AUGUST 22nd, 2014

Welcome to Metaltitans, Guardians of Metal entertainment worldwide. We are here talking with the band HAZAEL from Płock, Poland. Thank you for taking the time to do this interview with us.

1. First I would like to ask you about the name of your band “Hazael”, how did you come up with it….in the dictionary, it says “whom God beholds, an officer of Ben-hadad II., king of Syria, who ultimately came to the throne, according to the word of the Lord to Elijah”, does that have anything to do with it ?

Hi Rita, so Hazael name was taken from the Bible. Hazael was chosen by God,. God gave him the impunity, the right to murder and rape, conquer, wage wars. It all rejoiced “the Lord”. We were interested in this topic, because it shows the hypocrisy of the faith. It shows the God of the Christians is evil and bloodthirsty character and not merciful God as Catholics try to convince people. Such was the message of  Hazael from “Chapel of Doom” and “Reahersal” era.

2.  The band was formed back in 1990, were you part of the band then?

The band was formed in 1989, and I am the founder of Hazael. I invited my friend Wojtek Stasiak to work with me. He took up a bass guitar and I played a guitar and did vocals. As a two piece band we wrote stuff for “Chapel of Doom”. In 1990, a demo with the same name was released, but there was additional musician involved- Jacek Sokolowski, who played the drums. This lineup played the first concert series, among others with Vader, Samael.

3.  Is being in a band something you dreamed of doing since you were a child?
I have been listening to metal music since I was 8 years old but in my case it has not been just about the music... The event that aroused in me a certain sensitivity, was the premiere of Star Wars. It was in 1977. I remember it till to this day, the first frame when the Empire’s Destroyer fills the entire screen, flying slowly. I can remember this specific atmosphere. I would say I melted into the movie. It became a part of me, and I was a part of it. I left the movie theater as a changed man. On that day I was sure that the world in which I live is the delusion, that my true self is elsewhere. I was sure I belonged to another world. It was a very strong feeling.  Then I became interested in science-fiction. It turned out that this subject matter is consistent with the texts, mysticism, and the whole style which is assigned to the metal music. These two aspects were inseparably linked. It was my own world that I created, and where I lived. Then, quite quickly I came to the conclusion that I wanted to be a musician, playing metal. It was like making my inner world visible and real. Those sounds were strong; vibrating. The entire surroundings were fulfilled with the music. I personally was picking up the music with my entire body. Then, the  first guitars appeared, cut out from the wooden boards. It was also at that time when the first  headbanging appeared, while listening to my favorite bands. And then, a little bit later, I got my first guitar... very quickly it turned out, that playing real guitar is a bit more difficult than playing air guitar I was stubborn, practiced a lot, watched how other musicians held their guitars on the video. There were lots of ups and downs. I found one interview with Rob Halford really helpful. He said that he also watched his idols and came to the conclusion-“if they can do it, so I also can do it. I took it as the motto of my life. Do not give up, I played every day.
It had been like that till 1986, when I founded my first metal band called Bliding Torment.

4.  What kind of inspiration did you have to form the band?

I am going to start talking about Hazael now. Previous bands were found to search for the style and identity. Hazael is the one and only band for me. It is also my whole life. The interest in science-fiction evolved into a fascination with Scandinavian culture and mythology. I was and I am still very much into those topics. Not only that, I am convinced that in a previous life I was a Viking! Star Wars was a seed which was sowed in the land of cold and ice where my heart and soul are. These influences have given rise to Hazael. I entered a stage of rebellion and struggle with the world, but the real battle is the really story, too long for an interview...

5.  What made you choose the genre “Frost Death Metal”, and I do have to ask, can you explain what that is, I myself have never heard of it before.

I used to live in Norway. Unfortunately it was a short stay there, but enough to define who I am and where my place on earth is. Music is created by people, based on their sensitivity. My sensitivity is based on  fascination with Scandinavia, the land of ice. That magical and mystical place where the sea, with great force, hits monumental sharp rocks, where the cold wind blows in the eye, and the view of the fjord from the top of the rocks is the pure form of mysticism. My soul will always be chained ice and my music is born from that. The frost is always going to be inside of me!
6. In 1998, Ceremony Records released your farewell album, "The Kiss and Other Movements". During the same year the band split up., so what made you decide to come back and rejuvenate HAZAEL ?  

