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intervju

20. 11. 2016  Intervju: For the glory of Tulsadoom 
''For me, the legends of Conan combine all essential elements of Heavy Metal. These tales, as well as our songs, glorify the golden age of masculinity, when steel, strength and balls ruled the lands.'' (Virgin Penetrator)

Tulsadoom is an Austrian barbarian metal band. They have two albums out and countless gigs under their armour. Apparently they know the answer to the riddle of steel. They rule the stage when playing live and they are metal as fuck. That's why we decided to write them. 

Interview was done by Ivan, answered by Virgin Penetrator. Blessed by Crom, of course.

Hail, Virgin Penetrator. Before we begin this interview, let's see if you're worthy – ''What are the most important things in life?''

By Crom! Nothing easier than that! Crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentations of their women! Rape, pillage and burn, brother!

Hahaha. When and how did the idea to form Tulsadoom appear?

It was almost ten years ago, shortly after I moved from the cold mountains to a busy metropole to sharpen my knowledge of high wisdom. Rick Thunder and I were drinking beer and hard liquor at my place. With the rising level of alcohol in our veins, we somehow stumbled across the fact that we are both huge “Conan the Barbarian” fans since our childhood. Back then, we were both active in some Black Metal bands, which started to bore us. The desire for playing Thrash Metal blazed in us and combined with our passion for drinking and barbarism, the idea behind the band was born. I wrote the first song “The Glory of Thulsa Doom”, we started to recruit other barbarians and raging evil was getting ready to be unleashed over these lands.

I know the name Conan is already taken, but why Tulsadoom – I think you'd kick much more arses as Subotai (in Sabaton fonts) or even Valerya – that would kick ass!

I heard about this horde called “Conan”, but just recently. Their swords are striking too slow, I doubt that they will unravel the riddle of steel. We have always been followers of the dark side, fascinated by ancient cults and black magic, so we decided to ride under the banner of Thulsa Doom! Another gang from the high north was misusing the name, likely caused by strong black lotus. That must also be the reason why they strike so slowly with their axes and swords. We didn’t give a fuck, changed the spelling!

Crom commands us to play Metal FAST, we won’t deceive him!

Subotai is a mighty Hyrkanian archer, but he worships the wrong god. We also considered Valeria of course, but we were afraid that Crom would laugh at us if we choose the name of a girl. Is Sabaton also a girl?

How many brothers have already fallen in the barbarian wrath known as Tulsadoom (em: how many members did you change and why)?

There were too many of them! It’s only told in very rare legends that the first drummer of Tulsadoom was actually a quite weirdly figure called Sergeant Hammergeil. He was quite talented (at least better than the drummer of Dickless Tracy), but lacked the essential raw barbaric power and preferred apple juice to beer, so we kicked his ass after the first two gigs and continued with drumbeast Doktharr Radiovodnik.

Hairless Torturer, our long-time friend and comrade, fell shortly after we battled our first album “Barbarian Steel”.  He was swinging his axe with the wrong hand and had difficulties to keep up with the high speed raids claimed by Crom.

His successor, Mandamus Dusk was one of the best string-crushers in our ranks ever. One day however this guy got possessed by to idea to leave Tulsadoom and move across the sea to towards the cold north. We recruited the blond beast Skullcrusher Volkov next and started to teach him the secrets of our ballads about women, beer and fights. All of a suden Mandamus Dusk sobered up, dropped his plans and decided to stay. We didn’t care, kicked his ass and continued our raids with Volkov!

The last warriors who left our ranks was the first Tulsadoom singer King Totolva. During his last years in the horde, his mind blurred and his desire to follow the path of true steel faded. He sold his soul for emotional girl-music, which is used to be called “post-metal” nowadays.  Still, it was quite unexpected for us that he decided to leave Tulsadoom after two albums and uncounted battles.

At the same time his farewell also opened the seven gates of darkness, unleashing our new singer Sototh Dult, the steamhammer of evil! At this point, I am also raising my beer to those mighty warriors who helped us out at some live battles: Wolf Donnerwing and Olaf Earthrage! Hope to crush and pillage some innocent villages with you soon again!

