CVLT: Hello, Demetrius! Growing up, was music always a big part of your life? Can you recall your first ever musical experience?
Greetings Baldo, and thank you for having me! Well, back when I was young, you had some pretty good music on TV/radio, you know, they played songs from the 60s all the way up. There were so many genres on TV, and most songs had a certain vibe; they felt real, pure, true.
Now the art of music is conveying emotion, and people, especially children, are easily hypnotized by it depending on their own inner world. In my case, I mostly grew up alone, as my parents were always away, and when they were around, they would often fight. Probably because of this, I felt alone, I desired love, and I developed a strong sense of justice, as I regarded what they did as wrong. I would run away from home regularly, especially during winter holidays, walked for miles to my grandparents’ house, which was several miles away, and I was under 10 years old – I knew the road since I would sometimes run away with my mother.
I always dreamt about meeting someone of the opposite sex in my exact same situation, yes, I dreamt about a relationship when I was extremely young, something that later happened, I actually met a girl like me, an outcast, with no friends, who ran away from home, and who listened to the same songs as I did.
Now, what does this have to do with music? As I said, the art of music is conveying emotion, amplifying your own based on your life experience, and due to my situation, I found myself listening to many sad songs, love songs, songs about loneliness, and all that, Modern Talking particularly grabbed my attention with some songs, among others.
Things changed when I got used to using DC++, and I downloaded plenty of songs from various random users, and this is how I got into metal. Oddly enough, I discovered Rammstein, among other bands, when I was eleven, and it stuck with me for a long time. I still remember how I downloaded the Buck Dich Live video, laughed about what was going on, and showed it to my parents to their dismay.
Now I guess my music journey started when I met that girl that I was dreaming about in my first years of life. This happened when I was 15, and I met her in a cemetery, as I was hanging there with some other girls. I liked cemeteries since people seemed more real when they were there, less superficial, probably because the remembrance of death makes us more conscious, more serious. Later, I and that girl got hooked up, and would often go by ourselves to the cemetery, smoking, drinking, discussing life events, philosophies, listening to Nargaroth, and funnily, even Modern Talking, and a particular band from Finland, namely, For my Pain.
Now, my musical journey began after our relationship ended. For more than eight years after our breakup, we could still sense if one or the other had problems, and we would call each other randomly and meet at this cemetery, and discuss life events, console one another, give advice, it was surreal, like having that one person who understands absolutely everything about you, in a world where no one does, without even speaking much.
Despite meeting for years, we never got as close as before, and I started to dissect myself, and find out what was wrong with me to lose such a person. At my lowest point, I finally began to sing my sorrow. Prior to this, I’ve always wanted to sing, however, I was too shy, but the pain managed to push me to do it. I realized that this was one of the factors that led to our break up, the fact that I was too afraid, of what I was feeling, it was too powerful. Through singing, I felt I could release those feelings. I always imagined we would be together again, or at least, I would meet someone to share that connection once more.
Tell us about the bands that have been continuous influences for you. But also about new bands and new records that you think are exciting in the post-rock, metal, goth, etc scene. What do you look at and say: ‘that’s the future of this scene?’
Ah, I listen to post-rock, but not so much. I rarely find something worth listening to, but if I were to pick up the newest band that I know I will listen to for years to come, that would be She Past Away and Urfaust. These dudes are simply amazing, at least, to my ears.
I don’t know if there is a future for the rock scene, I mean, it’s full of old farts that only want to fuck underage girls, and that’s about it. They contribute nothing to the scene, but somehow they steal its light, leading to its death.
As for bands that have always influenced me, that’s a tough one. I guess Summoning, Elend, Die Verbannten Kinder Evas, Bethlehem, Celtic Frost, For my Pain, Virgin Black, and HIM, Rammstein, and Hammerfall, their old stuff. The future is grim since the scene is filled with snowflakes and extremely superficial people.
I want to ask you about Tenebres, it first started as a solo project, approaching ambiental, medieval themes. How and when would you say the transition to a full band happened? Not to mention the style change; you went the extra mile to create such a great work of death/doom metal.
Well, the first Tenebres started at my lowest point in life. I was heartbroken after losing that girl, our meetings that were so beautiful yet didn’t amount to anything, not even a kiss, dragged my heart through pins and needles for years. My parents got divorced, many people whom I considered friends backstabbed me, lots of cool places shut down, and even festivals, and plenty of people, including that girl, changed so much, in their musical taste at least.
