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Hot summer is the most unlike season for CZ from German ambient one-man-project VINTERRIKET. So, Christoph sits at home and give interviews. Less than in two days CZ sent me the answers. I even didn't hope to get'em back so fast. Christoph likes nature, especially winter and with his musik shows the dark side of mother nature: fog, darkness, fullmoon, storms, winter, deep and dark forest... Living in South Germany, in a small village near Alps, likes to make wanderings through beautiful landscapes. So, "Son Of Nature" our guest.

Scorpio.: Hi, cz! How are you, what have you done last days?

CZ.:Hails Vladimir! I am fine, thanx for asking. Well, what I have done the last days:Busy writing music for the next release, sleeping, eating,... not that much.Drinking some beers, answering e-mails, doing layout-stuff and so on.Quite boring and nothing special, I think.

S.: So, please tell the history of VINTERRIKET. And what does this name mean?

CZ.:the dark side of nature by music, so to speak. The 1st Demotape wasreleased in early 2000 or in the end of1999. In the early days Vinterriket everything went slow and the whole thingwas not that serious as it is today.Therefore it took almost 3 years to finnish the first Demotape. After the releaseof Demo #1 the whole project becamemore serious. In the past 3 years I have released many CD's, 7" EP's and so on onvarious record companiesaround the globe. Too many to mention, actually. This is all, I think.About the name of the project ("VINTERRIKET"):The word VINTERRIKET means something like "Realm Of Winter" or "Winterrealm" in English.I simply felt to use a Norwegian name for the project with this meaning.The decision came up when the 1st Demotape was in progress. I just thought that thename "VINTERRIKET" would fitperfectly to my music. There is no better name around which would fit better to thesound of Vinterriket, I think!The word VINTERRIKET describes the whole sound concept very good. I will not changethe name in the future, I think.At least as long as I am doing this kind of music with Vinterriket.

S.: Have you ever taken part in other projects?

CZ.:I was playing guitar in a Black Metal band called GRAVEN for some time, but I quitabout 2 years ago due to personaldifferences and lack of interest. They signed a CD deal when I still was in the bandand now they have releasedtheir first CD on Undercover Records (Germany) called "Perished and Forgotten". ButI do not want to waste my timetalking about this stuff... Because it is not interesting for me anymore and notof importance.Before VINTERRIKET I was playing in some local VERY unknown Black Metal acts (Ialways played guitar),unworth to mention at all. In one of them I was the main-man, so to speak, and Ihave founded the band back in themid 90s. We never released a demotape or something like this. I just still havesome rehearsals lying around here.We have also played live one time at a local place. There is a video of the gigexisting somewhere.The band broke because I recognised the other members not beeing interested 100%.Nowadays I totally concentrate on Vinterriket. Maybe I'll start another projectin the future.But it would be too early to mention details. Let's see what the future brings.

"Winterschatten" CD booklet with ChristophS.: Your last album "Winterschatten" was licensed by Russian label Oskorei Music for CIS andBaltian states. Are you glad of this colaboration?

CZ.:Sure I am, absolutely! I am very proud to have this release out on Oskorei!I never had a russian version of previous releases so far. Russia has a great marketfor such music, I think.The russian release on Oskorei includes one bonus song and comes with a differentcover-artwork! Handnumberedto 500 copies. There could be nothing better than Oskorei. I am VERY satsified withthe label. Alekcandr is a cooland honest guy. They are working fast, professional and effective. You see, I'dprobably never do this interview hereif there'd be no "Winterschatten" release on Oskorei,...

S.: :) Yeah, you are right! You had created a little label Neodawn Prods special for releasing your works,but this February it was closed. Why?

CZ.:Yes, you are right: Neodawn is officially closed since 01.03.2003 - completely and forever.The small mailorder has already been closed about a half year before, too. It wasa cool time when I was running Neodawn.A lot of great releases have seen the light of day through Neodawn (not onlyVINTERRIKET stuff!!):LEGION (SWE), NECROPLASMA (SWE), CROWHEAD (NOR), BLOODLINE (SWE)... But I cameto a point where it wasimpossible to run Neodawn and VINTERRIKET together properly.It was clear that one of both had to be stopped. And, of course, I decided to stopNeodawn without even thinking about it. You know, time is strictly limited thesedays and the only thing I want todo is making music, nothing else. In the future I’ll totally concentrate onVinterriket.I simply had no lust, no energy and no time for Neodawn anymore. This is theonly reason why the label was shut down.There are a lot of rumours around about the closing, but those mentioned reasonsare the only explanation. You see,Neodawn was running VERY well, so to speak, but I decided to stop the whole thing.All future VINTERRIKET releases will be out on other labels. We'll see... ButNeodawn will never come to life again.