With the music you play, there is also a big story in its DNA – the story of Conan, if I’m not mistaken. What influenced you guys to speak the metal message through the story of the incredible and ruthless Cimerian? I know that Sacred Steel did something like that on their first two albums.

I have always been a great fan of the world of Conan! Everything started with the first “Conan the Barbarian” from 1982. I grew up at my grandparents’ place, where I recorded the movie on VHS and watched it over and over again, uncounted times in my childhood. Already back then it was my favorite movie, and Conan became kind of a hero for me. His childhood was not the easiest (like mine), but nevertheless he mastered every difficulty he came across. His message to me was “Stay strong, whatever might happen. You will be victorious if you work on and believe in yourself”.

For me, the legends of Conan combine all essential elements of Heavy Metal. These tales, as well as our songs, glorify the golden age of masculinity, when steel, strength and balls ruled the lands. You enter an endless world of mysterious adventures, evil threats, deadly pitfights, ancient cults and feasts with lustful wenches. At the same time, these stories teach you to take life how it comes, to believe in yourself and to give your life for your families as well as comrades. They also teach you to fight for justice in a very simple and straight-forward way, a form of justice which is unfortunately fading in today’s delusive world ruled by the insidious dust of money, laws and politics.

What I like about Tulsadoom is the whole package – not just music and lyrics, the whole image and stage set reminds me of the wastelands where Conan was looking for his immortal arch enemy. Was it hard to build this and is it hard to keep your combat clothes and banners and skulls in good shape?

It took a time to prepare everything and we keep changing our battle gear. We prefer a worn-down shape anyway, so we don’t give a fuck about taking care. We never wash our stuff. You can smell us in the front rows!

Can you present Tulsadoom today – who are the members and what are their missions in battles?

Skullcrusher Volkov is responsible for lead & rhythm guitar strangulation and brewing our “Barbarian Beer”, he is the one who entertains us a lot when he’s drunk on tour (he’s always drunk of course). Rick Thunder is doing the bass and also joins me at the songwriting process sometimes.  On the “Storms of the Netherworld” album he contributed a lot of ideas and stories. Our drummer Doktharr Radiovodnik is the best musician in our ranks and a really mean guy, it is even dangerous to call his name. What he dislikes most are happiness and fun. Sototh Dult, our lead-singer, is the newest member of the horde, he also writes the largest part of the lyrics and supports me with some administrative things such as planning our next raids. I am raping the other half of the guitars, writing the large part of song-material and organizing most of our stuff such as rehearsals, battles, recordings, armory and so on. My major task in the horde however is to kick the arses of the other guys (except Radiovodnik’s, he would take my head off if I try).

You recorded and released two albums – let’s talk about that a little bit. Barbarian Steel is raw, brutal and catchy as fuck. What was it like to record it and how did people accept it? I mean, the music shows that you’re not just into cheap folk metal like Korpiklaani, but that there is more inside – brutality and darkness of black metal, speed and tenacity of speed metal and of course the power of heavy metal. How did the songs take form, how did the recording go and what was your aim with the debut album?

Ha! Barbarian Steel! We started to write the songs immediately after forming Tulsadoom in 2007. Half of the stuff was written by me, the other half emerged in the rehearsal room from random cheesy ideas dropped together. Back then, we didn’t give a fuck about anything and that’s pretty well reflected in the songs on this album. What only a few people remember is that Tulsadoom was not always so closely bound to the Hyborian world. Until 2010, when “Barbarian Steel” was recorded, we used to play without barbaric armour on stage, and we also played a couple of songs which had nothing in common with barbarism and the worship of steel. What a shame! Hope Crom never hears about these dark times. The recording session of “Barbarian Steel” marked an important landmark for us. In the studio we decided to drop everything which was not Crom-enough, re-wrote some lyrics and never again played a show without our stinky barbaric armour. Not all of the band were happy with these plans, but me and Rick Thunder knew that it was about time to move on and make this decision.

