In a candid, 5,000-word interview with Guitar World magazine (web site) (March 2007 issue, on sale now), CELTIC FROST frontman Tom Gabriel Fischer recounts the shocking details of his troubled youth, explains how music and the guitar became an outlet for his loneliness and aggression, and talks about the risks involved in reuniting with bassist Martin Eric Ain for 2006's "Monotheist". Highlights include:
Guitar World: Do you still keep in touch with your mother?
Fischer: I haven't talked to my mother in years. I don't know where she lives or even if she lives. And I don't care. I hate my mother. A few years ago my aunt told me that she had walked in on my mother trying to commit suicide, and my first thought was that she shouldn't have saved her. I carry incredible hatred for my mother. And we're only scratching the surface of my childhood. It got a million times worse the older I got.
Guitar World: At what point during your youth did you pick up an instrument?
Fischer: At the end of the Seventies there was a new wave of heavy metal coming out, and it was so exciting. First it was the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, then America caught on, and it was so exciting. I mean, how could you not pick up an instrument if you were a fan of that music? And for me, I had so many emotions raging inside of me, waiting to be let out, but I had no other way of letting them out. I didn't take drugs or drink; music became my drug. I was such an odd man in that little town, I couldn't find a girlfriend or anything. So what did I have? Music.
At first I really wanted to be a bass player. I was always looking for heavier and heavier music, and I soon discovered RUSH. I really liked what Geddy Lee was doing and, especially, his Rickenbacker bass. After that I discovered MOTÖRHEAD, and there was that bass again in a very prominent role. At that point, it was clear to me that I needed to be a bass player and play a Rickenbacker bass.
Guitar World: How would you say your abilities as a guitar player have progressed through the years?
Fischer: Technical ability never mattered to me, because to me it was always about expression. I wanted to express myself with sounds, not with finger technique. I just wanted to be able to reproduce on the guitar what I felt inside here [puts his hand on his chest], and that was very dark.
Guitar World: It must be a nice feeling to know you've made your mark on the music world, especially in light of your upbringing.
Fischer: I don't take myself so seriously or think that I'm so important that I need to make a mark on the world. I see us all as perishable goods. I will one day die and just rot like a leaf or a piece of wood. Which is fine; that's the way of the world. I'm just a piece of cosmic dust from the Big Bang. Is it really important that Tom Fischer leaves his mark on music? I don't think so. If my albums make some people happy for the time being, yeah, that's cool. I know I'm doing something, but does it really mean anything?
Guitar World's April issue, on sale Feb. 13, will have a 6,000-word tribute to Chuck Schuldiner and will feature never-before-seen photos of the DEATH/CONTROL DENIED frontman from the Schuldiner family's personal collection. The issue will also contain complete guitar and bass transcriptions of DEATH's "Pull the Plug" and "The Philosopher", as well as EMPEROR's "Curse You All Men". Visit www.guitarworld.com for more information.