2 months after its official premiere through Alerta Antifascista Records, we’re finally ready to share a proper feature for one of the most striking dark, atmopsheric, crust tinged post metal releases this year. BAESTIEN formed last year from the ashes of ALBION, LE BAIN DE MAID, and HERESE, and are rooted in political hardcore punk ethics. Their new incarnation serves a solid foray into more atmospheric and crusty side of post metal and it makes a lot of sense in the specific concept that was created here. We sat down with the quartet to discuss their epic debut record, see how it links to the current political affairs and see what other fans of sci-fi have to say about their love for the genre. Unleash the intelligent and furious “Uroboros”, and read our interview below.
Hey guys! Thanks a lot for taking some time with us. Your new record Uroboros is a beast of an album, definitely one of the strongest debuts of recet years, and it once again proves that most of the most creative and impressive heavy music compositions remain uncovered for the masses.
Please drop us a coupe of lines about how you formed BAESTIEN and what led you to creative this monumental 3-track opus.
Francis: Thank you for the opportunity! I’ve planned to establish this band for almost 10 years, but I live in a small town where I haven’t been able to find people who would like to play this kind of music and we would get along when it comes to opinions for such a long time. It was over a year ago when Roman (our guitarist) cotancted me with that he would like to make the same music as me. At that time. Everyone had his own band which we left so we would able devote 100% just to BAESTIEN. We searched for a bassist and a drummer. Roman wrote our friend Rosťa, whether he would like to try to be our bassist and within a minute he replied “yes”. Furthermore, we offered Martin who didn’t touch drums for about 11 years, to try it out with us. In November, 2015 we’ve had our first rehersal.
The story in a nutshell is about the cycle of Mother Gaia, who died several times and always managed to rise again. Specifically album Uroboros devotes to the re-birth itself, the creation of life and finally, a man who gradually spirals out of control and destroys himself voluntarily along with Gaia. Overall, I would describe the album as a fairy-tale that is very profound reflection of our real world and everything that happened and is happening.
Can you share some more details on that? Besides all the political noise made in recent months, there are obviously more and more people who are concerned about several issues. Could you explain what kind of ‘happenings’ did you mean by your last statement?
Our roots are in political hardcore punk so we have a clear-cut stand against fascism, sexism, homophobia … today it may seem to some like a cliché, but unfortunately these things exist in various forms in the 21st century and thus there’s still the need to fight, roar and inform. Even today, the world is ruled by the few who control their puppets beneath them. There is still hunger and thirst. Even today, the largest business is war and destruction of our planet – our only home. There are still a lot of things that are wrong. A lot of them. You can hear it in our songs – especially in the final song Clausula. There isn’t a specific event or person in the story. The lyrics are pretty abstract, so you can interpret each one differently, which is what I like. But the nature of interpretation is pretty similar though.
No doubt, especially with the rise of far-right, nationalistic parties, politicians and phenomenons like Trump in the U.S., it’s more and more visible. Why do you think this is happening now and what direction do you think the world is heading in?
FRANCIS: People are very forgetful creatures, and even today, when every possible information is immediately available. The big drive is also a fear that clouds the mind and people forget nor want to remember. A lot of atrocities happened through the past and a couple of generations later they are essentially repeated under different banners, slogans and names. And yet we still make those same mistakes and it does not seem that we would like to somehow learn a lesson from all this and move into a better future. Trump is just another proof.
ROSŤA: I totally agree with Francis. I would just like to add that in a crisis like this, you need to see the good in people and believe in humanity. Good people have always been there, are and will be. They can’t stay silent to demonstrate their disapproval and to turn against the wrong, which can have different shapes.
Do you feel today’s generations of open minded people and new technologies have finally allowed us to pay others’ attention, as regards the environment and a generally better society?
FRANCIS: Personally, I am very fond of new technologies. For example the internet is a huge advantage when compared to the past. Social media has changed the society as it was and mutual communication inside of it in general. But just like most things, it can be a good servant, yet a terrible master. There is information to be found in the blink of an eye. However, amongst such wide range of information, it can be difficult to tell what’s truth and what’s a lie, or just a hoax. One must fight through it, be able to read between the lines and put things into context. All of this is just about who and how uses these things. So in order to answer your answer directly: Yes, I do think so. On the other hand, it can also spread evil, fear and hatred in a much quicker way.
ROMAN: Yes, I do think that new technologies offer a much better enlightenment and awareness. On the other hand, it also offers a lot of lies, „half-truths“, hoaxes, etc. If you choose to pick information from a good, confirmed, independent source, then these things can benefit you. I withdraw 90% of information on the internet, through websites which are managed by organisations ran by people whom I know or trust while people around me know them. You can often see how people react to misinformation coming from mainstream media, usually right-wing oriented and then they go ahead and poison their private profiles and websites and people around them.
