TOM GABRIEL FISCHER Is 'Happy' With Public Perception Of CELTIC FROST Within Extreme Metal History
November 26, 2022
In a new interview with Robert Cavuoto of Metal Rules, former HELLHAMMER/CELTIC FROST and current TRIPTYKON singer, guitarist and main songwriter Tom Gabriel Fischer (a.k.a. Tom Gabriel Warrior) was asked if he is content with the public's perception of CELTIC FROST within extreme metal history. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "That's a difficult question. I think we were quite blessed and we feel very honored that there is a public perception of the band. And of course, when you write music, when you rehearse and record this music, you have your opinion about every song and you have your own picture of what it is. But it's also good if you don't describe this to the audience because music is something that's supposed to create images in everybody's head. Each listener should have their individual visions and feelings when they listen to the music. So, yeah, it goes both ways. I'm happy the way it is."
Next July, Fischer will stage "A Tom Gabriel Warrior Trilogy", a three-day series of headline performances which will celebrate his life and work. This trilogy of performances at the Time To Rock festival in Knislinge, Sweden is a one-of-a-kind event and will give the fans the chance to hear the songs of HELLHAMMER and CELTIC FROST performed live, as well as those of TRIPTYKON, which will close this triple celebration of Tom's career.
Speaking to Meltdown of Detroit's WRIF radio station about how "A Tom Gabriel Warrior Trilogy" came about, Tom said: "This was actually the idea of the festival. They approached us with this. And it's something I don't take for granted, and it's not something I do every day. But, of course, it's also something very emotional. It basically encompasses my entire path as a musician. It's a gift — it'll be an artistic gift — and I'm looking forward immensely to experiencing that."
He added: "When we formed HELLHAMMER, of course we had dreams, but we were also realistic enough to think that an underground band playing extreme metal for which there was no scene at the time, we didn't think it would go anywhere. We wanted to play music, we wanted to be musicians, but we realistically thought, 'If we have a few fans, we'll be happy.' And I would have never expected to talk to you 41 years later about performing 40 years of music on stage in Sweden. And we're also doing it elsewhere, because some other festival has also asked us [to do it]. It's mindblowing. And, of course, behind all of this is that I was given this chance by the audience; they basically put me there. And I owe them everything."
Last December, Tom spoke about the possibility of former CELTIC FROST members playing concerts in memory of bassist Martin Eric Ain, telling Heavy Culture: "I have talked to the original drummer of CELTIC FROST, Reed St. Mark, who lives in America. He's still one of my best friends. And we've talked about maybe doing one or two CELTIC FROST tribute shows in memory [of] Martin Ain. We haven't really finalized these plans, but maybe we'll do that one day, that we'll play with just ex-CELTIC FROST members who were in CELTIC FROST at the time and maybe play a full CELTIC FROST set that includes all the eras of CELTIC FROST and maybe play one or two festivals and also record it as a memorial to Martin Eric Ain."
Fischer, who played with Ain in both HELLHAMMER and CELTIC FROST, added: "We all think you cannot reform CELTIC FROST ever without Martin but we could maybe do one or two memorial shows for him."
After Fischer's comments were published on BLABBERMOUTH.NET, he took to his personal Facebook page to reiterate that the aforementioned hypothetical concerts would only consist of "former members of CELTIC FROST" gathering to play some of the band's "more significant songs onstage" and that it would not constitute a reunion.
"There will never be a 'CELTIC FROST comeback'," he clarified. "With my departure from the band in 2008 and Martin Eric Ain's death in 2017, CELTIC FROST are, and will forever remain, history. What * might * happen one day is that former members of CELTIC FROST (myself included) might gather to play some of CELTIC FROST's more significant songs onstage, as a sincere tribute to Martin. Should this ever happen, it would not be a permanent project, nor would it be 'CELTIC FROST', in spite of the fact that it would only comprise of CELTIC FROST alumni. It would simply be a means to pay deference, perhaps for one or two concerts, to the deceased co-founder of the band. Will it ever happen? Only Satan knows right now."
Ain died in October 2017 after suffering a heart attack at the age of 50.
CELTIC FROST reformed in 2001 and released its comeback album "Monotheist" via Century Media/Prowling Death in 2006. The band broke up in 2008, with Fischer going on to form TRIPTYKON.
Six years ago, Fischer told DCHeavyMetal.com that "CELTIC FROST would have existed for many more albums" had "certain people's grand designs on their own fame and certain egotistical stunts" not "interfered with that." He added that "the band became so unworkable" that his "only option" was "leaving it." At the time, Tom said that a CELTIC FROST reunion was "impossible" because he didn't want to set himself up for yet another "gargantuan disappointment."
In a 2011 interview with BigMusicGeek.com, Tom said that CELTIC FROST was "much more than just a band" to him. "It was my life, my ideology and pretty much represented my entire being," he said. "Of course, I didn't want to see it destroyed again, so despite having all the inside information, I tried to disrupt its destruction and probably stayed too long even though it was fairly obvious that I couldn't face the band." He went on to say that he blamed "the final drummer of CELTIC FROST for the group's 2008 split, explaining that said musician's "ego [ran] freely until there was really nothing left of the band."
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