I never gave a shit about school but most of my friends who I believed did the same, actually knew what they wanted to do, and left for college, and I slowly began to realize my weaknesses, and that I was alone again. I knew I could sing, but never had the courage to do it, but the pain pushed my pride away, and I began to exteriorize myself through singing.
I have to mention that this process lasted for a couple of years, and I struggled with it for many years to come. As I was alone in my home city for a very long time, my grandfather gifted me a keyboard, and later, a backstabbing person, a microphone. He gifted me this microphone since I allowed him to stay in my house for a couple of months without money, and then he left. Now, I had all the time in the world, and no one around, and I focused on singing, creating the first albums of Tenebres. Things changed when I did a cover song of HIM, and I was invited into another city to play with some of the people that now are part of Tenebres. The backstabbing person I mentioned, asked for the microphone back somewhere around this time, and this is what stopped me from singing for a bit.
I eventually got a job in my home city as a bartender for a greedy person that would mostly pay me shit, however, I got enough money to get rent in Iasi, where those guys wanted me as a singer. That band didn’t last long, however, I met people from different projects, we all set up a studio, and there was this jolly guy that was stealing from all bands, which I caught in the act, and through this, all the other projects ended, since he was part of them all.
I gave up on my job and even on college to focus on a new band and a new studio, and I gathered all the people that were ripped off, into a new project, which everyone wanted to be named Tenebres, the same as my solo project. I got a new job in Iasi, and with the money, I bought the same microphone I used on my solo project. I didn’t have money for food, slept at the studio, and was under 50 kg, but I did it all in the hopes of making the band, and meet people similar to myself, especially someone with who I could have a relationship. I often imagined that that girl would come to see me sing, but she never did, but this is how I met my future wife regardless.
But back to the band, we all agreed that we wanted to focus on doing something greater than what was around, and we all had similar experiences of betrayal, love dramas, and wanted to portray those feelings in music, especially a combination of opposite feelings, such as misanthropy and philanthropy. Tenebres became a new band since the people involved, were amazing, due to their implication, sacrifices, both personal and financial. It would take a long time to explain how many things we did to make this band, it feels unreal even now.
I always wanted my music to be heard by more people, but that implies certain aspects which I cannot do. I can’t promote myself like a product, sell myself like a whore, kiss asses, sing what other people want, censor my views, and all that. I know what it takes to be successful, but that would mean going against my principles
How does this change feel to you? Isn’t there a greater satisfaction knowing you don’t have to share your project with someone else?
With Tenebres I achieved many things. I met the woman who is now my loving wife, amazing people who became my friends, that never run away from hard work, and have shown a devotion to the cause that you can only see in movies, or read in books.
However, despite all the work, everything, I never felt like the new Tenebres was what I wanted it to be. The strong emotions that I’ve felt from many betrayals, years of loneliness, suffering, depression, I don’t feel that I’ve managed to convey them into the songs, and this is my greatest regret. I know that I can do it, but I haven’t managed to, yet.
Indeed, having a solo project grant you some freedom, however, you have to know to play so many different instruments. I don’t have any musical background, so it’s hard. When it comes to satisfaction, the camaraderie you feel when you have a group of people dedicated to doing something, where there is no financial gain, is amazing, but you have to remember why you started it in the first place. It’s difficult to explain, but it’s like thinking about food when you are full, so you have to imagine how it was when you were starving. This is why I hate most big bands. They haven’t connected with reality anymore.
Have you ever considered going back to your initial solo project? Or start a new one?
Always. I intend to start the old solo Tenebres again, though I have to think about a new name, and I still want to do one album with the current Tenebres. I have many songs that haven’t seen the light of day yet.
You recently joined Cruish-Nir. Should we expect any surprises any time soon?
Yes. I was invited to this project to do vocals. We have recently finished one song and are working on a second one. We will release a lyric video for this new song, Delebit Oblivio, very soon, so stay tuned!
Once with your arrival, will Cruish-Nir share a new take on music?
Well, it certainly sounds different. The vocals on the first song, Quietus, were performed by Liviu Ustinescu from Din Umbra, and Isabel from Fabulae Dramatis. On this song, Delebit Oblivio, I perform alongside Heike, from Draconian. As far as I know, I and Heike will continue working on the next songs as vocalists, so it will certainly sound different.
