Establishing a new Black Metal event in Germany in times of stagnating profitabilty and misunderstood political correctness on the one hand and a surplus of bands and a huge competition on the other, is indeed a daring venture. Despite all odds, Lior Delman and Jens Drößler are doing exactly this. With „Hole In The Sun“ they want to establish a new ritual, that focusses on Black, Death, Doom as well as on Psychedelic and Occult Rock, starting with the first ritual in February. Time for Undergrounded to ask them about their plans!
Jens: Hi there!
UG: So tell us about "Hole in The Sun"!
Lior: “Hole In The Sun” is the name we chose to represent us as promoters, focusing on bringing authentic bands to perform at our events. We felt the need to give the underground scene in the area a fair stage, knowing all the complications around it. I believe the Black and Death Metal scene in the area is alive and the need to attend shows for bands who aren’t mainstream is great, and that is what we aim to do. The competition isn't scary, the promoters in Kassel are doing a wonderful job with the bands they book and shows and events they promote. We felt like something is missing.
Jens: The goal is to provide great sound, great lighting, great drinks... so overall a great experience even for shows with bands away from the mainstream. Everybody can be successful doing a show with Metallica for example: People will come in any case. But what about the bands with a far smaller fellowship? Their fans deserve shows of a high standard too, right? I'm not saying we will do everything right from the beginning, but we strive to and what won't work as expected will be fixed the next time.
UG: This sounds like an honorable cause that suits the Underground(ed) agenda - but why Kassel?
Lior: We live, work and hangout in Kassel, it is our home. At least for me it is a new home, since I immigrated here from Tel Aviv, Israel, two years ago. I found Metalheads here who go to almost any show they can get their hands on even if it’s far from Kassel, people who listen to almost all sorts of Metal there is. Yes, it is a small scene, but passionate. Perhaps the lack of attention to the underground has kept a lot of people at home, but I know those people always attend shows outside of Kassel. I want to bring back extreme underground Metal to Kassel, I am positive it will not be overlooked. When I offered the idea to Jens, before I even gave him somewhat of a small detailed plan, he said “yes”. The scene is supportive, the people want to see interesting bands and experience high quality shows as they do outside of the city. As Jens said before, they deserve to experience that.
Jens: Because the Liber Sacer teaches us... No, nothing like that. It's where we live and it's what we know. If you're trying a new formula you need at least some constants to make it work. It's also pretty much the middle of Germany, easy to get there. It's not an unimportant detail if you want everybody to feel welcome.
UG: Constants to work with and experience is actually an important point! Lior, you already got some touring and bandmanaging experience as I understood?
Lior: Yes, I was very lucky to work with some big bands in the Metal/Black Metal scene and even Punk Rock as a FOH sound engineer and tour manager. My job brings me to different cities, venues and festivals all over Europe and it's a bit disappointing to come back to Kassel and see that everything is so backwarded, in the technical aspect. Jens and I work together occasionally, he is a gifted sound engineer and this issue of technical problems in venues here disturbs us a lot, to a point of anger. I guess that is also one of the reasons that pushed us to do Hole In The Sun.
UG: So let's sum up: You feel there is a lack of quality as well as a dedicated underground event(s) around Kassel right? What are your goals for the first edition of Hole In The Sun and how did you chose the bands?
Lior: The lack of events is not the word I would use, there are shows going on here and the people who do them do a good job but they are slaves to the venues state and conditions. As far as underground shows go, it is rather dull at the moment. Hopefully, perhaps, in the near future this will change. When I started looking for bands to preform here I wanted to bring something special, authentic Black Metal bands. We had a certain budget and we had to go by it, so that narrowed down a lot of options. We booked Dysangelium because in my opinion they are an amazing band and very promising. Their material is unique and honest. Crimson Moon is also an exceptional band since they keep that sound and feeling of the “old school” vibe, yet with an interesting twist. I first heard Mortuus Umbra from Israel, ironically, after I moved to Germany, so I never had a chance to see them live. Their music is special and very religious in that aspect. And we chose KVR as an opening act because of their intriguing music and we feel it is really important to give young and new bands a fair chance. We hope that this evening will lead to many more, bigger events and better venues. We definitely call out for the Black Metal scene in Hessen and Germany to come and support this event. Black Metal, as extreme as it is, has no place in politics. This is Satan's music and therefore it will always be a pariah. One thing is certain though, we will never book political bands and never lower our standards, we got high goals.
