Hellbound's Justin M. Norton recently conducted an interview with Triptykon's Tom Gabriel Fischer about Celtic Frost's breakup; working with V. Santura and his relationships with H.R. Giger and Vincent Castiglia. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Hellbound: There was a big public response when the band broke up so many people were happy just to have Celtic Frost back. Did that cross your mind when things were falling apart?
Tom Gabriel Fischer: Of course. Celtic Frost was extremely important to me. I didn't bring it back to see it fall apart. I brought it back to be a working unit. As you said before, I planned on recording many more albums with the band. Celtic Frost was as important to me as the members of our audience. I didn't just leave Celtic Frost in the heat of the moment. It took an immeasurable amount of personal problems for me to walk out of my own band. I was the main songwriter in Celtic Frost. We worked for so many years to achieve the status that we only achieved at the very end. It was difficult to let that go on every level.
One thing that's been a constant during your career has been that every album has changed significantly from the last but Triptykon keeps to the spirit and form of "Monotheist". How did you approach the songwriting on this album differently than with Celtic Frost?
I've heard all kinds of opinions on that. A lot of people say it's completely different. Some people say it's very much like "Monotheist". I personally think it's a development from where I started from "Monotheist". It's like when I wrote "Morbid Tales" in 1984 and later I wrote "To Mega Therion". There are parallels between the two albums but there is also a lot of development. I'm a musician and I write constantly. I always think about the next album. The songwriting was a continued process up to last December. It's a natural progression. I wanted to develop the music I created on "Monotheist". It's related, but not the same.
Are you still rehearsing and playing in the same bunker where you worked on "Monotheist"?
No. I proposed to the other members of Celtic Frost after the breakup that we should continue to use the same bunker. I even offered them the use of my PA systems. I wanted to be constructive. I thought we had already created enough damage. I thought we could learn from it and cooperate on our respective new projects. But they turned me down. So I had to relocate across town to a new bunker. In hindsight it's probably better because the old bunker had so many negative memories. I'm quite happy with how things turned out.
Another addition to the album is Vincent Castiglia, who illustrated the band portrait in his own blood. Did that relationship come about as part of your relationship with Giger?
Loosely. I was first introduced to Vincent by Giger's American agent Les Baranay. A few years ago he took me to Brooklyn to Vincent's workshop. I stood in front of these six and seven-foot tall paintings. Seeing the gargantuan size and knowing that this was all done with his blood, it was overwhelming. Talking to Vincent the first time at the opening was eye opening. We've become close friends and discovered numerous parallels in our lives. We feel emotionally related which made it even more special when he agreed to collaborate on this album. There are three artists working on this album if you include the band. It's a collaboration between friends.
Read the entire first part of the interview at Hellbound.