Gerhard, I guess we can start this interview skipping cliché questions about Allerseelen history that you answered so many times. What do you think if we start speaking about your latest album "Flamme"? Do you agree if I say it is the most melodic album so far? I can even hear you singing on a couple of songs... not the usual magical speech... I can recall you singing on "Gotos=Kalanda" CD back in 1992-94. I really love this approach to vocals and hope to hear more in the future.
It is difficult to say if Flamme is the most melodic of my releases as I usually am not listening to songs which are already published on a cd or vinyl. It is like a diary - usually I do not read the pages of the past. Usually I am listening to the songs for dozens or even hundreds of time when I just have given birth to them. Up to this moment they are my personal secret, I only play them to close friends and the comrades joining me on stage. Flamme and Abenteuerliches Herz are definitely the albums with most influences from Andalucia. I am singing only on one of the songs on Flamme - but a friend of mine, Josef, was singing on Flamme on two other songs, Sonne golthi-ade and Sturmlied. I have not listened to Gotos=Kalanda for a long time. Basically most songs by Allerseelen are very melodic in their mystical marriage of folklore and industrial elements. Even the really ancient material based on bass and violins and kettledrums had some kind dark tango mood. But it was completely without vocals.

Something that is very magical to me is the fact that each album of Allerseelen has a totally different atmosphere but in all of them you can recognize the typical Allerseelen style... This is clear if we confront the melodic "Flamme" with the harsher "Gotos=Kalanda". Where is the magic?
Even Gotos=Kalanda - the cd is sold out and won´t be re-released, but we are currently working on the re-release of the double lp on Ahnstern in early summer - is, apart from some violent industrial elements, quite melodic. It is strange that already this so "German" release with the Wewelsburg on the cover and the Karl Maria Wiligut love poems had some Andalucian elements in two songs, in Lenzing and Heumond - and a loop from the drums of Calanda in Aragon too.. So already in the beginning of Allerseelen, the tango moods of Astor Piazzola and several Flamenco musicians have been influential for my work. I cannot explain this magic - but thank you for your words. Even if I could give an explanation, this might not be good. What is typical for Allerseelen is maybe the fact that everything is based on loops, an eternal recurrence of sounds and symbols like a technosophic mantra which sometimes is able to hypnotize. Maybe the magic of Allerseelen is some kind of hypnotic psycho-acoustic quality. I love loops, they are my passion, and I spend patiently a lot of time on the creation and metamorphosis of loops - similar to the work of an alchemist close to his athanor. In a less magical context, my work is like Lego, the favourite toy of my childhood, I am playing with it passionately and patiently, a sacred marriage of passion and patience. I have a very surrealistic access to the modern world in art with all the procedures like sampling and scanning - it is for me like the gaya scienza, a kind of sacred science. Maybe this surrealistic point of view is a part of this magic. Music has something very seductive. It might be dangerous and intoxicating. Some are addicted to music. So am I. Sometimes I am able to listen for hours to just one loop, just one song. Maybe one day there will be the same warning statements on cds like on the cigarettes.

Looking back in Allerseelen's history, it seems clear to me that each album dwells with a particular concept. I don't know if we can call them "concept-albums" but they all were for sure inspired by a defined theme. What do you think about this and could you speak about the themes that influenced your albums?
Already the cassettes were some kind of concept albums - their concept was always based on the symbolism of alchemy and Northern mythology. I was always in love with Odin´s ravens Hugin and Munin. I often used the symbol of the raven which I found in a close connection to the black sun of alchemy. I refound this symbol in Mithraism. Maybe the first cd Cruor - with a Roman Mithras temple on the cover - was the only cd without a really clear conception as it was an anthology of many works which had previously only been available on cassettes. The basic idea with Allerseelen was always to create concept albums. My desire is that each release represents a microcosm, a condensed life, a magical mystery tour - it is not just a recording, it is also a particular period of my life, consisting of experiences, of sounds, of lyrics, of images. The records are like published diaries. Sometimes it is a document of dolce vita like the cd Venezia, sometimes it is rougher, like the cd Neuschwabenland or the 7" Nornar Nagli. Each release is a testimony of a viaggio, of a travel from one landscape to another one, from one castle to the next one, from one mountain to the next, from one live performance to the next one. That what music is about - it is a journey into a hidden world, into an invisible landscape, a travel in time and space.


