You don’t have to be in a band to be involved in the scene. From Slovenia, Demona Star is a model whose work is totally related to Black Metal, plus she runs one page and a closed group on facebook dedicated to promoting underground bands (just like this blog). She also paints. Here she talks how is to be a model in a male scene, her work and local masters of controversal, Laibach.
Normally, the first question I ask is to talk about the aesthetics and music of the band. Since you’re not in a band, I can’t ask you about the music, but being a model and a painter, aesthetics is defenitely part of your job. Could you tell us more about it?
Definitely, aesthetics is for a model one of the most important values, as well as for a painter. As alternative model Demona Star my style is dark, meaning i am always wearing black lipstick, black makeup, i am dressed in black, with some little combinations of white, red or purple sometimes, but my main style is black metal style, which also represents my name Demona Star worldwide in the best possible way, and that is very mystical, magickal and occult., which is exactly what i love the most. It is just part of me, my spiritual life and who i really am so all is coming from my inside to outside, that’s why also my paintings all have mystical, occult and satanic motives and that for me is the real beauty.
I know and i am aware that every eyes see the aesthetics in a bit different way and everyone is free to have own opinion and perception of beauty. But I never care or depend on opinion of other people, i mean, of course i prefer that people like me, but i am not depending on it, the most important for me about what i am doing is that i am always myself and who i really am and not some kind of fake. I could never be a fake to my own self in order just to please the majoritiy of people. So first of all i am doing what i am doing purely for my own self, i am satisfied with my own self aesthetics and aesthetics of my paintings and if other people like that too then it only makes me proud and more self confident, but if they don’t like my style, my paintings and what i am doing, i just say screw them, it’s their own choice and problem not mine. I am building out of chaos which for me is the real art and masterpiece.
The most important is that you find your own will and from there on the strength will guide you on the way of prosperity. “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law” as Thelema says to reach the highest Sephiroth of Kaballah. I know exactly why i am here at this particular moment and what is my mission in this lifetime so my art and what i am doing is just the expression of it. I hate people who are judging other people by the look as i believe you can’t know a person just from the outside look. Outside look and what is seen to the eyes is just matherialised expression of the inner soul but to know the inner soul you need to look deep inside someone, beyond of what eyes can see. Eyes are just the mirror of the soul so to see someones soul you have to look beyond what eyes can see.
Well, my decision of being a black metal model occurred purely out of my great love and passion for black metal music and bands. Styling is also a very important part of every band so it’s all connected you see. And black metal music always has a strong spiritual background, so i started from there, from my own spiritual journey and experiences which guided me to black metal music in first place as through it i can express my mystic occult spirituality the best.
From there on, the decision was pretty much easy as i was always interested in modeling and styling as well, so what could be better then if not joining both kind of arts that i love and that inspire me greatly, black metal music + modeling = black metal model. That’s the right formula equation that works for me.
And about setting myself a part from goth models i would say that the goth modeling is kinda classical modeling in the world of dark alternative art which for my taste is already too used up, limited and ordinary. It only has historical background but its lacking spiritualism and mysticism and of course, chaos. That’s why i somehow don’t feel the thrill to be just a goth model. Although, don’t get me wrong, i have absolutely nothing against goth models, i like following them on my own black metal way.
You see, alternative modeling might seem very special and unique to so called »normal« people but for someone like me who lives alternative style of life as everyday style of life nothing about it is too special or shocking any more, which means if you want to be special in alternative world you really have to be outstanding special, unlike in classical »normal« fashion where only one single special detail already makes you special, in alternative world of fashion you need much much more if you want to stand out.
Do you have a special photographer that you work with? How do you prepare your photos?
Yes i have my own special photographer, as you can see on my professional photos, he is Miha Schaffer, the neighbour of one of my best friends, so we all know each other and i can rely on him and trust him which for me is very important. He is also very professional so its always fun working with him. The best to work with is someone who you know very well and you can trust but on the other hand still keeps the professionalism, which all Miha does great.
And our photo shooting work goes like this: first i am getting new ideas and preparing new stylings which means ordering a lot of clothes, makeup and requisites online as my country is lamely poor in this kind of scene. As i receive all i need i have a part in my wardrobe only dedicated to modeling so i prepare all my stylings there, like for example styling nr 1, styling nr 2 and as many as i plan to wear for one photo shooting. Next comes the background which is important part of styling as in the world of modeling background together with the outfit counts as one styling.
