Obelyskkh | Interview with Stuart West

Merely a few months following the release of their acclaimed second album ‘‘White Lightnin’, Germans psychedelic doomsters Obelyskkh
are back with an amazing new effort entitled ‘Hymn to Pan’, which our very own Matt Hinch described as “deviously lush, maliciously heavy and wholly satisfying experience in yes, psychedelic doom”.
Scratch the Surface interviewed guitarist Stuart West to talk about the inspirations behind the creation of this new effort “Hymn to Pan”. Read on...

Let’s start with the title of the new album ‘Hymn to Pan’, is there a story behind the title and why you chose to call the album that?

“First we got the song "Hymn to Pan" then the idea to choose this for the main title. Sometimes it is very hard to get a title and an artwork to match, we love Greek mythology (see also Mount Nysa) there are a lot great inspirations to use. We also found it to be a great idea for the artwork, all of us are bored of this occult retro thing like nude witches or this post rock aesthetics (cloud, mountains, mist) or arty farty stuff like this. We also found a great artist for our ideas. Please check out the work of Sebastian Feld he did a lot of amazing stuff (cover art, concert posters) for bands like YACØPSÆ , Spancer, Rwake, Lesbian, Cough"

Is there a thematic thread that runs through the album?

“Not really a storyline , but if you look at the whole picture you can find some influences of the great god pan like hedonism, decadence, the rise and fall, decay of youth.”

In some ways this is a heavier record, and certainly darker than your previous releases. Is this something that just happened organically or you wanted to craft darker, heavier songs right from the start?

“We don’t have a blueprint or a masterplan when we create songs. We are a collective with shitloads of ideas and we just love to create music and each one of us has their own influences from hip hop, noise rock to black metal. At the moment we’re writing some new material for your fourth album, and I can promise this will be different to our current album. We are a very egoistic band, we write the music for us first, then the listener.”

" ...all of us are bored of this occult retro thing like nude witches or this post rock aesthetics (cloud, mountains, mist) or arty farty stuff like this."

In your opinion what are the biggest differences between ‘Hymn To Pan’ and your previous effort ‘White Lightnin’ to you?

“Well, ‘White Lightnin’ was more rough and harsh. ‘Hymn To Pan’ has a nice flow of riffs and melodies. We put more details into the songwriting and we also had more time for the recordings and production. Everything is very organic, our engineer Andreas Naucke did a killer job with the recordings and the mix, and the mastering from Brad Boatright was the cream on the top.”

There’re a lots of samples on the record, the last song for instance, ‘Revelation: The Will To Nothingness’, is full of samples from Charles Manson’s interviews. What inspired these ideas?

“Charles Manson is not an icon or an idol for us. It is more the story behind this fallen character, the rise and fall of him and his followers.”

Is there anything in particular you hope a listener would take away from listening to ‘Hymn to Pan’?

"Sixty minutes escape from reality!!!
"I'm a very nonpolitical and nonintellectual lyricist. But people have so many demands on them already in their lives. I'm just trying to give them a little enjoyment and relaxation." Christopher Cross"

More info at: www.facebook.com/TheObelyskkhRitual