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Urfaust | Interview

The drunken troubadors of the Devil himself, maverick Dutch duo URFAUST graced our shores for the first time not so long ago to play the infamous Dublin Doom Day, fitting in an acoustic gig in Bruxelles the night before.

Their spirited and spiritual performance was captured for posterity and has now emerged from the abyss in the form of a live album “Trúbadóirí Olta An Diabhail” – possibly the first live album ever to be recorded at the Pint no less!

To celebrate they’re returning to our shores again this weekend for an event entitled “Oiche Na nUafas” alongside Malthusian and Dirge in Extremis.

Drummer VRDRBR had a quick chat with JAMIE GRIMES about their connection to our Isle, the album, and what they’ve been up to recently.


Let’s start at the obvious place: you’ve just released your set from last year’s Dublin Doom Day as the live album.

What are your memories from that night, and from the acoustic gig in Bruxelles? And is it true you’ll be giving away copies of the cd version to attendees of the upcoming Dublin Ritual?

The Dublin Doom Days where great: never been to them before and it was very well organised and we had a great time and seen some great shows! As for the acoustic thingy, well, someone ratted, the whole thing got moved to a different location, there was some equipment missing, but what can one do?

Sink a few extra pints and make the best out of it… not sure if it was the worst or the most genius thing in the world, but at least we had a great time and as a bonus we met the mother of Phil Lynott, who was kind enough to invite us to the exposition about her son and give us a personal tour. It was very special!

And yes, all the ones who attend this gig will get a special cd version of our live vinyl!

Not sure what Ván Records is cooking up, but I heard it will look killer and a special cartonstock is used for the cover and knowing them, it WILL look killer!

We’ve talked with Ván Records about giving the cd away for free, to “give something back” for what Dublin did for us last time. Sounds like a bunch of hippie shit, but I guess this shows how good of a time we had. The cd version will be available for those who not attend some weeks later via Ván Records, so If you want to have the special one, show up at the gig – we will destroy the leftover copies anyway!

I know your live rituals are somewhat selective, which is why we’re extremely lucky that we’re getting a second visit from you this month.

You’ve even gone so far as to adopt the Irish language for the name of the even this time around as well – I know J had mentioned to me before he has some family here but overall do you feel a particular connection with the Irish spirit? Is it perhaps our shared love of intoxication that makes you feel comfortable here?

Ireland has always been very special to the both of us. We’ve both been here several times for holidays and for both of us, it has something mystical and strange. The nature is beautiful and so are all the legends.

The spirit of the people is quite rough, something we both like as well… as for the intoxication: people seem to drink everywhere where we go, so I doubt this is the reason why Ireland deserves some extra love, but a pint of Guinness in my hand does make me feel comfortable!

In addition to the live album, you’ve also just released a split with King Dude and the “Die Erste Levitation” 7″. Let’s start with the former – you seem to have developed a close alliance with King Dude: how did this come about? And you’re about to embark on some dates together on your home turf?

The king turned out to be a great comrade. I’ve been in touch with him since the second I heard his music, since I needed to get it! I remember it hearing it for the first time some years ago when a friend played it to me and said: you might like this.

Since he was not signed to Ván Records back then, I had to contact the King himself. We kept writing and met up every time he was in Europe and hang out. We have a mutual respect for each other and a friendship grew, which made us decide to do this split 7″.

Yes, a week before our return to Dublin, we will do a very special gig in Tilburg, the Netherlands together. The gig sold out within a few days and this night will be something. We both hope we can do some kind of tour in the future, although Urfaust is not interested in touring, with these bunch of dudes we would love to travel around, since they are cut from the same kind of wood as us!

Is “Die Erste Levitation” a taster for the next album or is it a stand alone release? And are we to take it work is underfoot on a new full length from you?

We haven’t written a single note for the new full length yet, so no idea where it will take us. This 7″ was a standalone recording, in a very special location I had access to at that time. We are thinking of starting recording some new material in a few months. The plan is to do various sessions at various locations, but as always plans change, fall apart or are genius! So let’s see… life is uncertain, Death is not…

One of the key aspects that has made your work so enjoyable for me over the years is that while you clearly are at your core a black metal band, you’ve managed to carve your own path both in terms of music and presentation.

Live in particular there’s no “theatrics” like corpsepaint, etc, but yet the two of you still succeed in creating a kind of trance for the audience. Do you consider it important when you play live to have a connection of sorts with your audience? What do you consider the ideal conditions for an Urfaust performance?

Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of corpsepaint, blood, spikes, fire and the whole shebang when it is executed well. I used to do it with my old band Fluisterwoud as well….. but for Urfaust, it would not fit and would only look very stupid.

I think the music of Urfaust is strong enough not to rely on a visual aspect live and this is what most bands unfortunately have to rely on live: make a huge show to make it interesting for the crowd to enjoy it…. I noticed that most people stand with their eyes closed during an Urfaust show, a bit like drugged up zombies, letting the music take control and I think is the right way!

And finally, what can we expect from “Oiche na Nuafas”? Are you familiar with Dirge in Extremis or Malthusian? And will Buckfast be on the cards this time around?

Darragh of Invictus send me some tracks and I have to say both sounded good from what I heard. looking forward to see both bands do their things.. What to expect? Not sure, but we will bring the intoxication, with or without Buckfast, let’s hope we can top last year! Cheers!

Interview by Jamie Grimes ::: 21/11/13

urfaust play The Pint, Dublin, Saturday 23 Nov with Malthusian and Dirge In Extremis.
See the gig topic here.

  1. Nice. Looking forward to catching them again. Very odd and unique band.

  2. wizardinblack Says:

    Deadly – Can’t wait for this.

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