Tom G. Warrior - Triptykon

Considering how Triptykon came to be, is there anything you would have done differently?

Well besides wishing Celtic Frost had stayed together I wouldn't have changed anything. Triptykon was a very conscious decision, it didn't happen by accident so everything was executed exactly the way we wanted it to be so we are very happy. I think the band has had a stable line up for far more years than Celtic Frost ever had speaks volumes. We do everything the way we want so we don't have to change anything. So the only thing I regret is that Celtic Frost terminated in such inglorious circumstances and its a such that can never be changed but there you go.

When you started Hellhammer and Celtic Frost, if you had started you career with the music of Triptykon how do you think that would have been received instead?

Well thats science fiction isn't it. I think we would have been well ahead of our time and theres a reason for everything. I don't regret the the things we did in Hellhammer and I don't regret the things we did in Celtic Frost with exception perhaps. You have a complex topic for personal reasons because it was very close to me, it was connected to my youth and it was a very difficult youth. For a long time I just simply wanted to leave it behind and I didn't want to be involved in that anymore but as I have become older it has become much easier to deal with and in a separate context, in a musical context so I'm very proud of  what we did musically and I wouldn't change anything. We were very primitive and very basic but these songs are important to me and they represent certain moments in my life that carry a lot of emotion. I still do the music with Triptykon so its 30 years later. I've been very blessed, I'm very grateful for the opportunities that I've been given and by the grace of the fans, who am I to complain.

Many people would say that you are one of the guys that started the whole extreme metal scene, you an icon to many people so how does it make you feel to know that you are a pioneer of extreme metal?

That's what you say. No, of course its very flattering but I was just a kid with a very difficult youth and coming from a very tiny little farmer village with no connections, no money, no nothing to having titles like that bestowed on me is of course very flattering but for me its very odd because i don't see myself like that. I'm simply passionate about music and I'm simply grateful that after 33 years I'm still lucky enough to be still doing this. It was my dream as a young teenager, under very difficult circumstances, to escape and to be a musician and that actually and I'm still a musician so I'm mutually grateful. I don't see it any other way. I don't walk around thinking that I'm a legend or something. Titles like that are very far fetched for me personally. Every good album that I've ever made was a huge struggle. It's very difficult to make a good album. I've had my failures in life too that everybody knows. I don't have a secret recipe, I'm here because of the fans, not because I'm some kind of genius. I'm a regular guy that loves music.

When you started 33 years ago there wasn't as many sub genres as there is in metal nowadays, how do you feel about these and are there any bands that push you to be the best you can be?

Yes but possibly not in metal. The inspiration I needed to become a metal musician came a lot earlier. I think it comes to everyone in life much earlier, things that shape your life took place in the early 70's starting with Black Sabbath and UFO in the late 70's. Sometimes I hear fantastic rock or prog music and I think wow I want to try something like that but in a much heavier way and a much darker way. It sparks a desire to write something great, not copy it but just to think that maybe something is possible like that in metal. It has really shifted, I think it's detrimental to metal that it has become so fragmented. I am careful in answering that because I don't want to seem that I'm living in the past because I'm most certainly not otherwise i would only play old songs and not release new albums but I have to say that one of the things that really was better in the old days is that the metal community was much more of a unit. You had the same guy listening to Venom and Motley Crue and it wasn't a problem. It actually made your horizons much wider which to me is very important and at times I've noticed it becomes lost. I don't see the need for these certain doors in which you have to stick certain bands. We are all into heavy music and sometimes it's less heavy so thats the problem with that.

You mentioned a few bands then like Sabbath and Venom so what do you find yourself listening to at the moment?

You will all be totally disappointed. I listen to tons of prog, I listen to a lot of 70's hippy folk like America and I also listen to a lot of 70's rock music. I love good song writing. I see it in my own path. When you've been around for 33 years a lot of stuff has been written already and you've written a lot of riffs so it becomes more and more difficult to write something good so sometimes I go back to the 70's because it was much more fresh then and there are some true jewels in music. Theres so many classic albums in the 70's and early 80's. I listen to a lot of the NWOBHM and even now I still discover new things about those bands.

