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Interview with Satyricon from Moonfog.com by people

Answers from Frost

For how many years do you play drums? I think I've never seen so fast drumming, even in Immortal... an in Metallian, Satyr said you practice martial arts, which ones (I mean, the name)? One last thing, the new "Zombie" look is really great, looks real too. Thanks. [Fiat Noctes]

I have played the drums for almost ten years now, but seriously for 6-7 years. It is true I practiced martial arts before, it was streetfighting (elements from kickboxing, thaiboxing, budo khan and kung fu), but the trainer couldn't continue the training sessions and it then came to and end. Anyway, I learnt quite a few useful things.

Hei! Først vil jeg gratulere med enda en kvalitets-utgivelse og gode kritikker. Spørsmålet mitt lyder: Kommer dere til å spille inn en video til en/flere av låtene fra "Rebel Extravaganza"? [Kenneth]

Takker så meget for komplimentene. Det vil bli laget en video til "Filthgrinder", kanskje realiserer vi andre videoplaner også...

Hallo! Frost: Hva slags tromme/skinn/cymbal-oppsett bruker du på "Rebel Extravaganza"? [Hilsen Axel]

Trommesett: Svart (viktig) Pearl super pro GLX-serie. 2x24" basstrommer, 5 tammer fra 8" til 18". Skinn: Remo Ambassador skinn på tammene, det er best til studiobruk. Remo Powerstroke på skarpen, og Remo PinStripe på basstrommene. Cymbaler: Crasher, china og ride fra Sabian, Hi-hat fra Paiste. Gong fra Zildjian.

I've heard rumors that you have used a drum machine on this album. Is this true? And if so, did Frost do it? [Seija Sjöblom]

Rumors, rumors, rumors... The drums are played the traditional way. And I did them.

First of all I have to say thank you to Satyricon for releasing such a great album. One of my favourite ever. This is the élite Anger and Hate. You Frost are one of the best drummer of the scene together with Hellhammer of Mayhem and Trym of Emperor. The question is: don't you feel the need to be an active part of the creation of Satyricon's hymns? Or have you any side projects where do that? [MAD from Italy]

I feel I take actively part in the creative process resulting in the finished songs, but only concerning the drumlines. I have to stick to what I can, and I am satisfied with the situation as it is. I have no side projects, and feel no need to have any.

Hello! My question would be that what are your sources of inspiration to your drumming? Do you have any favourite drummers? How long have you been playing? Thanks very much! [Antti Ruokola]

Most of all I am driven forth by the eagerness to release hysterical aggression through drumplaying, and to contribute to the brilliance of our music. Favourite drummers... when asked about that, I usually mention Fenriz (Darkthrone), Hellhammer (Mayhem) and Mike Sus (Possessed), but there are also a lot of other drummers that are outstanding in some way. Actually, I am not too concerned about the drums when listening to music, rather the wholeness, but some times the way the drums are handled can make them the driving force in music. I myself have been playing the drums for almost ten years now.

In the booklet of "Rebel Extravaganza", there isn't said what equipment FROST uses... So, I (as a drummer...) wanna know: What fucking amazing drumset do you use? [Xymos]

I use a Pearl super pro GLX drumkit with Sabian overheads.

Frost - a) Who does your incredible make-up (do you do it yourself)? b) Are you alive or dead? c) Will Satyricon ever tour North America? Thanks! [Sean Smith from San Diego, CA (USA)]

a) I'm usually doing it myself, but for the pictures taken on the "Rebel Extravaganza" session I had help from a professional make-up artist and a stylist. I contributed with some ideas, though. b) I must admit to be a bit unsecure... I do however have an illusion of me being alive and kicking c) Yes, I think we will. Next year, probably during Spring sometime.

Heard it from Jack Koshick, the guy that runs Metalfest, he told me that the reason that Satyricon didn't play metalfest was because he was busy on trial, what was the real reason then? [Skitchzo]

We weren't able to get our visa's on time, it took the American embassy so extremely long. So we weren't allowed to go and play at the Metalfest, but later we will have our stuff ready. So we are hoping for a tour in the States as soon as possible.

