David E. Gehlke of Blistering.com recently conducted an interview with TRIPTYKON/ex-CELTIC FROST mainman Tom G. Warrior. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.
Blistering.com: Are you still struggling with distancing yourself from CELTIC FROST?
Warrior: How couldn't I? I was the main songwriter and I basically formed the band with Martin. From 1984 and even when the band didn't exist, CELTIC FROST was the center of my life. You cannot flick the switch and that's the past. I've been able to put the initial turmoil behind with my work with TRIPTYKON. On the other hand, a part of me will never be able to get over CELTIC FROST. It's more about the way we lost CELTIC FROST. If it would have been a decision by all of us if the band had run its course, it would have been much easier to bail. The way it fell apart, it's a very bitter ending.
Blistering.com: So say the band had lasted through the '90s, how would have it sounded?
Warrior: I have a very clear idea because we were working on a lot of things. I'm not so sure it would have been a good path. We were really possessed by being experimental and "Into the Pandemonium" had given us the courage to go as far as we wanted to go and in hindsight, I don't think it was a good thing. I look at that now with the benefit of age and a little bit more life experience, I think the strength of CELTIC FROST was the darkness and heaviness. At times we went so far with our experiments and radicalism that we lost of darkness and heaviness. I think it would have been difficult to consume an overly experimental CELTIC FROST now. I don't know how these albums would have aged. If you look at an album like "Vanity/Nemesis", which at the time go fantastic reviews, it's basically an ordinary metal album. It's a straightforward metal album. For a dark CELTIC FROST album, it has aged really badly. If you listen to "Morbid Tales" or "To Mega Therion", they have aged much better. If we recorded further albums after "Vanity/Nemesis", they would have aged badly too. We simply weren't in the proper frame of mind for CELTIC FROST. If I wouldn't have been so extremely consumed with CELTIC FROST at that stage in my life, I should have dissolved the band much sooner. I waited too long because I could not imagine my life without CELTIC FROST. I'm saying all of that with the benefit with years of analysis and discussions with Martin.
Blistering.com: Perhaps just ending it after "Into the Pandemonium" would have been the way to go?
Warrior: Maybe. I think the whole path of CELTIC FROST would have been much different if we hadn't of spent 14 months fighting against our own label [Noise Records]. It was the beginning of the destruction. That 14 months where videos, tours were cancelled because we had to take legal action. At that time, our breakthrough album, "Into the Pandemonium" had been released, but we were at the very top and the very bottom at the same time. We were way too young to handle it. We didn't have strong management, didn't have the money to handle it, so it was an extremely desperate situation for us. We were way too immature to persist and better it. Anything after that, the people around us were intent on re-capturing the glory and it was never the same. We only found that again when we reformed the band several years later.
Blistering.com: Knowing what you know now and having the people you currently have, how would "Into the Pandemonium" translate today?
Warrior: It would be a boring, everyday album like a million gothic and black metal bands. When we wrote and recorded that album, it was extremely unusual to use female vocals in extreme metal. And a French horn and a violin and cellos and all of these things...operatic vocals. At that time, an album like "Into the Pandemonium" was extremely unusual. A month after its release, it did nothing, then it started picking up crazy. Nowadays, I think the album would be just a run-of-the-mill album. A lot of this is luck and we were extremely lucky to do that at that time.
Read the entire interview at Blistering.com.