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Interview with Satyr from "FourteenG" E'zine by Sharita Lumpkin and Karma E. Omowale (13 December 2004)
Grab your crucifixes bible thumpers across America! Satyr, leader of Norway's underground Black Metal band Satyricon, is seeking world domination and has set his sights on the U.S. next with his current Return of The Antichrist Tour. And from the looks of things, he will more than likely accomplish this goal much sooner than expected especially with the release of his latest effort entitled "Volcano", which includes blistering tracks that are in heavy rotation on Headbangers Ball and Fuse "Fuel For Hatred" and "Black Lava". Bottom line, you've been warned; they are coming full force!
Frost, the band's drummer, was forced to sit the American leg of the tour out due to visa issues however Slipknot's Joey Jordison stepped up to the plate and has been wowing the crowds for Satyricon. Satyr shared his views on the Industry, clarified why Frost is having issues entering the U.S., what fuels his fire and offers an interesting take on the root of Dimebag's senseless and untimely killing as we all hope not to change the way we attend metal shows... Read on.
For a person that has not heard Satyricon what kind of music would you describe it as?
Black Metal as simple as that.
A lot has been said about why Frost can't get in to the country, I heard it was because of a bar fight is that true?
It is true and the unfortunate thing is it happened like ten years ago. The authorities have said that he had to show he was on good behavior or something. How long will they hold it against him like 90 years? [Laughs] It's ridiculous.
In another interview you mentioned that you liked electronic music and classical music, anyone specific?
Well, a lot of today's music I really don't listen to. I like a lot of the classic rock like Black Sabbath and of course Black Metal like Bathory. I do however like electronic music, specifically Massive Attack. I'm not sure what happened to them though. They were like Portishead in a way. Massive Attack had one member left in the band and that one member put out a record that was ok, but it wasn't as good as [previous records]. Portishead just sort of disappeared off the face of the earth.
OK, cool. Relative to the unfortunate and untimely death of Dimebag Darrell, are you more concerned with security at venues?
No, I'm not concerned, I don't have to be. I think the promoters should be more concerned about the security. People shouldn't change the way they think about metal shows, this is one isolated incident. I'm not surprised this happened in America though, the killer was a product of your society.
You were doing a project with Phil Anselmo called Eibon, how is that coming along and when will it be released?
It wasn't completed. Unfortunately, Phil had a lot of [issues] in his life at that time. He left Pantera, he got a divorce and he started two bands: Down and Superjoint Ritual. So it was put on hold. We recorded like 4 songs for it. I talked to Phil a few days ago for about an hour, which was promising and he invited me down to his house to try to finish after the tour but I want to go home though. [Laughs] We will see; I expect to get together next year some time to complete it.
Let's talk about the video, "Fuel For Hatred". It was directed by Jonas Åkerlund, who came up with the concept?
We both did. I'm a big fan of Jonas work. I want to work with him again on the next record. The video portrays a raw and aggressive energy and that comes out in the song.
As far as your label Moonfog, have you signed anyone to it lately?
Actually no, but there is a band I have on there called Disciplin that are really good. There is another band called Gehenna that I was close to losing faith in. I expect better things for them next year.
What do you think needs to change in the Industry?
I think that people who work in the industry should know something about music. It's all about education. There are A&R people who don't know anything about music yet they are telling you about how you should write your lyrics and when your record should be released. The worst is marketing people who don't even have degrees in marketing. I mean you can't be a doctor with going to medical school so why is it so easy for people to get a job in the music industry without and musical talent? Only in the music industry is this possible. [Laughs] It's all networking.
Do you feel that you have reached all the goals that you set for yourself?
No, I will never feel that way. When you have been in the business as long as I have, you always set your sites higher than anyone else.
How does the crowd in Europe differ from the US crowd?
Right now Satyricon is a small underground band here in America, but in two years I expect world domination for us! There, the kids know the words to all the songs, here you'll be lucky if they know any of them, at least they listen. Chicago has always been very good to us.
Do you feel that the interviews you do are too serious?
No they have been okay, it all depends on the questions that are being asked. There are some days I don't feel like doing interviews.
Well did we catch you on a good day?
Yes, you did. [Laughs]
Good. [Smiles] What's the single most interesting that that has happened to you since this tour began?
Actually I been on tour so much and nothing really surprises me. The biggest challenge is that here in America, Satyricon is fairly new and a lot of the songs that get the crowd going in Europe don't really do the same here. So that is gets you thinking about the songs you picked [to do]. Other than that, nothing is really that interesting.
So here is a Speed Round of Questions for you. What is your Mantra?
Top 5 favorite movies.
Let's see, I'm not really into movies but I have a few favorites. A Clockwork Orange, Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Lord of the Rings.
I actually count them all as one movie. And the last one, well it's a movie I recommend that everyone see, Heat. I mean I am not that big of an action fan but it has some of the best action scenes in it.
Your top 5 albums?
Let me think. Slayer "Reign In Blood", Black Sabbath "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath", Massive Attack [Inaudible].
Your favorite US act versus our favorite in Europe?
The best band out of America is Metallica, hands down. Out of Europe, definitely Bathory.
Introvert or Extrovert?
What are your thoughts on death?
Well, my father believes that death is very final, that there us no life after death, nothing. [I on the other hand], have a very open mind when it comes to death. Whether there is life after death, or the belief of the soul living afterwards I don't think that death is a final thing. It's sort of your belief in Christianity. All your life you believe in that one thing and then later on you find out it's a farce or bullshit. [Laughs] Same thing with the Buddhist religion.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
What pisses you off?
Oh a lot of things actually! But one of the biggest things that pisses me off is when people don't stay true to their word. When people go behind my back and say things that are untrue or they don't stick to their word, that really pisses me off.
I really never had a job. I was 16 when I recorded my first record and 17 when it was released. I've had my own label for the last ten years so, I really haven't had any other jobs I been doing music all my life.
That's awesome! If not music, then what?
Well I have an interest in football or soccer like you call it over here. So I suppose if I wasn't playing music I'd be a soccer player.
What's your favorite comfort food?
I don't really have a favorite comfort food, you mean like ice cream or shit like that?
I just like food, I like gourmet food. [Laughs] I mean I don't sit on the couch with ice cream and go, "Waaah", soЕ [Laughs]
[Laughs] If there was a band you could commission to do a song of yours what song and who would it be?
That's a good question. I would say Black Sabbath doing "Black Lava". I think it would be cool if they could add more lyrics to it.
Ok, that would be cool! So if you were stranded on a desert island with whom would you like to be marooned with?
Well actually, I have something better than a desert island. Joey and I can tour the world on a bus, without playing any music. That would be great! Two musicians on a world tour without playing music!
That would be so cool!
Thank you Satyr for the interview! Go win some fans over tonight!
Thank you, I will try.
I think it's takk?
Yes, takk! [Smiles]
De er velkommen!
Taken from: FourteenG
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