Hell! I got a question for Frost! The drums on "Rebel Extravaganza" is faster than the other Satyricon albums. Have you speeded up the drums in the studio or have you became a faster drummer? Svante, Västerås, Sweden

I have become faster, and overall better. (No speeding up.) If I didn't develop as a musician I would quit the whole business, but luckily I know I will always get better. "Nemesis Divina" is also faster than "The Shadowthrone", which is again faster than "Dark Medieval Times"... development, see? (The increasing speed is still not the point when it comes to development, but it is clearly part of it)

This question to Frost: How much do you play drums usually? Do you work-out or something? You have a great unique style, keep it. Ps. What is your all time favourite album, drumwise? [A. Rajaniemi]

I rehearse almost every day, even if I have some dead-periods from time to time. I used to work out, I will start doing so again, but right now I just don't have any single minute a day to spare. My favourite album drumwise is "A Blaze In The Northern Sky".

Satyricon is now Satyr and you as the original line-up. How do you feel about such a situation? Had you been knowing Satyr for a long time? Are you real brothers or just professional partners? [Jimi Kernielly]

Satyr and me as the only full-time members is the best situation for the band, experience tells us so. I got to know Satyr when being introduced to Satyricon, for whom I was to start playing the drums for a test-period. Me and Satyr are brothers in spirit and professional partners.

What do you think about industrial and electronic uses in Black Metal? Do you think that technologie could have a soul? [Jimi Kernielly]

Uses of those elements you mentioned in Black Metal shouldn't represent any problem if they are used skillfully in fitting ways. Technology in itself has no soul, as it has no perceivable essence or inner emanation, but it could be part of something that has such an essence.

My question is for Frost. In this time where many bands use drum-machine how is important for you the use of technology in the composition of a song? And how you feel to bo (for me... but I think also for many people) one of the best drummer not in Norway but in the European extreme music scene? Thanks for all. [Stefano. (MORD)]

The use of technologic elements in a song is a question of whether or not that is what fits the song, or even what the song demands. "Technology" could imply a very wide variety of things. Thanks for your compliments on my drumming... I feel good to be getting somewhere with it, and to see the improvement. Always exceed! There is still a long way to go.

Frost, how do you get your blast beats so inredibly fast (i.e. "INRI at 251bpm")? [John]

Intense rehearsing, combined with endurance of pain and perhaps a natural capacity for playing fast.

Mitt spørgsmål til Frost er: I hvor mange år har du spillet, for at blive en så genial trommeslager og hvor lang tid om dagen øver du? [Hilsen Fyrst Grimnir fra Danmark. P.s. Totalt fremragende koncert i Vega]

Jeg har spilt i snart ti år, og nå for tiden øver jeg ca. To timer om dagen, med enkelte avbrudd nå og da.

Hail... After I heard "Intermezzo II" and "Rebel Extravaganza" I am thinking that thouse drum parts are made with computer (or with some machine anyway). Am I right? If so, why there isn't anymore thouse great live drums? Or is it, what black metal is right now, very technical that is? But, don't think, I did not like machine drums... "Intermezzo II" and "Rebel Extravaganza" are fucking great, just I could not expect that kind of turn from Satyricon... [Grom Must Missa]

No, you are not right, Must. I can not understand how it is possible to avoid hearing that there are real drums? Anyway, if you ever come to see us live, you will see for yourself.

Tjena Frost! Först av allt vill jag säga att nya plattan är helt brutal och lysande! Ditt trumspel gör väldigt mycket för Satyricons musik... Fy faan vad bra du lirar altså! Själv lirar jag gitarr i lite band men inga värda att nämna... Min fråga är som lyder: Hur många och vilka band lirar/har du lirat i? Har inte så mycket koll på mina norska bröder för alla lirar nästan med alla i Norge enligt va min uppfattning blivit :) Hoppas jag får svara så jag får svara så jag kan köpa fler lysande plattor... Keep smashing and bashing! [Björn]

Jeg har tidligere spilt i Gorgoroth og Zyklon-B forutenom Satyricon, men nå er det bare sistnevnte som gjelder.

As always, your drumming on "Rebel Extravaganza" is awesome! (IMO it's getting better all the time) I'd like I also noticed that Fenriz took part in "Rebel Extravaganza". Did he actually play some drum parts or was he just adding som Many thanks to both Satyr and Frost for another magnificent album! [Regards, Teemu Elomaa Pori, Finland]

Fenriz was adding the tambourine on "Havoc Vulture". He also did some gong-strokes and one of his famous haunting chants.

I have a question: What has happened to the band Zyklon-B. I write to Moonfog because Frost was/is in the band. Great page by the way... Satyricon is the best black metal band

I've heard that they are getting things going again early next year. The name will now be Zyklon (or maybe Cyclone? I do not know for sure yet), and members will be, as far as I know, Samoth, Trym and Daemon from Limbonic Art.