Your latest releases have been inspired with no doubt by hot-blooded lands of the Iberic peninsula. The sound  is very charming, warm and gentle. This may sound strange since Allerseelen brings the cold Austrian mountains to mind. What did you find there that influenced you so much musicalwise?
Actually I spent a lot of time in Catalonia, Pais Valenciano and Andalucia as Ostara, the former singer of Allerseelen, lived there for some time. So I spent a lot of time on the country-side in these parts of Spain, visiting dolmens and many other archaeological sites. Allerseelen also performed some years ago in Segobriga in the ancient Teatro Romano with other groups like Sangre Cavallum and Sol Invictus. Allerseelen was then joined on stage by three drummers of Hekate. I was travelling a lot between Austria and Spain. Also I visited various times Rosa and Demian of O Paradis. I was fascinated by the landscapes, the small hermitages in the wilderness, the eagles and vultures, the shepherds.. Of course I also loved the Pyrenees. In Navarra I made a lot of photographs of the beautiful svastika-like symbol which is in the culture of the Basques an omnipresent symbol of life and good luck - but the idea to use these for Allerseelen releases could make Allerseelen even more infamous in countries like Austria and Germany.. I have also been inspired by the North of Portugal. We performed there in November 2003, and I spent some weeks in the beautiful North of this country, in Alto Douro and Serra do Geres. I was travelling around alone and with members of  Wolfskin and Sangre Cavallum. Some weeks ago I also recorded a wine song with the beautiful voice of Rangel, the bag-piper of the Portuguese group Sangre Cavallum. We will publish together a wine-red split 7" on Ahnstern which will be accompanied in a limited edition by two wine bottles, one for Sangre Cavallum, one for Allerseelen. A very challenging conception, we intend to publish this in autumn.

Obviously, your trips are not ordinary ones. It is clear that you walk a different path from the one of the average tourist. What are you looking for then? Did you find it? I'm sure your search will never come to end since you are truly a "free spirit".
My music and my journeys are always quests, magical mystery tours. I was travelling a lot in my youth with the sleeping-bag, hitch-hiking to Germany, Italia, France, Spain. These spartanic journeys influenced my life a lot. Also last summer when Allerseelen and Lux Interna played on the castle Burg Vondern in Germany, all the Allerseelen members were sleeping in sleeping bags close to the Externsteine which I used for the cover of the Stirb und Werde cd. I always love to combine concerts with visits of ancient sites, museums.. So Allerseelen do not plan to do real tours. I am looking for new experiences, I love art and I love nature, and often I am most excited discovering places where nature and culture meet. I hope that this quest will never end. I prefer to search and release music for the rest of my life. Maybe my quest might end on the island of the dead like on the famous painting by Arnold Boecklin - actually the Roman Cimitero Protestante with the tombs of Keats and Shelley. But my desire is to return also from this island with new impressions or to even return from with a new record.

During your carrier as Allerseelen, you used many different samples such as classic Operas, Iggy Pop, Kirlian Camera, Spanish tunes etc... How do choose your samples? I'm always enchanted by the way you mix different "music pieces". How do you create a song? Using different samples, means that you listen to a lot of different music. What are your favourite bands? What do you listen to usually?
The sounds seem to choose me - they decide if I have to like or dislike them. Love and passion are never real decisions. I listen to something and then I fall into love with a special sound, a special melody or rhythm. Basically it is not me who decides to fall into love with this or that sound. It is something else, some demonic or divine force. I spend a lot of time working around with my Lego sounds. Sometimes beautiful or powerful rhythms or melodies arise from this game. Usually the greatest songs come into existence very easily. In alchemy one starts with the materia prima, the first matter - in the music it is the same. With a good, dynamic, energetic basic rhythm, it is usually easy to continue working on a song - a "male" rhythm can tell me that it wants to be accompanied by a "female" violinist or the sound of flames. Or a "female" rhythm could tell me that it wants to spent its time with a "male" cellist or the sound of breathing. Sounds have a character, they come or do not come along with others. Sometimes I am listening for hours to one loop or a half-finished song, and of course in these hypnotic hours words or special images are appearing in my mind. I am writing then a text or searching in my archive for already existing words which I wrote or I also search in my books. At the moment I am listening to PJ Harvey, Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea. Some of my favourite groups at the moment are Malicorne and Tri Yann from France, Tenhi from Finland, A Filetta from Corsica. I was given a lot of old folklore and progressive rock recordings from members of Sangre Cavallum and Sturmpercht who are both experts on this kind of music, so these sound have been inspiring for me during the last two years and also had some effect on several songs I recorded.

