Interviews: Xathrites

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Depressive Black Metal/Atmospheric Black Metal/Black Metal band, Xathrites from Iraq. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that?

Alex: Xathrites was an Assyrian leader. Whose proper name was Phraortes. He incited the Assyrians to rebel against Darius Hystaspes but unsuccessfully. As he was defeated and slain by Vomises. the general of Darius At the town of Achitu. And some say he is a demon who incites people against each other and encourages them to kill each other. So there is not much relation between the name and music, Xathrites is more like a symbol of rebellion. And it was chosen by me and Saqer back in 2005.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

Alex: I played this style of music before even knowing there is a genre of music called DSBM and I will tell you the story. In the early days of starting Xathrites we were planning to play Pure raw black metal and we composed a few songs in this genre but then there was this change… in our life, in our routine…. in people’s eyes… There was war, and what was it like living in a ghost city. Every day experiencing the grief of a loved one's death. Imagine walking down the street and the change was really obvious. The air was hard to breathe, the sky turned gray, and the atmosphere of depression showed on every face. It was the moment that I knew that no one would ever be happy again. At this moment my vision had turned black and white and I focused all my sadness, hate, grief, and depression on my music. The riffs sounded more doomy and sad, and the lyrics talked about the theme I was living and that was the change from Pure Black metal to Depressive Black metal which was the birth of Xathrites into this kind of music.

Whirlwind: I am very eclectic, but during high school, my main genre was melodic death and metalcore. My favorite band was Killswitch Engage at the time, with a very strong preference for Howard Jones than the original singer. As I was depressed and listening to Snuff and other kinds of songs like this, I randomly heard a Cheerful Depression song, it was Sleep Forever. It came up with automatic videos on youtube. And I got eye struck by the picture in this video. I was like “I never heard such a sound before” and I went to check what this genre was. It felt a lot more authentic than the depressive songs I used to listen to, and this is how it came up.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Alex: Yes, I and Saqer (one of the band formers) were very close friends and we both were very passionate about black metal since we were like 11 years old. Wendigo, Whirlwind, and Ronce are not original members of the band and joined between 2022 and 2023. Whirlwind and Ronce used to be in a metal band together and did a lot of shows together between 2010 and 2014. Wendigo offered to join the band to answer to a bass player so we didn’t have any bonds with him. We also have a newcomer, Nox, who is a keyboardist that will feature on some shows in October and who is considering joining the band to write the next album with us.

4. Each band member's favorite band?

Alex: I don’t really have a favorite band because I'm always listening to something different than the other day.

Whirlwind: Hard to answer, it’s a matter of mood. I’m into the Ramones lately. 

Wendigo: Iron Maiden.

Ronce: Gris. My favorite musician is Nils Frahm. Though the last gig that really marked me was Archive.

Nox: Meshuggah

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

Alex: Many events have happened to me since my childhood like war, nostalgia, suffering from depression and anxiety, etc..

Whirlwind: A girl I loved, that made my world crumble, and that I never got over.

Ronce: The forest. I spend a lot of time outside.

Nox: The Suze.

6. Where was your last gig?

Alex: I have never played a live shows

Whirlwind: North of Paris, don’t remember where, as I played in many rooms there.

Ronce: At the Covent Garden in Eragny.

Wendigo: At La Tanière in Bresles.

Nox: Tours with Hecate.

7. Where would you like to act?

Alex: Japan and Scandinavia.

Whirlwind: I’d like to visit Scandinavia someday.

Nox: Mongolia.

8. Whom would you like to feature with?

Alex: Mayhem or Darkthrone

Whirlwind: Lord Lokhraed as Nocturnal Depression was the first DSBM band I saw live and I followed their musical career with a lot of attention. We also had a very interesting discussion a few years ago in a bar.

Ronce: Miserere Luminis would be my dream. Otherwise Gorgoroth or Dimmu Borgir.

Nox: I’d love to play with Lifelover but sadly it will be complicated.

9. Whom not?

Alex: Nickelback maybe? XD

Whirlwind: No, Nickelback’s okay. Let’s do a black metal cover of that. That’s an unusual one… Jul?

Nox: Vaginal Kebab. Shitty Grindcore.

Ronce: With Gazo.

10. Have any of you ever suffered from stage fright? Any tips for beginners on how to beat that?

Alex: I didn’t play on stage before. I can't tell how I would react but I suffer from Anxiety so…

Whirlwind: Honestly, no. I always loved to perform in front of people even if in my early days, it was lame. I’m very comfortable on stage. It is where I belong. My tip for beginners would be to dive in and do it! Get yourself filmed and look at yourself. Identify what is wrong and what you didn’t like and correct these things. Also, show out on social media, just having your mom say “It’s cool buddy” won’t help you move on. Accept criticism, and just ignore hate. This is irrelevant. Keeping a trace of yourself will allow you to come back to this years later, and be critical about yourself. And also see the improvement. Embrace yourself! People whining are just posers that don’t do anything on their own, let them talk. You are trying. It will pay someday.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

Alex: Saturnus, Bur*um, Woods of Ypres.

Whirlwind: Swallow the sun I’d say. Though for my own style, Mark Arnell inspired me a lot.

Nox: Meshuggah.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

Alex: To worship me and make sacrifices to be accepted by Xathrites.

Whirlwind: Sex. Is that weird tough?

Nox: To put a sticker of his band on his side cut.

13. What do you think of your fans?

Alex: They are great people, to be honest, they have been very supportive and many of them reach out to us to discuss their problems or even ask for advice. 

Whirlwind: I have good contact with some of them and I am really into doing this music for them. As DSBM helped me through dark times, I like to think that my music can help people too, and I know it does. We are very reachable folks so feel free to write if you want to talk, duet with us, make memes, or anything! We read everything.

14. What do you think of our site?

Whirlwind: The site is rather complete, it’s a good initiative. We thank you a lot for the opportunity to answer your questions. We will spread it around for sure! 

15. Something to add?

Whirlwind: Hope to see a lot of you in our upcoming tours. You will be able to see us in Georgia, Armenia, Bulgaria, Italy, and twice in France in October this year. Next year in a lot of Western European countries, and hopefully that furtherly we can play in the American continent and Scandinavia. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and Tiktok, this is where we put band updates as our official Facebook page has been bereft of its administrator rights. Hails from Xathrites.

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