An interview with Ian Read
Dark Folk has
many bands that focus on the pagan subjects but no one approaches these
subjects with such beauty, emotion and profound wisdom as Fire+Ice.
Fire+Ice is the band of Ian Read, excellent singer, fabulous lyricist and a true Galdrman…A Man dedicated to his beliefs and to the path that leads to Odhinn…
Anyone that discovers this band, discovers far more than music,
Anyone that discovers this artist, discovers far more than Art,
Anyone that discovers this Man, discovers far more than mortal subjects…
(With his kind permission and acceptance we now leave you with his words for the Heimdallr’s readers…)
First of all, Ian…when have you felt that your path in life were to be different from most people’s path?!…Was that clear to you, early in your life?!…How were you as a teenager?!…
At age 16 when I left
school and went into the big, bad world I quickly came to realise that
most people were not interested in anything much beyond the mundane and
because I knew I was interested in more than that it made me feel somehow
superior. Time has only served to strengthen that feeling into a knowing;
although I have managed over the years to make contact with other fully
alive people which is satisfying.
On what stage of your life comes your Love for Paganism in General and Ancient Germanic traditions in particular and on the other hand on what stage of your life comes your Love for Music and how did these two passions get entwined?!…
When I was about 17 years of age I met people who played around with worshipping Óðinn and joined them, becoming more serious as time went on. Some few years before this I had awakened to music as a listener and from around the same age I started singing. These two passions were always entwined because singing is a way of enchanting.
Did you need a way
to express yourself and have chosen Music or have Music chosen you?!…
At what time in your life have appeared people like Tony Wakeford, David Tibet, Douglas Pearce, Joolie Wood?!…and what weight had they in your artistic path?!…
Expressing myself has never been a problem for me and music is just one of the ways I use to convey the important things. In the late eighties I met the first three people socially and agreed to work with them musically. Without them I may never have shared my musical vision with a wider audience than those few people who had heard me perform previously. Joolie came along later.
As you were in early Sol Invictus, in early Current 93, etc. could you please tell us what were the feelings of those days?!…It’s that the early records emanate a certain purity of energy that nobody seems to be able to reproduce…
Nostalgia is a powerful
emotion and I do have fond memories of those early days. Nothing, however,
remains the same.
When and Why have you decided to call it a day on Sol Invictus, did your departure from Sol Invictus automatically lead to the beginning of Fire+Ice or had you some time of doubt?!…
When I moved to Germany
to study fighting and sorcery from a master I could no longer work with
anyone else for some time. On my return I was surprised to find that people
asked me when I intended making an album. I had no intention of doing so
but this interest moved me to consider how many people would hear the true
tradition if I did so. So much rubbish circulates about the Old Ways I
felt the real thing had to somehow have an airing and music was a good
medium for this.
Do you still keep in touch with Tony Wakeford?!…
Tony and I rarely meet
but exchange a few words when we do.
Fire+Ice…on what emotional basis have you decided to create it?!…Have you decided to give expression to your love for the old ways and Fire+Ice were the means to that end or were you just looking for making some good Music and only later it became the vehicle to express the northern mysteries?!…
Some of this is answered
above but I would add that the mysteries take precedence over everything
including the creation of Fire + Ice.
What does the name “Fire+Ice” represent ?!…
To master the mysteries
in the Northern Tradition one needs to look at each end of every spectrum
and work with them both in order to live in the place where they no longer
are. Fire + Ice is one way of expressing this polarian method.
“Gilded by the Sun” your first Album, soon made very clear that your “language” wasn’t at the reach of everyone (Examples: Ljosalfar, Basilisk Abode, Corpus Christii) and if any doubts still existed, your second Album “Hollow Ways” ended them all…do you feel uncomfortable with the lack of interpretation that this form of expression may generate on the listeners?!…
My aim is to supply
alternative or different doorways for those who wish to walk on the path
towards Rûna. These move all people differently because all people
have different movements. The message works on various levels like unpeeling
an onion layer after layer. A good deal more than other people’s thoughts
should be required to bring on discomfort.
