Tom Gabriel Fischer: No, I try to stay away from that. I'm a musician, I don't want to get involved with all that. It's not healthy. I want to do good albums. I'm still alive and I feel there's still so much in front of me. I don't want to be bothered with who has influence and where we stand and all that. I think it's a negative thing.
What about when other musicians come up to you and say how much you've influenced or inspired them?
It's a huge honor of course, but I try not to deal with this too much. It's a huge honor because when I started out I had bands that were absolutely crucial to me becoming a musician and I can totally relate to that. I've actually been able to tell some of these musicians that, but other that it makes me uncomfortable. It lets your mind believe you're a star. That's completely unhealthy. I am very flattered and I've had fantastic conversations with musicians and fans who've said I've been crucial for their lives, but that's the end of it. I don't want to deal with that anymore.
In your home country of Switzerland are you able to go about your business normally, or do fans stop you on the street?
After 22 years Switzerland is finally discovering Celtic Frost. Nowadays it's becoming slightly more difficult to be unrecognized, especially for Martin, who is much more known here. I've been living all over the planet and when I'm in Switzerland I'm a recluse, so I'm not so recognizable. Martin can't walk anywhere without being recognized. But right now there's a flood of newspaper and magazine stories about us in Switzerland, and now people are discovering us and are astonished that we've been existing for 22 years.
A lot of the band's early work had a lot of Satanic imagery. Is that something you believe or believed in, or was it simply a writing tool?
To deal with the topic of occultism or Satanism or Christianity doesn't mean you have to be a part of it or a follower. Martin used religion as a means of revolution against his environment, his family, his upbringing, which was a forceful introduction to the Catholic Church. His youth to him was a huge restriction. It was a darkness, the exact opposite of what his parents intended, to be forced into these rigid religious ceremonies and beliefs without any choice from a very early age. It made him grasp for anything to leave this, to challenge this, to conduct his own mini-revolution against his parents. Dealing with occultism, even though he was never a Satanist and neither was the band, these topics alone shocked his parents and his environment. Martin became an expert on all these topics because he's been studying them since he was a little kid. So it was obvious that this would be a topic of most of our lyrics at the time, even nowadays on the new album. But I can assure you that we have never followed any man-made religion. We are very critical of any religion, be it Satanic or Christian or whatever. I don't think anybody in the band believes anything. We are simply musicians and we deal with topics that are of interest to us.
Do you anticipate this reunion being a long-term one, or will it just be an album or two?
If we have a choice, yes, but that has to be decided by the audience. But yes, we feel loaded with music and Monotheist is simply an outtake of that. I'm writing music for another album, and if the audience and the media accepts us in the 21st century we'll be around for quite some time.