S.: I'm amazed of huge number of VINTERRIKET's releases during last 3 years!So many ideas you have...

CZ.:Yes, a lot of stuff has been published within the last 3 years. I have a lot of ideas inmy mind. There are days/weeks with a lack of inspiration/ideas and there are dayswhere the ideas are justflowing out of my mind. It depends. As you might know, VINTERRIKET is only influencedby the darkside of nature as I prefer to call it. I am often walking around in deep forest, uponmighty mountains and throughmisty landscapes, etc. This is a good way to get new inspiration and to feel theforce of mother nature in its full power.I am a "Nature child" so to speak. There is nothing better to do than be alone innature, far away from civilisation,noise and masses of people. Mankind is coming from the nature. The problem is that99% of all people on earth are totallydenaturalized if you understand what I mean. After the release of Demo #1 I totallyfocused on VINTERRIKET. I am speningalmost all my free time with creating music. Many hours a day. Day and night so tospeak. In the future I will even havemore time to create music, cause I have quit my label Neodawn on the 1st of March2003 as I have told you.You know, principle I make music ONLY for myself. If others like it: ok. If not, Ido not care. If I'll get offers fromlabels in the future there'll be more releases. If not, there'll be no releases andthe music will remain here.

CZS.: What equipment do you use?

CZ.:It is a lot of stuff which I am using. Ibanez guitar, some marshall amplifiers,Cubase V, Samplitude, Wavelab, Soundforge,Yamaha synth, Yamaha sequencer, a digital 8-track-recorder, drum machine... Ofcourse microphones, bass,some effects etc. too. Soon I will get new and better and more expensive equipment,I hope, but everything isa question of money. I'd need new synths, a new guitar and so on.

S.: What are advantages of being only one participant in band?

CZ.:There are only advantages. The main one is that I am my own master. I can do whateverI want. Not forced to join anyrehearsals with other stupid guys. I can write and record music whenever I want. Ican do whatever I want. Nobodyis telling me what I have to do. When you are many people in a band you have alwaysto do compromises. When you'realone you can just do what is in your mind. Besides this, I am a quite misanthropic person.

S.: Ambient is not metal music, but this electromusic style is interesting for metalheads.Metal music magazines write reviews on ambient and darkwave releases. What is the reason,how do you think?

CZ.:The reason is quite simple: Because Ambient music is also able to transfer those dark,depressive, melancholic andatmospheric feelings/moods, like for example Black Metal is able to do. Dark Ambientis even much more ableto transfer those feelings like all styles of Metal together, at least in my eyes. Iam also listening to a lot ofdifferent music: All kinds of music. Ambient/Industrial/Classics etc.Some Black metal, too. But I am no longer interested in the current Black Metal scene,to be honest.There are too many shitty bands around copying each other and making the same likeothers did even betteryears ago. I am seldomly buying a CD related to Black Metal. There are only a fewbands around which areable to catch my attention. Those bands are different, because of their originalityand because they are notdoing standard- stuff like thousands of others. I will not mention any names...I still have all the old records of the Scandinavian Black Metal bands, for example.Sometimes Ilisten to them, but I prefer other stuff these days. All the music to which I amlistening is atmospheric, dark,melancholic and original. Those parameters should be fulfilled!

S.: Now about VINTERRIKET's T-shirts and sleeves. Who designs them? You?

CZ.:Yes, I have designed them all myself and I will design upcoming shirts in thefuture myself, too.I do not wish that others are doing layout/design stuff for VINTERRIKET. I wantto do everthing myself.

S.: Why do these merchandise is out often but in limited (very-very limited) edition - 15 or 20?Maybe it will be better to make one sort of T-shirts, but print 100 copies or even more...

