Belphegor - Sons of DeSade

By Dr. Abner Mality

The Marquis de Sade was one seriously twisted dude. Anyone of the opinion that our ancestors were not capable of the sort of sickness found on today's most extreme internet sites would change their tune immediately upon reading even one chapter of de Sade's "120 Days of Sodom" of the most revolting, violent and philosophically rebellious pieces of pornography ever printed.

De Sade's influence continues today. In the metal world, his disciples are the Austrian duo Belphegor, whose latest work of warped extremity "Bondage Goat Zombie" is directly inspired by the Marquis' work. One suspects that De Sade would certainly be pleased by the visions of decadence and pain conceived by Belphegor on songs like "Justine: Soaked In Blood" (dedicated to the unfortunate heroine of "120 Days of Sodom") and "Sexdictator Lucifer".

I spoke to Belphegor mastermind Helmuth recently between bouts of depravity to discuss the link between De Sade and the band, as well as the secrets of "Bondage Goat Zombie". All prudes and those easily offended should consider themselves warned!

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: Belphegor has been touring the States recently. How has that been going for you?

HELMUTH: We did some touring for our last album "Pestapokalypse VI" and more recently in preparation for our new album, "Bondage Goat Zombie". Both times it was amazing. We like to play in the US because there's a lot of freaks at the shows and we are freaks and freaks go good together! It's amazing to play in the USA, it was always a dream for me.

WC: How do the American freaks compare with the European freaks?

H: I think any time the fans get fired up and start to bang, it's cool, it doesn't matter if its in Europe or America. I think it's the same. People who are into extreme metal are cool people so I don't think it really matters.

WC: You're probably the most well-known band from Austria. What's the scene like there, do you get support from your own country?

H: (chuckles) To be honest, I'm not really into "scenes". We have many bands here but the best bands have split up. Pungent Stench broke up a few months ago. As far as the rest go, I don't rack my brains over it. I don't have so much time to check which band is good, which is not. Austria's a pretty small country compared to the U.S.

WC: You guys are the top of the ladder there now, right?

H: I don't care about that shit. I'm here to play good music.

WC: Is Belphegor still a two-man outfit and do you intend to stay that way if it is?

H: At the moment, there are two people in the band.But we are always touring and playing shows. Last year we did about 100 shows , but we play with session players to fill other parts. For example, the drummer has played with us since 2002. He plays with us when he finds the time. He's got a job and it's not always easy for him to do that. We get another drummer if he's not available. It's not a big deal, you know. We'll do what we need to kick some ass! I do all of the art for Belphegor and I'm responsible for about 90% of the lyrics.

WC: Is Belphegor your full-time job or do you have other committments?

H: No, its been my full-time job for years now. I'm also involved with the band management as well as playing, writing and doing art. It's my life!

WC: That's a lot to do, to manage a band as well as play in it.

H: Yeah, sure!

WC: The title of your upcoming album is "Bondage Goat Zombie". What in the world is the meaning behind that title?

H: As always, the title is typical Belphegor. Bondage is about more than just sexual can be mental, religious. The goat has been a trademark of ours since 1999 and zombies to me are most of the people who walk the Earth. They are without soul. Combine those ideas and you have the title.

WC: I agree with you about the zombies. (laughter) Some people are gonna look at that title and your extreme artwork and lyrics and say, hey, these guys can't be that serious about what they do.

H: I don't care. My message to them is: fuck you, asshole!

WC: You can't get any more straightforward than that!

H: I'll put it to you like this. I'm not 20 years old! Some people like our music and many people don't like it. My message is fuck you, I'm not a preacher, I'm not here to bow down and plead "hear our music, hear our music!" Fuck you, Belphegor is not for you!

WC: Is there one message that the new album is trying to convey?

H: Not really, There's not one "message" but the album is inspired by the writings of the Marquis DeSade. It based on reality.

WC: Have you been inspired by DeSade for a long time or is he more of a recent influence?

