Origin: Huesca, Aragon, Spain
Formed in: 1995
Genre: Black Metal
Label: Negra Nit Distro
Spain’s OUIJA! An institution and one of the proud Spanish black metal scene’s seminal bands. Since 1995, they’ve carved into the hearts of those fortunate enough to have experienced their music the deepest of blasphemies through their message of rebellion and self-discovery. Sages in their knowledge of most things adversarial and real life champions of what true black metal has always and should always stand for. During my latest interview, Midgard of OUIJA gives us some history of the band, some insight into the current scene, a look into his own spiritual beliefs. Thoughts on the overall state of humanity and an in-depth rundown of the concept/creative process behind OUIJA’s latest album, “Fathomless Hysteros”. Eyes on the board… The spirits are calling…
MI: Hails and welcome. Ouija formed in Spain in 1995 during the bridge between the second wave and the new wave of black metal. How did you form the band, and how would you describe the Spanish scene back then?
OUIJA was born after the dissolution of LEVIAL, a band that played Death Metal. Let me tell you that the change from making Death Metal to Black Metal was something very gradual and natural so to speak. At that time, the first wave of Black Metal was breaking into the entire world scene, and we were not oblivious to that new trend that was being generated, and little by little we delved into those sounds and created OUIJA. The sensations we felt in this stage of changes, as I have already said, were very gradual since we did not make Black from the beginning, we made a fusion between Black and Death, which later would lead to Black. From that time of transition, we can say that we have a demo recorded live in the rehearsal room, which we will surely release very soon. And about the memory I have of our first stage with OUIJA, we were young people of 20 years old, we enjoyed everything to the fullest since everything was new then. What am I going to tell you; times of endless madness… Times very different from today’s times. In my opinion, more authentic than now, but each era has its pros and cons.
MI: Ouija is a unique and an interesting choice for a band name. As someone who’s experienced the paranormal, I can’t help but wonder if it was inspired by your experiences with the unknown.
OUIJA was a name that the whole band liked at that time and I still remember it: we were all gathered in the rehearsal room looking for a name for the band and OUIJA was chosen by majority. It has a sonority that seduces and at the same time infringes respect. I like to see the scared and terrified faces that people make when they ask you what your band is called. This normally happens with people who have nothing to do with Extreme Metal. I can see what they think on their faces – these are crazy people. It is a name with a lot of punch, so to speak, which is what we were looking for.
And about the second question, I can tell you that I believe in contact through the spirit board. What’s more, I practice that contact. It is the communicating vessel between this dimension and another, of which we know nothing. The important thing is to channel and find that strength that is inside you, which is what opens the gate to be able to interact with the other side. If you have control over this inner energy, everything flows and the summoning is always answered.
MI: Much of your lyrics are blasphemous in nature, particularly with 2013’s “Ave Voluptatis Carnis”. The cover art alone for this album is legendary in my opinion (Christ being raped by daemonic seductresses). What is it about Christendom and their little savior that inspired you to create this album?
OUIJA’s lyrics will always be loaded with a total anti-Christian spirit. It is our nature to hate everything established, and even more so such miserable and vile dogmas as those given by the Christian church can be. Although, I have to say that we hate all religions equally because they are all destructive and the only thing they want to do is enslave us with their false morality and submit us with their doctrines. Regarding whether that album is our most blasphemous piece, I would say that in the lyrics, all our works follow the same line. If I said the cover is the most sacrilegious and explicit we have ever had, I was the one who gave the idea of this orgy to Igor Mugerza who captured this with complete mastery and giving it that sublime touch of perversion that we were looking for said cover.
MI: Aside from blasphemy, Satanism has been of obvious influence to the band. There are many orders whose ideas of what Satanism stands for vary considerably. For some, His Infernal Majesty is but a figurehead for atheism. Others practice theistic or gnostic forms of Satanism through ritual and magick. How has Satanism been of influence to Ouija?
You can call it Satanism or with a thousand names already given. It does not matter what name you give to it. The important thing is the Rebellion, not being a servant, not following their path and deviating along other more abrupt ones that will lead us to knowledge. We are adversaries and rebellious beings. That is Satanism – being yourself and not slaves to our sins. There is no greater influence than disobedience.
MI: Your latest album, “Fathomless Hysteros”, is a fine piece of contemporary black metal and a specimen of how today’s BM should sound. But can you explain the album’s concept?
