LEGENDARY KINGDOMS from the United States
Questions: Ace Warloch
Date: November 21th, 2008
First published on http://www.legendarykingdoms.net/valgorth_interview08.htm
So who is the mysterious warrior soul known as Valgorth?
Power to You, Ace! Thank You for taking the time in sending this rapid interrogatory. It is interesting to share valuable opinions and thoughts. Regarding Your question, I have to say it depends on what You mean by “mysterious”. I guess there is a mystery about my persona, but that is only because I want everybody to focus on my works and nothing else. I know that I did several projects and metal activism for a couple of years, and because of that, I can be seen or classified in many ways. However, I find it difficult to put myself into simple categories. I constantly am modifying patterns of existence and I do not want to encapsulate myself. I am like an explorer who seeks to discover the limits of his abilities. The illustration, graphic and web design, music, or just writing a report, statement, or portraying myself with ornaments, or anything else, are just working tools, elements, bridges, portals, signs that I swing to liberate a message. I hardly am considering myself an artist nowadays. “Whatever my passions demand of me, I become for the time being – artist, musician, author, lecturer, or anything else.” That is my guiding condition. I am not a collective person but a neo-positivist and individualist being. I hail to the intellectual revolution of the mind, through hard work and sacrifice, over simple pleasures of society. I am just one like many others out there who possess the words “strength through resistance” incrusted in the soul.
How and when were you introduced to Heavy Metal?
I was seventeen when I felt interested in this music. I was handed 2 tapes, a compilation containing several Manowar songs, and a Running Wild recording from the Piles of Skulls album. I was immediately enthusiastic about the energy, potency, and magic of this special music. I was not even caring about any other kind of sound before that. I was partially a recluse anyway. I was just caring about my studies, illustrations, and martial arts. At the same time, I was developing a huge interest in barbarian/sci-fi/dark illustrations. I was also increasing a fascination with paganist and occultist lectures. It was an automatic reaction to reject any obscure and ridiculous godly idea. So I can see how the combination of those growing artistic passions, lectures, and ideas was constructing very specific mental and spiritual codes for adequate impulses to connect myself with metal music. In my opinion, I was always sworn by the metal winds except that I was lacking some musical parameters to fulfill specific areas. I would also like to add that I talk about metal, not heavy metal. Because heavy, black, death, thrash, grind, etc, describe different motivational and powerful aspects, structures, and stimuli within Metal. Everything contributes to varied moods and emotions. They all work like a tornado that purifies my metabolism. Ultimately, I am not perceiving the idea of metal the same way as many do. I do not share the idea of metal just as a musical form or movement. Neither is it a way of living or to belong to a specific target of society. I consider metal a condition or state of influence that contributes to certain emotions in balancing the energy within. Some people call it metal; I call it rebellion, liberation, strength, the emancipation of senses. A force that drives the impetus. All this must embrace a serious and important meaning. Otherwise, it has no real significance and purpose.
What was your first concert experience?
It was an invitation to assist the Monsters of Rock Festival in 1995. It wasn’t the best show, but it was interesting to see a huge concert like that. Of course, much better events came after that one.
How old are you?
Old enough to know that age is not important when one is blessed by a heart of fury! I never cared about time parameters. My energy will never fade away man.
Have you lived in Argentina your whole life?
I am currently localized in the boring city of Buenos Aires. But I am not living in the pandemonium of noise, buildings, people and cars from the central city. I hate human zoo there. Argentina has very beautiful landscapes and natural areas, but I cannot say the same about the general population. There are exceptions though. Thankfully, mp3 players exist, so they can guard the sanity of Your mind against all the possible signals of human disturbance while You walk the streets.
What is the metal scene like there?
Well, I do not pay too much attention to local or international scenes. I am fervently not following anything. I only keep myself informed and that’s all. I am so concentrated on work that I disconnect myself from the outside world. I am not the classic guy who goes to night clubs every weekend, so I don’t know what everybody is doing out there. This place is not so different than the others. There are very intelligent, organized, and serious groups of competent working persons; then there is a major sector of accumulated human garbage, who are ruled by unculture and idiotism. The problem is that, due to this second group of living abortions, the valuable persons are hardly taken seriously. It is better to not deal with all those unscrupulous characters because they are just a waste of time. As soon as I meet someone like that I just doom his/her presence to oblivion. It is better to be surrounded by positive human beings.
You have been providing a unique combination of artwork and web design for the metal community for some time now. How long have you been in business?
