Saturday, May 9

Interview with Midgaars of Lugubrum - Flanders, Belgium

My first question has to do with the deceased drummer called Goort. I understand that he was not a member of Lugubrum, but played with Barditus and Zwelg in their pre-Lugubrum bands; what's his story?

I didn’t know him very well, he played with Barditus and Zwelg in Acromegal, a filthy grind outfit that rehearsed in a toilet. I think he did some drugs and ended up shooting himself with his dad’s hunting rifle... anyway I don’t think he would ever have joined Lugubrum; he hated Black Metal

To stretch the topic of drummers a bit further, I am a big fan of your present drummer Svein. His style reminds me of my own, in some ways. I like drummers who play with a natural sort of feeling, and Svein does this well, with his spontaneous fills and rather erratic method--"controlled sloppiness," let's call it. How did you discover Svein, and where? Did you find him in a dumpster in an alleyway outside your favorite pub?

Svein played with Zwelg in Finsternis around the time we recorded our first albums, when Zwelg joined us again in ’98 Barditus discovered drumming, vocals and beer don’t mix, so we asked S. to join two weeks before our first live performance. He’s indeed a remarkable drummer, you know he never practises on his own, just at the rehearsal once a week, he doesn’t even have a kit at home

Why was the name Lugubrum chosen? I mean, why a Latin name and not, say, a Flemish one? Wouldn't that be something like "Donkelheet"? Of course, I can't imagine Lugubrum being called anything other than Lugubrum, but I'm curious anyway.

I guess translated Lugubrum would mean something like ‘eerieness’ in English... ‘luguberheid’ in Dutch... but this doesn’t exist litterally, nor is it a proper Latin word... it’s drunken brabble really so a very fitting name and it sounds great... When he came up with it, Barditus was drunk... probably looking at the first Abruptum cover, the black one, and seeing little dancing midgets in there whispering to him in high pitched voices

Does the name of your land, Belgium, derive in any way from the ancient Gaulish/Celtic tribe known as the Belgae?

that’s right! Although there’s little of them left in today’s Belgians, who are a mix of eveything and are devided between Flemish and Walloon (French)

Your label, Old Grey Hair, handles distribution and all releases for Lugubrum now; how successful has OGH been for you? There must be some definite advantages to running it all yourself (id est, no middleman); there must be drawbacks too, like having to stop digging, pass the shovel to the midget, and handle orders for fools interested in Lugubrum merchandise.

so far I’m not complaining, it’s nice to see who’s interested in us, although many are still suspicious of ordering directly from me, so I probably see only a small percentage. I’m still looking for the right distribution deals as well, I’m in no hurry and do not want to rush into things I might regret in the end. Let’s say I’m not going to quit my day job... yet.

The banjo was introduced into the mix on De Totem, correct? Lugubrum has continued to spice up its dreary, stinky songs with additional instruments, like the saxophone, on subsequent albums. To do this, you've recruited new members such as Bhodidharma on sax. Would you tell me a bit about the newer members you've been working with, id est, Kundalingus, Bhodidharma, Hiƫronymus and others?

Bhodi is only a session member; he is far too talented to become a full Lugubrum member, it would ruin his carreer as a musician... him starting to drink heavily and growing abcesses like the rest of us. The others have all wisely quit the band, so it’s only me, Barditus and Svein left right now... the original old bastards. Kunda (bass), h. (guitar and production) and Stain (bass) each gave the band something unique and valueable, until they realised it was sucking the energy out of them... We are currently looking for a fourth member to complete the recording line up for the next album, but there’s no rush, if we have to we’ll do it with 3... there’ll be more beer between us!

As Boersk Black Metallers I understand that some of your main lyrical influences are: farming and agriculture; brewing and drinking ales; and even animal husbandry. I have an idea for a song that you may be able to use:

A young Boer's father becomes obsessed with his big-toenail, staring at it, picking at it and talking to it all day and all night long. This makes the young Boer's heart throb with sadness, because his insane father's passion for animal husbandry has been snuffed out by his obsession. While drinking moonshine one night with his uncle and three sisters, the young Boer experiences an epiphany: he will continue his father's tradition but innovate within the field of husbandry, in order to draw worldwide attention and acclaim to this grand art. Over the course of several years, during which his father dies after attempting to eat his left foot, the not-so-young Boer has experimented with cross-breeding of goats with pigs; chicken with sheep; and even attempted to impregnate his prize milkcow himself. His farm is becoming too small for his large herd of chimerical cross-bred animals--until a wealthy Brazilian takes an interest in his goat-pig breed and awards him a grant. The Boer is realizing his dream and making his father proud! But the unnatural animals on his farm are genetically susceptible to a common fungus that spreads by beard-to-beard contact. This fungus spreads from his private brewpub into the animal-feed and wipes out his hybrid animals. The Brazilian philanthropist withdraws his funding from the project, and the Boer tears out his beard with an oath: "I shall never breed two animals of different species again!" He, like his father before him, stares at his big-toe, never again to look at his 340 lb. midget wife.

interesting tale, obviously inspired by the Brazilian take over of our beloved Jupiler beer, which now tastes like a cross breed between decent pils and chilled midget goat piss. Unfortunately unsuitable for a song; how on earth is Barditus going to remember all this?

When Barditus...sings...his voice always evokes a certain image, like that of an institutionalized man in a straightjacket raving and screaming at his demonic tormentors; or a wildly drunken hobo yelling at the barkeeper not to kick him out, because "I'll have the money tomorrow!!! I knew the last owner!!! He told me my money's NO GOOD HERE!!!" What is Barditus' motivation for his vocal style? Is he so drunk that his voice simply comes out that way? Or does he have Tourette's Syndrome?

he doesn’t have to be drunk, but beer and tar do produce the right sort of phlegm... there’s some insanity yes, anger, fear... I think Barditus is quite frightened of today’s society, he should have lived in prehistoric times...scavenging for roots, worms and fermenting fruit...

You performed the vocals on Bruyne Troon, during Barditus' stay in the asylum, and although this isn't a question I must say that I love your Elvis impersonation on Holebeard Blues.

I did it live once and it silenced the crowd...

What do you have to say about psychedelic drugs such as LSD, psilocybin (magic mushrooms) and mescaline (peyote)? Have any of these substances, or similar ones, been an inspiration to you? Or is drinking beer and shoveling manure your primary inspiration?

contrary to popular belief we are not into drugs, just our daily beer, some wine and very rarely stronger alcohol... I used to smoke some hashes, but I stopped when my mind began to short circuit... I got some nice visions out of it, but it doesn’t interest me anymore, it demands too much of your attention and energy whereas you can always drink a beer, no matter what you are doing; working power tools, driving farm machinery, cross breeding animals, running for president... and yes, even doing drugs! And it tastes great too...

Is it true that Flanders has the highest population, per capita, of midgets in the world?

if you include Congo, yes.

I'll stop wasting your time after this: I read in another interview that you draw pictures of beetles doing various unbeetlelike things such as playing the banjo. Can I commission you to draw a beetle playing a 5-piece drumkit, wearing a straw hat (like Huckleberry Finn might wear, or one of your Boer neighbours) and smoking a cigarette? It would be for a tattoo on my arm, so maybe 3 or 4 inches long, by 2 or 3 inches high--whatever seems best to you. What do you say? A commission, I say!

commissions are always nice… what kind of beetle do you have in mind?

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