Like many bands we see and hear today Magister Templi mix Old Nick together with some old school garage rock n’ roll. Just like their countrymen in Devil they have a certain rugged edge around them. They don’t lack sophistication, they simply have that bad guy vibe many adore as you can see here above.
When I first heard “Lucifer Leviathan Logos” the band’s debut album as well as their first release through Cruz Del Sur Music there was something there, something that gripped me, so I sent some questions out to the guys.
Currentzz: Norway & Sweden seem to have caught some kind of an occult bug, all around the place garages are filling up with denim clad youth with pentagrams in their eyes and a copy of Book 4 on the top of their nightstand. What sets Magister Temple apart from the rest?
Abraxas: Well… for one I have actually read Book 4 (and written a Masters Thesis on renaissance magic). Also our music is more influenced by classic Heavy Metal than by 70’s music and Doom Metal. Not that we don’t like Doom Metal quite the opposite, but this is what happened. So, to reply to your question, to my limited knowledge we are actually the ONLY Heavy Metal band in Norway these days.
C: How did it all come about anyway? It appears there were no members or ex-members of Black Metal bands in the original line-up which is certainly a first. Somehow I was under the impression all teens in Norway went through a Black Metal phase and started their own band…
A: I wouldn’t know really. In the 90’s Baphomet and I were both wearing Bell-bottoms and listening to Deep Purple, so we did not have a Black Metal phase when we were kids, although we pretty much hanging out at the same places as the Black Metal people, mostly due to Oslo being a quite small town with sort of mixed sub-cultures. Later though we’ve both had various phases of Black and other Extreme Metal.
And you know… Oslo isn’t that big these days either, so when we were looking for people to play with us it was only natural to go through the people we already knew from the Pub so to speak. Plus Grimdun and Baphomet are brothers, so that’s another key to one of the smaller mysteries of life and music. Another advantage of using people from the Black Metal scene is of course that they’re hard core and they know what they’re doing.
C: Could you tell us a bit about the beginning of the band? According to some biography I read online you started out a lot more folk rock inspired than you are no. How did the band progress to the style of music it plays now?
A: It progressed naturally. We have always had a “no rules” policy when writing music that took us from one place to the other for a while, from folk-prog to more doomy stuff and then into the sort of Trad. Doom/NWOBHM-stuff we do today. Actually, now that Magister has sort of found it’s form we are probably going to have to put some of the music we make elsewhere… in the Abraxomet-box, and take it out for special occasions.
C: Where does your lyrical inspiration come from? I can see the Lovecraft hoover over your heads but surely there are other diabolical forces that guide your hand as well as it pens down the lyrics.
A: My main influence so far has been the western occult tradition, especially Ceremonial Magick and Alchemy, but now I’m in Egyptian phase so who knows. I think the Innsmouth Look was a once off, but who knows, maybe I’ll combine Egypt and Lovecraft and write a Nyarlathotep-song. Time will tell.
C: Recently the band released its debut album through Cruz Del Sur Music. What has the band been up to since then and what do you think of the reaction to the album? Is all criticism you have received just? Are you set on world domination now or are your plans for the near future humbler?
A: Oh we’re ready for world domination! Although I seriously doubt the world is anywhere near ready to be dominated by us. Since the release we’ve focused on playing whatever concerts we could and of course started writing some new material.
I think I would be a real bitch if I complained about our reviews. After all they’ve been pretty spectacular. But if I am to point out one thing, I think people should give Innsmoth Look a break – read up on some other scales than E minor and blues! Please! Hahah! But generally try not to argue with bouncers and critics, as they are usually infinitely more objective to the mess I’m making than I am. Besides they’ve got the control of the situation, so better it’s not to piss them off right?
Our only wish right now is to get out there and play live for you all, but so far a couple of shows in Norway are all we have lined up. So kick those bookings our way!