Interview With Messiah
Interview By Arto
The Swiss metal scene in the 80s used to be flourishing and got a lot of
interest, respect and attention because of several awesome bands like Coroner and of
course the legendary Celtic Frost. Besides those two bands, the local underground extreme
metal scene was damn vital bringing a lot of more and more brutal death/thrash bands, such
as Messiah. In the early 90s the band got signed by Noise and put out a number of
albums and toured with Deicide until they split up. Massacre Records recently re-issued
the old back-catalogue of the most obscure and nihilistic stuff of Messiah titled
Hymn To Adramelin and Extreme Cold Weather with the bonus tracks
added. Both the cult releases basically stand for the most brutal stuff from the early
days of the Messiah career. Because of the re-issues of the first two album the founding
member Bröggi shed some light on the history of Messiah from the early 80s till now
Good day to Switzerland, whats up there?
Hi, well... first I am welcoming all readers of metal-rules! I am proud to talk some
words to you of the old times related with the re-releases
All right lets get to the main issue to deal with: The history of the outfit
from its early days in the mid 80s, and of course, the two re-issued albums Hymns to
Adramelin and Extreme Cold Weather. But I guess it is quite logical to start the whole
interview in the chronological order. The band was founded in 1984 by you and the singer
at that time R. Tschoesi, and recorded the first official demo titled PowerThrash. Could
you tell a little bit more about the founding of the band?
"once upon a time" In the beginning, each of us three original members
started playing it`s instrument a close time before MESSIAH was born. No one had lessons
with the instrument and we were only inspired by our feeling and the mixture of our
favorite bands. Tschösi was more in the extreme of the early 90`s bands, I preferred more
the classical metal bands; Jazzi liked more of the old school metal. First, it was not
planned to found a band - we just rehearsed with fun and a great feeling.
I cant help asking if you picked up the bands name from
Hellhammers Messiah track?
Yes, that`s not unright, but as we decided to became a band after Tschösi began
playing the bass also (we didn`t find a bass player), we wrote our first lyrics and were
influenced with themes of personal interestings of critical religion, anarchism, self
feelings of freedom in each life situations. The name MESSIAH was the symbolic and perfect
pseudonym we found. Yes, it's from the HELLHAMMER record, but not as a copy of the idea,
only because it was the ultimate symbol like a mirror of our ideas!
As far as I am able to remember there used to be a couple of other bands named after
Messiah, at least one of them was from The States and used to stand for the Christian
background. Did these other Messiahs bring some unwanted problems for you, apart from
people confused them to each other quite often like me?
I know two other MESSIAHs: one is the band from the states and the only problem is that
the right of owner of pseudonyms in the states is not the same like in Europe. Our cd`s of
the newer MESSIAH released under Noise, were titled as "The MESSIAH" or
"MESSIAH AD" - but I give a fuck of this `cause our history started early in
Europe and such as I know this was very first. And it`s not that important because the
style of music in his difference tells all about. The second Messiah is techno-dance shit
or something and they loosed the case with the record company Modern Music/Noise because
we had the evidence of owner of the band-name first used in 1984.
Then in 1986 you entered the studio to record the second demo in a row called
Infernal Thrashing which was spread around the underground thru several die hard
death/thrash metal tape traders, giving an opportunity to you to process the first studio
album Hymn To Adramelin?
Infernal Thrashing and former tapes also were not made with the idea of direction to get a
deal. At this time I think we didn`t realise what we started really. Tapes were the only
way we had to get in contact with the scene and personally for me it was a bigger moment
to hear our sound on tape than later on the albums. The "kick" for recording the
first album was given after first shows together with Celtic Frost and a roadie of them
"DINOSAUR SURREMANN", who founded the CHAINSAW MURDER label.
How important did you view the flourishing tape trading phenomenon for the existence
of Messiah in the 80s and why not even nowadays?
I think the times changed in the scene like in all things in life, but I must say that
I lost the newer period of the underground scene of today. Sure, a little I can see, but I
don`t really know if it`s maybe me that changed or the underground. It lost something of
the "nostalgic" and special feeling. I think today it`s easier to record a CD
very fast with technical possibilities an qualities and a lot of bands are doing this -
but who know them? More bands with extreme sound have the possibility to get a deal, not
so MESSIAH in the 80`s. Tapes were our base of existence and as we played with the newer
MESSIAH in former DDR or Poland, the fans knew our tracks only from the tapes - but very
Both the demos sold approximately 200-300 pieces in general, but nobody knows how
much it got spread all around?
Yes, dont ask me how much copies were around.
The first press of Hymn To Adramelin was limited to 2000 copies with the entire
black cover and later edition was limited 5000 with the red cover, why were those copies
limited to certain amount and especially with the different front cover colors?
As I remember, only to make a difference to the first edition because it was sold out
very soon. And, CHAINSAW-MURDER was a small private-label and it was only the money spent
that was possible and no one of all of us thought that the debut sell that good (relative
for that music in that times).