Officially, I have been active in this for 6 years now. Nevertheless, I consider my piles of illustrations for the final issues of Leather Knights fanzine, an extra impulsion of my career. That was during 1998 and 1999. Afterward, I developed my online portal called Maximal Collision in 2002 – a metal website with a serious and furious point of view that was the cornerstone work for my actual operations and responsibilities. That site was also a primary bridge to expose my artworks and promote related metal activities for colleagues of the force. Eventually, MC was terminated in 2005.
As far as the combination of graphic and web design goes, I find it extremely interesting and valuable the possibilities that both fields offer. If You know how to get the best from them, the creative possibilities are endless. I generate very particular conditions in different conscious and unconscious levels. I can manipulate many forms of art in different directions. I have great motivation and I love to challenge my capacities. I still have a lot of knowledge to assimilate. This is a continuous path and I am discovering new methods and techniques all the time. I don’t think there is a real point of perfection, only the capacity to constantly overcome Your limits.
Did you ever take any artistic lessons?
No, I did not take any. All come naturally to me. I am completely self-taught. Besides, I never had the proper enthusiastic or economical support from others to have formal studies. So, I was teaching myself how to do everything. I guess if I was mega-rich I would be going to the highest institutes but I never felt that I needed that. This also leads me to think about my max-ally and friend, Wojtek Lisicki, who never went to any musical institute. Nevertheless, he conceived albums of might that shake the foundations of everything we know in metal music – blasting to dust the most famous and boring albums of the past and last Millenium. He is living proof of the power of will.
You have worked with some famous bands now. How have those experiences been? Which is the most memorable?
Famous or not, it is always a satisfaction to forge legacies with professional and intelligent beings. All my experiences were very great so far. People from the metal zone do not have to waste so much time explaining to me how everything works. Communication is always good and the internet simplifies the interaction. I don’t think I can select just one memorable experience. I have so many memories from everybody that it would be unfair to leave anyone out.
Have any bands or labels ripped you off?
Not yet. I hope I do not have to experience that situation. I always try to get involved in projects with serious persons. If there is real commitment then we can have a deal and make a good working plan. As a man of honor, I refuse anything that could compromise my principles. However, I do not think that my methods, image, ideology, honoraries, or everything that characterizes me will appeal to the opportunist rats. I think it is quite obvious the level of art that I offer. But You never know…
How much work have you done for the non-metal community?
A couple. My works are not only dedicated to the metal community. They are also applicable to a broad spectrum of categories from music, literature, sci-fi, and fantasy to animation, video games, cinematography, science, and more. However, I am not interested in political parties, religious or military organizations. But for example, I would gladly hear an assignment proposal from an environmental organization. Sometimes I give a hand to other colleagues who have no clear idea what metal is all about or who Valgorth is. It is very productive at a professional level to expand horizons in other zones. There are always people who possess knowledge that one doesn’t and You can learn a lot from them, even if You watch them do their daily rituals.
Tell us about the winged hammer and why you created it.
I always admired the essence of the mighty ancient hammer. It is a very significant symbol that reflects courage, guidance, and inspiration. It is a powerful symbol against tyranny. Especially back in the days of iron when the rising oppression of an obscure religious belief was severely suppressing and infecting the minds. Retrospectively, I am a man of codes and analogies. It is a natural process for me to observe and recognize signs everywhere. I systematically project my symbology to reject the influence of this reality and transcend the liberty of my actions. I thought it was an adequate choice to assimilate the essence of the sign of the hammer and make it part of me. This is a shield to confront the modern society and oppose their dogmatic mysticism and primitive ideas; and of course, it is another way to deny the isolation from this world order. I do not intend to instigate anyone to follow what I do or act according to what I say. I have my codes of life, and everyone should find their own. But I intend to free and deliver a message to construct a gateway out from this matrix we call “reality”. I created both the winged and encircled hammer as symbols of justice, strength, and liberty. Not only to identify myself and everything I do but also to inspire, encourage, and motivate the inner force. Everything I do has a meaning and a very calculated thought. I strive for the sagacity of mind. Something more than just fancy words and colors to make the perception react and expand. Art without essence is nothing. I consider important the way we perceive the world, otherwise, we would be just robotic automatons. One should always follow his or her spirit as a guide and be strong like the hammer of Thor to perform giant-killing duties.
Tell us about «The Catalclysmical Metal Front» newsletter and how people can subscribe.
The Cataclysmical Metal Front is an online newsletter to inform the audience and keep them updated with all the current activities and news of the site. I didn’t want to name it only “Newsletter” because it would sound too boring. I didn’t have a lot of time to work with this publication either. I got too busy with assignments that I didn’t find the time to properly bring to life that section. The publication is a bit under suspended animation for the moment. However, I have a better idea of what I want to do now. I may just restart from the beginning all over again, change the name and look of everything, or whatever else. The people can subscribe just by sending their e-mail addresses using the subscription page from the website area.
