Metalshop TV conducted an interview with TRIUMPH OF DEATH frontman Thomas Gabriel Fischer (also of TRIPTYKON, formerly of CELTIC FROST) and bassist Mia Wallace prior to the band's appearance at this year's Brutal Assault festival in Jaromer, Czech Republic. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On revisiting Fischer's first band, HELLHAMMER, in TRIUMPH OF DEATH:
Thomas: "It's a very mixed feeling. To begin with, this band has a really strong sense of friendship. It's a pleasure to play with these people. It's a very special band; I'm enjoying very much playing with them. The music carries a lot of memories for me, a lot of it is extremely important to me and has a lot of meaning. It changed my entire life. But at the same time, it also reminds me that HELLHAMMER is long past. It's past in 35 years. Even though we are very true to the original songs, you can never recreate HELLHAMMER. So, there's a part of me that's also sad because it reminds me of a very magical time in my life. Steve Warrior, when we formed HELLHAMMER, we were totally underground. Everything was totally real. Nothing was commercial. It was us. I kind of missed it a little bit. But as far as playing these songs in 2019, with this band and these people around, it's probably the best possible version as far as I can imagine."
On HELLHAMMER's aspirations upon their 1982 formation:
Thomas: "Of course we had some lofty dreams, but you have to understand — you're asking me now it's 2019 where there's been an extreme metal scene for 30 years. Back then there was no extreme metal scene. HELLHAMMER was one of a small handful of bands that played this music. It was maybe MOTÖRHEAD, DISCHARGE and VENOM. BATHORY had not yet formed. We played something that nobody accepted. People laughed at us; people made us outcasts. We were realistic enough to think that in spite of our dreams, this music will never go anywhere. At most, maybe we could be accepted in the punk scene. We didn't play music to become famous. We played it because it was a scream inside of us because of the circumstances of our youth. We all had a very difficult youth, all of us, and this was our little world we created ourselves to keep away teachers, politicians, parents and so on. It wasn't about being in a stadium."
On the initial harsh reaction to HELLHAMMER's music by critics:
Thomas: "They were right. For the ears of the time back then, what was in back then was things like AC/DC or bands with vocals like Ronnie James Dio. That was the standard of the day, and we were the complete opposite. For the ears of back then what we did was noise. At best, punkish noise. These reviews, they hurt, but they were in a way, justified. Of course, now, we have different ears. We have been used to the black metal scene and all kind of things. It's more normal now."
On the future plans of TRIUMPH OF DEATH:
Thomas: "We never thought of an end. We basically thought, 'We're going to play this as long as people would like to hear this.' Now that we formed this bond within the band, the four of us, we really enjoy it. There's a really good atmosphere within the band. Even more so, we would like to continue this project. Of course, we don't want to play it to death. As long as people will have it, we will happily play this. It's really open-ended. Maybe will do some other things in the future in the band. We've been thinking about various ideas about what we could do with this band."
Mia: "That's one of the most important things I've learned, that, if you play music and you enjoy it with your bandmates, it's the most beautiful thing you can do in your life. You can easily see on stage that we are old friends. We make jokes, we look at each other, we really have fun on stage. A different thing is when you have to deal with difficult personalities and there is tension. In this case, everything is really [harmonious]. We are old friends."
On the status of the next TRIPTYKON studio album:
Thomas: "Finally TRIPTYKON is showing signs of life. I admit it's all my fault. I've been involved with so many things and I've also had to take care of some private things in my life in recent years. We have been mixing the 'Requiem', the live recording of CELTIC FROST/TRIPTYKON's 'Requiem'. We have finished mixing it. I have submitted all the artwork. It's going to be released early next year as a very lavish gatefold album with many extras and bonus materials and so on. It will be a very beautiful release. Of course, it's a stopgap release. The actual TRIPTYKON studio album, we are working on it. I'm working on various songs. We will rehearse those songs later this year in Switzerland. We plan on recording this album in the next months in 2020, and release it hopefully later next year if all goes well. There should be two TRIPTYKON albums finally within maybe one year."
HELLHAMMER disbanded in 1984 after Fischer and bassist Martin Eric Ain changed the group's name to CELTIC FROST.
Fischer founded TRIPTYKON after leaving CELTIC FROST in 2008. Last November, he announced plans to perform HELLHAMMER music live with TRIUMPH OF DEATH, which has appeared at a number of festivals in recent months, including Hellfest, Wacken Open Air, Brutal Assault and Psycho Las Vegas.