Ind: Hatenourisher is the name for CASTRUM latest CD and the title-track. Why did you pick up such a title and can it called the essence of your creativity?
Kornel Kontros: In some ways I guess so. The meaning of the album title and the song, "Hatenourisher", could be interpreted in some ways. On the one hand, the lyrical content of the song itself tells about the drastic differences in people's thinking. It shows total hatred against the foolishness. On the other hand, more generally, it represents our deep hatred against the falsehood and hypocrisy of the Christian church. It's about the ones who nourish hatred in people's minds. But it also depends on the listener's own thinking, what he might read between its lines. I picked this title 'cause I really content with its meaning and it fits well to the overall concept of our debut album.
Ind: CASTRUM music is very much inspired by early DEATH and some thrash acts as well. Don't you think that you've just stuck to these cannons and are afraid to experiment furthermore?
Kornel Kontros: I don't think so. We are always try to be as original as possible. Of course, we are influenced by a bunch of Thrash and Death Metal bands, but it doesn't mean that we are copying any of them. We have our own ideas and conception regarding how CASTRUM should sound in general. On the other hand, the majority of the songs featured on our debut album, where written in the period from 1994 to 1997. Maybe that's why you felt our stuff closer to the old Death/Thrash Metal era. Anyway, I can definitely assure you about our new songs freshness and originality. They are more powerful, technical, fast and yet brutal at the same time.
Ind: How did you manage to release a CD overseas? For many CIS bands it looks nearly impossible.
Kornel Kontros: I've been in contact with Alexander Erhardt (label manager of Bloodbucket Productions and guitarist of HORDE OF WORMS & VISIONS OF THE NIGHT bands) since 1998. First I received his band's releases to review them for my 'zine. Then later on I sent him our demos along with the issue in return. He liked both of 'em! So when we finished the recordings of "Hatenourisher" I asked him about the possible release of our debut album on his label. After receiving the master copy Alexander agreed to release it in CD format and offered us a one-year/one album deal, it happened back in January 2001 and the CD saw the day of light on 25th of May 2001. I should say we are more than pleased with the work of Bloodbucket Productions. And what's more, Bloodbucket is open to release our forthcoming second album in the beginning of 2002. So we're really looking forward to co-operate with them further on. Until then we will participate with two songs on the upcoming compilation CD of Bloodbucket Productions, called "Buckets of Blood" to be out in the beginning of the next year as well.Ind: The soundquality of Hatenourisher is OK but far from being excellent. Do you plan to change the studio and maybe make recording abroad?
Kornel Kontros: Well, as you may notice we worked 3 days on our debut album in general. Of course, the album doesn't sound the way we wanted originally, but it's because the studio problems and other unpleasant things we had during the recordings. I am sure we could reach a better sounding quality for it if we would have some additional days for it.Answering on the second part of your question. This year we went to Hungary to search for a reliable studio, but we were just disappointed with the equipment and prices they offered us. So I think won't change the place for recording. Nevertheless, if somebody will help us to find a better studio, both equipment- and cost-wise then we will re-think it again.
Ind: CASTRUM remains one of the leading metal bands in Ukraine. At the same time people say that Western Ukraine is not exactly Ukraine but a separate state...
Kornel Kontros: I don't think so pal, but thanks for the compliment. We are still being an underground band and I am proud of it. Concerning Western Ukraine. Yes, it can be defined as a separate state, I would better call this state Transcarpathia and Uzhgorod is in the heart of it. It's a beautiful place with lots of mountains, woods, rivers and landscapes.
Ind: Does the place where you live inspire you a lot?
Kornel Kontros: Definitely! Though this time the priority goes to my family, friends and atmosphere I live in and not to the nature.
Ind: How often do you play gigs and where?
Kornel Kontros: We play live really seldom these days. Last time we played in Hungary somewhere in the middle August. It's due to the permanent jobs of the other members in different countries.
Ind: The way your covers look suggests the fact you're not indifferent to ART of painting. From Bosch on "The Leading Spirit..." cover you moved to an impressionistic landscape. Who is the author and why this painting?
Kornel Kontros: Right! I always wanted to have an own cover, a one, which has only one copy - the original (by the way, it is hanged up on my room's wall). It was done by a friend of mine, namely Ysserge, with whom I familiar from my school days.
Ind: You also run a zine and many i-net metal music connected projects. Do you enjoy yourself being a metal music maniac, don't you obtain any fatigue?
Kornel Kontros: Sure I enjoy being a fanatic of metal music. I do all this with pleasure for my own pleasure, though sometimes it's really hard to make it consistent with my studies.
Ind: Who is Georgius that mostly wrote Hatenourisher lyrics and what's your attitude towards it? Do you absorb it or just turn a deaf ear?
Kornel Kontros: Georgius is an ex-member of CASTRUM. He was in the band from 1994 to 1998. Back then he wrote the lyrics so that's why our debut album has the majority if his lyrics. For the new album I involved another friend of mine to write us some interesting lyrics. Here's some song names for you: "Suffocating Thugs", "The Art of Homicide", "Sinister Omens", "Invisible Force of Fear", "The Gate of the Universal Mystery", "Dark Paths to the Ancient Thrones".
Ind: Close this interview...
Kornel Kontros: First of all thanks, Ind, for doing this interview and supporting CASTRUM. It was great to answer your unordinary questions. I wish you all the best! Fans check out our debut album and discover the Medieval Death Metal the way it was supposed to be! Death Metal Renaissance To Be Continued…