Friday, May 31, 2019

Eternity is but an instant | An interview with Thomas Martin Ekelund of Trepaneringsritualen

"We stare into the radiant light, and stumble blind and mad into the moonless night. We bow not our heads, nor do we ask for mercy. 

The world is agony. 

This is a journey of pain, ecstasy, and death. We do not seek companionship, because this prison of flesh is a solipsism. We straddle the balancing point between light and darkness, love and hate, life and death. We hide our countenance to reveal the hidden face of god. 

We hang ourself from trees and crosses. We bleed and suffer. All in roaring silence.

Eternity is but an instant."

Firstly, I wanted to talk about your latest work with Nordvargr this year. The collaboration seems almost both instinctual and inevitable. Listening to the music you feel a mutual animalistic dichotomy between the two of you, almost a push and pulling of motion and energy. Can you explain this collaboration and how it felt creating this project together? 

Definitely. Fairly natural, it should have been much weirder. Because I have listened to Nordvargr for say 20 years but all of the sudden we are very working together. Instead it came together very naturally.


Often at your live shows you start with a sack tied over your head, a somewhat faceless force coming out of the smoke and dark. Does this signify a sort of metamorphosis of your essence coming forth or serve as a cathartic measure that in part couples the intensity of the music?

Yeah I guess. The reason I started using it was to hint at the hanged man, at the sacrifice. But yes, I guess it dissolves me a bit so I can concentrate on TRP and behind the mask there is so freedom.

Ritual is very important to you musically, personally and in the realm of performance. You’ve talked about the importance of not only sound but smell and vision as a part of a TRP performance. What is it you want the audience to take away from one of ‘rituals’?

I guess it depends on where they start. Are they already converts? Have they had any experiences of total annihilation of the ego and submitting to forces beyond themselves? If they haven't before then I want them to experience tearing down their protective barriers and experience this fully like I do.

Reason, inhibitions, let down your guard. Be overwhelmed. The state of just letting go.

Photo by Kim Sølve

The ongoing journey of TRP is one of spirals and manifestations both tribal and cerebral. What is different about TRP now versus the birth of TRP?

I know on one hand I understand a lot more and on one hand a lot less. It seemed easier to understand more at the beginning of TRP. There was a spark to get it out.Whereas now it seems harder to understand what I'm doing and why. The more it comes out the purpose is lost which is hard to deal with. Every new path create more paths. Each question creates more questions. 

Whilst there is this feral animalistic, almost primal nature about TRP there is still machinery involved which pulls us back into the realm of reality again even jarringly. What is your relationship with the machines and tools you use to create your music and is there an element of self betrayal in needing that aspect of modernity or are you comfortable with their uncomfortable alliance? 

Some of the tools are quite powerful, like spiritually. But in relation to modern machines etc I don’t think about it too much. Not much thought at all really. Obviously if I could I would use nothing. Put two rocks and bang them but no, I don't think too much about what we are using to make our music. It's the end result that's most important not what we used to make it. 

In July you will be embarking on your first ever Australian tour. What can fans expect? And do you, yourself have any expectations?

First off its amazing to go to other side of country. Ritualistically I'm not sure. It's like therapy and overpowering. I've never been to the southern hemisphere before so that is amazing to get to do that. It will be sweating and dirty for sure. 

Beside working with Nordvargr this year, is there anything you're working on with trp now? 

I'm working on 2 eps at the moment and a more ritualistic ep which should be out September/October. I'm also working on our next song based album (the last one took 4 years so we have some time ha) plus other collaborations all around in the works.

Trepaneringsritualen will embark on their debut Australian tour this July and it's bound to be an unmissable performance. 



But you'll find me here 👇

The T × R × P curse descends on the Southern Hemisphere, courtesy of UMACollective and ALT Events.