Andy chats with Kane of ARTISIAN


Hi Kane, thanks for taking time out to do this interview for Can you tell me how Artisian came to be?

I set the band up in 2004, I was fed up of bands falling apart due to other members, so set up a one-piece, I decided I wanted to do a raw blackened crust band, influences ranging from Darkthrone, early Gorgoroth to discharge and Varukers.

Sounds like an interesting, intense blend. This certainly shines through on your latest album Wolves in the Mist. Is it easier being a one man band than in a group of musicians?

I am a bassist, I did this in temper, frustration and out of necessity, it was a case of do it myself or don’t do it at all, waiting around on other people that would only waste your time and talk utter rubbish or be totally lacking in commitment and do not share a real desire to release albums, gig and tour as much as possible, so I force myself to do it this way from the beginning and from time to time lol!!

Makes perfect sense to me. What inspires you lyrically?

Lyrics come from my own personal experiences, issues and to be honest, I use Artisian to purge a lot of demons as well as other things, I use this band as an outlet for everything that pisses me off. I express misanthropy, my issues with how people behave, how they disrespect nature and refuse to live in line with it. how the ignorance of mankind is destroying the gift of the earth we have been given, I express a lot of this in a recent documentary I did, you can see it on the band page. I also suffer from complex PTSD, so I use my writing as a way to desensitize myself to the ongoing issues I wrestle with daily.

That’s pretty much the crust punk side of things. Your music sounds like a blend of all forms of Black Metal. From bands such as Venom, Bathory and Celtic Frost (80’s era) to the Scandinavian legends Dark Throne, Immortal and Impaled Nazarene to name a few. One of the interesting things I found whilst reviewing the album was, that, you don’t go balls out and blast all the way.

I think that’s a fair comment. I did aim, when I put this together, and still do now, try to keep the band as retro for me as possible, the fact I do this on my own, I kinda have the full vision of a complete work before I write it,
so the punk style drumming is there to keep the vibe but also.. I love my blasts but sometimes 16 notes will do better than just fitting in the 32 cause you can.
I also think a drummer battering the HELL out a kit has more feeling than someone wobbling away with triggers at 280 bmp, it gets all a bit thin and loses the impact after a while. this is my opinion, this is what I feel, this is what I want to hear from this project, I’m in other bands that hell blast for Satan!! and it’s very much required. in Artisian, especially in this album, it’s not.

I find it a little tedious that most black metal bands try and play as fast as possible with no real rhyme or reason for it. I find it better when an album has more variety in tempos than just one speed. Maybe this is why the main originators are so popular then and now.

I agree. Fenris said, in an interview, it was about a feeling, you have to take this on board, Black Metal, really is about a feeling, its about expressing emotion, not being some techy geek, going as fast as you can, there are other genres for that, its about a particular vibe and feel.

You mentioned the word wrestling earlier. Is this another way for you to express yourself or is it a form of energy release?

I’d say it is an energy release too, as well as expression, its a lot of things tbh
yeah and I get where you are coming from, I was pleasantly surprised when I read your review, you actually got what the hell I was doing, that doesn’t happen much lolol!!!

Being an old school punk, thrash, death and black metal fan I hear things clearer than most. You have toured with many top-flight black metal bands over the 13 year career of Artisian. How did the crowds react to you?

It’s funny cause I’ve toured with Gorgoroth twice and Ghaal and king got what I was doing, and told me so, but all these magazines and online experts.. really missed the point. I took solace in this and it made me careless and focus more on what I was doing. and resulted in the band going even more underground than we previously were for a few years.
The first time we toured with Marduk and then Gorgoroth, I hadn’t used any corpse paint, the people were ok, but when we toured with them both on two further tours, we used corpse paint, and people jumped a lot higher and bought a lot more merch, People came and said,

“oh i get what you do now”
I said “thank you”

However, it was still the same lineup, same set and same songs which I found funny but on the whole we were really well received. Nick Barker came to us after the 2nd Gorgoroth tour and said how much we had come on, in a year, I was really taken aback and was really happy that someone like him thought this of us.

Ah, I See. What does the live version consist of? Is it a full band? Nick Barker certainly is a household name in most metal genres. Very nice bloke too. I suppose that’s a massive compliment coming from him.

You see people go ape shit at the front, so its all good, I’m there to entertain and make people forget their problems that we all share and to have a good time, and hopefully they will really connect, its a specialized thing that deals with some really hard-line stuff, so it’s really not for everyone, I don’t expect everyone to get it. even if they are into black metal, but even then black metal in itself has become a very broad genre.
9/10 gig I have live drums to get the power across, Most of them we are a 3 piece, but once in a while its great to do the shows as a one-piece to really really reflect the vibe of the scene and to do it as one is a very special experience.
It was a massive compliment, and from Gaahl and king too. it was quite something. the bassist from Marduk and the old drummer Lars has some nice stuff to say about us too. so have many people over the years to be fair. plenty critiques.. but who cares,,, it’s not for them

Cool. I once managed an Australian band who were just two guitarists and a singer. Somehow it didn’t go over too well live. I guess with black metal or, to be more precise Artisian have the energy delivered by you alone.