You also have created your music. Tell us about that.
Well, the process of creating music opened new gates for exploring more artistic boundaries. This was something that was pounding my mind for a long time. But when You do not have the right tools, neither the knowledge, spiritual and me(n)tal maturity, or predisposition to affront the task, then it is better to let the time make its magic and prepare the terrain, to welcome Your return when You are ready. I have been constructing music for a moderated time. At this moment there is not so much that I want to reveal about it. I am concentrating on learning, composing, and arranging the material that I have so far. I am not a musician nor do I care about that. But I have a lot of ideas that I want to manifest. This is also a research of pure scientific and musical investigation with a haughty renegade approach. What will result from this is something that only the winds of tomorrow know.
So how has the Judo been going?
Very well, thank You for asking. I had a very intense time during January, February, and March training with the national delegation. I was also preparing the machinery for the national contest that took place in La Rioja (an Argentinean province), in April where I got the 2nd position of my category. It was a very good achievement considering that I wasn’t competing for the last four years. There were very curious expectations for everybody to see “the return”. Everything was perfect, contrary to the pleas of some pigs. When the national was over, I went to an exile for two months to focus on work. Of course, the training never stopped. However, I am not so sure if I will be so involved with the national team as I used to be. I have H-I-G-H-E-R priorities and deeper fights calling my name. My maximal motivation, in connection to Judo, is exclusively the physical training to keep perfecting and enduring myself. Besides, I am sick of the entire political bullshit and internal masquerade with two-faces from our national committee. They expect You to kiss their arses to have results done. Well, that is something I will never do. They and everybody who thinks that way can fuck-off.
How long have you practiced it?
24 years, since my 6 years old. I lost the count of how many combats I did. I trained and fought in the most deplorable conditions: wounded, sick, with cold and heat, without food, without resting. When I became sensei, I even had my dojo where I was teaching little kids from 4 to 12 years old. I enjoy this discipline a lot. I am currently training with a group of wonderful people. True brothers at arms.
Have you ever had to use it in a real-life situation?
Well, I was using it in real-life situations since the first time I stepped onto a tatami for combating others. It is not a dancing act that we do there. People can go mean on You. If You do not respond with proper aggression, You can get hurt, especially during extremely high conditions of professional competition levels. I have pals who had their arms and legs broken or lost their consciousness to the point of hospitalization. I saw it all. In street fight terms, I was sadly involved in a couple, but I do not like vainglory. It was only self-defense because I avoid conflicts. Besides, I am not a fat neanderthal anus-fighter wearing a Motörhead t-shirt who needs to prove himself every weekend at the bar. People who are like that are apes. The only fight that I am interested in is to combat the constant oppression of this treacherous world that systematically intends to slave our souls.
One thing I’ve always admired about you, and personally find inspiring, is your level of integrity and motivation. Where does this come from? Who and what has inspired you to become who you are?
Thank You very much for those great and honorific words! My sources of inspiration and stimulus are many. They all come from many places such as illustration, movies, martial arts, lectures, chats, friends, music, visions, animals, nature, storms, winds, universe, theories, fantasy, magic, un-magic, happiness, and suffering. My mind is a radar constantly assimilating signals from each zone. I like to get the best from everything, even from misery. There is always discouragement in many forms. But if You can believe in Yourself beyond that sphere, then You can obtain the extra-energy You need to keep moving forward. Because the truth is that Your inner golden voice is what matters. There are the ones who will always have very valuable wisdom, and one could be stupid for not learning from other people’s mistakes. But what the rest of the mob of right reproduces is just a collection of thoughts to limit Your capacities. In the end, You are the only one who has the power to make things real. I am not the master of the world or someone who knows everything, neither do I consider myself better than anyone else. But I know what it is to submit mind, body, and soul into a sacrifice for one’s goals. I learned to work through the pain to achieve certain objectives. I consider that Aggression, Fury, and Hate can be maximal allies in times of need when everything else has vanished. I believe in the hegemonic power and triumph of will and the causes provoked by one’s hand. That is the only faith that I embrace. I cannot say that someone made me the way I am. I do not feel so comfortable with that idea. Besides, this point of view also implies a pre-participation from a god. I am a renegade with that. Religion is a drug that pollutes the conscience. It intends to dominate the mind and soul with totalitarian fundaments. There is a magical purity in this world that should be protected from the hands of mind-oppressors. We write our own books man.