I did not participated in the recordings for this album. The rest of the band decided to record a farewell album, and they did. Some things have their place and time. I have that feeling that it is the right time now, to continue telling the unfinished story. Clairvoyance and Thor were the beginning of the story, time to go on. I know that this is the right time ...

7.  Are any members ones that were there in 1990 ?

No, I am the only one that remained.
8.  There are 4 members in the band, can you tell us how each of them came to belong, and did they have any previous experience?

Tomasz Dobrzeniecki (bass/vocals) – formerly in Bliding Torment, Tormentor, Nightmare, Rigor Mortis, Hagal, Blind Beyond, Black Mad Lice, Alastor, Hazael.
Artur Banach (guitar) - formerly in Borea, NOB, Black Mad Lice, Alastor

Rafał Spadło (guitar) - Shredlust

Artur Woźniak (drums) – The Bill

9. When you write your songs, who creates the lyrics ?
Lyrics on Clairvoyance and Thor were written by Mariusz Densta, former Hazael’s drummer. Ideas were formed together. We spent a lot of time together and he gathered them all together. In the case of the new material I will write all the lyrics.

10.  Where do the ideas come from to write your songs ?

“I know that I hung on a windy treenine long nights, wounded with a spear, dedicated to Odin, myself to myself, on that tree of which no man knows from where its roots run.``

( Havamal, 138-139) PIEŚŃ NAJWYŻSZEGO

11.  Are you currently working on new material?
I have already started working on the new stuff. I think within a year you can expect a frosty breath of death on your faces and the hits will be accurate and merciless.

12.  You have some shows coming up, July 18th, with Tenebris, Pandemonium, and Christ Agony at the Castle Party Festival in Poland, your first after 18 years, how was it to be back on stage?
My sword my sword laid down for a long time, almost 20 years, but when I took it out, it shone with  the cold brilliance. It wasn’t  dulled at all. It's time to die !!! We do not take prisoners!

13. How did you get added on to the festival ?  Do you have to promote yourself, or does another band request you to be on it ? How does that work ?
The reactivation of the band brought on the immense interest and the invitations to play appeared immediately after that.

14. You played supporting Possessed in Warsaw on July 19th, how was that for you? What kind of response from the crowds?

Castle Party and gig with Possessed they were mystical experiences, we worked very hard to give the fans what they were waiting for. We gave them all we had and they gave us the same back. Down there, by the stage, it was like a real battle going on.  We have great fans !!!

15.  You have another show in Dublin Ireland in October, is this part of a tour, or one single show?  Will you be the headliner ?

After the concerts at the Castle Party and the gig with Possessed we do a two-week break to catch the breath after a really hard promotional work done by  Klaudia - our fifth member of the band. The rest of the band work hard to shape the musical form of the band. We'll back at the beginning of September, we are hitting again, we are going to play in Warsaw to support Carcass, and then we play two concerts in Ireland, as a headliner and a couple of shows in Poland. There is a lot of gigs proposals. In March, we play European tour, as a headliner, covering the Czech Republic, Slovakia, the Balkans and maybe Italy. We also have plans to play in Holland at the beginning of the next year. Negotiations goes on and we will inform you about everything.

16.  If this is just a one date show, is it expensive to travel that far with your gear to perform ?

Music is what I want to deal with, this is my life and passion. Distances and the number of gigs do not matter. We want to play as much as possible.

17. What are you plans after these dates ?

I introduced the concerts plans in answer to the 15th question.
18.  Do you have any bands that you would really like to set up a tour with?

Yes Entombed, Grave, Unleashed, Dismember, Carcass.

19.  Is there anything you would like to add to this interview that I may have missed asking, and you think people should know about the band?
I would like to thank all our fans for their faith in us and the support they give us. You are awesome and magnificent! We hope to meet you soon at our gigs. Look out for reissue of "Thor" and of course the new album.?

20. One last question - any chance of doing a North American tour?
Invite us and it will be enormous joy to come and play for our fans in North America!

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview with us here at Metaltitans. We wish you much success in your career.

Rita, I also would like to thank you for your interest in Hazael. Thank you for the conversation. It was a great pleasure to answer your interesting questions!