1.Tell us how Kinthia, Nemesis & Tristessa met & when you decided to become ASTARTE?
We were formed in Sept/ Oct. 1995. The line-up is remaining always the same besides a few session drummers that we have change until today. When we form our band, we first came up with the band name Lloth. A few months before the release of our debut we decided to change it to Astarte. Before the formation of our band, we had already made a perfect friendship. Our music preferences are coming from the same area and our desire was always to enter in black metal scene. Astarte would never exist if one of us was missing from the band.
2.Were there any demos before the release of Doomed Dark Years?
Yes there is one demo under our first band name Lloth. We release that demo in the first months of 1997. It consists of eight tracks, it lasts 30 minutes and it is called Dancing in the Dark Lakes of Evil. This demo is still available.
3.Are you all musically self taught or schooled?
When we decided to learn play our instrument we tried along with ourselves and as we were exploring the whole concept of music, we asked a hand from experts. Those experts made to us introductory lectures of both theoretical and practical steps. We believe that those steps are the most basic ones because we learned an artistic language under which we communicate as a band. After those few music lessons we are self taught. We read books and watch some techniques that we are interested from videotapes.
4.Tell us what inspired the lyrics for the album D.D.Y.? Why are the lyrics in English rather than in Greek?
Tristessa: Every writer has his or her own way of expression and sources of inspiration. Personally I’m studying English literature and poetry because English language puts more colors in icons to my subjects; it is also a popular language through which I can share my lyrics and the experiences that surround our lives. From that central point of view we uncover our beliefs, our ideas, our feelings and thoughts.
All lyrics have a pagan feel, which we have adopted to our Ancient Greek Mythology. I put a dark veil to all my stories. I talk for ancient cities and astral placed and if someone read behind the lines he or she will find out messages of our today (modern) life, about life after death… Finally, I want to say that there is also a three part concept story dedicated to Astarte, which is called Thorns of Charon.
5.Have you played live shows? If so, how has the audience reacted to you?
No, we have never played live show and we are never going to have for several reasons. Actually, we hate live publicity.
6.How did you come in contact with M. W. Daoloth? Are you fans of his music? Do you agree with his views?
Tristessa: It was not that difficult to come in contact with M.W.Daoloth since Greek metal scene holds a strong communications among bands and labels. First of all, M.W.Daoloth listen to our demo and then he make us a proposal to join his label. Of course, we accepted his offer because this was one of our aims. From then until today, we work over a great corporation and we hope the same for the future.
Personally, I am one of his fanatic fans from the age of 1989 ‘til today. To say the truth Necromantia will always be my greatest band. I follow all his music steps. He is a very experienced person on his job and I find myself very lucky to work with him.
7.What does Astarte stand for? What are your goals?
Astarte is the great goddess of fertility, beauty and war. She is the Phoenician predecessor to the Greek Aphrodite. Her counterparts are well known to all of us, for instance to the Sumerians, she was known as INNANNA, to the Babylonians as ISHTAR, and so forth. She was associated with the moon and called Mother of the Universe, so her background fits to the Greek pagan spirit.
Our goal is to create the absolute personal music style and to show that music and generally art belongs to everybody. The world of art welcome all those who have feelings, imagination and creativity and each one shall take what he or she deserves.
8.The corpse paint has been mocked by many & other claim it has lost its significance. What do you say to this?
We respect everybody’s opinion. Everybody who belongs to our scene has created his or her personal point of view. We, as a band, support the corpse-paint, because through that image we integrate our music expression. Our personal point of view is the following: Black metal has two opinions (forms), the 1st is the musical and the 2nd is the theatrical one. It is like the actors on a theatrical play. They successfully reach out messages and meanings by putting the correct colors and tones of their character.
In other words, corpse-paint is somehow the mask of a warrior man/ woman that we hide within us. Every human being has dreams and visions to make his / her life spicy, or else our lives would be empty. So corpse-paint contributes to our dreams and fantasy and music is the path of that expression.
9.Would you consider yourselves pagans, Satanists or something else?
Theoretically, we are closer to Paganism and we also embrace Light and Darkness but purely we don’t’ belong anywhere.
10.What is your view of Christianity in Greece?
Christianity it is an extremely huge subject to give a specific position. By simply words we do not support Christianity. Here in Greece, Orthodox Christianity it is our official dogma. The representatives of Christianity are highly positioned people who mislead the masses and makes them victims of their upper goals. On the other hand, we believe in the big word Faith. Faith to a God (to any God that exists to any culture) is not a weakness. Faith gives power. Talking about Christianity, we have no problem with Christians but we hate the representatives of Christianity.
11.What bands do you enjoy and/or influence you? What other type of music moves you?
There are many kinds of metal music that we like and in general some of our favorite bands are Gamma Ray, Scorpions, WASP, Savatage, Riot, Whitesnake, Queensryche, Elegy, Shadow Gallery…We are influenced more from power/thrash/black metal bands but mostly from Norwegian B.M. bands like Gorgoroth, Burzum, Satryicon, and Dark Throne. Furthermore, we like the electronic/synthesizer music of the 80’s, also Hellenic Rock and phsychedelia.
12.Have you come across any negative commentary because you are women playing black metal? Do you feel you give a more serious image to women in black metal?
Actually, we act exactly the way we feel. Sometimes people do not let their fantasy free and they make extremely bad comments. They criticize things from the cover and they are not substantial. Many times we have read or even heard dirty comments, but the point is that they have the problem. We can not do anything about that, (Sure you can, learn to spit fire and when you hear a comment you know what direction to release it to, ha, ha. Or hey, you can call them up on stage to be the sacrificial lamb of the night, oh, oops, nevermind-ed.) so we don not pay attention. It is useless anyway!!!
At least we feel good with what we do and with ourselves. (Hail to that!!-ed)
13.What merchandise can my vendors obtain from you?
We can only distribute our demo LLOTH which price is $5.
14.Are you sword and dagger collectors?
Until now, the 3 of us have collect three daggers, one Spanish sword and we have also made by hand tow wooden staffs with huge nails 9the ones we hold on the cd picture). Of course, we want to expand our small collection but here in Greece there is only one shop available.
15.Does Tristessa have an artistic side since she did draw the logo for ASTARTE?
Tristessa: Well, from years ago I had the gift to draw logos to other bands like NEAR MATARON’s and VORPHALACK’s . Generally, I like psychedelic painting. I think that when someone has imagination they can create several things around art.
16.Do you wish to add any hails or comments?
First of all, we would like to thank Lord Lucifera for the great support and for giving us the opportunity to give our position over many interesting issues. We also send our greetings to all USA metal scene and especially to underground bands and we wish them to follow the way they deserve. Astarte will come back again at the end of 1999 with our 2nd cd which is called Rise from Within. Until then, stay TRUE!!! METAL LIVES WITHIN US ALL!