"Satyricon - The Gods In The Machine"
Interview with Satyr from "Disturb" E'zine by Jean Paul Coillard

Petrone wrote "Satyricon", a collection of scenes illustrating cruelty, debauchery and poetry in ancient Rome, long before the coming of the 3 ZZ Top look-alike kings. 1970 - Frederico Fellini adapts the book to the screen. 1999-2000: Satyricon, Norwegian avant-garde black metal band, who have nothing to do with the aforemnetioned, release their new album: "Rebel Extravaganza" and are chosen by Phil Anselmo himself to open for Pantera in Europe. Speedy and informative interview with Satyr, singer/leader, shortly before the ultimate gig of the tour, in Paris, to talk about past, present, future, as well as Eibon and Moonfog.


Does the title of your last LP, "Rebel extravaganza", reflect your personality well?

Yes: The title of the album itself is a sort of reflection on the concept of the record in all aspects.

How do you see the black metal scene today, considering you saw it from the very beginning?

I'm hoping that it will be going in a more extreme direction, and we try to contribute to that by doing "Rebel Extravaganza" the way we did it, a more modern, more aggressive sound. To me, it has to be extreme, taking things to new levels and dimensions. We are an influential band, we try to set standards for others, and we hope they will follow.

How do you feel about Dimmu Borgir and The Kovenant receiving awards in Norway?

I don't really care about them, and I really don't consider them to be black metal bands, but just a product, like a can of soup. Let's avoid the subject, it doesn't interest me!

Is the make-up for the live shows very important for you and would you leave it to play live?

It's an important part of Satyricon live, not only the music, but light, make-up, clothes, sound are part of it, and everything has to be done very seriously.

The esthetics of the cover sleeves, very beautiful, is that also something you take care of?

Well thank you! Satyricon have always been very conscious about what we're doing, we've never wanted to let a record company decide for us. We have a bunch of people we're working with, especially, Union Design, who's been our graphic designer for many years, and I have a very big respect for his talent and ideas.

Tell me about the Moonfog label, which is very adventurous in its choices...

It's a label I founded with several people and have been running with another guy for about seven years. Darkthrone, Gehenna, Dødheimsgard and Eibon will be on it, as I was a big Darkthrone and Pantera fan. We are focused on things that we like instead of what the majority wants: Dimmu Borgir, Arcturus wanted to sign with us, many bands did want to sign with Moonfog, but we don't care about that, we only put out quality rather than quantity, which means there are only a few releases per year, but all of high standard.

You introduced machines in the band: were you industrial rock fans?

I'm not a big industrial fan, I like the hardest stuff, like Throbbing Gristle for example, but I'm fond of those who mix mechanical stuff with metal, like Ministry or Laibach, even if I don't share their ideas which are not that cool...

What do you think of remixes in general?

It can be interesting, as I find interesting the Arcturus remixes LP. Remixing black metal is a very new thing, the future will tell if it's a good idea. But why not?

What about Eibon, your side project with Phil Anselmo, Maniac from Mayhem and Fenriz from Darkthrone?

Maniac is not part of it anymore. But we've been writing a lot the four of us, and during this tour we made a few new parts. Tonight is the last of show of the tour: after that, I'm going home for ten days, and then I'll fly over to America, to Phil's place for a week. During this week, we'll work on the material that is already written and write new material as well. And record that afterwards.

Talking about him, how is it to tour with Pantera? Were you fans of them?

Beautiful! It's great for us because Phil's a very big fan of Satyricon, and so I am of Pantera and we did a lot of things with them and the crew and we've been taken very seriously by them. Tonight is gonna be a lot of bullshit because it's the last night of the tour, so I expect them to fuck around with us and the whole show. Obviously, they treated us very very well, had a lot of respect for us...

I have heard of a long form video, coming from Moonfog...

We made four european tours this year, in January, April, March and now and an American tour, and we've filmed all that, and we're gonna include some older stuff as well to make a full home video for Satyricon. But we're also talking about making a Moonfog documentary thing in the future, as well as the Satyricon video.

Does the name Satyricon have something to do with the book or the movie?

Nothing at all. It's a long story: Satyr comes from the god of the woods from Greek mythology, but it comes from our previous guitar player who came up with it and we accepted it and he didn't want to talk about this, and other stories: lot of mess around the name Satyricon, but no real explanation...

What are your next projects?

Last show tonight, going home ten days, coming back for a few festivals in Scandinavia, then work on the new album, for which quite a lot is already written, then record the album and Eibon LP too.


Interview by Jean Paul Coillard and Mister X, backstage at the Zenith, Paris, May 18th 2000 during the Pantera tour.


Taken from: Disturb
Satyricon © 2001-2011