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What Master's Hammer have to say..

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Location: riding the wasteland

PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:47 pm    Post subject: What Master's Hammer have to say.. Reply with quote

What Master's Hammer have to say about their times..

first see this thread. the story is taken from the book Kmeny 0 (Tribes 0). it's a book about subcultures in communist era czechoslovakia (metal, punk, skate, alternative theater, homo people, bodybuilders, nudists, sci-fi fans, hooligans, all kinds of hippies etc). the metal chapter is mainly a story of Master's Hammer as seen by Franta Štorm. so bear in mind it's not strictly for metal fans. also included is a double interview with Blackosh and Necrocock (by Franta as well). my notes are in square brackets. sorry for typos and gramamr mistakes. also at first I wanted to scan the pages, but the book is a 700+ pages behemoth and i am a lazy person so go figure. full photos here:


note: this is a rough translation because of three reasons. first my abilities are limited, second i am a lazy person and third Franta Štorm uses specific untranslatable phrases and language here and there (as he does in his lyrics). this is what official MH page reads about the lyrics, bear this in mind while reading the text hereinafter.

As always with MH, all songs are written and sung in Czech language, with casual slight exception of a vulgar germanism, some garbled French expression, or forgotten archaism. For reader without fluent Czech it's impossible to get the exact content. It's hidden, encrypted as if we sung Enochian, Hindi or Arameic. On contrary, there are many bands with proper English, but sung without clarity and texts in booklet printed with small grey letters on a picture background, so nobody has an idea what are they about. Our vernacular language indeed suites very well to our style of music, and it will never change.

Enumeration of immoral grimaces or Memories from deserted ditch i.e. Written under influence
by František Štorm, summer 2013

I haven't been by everything what is today regarded as important in the history of the czech black metal and also i'm not impartial and objective. Master's Hammer related events are just part of the events that were taking place back then. We went through a strange way full of diversions and squiggles and our story is not a typical story. Our first rehearsal place in Mladá Boleslav was a garage of a friend who was a pub owner, later on we shared this place with famed Debustrol. Then began the circulation of tapes with Motörhead, Bathory, Venom and Mercyful Fate. Our first drummer was Franta Fečo, a gipsy whose uncle was playing with a dulcimer band and the bassist had also a reggae band [probably a MH bassist but it's not clear from the text]. Hard music was a random outcome of our individual deviantions for us, not an echo of social events. Of course if you have more people with similar deviations together, you can probably talk about a community or a trend; however him, who is disgusted by crowd like the way he hates packed smelly public transport, he is running into solitude, where his only companion is his own imagination. These are the reasons I didn't like gigs of my favourite bands nor gigs of my own band. There were only a handful of MH gigs between 1989 - 1992. When the drummer was able to come on the stage without assistance and moreover play, there was still enough place for out of tune (or not working at all) guitars and awkward silence between songs because of insufficient rehearsing. We were never the favourite band of the crowd.

Not a long time ago I've seen some older BBC documentary on the roots of heavy metal in England - series of interviews with Ozzy, Tony Iommi, Bruce Dickinson etc and the narrator probably had the fixed idea that heavy metal was just a musical reaction to social tension, perhaps the workers in metalurgic industry should even experience associations with the music while working in the factories listening to the drop hammers.. Jon Lord however had just much more clear idea: hard rock went too much complicated in the form of indigestible art rock and the listeners wanted something this strong but more listenable. Others went on adoring the power of distorted guitar sound and technical skills of the drummers. They were trying to justify satanic image as a requirement of the genre and they were wrapping necrophiliac perversities into comics like glit of the marketing. Lemmy was the only honest enough to say that he has no explanation, that all the filth and the mess around was what they loved and that it remains the same.

We, in Prague in the end of the 80's, wanted only one thing: to make as much noise as possible and spit into face of humankind (we were reading Schopenhauer and Klíma) and we wanted to do that in the form of the most hideous music genre available. Back then it was scandinavian black metal in the vein of Bathory. He who says that black metal was strictly nordic thing should remember that Black Sabbath, Venom or Celtic Frost were no scandinavians. Some northern bands were even inspired by us [he probably means all the czech bands of that time here]. But czech black metal was not about church burnings nor brutal murders of bandmates - our satanism was refering to Baudelaire, Josef Váchal and occult traditions of delirious clochards of our mountains. The cult of revulsion was mirrored in our gloomy lyrics as well as in the reek of the cracked drainage in our rehearsal room, which was located in dark cellar and furnished by moldy egg cardboard boxes. One of our guitarists started to bring enemas and urogenital stimulation tools and later on went on to form a "career" of bizzare musical narcissus [obviously Necrocock]. After all the years even this helps me to see plain connecting line: decadence. Don't know how about trashers, speed metal freaks or death and grind fans, but I assume that decadence was spread through all the late 80's metal underground like the pubs were full of strong marijuana odour.

