Interview mit Gábor Holdampf

Die Ungarn MAGMA RISE haben eine erstklassige Zwei-Song-EP namens ´At The Edge Of The Days´ veröffentlicht auf der nicht nur eine BLACK SABBATH-Coverversion und ein Gastauftritt aufhorchen lässt. Also schnappten wir uns Sänger und Gitarrist Gábor Holdampf und führten ein kleines Gespräch, hier im Originalwortlaut.

Can you give us a short outline of your bandhistory?

MAGMA RISE was founded in 2009 after I had left WALL OF SLEEP, by me and some old fiends like Kolos Hegyi (my friend since the 80’s, former MOOD guitar player, later founder of STEREOCHRIST) Sándor Banfalvi (NECK SPRAIN, AKOS – the biggest rock act in Hungary) and Misi Jano (EKTOMMORF, NECK SPRAIN). Misi left in 2012 and was replaced by Lászlo Herczeg (formerly SUNDAY FURY)

In which bands did you have your first experiences before MAGMA RISE?

We played in the thrash act called MAELSTROM with Kolos, I was singing for LEUKEMIA for a couple of months in ’93, and right after that, we founded MOOD. After MOOD disbanded in 2001, we put WALL OF SLEEP together with Sándor Fuleki – the other guitar player of MOOD beside Kolos.

Can you tell us your musical idols?

My favourite musicians are Wino, Kyle Thomas and Karl Agell, and the original BLACK SABBATH line-up …smile…

Do you see yourself as a traditional doom band (because on facebook you are described as rock/metal)?

What does traditional doom mean at all? …smile… It is some kind of fusion of rock and metal in my opinion. Though there are already a lot of sub genres of doom, some of them are for me not „doom” at all, rather some kind of death metal with some growling pseudo demon by the microphone …smile… Doom is for me the slow rock and metal of THE OBSESSED. SAINT VITUS, TROUBLE and bands like these. Definitely a music with some kind of „light at the end of the tunnel” effect in it. I think we are a rock/metal band with mostly slower music and twin guitars and harmonies…I would describe ourselves like this.

Why did you record only an EP again?

It was because of the BLACK SABBATH-cover we planned with Karl… we decided to record that one and a new song. It was a simple decision, without any strategy behind it. To record and to release these two songs right after they had been finished.

Is the BLACK SABBATH-Song an obeisance to the legend, or more a try to make your very own version of it?

It is an obeisance, we just wanted to play the original as well as we can, and wanted to have Karl on the board.

How did you get Karl Agell to sing that song?

I know him for a long time, he is one of my favourite musicians, as I have already mentioned.

The ´Blind´ album of CORROSION OF CONFORMITY with his singing was a masterpiece, it was the best line-up they ever had in my opinion. They killed live also …smile…

I knew that they played this song a long time ago live, and I asked him to join us for this project. He made a great job, hopefully we can do some video footage also, but it is not simple to realize. But we are trying to do that …smile…

When can we expect a new full-length record?

We will start putting the new songs together very soon. I think a new full lenght record will be released in the next year. We have all regular jobs, families, children, live far from each other so it is not so simple, but the band works well. A little bit slow, but not dead …grins… I hope that we can co-operate with ‚Daredevil Records‘ again, Jochen’s working a lot for us, he is doing an excellent job. The main problem was the promotion all the time…Our full lenght ´The Man In The Maze´ had been voted for the „album of the year“ in Hungary in 2013, but nobody knew about this material because no promotion was made by the label. They didn’t do anything with the album, and the story was the same also with the next release, with the double digipack version of the ´False Flag Operation´-EP and the re-released ´The Man In The Maze´-album in 2015, so we have a lot to do…

How is the metal scene in Hungary and Budapest today?

Lots of bands, lots of gigs, but for other genres of metal mostly.

But I have no problem with it at all. The situation is always the same for this doomy style bands.

Are there other interesting metal or doom bands around?

I live by the Austrian border in a small town, spend only few times there to watch gigs live and to be honest, I listen to my old favourites if I have time for it.

To be honest, I do not know the new bands, not even the older ones …smile…

Will you have some live dates with the EP?

We had a couple of dates in Germany last year and a very successful ‚Doom over Vienna‘-festival beside the Hungarian gigs. We would like to get back later this year also. As I mentioned, ‚Daredevil‘ is working for us also in booking and it makes the whole situation a little bit easier.

But it is not easy at all to book gigs or festivals in Germany or anywhere else.

I can tell you a funny story from two years ago, concerning the festival business …smile… A promoter of some bigger doom festival had rejected us. It wasn’t because of the poor level of music or live performance…it happened because in his opinion we had not enough FB likes …smile… he mentioned under 2000 we had no chance to play …smile… I just said OK, that is fine. Let us see the others…and just realized that some of the booked bands had not even 1000 …smile…

It was funny. The underground festival defends itself with the sword made of FB likes in its hand.

I know and understand that it is about business and unfortunately, the time of the ‚Doom Shall Rise‘ type of festivals is over, but this kind of attitude is more than ridiculous, though…no childish bullshitting needed …smile…

Regarding the new material, we have already received great reviews of the 10” EP also from big magazines, so things are going well. We will see what happens…maybe we can reach even 2100 FB likes within the next 5 years, who knows …smile…