The artwork of your CDs and DoLPs are in general really well done. Can you tell about them and how do you create them? Who is Salt?
I am coming from the world of poetry, so I want my cds to have booklets or to be like small books. I want to touch something, I want to look at words or images. Usually all the Allerseelen cds have 16 page booklets. I want all the lyrics included, normally we include them in German and English. I am often disappointed by cds and vinyl by other groups. Salt is the spiritus rector of Ant-Zen. We know each other for many years - Salt set up the first concert of Allerseelen in Germany. Usually I have a precise idea how a cd or lp should look like. I know which images to use, which colour to choose. Each cd basically has one colour, one basic conception. Then I give everything I want to be included to him, and we work together on the design. We are also doing most Allerseelen 7" releases together. With the double lps it is basically the same - but as they are published on Ahnstern, I am doing the design together with M. Presch of Steinklang. In the past I sent everything by mail but now we decided to work together on the country-side on the design close to the mountains of Berchtesgaden. So I am grateful to be in the lucky position to collaborate on the visual aspect of my releases with two great artists. Our collaboration is a great synthesis, and I intend to continue my collaboration with them for the next decades.

The cover of your 3rd CD "Sturmlieder" represent Odin sacrificed to himself. Can you tell something about this beautiful image? If I'm not wrong, that beautiful sculpture has been destroyed. It was adorned with many Runes. Are you interested in Runes? Unlike many others, Allerseelen artworks have never been over-filled with runes...
I used only one rune in the Stirb und Werde cd. Yes, I love runes. I was amazed to see a lot of rune stones some weeks ago in the Nationalmuseet in Kopenhagen. Most images in the emerald-green cd Sturmlieder which is now sold out show Haus Atlantis in Bremen, Lower Saxony. This house was built in the early Thirties by the Expressionist artist Bernhard Hoetger in the very centre of the city, the Boettcherstrasse. I came across it when I did some researches for a travel to this part of Germany. These researches changed my life. On the facade of this house there was in the Thirties and early Fourties a large wooden sculpture showing Odin surrounded by runes. This was the strangest Odin statue I ever saw (unfortunately only on images) with its sad expression. It is so far away from any heroic or sacred imagination of Odin as king or warrior or hierophant or visionary. It was much closer to a mandrake root, an animal, a plant. It also reminded me a lot of the strange and enigmatic Max Schreck in the old Nosferatu movie. In the Third Reich, many Christian as well as pagan National Socialists hated this statue because it was Odin or because it was an Odin some did not want to see. There were also articles in SS magazines against this "ugly" totemistic statue, calling it "Entartete Kunst". So Allerseelen used some Entartete Kunst on Sturmlieder. Finally it was burnt to ashes - but it were not National Socialists setting it on fire. It was burnt to ashes by British bombers through air-raids in WWII which destroyed a huge part of Bremen. Haus Atlantis has now another close and infamous connection to Allerseelen - on January 29th, 2005, the adventurous hearts of Allerseelen wanted to perform in the Haus Atlantis which is still existing but having another, quite boring facade now. It is now a hotel owned by Hilton. I was travelling there with my bassist and drummers but two days before the event there was a large press article against the evil group Allerseelen trying to perform in the centre of Bremen. So the Hilton Hotel cancelled the contract as this live performance could cause disadvantages for the reputation of the house. Of course they should have been grateful to have such a group performing there. We were searching for another venue to perform in Bremen but unfortunately it was carneval time and all the places were booked out. It was very strange to see in the centre of Bremen thousands of drummers - but we were the only ones who were not allowed to perform. This battle we lost. Allerseelen could not perform but yet it was a great and intense weekend that we spent with members of Lux Interna and Neue Aesthetik. Basically the same thing happened in the first days of May to Blutharsch in Gabriele d´Annunzio´s Vittoriale. Recently we published on Ahnstern the sold out Sturmlieder cd as double lp with a slightly different cover, it still shows the Odin sculpture but it now seems to grow out of a dark volcano lake which I visited with members of Ajna and Waldteufel two years ago. This double lp edition contains six brand-new songs, a requiem song for John Balance (Wir tragen ein Licht) which we performed some weeks ago in Thueringen with a human skull on stage and another song, Vino e cuore, featuring Italian vocals by Gaya Donadio. With her voice I already recorded another song which will be used next year for the Venezia double lp.

