With the intention of creating supreme Black Metal art, this quintet ascended from the catacombs of Vienna, Austria in 2016. Featuring Members of Zombie Inc., Anomalie & Selbstentleibung. With plenty of live appearances and a tour through Europe accomplished so far, the band is eager to spread their black chants even further. THEOTOXIN is a guarantor for intense live performances and delivers a blasting show with deep atmosphere.
Hello guys, in September you are releasing your third album, “Fragment : Erhabenheit”, how do you feel about it?
F: Very confident, to be honest. The album is done since march 2020. It is always hard for me to sit on a finished album and have to wait until the release date.
Ragnar: Awesome. It´s gonna be a full load of honest Black Metal and the reviews or viewing / playing numbers of our output so far are great.
You are releasing this new album through the label AOP Records, previously you had worked with Masacre Records, another strong label. Something definitely significant?
F: Massacre did his job for „ CONSILIVM“ that’s it, no more words needed. AOP is a fantastic Label. Theres is always communication between the Band and AOP, and they really care about their Bands. Sven, the owner of AOP, is very picky when it comes to music, but that’s the reason he has an outstanding rooster.
Your music could be described as a mix of black and death metal or have you define yourselves?
F: The older stuff had a lot of Death Metal influences, I have to admit that, but the voice of our old Vocalist underlined especially this fact. You can say that it was always 70% Black Metal and 30% Death Metal. But on „Fragment : Erhabenheit we erased the Death Metal part for good. If we need to label our music we would say Black Metal but, in my opinion, I am not a fan of labeling Bands, especially nowadays cause of the massive amount of sub-genres.
Ragnar: There are no more Death Metal influences on “Fragment : Erhabenheit”. It would not fit to my style and voice, so it was a natural process in song writing to get rid of it.
You are guys with experience in other bands, what is Theotoxin regarding those other projects, part of the family or more like a “new buddy”?
F: Theotoxin was always my „Child“ since the beginning. I wrote and will write the most of the music and I am the founder of Theotoxin, sure most of us are involved in other projects ( so am I ), but for me this Band isn’t just a project at all and never will be. Every member is a full member and brings a massive amount of dedication into the Band.
Ragnar: Since I have quit all other projects including Anomalie, Theotoxin is my only band at the moment. So my full concentration is on Theotoxin and it´s definitely more than a project – it´s passion and a great inspiration for all of us.
How long have you been working in the composition and recording of “Fragment : Erhabenheit“?
F: All in all…around a year. When I do things i’ll do it to until they are finished. I don’t like wasting a lot of time.
Ragnar: I joined the band and we decided to start with the writing process for new material quite instantly, because we felt like we had to evolve and create new stuff together. I think that including the recording it was a bit more than a year maybe. I did even polish some last lyric-lines during the recording, so it was 100% dedication from the beginning of the process on and we never lowered pressure.
The disc has 7 songs but the duration it not so typical as other groups of the style, with some tracks with a long duration we could say
F: When I start writing songs I don’t have any goal or limit how long the track should be or end up. When the atmosphere is right then its ok to write a song over 4 minutes, it shouldn’t get boring or too repetitive.
Ragnar: Actually we didn´t pay much attention to the length of the album itself. We just wrote the songs the way the felt right and recorded them. Personally I think that it´s the wrong approach to prolong songs or to shorten them. I´m more like: Just let things put themself.
Another strong point is that you work the songs in a way so that they result very addictive, something not so usual in bands of this genre
F: Glad to hear that, but as I said I don’t have any goals or a destination when I start writing. Sure, sometimes a mood can guide me or affect my writing but normally I notice that when the song is done.
Ragnar: Since I take care of arranging because it makes sense to be arranging when you also write the lyrics, I can tell you that behind every part of a song there is a process of trying different vocal-lines, schemes or rhythmic ideas of how to set up vocals on a part. I think this work results in what you called “addictive”. One thing is writing killer riffs and vocals, but you also have to arrange them proper, to fit together, to create that unique feeling of power and flow. Personally I love trying and doing that.
