We spent some time talking with Saħħar. 2017 is a very busy year for Sahhar, mainly with the release of his new album in March Kliem it-Tmiem.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that Saħħar is the first and only band that performs Black Metal in Maltese. I know you mostly as Marton, what changes when you become Saħħar?
Yes and yes, there is at least one other project which wrote some of its tracks in Maltese, but it debuted after I did and seemingly has stopped since. So as it currently goes, I am the only one.
While personally I am quite outgoing and a silly person at times, Saħħar is more than just a band name to represent my songs, or even a stage persona. Rather, it is effectively the closest thing I have to an Alter-Ego, I tend to be a bit more sombre, and more detached under the guise of Saħħar. It is very unlikely you’ll catch me smile then except in the goofiest of situations, for I can still laugh at myself, a necessacary lesson I learned a while back.
From where does this passion for Black metal stem? Why Black Metal in Maltese? Wouldn’t have been safer to opt for English? How was it perceived in the beginning?
I always had a desire to compose my own music from a juvenile age, but I never quite grasped the ‘genre for me’ (I did dabble a little in other genres though). I think it had to be the earliest Gorgoroth and Burzum tracks which I listened to that fascinated me more than any other genre, eventually is became the genre of choice for me to compose in.
I must admit that the notion of writing in Maltese was originally received with a lot of mixed opinions, from people finding it interesting, to others actively encouraging me to others which though it is a foolish idea. Indeed, it might be, and I might have better chances for critical success. if I stuck to English, but in reality the Black Metal niche is saturated with bands, one-man or otherwise anyway. I am one of the thousands, and thus I chose to stick to my native language which I honestly like more than English, partly because the challenge and partly because I like how it translates in extreme vocals. Another reason being Black Metal is quite an individualistic genre, where the reflection of the self is a more intimate task than most, thus writing in Maltese enables to make a connection with who I really think I am. Besides I find it way easier to express myself in Maltese as of late.
Kliem it-Tmiem is your upcoming album which will be released next March. What should we expect from this album?
There is a lot to expect, several the tracks have a symphonic connotation but not all, and there are quite a few instrumental tracks. Not all tracks are actual black metal either but a few are ambient and even experimental. There is two re-recordings, and a cover. But most of all it is quite a massive album in scope and length. With 16 tracks, it has twice the playtime as my average release and for who owns the previous full-length, there will be some parallels which s/he might find interesting. Other than that, there is a significant improvement in sound quality from the previous album; the transition from raw lo-fi sound to something more tangible was the biggest challenge of them all, and I am confident the new soundscape will he welcomed by many
Give us some more information about the album launch. Apart from the free beer, what’s being planned?
Yeah, I would expect that a free beer per album will pique people’s interest. Other than that, the new album will be for sale, obviously, as will the previous one. I’m attempting to re-press older releases too and new T-Shirt designs over and above the plain logo shirt I have available right now but that all depends on the finances closer to the date. The new album will cost €10, however, purchasing two items will result in a discounted price of €15. Three items will be at €20, which is a pretty strong bargain if you ask me, especially for doesn’t own the previous album Kruha u Kefrija. And a good selection of Black Metal will play for the whole evening.
Originally it was planned to be a launch+gig, but chaos ensued and I chose to support Destroyer 666 instead so that limited what features I could put in the launch, not that I mind.
You’re also playing together with Thy Legion and Destroyer 666 in April and XMA Spring Fest in May. Will the material cover mostly tracks from the new album or will there be a blend from all albums?
It will be a blend from all albums, I prefer to play again some tracks which I already performed with before to give the audience something they already heard before. Of course some new tracks will be played, and they have a significant sway on the track list, but its intention is not to showcase the album in its entirety.
What’s next for Saħħar?
Hmm, there are a few things down the pipeline. More music for starters, I already wrote a few songs which might make for a decent follow-up to this one. I am also planning to hit a stage or two overseas, but I’m saving off details for that one. I really wish to make a gig close towards the end of the year, just to conclude it with a bang. There are discussions for a music video but it won’t be for any of the songs I have written now.
You can follow Saħħar on their Facebook page:
Check out also Saħħar’s album launch page:
Author: Lyon Xuereb
“I don’t need therapy. I’m just a total mess of everything done right”