Talking about misinterpretations…what do you think of the problems that bands like Death in June, Der Blutharsch, Blood Axis, etc. are experiencing or have experienced in the past, being called Nazis, Fascists and so on …do you see it as an absurd reaction or just the sting of managing a two bladed knife?!…
Apparently casting pearls
has become more of a heroic act since the swine managed to acquire arms.
I guess that these assertions are beyond your concern but I’d like to ask you anyway…“Midwinter Fires” seems to be acknowledged by everyone that I know as the less greater record (Although I like it very much) from Fire+Ice?!…Do you see it this way?!…Do you feel this record as being a bit more difficult for the listener?!…
All the albums form
a body of work with one message.
Now, again around the titles…what are the “Hollow Ways” ?!…“Midwinter Fires”…what fires are these, I think I’ve read something about this name in an Edred Thorsson Book but I can’t remember what?!…
Searching is far more
empowering than finding.
Rûna…your fourth Album and what an Album!…As it is written in the booklet this Album is completely dedicated to the Runic-Guild. Should this Album be understood as a “graduation” work or just an offering, a tribute?!…
As the booklet states,
Rûna was my Masterwork of Lore in the Rune-Gild. Other groups throw
around ranks and titles willy-nilly; in the Gild one must earn every level
through Work and Being.
Ian, it’s strange
because although I believe that you Love your music, I feel like
you’ll be leaving it at any time…this is a strange feeling but it’s true.
I feel that your bond is not to music but to something greater and at a certain time you won’t need music any longer…
Am I wrong?!…I hope, I am!…are my fears capable of being materialized?!…
No lyrics have come from my pen since those for ‘Birdking’ were written, so it appears the inspiration for this (or perhaps the Need) has left me for the time being. This means that a new album of my material would not be currently possible. It has been suggested that the area of my mind/soul used to write songs is working away at honing my language skills. If this is true, one may hope that more music will follow. This is in the hands of He who has always moved me to skaldcraft.
About the Musicians…You’ve
been in strict collaboration with many musicians since the beginning but
no Album had such a rich group of musicians as your last Album “Birdking”.
I’m curious to know this…How do you manage to work with all these people, Joe Budenholzer, Michael Cashmore, Michael Moynihan, Annabel Lee, Douglas Pearce, Richard Leviathan, etc.?!…
How’s the music made?!…You go to the studio with them and simply ask them to musically create something to fit in a specific lyric of yours or you already have the songs in your head and ask them to reproduce it in studio?!…
Sometimes I went to
the studio with the musicians and sometimes I sent them a tape with my
singing along with ideas but always the end result depends upon the people
performing on it. Given the quality of the people you mention, how could
it fail to be good?
Will you be playing with Michael Cashmore in the Future?!…Maybe even collaborating with Nature and Organisation?!…
Having Michael’s input
into further Fire + Ice material would be good and I would say that it
is certainly on the cards.
Talking about the future…when can we expect a new Album?!…
Not for the foreseeable
Live Performances…Are you open to play live just under special conditions like in these last three concerts in Portugal?!…
Portugal will be a hard
act to follow given the excellent venues and noble people who organised
everything. I doubt I would have much interest in suggestions which make
no attempt at least to involve a venue of some reasonable quality.
Now, about some Mystical aspects… Are you part of an Order?!…I know that you’re from the Rune-Gild, can it be called an Order?!… I’m asking this because I feel that when it concerns Northern Mysteries it seems that not much transpires to the outside, ain’t the Northern Mysteries Men concerned to pass the Knowledge?!…Or you just believe in the “One that seeks, finds” phrase?!…
You may call the Rune-Gild
an order if you like – what’s in a name?
Of course we are concerned with passing on the knowledge. This is precisely what Rûna magazine does and anyone with the interest can join the Gild. How much more evidence of our teaching is required? People who don’t seek shouldn’t find because this is not for the casual enquirer. Such people will only find the appallingly bad books which proliferate in bookshops and no-doubt believe that they have learnt something, when in fact they know less after reading these than when they started.