We spent December 1989 recording a demo full of otherwordly threats to the whole universe. We were in state of sort of dissonance with the way most people perceived the current events [ongoing Velvet revolution] - whilst some embraced the new freedom as a possibility to freely play gigs, record and release and buy western gear, we were vomiting in the microphones like nothing was happening. Existence or not existence of the "iron curtain" was not our concern, the rejoicing squares and streets was just a tiny insects buzz to us. Our foreign contacts helped us to correct the czech small mindedness but also our egocentrism. Surprisingly enough these contacts were flourishing even before the revolution. However even though I was getting black metal demo tapes from all round the world, I'd still listen to Sv. Vincent, Paprsky ing. Gagarina or Laibach. I started to listen to Iron Maiden when I was already an old fart but I always had Yello, Pet Shop Boys or Dead Can Dance in my car back then. I had the first Burzum demo, same for Mayhem, Rotting Christ or Darkthrone; all of them tapes I donated to someone immediately because it was unlistenable. These rarities are worth of hundreds $$$ today. Besides demo tapes there was a circulation of fan zines and flyers. Not many people today can imagine we had only old typewriter, film fed camera, scissors and glue. Also you couldn't use public copy centres because those were full of secret police informers so you had to have friends whose employer had a copy machine they could secretly use. Being personally a graphic designer I was interested in the design of those zines and flyers. Metal fanzin looked the same as punk fan zine from distance, you just needed to get close enough to see the difference in the form of all those pentagrams and baphomets. Naive drawings, xerox-vandalised photos, savage typography - unique poetry of rebellion, wretched secret notes from the underground. Some fan zines were based around a single band, some kept being published for years after the revolution, some evolved in regular magazines. But I dare to say that the papers of the underground pulled out to the surface kinda faded and lost their raw nature: color ofset prints, ads and quality paper cut their balls off.

In the cellar ages we were connected by programmatic unsuccessfulness, maybe even anti-popularity. We were more than happy with stable circle of listeners and a small fanbase, but our contacts were world wide, maybe with the exception of south pole. Our loyal supporters were as poor as we were: they greased the stamps with wax glue, so the stamp could by washed and the stamp used again: "...answer ASAP and send my stamps back!" was the ending of every letter. Five dollar notes for the demos were packed in carbon copy paper, so the post office clerks wouldn't know about them and wouldn't steal them, we were sending all the xeroxed flyers and newsletters with every letter, not only ours but also other bands ones (Kryptor, Root etc.) while they were sending our flyers with their letters, it was kind of diy promotion network and it worked well. We didn't need no PR or labels and our later contrats with famous labels were always inconvenient for us. Monitor was releasing mainly shitty pop, so our records were not targeting our audience well, Osmose were happy to release bootlegs behind our backs what embarassed us. So we are now back in the DIY system. Popularity utilization rate potential for a band like that is null but the more are we happy with things like MH logo being inked on the buttocks of certain graphic design student [female], this makes us way more happy than hitting a stupid TV charts with our record.

I don't know much about metal but I'm happy that I've met maniacs like Big Boss, Blackie, Necrocock, Pípa, Kuna, Oťas, pan Prasák, Potkan, Hojdem etc. through it. All of them have the same decadent spark in them up to present day, still partaking in the music scene or not. Stubborn keyboard player Vlasta Voral [MH member on Jilemnice occultics and Šlágry] played with Kučerovci [band that exist more than 60 years and plays all sorts of exotic shizzle and more], Ivan Hlas [well known czech musician], Viking and all kinds of weird musicians. We have common interest in military marches, operetas and lager. While nothing was sacred for a typical black metal band, for us not even black metal was sacred, we started to attack this genre as well. Electronic samples and sounds very absolutely outrageous back then and even our die hard fans castigated us for the usage of the samples. Vlasta had the idea ow our very own digital studio already in the year of 1992. All of us made our digital studios through the years so now we don't even rehearse together, we just send the tracks each other through the internet, one of us mixes them and that's it.

We are regularly covered in sticky laudatium [archaic for adoration] by reviewers, even though we were always trying to make them stumble in our vomit. Generation of our latest gig survivors is gonna be in retirment soon, we're now friends with regular songwriters [using a czech word which resembles musicians like Bob Dylan etc.] and we're listening only to Wagner and Bartók at our homes. While we're working on reissue of the old demos, I'm afraid these cellar monsters can become glit idols on glossy paper. I can't get over the old records being highlighted over current releases: I'm surprised that this our raging still interests some poeple, as far as I know, there's plenty of wacky artists out there who deserve to be dusted off like for example Vincent Venera or old Valenta, eventually real bands, who're still playing and who're not laying on the couch or at the beach like we are. Our story may not be famous but is maybe very original. Before all the memories are vanished in the mists of oblivion, I'm asking my accomplices for addition..

pic01: Necrocock, Prague, 1988
pic02: Franta Štorm, recording of The Ritual Murder demo, Dolní Slivno, 1987
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

integral part of the story is the interview with Necrocock and Blakosh, i'll finish that tomorrow
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanx for posting that, your effort is highly appreciated
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lo6o6o6ol wrote:
Thanx for posting that, your effort is highly appreciated

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GREAT work, thank you.

Just googled Josef Váchal - looks VERY promising. And now I'll have to look up this Ladislav Klíma character, too.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting read. If that book was to be released in english I'll buy it without dubt. Fascinating stuff.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hall of Fame worthy thread, many thanks! Very Happy
"I can feel the AIDS in the air" --Voivod
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was brilliant and very interesting to read. Million thanks from over here!

By the way when he is referring to "some northern bands were even inspired by us", he is actually meaning the Norwegian bands. Most of them worshiped the MH demos! Wink
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