To Frost: Have you always played the drums or have you played other instruments in the past? And who are your current drummer "heroes"? [Gil]

The drumkit has always been the instrument for me. Drummer "heroes"? None, actually, but I have deep respect for the drumworks by Fenriz and Hellhammer, and for the sake of that, I could mention Mike Sus with his incredible drumming on the two first Possessed-albums.

Hvordan samarbeider du med Satyr? Jeg har hørt at du ikke fikset spillinga på "Nemesis Devina", er det fordi du er mindre teknisk og mer rask og brutal i spille måte? [Venligst hilsen Espen]

Samarbeidet med Satyr fungerer utmerket. Du har altså hørt at jeg ikke fikset spillinga på "Nemesis Divina"... har du da altså hørt på skiva at jeg ikke fikser trommespillet der? Jeg spiller nå i hvert fall på plata, og jeg gjorde det så bra jeg kunne den gangen, selv om jeg må innrømme at jeg kunne gjort det bedre på et par låter. Uansett så vet jeg at det ikke er så ille at det kan karakteriseres som at jeg "ikke fikset" det. Eller mener du med ikke å "fikse" at jeg ikke liker musikken på plata fordi jeg synes den er for teknisk? I tilfelle kan det på det sterkeste avkreftes.

Answers from Satyr

From Ray: I am writing from Southern Indiana as a big fan of Satyricon and I was wondering what "namebrand" synths do you use?

We've used various Roland analogues f.ex the Juno-6. Nordlead and Virus is also something we've used. I guess altogether we used like 10 different analogue synths on the new stuff.

From Helene Döring: Satyr! Are you going to do any liveshows in Sweden. I have waited for a long time. I heard that you were seventeen years on "Dark Medieval Times". You must be a super musician.

Actually we've tried now for three years to make someone arrange a show with us in Sweden. For some very strange reason nobody seems to be especially interested. Its weird when you think of the fact that our albums have always done well in Sweden. Yes I was 17 years old when we did "Dark Medieval Times".

From Brian Glover: Satyr, Why do you feel you should ripp off the fans by making such a SHITTY album. Wait let me rephrase, a SHITTY SELLOUT album.

Hi Brian. I'm quite sure that there are lots of youth clubs where you can hang out with people that are younger than yourself. Then you can explain them about life seen through the eyes of someone as experienced like yourself. That will make you feel important, and it could be a highlight in your life that you will remember for a long time.

From Jaako Marttila: Satyricon have made 2 MCDs, "Megiddo" and "Intermezzo II" one after another. Some people consider this as a total money rip-off. What have got to say to those feel being betrayed by you guys?

"Eh, Doctor I got this friend of mine that's been having unprotected sex with a girl and so on. Now this friend of mine is scared that his caught some sort of ugly disease, could that be the case?" Satyricon answers to nobody Jaako.

From Josh Carson: On all Satyricon albums, you appear to take part in almost all aspects of the album's production. Is this due to a desire for the finished product to truly reflect only your own musical and conceptual vision, making Satyricon more a solo project that a "band"? Or is it simply a case of being unable to find other musicians who are compatible with your particular style/vision? Congratulations on the release of "Rebel Extravaganza" and may the tradition of Satyricon excellence continue.

It's because I am the only one who knows exactly how it should be. Not even Frost knows exactly how it will be. Therefore it's very important that I take control of the situation as much as possible to get as close to perfection as required. When you have a vision of something it's quite rare that it becomes exactly how you thought it would be, but the best odds lies in doing it yourself. However I do try to cooperate with people that I find to be talented or gifted. It's about uniting the good forces for your own benefit. Having said, if you want it done well, be a part of it yourself. Finding suitable musicians is always hard.

From O. Leppanen: Can there be seen the "Dark Mediaval Times" spirit anymore in you (and Frost) or has it changed/developed to something new? What is the effect you use to make distortion to your voice in "Rebel Extravaganza"?

"The Dark Medieval Times" spirit will always be there. That spirit consists of, honesty, sincerity, pride, dignity, honor, youthful eagerness, loyalty, progression, ambitions and other essential things. Those are still things that are key factors in Satyricon. We've used lots of different things to achieve the different vocal sounds on the new one. Sometimes I just sing straight with no effect at all. Other times I held my guitar in front of my face and sang through the Duncan Seymour pick ups on my guitar.

