Here is an interview with the sole member of one man black/thrash metal band Agga. In this interview we discuss the future of Agga, mythology, and many other things. If you haven't already check out Agga's music here http://soundcloud.com/agga40
Foul Feast: Is Agga the first musical project you've been involved with?
Lord of Babylon: It's the first serious project outside of random jams with various buddies. I've been making music for awhile, but a big portion of the material was sloppily made stuff on a Tascam 4 track recorder using pre programmed drum beats on a Casio keyboard. I'm slowly rerecording the older stuff I'm more fond of, Flight of Suhgurim is one example of this.
FF: Most of your music deals with Babylonian and various forms of mythology. Is this something you enjoy studying and learning about in your personal life as well?
Lord of Babylon: This is very much a part of my everyday life. I've always felt if one is going to use mythological themes for their lyrical subject matter there should be a real personal connection of some sort as well otherwise it's just bullshit. I started out in my teen years being into some basic Satanic stuff but once I read the Simon Necronomicon I found myself very much drawn to that way. Granted the Simon Necronomicon is an incomplete look into a far more complex Mesopotamian mythological pantheon it does provide one with tools to begin the work. From there I learned about Aleister Crowley and found the more work I did with the Necronomicon the more I understood Crowley's writings. In time I began to come upon more actual subject matter dealing with historical Mesopotamian lore and began cross referencing the historical/archeological information with what is in the Necronomicon and found this to be vital in fully understanding the various systems/pantheons from Mesopotamia. As far as I have found, all the mythologies/pantheons are interconnected on varying levels but to see those connections helps put the missing pieces in place. It is most definitely a work in progress but an enjoyable effort.
FF: How important is the atmosphere to you on an Agga release?
Lord of Babylon: Very important. I'll go and listen to many bands and when there isn't ANY atmosphere I tend to get bored quick. Most of the guys I used to jam with never really took into account atmosphere and were more concerned with "cool riffs" but not using those cool riffs to evoke something, a soundscape if you will. Creating an atmosphere isn't an easy endevour but I feel its worth the effort once you can effectively communicate something to the listener. Dont get me wrong, I LOVE the in your face metal stuff for its pure power but that can get old fast.
FF: Has your influence shifted much since the last Agga album?
Lord of Babylon: I have to say yes. I've found myself listening more to thrashy stuff the last year or so. As far as black metal is concerned, I find myself enjoying the thrashy stuff more than your overly symphonic "epic" stuff, ironically. I guess listening to the overly symphonic stuff for many years has finally caused me to get burned out on that sort of music. Like back in the day I'd listen to some Therion, Emperor and Tiamat non-stop but these days all 3 bore me to death and instead I'll jam me some Absu (Third Storm.. and The Sun of..) or Gehennah (Hardrocker) and stuff like that. Sure, there isn't alot of what one would typically consider "atmosphere" in that stuff but in my eyes I say there is tons of emotions going on. Its a more active emotional release than what one typically associates with atmosphere. Emotions are varied so to create atmosphere one must access all the expressions of emotions from its manic peaks to its depressive valleys.
FF: What can we expect to see in the future from Agga?
Lord of Babylon: Good question, hahaha. I kind of go where I'm supposed to go. Sorry for the totally cliched answer there but it's the truth. I will say this, I am in process of applying the mythological concepts to real world happenings in order to give more life to the lyrical concepts. I find mythology was just an in depth description of the society who created the particular mythos so trying to find its core principals and applying it to modern life can be an interesting working.
FF: How do you go about writing a song? Is there a certain instrument you always start with during the writing process?
Lord of Babylon: I typically start off with a very basic drum track that is separated into individual measures. Then I begin the guitar process, slowly constructing the rhythm section, two tracks for this. After this I construct the actual drum tracks (using another drum program) to fit with the rhythm section. Once I feel this has been done to satisfaction, in comes the bass lines, since I like to have the actual drum tracks in place before doing the bass lines. Lead guitars and vocals come in after all this dependent on their need at that part of the song. So in short it truly is constructing a song from the ground up. It's a really cool feeling seeing a song manifest from random riffs and sounds. This is what I mean by kind of going where the song is taking me rather than have a rigid plan in place.
FF: Do you ever plan on branching the project out a getting together a full line-up?
Lord of Babylon: I'd LOVE to eventually get a group of guys together to play live, but everyone seems to want to play brootul death metal or some form of Pantera/Shadows Fall boring commercial metal worship. Also, drummers are a pain in the fuckin ass, seriously! They seem to want to dictate too much of the goings on and it invariably turns into the drummer wanting to change things to some sort of progressive music angle. I've found drummers care less about atmosphere and more about playing complex shit to impress everyone. Yawnnnnn
FF: Are the any bands in your area playing a style that is even relatively similar?
Lord of Babylon: Nope, not that I know of at least. I really wish I was around back in the early 90's as Tampa isn't too far (2 and 1/2 hrs) away from me and I think things would be a bit different. All the local metal I've noticed around here is of the commercial metal variety or death core sort. This is why I concentrate my efforts online as the scene around here (Naples/Ft Myers) blows ass nuggets.
FF: Any final thoughts?
Lord of Babylon: Other than fuck poser metal and hail true underground metal that is full of passion, real anger, and other assorted real emotions... I can't think of anything. Perhaps goto http://soundcloud.com/agga40 and check out both the 2008 self titled album there and the 4 newest songs. Also thank you jugchord07 for the interview, I enjoyed it. It's weird being on this end of the interview, haha. Keep up the good work man and everyone, turn your back on the poser rockstar wannabe metal out there. Metal is a lifestyle, not a hipster trend!