Praznina - Interview
In the modern era of music, there are very few artists or bands within the so-called "Third Wave of Black Metal" that I really appreciate or support. Within that wave which was defined by the likes of bands such as Mgła, Uada, Plaga, Groza, Human Serpent and others, one wolf among the pack is the one-man band Praznina from Serbia. I have known the band's founder Deimos for quite a while and I've been familiar with his work since the days he started working with D. from Chaoist on their mutual project Todesfall, until Deimos started his own one-man Praznina which has a catalog of two EP's, "Podsvesno Mrtav" and "Nedostižni Zenit". The band is signed to Hammer Of Damnation label from Brazil, which earlier this year released both EPs as a compilation bundle CD called "Podsvesno Mrtav / Nedostižni Zenit". Recently, Deimos announced that Praznina's full-length debut album is in the works, whereas the mixing and mastering will be once again handled by Szabolcs Kéringer who worked on the previous two EPs. For this opportunity, I have spoken with Deimos about his artistic direction, influences on his creativity and the current status of Praznina.
Greetings Deimos! First of all, I'd like to wish you a warm welcome on behalf of the MetalBite crew.
Greetings! Thank you for this opportunity to be heard.
You have just recently announced that a Praznina debut album is in the works and that the vocal recording session has been concluded. So far what can we expect from the first album? Will you be continuing the traditional route which was established from the previously released EPs?
Indeed, the vocal recordings for the debut album are done and we are bravely moving forward into the mixing/mastering stage. Praznina's sound and atmosphere which were established with the previous EPs will remain relatively the same, that said, there will be a plethora of new musical elements that the listeners can expect, for instance more dynamic vocals, fuller production, improved songwriting/ arrangements and considering the length of an album opposed to an EP, much more elaborate and complex ideas. I am certain that fans of the first two releases will enjoy the album very much.
Hammer Of Damnation seems to have done a considerably great job taking you under their wing, which resulted in a great deal of merchandise from band shirts to releasing both your EPs into a one single bundle titled "Podsvesno Mrtav / Nedostižni Zenit". Have the sales so far been successful to convince them to keep the partnership going?
Certainly, HOD has fulfilled everything that was agreed upon and has been consistently a pleasure to work with. I believe the sales are doing great, especially in South America, that said even though the debut album is getting close to completion I have not contacted them yet about the release as I would like to get everything done before doing so, getting the final master version, booklet art, merch design etc…
If I recall this correctly, you were signed to Hammer Of Damnation sometime after the release of your second EP "Nedostižni Zenit", but what I'd like to know is when did you get in contact with them? Have they immediately offered you a record deal?
Just after I released Nedostižni Zenith which was in June 2022 I received an email from HOD. As you can probably imagine, when you release music into the world your inbox will be bombarded with an abundance of offers from different PR agencies, promotional websites, even some very sketchy record labels all offering the best of the best for your music, for a fee of course. In the sea of these charlatans, I noticed a message from HOD which did not read like an automated bot-written email. After exchanging a few mails with them they offered me a rerelease of the two EPs on one slipcase CD, as well as some T-Shirts and promotional work including interviews, reviews, radio air on some South American metal stations and everything else that comes with it. They also offered me a similar deal but much greater in volume if I decide to release the debut album under their banner which looks like the best way to go at this moment.
The band name Praznina translates to "emptiness", which in a way describes the overall feeling that you get when listening to the songs from both EPs. Was there any specific reason why you settled to use this as the band's name?
Considering that from the get go I wanted to do a project where I would write lyrics in Serbian and subjectively not being a fan of bands having a language disconnect between the band name and songs as well as bands doing an album with half of the songs in English and half in their mother tongue the most logical step was to have a name in Serbian. I also believe that a band should have a unique name, that is if you search for the band online for instance there won't be ten other bands with the same name, and lo and behold Praznina was not taken.
I'd like to ask you about your pseudonym "Deimos". Was it taken from the Greek deity Deimos and if so, is there any reason why you're associating yourself with this name?
You are correct and the reason behind it is that the Hellenic deity Deimos served to represent the dread and terror to those before the battle began, the feeling of the colossal uncertainty gnawing on the reason of every soldier who does not know if the next second could lead to their demise, the very same sentiment Man feels when faced with a nullifying horror he cannot logically cogitate.
How did your musical journey begin exactly? Have you played in any other bands before you started working together with D. from Chaoist for your project Todesfall and then later founded Praznina?
