Facing Harmagedon With Aspidium

Facing Harmagedon With Aspidium

Facing Harmagedon With Aspidium

The almighty Aspidium present blackened death metal in its finest and most bleakest hour.  Possessing a relentless sense of urgency and intrigue, Aspidium has unleashed their latest masterwork Harmagedon upon the world at large.  Highwire Daze recently interviewed guitarist / vocalist Kurt Jason Kelderer to find out more about the intensive Aspidium, the making of  Harmagedon, releasing an album within the throes of a worldwide pandemic, the best of German beer, and other vast and epic topics.  Thanks to Markus Eck of Metalmessage for setting this up!  Read on…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Aspidium, and how long the band has been together.
I am Kurt Jason Kelderer guitarist and vocalist of the band. Aspidium arose out of a solo project beginning of 2017. The recordings for both full-length albums were realised as solo project. The current line-up with Susi Hartmann playing the bass guitar and Emil Hartmann on the drums has been accomplished in the course of 2019.

Where is the band based out of and what is the local music scene like there?
Aspidium is based out of Aalen, South Germany. The local metal music scene is very active here. There are many metal bands coming from the region and various clubs having regularly live music in their event program available.

Is there any overall story or concept behind the Harmagedon title?
The title represents the biblical apocalypse, the Armageddon, the world conflagration. It symbolizes the decline of our civilization, the end of mankind. The songs on our new album deal with current topics: the brutalization of society, destruction of the environment, intolerance and the egoism of individuals. Mankind is at the crossroads between high culture and decline, it’s almost midnight and Armageddon is imminent if we don’t fundamentally rethink our way of life.

Select two songs from Harmagedon and what inspired the lyrics.
Welt vorm Kollaps is about the massive exploitation and progressive destruction of our planet by the irrationality of mankind. The signs of our time are pointing to doom, the effects of our excessiveness and ruthless greed towards our environment, our living space we can feel more than clearly by now and even the last should be aware that time is running out for us to counteract.

Elegie describes the state of deepest depression. A serious mental disorder that poses a great challenge to both those affected and their family environment when one is captured by this bottomless undertow of deepest blackness and total lack of energy.

Who did the cover art for Harmagedon and how much input did you have on it?
For the artwork I could win Dani Hofer from South Tyrol again. I have known and appreciated his work for a long time and his art is completely on my wavelength. His cover artwork is strongly inspired by the album’s name, the world conflagration and is therefore deliberately kept in black and white. In my opinion, it reflects the gloomy mood and the atmosphere of the songs quite well. Dani and I have been friends for many years and he always meets my expectations without further instructions.

What has it been like to release a new album right in the middle of a pandemic? Have you had any shows cancelled because of it?
Our release shows are planned for May. Unfortunately, we do not know if they can take place as planned. At the moment the cultural life completely stands still due to the Corona crisis. We can only wait and see what the next few days and weeks will bring along. I hope that the situation will improve soon and we are able to present our songs live on stage. Nevertheless, we are definitely less effected than bands that have to live from their music and were forced to cancel whole tours. For them the current situation is simply threatening their very existence.

What could one expect from a live Aspidium show?
Aspidium lets the music entirely speak for itself live. We do not need a big show! Our fans expect straightforward Black Metal without the typical clichés. For us it is also irrelevant whether we play in front of 50 or 500 people. If the atmosphere is right and the fans are in a good mood, the size doesn’t matter at all. What counts for us is the music, the interaction with the fans and the pleasure of being on stage and having a good time together.”

If Aspidium could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
The opportunity to share the stage with the very big ones of the scene like Dimmu Borgir, Behemoth etc. are of course the dream of every band, certainly we are no exception. However, Uada, Der Weg einer Freiheit or The Spirit would be very interesting too, because they all share the same passion for their vision of music and perform awesome live shows.

Germany is famous for their BEER!!! What is your favorite beer of choice and why?
Well there are plenty of incredible well tasting beer and breweries in the South of Germany. In my hometown, we have a very small brewery that manufactures awesome organic lager beers. My favourite is definitely the freshly tapped dark lager.

What’s up next for Aspidium?
Well, at the moment we are fully focused on the release of our second studio album Harmagedon in April 2020 and the forthcoming live shows in May (on condition that these events can take place despite Corona crisis). Therefore, it is not the time and space to think about further recordings or musical projects currently. Nevertheless, Black Metal will always remain an essential part of Aspidium and of course, I have more rhythms and melodies for new creative song material in the pipeline.

Any final words of wisdom?
There are so many things happening in the world right now that might be scary. Do not let it get you down, stay courageous and stand up for what is important to you in life. Thanks for your support and who knows, maybe we will meet live on stage one day. Raise your horns!

(Interview by Ken Morton)

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