As far as I am aware off; Astarte from Hellas is the only all female Black Metal band with more than one album behind them. Astarte is by far one the best all female Black Metal band on this planet. In fact; their new album "Rise From Within" is a very good Black Metal album. It speaks volumes that Astarte is taken dead serious in the Black Metal horde. We contacted Astarte through their record label Black Lotus Records for an update on their activities. All answers given by Astarte.
1. When and where was Astarte created? In which country? By whom ?? Please give us a full Biography.
We were formed in September 1995 under our first band name LLOTH and we are a Greek band. The steady members of the band are remaining the same until today. We are: KINTHIA (vocals, guitar, synths), NEMESIS (guitar, classic guitar),and TRISTESSA ( Bass , acoustic guitar and all lyrics). At the beginning we had a session drummer called PSYCHOSLAUGHTER from the Greek band INVOCATION.
In February 1997 we released our first demo-tape under the band name LLOTH and it is entitled ' Dancing in The Dark Lakes Of Evil". The demo consists of eight tracks and lasts 30 minutes. After that release we make a deal with the Greek Label "Black Lotus". So, in 1998 we decided to change our band name, from LLOTH to Astarte , and we release our debut album called " Doomed Dark Years". Then after two years we finaly made our second appearance with our second release, which is a full length album entitled " Rise from Within", which consists of eight tracks.
2. Please tell us more about the chosen band-name. What does it stand for?
Astarte in Ancient Phoenicia, is the great goddess of fertility, motherhood and war. She is associated with the moon and called the Mother of the Universe, giver of all life on Earth. She is ruler of all spirits of the dead, who lived in bodies of light that were representing the stars. She is very popular and she is worshiped in several places under different names like, ISIS and HATHOR of Egypt, KALI of India and APHRODITE and DEMETER of Greece. For us Astarte is the Powerful woman Origin.
3. Please tell us more about the demo " Dancing in the Dark Lakes Of Evil".
As I said in the introduction, our demo it is a full work recorded in the studio five. It consists of eight full tracks, it is still available only from us. It is recorded with our first drummer Psychoslaughter and it is a Pure Extremely fast and aggressive material! Of course there is a six-minute track in the vein of Mortiis melodies and general it has several extreme Black Metal ideas! Until now it has take only positive comments from magazines and fans!
4. Please tell us more about the first album "Doomed Dark Years".
Our debut album it is a Pure Holocaust of Melodic and aggressive music. This is how I feel about it! It has 8 tracks and lasts around 50 minutes! It has also a tree part concept story called "Thorns of Charon". It is a story dedicated to the Goddess Astarte. This is enough to describe our debut album. For us it will be always a True Black Metal Material!
5. Please give us a presentation of "Rise From Within" The recording, lyrics, the concept..the full story!!!
Lyrically talking, there is a concept story where my narration deals will two friends, who separate their futures and they try to gather experiences and to make self-identification. To find out their powers and where do they belong. So, the one becomes server of Good and the other follows the Dark side. The meanings of 'good and evil' are too general in my concept and the chronological period of that wondering is not specified. Each one of us can translate it according to our beliefs. So, I describe all that experience and I end my story to the following event. A strange and uncontrolled power blows everything. The 'Bad' one becomes 'Good' and vice versa.
The message is that Good and Evil are both superior powers and human will serve and fight for them. The evolutions, revolutions and history are part of them. Inside Evil there is always the existence of Good. I talk about the power of friendship, love and hate, war and piece, loneliness and happiness, about the human powers and independence. It is a personal text because I analyze my personal perception towards the everyday threats and my attraction to the human powers.
The rest tracks deal with issues like The myth of Atlantis, The cosmic theory of Law and Justice and about the war between the Nations, general reference to the destruction of Nature and the tendency of human for total destruction.
Talking about music, the whole album it is a mix of Black-Death and Thrash elements! There is always a melancholic atmosphere and at the same time aggressiveness. It has nine tracks placed in a harmonic sequence that follows the lyrical part.
6. How would you compare your new album with the previous releases?
I believe that it is more atmospheric and it reaches out more feelings! Atmospheric does not mean that it is slower than our debut , but it means that we have work for it very hard and we have put parts of our personalities and our beliefs with a more vivid way! All of our materials represents our feelings and our mood , but in our second album we have found the appropriate way to reach it out! So, I would compare it according to the vividness of the feeling and according to our experience!
7. What is the concept of your music?
Every time we release a new material it is adapted to the mood that we have the specific time period! We always compose according to our mood! This is our motivation and this is our way to escape! Our practical music concept is to produce our beloved music, which is B.M, to mix the most extreme speeds and melodies following our personal music way and to satisfy our selves by listen to the output of all those motivations! Creating Music is self-satisfaction!
8. After the release of "Rise from Within", have you done any tours, festivals, gigs etc.etc?
Actually, until today we have never play nowhere any live or gig or whatever! There are so many obligations that we never find the free time to prepare ourselves for extra rehearsals! We are making our degree studies and we are working and of course for the band we already spend a lot of our free time ! So, you can imagine that it is very hard for us to make tours and the likes! We will keep on existing without lives ! We have not problem with that!
9. Astarte is an all female band ( I guess you are pretty surprised that we did not get into this theme before question nine!!!) Does your sex create any problems or any advantages for your band? Does females has any special view points on the Black Metal/Satanic/Anti-Christian thing which males does not have?
Well, about the disadvantages, to say the truth in our age the strange things are those that attract the audience's attention! So, I think that our sex can never become an obstacle for us! We have make people to respect us first for our music and then for any other reason that they like!!!!!!! There will always be some Black ships around that will sabotage our band, but we never pay attention to this minorities! We always respect everybody's opinions, positive and negative ones, but we do not care about prejudiced people! They have the problem and not we! I think that Mettalers are very open mind persons and they have accepted the women participation in the scene! So, the advantages are too many for us and we realize that everyday through our communication!
About the second part of the question I have to say that I cannot give the whole answer because I am not the appropriate person! My band never deals with Satanic or Anti-Christian THINGS! Black Metal for us has too many different directions and we like to refer to million other things! We do not Belong To Any Christian or anti-Christian side! We just do not like to engage music with such personal issues! I still can say the females cannot have any special viewpoint over those issues! It depends on how we feel, we act, and we reflect to others all that inner power and belief! It is all a matter of strength and power!!!!!
10. Is there a lot of sexism in the Black Metal business/scene\?? What is your view on bands like Rock Bitch?
The classic answer is! Everybody can act as he or she likes in the BED!~Rock Bithes are a realy Great musicians! I really like them but they do not respect their bodies! You can just imagine how they will be after a few years from now! SHIT! And this word will be their future fear! Bioligicaly speaking! You know what I mean!!!!!
11.What is your future plans?
We will start rehearsing our new ideas and when we will feel ready we will enter In the studio for our third album!!!!
11. Where can Astarte be reached? Any mail order list?
You can find our album from Many order lists and the most easy one is Nuclear Blast. I say this because in each country there are several distributors and we do not know all the label's names! There are also many order lists into internet sites the you can visit! Finaly you can write to us in order to have our albums and demo! Our e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, you are welcome here!
12. Is there anything you want to add to this interview?
We want to say a big Hail To all those who has really believe in us!
All our dark wishes to your zine and to your support! Thanx our readers! We never Rip-off!!!