CZ.:No, I have a different opinion here.Making releases/shirts strictly limited guarantees that only true fansget hold of the stuff and that the releases are not available for the wide mass.If somebody is reallyinterested in the stuff he WILL get a copy somewhere and he WILL look for it.VINTERRIKET is nothing forthe wide mass, if you understand what I mean. It is better to have differentdesigns than only to have one design.

S.: Now tell please about your homeplace in southern part of Germany.

CZ.:I am living here in a very small village not faraway from the woods. I am living at the border of this village. When I am lookingoutside my window,I can even see the majestic woods. I like this very much, because in a way I am aquite misanthropic person as I havetold you above. I hate big masses of people and big towns. I also totally hate bigparties and stuff like that.Most of my time I spend alone and only a few very close persons. The village whereI live is very unknow and not ofimportance at all.

S.: I think, you like to be in fresh air, don't you?What can you say about Alpen, Erzgebirge, which are in the booklet?

CZ.:Yes, there is nothing better to do than to be alone in nature, far away fromcivilisation, noise and masses of people.It is very good to think about different things, to feel the force of nature andto get new inspiration. Of course I amprefering the dark side of nature: Fog, deep/dark woods, majestic mountains, autumn,winter, snow, storm, lightning, rain,endless/vast landscapes, darkness/night,... About the Alps (Alpen): I am living notfar away from them, actually. I amoften going to the Alps in order to make wanderings and so on. I am not living faraway from the border to Switzerland andAustria. Both countries have a great nature with all the majestic mountains/forestsand so on, quite comparable toScandinavia, actually. My friend who is also responsible for many pictures is comingfrom the Erzgebirge.I have been there only once, cause it is far away from here in Eastern Germany.

S.: And who has taken these fotos of Alpine nature?

CZ.:Well, The cover pictures/booklet pictures should always fit 100% to the music. Iam of the opinion thatthe layout and the pictures fit perfectly to the music. The pictures I used oncovers/booklets and so onhave ALL been shot by myself, some by a German friend of me (from Erzgebrige) andsome by Haewwel(VINTERRIKET's session member). I have never used other pictures than those shotby myself, my friend and Haewwel.I am proud to use self-made pictures and not to steal them in the internet likeothers do. The pictures which can beseen within my booklets and on my covers are not only shot in the Alps: Sweden,Norway, Switzerland, Northern Italy,Germany (many of them)...

S.: Christoph, look please through the window and say what is the weather there like?

CZCZ.:Ah, all in all too hot outside. Sun and clouds are present right now. I hope thatit'll get colder again, heheI also hope that it'll rain soon so that the air gets colder!Personally I think that summer and spring is too long and too hot here in Germany.Therefore I try to move to more Northern Regions. Summer is okay, too. But NOT ifit is so hot like here!30-40 degrees is definitely too much for me! I hate it. Others are crawling outof their houses as soon as theysee the first light of the sun in spring. This is the time when I’m returning home,if you understand what I mean!I have a kind of sun- aversion. I cannot go out in summer when it’s 30 or 40 degreeshot. I'm always getting anheadache immediately and I feel totally sick and bad. In summer I am staying at homemost of the time when othersare burning their brains in sunny Mallorca or shit like that. I hate it. When talkingabout "nature" in generalopinions differ a lot from each other: For others "nature" is the desert, for othersthe south sea or theanimal kingdom with all it’s various forms of life. For others even something else.When I am talking about nature I mean "the dark side of nature" so to speak: Darkness,mountains, fullmoon,endless and sinister woods, fog, night, moors and so on….may it be in winter, insummer, in spring or in autumn. But I prefer winter and autumn.

S.: Here, in Chernivtsi is raining for few days. Temperature is +13, and less than a week ago itwas up to +35. How is it with rain in Germany this year? Last summer your country was in water.But you, I think, didn't have to move, because of hilly character of your homeplace.Am I right?

CZ.:Yeah ,last year our country was drowned in water, as you said.But not here, cause I am living upon a smallhill, hehe. The area where I live is not that hilly. I have to drive forabout 20-30 min, then I am standing insidemuch more greater landscapes (The Swabian Mountains/ Allgдu/ The Alps).What we have here are great, deep fortest, worthy to see!

S.: And what is your favourite season and why?