Let’s get back to Tenebres. What were your expectations when your first released your project? And how do you see them now, looking back in time?
Expectations were relatively moderate, however, our first gig was a blast! More than 150 people were present, and this boosted our morale and the drive behind the project. Despite our rule of never smiling on stage, things were so awesome we couldn’t resist. Things changed as we realized how many assholes are in the music scene. Looking back, we were naive from many points of view as we discovered what is truly behind the curtains. One time, my bandmates stopped me from going after a shit band that performed with us in Iasi and stole all the gig money.
We kept our mouth shut, but plenty of disgusting things happened onward, and if I were to go back in time, I would tell myself to not abstain from bashing some people, regardless of what restrictions we would get on future live performances, which was the thing that halted our reactions most times. The fact that we didn’t react harder, didn’t help, in fact, we should have never forgiven these actions even if it meant never playing in a city or at a festival again.
Have you ever experienced unpleasant situations while on tour or performing? How about fun situations?
Yup, plenty, but most importantly, I saw how fucked up everything is. We had gigs across the nation and met a lot of retarded people and cool people. I realized how little respect there is for musicians, but not everywhere of course. For example, you put your life on the line traveling with our bad roads and retarded drivers, and you go for hundreds of miles, sleepless nights, but almost no one gives a fuck, and not even a bottle of water on stage. And when you get to the stage, the sound guy thinks you are arrogant, and you think he is arrogant, no one ever thinks that someone might have a problem, and the prejudice goes on and on, and everything sounds bad, and everyone is pissed off. Then, there is the other situation where everything is great, the people are wonderful, you receive gifts, and it’s quite baffling.
We had plenty of beautiful situations and unpleasant ones. In Sofia, we were involuntarily drugged, a band put drugs in the smoke machine and everyone was wasted. We couldn’t play well, but we had a heck of fun with everyone involved. In Baia Mare, a chick jumped on me and all the band was barely holding my wife from killing everyone. In Suceava, I proposed to my wife on stage, and plenty of people were crying, even the organizers.
In Zalau, a chick wouldn’t let go of one of our friends who was helping us out, and crying for him to move there and stay with her, even though they barely met. We met beautiful people that traveled quite a bit to see us, some tattooed our logo on their bodies, and we’ve also met people that ripped us off in one way or another.
But, I guess that’s the beauty of touring, you get in different situations, meet different people, and no matter what, you feel amazing most of the time. We experienced many things, but it would take a bit to write them down. What’s most important is that we’ve independently organized our tours, and played across the nation, without ass kissing anyone as most Romanian bands do, and international ones as well.
What other creative outputs do you engage in that we may not suspect?
I love cooking, and I love writing. I want to write stories similar to Lord of the Rings. Perhaps one day I will finish something.
I hope at some point that Covid-19 will reach its end. How do you see it happening?
Covid 19 is the biggest bullshit since the invention of religion. Authorities have no interest in solving this issue, but rather to prolong it, and this is evident from every decision they take. As long as you can make a buck out of it, it won’t go away, and they sure make loads of money with this shit.
Absolutely every decision they took increased the longevity of this problem, and if their vaccines and restrictions worked, things would be better, but they are the same. But that’s the thing, they weren’t ever made to work, but to prolong. Even a kid would have handled it better, so it’s not a problem of incompetence, but rather an ill will.
When more people will lose their loved ones due to their experimental „vaccines”, retarded outdated medical protocols, or even from Covid itself as their immunity system is shit due to their restrictions, or because society doesn’t teach us how to be healthy and gives us shit when people will get poorer when we will take the streets and start a revolution, perhaps that is when it will end. But I think it will end when people stop taking everything for granted from their televisions, school, internet, society, and nature itself.
We don’t live in a good world, never have, and probably never will. The good guys win only in fantasies. No one wants you to be healthy, smart, happy, informed, independent, so when the majority of people will understand this, respect nature, realize our fragileness, and stop acting like sheep or children, it will end. In a sense, I am glad this thing happened because I knew how corrupt everything was, but this showed me it was much worse. If we get out of this without learning something, and a global revolution, it will happen again, and plenty of similar things happened before in history, and the sheep didn’t get it, I’m just hoping they won’t get away again.