What would you say of your new album compared to your two previous releases?
F: We finally got that line-up which is perfect for Theotoxin. We work as friends, and we are kind of a family, every one has his role in Theotoxin and is trying to give his best. We also have a big amount of respect for each other and If there’s something to say you can say it. No Pussy- whining soap opera Bullshit. That´s all you can ask for, in my opinion. So that atmosphere and bond reflects in our music, I think. We are stronger and more focused than ever.
As a good black metal band the atmosphere is a key element in your music that you are able to utilise for the benefit of the whole album, true?
F: Atmosphere is an important fact when it comes to Black Metal. I am glad you noticed it on „Fragment : Erhabenheit“. I think it isn’t that hard to write an old school Black Metal album, BUT most of them are missing this deep, eerie Atmosphere, and to catch this, and process this feeling isn’t easy.
Ragnar: For me, Black Metal is all about atmosphere, feeling and mood. To create it, you have to invest a lot of time and trying, but if you manage to create atmosphere it pays out very well. When I´m listening to “Fragment : Erhabenheit” even after having written and recorded it, there are still so many parts, where I get goose pumps. That´s the way it should be!
Any significative mention on the lyrics subject?
Ragnar: Since this album, I am responsible for writing all the lyrics and that was an important part for me. I´m a strong believer that you get the best results in terms of vocals, if you scream something you have written on your own, because it has such a huge impact on vocal expression what goes on in your mind while screaming. I like to use different personal topics for my lyrics as well as social criticism or even feelings. Personally I´m not the fan of standard topics like Satanism, Death, Torture or things like that – this can be found in every lyrics of bands out there on the road and it somehow begun to bore the fuck out of me, but I think it´s important to have freedom in terms of thinking, writing and believing.
An interesting approach, indeed. What’s the meaning behind the cool cover artwork and the album’s title?
F: Jose Gabriel Sabogal drew this outstanding Artwork, also known for his work on the latest Taake and Whoredom Rife Split EP. He is a fantastic artist, and he perfectly caught our ideas and formed it into this great piece of art. For us it was important to catch the cold feeling of the record, and also a certain sublimeness.
As a band from Austria how are you dealing with the covid19 situation?
F: As everyone else I guess!? For me personal, I used these strange times for practicing and I also started to work on new Theotoxin Material.
Ragnar: I think that staying at home, being alone with yourself or beloved ones and concentrate on that / them is a great gift, that has been given to us in this modern world of 2020. I hope this was mind-opening for a lot of people and to be honest, in terms of earthly belongings: We had a short lockdown. Everyone that was not prepared to survive such a situation in a financial way, should definitely consider he has the right lifestyle. The only economic branche that was hit extremely hard and where I have at least some understanding for complaining about bad situations is the event-branche with all it´s related jobs. I think that there were no proper solutions found or presented which was in my opinion the result of wrong political priorities and missing of expert-rounds for that topics. But anyway, we will all make it somehow.
You are considered as a good band in your gigs, with intense live performances, now, are you considering to do some online perform or something as other bands are doing with the current world situation?
F: Nope…I was never a fan of these soulless performances. How can you expect a powerful live show when nobody is there. Shows are always some kind of an energy exchange. I watched a few during these times, but not one of them could convince me that this is a great thing in the future. I want to feel and smell the crowd.
Any plans for the future or just keeping the instruments in the rehearsal room till the storm has passed?
F: Our next show will be at the Fimbul Festival in Germany on the 5th of September, and we are very excited about performing live again. Our performances are very intense and Ragnar, our frontman, has some violent tendencies on Stage, which makes live shows very interesting, haha. We also have a lot of shows planned and confirmed for 2021. So no rest for the wicked, there’s is a lot more to come.
Wish you the best for that show! Thank you very much for your attention, if you wish to add something…
F: Dive into „ Fragment : Erhabenheit“ and open up to it, so it will open up to you.
Ragnar: See you in front of stages soon.