Yes they do, it seems to have worked, it’s not for everyone to do bands like this and certainly not as a one-piece, but I had an incredible amount of rage to express, so maybe that helped, I don’t know.

Quite possibly. How do you see the black metal genre at present? Is it as strong as the ’80s or ’90s?

No idea, I keep clear of it tbh mate, there is a lot of keyboard warriors slagging off bands of all levels and haven’t been to a gig in the last 12 years, if they ever got out their parents house, but what I do know is that when I have toured with decent bands, the people come, all kinds of people, when we do our own shows ( not as many) people still come and enjoy the show, they busy shirts, they buy CDs, they talk about music, they drink beer with us and have a damn good time and fuck the world outside that pisses them off, that for me is the scene, it’s only as good as the band plays, as good as the people that attend, and as good as the show has been promoted ( talk for another day perhaps lol) but that’s how I rate it now.
I think it has broadened massively, I think you have some incredibly raw bands rawer than ever before, and massive symphonic stuff that you never had before, its a huge genre, which is good from the angle that people can really express what black metal means to them, I don’t think all bands considered black metal, actually are, it confuses me from time to time, but if that what people wanna call it, fine, but i think it has developed in all ways from the ’80s and ’90s, very much so, however.. I must say…. the raw end is where it is at for me and always will be.
Most of the black metal bands I am into and get into are unsigned, they do 13 tapes or 10 CDs, that’s what I listen too.

I guess genre come and go then history repeats itself again. It seems that most of the bands from the 90’s have disappeared with a few big names either changing their style or leaving the genre all together. At the end of the day metal heads listen to what they like regardless of what label it has been given. I get confused myself as to what genre some bands are meant to be. But, as you say it has broadened its horizons and had more appeal to more fans than before. The underground scene is still huge. I have lost count how many bands I’ve reviews in the past that no one had heard of.

You will never see a lot of great bands live cause the ”larger” bands will squeeze them out, they won’t get gigs, cause of scenery promoters on the scene 5 mins, they won’t get tours, and won’t get acknowledged by the ”lol! cough, cough metal press” cause they aren’t on a label paying for ads in their mag, so they will be ignored or get a rotten review, but they are still there doing their thing, a lot of the ‘bigger’ bands do damage the scene and genre cause they start to pull a few people then demand more money, or demand what they had before they started to shrivel up, I was offered 2 weeks tour with a large name this week, they asked us to pay 300 Euro per gig and had to drive behind their tour bus full of empty bunks, pay hotels etc which is fine but the 300 Euro a gig buy is a joke, a lot of band lose their head, and the ego disappears up their arse, the agent pander to their egos when they aren’t actually big enough to demand what they want and can’t actually cover their own costs, so they try to shaft bands lower in the food chain to cover their financial shortfall, rather then realising, they are not Bon Jovi, never will be and that they need to support they scene and genre they are part of my helping the new blood, but this doesn’t really happen. however… there are some really good promoters with integrity that aren’t part of the machine and will put on good underground black metal shows and do a great job, this is what you need to look fuck, fuck the fake shit! I have seen this going on for years and happy to blow it open

I know about the pay to your BS. Seems sad that bands that were also once at the same stage in their career should want paying for taking bands with them. Even Iron Maiden don’t charge their opening acts to tour with them. On another note, I actually prefer to hear and review unsigned bands than the big named bands that have thousands of magazine reviews, and actually don’t read what’s being written about them anyway. I’d rather give my time to an act striving to make some headway in their career.

Exactly, and that is what actual black metal is about, it’s like crust and punk etc.. It’s about a guy booking a venue, getting in bands he likes and giving them fuel money from the tickets sales, everyone having a great night….. the end. Some of the bigger acts have forgotten this, but also, some of the bigger acts, were never actually small, or 3 or of 5 members joined when they had a large deal and were making money.

Very true and exactly! The big punk bands don’t need any exposure, but there is so much talent out there begging to be noticed. So what’s next on the agenda for Artisian?

I just go 6 months to 6 month plan at a time to be honest, I have just done the 8th studio album i have an EP recorded and looking at doing a split release with someone, well,,, anyone interested. I have some shows coming up, one man and full band, I will talk to my booking agent and see if he has any good tours coming up, that I don’t need to sell a kidney to do and with a headliner that’s not some dried-up old piece of pizza living on one album they did 20 years ago, so… how knows let see what happens, I’ll keep going, doing shows, enjoying what I do and playing black metal the way I do, they want and how I want. cause that’s what black metal is, its not complex, it’s not BS its just our way of doing rock n roll or punk and not caring and loving what we do

That’s the best, and most effective plan I’ve heard in years. If only others would take note of this! Anyway, it’s been a pleasure talking to you. I wish you all the best in your career. Hopefully, I’ll be lucky enough to review your next release also.

I really appreciate you giving us your time, and really enjoyed the interview, please tell anyone to drop us a line and say hello and follow the band page, we have a video blog talking about black metal and what we do posted regularly, we do lots of limited and special edition releases so please check us out on thank you all for the ongoing support!