The concept would be to renew ourselves with the new times but continue maintaining our original spirit and express it in this way in the new album. This album, “Fathomless Hysteros”, I would say it is our most complete album. I would not say the best because the three albums are very different from each other, and it is difficult to compare them. Furthermore, the public is sovereign, and they are the ones who must judge which one of them is better. The whole band is very satisfied with the final result of this work. Our sound has matured like good wine, and that is reflected in it. I would dare to say it has the OUIJA DNA but with the freshness of the most modern and current sounds. I think we have adapted well to this current age and take the best of it and at the same time be faithful to our roots and way of understanding this music.
MI: What was the songwriting/recording process like for the latest album?
Regarding the lyrics, I can tell you that I’m who does this work, say that it follows the same wave that we have always followed. Perhaps, like everything, with the pass of time, my writing evolves, and it becomes more complex and twisted. Possibly, my lyrics today are deeper than in the past, but I think that is something very normal since as the years go by, even if your base is the same, there are things that you see and treat from another prism. I don’t mean they soften, possibly even become more extreme. However, I always say that people read my writings and draw their own conclusions, since occasionally, I write in a very metaphorical way and for me, it can mean one thing and for you another, it depends on the prism with which I am looking at it.
About the composition of the music, I can say that Map and JM101, our guitarists, are the ones who compose the music. They are responsible for this function, they merge, mix riffs and rhythms until the song is completely outlined. Once this task is done, Fulgur – our drummer – already introduces the percussion and Shogoth – the bassist. Finally, I already do the lyrical work, both in the creation of the lyrics and their assembly with the music. In short, a team effort.
MI: Do you feel like new bands are focusing too much on the early 90s scene? These homages are important to a certain degree, but too much of anything is usually not a good idea. I get promos daily for albums that are throwbacks to that era and personally, I’m bored with them.
The little like and the much is tiring. But currently there are few bands that have a marked personality. The vast majority join the fashions of the moment because it is easier to sell their product that way. Possibly, this new phenomenon that you mention will saturate the scene more than it has until the public demands another type of product and most of these bands disappear or join the next trend of the moment. As I say, in the end only the strongest will prevail.
MI: Like most black metal bands, you’ve spent your time toiling the underground, where true black metal belongs. Have you ever had mainstream aspirations for Ouija?
In the 90s when we were very young, we did have those aspirations, but they soon dissipated, since as you say, we have always been a band focused on the underground. And for reasons of life itself, we have sometimes had to slow down the band’s career, and this factor I would say is what has maintained us in this status. Perhaps twenty-five years earlier, depending on how the events would have developed, the film today would have been different. But ultimately, the important thing is that here we remain stronger than ever and faithful to our principles.
MI: There’s always been what feels like a sense of competition between different schools of BM, particularly between the Finnish and Norwegian scenes of the 90s. In your neighboring Portugal, Black metal has become a burgeoning genre, particularly over the past 15 years or so. How do you feel about the current state of the Spanish black metal scene, and would you say that there’s competition between it and Portugal’s?
There is no competition with the Portuguese scene, or at least as far as I know. It is a scene that I, personally, respect a lot, and I believe we are united by more ties of union than differentiating us. Currently, in Spain there are bands of great quality. The problem is that it always costs a lot to be accepted outside our borders. The Spanish brand is superb in many things, but not for Extreme Metal. The public prefers to listen to a shitty Norwegian band than a good band from Southern Europe or South America. Sad but true as life itself.
I am going to mention some good bands from Spain Cauldron, Balmog, Ered, Marthyrium. There are many more, but these are very fascinating to me.
MI: What does the future look like for Ouija? Any new album aspirations yet?
The future is very uncertain, and even more so in a world as compulsive as the one we live in now. We are too much a slave to the system and headless puppets towards an imminent drift. But despite all this, our future plans are to prepare for important festivals and also prepare new songs for a new EP. It would be the next project.
MI: Do you have a message for the horde?
To end the interview, I am going to leave a truly combative message to the Black Horde, saying that we are under a new change in the world order and humanity, with each passing day, is more stupid, cowardly and submissive. They are hanging a yoke around our necks so that we live like androids; totally submitted to them – those f~cking vermin hidden under the great elitist spheres that want to enslave us – turning us into puppets of the system manipulated and controlled by their dirty hands. Black Metal has always been music that has fought against all this; breaking everything established like its damned and infamous doctrines. Take off the blindfold and start seeing the sh’t they would like to feed us and poison us with. Start thinking for yourself and don’t let them think for you and mark your path. It is better to be a hungry and free wolf than a fed and subdued lamb.
Thanks so much for the interview.
A special thank you to Midgard and OUIJA.
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