Then Extreme Cold Weather was unleashed in 1987 via the small Chainsaw Murder Rec
and also limited 12000 copies with the blue vinyl. Did it cost a lot after all to print
different versions of those albums for you ?
No, that had absolutely nothing to do with the Debut on CHAINSAW MURDER REC.
Did you record both the albums in Switzerland, or did you hire a studio and producer
in Germany and how did you carry out all the recording methods of the albums from the
beginning to the end ?
Both albums were recorded in the same 8-track-studio in Switzerland (home-town
"Baar") and we had no producer and the owner of the studio never made a
metal-record. So we had to learn the simple technique of that recording studio and did the
recording`s and mixing by ourself! Again, inspired by our own feelings without any
influence of other productions.
Hymn consisted of nine tracks whereas Extreme Cold Weather had seven, which became a
milestone of the career of Messiah of which the Messiah cult and legend status are known
among underground freaks still recognizing. It is obvious you gotta be damn proud of those
early albums because people seem to remember best with these outputs?
YES! And I want to use this opportunity to say thank you to all the people and old fans
and also to the new young freaks who discover MESSIAH in it`s early days and it makes me
happy to know that our old feeling of music is still alive (in my mind it`s too!)
I managed to get a hold of those albums via traditional tape trading because it used
to be damn hard to track them down up here in Finland due to the lousy distribution, as
both the albums were released by a tiny record Chainsaw Murder Rec.. I gotta admit being
unaware of the whole existence of that label. What kind of label it was anyway? Did you
run it by yourself ?
No, as I explained before, the owner of the label was a friend of ours (DINOSAUR) and
he spent his money to realize our first albums and making possible the recordings of other
bands like EXCRUCIATION and PENTAGRAM.
Another small unknown underground label of that time called Nuclear Blast had put
both the albums on the same cd and unleashed it in 1990. How did this come about? Were you
aware of this kind of releasing both the albums? Did this come as some sort of surprise to
Nuclear Blast wasn`t that big as today and they were interested for re-releasing our
debuts on CD, `cause at that time the albums were sold out (except bootlegs). But we were
not happy with that releases, `cause the way it was done is not MESSIAH-like, not
original, seeming like sold out
.We were not happy with this.
After releasing the debut album, Messiah did a bunch of gigs in several countries
supporting bigger and smaller names. What kind of reception did you receive on gigs and
did you have a loyal fan base in certain countries like in Germany and Switzerland ?
MESSIAH became to be an absolutely live-combo and the first official gig we played was
with CELTIC FROST Dec.85` in Switzerland. For this show, a lot of people came from Germany
and first we realised that we had fans knowing our tracks from the tapes. More and more we
did shows in Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy and Switzerland. MESSIAH became more a
live band and the shows were that brutal in the early times I never had the experience
later with the newer MESSIAH on tour like with DEICIDE in the 90`s. MESSIAH had a fan club
in Germany called "Thrashing Madness Fan Club."
By the time Extreme Cold Weather had hit stores, the line-up started changing and
finally Messiah ceased to exist. Actually what were the basic reasons for the split up?
Did you get tired of battling with guys who left the band and then finding and recruiting
new faces to the ranks?
I remember the fact was that we had personality problems and differences of the style of
music we played. Tschösi and me had more and more differences of playing cause he liked
to became more chaotic and extreme, whereas I prefered the extreme sound also, but not to
much grindcore-like. With the later MESSIAH - albums I had done my direction, but the best
mixture would be the technical of the newer MESSIAH combining the old style.
The era of 1985-87 used to be glorious years of the brutal and aggressive
thrash/death metal stuff and the Swiss metal scene was basically know for two bands
Coroner and Celtic Frost, even though there were a plenty of killer bands, such as
Apocalypse. Apparently Messiah never tried to achieve to the same big league with Coroner
and Celtic Frost, staying more in the underground level?
CELTIC FROST and CORONER had deals and a professional background and played more tight.
MESSIAH were more chaotic and not in contact with bigger concert-organizers, and labels
etc. But we were well known in the underground-scene and very, very close to the fans. And
that was the base of our existance and what we and the fans liked.
Messiah rose from the grave in 1990 with the entire new line up, which didnt
last that long because both the guitarist and the drummer quit. Did you face some kind of
personal problems causing their departure?
Not directly personal problems, but that new era of MESSIAH was started with the idea
of more professionalty than in the older times and in front of new recordings there were
some line-up changes.
PsychoMorphia came out via Noise during the same year, but how did you manage to get
the deal with Noise? Because of other well-known bands like Kreator and Celtic Frost used
to be on the same label?
PSYCHOMORPHIA tape had a good resonance from NOISE especially because the intros and
outros and we knew that we had a free ticket to do our thing with NOISE and the first time
we became an offer to realize a professional production - so we signed. It has nothing to
do that other bands like Celtic Frost or Kreator.