We recorded the album itself under rancid conditions. It was end of May, the fucking heat of the sun was tremendous. Imagine some drunken guys recording their instruments in their underwear in a tiny room, which was completely filled with smoke and the biting stench of our feet, balls and arses. Our preparations for the recordings equaled zero, we didn’t give a fuck, just recorded the stuff as we could. From our present point of view, we sucked big time and made a shitload of wrong decisions. I was never happy with the sound the first album, it’s way too slow, overproduced and modern, I extremely hate everything modern. Reviewers and headbangers all over the world however appear to enjoy the first album a lot. You mentioned Folk Metal. We don’t like Folk in our Metal. Some Folk-Metal fans however like our band. I think they just like our outfits.

The second album is Storms Of The Netherworld, which seems much more focused, brutal and with an amazing story in the lyrics. How much does the natural progression of raping, burning and pillaging show on this album? Does the story of the first album continue here or is the lyrical content something entirely different?

With the second album our raping, burning and pillaging risen to the next level. We invested more time into songwriting, practicing and preparations for the studio. We still sucked at recording, but we did way better than with Barbarian Steel. I think we are better at drinking and raiding than playing our instruments, haha. Nevertheless, the songs are faster, tighter and rich in variety. Also the mixing and mastering was more or less successful, although it took ages to finish.

The story of “Storms of the Netherworld” takes place before the Hyborian age of Conan, it tells tales of the epoch of the great cataclysm, a dark and ferocious time, which plunged the lands into chaos and destruction. You may find the story in great detail in the booklet of the CD-version of the album! In contrast to the “Barbarian Steel”, which is a conglomerate of various barbaric-stuff, “Storms of the Netherworld” evolved according to a concept which runs through the whole album.

I remember the release party for the Storms Of The Netherworld a year and a half ago. I remember that you sold the Barbarian beer. Is it still possible to get it?

Skullcrusher Volkov brewed the stuff professionally, an excellent and strong battlebeer! He changes the recipe from year to year a little bit. At the moment our stocks are empty, but I hope that Volkov will brew soon again! Check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Myc8_NgZVl4

The last member change happened when King Totolva resigned his place as the Messenger, and Sototh Dult filled his position. Is it because King Totolva didn’t know the answer to the riddle of steel?

We had problems with King Totolva already some year ago, when we decided to continue as thoroughly barbaric band. Until this time point, Totolva was very enthusiastic and also managed most band-related things. He got completely out of control in the end, focusing new song lyrics on driving red cabrios and fucking girls on toilets. Totolva was not very happy when we decided to focus on barbaric themes only, I think he preferred a fun-oriented Thrash Metal band concept, such as exemplified by Dr. Living Dead or Gama Bomb. From that moment on, his interest in Tulsadoom faded, I think his interest in the riddle of steel was also not very high. Writing lyrics based solely on raiding, pillaging and burning appeared also to be difficult for him, which I can understand. He, as a multi-instrumentalist, focused on his many other projects and continued with us just as a sideline. His post-rock oriented bands were doing pretty good in the last years, as many trendy hipster guys and little girls tend to listen to this kind of stuff, and it became just a question of time until he leaves our horde due to a lack of interest and time. I have to say that Totolva always did an excellent job for Tulsadoom, in the studio as well as live on stage and I am happy that he was part of our endeavour. We wish him all the best for the future!

Joking aside, I think Sototh brought a completely new power in your ranks and that you guys now really seem like a deadly barbarian force. What is your opinion on this?

I am really happy that Sototh joined the band. He is a long-year friend of mine and was living far away behind the great mountains until we started to look for new singer. It’s really incredible that he decided to move so far just to pillage, raid and burn with us! Sototh has a great voice, is motivated and fueled by a gargantuan desire for the riddle of steel! Also the band-climate is much better since he is with us.

I see that you guys are playing the barbarian metal everywhere. Is it hard to combine it with your daily boring lives? When can we expect to see you back in Slovenia and what are the future gigs already confirmed?