CZ.:I am a really winter fanatic, so to speak. It is my beloved season of the year.Cold, depressing, grim, cruel anddesolate. It is the perfect season to get new inspiration for VINTERRIKET! Thereis nothing better than to makelong wanderings through deep, snowy and mysterious winter forests, through mistyvalleys in winter or upon majesticsnow-covered endless landscapes. It is an amazing feeling when coldness is slowlycrawling through your veins and whenwinterstorms are crushing in your face with all their strength and power. Winteris the time when you can feel thegreatness and power of mother nature in its true and cruel form! For me it is too"hot" all in all where I live herein Germany. Winter is too short for me. There are still plans from my side to moveto Northern Norway orSpitzbergen (Svalbard) some day. At least for some months or years in order to bemore close to nature and in orderto feel those long, cold and depressing winternights in the north. We'll see whatwill happen.I also like the Autumn - season with all it's mysterious fogs very much. You canslowly feel and see the coming of winter.

S.: What literature do you like? What books can reccomend?

CZ.:I am not reading that much, actually. My time is limited. Good music is much more importantfor me than books. When reading stuff I am reading books/articles about all kind of science,mysterious phenomenons, astronomy, politics and such stuff. But it depends. What I amNOT doing is to read novels, fantasy-stories and shit like that.

S.: Do you have an idea to create VINTERRIKET's videoclip? What will it be?

CZ.:There are plans to create a videoclip some day, yes. 2 years back this plan has evenalmost become true, but due tovarious problems and so on it never happened. When creating a clip in the futureit'll be dark, minimalistic, moody,atmospheric, sinister, melancholic. You'll only see the dark side of nature init's cruelest and most darkest form:Darkness, winter, storm, majestic landscapes, majestic woods, fullmoon, night,fog, mountains, ...There are no concrete plans yet. We'll see what will happen. But I am sure thatthere'll be a videoclip of VINTERRIKETin the future.

S.: There is BURZUM's cover on Winterschatten CD, released by Oskorei Music, and how doyou like Varg Vikernes as musician?

CZ.:Of course I like BURZUM. My favourite CD of Varg is hardto tell. I like a lot of them very much. "Hvis.."/"Filosofem" maybe? I do not know.I also like his 2 Ambient- CD's. But BURZUM never had a direct influence on Vinterriket...Varg is a good musician. He has created a lot of amazing tracks with minimalistic abilities."Der Tod Wuotans" which is on the Oskorei release as an cover(bonus)- song is one of the besttrack he has ever written, I think. The track is so dark, so atmospheric, unbelievable.

S.: And his neonazi ideas?

CZ.:Some of his ideologies/ideas are ok and some are pure shit. It depends.I am NOT mixing music with politics. Politics is another field for me. Of courseI am very interested in politics,but this is something else and has nothing to do with music. I do not care what others do.If they want to mix politics with music they should do. This does not affect me.I also have my political views, butthis has nothing to do with my music/VINTERRIKET. I hope you understand what I mean.This question is too much in the field of politics. And as I said: VINTERRIKET andpolitics are twodifferent things. Of course I have my political views and I am very interested inpolitics, but this is my privatething. I'll not misuse any private political views within Vinterriket. Thanx forunderstanding.

S.: Where do you want to be buried?

CZ.:I don't know, hehe. Maybe on the top of a majestic mountain with a good view down to the vallay.

S.: Cool! What do you know about Ukraine, Belarus, Russia?

CZ.:I have never been in Russia/Ukraine/Belarus, though I have heard a lot about these countries.Would be really great to visit those countries one day. Sibiria must be great, hehe.I think it is really cold, grim and atmospheric there.I have heard about the very bad economic situation in your country quite often.Also about the corruptsystem in general (post, police...). But it would be a great experience tovisit those countriessome time. I am quite open-minded and it would be cool to see those countriesone day. We'll see...

S.: Final coutdown: your message to fans and our readers in German, please.

CZ.:Danke für das interessante Zwiegespräch Vladimir! Bezüglich ständiger Neuigkeiten und weitererInformationen möchte ich an dieser Stelle auf www.vinterriket.com' verweisen.Germaniac Hails! cz/ vinterriket 11.07.2003

S.: Vielen Dank! Tschüss! Allerbesten!


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