By Mike Coles
A dash of Samael, a Ĺ teaspoonful of KMFDM, a spoonful of Marilyn Manson, a hint of Morbid Angel, a bit of black metal (mainly in the vocal department), and if you mix them in a blender, the results might sound like The Kovenant. The (new) Kovenant, if some of you donít know yet, used to be Covenant, the same band that contains Hellhammer a.k.a Von Blomberg, Nagash a.k.a Lex Icon, and Blackheart a.k.a Psy Coma. If you donít like bands that experiment, or that change in sound, then you might not like this, but if youíre looking for something that has a pretty unique sound, a lot of atmosphere, some pretty catchy riffs, and that still has somewhat of a metal influence, then you might like this. The name of the current album is called "Animatronic.", an album that seems to stay in my stereo at least once a day.
The Outcast: Alright, so, howís it going?
Lex: Iím doing fine; everything is cool, as long as I have some nice pills to go along with it.
The Outcast: So tell me about The Kovenant. I know you used to be called Covenant, but I wasnít all that familiar with your past albums. Iíve only heard a few songs on compilation releases.
Lex: Well, we started in early 91. This is our third album. With this one we wanted to create something different like a mixture of different styles. The first one was recorded in 95, which was more symphonic black metal. The first one for Nuclear Blast "Nexus Polaris", was our second album, it was more progressive metal. There was a black metal influence on that one to, but on this new one we totally changed style and basically everything about the band.
The Outcast: (Off the subject, hearing some strange noise in the background.) Are you at home?
The Outcast: Are you in the kitchen?
Lex: Nope, Iím calling from my toilet actually (laughter).
The Outcast: Are you taking a dump?
Lex: No, Iím not that extreme.
The Outcast: If people call me and Iím taking a dump and if they ask what Iím doing, Iíll usually tell them, and then they always regret asking me that question, but enough on that. Is it just you three right now?
Lex: We had six members, but we fired them all. When we released our second album, it was looked upon as a project because we were all in all star projects. Like Von, or Hellhammer, as he is also called.
The Outcast: Is Mayhem still around?
Lex: Yeah, theyíre sadly still around. Theyíre recording their new album now, but his first priority is The Kovenant.
The Outcast: Thatís good, I think that Mayhem is basically just a name now that theyíre trying to keep going. I think they should have buried Mayhem with Euronymous.
Lex: Thatís what I keep telling him.
The Outcast: Who writes all the lyrics?
The Outcast: What are they about, is it a concept album or what?
Lex: I think this one has more of a concept than any of the other albums. With this one I wanted to change the lyrics to where they are more understandable. Where people can understand them, things that people can relate to, itís more in your face.
The Outcast: Whatís the concept?
Lex: As always, the end of the world, in a spiritual sense, spiritual death in the year 2000.
The Outcast: Do you have any spiritual beliefs?
Lex: I donít have any spiritual beliefs.
The Outcast: You donít believe in the spirit world and all of the rest?
Lex: I havenít really seen anything to tell me otherwise. I donít really know.
The Outcast: So why do you think people go from extreme to extreme with spiritual beliefs, from a Satanist to a Christian and vise-versa?
Lex: I donít know, maybe itís an easy way out. I see nothing wrong with religion, just as long as you pick the right one. If you think about religion, the only one thatís worth a damn thing is The Church of Satan. Because itís not based upon a religious religion really, itís based more on philosophies, you know? Weíre not here to change anyone or to revolutionize anything; weíre just trying to tell people our views. Thereís a bit of black humor in our lyrics as well, like Monty Python or something. I think we put more into our lyrics this time and they mean something more, well thatís what I hope anyway.
The Outcast: Are you guys going to be touring the U.S. at all?
Lex: We just signed a big deal with an American management. Weíre looking for some big tours in January or February.
The Outcast: Do you have any ideas who you would tour with at all?
Lex: We obviously want to tour with someone bigger than we are in the U.S.
The Outcast: I think you guys would attract some attention as long as you play with a different style of band and not straight black or death metal. Do you think that it will appeal more to a metal crowd or a gothic crowd?
Lex: I think it will be a mixture, but I think also that this album is more directed to a whole new generation.
The Outcast: What kind of influences did you have when you were writing this album?
Lex: I think we had more influences on this one than on the others.
The Outcast: Well, on to other subjects, what do you hope to find after death?
Lex: I hope to find all the things I hope will be there.
The Outcast: Like what?
Lex: I think basically that after you die youíre going to find whatever you think youíre going to find. I think that your soul isnít really a soul; itís more like your thoughts, your mentality, and itjust keeps on going.
The Outcast: So what are some of your favorite movies?
Lex: "Planet of the Apes", "Star Wars"...
The Outcast: Did you like the new one?
Lex: Yeah, if anyone says anything different, then theyíre not "Star Wars" fans.
The Outcast: I didnít like Jar Jar, he pissed me off.
Lex: Well, he pissed me off to, but itís still "Star Wars", so I liked it anyway. The image of The Kovenant, even in the past, has always been the science fiction thing. Like "Mad Max" meets the "Matrix" meets "Star Wars", you know?
The Outcast: Have you seen "Fight Club"?
The Outcast: It might come out soon there, it just came out here. Itís a new one with Brad Pitt and someone else I canít recall at the moment.
Lex: What kind of movie is it?
The Outcast: Well, itís kind of hard to explain without giving you the story line and I donít want to do that. But itís one of those movies you have to pay attention to. At the end youíre like, "what?".
Lex: Like "Lost Highway."
