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Interview with Satyr from "Aardschok" E'zine by René Veerkamp (# 11, 1999)

With the new album "Rebel Extravaganza", Satyricon from Norway has again proven that they belong to the most adventurous and discussed metal bands nowadays. Where many bands copy other bands without any shame or indulge more and more to the commerce, Satyricon stays true to the roots of the black metal scene. The music is dark and brutal, but in no way simple or cheap. Thus founder and band leader has some definite views about his colleagues.


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The metal scene is actually quite narrow-minded and conservative. It is very hard to create different music. Black Metal was the only style of metal where something new happened. However, nowadays the scene is full of so-called Black Metal bands that have little or nothing to offer. If you take a look at the older bands, you'll see that they all had their own style. It's true, everybody was influenced by bands like Bathory and Celtic Frost, but every band from the early days did their best to lift the scene towards new extremities and to push the limits further. I still see Satyricon as one of those bands. We are extreme. We try new things out and every effort is made to push our personal limits even further. We are not here to entertain Dimmu Borgir or Cradle Of Filth fans, but we make music to satisfy our own. We have made some trips outside metal on our MCDs, which wasn't always appreciated. We listen to all kinds of music and we are not afraid of new influences. We will stay true to our metal roots on our full length CDs however.

Personally, I'd thought that after "Nemesis Divina" you would come with a more accessible sound and thus reach a bigger public. However, the new album is everything but accessible. How do you see Satyricon's development?

Of course we have developed as musicians and we have progressed in our own way. I think we are progressive in a totally own manner. The music on "Rebel Extravaganza" is more aggressive, darker and more modern than our preceding material. We are an extravagant band and it's true in a way that we are still rebels, which also explains the title. The title of the album reflects our musical and lyrical nature. It's a pity that you only have a promo-CD, because the CD booklet is certainly worth it as well. It's some kind of mini-book with great artwork. There has been put in a lot of energy and time. We haven't been standing still since "Nemesis Divina". We have toured extensively in 1996 with Dissection and the first material for this album was written during that period. However, we found it too melodic and we weren't satisfied about the variation and to be honest, the material was quite boring. We have eventually thrown everything away and started all over again. We have been practising a lot and we have taken to time to record the album as well.

Satyricon is still you and Frost. However, people like Fenriz of Darkthrone, Snorre of Thorns, the Norwegian trance artist Ra and the musical singer / actress Trine Svendsen have cooperated on this album.

Fenriz has done only some percussion actually, and Snorre plays guitar on some tracks. The actress / singer Trine Svendsen was recruited especially for "The Scorn Torrent", because she has such a powerful and authoritarian voice.

That song is something like a mini-musical in my opinion.

Oh, that's not a way I looked at it yet. That is the art of musical expression: it leaves room for own interpretations. If that songs sounds like that in your opinion, than that's fine with me.

There's also a tour planned, which has been postponed from November to January lately. How do you manage live on stage?

Tyg, also known from Emperor, will join us. Furthermore, a female session musician will come along and we have been working in another musician. It will be an extensive European tour with us as headliner.

What do you think about Black Metal nowadays? Is the movement coming to an end or do you believe the scene will go into the millennium with a bright future?

I'm very critical of the scene, but that is mainly because of my love for this musical style. It's controversial, exciting and has brought a lot of good things. However, I think that this style of music can only remain at this level when bands are more critical towards themselves, and try to improve all the time. The quality standard must be higher and bands have to change themselves constantly and search for new limits.

I see a lot of bootlegs in the Black Metal scene nowadays. Your first demo "All Evil" was released on CD lately, together with some bad sounding live recordings. I know you would rather forget about that demo, because it doesn't meet your quality standards. How do you look upon the phenomenon bootlegs?

If you ask me, those fucking recordings damage the band's reputation. What purpose could there be to release a CD with bad walkman recordings? We are currently busy searching for possibilities for legal actions towards this kind of things.

There has been a lot of commotion surrounding the book "Lords Of Chaos", about all the involvements in the Norwegian Black Metal scene (authors Michael Moynihan and Didrik Søderlind). Have you read this book and if yes, what do you think of it?

I haven't read it myself, but I've been told that it's a poor book and that it's full of mistakes. I don't want to read it anyway. I was there when it all happened so what can they tell me about it then?


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Taken from: Aardschok
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