According to guitarist DeathLord of Abomination and War Apocalypse – known in everyday speak as Ryan Förster – the stories about Blasphemy are all true: a member being arrested for smuggling both narcotics and his lady friend on a plane to Amsterdam, the assault of a police officer, drug dealing, days/months/years in jail… all true. At the risk of misrepresenting a band that has long been revered for their misanthropic sound and image, the conversation we had with Förster – who joined in 1999 and owns the Ross Bay Cult imprint affiliated with the band – will be presented here as it occurred. It is edited for length.
BeatRute: As a member who joined later on, what was it like entering Blasphemy?
Ryan Förster: It’s very challenging. It’s not a job I recommend for anyone. In fact, I try not to play for friends… I’ll say no, I don’t want to put these three guys in your responsibility in any way…. I must be the foundation of the band right now, personally. I talk to promoters, I get things organized and I just tell the guys, ‘Look, don’t be in jail, don’t be fucked up on September 19, cause we are playing a show in Calgary.’”
BR: People are obsessive about Blasphemy because the music is so raw, primeval, violent, and authentic. Is it possible that the band will ever record new material?
RF: For me, I’d like to see more stuff of course, but I want original members to be involved in writing. And the way they live their lives, it’s so chaotic. You might have heard stories over the years about the band, all the violence and craziness. And it’s true.
BR: Blasphemy is the embodiment of extreme.
FR: It is for the original guys. For me, I can’t live up to it. I don’t want to go to jail; I don’t want to break bones, or any of that kind of stuff. I don’t want to do hard drugs. But these guys, it’s just them. It’s natural. There was no band like this before them.
BR: What does it mean to be a black metal skinhead?
FR: It’s pretty simple: back in the ‘80s, if you were a metalhead, you had long hair. And so these guys came around and said, ‘Fuck these long hair farmers, we are going to shave our heads.’ So they all shaved their heads and said, ‘black metal skinheads,’ they have a black guy in the band. So it’s not racist skinhead; it’s just against the grain.
BR: Your merchandise is hard to obtain and bootlegged like crazy. However, it’s extremely expensive on your site, selling for $90 a hoodie and $30 a T-shirt. Why?
FR: Blasphemy merchandise is paid for by [guitarist] Caller of the Storms and the prices on the mail order are set by him. No one else in the band has a say about this. But, at the Blasphemy live shows, T-shirts and hoods can be found at a competitive price to other bands on the bill.
BR: What does war metal mean to you?
FR: I know this term is going around, and I don’t mind it because it separates us. You could say black metal and say, ‘Oh, they are talking about Dimmu Borgir, or Mayhem, that’s black metal, too.’ But if you say ‘war metal,’ at least you know it’s going to be something bestial, savage, merciless.
BR: Sorry to end with a cliché, but what will fans get out of your show?
FR: We’ll go up there and play every Blasphemy song.
Watch Blasphemy on Friday, September 19 at MacEwan Hall during Noctis 666 – Lucifer Rex.
By Sarah KitteringhamAB, Alberta