Ben Falgoust – The Life of Goatwhore Part II

Tuesday, 15th April 2014

Dead Rhetoric: That’s brings us to our next section, let us discuss Satan in music a little bit. Satan, Lucifer, the Devil, Azazel, Baphomet, all those sort of things, are very prominent themes in black metal, metal in general, especially with the groups we’re seeing tonight. What, or who, is Satan and all those other characters to you? How do you think their presence contributes to music?      

Falgoust: The thing about it is, there are so many stories and so many variations of “Satan,” and I think that’s what spawns it and opens it up. In all kinds of cultures there is an idea of “a Satan,” you know, an evil entity or something. To me, it’s man creating something because he fears his inability to control something that can get out of hand. Some kind of urge, some kind of desire, that he has no control over, so he calls it a demon or calls it anything like that. But there are so many different ideas on the way it could be perceived because there are so many different cultures. And I like that, I like the variation in it, I like that there’s so many different things going on. I mean, even if you see with Behemoth, from the cycle of Behemoth from what they were on until now. Nergal is really smart about things and has looked into things and has knowledge. And I think that’s the thing, too, is knowledge – knowledge is the key. It’s not like a lot of these bands are spouting off a bunch of bullshit, they’ve actually went in and read stuff, looked up things and gone through literature, so they know things.

Whether it’s real or it’s not real, it doesn’t matter, it’s the knowledge that makes it the thing. And I think that’s the whole idea with Satanism is the whole idea of freedom. Even within Satanism you have variations, you have theistic Satanism and you have all these different styles. So, I think the whole thing is the whole freedom aspect. As an individual, you’re free to do what you want. That’s the whole idea that Satan was cast from Heaven because he wanted to do his own thing. You know, the stories vary here and there on how everything flows with that. I like in Milton’s Paradise Lost how Satan is kind of the anti-hero. It’s like, if God was so powerful, he could destroy Satan at any second. But, Satan preservers and he fights and he fights to come back out of this hell or whatever that he was cast into, you know, to redeem himself, to get revenge. If you look at it, it’s an everyday struggle with humanity. People do that, people on an everyday basis do that. And I think that’s where people lose focus and then they pin it down and they’re just like, “that’s just evil, that’s just evil.” And it’s not evil, it’s a whole thing of struggle and evolving yourself and bringing yourself to a peak. So, it’s different aspects.

Some people might not agree with me and some people might, but that’s the whole idea too. Everybody has their own rights to believe in what the fuck they want to believe in. I just believe that you shouldn’t push it on people. I have a problem sometimes with, not necessarily the black metal scene, but the satanic scene where they talk about “no laws, no this,” but then they have their fucking laws! You know? And they try and say, “well, this is how it’s gotta be.” Well, you’re kinda going against saying what you said! You said no laws, none of this stuff like that. Don’t go against it, you still gotta allow the freedom aspect. So then you start locking yourself and you become hypocritical in a sense. But it’s different and everybody’s got their own different aspects. I respect everybody’s ideas and I’m open to everybody’s ideas. I love always to gain new knowledge from them because knowledge is the key. That is the biggest key of the whole fucking thing, knowledge. It’s not to be ignorant and go into these schemes and then spouting off shit that you have no idea what’s going on. The knowledge is the key.

Dead Rhetoric: What’s the story of the band’s name, Goatwhore, anyways?

Falgoust: That just goes back, it’s old. It happened at some strip-club a long fucking time ago. It’s an old whatever story. The name kind of just stuck and there it was. A drunken night at a strip club that got out of hand and the name evolved from that. It was born from alcohol and fucking madness! [laughs]

Dead Rhetoric: So, Baphomet is fittingly featured on the Eclipse of Ages into Black album from 2000, one of my personal favorite Goatwhore records. On the cover – is that Eliphas Levi’s illustration of Baphomet?

Falgoust: Yeah! Yeah, it was half. We had an idea, and that was way early, so our knowledge wasn’t fully intact of everything then. That’s the thing, you can see it with the records too, which is cool. Just like what I was saying, with any one of these bands, you can see the expansion of their knowledge level – what they get into and how they expand and do things and what they write about and everything. If you look at each Goatwhore record, it’s like that too, you can kind of see it. Even lyrically, sometimes I go simplistic but then sometimes I go deep. Sometimes I like the simplistic, cut-throat, straight-to-the-edge stuff, like the early Venom and the way things were just “this is how it is.” I like the basic idea things. But then, I also like the deep, elemental stuff, like what Behemoth does or even what Bathory did. You know, where you go a little deeper into the essence. Or Emperor. You know, you go deeper into the idea and you evolve these ideas.

So, I like to mix it because I like to have songs that are kind of “fun” but then have songs that are deep and interesting as well. So, on Eclipse, we did this thing because we had the whole idea of Eclipse of Ages into Black. It was the idea of this black sun looming over that idea forming into a new idea and a new thought, or something like that. And we were young, so we were kind of just throwing ideas around and being young like that. But you do that, you know? You’re younger and you have these ideas and they evolve. And sometimes you go, “oh, well, that was stupid.” But I don’t think it was stupid, it was just an evolution process. We weren’t all born with this fuckin’ knowledge, we gain it as we move along from mistakes and learning and things like that. Everything has to evolve in some sort of way.

Dead Rhetoric: Wow! Well, that concludes our interview. Thank you, Ben, for such a fascinating conversation!

Falgoust: No problem, I appreciate it.

Dead Rhetoric: Do you have anything else to add?

Falgoust: Not much, if you can get out to one of these Metal Alliance shows, I advise you to make it because it’s going really good and all the bands are doing fuckin’ amazing jobs. And we have a new record, Constricting Rage of the Merciless, coming out July 8th from Metal Blade Records. And actually, if you come out to the Metal Alliance right now, we’re selling this pre-order bundle – it’s a tee-shirt with this laminate thing and on the back there’s a code that you’d go home and go to this website that’s listed on the back of the laminate and you put the code in. And when the record comes out, you’ll get it like five days before it’s supposed to come out because we ship you the CD. And it’s an exclusive shirt that you won’t get anywhere else, we’re only selling it on this tour for the bundle thing. So, just doing something unique I guess!

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