We are seeing that you increased your live activity and you performed various times in Italy in cities like Venezia and Roma. I guess that it is not easy to reproduce live the typical sound... Do you like to perform on stage?
During the last years we have been quite active on stage, travelling around a lot like technosophic troubadours. With all the rhythmic and energetic songs and some great master musicians assisting me on stage - the two drummers of Cawatana, the bassist either from Graumahd or from Halgadom - it has become quite easy and energetic. Also it is not our desire to reproduce on stage the studio recordings. Actually I have been in a studio only once in my life which was a sterile and fruitless experience. I am recording everything in my nest. The live performances are very different from the nest recordings. Some of the Allerseelen songs work really good on stage, especially those with a strong rhythm. We performed twice in Venezia and in early February we performed for the first time in Roma. I was glad to spend some time in these beautiful cities. The image on the first Allerseelen cd Cruor was taken from the Mithras temple beneath the San Clemente church close to the Colosseo - I had been there several years ago and was glad to visit this temple again this time. We will use this Mithraeum again for the cover of the double lp Cruor. Unfortunately the Mithras temple would be too small to perform there an Allerseelen concert. I like this idea but I do not think that it would be possible to play there for archaeological reasons. Maybe it would be better to be on stage in Ostia Antica.

Your contribution to the scene with Aorta/Ahnstern have always been fresh blood for those in the scene who like also to read about special matters. Will you continue publishing your writings or it is just a dead chapter? Often, old article have been re-printed in fanzine or books. "Blutleuchte" seems to be the most ambitious project from this point of view.
I stopped writing the tracts for my two magazines. Yes, several people told me that these personal texts have been quite influential for listeners of industrial, neofolk and black metal - as I published in one of the issues named Oskorei also an interview with Varg Vikernes of Burzum. At the moment Ajna in Oregon and I are working on the book Blutleuchte which contains all the tracts I wrote in German and English. Several people, like Markus of Waldteufel and Annabel of Blood Axis, are helping me with the perfect English translations of my old texts - some of them deal with Italian topics too, one issue was dedicated to the octogonal Castel del Monte in La Puglia, another issue dealt with the Serparii of Cocullo in the Abruzzi. In the past I visited both places, sleeping there in my sleeping bag. I hope to go there again, with or without sleeping bag. Maybe we should perform in the Castel del Monte with Allerseelen. The book will also be accompanied by a cd with unreleased Allerseelen recordings which I will record in the next months. It will also contain a lot of photographs which I took during my magical mystery tours.

Your artistic marriage with Austrian label Steinklang resulted in the founding of the (sub)label Ahnstern. The most important and special project is the subscription box Ahnstern containing ten different DoLPs to be publishing every six months. Can you tell us a bit about this wonderful object?
M. Presch of Steinklang loves vinyl very much - or maybe it is the vinyl that loves him and seduced him to work on the edition of ten Allerseelen double lps in a beautiful wooden box on the Steinklang sub-label Ahnstern. So far we released four double lps. Two of the double lps, Archaische Arbeiten and Heimliche Welt, contain very old, almost prehistoric recordings. Flamme and Sturmlieder have already been released as double lp too. The next double lp will be Gotos=Kalanda - the cd is sold out, but the double lp should be available within a few months. I am currently recording several new songs for this release, some of the recordings are already finished.

Thank you, Gerhard for your time. Close as you will.
"Clamberers of the rock of the holy mountains, dreamers of the rose and the dew, of milken hill and vine of immortality, these are they that tell of the gay wisdom."
Austin Osman Spare, Focus of Life