Updated: 02/03/00

Summoning was formed in late 1993 by Protector and Silenius, and remain one of the premier Black Metal bands from Austria. Their latest release, Stronghold, still uses the Tolkien themes, yet the album presents Summoning at the very height of their creative powers. We recently sent an e-mail to Silenius and asked him many questions about the mighty Summoning. Here is what was saidÖ

Highwire Daze: Where is the band from and what is the music scene like there?

Silenius: Summoning is an Austrian band. About the scene is Austria, Iím proud of the fact that most of the Austrian bands donít seem to follow trends. At least they have their own identity. Although Iím not in contact with most of them, and although not all of them fit to my personal interest, I have to state (there is an) individuality behind most of their musical work. And of course, individuality is the essence of musical creativity and success: Amestigon, Die Verbannten Kinder Evas, Dogoord, Hollenthon, Dominion and Krevzweg Ost just to mention a few.

HD: If you could describe the music of Summoning to someone who has never heard it before, what would you say?

Silenius: Summoning stands for slow motion, hypnotic, epic and bombastic soundscapes to activate the inner individual mind-worlds of the listener. Itís the opposite to all this fast, theatrical and technical Black Metal around. I think to get the essence out of our music, you have to listen to our songs on walkman while you are on a mountain trip. The combination of musical stimulation and visual attraction of wide open untouched landscapes is the perfect combination to get this special ancient feeling and to drown yourself in a daydream.

HD: How do you think Stronghold compares to the other Summoning releases.

Silenius: The main difference I would mention is, that this time we paid more attention to the guitar work, so the whole album sounds more heavy again than our two previous releases. As the guitars take over the leading role of melody lines, I think this time they fit better to the keyboard sounds. The effect is that the songs sound less hypnotic and monotonous but nevertheless they are in the typical Summoning style. Also the vocals are getting more rhythmic this time, and one song is followed only with female vocals as a kind of experiment. Only the lyrical content again is based on Tolkienís Middle Earth concept, only in a more global way Ė and not dealing with the concrete events of the saga like we did the last times. Maybe our new release, Stronghold, can appeal to a larger audience.

HD: What are some of your musical and non-musical inspirations?

Silenius: Since some years by now, I get my musical inspirations from total different musical fields like militant industrial, ritual, dark ambient, power electronics or marching songs Ė all from music that is totally the opposite to that of Summoning. All in all I think, itís no use at all to get inspiration from music similar to ours, because the link of getting inspired and copying music is close Ė maybe too closeÖ

HD: Has Summoning ever played live and do you plan to play here in the States?

Silenius: Summoning never has played live and never will do so!

HD: What do you think sets Summoning apart from other Black Metal bands?

Silenius: We donít think or analyze too much when we are creating music. We just follow our instincts and creativity and let things just flow. So the result is often a surprise for me. But thatís what I like. Creating music should have no boundaries and should not be limited. So many bands donít follow their instincts but only the wishes of their critics. They are destined to fail and thatís the difference.

HD: Did you do anything exciting to celebrate this New Yearís Eve?

Silenius: I went to sleep at nine oíclock in the evening, woke up at eight oíclock in the morning on New Yearís Day and went to the woods for some jogging training.

HD: How would you like the music of Summoning to be remembered several years from now?

Silenius: As long as people will remember, I donít care which way.

HD: Any messages for fans here in the States?

Silenius: As long as they are as cool and crazy as the ones who visited us last year, I think they are great. Up the banner!

The new Summoning album is called Stronghold, and itís available from Napalm Records.


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