Bleak, painful and raw—that’s old school black metal, and that’s what Albuquerque’s Skarva Av Glas have been playing since the dawn of the new millennium. Other influences creep into the music, from thrash and death to punk rock, but always the core remains with the art of bleeding. The band has two CDs out, 2009’s Black Metal Bastardz and the 2010’s live CD Still @ the Launchpad.
Take Five caught up with vocalist Raven Blackfyre and guitarist/vocalist Helvete Magdalene Fatale, who shed some darkness upon the bleakest of days. Better to dwell in shadow than be exposed in the light.
Tell me the name of your band (what does it mean?) and how it represents your musical approach.
Helvete: “The name is debatable, of course. ‘Fragments of Glass,’ in this sense, it has a profound, provocative meaning with respect to those who follow the story of The True Mayhem.”
Raven: “Skärva Av Glas means ‘shards of glass’ in Swedish. The true meaning of the band name to me is about people. Humans are just like shards of glass held together with a thin wire. If anything should happen to that wire, people lose it or go off the deep end, and that is what Skärva Av Glas are about—the world going mad.”
What was it that first got you into extreme music? What one album would you say made you want to perform old-school, bloody, raw black metal?
Raven: “For me, it began at the University of New Mexico football stadium and seeing Fight and Metallica play live, with Candlebox getting booed off the stage for not being a real metal band. The album that made me love black metal is more of a band, that being Darkthrone. Their music is what black metal is truly about to this day.”
Helvete: “Haterz never tell . . . evil (laughs).”
Tell me about your CD, Black Metal Bastardz. What can fans expect to hear? Where can they get their hands on a copy?
Raven: “Black Metal Bastardz is about the evils of the U.S. Government, the Christian church, organized religion, and how people really act when you’re not looking. Skärva Av Glas fans can pick up a copy of Black Metal Bastardz at Charley’s 33s, Record Round Up, and most Hasting’s locations from Rio Rancho to Los Lunas.”
Helvete: “We would like to extend that local businesses need your help during this economic downturn, so it is in that reasoning that we extend our CD sales to local businesses. Check out some of the local Albuquerque musik stores listed above. I’m sure they have something to tame your savage beast! As far as Internet-wise, you can find us on most music download websites, including iTunes, Napster, Amazon, etc.
“We also have our live album, Still @ The Launchpad, available for download, on Mediafire.com. You can also download Fresh out of the Box Vol.2 @ Mediafire.com, as most recently we took part in the Battle of the Bands—Warped Tour Website. We were granted exclusive coverage as a band to watch, on their sampler CD, released by Frozen Aisle Magazine’s Fresh Out of the Box Vol.2, also available for download.”
How has living in New Mexico influenced you musical approach?
Raven: “I guess you could say that New Mexico . . . mostly Albuquerque, has influenced this band in a bad way, such as being black-listed from playing at venues and other bands ripping down our flyers and claiming ownership to billboards around town. We have also experienced other bands’ fans coming to our myspace or facebook to let us know we are joke. If the New Mexico musik scene wants to act like children, I’ll use that negative energy and turn to it lyrics of anger and hate.”
Helvete: “We have experienced setbacks from other bands, and some venues’ ‘head-games,” as well as stolen CDs from store shelves. But the people who attempt to stand in our way, they know who they are, and it’s too bad that they conduct business in such a pathetic manner. I just want to say that as musicians, obviously their musik doesn’t sell well or maybe they are just in the business of doing bad business, so it seems. So, my guess is they have to lower their standards for their 15 minutes of so-called fame.”
Raven: “The negative influence of bands and people just help us be better musicians. It’s all about the musik for us, and the fans that like our musik. If you don’t have that, you don’t have anything. As for other New Mexican influences, it would have to be the way our family raised us. Helvete with her family’s Spanish/Native heritage, and my family with their martial arts training and military background—these influences have really helped us to work hard every day at everything we do, no matter what it is.”
What can fans expect from Skarva Av Glas when you perform live on stage?
Helvete: “A headbangerz heaven & hell—pure darkness as in the true spirit of Samhain.”
Raven: “Filled with blood, candy, and loud music—isn’t that just what the doctor ordered?!
“We will be performing on October 10th at the Launchpad. Tickets are available from us for $8 in advance at our myspace or $10 the day of the show.”