The easiest way is to prepare different back drops and hang them on the wall so it seems you have been in many different places while in fact its all in my room. That way is the most convenient for me as i have all i need at the reach of my hand and i don’t need to carry tons of wardrobe somewhere abroad. Although, with Miha we have in plan to try some real outside photo shooting as well one day, maybe some kind of spooky abandoned old house would be a good scene or some dark snowy forest, old castle or church or something, that all suits my scene style. So, once all that is ready, my styling and the background scene, we set a photo shooting date when Miha arrives and brings all his photo shooting equipment with him while i get ready with my stylings.
So far i am my own stylist, hairdresser, makeup artist and everything which is why it usually takes me a while to get myself ready. But i am already used to it, so i usually start my photo shooting day very early in the morning in order to get myself ready untill Miha arrives. Once he is there, we get to work and just do all the shootings i had in plan, one after another, including my quick dress up changes in between. But once you are professional and if you have everything prepared in advance in wardrobe, you can do that really quickly plus Miha helps me a lot if i need any kind of help with that or he works on preparing the next background scene while im changing my outfits. That helps a lot and speeds all up.
About the photo shooting itself, i really like the fact that he gives me all the freedom to choose my own poses which suit the styling i represent the most, so i do it all totally natural, i improvise right there. I really like that kind of freedom while i am expressing myself through posing. Miha sometimes just gives me some posing ideas but its me and myself who makes them happen, he only corrects me sometimes a bit as he sees how it would look the best on the photo, saying like ok just a bit more down or to the left or look more straight etc but that’s it. And once the photo shooting is over, he returns home and works out all the photos. After they are ready, he just sends them to me with all the logos imprinted, so i can publish them wherever i want. We just have a deal, if i »sell« them to someone for commercial purposes, his logos have to stay while i remove only mines. That’s the only professional condition he has which works out just fine for me.
The metal scene from my point view is still very male, and I think the more extreme it is, the more “male” it is. How do you see yourself, as woman in that scene? What’s the reaction of the black metalheads so to speak?
Hahahaha…that question made me laugh out in my most wicked way, sorry to say that but i am just being honest. And no worries, it’s not your fault as the question is totally expected and based on true facts, it’s just my opinion about it that makes my sarcasm come out.
And here is the reason why. It’s a true fact and i can’t deny it, i don’t know why but for true there are mostly males in black metal scene, although i really don’t see any reason why a female wouldn’t fit in it. I see myself fitting in just perfectly as a female.
Sorry to say that guys, but females are far more spiritual in my opinion than males and are able to express the spiritual part of black metal even much better than males, especially melodic and symphonic variation of black metal genre which is the most rich in spiritualism and of course, my favourite.
On the other hand, males in black metal are able to express better the rebellion against church and religion in more epic way, the »viking« way if you want. So no worries guys, we still need you in black metal hahaha. And the reaction of black metalheads?
Well, as i noticed so far, guys in black metal simply love me and other black metal girls on the scene, maybe even more because we are more rare which makes us always more special. And hell yes, i have a proof for that statement on my modeling page, the most likes i have there are from guys of black metal scene.
About my painting, i started doing it quite recently as another way of expressing myself besides modeling which is why i still didn’t get that far to make an exhibition of my art but i am determined one day i will. All the paintings i made so far are more personal and i made them for my own pleasure so they have a deep personal meaning for me and i wasn’t thinking to sell them. Each of them has its own personal story for me, you know. But as i plan to make many more of them in the future, i am sure i will end up selling them too one day and nothing would please me more if they would become artwork for some black metal bands album.
You also mention that you played the guitar. Have you ever been in a band? Do you plan to have your own music project? How would that be like?
About my guitar, i own black Fender Strat model of electric guitar which you can also see on some of my modeling photos. There was a period in my lifetime when i started playing it, mostly just for my own pleasure and covers of other black metal band songs, not any of my own projects, then i stopped playing it because i was going through some difficult and painful times in my personal life, i had problems with feelings and expressing them and i just couldn’t play without feeling what i am playing. After i recovered my feelings i was always lacking time to start playing again so that is still something i definitely plan to work on. I never was playing in any band so far, but who knows, maybe one day i will. I never say never, to anything in my life. And if i ever had my own music project, that would definitely be in melodic/symphonic black metal genre, which is my favourite.
You are right i have a page on facebook Black Death Metal Playground which is like you said mostly dedicated to share worldwide black metal style and music from all over the world and all variations of that genre. I am also running a closed group on facebook Black Death Metal Cult which at the moment almost has 900 members and serves like an online hangout for all the fans of black metal style and music as well as band members, everyone can post there and share black metal music or comment opinions etc.
And like you mentioned, the most rewarded i feel if i can help small underground black metal bands to promote themselves and to grow bigger. In my opinion they are too underrated sometimes and they definitely deserve more attention, in fact sometimes i find their music much better expressed than the music from famous black metal bands which are already too commercialised and that always ruins the purity of spontaneous expression.
