Master's Hammer (Czech Republic) 04/05/2012
There is no need to introduce this living legend. This is one of my favorite bands and I’m really glad to have this interview. I talked with František Štorm, the mind and spirit behind Master’s Hammer, and discussed about the history and the comeback of Master’s Hammer after fourteen years of absence. Enjoy!
1. Hello Fanta Storm. I’m really glad that you accepted this interview because Master’s Hammer is one of my favorite bands. First of all can you give me some information about the new era of Master’s Hammer (lineup, releases, future goals)?
František Štorm: Of course, I hope many fans finally understood that MH is not a band. It means that any consideration on lineup, plans and usual functionality are not applicable. Moreover, it's completely out of question to talk about future, which is unpredictable and that's all right. Anything can be changed at any moment, I like to work with new people for just fun, no goal, no ambitions. I'm lucky to have Honza Kapák at the drums, Necrocock for harmonies, Joe Harper on throat instruments and Blackosh as mastering engineer, we all are tuned at the same note, so to say, deep in hearts.
2. During 90’ies you released some very good music and you were signed by a big label but I think that many years have passed so as Master’s Hammer get the attention and respect of people. Why did that happened? Is it a matter of promotion or something else?
František Štorm: I haven't noticed any big label, I can perhaps admit that there were certain people helping us to put our records on the market just in right time, and they surely did not do that for free or on an enthusiastic-philanthropic basis, you know what I mean. I was happy to get rid of labels.
3. After the first two albums you released Slagry, a quite controversial album. For me too, it was a strange release. Why you did that change to your sound?
František Štorm: It's Šlágry. I like that album, free from our previous clichés, we lured new listeners by it back in 1995, people never interested in metal began to ask what the fuck is Master's Hammer for? Some metalists were disgusted at the same time, I know very well.
4. I have read that during Slagry period, Master’s Hammer had some lineup problems. Would you like to tell me more about that?
František Štorm: MH never had any line-up problems - it's not a band.
5. Mantras came out in 2009, 15 years after your last release. What happened to the band all those years? How did you decide to reform the band and make music again?
František Štorm: We all have our real businesses for life, to me, music is just another sort of expression, I do illustrations, graphic design, typography, when I'm bored about it, I switch to music, same goes for other members.
6. I haven’t listened to Vracejte konve na místo yet, but I think Mantras is a comeback to your old sound. Would you like to give me some information about the process of composing and the recording conditions of nowadays?
František Štorm: You should listen to it, as this is the actual return to the old sound, to be precise. Mantras can be regarded as a comeback of the old guys to a delayed party. The process nowadays is simple - I write a song(s), mail the demo to others, they send me back their audio files to be mixed down, and after that I hand it over to our mastering guru - Blackosh. I wish I had one tenth of today's technology in the nineties.
7. Always you had a Satanic – Occult image. Do you practice Magic or Satanism? Do you want to describe me which beliefs, philosophy or way of life you want to express through Master’s Hammer?
František Štorm: I don't accept any fashionable religion, but I highly respect temples, monasteries or shrines of any faith I was lucky to visit in India and otherwhere. I didn't understand Buddhists that much, they were too selfish, while the Hindus were all gratuitous and hospitable. They showed me many incredible things, like smoking chilum... To me, satanism isn't a horror movie for children (or scarry nordic music videos), nor naive occult rituals, we use it sometimes as just another part of our artistic expression. But one satanic rule is good for practical life: don't believe in god, believe in yourself, similar to Hindus: you can pay respect to Ganesha or Shiva whenever needed, but the most respected person in the universe must be - you! Nice coincidence. Worship in yourself, refuse every organized church, including the satanic one, don't just assist anybody's fame, write the culture on your own. Stay free and creative.
8. The band during 90’ies did some live performances. Are you interested to play live now? Have you arranged any live gigs in the near future? Will you ever visit Greece?
František Štorm: I'd love to come to Greece to enjoy its great culture and cuisine, surely I must sometimes! But no live performances, I never go to concerts, I don't like it - always boring and mostly crowded with smelling people.
9. Master’s Hammer is one of the first bands that played Black Metal. Which bands or music styles, do you think, have influenced your music? What kind of music do you listen in general?
František Štorm: Bathory influenced us a lot, and still Quorthon is our idol. Now I have rather crazy things on my ipod: FGTH, Klaus Nomi, Boy George, Amanda Lear, 2Unlimited, PetShopBoys and many of that 80's shit, some recent EBM/dance stuff, Necrocock and Umbrtka (Czech).
10. Apart from music you work on the science of typography. Do you want to tell me more about that?
František Štorm: Quite unimpressive business, but good for life, I do care about the legibility of books, which is useful for my clients.
11. You are the main composer of Master’s Hammer. Do you want to tell me how do you get inspired to write music and lyrics?
František Štorm: I'm taking my ideas from real life and rural vernacularities.
12. Your lyrics are written in Czech. Don’t you think that it may be difficult to someone that doesn’t speak Czech to get into your music completely?
František Štorm: I don't care, ironically, there are hundreds of bands singing in good English but in a manner you can't understand the text at all, so where is the difference?
13. Your last two albums were self – financed and self – released. Do you think that this way is better for the band than to have the support of a label? How do you plan to promote the new releases?
František Štorm: No plans, no promotions needed for MH, the mastershammer.com is the label - its website is visited often enough, so we can focus all ads on it only. The production means just to have a little bit of cash for the LP pressing, which pays off after one week of sale. There is simply just MH and the e-shop, nothing in between, super effective and flexible.
14. Do you still follow Black Metal scene? What is your opinion about the Black Metal scene of Czech Republic? Are there any bands, new or old, that you like?
František Štorm: No idea. Look at Umbrtka and Insania, they're great.
15. By your big experience, how much do you think the attitude of the underground Black Metal scene has change from the early 90’ies until now?
František Štorm: My good feeling is being still (back) in the underground, as taking a part of it is a great honor for any band, whereas any contacts with mainstream could poison the scene. I'm a contemporary of the tape-trading and xerox-fanzines period since the late eighties, nowadays we can see the same even over the internet. Underground is alive, maybe more than before, people are bored by mass propaganda, hungry for something specific and more hearty.
16. How do you imagine the future of Master’s Hammer from now on?
František Štorm: No idea.
17. Thanks a lot for the interview. Do you want to sum up your near future plans and also if you want, add something for conclusion?
František Štorm: For readers of this - create your own music - that's the only way.