ROSŤA: The guys have already said enough regarding the internet/misinformation/evil etc. If I should focus on one certain part of your question, which is the environment, then new technologies don’t really play much of a role in that. The environment is something, that people should be concerned with constantly. Of course, it’s great that with the internet’s assistance, you can get to know a lot of practical things, how to do certain things and how not to do them, but unfortunately not even the newest technologies will change the fact, that our planet is in ruins. We’ve had and we have the newest technologies, but not even that will force people for example in the Czech Republic, to recycle and such. So at the end of the day; what purpose does the fastest internet in the coolest smartphone have, when all we do is constantly destroy a place for our kids to live?
Sure thing. I truly believe that most technological advances seem to have had little to do with our relation with nature.
Ok, so let’s write a short script for a sci-fi movie. How do you see our future in let’s say 100 years? Do you think man and machine will clash? Are the limits of computing about to be ended? What are your predictions?
FRANCIS: I am a huge fan of sci-fi, so my ability to answer this question is manipulated by hundreds of stories, which come to my mind straight away, so I would most likely just repeat somebody else’s words.
So very briefly – To create some kind of higher intelligence, higher than ours, is something I wouldn’t recommend yet in this century. The Terminator didn’t really want to become friends after discovering what kind of species we are, haha.
ROMAN: To me, the best scenario written is „Dune“ by F. Herbert. Those who recognize it know how far it can go. The war amongst the human race and machines is unavoidable and I want the human race to one-hundred percent reap what it has sown. Let it burn.
ROSŤA: The rebellion of the machines? Souls inside of the machines? Bullshit. A machine is just a machine and it has been created by humans, which is also the reason for its limits. Another question is, if in 100 years we’ll still have something to make those computers out of. Plastic is made out of oil and its sources are quickly disappearing. One thing is connected to another and in all honesty, I’m glad I won’t live to see that day. On the other hand, I feel very sorry for today’s kids and theirs. It’s gonna be heavy on them. In my opinion, we are one of the last generations to be living like kings and queens. But yeah, I do like sci-fi. Just recently I’ve watched the movie „I, Robot.“ What’s way more likely though, is „I am legend“ and the extinction of the human race as a result of a disease, which still hasn’t shown up yet.
No encounter with aliens? Do you believe unkown forms of life exist in the unverse? Also, are you space geeks?
FRANCIS: I believe that in the vast of space, there is a chance for other forms of life, but chances that we meet with some at some time, is very small. Taking into account as we mentioned the size of the universe, then time also plays an important role. Aliens could have been here a million years ago or maybe they will be here in another million years. Otherwise, I’m a hardcore Star Wars fan, yes I am!
MARTIN: I believe that there is something out there, but they are technically so behind that they do not have a chance to find out. Even in prehistoric times, people were drawing in caves strange things that fly or things that look like black holes. Somebody had to see it somewhere.
MATTY: To the contrary, I meet aliens every day. In everyday life people with different views and opinions so strange, that they are not from our planet! Yes, I am a lover of science fiction and fantasy, most of all Paul Atreides & Shai-Hulud.
ROSŤA: I hope so. I do not want the universe to be the most advanced forms of life on our planet. Space geek, I was maybe in elementary school when I fell asleep and woke up to the series of Star Gate.
Any good sci-fi reads or movies you’d like to recommend before I let you go?
FRANCIS: Classically I. Asimov and A. C. Clark, that all readers of science fiction know. For the movie 2001: A Space odyssey, Twelve Monkeys, Terminator, Alien, The Matrix, and of course I have to mention again, Star Wars (all!). These are my jewels that everyone knows, too. For smaller films, I love The Man from Earth!
ROSŤA: I prefer to read the classics, mostly Russian, but one sci-fi obligation I have read, and it is about 90% of the books from Czech writer Jiri Kulhanek. His style and storytelling style has no precedent in Czech. Among the films are: Moon, The Thing, Cloverfield, Womb, new and old Planet of the Apes, Kung Fury, Predestination, Edge of Tomorrow, The Cabin in the Woods, World War Z and The Divide.
MARTIN: Is The fourth kind necessary? In the documentary Ancient aliens.
Great! Thanks so much guys! Now I guess it’s time to pick up a book or recall one of your movie recommendations :) Cheers for your time and take care. The last words are yours.
FRANCIS: Thank you for the opportunity to talk with our band. Have a nice day.
ROMAN: Thank you for the interview and good luck.
ROSŤA : Thank you for the opportunity to talk and take care!
BAESTIEN live shows:
21.4.17 – Plzeň – Pekelná brána
22.4.17 – Rosice Nad Labem – rehearsal room
3.5.17 – Brno – Bajkazyl
4.5.17 – Bardejov – Bašta (sk)
5.5.17 – Prešov – rehearsal room (sk)
6.5.17 – Trnava – Kubik (sk)
7.5.17 – Praha – Café na 1/2 cesty
9.6.17 – Praha – Klinika
10.6.17 – Liberec – Ještědská odysea fest
23.6.17 – Litvínov – Ponorka
24.6.17 – Děčín – Biograf
18.8.17 – Litoměřice – Death coffee party fest