The four track PsychoMorphia ep hit the stores presenting the more brutal and
aggressive Messiah. Were you basically pleased with how brutal the result finally turned
PSYCHOMORPHIA is a very good bridge from the old to the newer albums!
Then came Choir Of Horrors, and a year later Rotten Perish. Both the albums used to
stand for the more standard thrash/death metal, but how do you view those albums done for
Noise? Were you pleased with the final result? Do you think now afterwards those albums
could have been a little bit more death metal oriented?
speak only for my opinion and as accompanist of 99% of all ever done MESSIAH titles, but I
like Rotten Perish most cause the difference between brutality and silent atmospheres.
Each Album has it`s own "band and history" and the results are like mirror of
each times. Except the UNDERGROUND album. I like all of them an it dosn`t matter if these
records had do be more thrash or more death metal and you can believe me, that we never
oriented us on a style before we went to the studio. It`s just what we liked play to this
times witout to say "now we have to do a more death-album."
The last album titled Underground 1994 featured the Therion vocalist doing all the
vocals. Well were you totally pissed off at getting a new vocalist having no background
that much that decided to find a real professional vocalist to handle all the vocal
After the split with the bassplayer - the singer Andy Kaina also left cause he was a
very, very good friend of his. We searched for a new shouter and tested and rehearsed
How did Christopher Christofer Johnsson come up?
We met him first as THERION played with us in Poland and we get in contact and had big
fun on that festival. One year later, I organized a THERION show in Switzerland and as we
didn`t find a vocalist for MESSIAH, I asked him if he would made that new album with us as
session-shouter and so it happened.
Then Messiah ceased to exist once again. Well the standard question: What made you
decide to quit Messiah permanently back then?
problem. That's the most asked question. The best answer you get if you listen to the
UNDERGROUND album. Don`t you think that`s not MESSIAH, more like another stranger
band? For me, the slow death of the band entered before we started with the recordings. I
was tired and the identity of MESSIAH was lost definitely and as we had discussions about
the lyrics: I gave up. I think it was like a new band and I was the only MESSIAH buddy
left, and so I decided to engross the sudden death - finally!
In fact, I was kinda surprised to learn that Hymn To Adramelin and Extreme Cold
Weather have been re-issued by Massacre records. Did the Massacre staff approach you
suggesting to reissue these old albums ?
No, I got in contact first because I saw old MESSIAH shirts in the METAL MERCHANT.
Later we talked about the re-releases, `cause there were a lot of new fans that never had
the chance to get the old albums. And old fans prefer the vinyl-version `cause the Nuclear
Blast version is not original.
Are you about to resurrect Messiah for the third reunion, because of having got a
deal with Massacre and the old albums got their prestigious reissued versions?
Definitely NO! I am in contact with the old and new members an we discussed a reunion,
but we decided definitely that we don`t want to fall in the same corner like a lot of the
80`s bands. We made a rehearsal session with the old and newer member together this summer
and now it`s the possibility that we will play ONLY ONE ULTIMATE BIG SHOW, (SWITZERLAND or
SOUTH-GERMANY) next Year, without reunion thoughts!
Speaking of the reissued albums, both the albums contain a lot of bonus and all
kinds of exclusive material recorded on gigs and demo tracks, and of course some
previously unreleased tracks. Can you tell a little bit more about those reissued albums
for all the readers?
These re-releases are the original versions of the 86/87 albums and not like the
strange Nuclear Blast split version of 1990. HYMN TO ABRAMELIN contains all the interludes
and the original sound, also EXTREME COLD WEATHER contains the live-side like the
original. The bonus-tracks are taken from the original demos, and specially on H.T.A.M.
contains unreleased unofficial first recording from the very first beginning. Each of us
started playing his instrument not long before MESSIAH was founded and it doesn`t matter
that this songs are very raw and unprofessional. Fact is that these titles show the very
first beginning with an unique sound and very brutal vocals. Also as bonus added were
songs from our very first gig with an old friend of mine, playing the second guitar
As for the albums released on Noise, do you have full legal ownership rights to
those albums or has Noise obtained the needed legal basic arguments to have them on their
All rights of the MESSIAH songs on the NOISE albums were now on Sanctuary records,
Modern Music exist no more longer under that name since 1999 - I think.
Before quitting the interview it is kinda necessary to ask if you are still into the
metal and follow the current metal scene closely?
Oh no, since 1995 I lost the contact in the metal scene and it started again one year
ago that I found a new fans interested in MESSIAH and the scene. I also didn`t use my
English during the past few years and hope you understand my little weird phrases.
I for one thank you for having the opportunity of doing the interview of Messiah for
www.metal-rules.com, and of course the last words are definitely yours.
I specially like to thank all the old and new fans cause without you the existence of
MESSIAH never became that real! We were inspired by you in our old and newer times and
MESSIAH is a mirror of that great feelings we lived.
Band Website: www.messiah.ch