So which of the NWOBHM bands do you enjoy listening to the most?

I love Aragorn and I love the first two Venom albums, Witchfinder is an absolute favourite of mine. There's so many. I've also just been given a book about Neat Records. I've only had time to have a quick look so I'm looking forward to finding the time to read it as there's so much to read in there.

You mentioned earlier about it becoming more and more difficult to write riffs. I know the last Triptykon album 'Melena Chasmata' was only released last year but have you begun to think about a follow up to that album?

Yes. I'm always taking down ideas and stuff and we will work as a band on a new album later this year. This is why we won't be playing many more concerts. This is actually one of our last festivals for this year and then we will be focused on the new album but we have full control of everything. I can't give you a date or anything. Like I said earlier, it's very difficult to write a good album and it really has to be a good album. We have been very blessed with the audiences reaction to our albums so we have to set a very high standard for ourselves and I really don't want to embarrass myself with a miserable album just to meet a deadline. So were working on this new one and when it's finished we will release it. I'm 52 years old and it's my 14th album that I'm working on so i'm not under testosterone pressure like I was when I was 20 to release an album.

You take your time when making album but it does feel as if some bands just release albums when it's not their best work just to meet deadline etc.

I don't want to over state it but I don't want to take myself too seriously but music is still art. Artists don't have deadlines, it's about being creative, being original and trying to bearing and encouraged. That's what art is in my mind and you don't do that in a hurry. Art is difficult and creating a good album is difficult, good production is difficult, the recording session takes time so this is all very time consuming and you'll learn that the main ingredient in all of this is patience. 

Talking of art, Unfortunately your good friend H.R. Giger is no longer with us but did he leave you any potential artwork to use for future Triptykon releases?

It was Giger who approached us after the first Triptykon album as he was so happy with the way we handled it with his art and everything and he suggested that we continue to work together so we discussed this at length and in detail and we decided we would do a triptych together. Of course 'Melena Chasmata' was the second album and we actually designed the third album cover with him while he was still alive so the next album will still be very much touched by him so to speak. After that of course it will be time to move away as I don't wish to out stay my welcomes I only want to use stuff that he himself was able to see and approve. Of course his art still exists through his wife who co-operates with us but I don't want to do that as he was very much with us and it's very important to me that we do something that he likes too. We designed 3 albums together which is more than enough for me, more than I could have ever dream't of. He will always be part of my life and he was very close friend. I was actually at his wife's place yesterday and as I approached the house I had a very strange feeling and I'm not into esoteric's or anything like that but I went there and it seemed like he was there, like it was still the days of when he was alive and I told his wife that that. She is much more spiritual and she said that he is still here and he's watching you and everything and he's happy that your still continuing. I don't really see it like that but in a way its symbolic and he's very much a part of Triptykon.

Triptykon will forever be part of my life as the first video of my little girl has 'The Waiting' playing over it so that very much means a lot to me.

Well that's actually quite an honour. These kind of songs that we've done in our past are largely more difficult to write because they are a melody. I'm not a trained musician, I can't read scores or anything, thats very challenging but there are times when these types of songs are more favourites of mine but there are times when I love 'The Prolonging'.

'The Prolonging' has to be one of my favourite Triptykon songs.

There's certain concerts when there's a certain vibe between the audience and us and 'The Prolonging' becomes like a mass and it has to be among my favourites. We can't always replicate that every night but it creates a special vibe.

For you then personally as a musician, which is your favourite album or song and why?

Thats very very difficult. I can't make that choice. I could certainly tell you one album that I wouldn't listen too and everyone knows what that would be but Morbid Tales, To Mega Therion and Monotheist are extremely important and Into The Pandemonium isn't far behind them but also the first Triptykon album is monumentally important to me and the second one is still an extremely important album to me. So many of the songs have a personal connection to me so I can't single out a specific album or song. It's impossible.