H: He's inspired me since 1997, when I put a couple of sentences from him on the record we were doing at that time. We've always put a couple of sentences from him on the albums, but "Bondage Goat Zombie" is totally dedicated to him. He's an influence on the music, the art, everything. If you are familiar with the writings of Marquis DeSade, I'm sure you can understand what we are doing better. A lot of people don't think deeply about what DeSade was doing and what we are doing. They think, "ahh, it's about sex, it's cheap, it's about pain." Well, I say, fuck you! It's not's very authentic, we take it very seriously.

WC: You did a lot of research on the subject.

H: Yeah, sure! That's very important to me, always.

WC: Nowadays, you can get on the Internet and see torture and sleaze all over the place very easily. Do you think we've gone farther than even Marquis DeSade would have dreamed?

H: No, never. If you read the book "120 Days of Sodom" that he wrote, it is the most extreme you can go, you can't go any further than that. This was from the 17th century. It is so direct and of the best books I've read.

WC: Would you say Belphegor is at its musical peak right now or can you go further yet?

H: At the moment, I think "Bondage Goat Zombie" is our masterwork. We will see, I don't know. But at the moment, I cannot imagine that we can go further. This is true death fucking metal that sounds very demonic...none of this "la-la-la-la" shit, you know! Yeah, I definitely think this is our masterwork. I still like our old albums,too,but this is fresh, vital, with a lot of variety...I'm totally pleased with our new one. There's no filler.

WC: That puts a lot of pressure on you when it comes to the next try and beat something that's so perfect.

H: Well, if I don't have any inspiration in the future, then I will just stop with "Bondage Goat Zombie". It's that easy.

WC: Do you think Nuclear Blast will ever re-release some of your really old stuff like "The Last Supper"?

H: If they want to, then they can do it but I have some control and I don't want to do that. Maybe later this year after "Bondage Goat Zombie" has been out awhile, we can do it, but not yet.

WC: Is there any musical project outside of Belphegor that you'd like to get involved in?

H: No, not really. I'm so busy with Belphegor and so happy with the new album...all my heart and energy is with the band. I'm possessed by this shit, you know!

WC: Is it the same for your partner Serpenth?

H: Yeah, yeah, sure! He doesn't do the management, but he's totally involved with the band.

WC: Any info on upcoming Belphegor DVDs or videos?

H: We did a video for the title track from "Bondage Goat Zombie" that mixes live action and animation with goats and girls. It should be available the end of March. Check it out, it's cool!

WC: if you could ask any 3 people from any time in history to dinner, who would they be?

H: (laughter) Well, the first one would be Marquis DeSade. The second one would maybe be Jimi Hendrix. I like Hendrix a lot. The third one....oooooh. maybe some kind of actor.

WC: Somebody that's still around or a legend from the past?

H: Let's make it a girl! (laughs)

WC: What was the last CD you got just because you wanted to check it out?

H: Actually it was a compilation of Johnny Cash tunes...

WC: Johnny Cash!

H: I like his shit, you know. What's that one tune? (starts humming a melody) "I shot a man in Reno only to watch him die..."

WC: "Folsom Prison Blues", I think...

H: That's a fucking killer lyrics. He always had that "fuck you" attitude!

WC: That's right. Have you seen the T-shirt with him giving the middle finger?

H: It's amazing! It's good music to get drunk to!

WC: I'm not a big fan of country music but I do like Johnny Cash.

H: Yeah, me too. I hate country music but Johnny Cash is different.

WC: What was the last concert or gig you saw because you wanted to check it out?

H: Five days ago I saw Megadeth.

WC: How was that?

H: The band was good. I didn't hear the vocals, the mix was shit, but it didn't matter.

WC: Megadeth is a band you listen to for the guitar solos, anyway.

H: Yeah, yeah, definitely!

WC: Any Spinal Tap moments in the history of Belphegor that you'd care to share?

H: (chuckles) There was a hundred thousand of them! None fit to repeat...

WC: You can't share any of them with us?

H: No, it's too much!(laughs)

Belphegor's Official Website