From Sebastien: Hello Satyr. Now after years of hard work, you have a label that is running extremely well and a band that is unique and even gives great influence to others. Do you make a living of both Moonfog and Satyricon? And what is your occupation in the Moonfog office: you work here everyday? Thank you very much Satyr

Thank you for the compliments you made. I make a living of my combined income from my music and Moonfog. I don't work at the Moonfog office everyday, I go there maybe twice a week to check on things since I'm the boss there. I have an office at my house with all modern facilities so that I don't have to travel so much everyday. Apart from being the one with the responsibility for the label, I do the A&R, Art direction, Marketing campaigns and some public profile things.

From Rob Van Eijk: Another question about the new release just came in mind: looking at the CD it sems as if it is released by Nuclear Blast (though there is a line "Licensed with permission from Satyricon" on it), but looking through the mailorder section of the Moonfog page the "Rebel Extravaganza" album has a FOG 022 reference. So what label are you on? Oh yeah, just wanted to mention that the artwork looks absolutely killer and the glossy booklet makes it all really come out very nice (eh, grim that is). In every single aspect a truly great release!

Do you have a brother called Stig? Satyricon is signed to nobody. We own the master of "Intermezzo II" and "Rebel Extravaganza" ourselves. We've sold the rights to Moonfog, Nuclear Blast and Spinefarm to release the album in various territories. By doing this we control our future a little bit better. At least that is what we hope for. Obviously there are no bonds between us and the bands on Nuclear or Spinefarm. Our bonds lie with Moonfog. Forever.

From Sotirios Settas: Is this new futuristic approach of Satyr music influenced by the new black metal sound (Dødheimsgard, Thorns, Ulver, Acturus and ect.) or just "happened"? I love your new album. However, I think it would have been better if you had composed more songs like ambient-like "Blessed From Below" on "Intermezzo II".

You have to remember that all the bands you mentioned are progressive bands that are not afraid of exploring new musical territories. However you seem to forget that we did this a long time before they did. When we used an intro from the avantgarde band When in 1993 or when we made Apoptygma Berzerk do an electronic remix of one of our songs in 1997. Nobody had done that. It makes more impact when we do it too as we're a lot bigger than all those other bands you mentioned are together. We would rather say that we opened some doors with our way of thinking and that we appreciate that other artists are willing to follow our brave example. "Blessed From Below" will continue on the next album, I've already written the lyrics for it and written some new parts. Phsycohell. That's all I can say about that.

From Psinger: How would you define your own extravagance, the "Satyr-Difference", that builds that special wall of individuality (both musical and personal) between you and the rest of today's Black Metal-Scene?

We've never been afraid of anything. We don't allow the fans and the industry to set the standards for Satyricon. We set the standards. That is our policy. History proves this attitude to be the most healthy one. Look at how boring Black Sabbath became when they suddenly started to let the industry set standards for their sound. I think the main difference lies there.

Fra Lars Lønvik: Først vil jeg bare si at den nye skiva var rå, selv om jeg personlig synes "The Shadowthrone" er deres beste. Når det gjelder spørsmål, lurer jeg på hvem som er oppvarming på konserten deres 11 desember. Jeg har hørt rykter om alt fra Gehenna til Manowar(!), så det vil jeg gjerne ha svar på. På forhånd takk, Lars Lønvik

En ting er helt sikkert: Det har faen meg aldri vørt snakk om Manowar. Det er akkurat like aktuelt for meg som Bettan eller Aqua. Jeg ønsket Destruction som support, men det gikk ikke fordi de er i studio da og spiller inn ny skive. Hvem det blir kommer kommer annonsert her så snart det blir klart. At det blir noe spesielt er helt sikkert.

From Tlahdelm: Will you ever continue with Storm?

As it seems now... No.

From Paria: Will you direct another great video like "Mother North"? Can we expect a video with the intensity of "Mother North"?

We are discussing options now with the guy that is renowned for being the best music-video producer in the world. If that will go through. It will destroy anything you've seen before. No matter what we do it will be a lot stronger than "Mother North". We will work with the song "Filthgrinder" from "Rebel Extravaganza". We've also started to put together the script for a home video to be released sometime during spring 2000.

From Gil To Satyr: I have just purchased the new album "Rebel Extravaganza". I must say it was well worth the wait! I have to ask you: have you ever had any musical education? Did you learn by yourself?

Good that you thought it was worth waiting for. I've always said that it doesn't matter if a band does a new album every year or every five year as long as it holds the required quality. I don't have any significant musical education. I took drum lessons as a kid, and classical guitar lessons between 13 and 15. That's it. The rest is a combination of some natural talent, some rehearsing and some experience.

