Celtic Frost is remembered as one of the most important bands in extreme and experimental music during the ’80s, in part due to their strong influence on the development of several varieties of extreme metal.
In a recent interview with Tom G. Warrior, former Celtic Frost and Hellhammer frontman and current Triptykon leader, with Bloodstock TV, Warrior spoke about the motivation to play some Celtic Frost classics on a live show: “You have to understand that Celtic Frost is constantly a part of my life and for me it’s not an abstract thing to look at it, it’s always a part of my thinking as a musician. I owe everything to Celtic Frost. I wrote all these songs and they’re always part of my life.”
“We played various of the Celtic Frost‘s songs over the years with Triptykon and I was actually always thinking about: ‘One day we’ll do a concert with just Celtic Frost‘s songs’ But I was going to do it maybe after the third album or so, but then a promoter came to us with the idea, and he asked ‘Would you be up for playing the very early Celtic Frost material on stage?'”
“It caught us by surprise, and we discussed it in detail, with Triptykon. I wanted to be respectful, and I told the other guys: ‘Look this is Triptykon we have our own music, our own identity I don’t want to force this on you’ And everybody said: ‘Look we are here because of Celtic Frost, we’re all Celtic fans, that’s why we’re in Triptykon‘, So when I had the feeling everybody was artistically on deck for this, we said yes, and it turned out to be amazing. It was a lot of fun, and I mean just the reaction from just all over the world. People just kind of so excited about it, it’s like a time travel for me.”
“For me dealing with these songs in detail like, listening back to them, rehearsing them, in detail, it’s like a film in some cases. Kind of rank up a lot of memories that of course I mean yeah, it was a very unique and intense time, we had a very young full testosterone, we wanted to prove ourselves, and a lot of memories come back of course. It’s actually a huge privilege to be here 40 some years later and be granted to play these songs. I didn’t think that would ever happen when I wrote these songs in ’84 or so it’s a huge privilege, and I owe it all to the audience.”
Regarding the box set that brings together the recordings of Celtic Frost from 1984 to 1987 from October of last year, Warrior mentioned: “It blew my mind was when I first saw the Dance Macabre box set. It’s one of the finest box sets I think I’ve ever seen, it’s just beyond impressive in every little tiny detail, and I know that um obviously miles and BMG works extremely hard on this… you know I’m a fan, I’m a lifelong music fan and I have tons of boxes by other bands at my home, Black Sabbath and everything and I always felt that if you get a box like that, it’s like being knighted as a musician.”
When he was asked about the lack of mystique nowadays when people discover music, especially underground music, since “cassette trading” is a thing of the past, Gabriel responded: “That’s a very difficult topic, if I start to embellish all of that it makes me sound like a dinosaur. The thing is young fans of today have grown up into a completely different world and they probably won’t understand what we are even talking about and that’s not meant to be disrespectful it’s just a different world. But I agree with you the it was magical. Tape trading was one of the main reasons that I’m even here today yeah, and of course you had to prove that you’re a fanatic, you had to to drive to record stores in other cities to see if they had one single record that they imported, or you had to find the right addresses for tape traders, you had to really put an effort into discovering music and you had to show that you really mean it. It wasn’t just a click away.”
“But as I say, if I say that, it sounds like I’m a dinosaur because having music by click is of course also fantastic I wish we had that at the time. There’s good things and bad things about both approaches, but yeah the magic of course the mystique is lacking and that’s… I lament that of course.”
We can all agree that every period has its pros and cons. We may not have cassettes, we may not drive to far cities looking for the right address to get the music we like anymore but the music we do have, spreads faster, and is easier to share and enjoy in company of others, even if “others” are one video-call away.
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