I believe my journey as a musician started in a similar manner of many black metal musicians, as a bedroom guitarist, with a subpar guitar plugged into a shitty amp playing Slayer/Dissection covers until the will and desire to create something on my own came to me. After meeting D. (Chaoist) we joined forces and created Todesfall, having me as chief songwriter and guitarist and with him doing the vocals, bass and drum arrangements. Nonetheless I wished to be more than just a guitarist and considering I always fancied the idea of being the "one man" in a one-man BM project which sparked the first step towards creating Praznina. I had to learn to write/play bass lines, program drum arrangements, record on my own as well as editing tracks in Reaper and most importantly to learn how to sing and write lyrics, which is the most difficult but also most rewarding aspect considering I have never done it before Praznina.
What is the current status with your other project Todesfall? Will both of you return at some point to work on another album?
Currently all the technical aspects necessary for the recording of Todesfall's second album are being set in place. Recording of the guitars will begin three weeks from now with drums and drum arrangements being finalized by D. who is also tirelessly working on lyrics and vocals. There will be an official post about the second album in the near future but currently I am unable to provide more information.
Your work was obviously inspired by the likes of bands such as Mgła, Uada, Plaga and similar, but are there any other sources of inspirations from art to film or even poetry, that were a huge influence on your music and lyrical themes?
I am of belief that everything one experiences in the world is fuel to the subconscious mind whether we like it or not, nonetheless apart from music, books by authors like Cormack McCarthy, Jean Paul Sartre, Thomas Liggoti, works by Hegel, Plato, Spinoza and a wide array of occult/esoteric titles spanning from eastern/western mysticism, Neo-Gnosticism to the study of Kabbalah have all been a tremendous inspiration to myself as an artist and as man.
Apart from art and poetry, are there any personal ideas or philosophies that are very important to you? Do any of these ideas fuel your work, both as an artist and as a musician?
Yes, both as an artist, musician and living breathing human. To keep things short and not to drown the readers I would label myself as a Gnostic, driven by a principle of Acosmism which denies the reality of the universe (being itself) seeing it as merely illusory and only the infinite un-manifest Absolute is for the lack of a better word real. Praznina's motif is about Man experiencing and touching fragments of that Absolute and reacting to it, completely breaking down the mechanisms of his finite body and mind and through instigated suffering awakening the gnosis (wisdom) necessary to realize the paradoxical beautiful architecture of the Beyond.
Praznina, along with other bands such as Strahor, Pustoš, Šakal, Chaoist, Ljuska, Aura Mortis and similar, in a certain way represent a new dawn of the Serbian black metal scene. What is your opinion on the local black metal scene's current status? Do you think that this new generation of bands including yourself will help bring black metal to its former glory within the Serbian metal scene?
Was there really any glory to begin with? I think black metal bands in general should do their own thing, without regards to their "status" in the scene because ultimately nobody cares for your pompous yet exceedingly fragile prestige. The way I see things are as follows, our country has an abundance of black metal bands/projects, some great, some not so great, but for a long time it's been lacking everything a scene needs so it can be called a scene or maybe the term just aged poorly as it has entered in the hypermodern surrounding that is today's world. The only thing I can think of that would benefit the black metal scene in Serbia without going commercial and overboard is the formation of a circle. For instance, Bosnia has one called Black Plague Circle which contains some serious quality, yet forming a network like that is much easier said than done, to me it takes much more than creating a monochrome banner in Photoshop paired with a lazy made social media page which will be dead and forgotten in a couple of months. As for the aforementioned bands they have my full support as I have been following their work very closely and as I feel that we do in fact have a wide range of quality bands with a diverse sound, motif and ideological approach.
So far how do you feel comfortable working solely with studio only projects/bands? Have you considered performing live at one point or will you be only sticking to recording and releasing new music?
Doing everything on my own or with at least one other person has its many advantages. The advantages have been listed a thousand times by a thousand different artist but what I would like to point out is that the fewer people you have in your project the more pure the idea behind it becomes, too many boots on the ground do not allow the seed to blossom which to me is the single most important part of any art.
The amount of people that are eager to see Praznina/Todesfall live someday has honestly been shocking to me as it has exceeded my expectations entirely, unfortunately I am forced to disappoint the fans as logistical problems are a massive factor in performing live. What I wish for people to understand is that living in this country, with this status quo, with these financial opportunities and forced obligations to society I am unable to fulfill my vision of these projects going live as these projects would be in essence much more than a local band performing in a generic metal pub with juveniles and underage kids as their audience. Maybe someday, somewhere in an abandoned bowery or in a basement of an unfinished building, perhaps one day the stars shall align.
Thank you so much for doing this interview, Deimos! I wish you all the best and I hope that Praznina will bring more wisdom through suffering in the future. Are there any final words you'd like to leave to your fans reading this?
As I said in the beginning, thank you very much for the opportunity to share my thoughts and to the readers out there be sure to check out all the above-mentioned bands for some grim Serbian madness! Support of Perish! 0>1
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