Fra John Erik Andersen Gratulerer med "Rebel Extravaganza". Uten tvil den beste plata jeg har brukt penger på i år. På diskusjonsgrupper på internett har det vørt snakk om Satyricon i forkant av utgivelsen av "Rebel Extravaganza". Her har folk sagt at Satyricon er veldig flinke til å "glemme" folk som har hjulpet dem, at www.moonfog.no er en eneste stor Satyr/Satyricon-trip. Og så kommer selve spørsmålet: Leser du slike diskusjonsgrupper på internett og hvordan reagerer du på slike påstander?

Takk for det. Satyricon er veldig flinke til å gi folk som ikke har et navn i det hele tatt et navn. Satyricon er veldig flinke til å gi ukjente folk en sjanse som de ellers ikke ville ha fått. Mer er det ikke si om den saken. At websiten til Moonfog inneholder mye stoff om Satyricon er ganske naturlig da vi er plateaktuelle. I og med at vi ikke har så mange band blir det sterk fokus på de som er aktuelle med et eller annet. Som folk kanskje husker var det veldig mye Gehenna stoff her da "Adimiron Black" kom ut. Det er ganske logisk at Satyricon får mye oppmerksomhet da det er et band som veldig mange følger. Faktisk så mange at vi stadig får påtrykk om å lage en side som bare inneholder Satyricon. Diskusjonsgrupper inneholder stort sett skvalder og sladder fra små folk som prøver å viktiggjøre seg sjøl. Det hender jeg følger med på de noen ganger, men det blir aldri noen innlegg. Selvfølgelig ikke. Jeg har bedre ting å bedrive tiden med. Som et apropos kan jeg nevne at hvis fotografen Per Heimly skulle gitt meg en prosentandel av alle jobbene han har fått som et resultat av Satyricon jobben hadde jeg vørt rik nå. Når vi brukte han var vi alene om det. Etter vi hadde brukt han kom, Burzum, Arcturus, Ulver, Dimmu Borgir, The Kovenant, Mayhem osv. Skjønner dere?

From Toriander to Mr. Wongraven: What about your project Wongraven? Is it still running? Something about the CD "Fjelltronen": seems like there are some lyrics played backwards on the CD What's the message there?

It's timeless. It will probably be a new album some day. It could be a rock album or a black metal album, or a trip hop album. I don't know. That's the charm with Wongraven. Døden hersker over alt.

From Kradzinski: Who did these wonderful Make-ups? I was a Make-Up-Artist myself once, that's why I'm curious about that...

It was Alysia Cooper from England in cooperation with Satyricon.

From Mike Bushur: In the past in an article in "Descent" III, I believe you said you fear leaving Norway as you want to die there and only in Norway. Why and also it seems as though you don't really care about the states. Any good reason why? It may seem I am critical but these are just things I have been wondering along with other things I have heard. I just want to hear what you really have to say because I truly think Satyricon is one of the supreme bads in all METAL. Anyway Thanks.

Everybody ought to feel a strong belonging to their homecountry. It's essential to feel belonging. Norway is where I was born and it's where I would like to die as well. America represents a lack of culture that to me is very little appealing. I'm sure there are things in the States that are great as well, but it's hard for me to accept something that hypocrite. It brings forth the Sethen in me.

From Eddie Plenge: If Satyr played all the guitars in Satyricon's albums, why he only sings in the live shows and not play guitar. It would be better if he played the guitar in the live cause only then the song will capture all the energy beneath Satyricon songs. It's not the same if other people play the guitar parts he composed and played in the albums.

It's because I have tendinitis. Even now as I'm writing it bothers me, imagine how its like playing guitar for more that 30 minutes. As we have a lot of guitar layers on the new album with special effects we will recreate that live with having me as a third guitarist on some songs. I agree that it's unfortunate that someone has to interpretate what I do as it's never going to be right anyway. But technically, the people we have are very good. And that goes a long way.

From Antti Janhonen: What kind of guitar's Satyricon uses, and what kind of effects and other gear, amps and so on?

I use ESP guitars, Mesa Boogie and VH-S Pittbull amps and various effect racks from Boss and Roland.


***

Ok thanks people, there were an enormous amount of questions and a lot of them dealing with the same subject. We answered the ones that were most superficial as most of the "deep" subjects have been covered extensively in most Satyricon interviews in all European and American metal mags this autumn.

FTW On behalf of Satyricon
Satyr


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