UG: I've already seen Crimson Moon live and they were just amazing, so I guess the billing will work out just fine - especially with your ambitious goals. You mentioned the satanistic aspect before - do you think this challenges your own view concerning your heritage?
Lior: If by heritage you mean Judaism, then no, I am not religious and do not practice Judaism, yet a lot of the topics and concepts those bands have originated in the Jewish Qabalah and Qliphoth, which deals with the "unholy" aspect of life and death. My own spiritual views and preceptions are similar as well, that's why I relate to it. I do not think my heritage has anything to do with it except of staying clear from declared NSBM bands, and with the same breath not be too quick to judge bands by the internet propaganda and keyboard warriors who clearly do not understand the nihilistic/religious approach and content, therefore marking some bands as "greyzone" and go on crusades to prevent them from playing. Sadly this happens to a lot of Black Metal bands and this hurts the international scene and Germany in particular. I do understand and support the need to keep the Black Metal scene free of NSBM because of Germany's dark history and racism and bigotry in general, but we can't eliminate the debate and fact checking of each accusation being made. We must check ourselves and not rely on what someone typed in some internet forum. In this age of free information people tend to be satisfied with whatever it is comfortable to read and understand without checking facts on their own. I do not see a place for Nazi bands in this scene or any other scene because once you combine your idiotic political views with this kind of music, it is clear that you lost the fucking plot and missed on the madness and perversion of Black Metal. We see the same happening in Oi! bands, skinhead culture originated in England as a working class rebellion in the late 60's and the music they listened to was Ska from Jamaica. Nowadays skinheads are related to Nazis, because Nazis adopted their tough and smart look and unfortunately they succeeded to penetrate the mainstream media. I guess this happens with almost any musical genre.Hole In The Svn does not support NSBM and never will, furthermore we even ban that from our productions because of the obvious reasons, so if people have any doubts, they should be rest assured that we will never give a stage to such bands.
UG: A wise guy from a Norwegian band once said: "Political extremism is a circle - And they meet on each end". So I couldn't agree more, especially when it comes to the more than idiotic approach to put political propaganda into Black Metal, what leads the whole concept of nihilistic freedom and satanism to absurdity. But back to you guys - Jens, what's your experience with the underground scene?
Jens: I have no bad experience with the scene. It's extreme music, I think most people get it all out when listening. There are always black sheep, but I wouldn't say this scene has more than average.I'm not that much involved in the scene or any other scene for that matter. My job is demanding, it's always about music, but of course it is the technical side I'm dealing with. This is my attempt to step up from the purely technical execution and contribute to the scene.
UG: What are your ideas for the next editions if it works out?
Lior: I suppose the possibilities are endless, but we will definitely do another live ritual and this time focus on Doom/Death Metal. Of course we will have to reconsider a lot of things if this event won't go as planned and there's always lessons to be learned, mistakes to fix and ways to be more efficient. It is a process and after all despite we are a new group in this area and everyone in the "business" here are keeping an eye on us, we do what we do for the scene. The money isn't great at all to say the least, but I suppose if I wanted to make real money I should have listened to my mother and be a good Jewish lawyer/doctor/accountant but this is what I chose because this is what gives me satisfaction. If people leave our event and say "oh man, that was fucking insane!" - it means we did well. For example, the venue that hosts Der Erste Ritvs is the infamous K19 which everyone knows it got technical difficulties. We solved that by bringing our own sound reinforcements and lights for a real maximum experience, this was made possible thanks to AudioTech from Kassel, another example of community support. Future plannings are always out there but I don't want to make promises I can't keep. However, if we do see a potential, who knows where it will take us and the local scene, only to bigger and better things. Kassel is the face of Nordhessen and of whole central Germany, to not host big events here will be a loss to everyone. A lot of special authentic events are happening in the Alps, in the woods of Thüringen and more, why not here where it's so much closer and easier to get to? Hole In The Svn will definitely strive for that because we want to spread this venom throughout the area. The bands we booked for Der Erste Ritvs are unique and excellent so you don't want to miss this event or the after show party that we plan. There's no magic formula here, we need the support of the people if they want to see continuity and enhance their experience and expectations - without it nothing will happen.
UG: I guess there is nothing to add here besides that we wish that this event will succeed and it gets the attention it already deserves. Thank you for your time!
Lior: Thank you for the support, we are honored to have undergrounded.de at our side like this, see you all in Kassel on February 10th!
Jens: Thank you too!
Hier geht's zum Event!