Name some illustrators you like.
Simon Bisley, Clint Langley, Alex Ross, Lucas/Mauro Cascioli/Ariel Olivetti/Claudio Ramirez and their inspiring work with Cazador, Frank Frazetta, Liam Sharp, Dave McKean, Frank Bernard Dicksee, Mårten Eskil Winge, Gustave Doré, H.R. Gigger and Alberto Breccia for “The Myths Of Cthulhu”.
List a few favorite bands:
This is the music that I listen to most for finding inspiration and empowerment:
Lost Horizon, Bathory and Quorthon solo albums, Conan The Barbarian (Movie Soundtrack by Basil Poledouris), Unreal astral and Ambiental music, Richard Wagner, Luciferion, Running Wild, and anything powerful and secret that I may find.
What are you listening to right now?
I was listening to this music during the past weeks, in random order:
BATHORY – Blood On Ice and Hammerheart (albums).
LOST HORIZON – both albums and new songs from the future album
CONAN The Barbarian (Movie Soundtrack).
300 (Movie Soundtrack).
VIRGIN STEELE – Mind Body And Spirit, Veni Vidi Vici, A Token Of My Hatred and Kingdom Of Fearless (songs).
MORBID ANGEL – Blessed Are The Sick and Domination (albums).
LUCIFERION – The Apostate (album, especially New World To See from 02:58 to 04:11 minutes).
OUTER BEYOND – (random songs).
I – Between The Worlds (album).
GRAVE DIGGER – from The Reaper to Liberty Or Death (albums).
OVERKILL – Wrecking Your Neck Live, The Killing Kind, and Immortalis (albums).
FALKENBACH – Ok Nefna Tysvar Ty (album).
BEHEMOTH – The Apostasy (album).
NOCTURNUS – Threshold (album).
RUNNING WILD – Piles of Skulls and Black Hand Inn (albums).
RAGE – Black In Mind, Thirteen, and Lingua Mortis (albums).
THERION – Thely album and the “Under Jolly Roger” Running Wild cover version.
SAMSARRA – random songs from their upcoming new album “The Unbeliever”.
BLACKSMITH – Sharpen The Steel (album).
AGAINST THE PLAGUES – The Architecture Of Oppression (album).
FEANOR – Invencible (album).
SUFFOCATION – (random songs).
QUORTHON – (both albums).
NINTH GATE – (Movie Soundtrack).
SKILTRON – Beheading The Liars (album).
WIZARD – Sons Of Darkness (album).
BRIMSTONE- Carving A Crimson Career (album).
EMPEROR – In The Nightside Of Eclipse (album).
AZARATH – (random songs).
GLITTERTIND – (random songs).
RIOT – Thundersteel (album).
Astral, ambient, and cosmic trance.
The list goes on.
What are you currently reading?
I just put my hands on the volumes of Sláine: The Books Of Invasions; that is a brilliant and fantastic publication! I am also reading a lot of online dictionaries, tutorials of design and software, information about totems, quotes, biographies, news about movies and comic books, Nietzsche, Sun Tzu, or anything that I think could help me with my plans, business or just to keep myself interested. I have books about history, myths, satanism, paganism, odinism, including works from Lovecraft (my favorite writer), Michael Moorcock, Tolkien and other writers, and piles of comic books. Most of the time, I don’t read newspapers, or stuff like that so much. Most of the time, I have no idea what is going on out there until someone tells me.
What is your favorite super-hero movie?
I mega love the film adaptations of Christopher Nolan’s Batman. They revindicated the essence of the character this time. Batman Begins was like reading Year One by Frank Miller but on a giant screen. The Dark Knight movie was far beyond my expectations. It was perfect. A fantastic movie, full of action and meaning. It was very inspiring. V For Vendetta was great as well. As far as the avalanche of Marvel movies, I like The Punisher and Incredible Hulk with Edward Norton. I am interested in what they will do with Thor. Another great movie based on a comic book that I enjoyed was 300. They should make an adaptation version based on Sláine Mac Roth as well.
What is the ultimate movie of all time?
That title bellows to CONAN THE BARBARIAN (1982).
No last words from me! I am not disappearing or dying. I appreciate the time You took for sending me this questionary to exchange words and thoughts. There are still many goals to accomplish. I am preparing the machinery to expand the entity to other sectors, to let the voice of rebellion be heard with greater might. Keep an eye on my new headquarters, HAMMERBLAZE, on www.hammerblaze.com – The Flame has risen! A salutation of thunder to all those who are Allies. Power to the Circle Of The Arcanes!
SHARPEN UP THE STEEL!