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Ewigkeit - A Fog Over Ixtlan


By Dr. Abner Mality

The musical world is full of eccentric characters (big news, eh?) and one of the latest and most interesting is one James Fogerty, hereafter referred to by his nom de guerre "Mr. Fog". Mr. Fog is a refreshingly cantankerous character, full of the rapier wit of the British and without an ounce of bullshit in him. He's a bit of a hermit who has chosen to wall himself off from the musical scene today. The result? An incredible band called Ewigkeit who have just released a mind-expanding new album called "Radio Ixtlan" on the forward-thinking Earache label. Take it from the Good Doctor, you will rarely hear a better example of "space metal" than this. It's a catchy and driving example of clever songwriting combining the power of metal and industrial music with classic rock motifs.

I turned my radio frequency from Ixtlan to Britain to tune in the comments of Mr. Fog concerning this unique and highly recommended band...

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: What was the idea that drove you to create Ewigkeit? And why choose The German word for "eternity" as the name?

MR. FOG: Hi. Okay, Ewigkeit was a project I formed to do what I wanted to do. Everyone else seemed to have an agenda to sound like this or that, and I wanted to just do what I wanted even though I didn’t know what that was. I knew it wasn’t to sound like this or that. As for the name...well, when I was about 12,I thought to myself “a band should have a German name” I guess because it looks and sounds weird and also it’s pretty ‘heavy metal’ I guess.I love cliches. No , I’m not a Nazi.

WC: Did you always envision this as a one-man project or did you conceive of it as an actual band?

MF: Like I say, there was no-one else around to do original stuff with. Coming from a town of 250,000, it’s a pretty sad reflection on how people are.(Anyone from the wonderful world of Rockford can surely empathize...Dr. Mality) Also, I prefer to write by myself. Working with other people usually sucks, I just end up wanting them to fuck off and leave me to it. Creating with other people is hard...you really have to find someone whose ideas compliment your own. Most people just learn the bass/guitar/drums for a year and then just wander aimlessly around hoping that SONY will discover them… I realise that isn’t going to happen so I like to work on my own things.

WC: Will Ewigkeit ever be a band that performs live?

MF: Yes! I got some friends to help me out with that. We’ve got a gig this week, and it’ll be great to play live again (I’ve had a break from that for a while). I did do some gigs a few years back, but the line-up was short lived. Hopefully this time we’ll at least get a free trip abroad for our troubles.

WC: I didn't get lyrics with my promo, but "Radio Ixtlan" seems to have something to do with Mayan/Aztec mythology and culture. What led you to use this culture in your music?

MF: Hmm... well, if you’ve ever read any Carlos Castaneda, then yes, I guess you could say it is kind of influenced by that. It’s more that I have some beliefs which were gone over in some of his books. More to do with taking an individual path, and dedicating your life to it. Spiritual fulfillment, getting high, becoming a millionaire...whatever it is, you need some aspiration, even if it’s getting drunk at the weekend. Western society is sick, full of greed, everyone is in debt, government is corrupt, we’re blowing the shit out of 3rd world countries and thinking that we’re right… morals are being turned on their head, perception of the truth is changing, basically we’re fucking doomed. Sorry to piss on your fire…

WC: Are you a fan and enthusiast of ethnic music? I can hear several different influences. "Strange Volk" has a Celtic feel while "Journey to Ixtlan" shows a Meso-American feel. Do you think ethnic and folk music can be integrated more successfully into heavy metal than it is now?


MF: Well, ethnic music is something I’ve always liked to some degree. On 9/11, when America woke up to the fact that half the world hated it, what did everyone in music start to do ? They started using loads of Eastern music, Bhangra, middle eastern.. It’s like trying to understand the 'enemy’, or rather, the opposite to what we are. Saying that, though ,when you’ve heard music from all around the world, you start to realise that it’s all pretty much the same. I guess it’s just “human”.

WC: There's a song called "Live from Palenque 2012". If I recall mythology correctly, wasn't 2012 the year the Mayans thought the Universe would end? Is that a part of the story you're trying to tell here?

MF: 2012 ? Yes, that is a direct reference to the book “The Mayan Prophecies”. Great book...weird stuff.. 2012 is the due date for the next reversal of the Earth’s magnetic poles. “The Day After Tomorrow” kind of touched on the effects that this may provoke. Saying that, the Mayans believed in things as being cycles, so it is never the end, maybe just a rebirth. Maybe not even in the way we expect ? I thought to myself, “wouldn’t it be great to be playing a gig on the last day of all time on the top of a Pyramid in the Yucatan penninsula?”? Doesn’t everybody ?

WC: Another recurring motif is the turning of a radio dial, a series of different transmissions. I can hear NASA dialogue dealing with some sort of space mission gone wrong and a lot of Latin/Spanish dialogue. How does the radio concept fit in to the album?

MF: In the Castaneda book ‘Journey To Ixtlan’, Don Genaro describes this place as the place where he is travelling to. It is the place where he was born, the place where he is destined to return to ; It’s like 'eternity’, ‘the afterlife’ or ‘heaven’ in a metaphorical sense. I thought that it would be really interesting if we could tune into a radio station that was being broadcast to us from our final destination in the future. Perhaps it’s a terrible idea? I don’t know really...