Nowadays, it seems that Paganism in general is rising from its ashes, many young people are very interested in their roots, many new groups are making efforts to ressurect the old ways, do you feel that we’re living in an era where the old traditions will live again without any oppression?!…
There is less oppression now than since the blight of monotheism fell upon the world. However, the only way to make the old ways live is to have loads of kids and bring them up to believe. I am not confident that the present bunch of incompetents who mostly run heathen groups (with some few exceptions) could organise to have sex in a brothel (to paraphrase a more earthy saying).
Theologists, have the tendency to draw parallels between the Christian God and the other Creeds/Religions One God, like with the Hindu Brahma, Celtic Dagda, Greek Zeus, Roman Jupiter, etc. Could this parallel be drawn with Odhinn?!…
Such people don’t have
a cat in hell’s chance of understanding Odhinn.
The image/symbol given by Odhinn when he gave an eye to receive the right to knowledge is an image of pure sacrifice, does this symbol applies at any time on the seeker’s path?!…In a spiritual way, of course?!…
Without sacrifice (not only in a spiritual way as you put it) the seeker will never move from his front door. As we are in the business of following where Odhinn has led, using him as our exemplar, we will have to pay a price as he did, although not necessarily the same price.
How do you understand the division between God and Lucifer, Light and Darkness?!…Does this separation have any reason to be when taken into the Nordic Paganism Context?!…
God and Lucifer are
part of an alien creed and have no bearing on a superior tradition. However,
in question 7 I explain something about polar extremes.
While comparing traditions and religions, could one compare the Biblical Apocalypse with the Nordic Ragnarok?!…Gnostic Esoterism tells its initiate that the Bible’s Book of Revelations is an Alchemic Study written in symbols and Metaphors that only a great esoterist will understand it and put it in practice…what about Ragnarok, does it hold any unseen components that the casual reader fails to understand?!…
One might compare the
two but they don’t fit together very well. Our version does indeed contain
much that is hidden from the ken of most, including great secrets of aptrburdhr.
Do you live your life with a spiritual outlook towards it?!…Or are you still an objective “down to earth” Man?!…
These two things do
not appear incompatible to me.
Do you still believe in Love?!…Do you have enough Love in your life ?!…
Aleister Crowley opined,
‘Love is the greatest and most deadly of the illusions’. My life contains
plenty of love and hate, thank you.
How do you understand the concept of Death?!…Do you see it as “A Door that opens instead of one that closes”?!…Do you fear Death?!…
My answer to this question
would have to be pages long at least and contain much of the secret technology
of Rune-Masters. What is there to fear?
Are you fond of the notions of Reencarnation, Recurrences, Dejá-Vus leading to Memories of Past-Lives, etc.?!…
Unless expressed by
those who Know (a small group mainly all known to me personally) this is
a muddled and rather sad area of study.
How do you see the World’s situation of today?!…How do you feel about all these Wars?!…
My aim is to allow the
world to impinge upon me as little as possible. I pray constantly for more
war or anything which will reduce the population drastically – the only
hope it has for a decent future
Do you still believe in Europe?!…Do you still feel its essence alive?!…
The whole world is rapidly
becoming all the same and this is painfully obvious in Europe which is
rapidly losing any essence it had of old. In fact, this spirit only remains
in certain special people who foster it. Most people are the same the world
over: they are born, they copulate, they die – full stop.
Do you believe that
the European should engage in a “War” culture, to preserve its own roots,
traditions and knowledge before we all become a part of a big mass of american
culture colony?!…Do you think that the European will be able to get together
for common interests?!…
And even if they get together, do you still believe in Men as a group or do you think that only the individual struggle will achieve something?!…
People are just not
going to do this whatever I or anyone else thinks because they don’t care
and are too lazy and degenerate. They are running as fast as they can to
be part of this global look-alike contest. Peoples rarely ever get
together in amity and I doubt they will in this cause without the right
movement to encourage this and such a grouping does not exist. Only individuals
ever do achieve anything and they do this in spite of and against the counter
pressures of the mass.
Thank You Very Much Ian and to end this interview, a last (probably needless) question…are you still “Against the Modern World”?!…
I am a traditionalist
who is happy that modern dentistry exists, for example.
Heimdallr’s Blessings to you
Interview by Miguel