The Outcast: Yeah, something like that.
Lex: Iíve seen "Lost Highway" like five times and I still donít understand it.
The Outcast: Some things were not meant to be understood. So do you guys dress up when you play live?
Lex: Oh yes, excessively.
The Outcast: What goes on during your live show?
Lex: Weíve upgraded our live show. All our money that we get from sales goes towards our live shows. Pyrotechnics, lights, props. You just need to see our show.
The Outcast: What are some of your favorite bands right now?
Lex: I donít know what I listen to actually. I donít want to really think about music. Whatever is playing on a movie is what I listen to.
The Outcast: So whatís the black metal scene like now? Is there still a lot of attitude and people who think they are better than everyone else?
Lex: Yes, itís like a big soap opera actually. Thatís why we wanted to change our names and the band name and everything. We wanted to stay away from everything and create something of our own. A lot of back stabbing but itís like that with all music though, not just black metal.
The Outcast: Thatís true. What do you want written on your epitaph?
Lex: I really donít want one. I want to be tossed into space.
The Outcast: Seriously though, if you happen to get one.
Lex: Um, "He was irritating, a pain in the ass, and Iím glad heís gone." Thatís a trade mark; I have a tendency to irritate everyone.
The Outcast: Do you like it?
Lex: Yeah, probably.
The Outcast: So do you have a wife or a girlfriend?
Lex: No, I gave up on that, but my manager always instructs me to put in "Teen" magazine that Iím always looking for a girlfriend.
The Outcast: Well, thanks for the time and the pleasure. I wish you the best in the future. Do you have any closing words?
Lex: Yeah, just because our new music is a bit different, that doesnít make people gay listening to it (laughter).
The Outcast: I hope not, because I like it a lot. I have friends who donít really listen to this style and they said they liked what they heard and theyíre not gay.
Lex: Thatís cool (laughter).
The Outcast: Well, take care and hopefully Iíll see you on tour.
Lex: Take care and thanks.
(A few words after the show 5/10/2000)
The Outcast: So whatís up? My name is Mike and I am the editor of The Outcast magazine. (Sarcastically speaking) What did you think of the show tonight?
Lex: It was cool, really cool, until I saw some guy flashing me with a light, like; "Get the fuck off the stage!" I was like waiting for a cane to pull me off the stage. They were treating us like a local support act. Iím not going to mention who, but I know this guy from Europe, but you know, he had his last chance yesterday. If something else happens, Iím going to break his face in half.
The Outcast: Are you guys still playing more shows?
Lex: Yeah, we still got two more weeks.
The Outcast: Is this The Kovenantís first U.S. tour, even before the K Change?
Lex: Yes, this is our first weíve never been here before.
The Outcast: Has your set been cut before tonight?
Lex: No, just today, but thereís all kinds of small shit. Iím not here to do business; Iím here to play shows.
The Outcast: I drove 7 hours to see you guys and I was just really ticked that they did that. I saw you looking towards the side and then I saw Hellhammer getting off of the drum set and I was just like; "What!?"
Lex: We drove 11 hours to play 3 songs. Me and Hellhammer are going to have a little chat with him tonight, so......
The Outcast: Where is everyone else right now?
Lex: Theyíre up stairs getting drunk.
The Outcast: I saw somebody up at the top of the balcony a little while ago.....
Lex: That was me.
The Outcast: Oh, was it?
Lex: Yeah, Dan Akroyed was there and James Belushie.
The Outcast: Really?!
Lex: Yeah, they own this place (House of Blues).
The Outcast: I didnít know that.
Lex: Theyíre watching the whole show. Theyíre drinking red wine and just sitting up there. It was kind of strange, it was pretty cool.
The Outcast: So, does Troll still exist?
Lex: Iím going to be recording 2 new albums really soon.
The Outcast: Same label?
Lex: Yeah, Head Not Found.
The Outcast: Are you guys working on the new Kovenant at all yet, or is it too soon to ask?
Lex: Weíre working on it, so far weíve done 3 songs.
The Outcast: Is it going to be similar to this album, or a step further?
Lex: Yes, same style, but darker.
The Outcast: Are the vocals going to remain the same?
Lex: Yes, I think weíve found our thing now, but weíre going to develop it more. Weíre not going to turn into Massive Attack or anything. (Just so all of you know the new Kovenant sucks and sounds nothing like Animatronic. It isnít darker, it isnít the same style, the vocals are all clear and his new vocal approach sucks and it isnít even metal. - Mike 2004)
The Outcast: That would be strange, but I like Massive Attack, actually. On to something different though, when did you start finding your beliefs in life? At what age exactly did you start denouncing God and such?
Lex: A few years ago.
The Outcast: But like how old? How old are you? (Unfortunately the topic gets changed and I didnít back up to where I was going with the interview.)
Lex: Iím 22, Hellhammer is the oldest one, heís 31, but I feel older than him sometimes.
The Outcast: Because of the way he acts?
Lex: Because of the way he acts, he acts very juvenile sometimes (laughter).
The Outcast: Iíve heard a lot of stories about him actually. He has a temper I hear and likes to beat people up. Letís start the gossip now!
Lex: Yeah, but heís a very good friend of mine.....
The Outcast: So, itís okay!
Lex: Yes, itís okay, as long as it isnít me.
The Outcast: Well man, I really wasnít supposed to interview you tonight, but I toldyour manager that I was supposed to. I already did it over the phone. So, thatís it for me!
Lex: Really (laughter)? Alright, well, thanks again.