J. Bennett of Noisey recently conducted an interview with former HELLHAMMER/CELTIC FROST and current TRIPTYKON singer, guitarist, and main songwriter Tom Gabriel Fischer (a.k.a. Tom Gabriel Warrior) in Paris, France. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Noisey: The English translation of the new [TRIPTYKON] album title [“Melana Chasmata”] is something along the lines of “Deep Depressions.” Is that right?
Tom: Yes, it’s difficult to translate exactly, but that’s an approximate translation. Of course, depressions can be a geological feature or a psychological feature. In this instance, both. Parts of the album sound melancholy, but mostly it sounds angry. I think the first one is much angrier. It was fueled by hatred and frustration over the very unpleasant termination of CELTIC FROST. This new album is far more introspective and based on personal experiences — not just my own, but [those] of several of the band members. We chose the album title years ago, but since that time, certain things have happened that have made the title even more appropriate. On a personal level, it was an exceedingly difficult album to complete, and we’re all very happy that it’s done.
Noisey: Why was it difficult?
Tom: The four years since the last album have been very difficult for some of us in the band, including myself. Nothing in my own life resembles the way it was four years ago. My life has drastically changed, and most of those changes have been outside any spectrum of choice. And I’m not the only one in the band who has had dramatic changes to their private lives. We didn’t know that when we started the album, of course.
Noisey: It sounds like these personal changes you’re talking about have been largely negative. Are the members of TRIPTYKON, yourself included, worse off today than they were on the last record?
Tom: I think at this point everyone is well into the recovery phase, so to speak. Everybody is on their own path with their own issues. But I’m not trying to bring up tragedy here or anything pathetic. None of us wanted to be in this situation, and none of us had any idea that the others were going through something similar. It’s a complete coincidence. We envisioned the time writing this album completely differently. But like so many things in life, we have no control. That’s why the album took four years to write instead of two. In the meantime, we’ve accepted that at least three members have completely different lives now, and that’s beyond their choice. But one of the things that has helped us through this is that we have a band and we honestly love the music we are playing and we know we are friends. I know that sounds cliché, like some kind of hippie family, but that’s the way it is.
Noisey: How bad did it get?
Tom: I was really close to losing everything — much closer than anyone reading this can probably imagine. But if it got to the most extreme, I’m sure I could’ve called our bass player [Vanja Šlajh] and she would have taken care of me as good as possible. And that’s the main difference between TRIPTYKON and CELTIC FROST. At the end of CELTIC FROST, I sometimes got the feeling that if I was lying on the floor bleeding, someone would still stick a knife in my back. But in this band it’s the opposite.
Read the entire interview at Noisey.