There are many great small underground black metal bands from all over the world that i like very much and in each of them i can find a breath of their own district culture, especially i like black metal bands from oriental countries, like egypt, as they have a great spiritual background, as well as black metal bands from south america and greek melos of some black metal bands from greece which makes them really special in melodic way. I always love to help small underrated underground black metal bands to promote themselves and grow bigger and i am doing it for free, my best reward for it is just to see the result that i was able to help them in any way. At the same time while doing that i am also discovering a lot of new black metal bands and genres that i didn’t know before and i just enjoy doing it.
I am involved in black metal scene for last three years or so. I always liked it but i started being part of it about three years ago after a big change in my life when i finally started being myself, being aware of who i really am, what is my mission in this lifetime and expressing myself in that way. In my opinion, for fully being in black metal scene, you just have to feel it spiritually, which is exactly what i am doing, i even built my own black altar at home, totally based on some of my own spiritual experiences and journey of my spiritual progress. So today i can say, my whole bedroom is like some kind of black metal temple and i am extremely proud of it. And indeed, within last three years, i’ve seen quite a lot of small underground and underrated black metal bands evolve and grow bigger and more famous, which is really a great thing and i hope there will be even more and more of them in the future.
And who would name to be next ones to grow?
I wouldn’t expose any particular band on that point as i think all small underrated underground black metal bands definitely deserve more attention in general and i wish all of them to succeed, especially those from economically poorer countries, like oriental countries, south american countries etc with great spiritually unique background. And yes, don’t be humble please, i think your black metal band definitely deserves more attention and big success as well, you make great music out there so keep going like that, you have all my support.
Although not related to black metal, you come from Slovenia, so I can’t help but mention Laibach. In the early 80’s they were involved in some controversy in your country. Were you aware of that? If so, what was the overall perception of them? Do they still raise some controversy today?
You are definitely right about my country Slovenia, unfortunately for true it’s quite poor in black metal scene genre, although it has a few great black metal bands which i found out quite recently. I was surprised in a positive way, thinking like »Seriously? We have black metal here in Slovenia too?«
Some of slovenian black metal bands are: Dark Sphere, Cvinger, Smargroth, Karpathia, Raven Death, Wintersoul, Exsilium, and my favourite one, Naberius.
And about Laibach you are absolutely right, black metal scene here in Slovenia kinda started back in the early 80s with Laibach and it was a great controversity in slovenian scene which i really liked. The more something is seen as controversity in society, the more i like it, the more people are shaking their heads over something, the more i like it and the more thrill i feel to be controversial myself and to express myself in the most controversial way possible.
I was born in 1980, so i got aware of Laibach controversity some years later after i grew up a bit, naturally, but i loved them and the controversity they brought to slovenian music scene from the first moment i heard about them. By today people here in Slovenia got a bit more used to so called Laibach controversity and accepted it little by little although they are still seen as controversial here in Slovenia even today by a lot of people.
Name your favorite bands and now you can say what you want.
Well, like i already mentioned, my favourite black metal genre is melodic/symphonic black metal and of course all bands from that genre. The more black, spiritual, occult and rebellious against christianity in theistic way they are, the more i like them.
The list to mention all of them would definitely be too long or even endless so i will just name some of my most favourite ones: Rotting Christ, Thou Art Lord, Limbonic Art, Carach Angren, Behexen, Belphegor, Behemoth, Thy Antichrist, Covenant, Horna, Goatmoon, Ignis Haereticum, Sargeist, Ira Diaboli, Rotten Souls, Diabolus Arcanium, Serpenthia, Divine Witchery, Draconian Order, Sinphonicon, Hecate Enthroned, Satyricon, Melechesh, Gehenna, Nifelheim, Old Man’s Child, Primordial, Nergal, Corpus Diavolis, Gorgoroth, Profanatica, Kult ov Azazel, Watain, Mortifera, Mutiilation, Nokturnal Mortum, Opera IX, Unholy Ritual, Unlight, Hypocrisy, Astarte, Nehemah, Archgoat, Ravencult, Inquisition, Septic Flesh, Capitollium, Illnath, Moonspell, Samael, Ablaze My Sorrow, Dominia, Eternal Tears Of Sorrow, The Shadow Order, Lamia Culta, Dissection, Monarque….and many many more of that genre….
And my last words at the end of this interview: Thank you for making this interview with me, it was my great pleasure and honor to participate and i wish all the luck and success to your own band, you definitely deserve it as you make a great work in black metal scene.
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