Well I can just speak for myself. Beside a more than full-time job and studying it is almost impossible to run the band. There is no time for relaxation or rest. Ha! There is enough time for relaxing in the grave! We hope to be back in Slovenia as soon as possible, would be great to join forces with the Slovenians ERUPTION, they suck even more than we at playing live! We have some great plans for 2017 already, which only time will reveal!

If I’m not mistaken, the album nr. 3 is already in the works. Can you give us any insight into the new material?

True that! The new neckbreaker will be like old Tulsadoom stuff, just even worse! We will add some True Metal and some influences by Basil Poledouris, who composed the soundtrack of “Conan the Barbarian”. I think it will be the perfect album to kick some Slovenian arses, haha.

Can you share a crazy story from any Tulsadoom gig?

Haha, there are so many of them that it would burst the scope of this interview. Let me tell you some details about our last gig in Ljubljana this time. We played at Club Gromka, there were not too many people, but those who attended the gig were amazing. It was a really cool show, nothing unusual so far. What was already suspicious is that those guys fed us with some strange food made of “vegan”. We’re eating all kind of flesh, but never heard of this stuff. They provided us strong spices too, even stronger than those you can get in Stygia! Of course, we added all of it. The stuff was delicious, but so spicy that we drank uncounted beers to quench the flames. They gave us firewater called Slivovitz, said that it would help. The last thing I remember is that we ended up boozing in a marihuana bar below a picture of Marshall Tito. The morning after I woke up with huge burn-blisters on my inner leg, they had the size of large gold coins, while some were joined to something like a big sausage growing out of my skin. Skullcrusher Volkov, the crazy fucker, obviously tried to eat the rest of the dangerous vegan stuff at night, but got paralyzed by it. Slovenia is a lot of fun, we will come back again soon!

When will you guys mature and see that metal is not the way of life? And start shaving, washing with water and respecting women?

Real men never mature and shaving is something girls do with their legs. Actually we respect women more than most suit-wearing grown-up dickheads out there do. We respect women as mothers, warriors, talented thieves and even as artists! You can believe it or not, but I just recently saw a girl killing bass guitar much better than Rick Thunder! Unbelievable! We even respect girls known as bitches, they’re skills at giving good fuck after an exhausting battle are strong!

Which one of you did actually perform the Barbarian Bitchfuck? Not as a song, but the actual fucking.

We are all masters of the Barbarian Bitchfuck, except Skullcrusher Volkov who is usually completely fixed at the Barbarian Beer Attack.

You seem to be an expert on Conan. So, let’s do a little test. Conan 1 or Conan 2? And what about Conan remake?

Conan the Barbarian” from 1982 only, it is the best movie ever made!

As a child, I also liked “Conan the Destroyer”, but I’m not able to watch it anymore. It completely lacks the barbaric atmosphere of the original, the story is quite pathetic and Malak is the most annoying companion a barbarian can imagine! I also watched “Conan the Barbarian” from 2011, but there it’s just wrong to do a Conan movie without Arnold Schwarzenegger. He is the best actor ever! The last movie is also too modern; I dislike these typical modern Hollywood action-movies.

When I was visiting your dungeon, I saw that you have Robert Howard’s book of Conan. Do you recommend it? And what do you think of comics about Conan and even the animated series?

The centenary edition of “The Complete Chronicles of Conan” is truly powerful! It contains all essential short stories and also some less known drafts and fragments. It is a great source of inspiration and some songs of the upcoming album will be under strong influence of the original short stories written by Howard! I don’t have any Conan-comics as I prefer books, Sototh Dult and Rick Thunder are our Conan-comic experts. Obviously I completely missed that there is an animated series, I don’t really watch TV.

I really enjoyed this, you probably didn’t, but you’re a pussy, so I don’t care. Any last words for both guys who form the amazing Tulsa Horde Official Fan Club?

Crom! Thank you for the good questions and also for the lousy ones! I had a good time drinking and answering them.  It would have been better to invest the time into some serious pillaging though, haha. Yes sure: we don’t give a fuck about a fan-club, get up your ass, grab your axe and stop wasting your time in front of your fucking computer. There are some adventures, treasures and women waiting for you!

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