From the Pagan Black Metal underground of the Czech Republic arises the mighty Panychida, who has just unleashed their third magnum opus on Paragon Records here in the States. Entitled Grief For A Idol, the chronicles contained within will surely captivate metal aficionados from all over the world.
Here is a recent interview we conducted with guitarist Sinneral to find out more about the epic new album, their dynamic live shows, Czech beer, Bugs Bunny underpants, and other classic topics of interest! Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Panychida, and how long the band has been together.
Hi there! My nickname is Sinneral. I play guitar in Panychida, I am involved in the songs composing and I write all the bagpipes, flutes, keyboard and choral parts. The band has been together since year 2004 as a 2 men project (me and the former singer). Later, in 2005, the other guys joined the band.
Where is the band based out of and what is your local metal scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?
We come from Pilsen city, Czech Republic. The metal scene in Czech Republic is pretty strong. We have some worldwide known old-school metal legends, such as MASTER’S HAMMER, ROOT, KRABATHOR and more. Despite the old legends, our nowadays scene also produce good bands and albums (e. g. new albums of INFERNO or CULT OF FIRE).
We are pretty proud of the Pilsener UG metal scene. City with population of 170.000 heads and we have old bands like SORATH, TROLLECH or THE WITCH, as well as some middle aged bands (LLYR, PANYCHIDA of course :-), NEUROTIC MACHINERY, etc.) and some quite young bands (although they often consist of experienced musicians), like 1000 BOMBS, SELF-HATRED, GATE OF ILLUSIONS, etc.
Is there any story or concept behind the title Grief For An Idol?
There is not any solid story or a concept going through Grief for an Idol. Lyrics totter around different mythologies, philosophy, anthropology – that can be the common denominator : ) .
Select two songs from Grief For An Idol and what inspired the lyrics.
Honza V.: The topics and themes are coming from different mythologies, philosophy, anthropology (as I graduated from this subject) and stuff like that … the theme of the title song is criticizing those people who are walking in the tracks of re-inventing the traditions and putting the old ones to the modern environment. I think it´s about the grief of some people for the old times. But the “new” rituals cannot compete with the old and real ones. They are just substitutes of what is already gone. That´s why on the cover is the old worshipper who knows how to treat the magic. And then there is a modern guy kneeling on the floor, trying to worship the old idol, but for him the magic doesn’t work.
Another example might be something from the mythology … The Great Dance of Dionysus describes old mystic rituals and worshipping of Dionysus as well as the rites and celebrations which were held in the name of different Gods. In similar vein is the opening track “Dance of the Fiery Stars.”
But the whole album doesn’t take its inspiration from mythology … The song “Don´t tell Lies to Children” talks about culture and the power of those who can influence the thoughts of majority.
Who did the artwork for Grief For An Idol and how much input did you have on it?
The artwork was drawn by our friend Vojtech „Moonroot“ Doubek from Moonroot Art (https://www.facebook.com/MoonrootPhotography). We’ve found him on internet and got into touch with him. We are satisfied with his visualisation of our input. Especially Honza, the guitarist & author of most lyrics on Grief… was in touch with Moonroot, while the artwork was being created. The inner pages photos are by Moonroot as well. And the entire layout was done by another friend of ours, Lord Reverend Jim from Sindemonium (http://www.sindemonium.eu/).
What could one expect from a live Panychida show?
Dedication. We really enjoy live playing. As we’ve got used to see a crazy crowd headbanging under the stage, we enjoy entire gig with the fans. We offer solid guitar work, harsh tube amp sound, in front of granite wall of drums. Once you can enjoy ravenous riffs, once you can sing a choral with us, hearing bagpipes in the background. Our singer is an exhibitionist a bit, usually going mad on the stage : ) . I think, you won’t regret any effort to get to our gig : ) .
What was the experience like opening for Aura Noir, Nagaroth, and Endstille, and did you get to meet or hang out with them at all?
In fact, we were not opening these bands : ) . We are the organizers of PHANTOMS OF PILSEN festival (http://www.phantomsofpilsen.cz), where the above mentioned bands played last year’s event. (vol. 7). Usually, we play at our festival as well, but we skipped this year intentionally : ) . But it was honor for us to invite and to welcome such big names to Pilsen, to take the best care of them and to be in touch with them. We did not want to bother them, trying to hang around too much. They had lot of work with the fans all around : ) . Anyway, all of them are very nice guys. Some of them are silent, some of them are more communicative. We felt gratitude from their side and they praised our proffesional attitude. If you want to see, how such an UG metal festival looks in the heart of Europe, check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=re5QpPlCcYU : ) .
Has Panychida ever played here in the States or plan to do so in future days?
We had no chance to travel over the ocean so far. Sure, we would definitely love to come over! We hope, releasing Grief for an Idol in USA at Paragon Records can help us a lot to get known better. There is no concrete plan to play in the States, actually, but who knows…? : )
Any strange or scary happenings on the road or at a Panychida show?
Don’t know, if scary or strange…our roads are more funny than scary : ) . Once, we went to play at the Under the Black Sun festival, Berlin, Germany. There were several police cars and vans near by the venue, stopping cars with metalheads, searching for weapons, drugs, etc. A pretty policewoman took my backpack and started to grope inside, hand in leather glove, asking me „Any weapons? Any drugs?“. She pulled out her hand, holding my yellow underpants with lots of Bugs Bunny faces… „That’s my weapon!“ I said, hehe.
If Panychida could open up for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
I do not know, if I dream of opening for someone. If you’re the opening band before a big name comes, nobody gives a shit. Sometimes it helps the band a bit. Sure. But I cannot say a name now, I would really love to open for. Okay, I admit – Windir or Bathory : ) .
What is your favorite Czech beer and why?
We have hundreds of beer brands. Usually, the bigger brewery it is, the more disgusting beer it produces : ) . There is one exception – PILSNER URQUELL. This is the „great source“ of all the „Pilsener type beers“ . I bet you, you can buy Pilsner Urquell at your grocery store in U.S., haha. There are some small local breweries in Pilsen, like „Pašák“, „Groll“, „Purkmistr“, „Radouš“. Fuck the „huge serial beer production factories“, which even cannot be called „breweries“. Once you get to Czech Republic, come to Pilsen and I will give you a tour around the small, traditional procedures using breweries, ok? : )
What’s up next for Panychida?
We are getting ready for an upcoming tour (scheduled on May) round central Europe (Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Austria) with our brother band INFEST from Serbia, to support the new album. There are also some summer festivals confirmed and another tour in autumn with INFERNO and ARKONA (Poland). We are going to put all our energy into all these concerts! What more, we have already started to compose again. There are some new finished songs for the next album! Brace yourselves ; ) .
Any final words of wisdom?
Support your local scene, fuck off your local church, enjoy your weekends and don’t forget to rock’n’roll!! : )
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions! Hope to see you guys play out here in the States sometime soon!
Thanks for a nice intie, buddy, stay in touch! All the best to your readers, greetings from Czech Republic! Na zdravi!
(Interview by Ken Morton)
Vlčák – vocals
Sinneral – guitars
Honza V. – guitars
Talic – bass
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