Only a handful of people know the truth, but what is baffling is that this shit is so evident, yet people still act like fools. How can you possibly explain to them different historical inaccuracies, when they don’t even see what’s happening now? This is the scary part and the thing that makes me very pessimistic about the human race. We don’t know how to think, how to breathe, what to eat, how to drink, to be relatively ambidextrous, and plenty of other things that destroy us. We don’t even know how to love, we just break hearts like it’s nothing. In school, we are taught nothing else but to be obedient, extremely ignorant, so much so that our wills are broken, and we can’t even motivate ourselves to do what we would otherwise enjoy. There’s too much to say here, so I will stop, since It doesn’t matter.
Choose some lyrics from any song that Jesus would have chosen while on the cross:
Ah, I didn’t expect this. I think – I don’t Wanna be Me by Type o Negative – since you know, no one wants to be crucified.
If you could go back in any period of your preference, where would you find yourself?
I would love to be a gladiator in the slave revolution of Spartacus, or a Spartan in the Battle of Thermopylae, or a centurion in Caesar’s Legio X Equestris, primarily due to the camaraderie feeling, and then against all odds situation or rather, the action of fighting the many, with just a few.
I love this feeling of being outnumbered and fighting against the many, as it represents the universal truth about humanity. There have always been a small number of people who do good, and bad, but the bad ones control the masses, and it’s always been like this. However, a poet or philosopher in ancient Greece would be a marvelous experience as well, sitting near the forest, with Doric columns in the view.
Imagine this: the religious fanatics keep on saying that the end is near. The damn aliens visit our planet for the first time (coughs) in the exact moment with Jesus. How would people react?
Well, I think there would be mass hysteria, much worse than the one induced now. Most likely, the war would break out, people would go insane. I wouldn’t be on any side because I know nothing about the aliens, and I won’t align with Jesus since I’m not religious, and I wouldn’t be even if god appeared before me. Nothing in this world makes sense, and no divinity can justify the pain and suffering going on, just like the lyrics I wrote for Pain Eternal, „I fail to find a reason, in this eternal living hell”.
Guilty pleasure time. What would you say are some of your current most guilty pleasures? All is fair game- food, books, video games, or even cock n’ ball torture, whatever floats your boat. Let us have it.
Ah, I used to be so skinny, but now I really became immersed in eating and cooking. I’m tired of eating the same things, and I want to either make my own recipes or try different dishes from other cultures. I really have few pleasures left as everything these days sucks.
Games, books, movies, all have subtle or in-your-face modern political ideas in them, promoting interracial relations, gay rights, feminism, and all that. I hate the fact that these things are shoved down your throat, but this is the thing isn’t it? We always have to be kept divided in one way or another.
I mean sure, do what you want, I don’t care, just don’t shove it in my face okay? When you portray these things in this manner, you get the opposite effect. So, even though they paint these things to make people more tolerant, they are actually dividing us, and that is what they want to do. As such, I mainly stick to old games, movies, music, or extremely underground ones, that don’t have any political retarded things. Why can’t we enjoy a movie, game, or music anymore, without someone showing something in your face, but wait, I know the answer…
What do you hope to do with your music in the future? I mean, do you have any crazy schemes or goals?
I always wanted my music to be heard by more people, but that implies certain aspects which I cannot do. I can’t promote myself like a product, sell myself like a whore, kiss asses, sing what other people want, censor my views, and all that. I know what it takes to be successful, but that would mean going against my principles, and throwing away what I want to express, so I would rather remain unknown and create music for myself, and if anyone out there likes it, awesome, if not, than that’s that.
The metal scene is disgusting nowadays, promoting retarded political ideas and treating everyone like fools. Take for example this “genre” – female-fronted metal – I mean like, did we just discovered women? This feminist bullshit wave is doing the exact opposite of what its foundation was created upon. Let’s get fucking real. Folk metal?
Do these guys even know anything related to their respective nations’ folklore? I guess vodka is all that matters. The metal scene is pathetic, especially in our country, we treat mediocrity as a standard, and we think it’s good, buts it’s not. A couple of old farts control everything, and they’re killing it.
I plan on creating one last album with Tenebres, something a bit different than what was before, and probably end it, and continue doing solo projects. I’m not sure when this will be done, as things move slowly these days, and what I want to create is on a whole new level than before. Even if it may take a couple of years and people will forget about us, I want to do it either way. I’m involved in other projects, so I guess I will make some appearances in other places, but mainly, I keep to myself. I’m just not feeling as I used to about many things, for good reasons.
Cover photo: (c) DieRatte Photography