WC: Let me come right out ask it. What exactly is "Radio Ixtlan" about?

MF: Apart from the above ? I’ll be fucked if I know. I knew once, perhaps I’ll know again, but it’s not really that straight forward. Maybe it’s just a weird title ? Maybe it’s symbolic of some great spiritual journey which we must all make to progress onto the next plane of existance. Maybe it’s a great recipe for a home-baked pie. I really don’t think I can quantify the meaning of the album ; It’s not a concept album, more an album of concepts. If you get some meaning from it, then that’s all that matters. If you get nothing from it but a load of noise, then that’s a shame, because its about lots of things. It’s about everything and nothing. (if you don’t understand that then read the Illuminatus! Trilogy -Mr. Fog). (Or perhaps a quick course in Zen will do the trick...Sensei Mality)

WC: I heard the influence from the "Dr. Who" theme in "About Time". How big a fan of the Doctor are you and are you hyped up for the new Dr. Who show that will be on next year?

MF: I hate Dr Who. The BBC should be banned for creating such shite. What happened was this: I was writing this kind of track (well, it’s an intro) and I kept thinking… “dr who…” Of course, it all became obvious after a few weeks, when I was at my mate's house getting stoned and he put on ‘Meddle’ by Pink Floyd. Oh well, shit happens…

WC: The soft, dreamy beginning of "A New Way" reminds me of old New Wave stuff like Spandau Ballet. Is that an influence on your writing?

MF: Old “New Wave” or new “Old Wave” ? I grew up listening to the radio (ixtlan?). It was a constant childhood companion. The local station was my favourite, and they always played loads of music from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s (which was then contemporary). No matter what age or style the song was in, it was always the ones with loads of melancholy that stuck in my head. I guess a lot of that 80’s synth stuff was like that... it was all English as well, as we are so good at being miserable bastards. I don’t listen to Spandau Ballet…

WC: A lot of comparisons are made to Pink Floyd. Do you agree with the Floyd comparisons or is it rather annoying?

MF: Hey, if someone wants to compare certain parts of my stuff to one of the biggest selling rock acts of all time, I don’t
have a problem. Pink Floyd are one of my favourite bands of all time and that is such a great compliment! On the other hand if someone said “hey man, your stuff really sounds like that new norwegian black metal band Nun-Fucker” then I would be totally ashamed, and would probably just give up.


WC: How do you see Ewigkeit's music advancing in the future? Will it become spacier, more ethnic, heavier, less heavier?

MF: I don’t really know. I am working on some bonus track for Earache to use for something, and I’ve done an acoustic version of Powerplant (which my mate John reckons is reminiscent of the Mamas and the Papas…) and I’m going to be doing an electronic mix of Esc. ,so I guess it depends what mood I’m in at the time of writing. It could be more melodic and trippy, it could be more Metal and guitar orientated, it could be more Electronic… I’ll stick with a safe bet and say it’ll definitely be ‘more’.

WC: I think you would make a good pairing with the band Lunaris. They are a lot more aggressive, but they share your idea of combining various influences as well as a general spacy tone. Since they are labelmates, do you think you would ever hook up with them?

MF: Depends on whether Earache want us to do that or not I guess. I’ll bear it in mind though!

WC: What's the last CD you got for your own enjoyment?

MF: Well, as I am currently launching a war against the music industry (the homepage will eventually be uploaded to www.deathtomusic.com) I don’t buy CD’s (save for totally classic albums), I tend to download tracks. I’ve downloaded a lot of Red Army Choir stuff which is quite ridiculous although very moving at the same time. Loads of music from the past is always good. Actually, can I be honest? I don’t listen to music really. I don’t know if that’s the ‘in’ thing to say or not, but it’s true. I keep up to date with what’s new and what the ‘sound’ is in mainstream music, but as far as metal goes, I haven’t heard anything I liked for so long that I decided I’d have to write what I was waiting for myself. The metal I like at the moment is some album by a band called Ewgketi or something like that. Apparently they’ve got an album coming out on Earache?

WC: What's the last show you checked out just for your own enjoyment?

MF: You mean gig right ? I AM SO NOT ROCK & ROLL! I don't go to gigs…Sorry (he says, as the concieved picture of a metal musician is smashed on the floor of reality to a deafening roar…) . The last band I saw was at the venue where we’re playing this week. They were a mainstream rock band and totally forgetable. Before that, it was Entombed at Nottingham Rock City. That was okay, but I’m not really into live stuff anymore.

WC: In your musical history, either with Ewigkeit or other bands, do you have a "Spinal Tap" moment to share with us?

MF: When you start to do the band thing... EVERYTHING is Spinal Tap. The reason that the film is so hilarious is that it’s all true. Our live drummer Joffie was recently threatened to be beaten up by “the best rapper in Whitehawk” (a 12 year old urchin who was smashing up a trailer with his friends outside our rehearsal room which is a converted toilet! No shit (excuse the pun), but I can’t think of anything really. I guess that’ll come with gigs and going on the road.

WC: Any final words?

MF: Yes. Please buy “radio ixtlan” so that we may rehearse somewhere which isn’t a converted public toilet. Cheers for reading my nonsense, and I hope you hear some.

Earache Record's Website

Ewigkeit's Official Website