they live in the sun, they can’t play black metal’. Well neither can you, you dyed-hair cunt! Sadistik Execution, even though they are not black metal per se, were fucking mental. So after Euronymous died, we turned our heads to the Southern Cross, and we have never really followed any inspiration besides that, and a few punk bands of course.”
So in one short half hour, we trek between the beginning the middle, and the end of Bestial Mockery. It’s still hard to believe that Motorsåg and his cohorts really planned out each step along the way back whilst they were barely teenagers, but then again, he’s already proven his laser focus and iron will. He’s not one for regrets, though the slightest tinge of nostalgia does seep through.
“I think in ‘95 we decided for our return to do a full-length, a 7” and a live album, but other stuff didn’t turn out because we were afraid that the new songs would get compared to the old, even if they are better, and we don’t want to be put in that place. So then we were gonna do a live album, and then quit, and I think we decided to do a Russian tour, but it fell through due to some unforeseen circumstances. I always wanted to play in the States and I really wanted to play with Manticore, and now we have at least played at the same festival. We also played with Crucifier who we did a split with, and Demonic Christ who were one of the first bands we got in contact with in American death metal. There was one Incantation guy there last night too, so I was really happy. We were supposed to do a 7” on their label so I was happy to at least get to finally smoke weed with them!”
So is this really the end? All signs point to it, but, one always hopes… until, that is, our man Motorsåg starts crooning Doors lyrics, and then you know it’s truly time to let go.
“This is the end, my friend…” he warbles quietly, chuckling to himself. “Now we are gonna focus on our newer black metal bands. I don’t want to say their names because there’s nothing I hate more than ‘featuring members of blah blah blah’ and when it comes down to it, that’s really the way Aleister Crowley did it. Let their words speak for themselves. How the fuck would it look for someone to say ‘Oh, I am a former member of the OTO? I have nothing to do with it now but still!’ Fuck you, greedy cunt.”
He ends by saying “This is a good place to stop,” echoing far more far-reaching statements of old. And really, that says is all. Bestial Mockery is dead; long live Bestial Mockery! May they burn in Hell.
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