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Interview with Frost from "Global Domination" E'zine by Josh Thorne
To say that Satyricon has had a strong influence on the global Black Metal scene would be an understatement. Almost always named as an inspiration by newer, up and coming Black Metal bands, Satyricon's dark lyrical and musical compositions have been considered innovative, but in a way that holds true to their standard of what the genre is all about. Like their peers in Darkthrone, Satyricon's lineup has consisted of two core members, Satyr and Frost, throughout their entire career and for good reason. This is the lineup that brought us "Nemesis Divina", "The Shadowthrone", and most recently, "Volcano". One of these core members, Frost, was kind enough to take time from Satyricon's busy touring and promotion schedule, as well as the touring and promotional schedule of his other band 1349, to speak with Global Domination. By reading this, it's easy to see that Frost takes his music very seriously and his love for the scene and for its founding fathers is always evident.
First off, congrats on "Volcano" finally being released here in the States. This is a very different album for Satyricon, in the sense that the music seems a bit more "rock" orientated than that of, say, "Nemesis Divina" or "The Shadowthrone". Was this your goal when writing the album to begin with?
Yes, we wanted "Volcano" to have more of a rock and roll foundation than a Heavy Metal foundation. It felt right, for several reasons: We wanted to make the album musically simple, direct and hard-hitting. In order to get a full focus on the atmospheres and energies of the songs, we needed to strip away all unnecessary details and make everything as simple as possible, and hence the rock approach suited us much better than the Heavy Metal approach which has become way more common in these days' Black Metal. We think it sounds better, and the majority of the B.M. albums we ourselves like are rock based. You know, early Bathory, Venom and Celtic Frost albums were developed from rock and roll rather than Heavy Metal; and the same goes for Darkthrone, to mention a band from the 2nd wave. The founders and developers of the genre built on rock and roll, and we think their stuff kicks way more ass than the vast majority of the later generations of bands in the BM genre. There is every reason to bring back the feeling of the old gods - we like it ourselves, and the younger listeners may very well be reintroduced to the more original Black Metal sound.
Has the stateside response for Volcano been what you had hoped for?
The response seems to be very good! I hope the band can follow up with more touring activity in the States as soon as possible. As you know, we have a problem to solve when it comes to getting a drummer for US touring. But we'll find a solution, and get back some time during the autumn. We have to; the Morbid Angel support tour was a great success!
How does it feel to have Sony Music distributing the record? I mean you went from a decent underground distro service to one of the biggest labels in the country seemingly overnight! That has to be somewhat insane.
That was a long and hard process that finally bore fruit. Without Satyr's ability to negotiate and get the right contacts, and his will to expand, nothing like this would have come about. It's also evidence of the potential that several key people see in Satyricon - especially Daron; he truly believes in this band. So do we, and it feels right that Satyricon is getting as much support as possible. The financial/promotional apparatus provided by a major label like Sony is something we can really benefit from.
How did the deal with Daron Molakian's Eaturmusic imprint come about? Considering his other band, System of A Down, it's kind of hard to picture him being into Black Metal.
But he is. He's a die-hard fan of Satyricon, and he is a die-hard fan of the genre as a whole. He has been into it for a long time as well; his record collection is impressive. Satyr met Daron for the first time on a trip to the US, and they bonded really well. Daron had an imprint label, he was a fan of Satyricon, he enjoyed "Volcano" very much, and he saw what strength and possibilities lie in this band... and we needed a record deal in the US. That's the short version of how the cooperation came about.
Would you care to explain why the American government deprived us, the American Black Metal fans, of your presence on the last Satyricon tour?
I have a criminal record, that's why. It doesn't help that the actual case is ten years old. And I guess the American government isn't too concerned with the country's Black Metal fans.
At Wacken, Satyricon performed what many consider one of the best sets of the group's career. What did it feel like to be able to not only perform in front of thousands of metal fans, but to also perform several Darkthrone classics with Nocturno Culto?
It was thrilling. And a great honor. Actually I have some difficulties remembering large parts of the show; I believe I exploded some time during the Darkthrone séance.
For a brief period, Norwegian Black Metal band Gorgoroth had stated you would be playing for them as well but that never happened. What was the reason for this?
My other band 1349 will be hitting the road with Gorgoroth here in Europe in a couple of weeks! It's a great combination of bands. Two bands on the same bill shouldn't have the same drummer though. So Dirge Rep is currently handling the drums for Gorgoroth. Anyway, I've had quite a lot to do with 1349 lately, and Satyricon will start rehearsing new material soon. So there isn't much time for being involved in other bands/projects right now.
Speaking of that, would you mind giving us a little info on 1349, for those who haven't heard the band yet?
We released our second album "Beyond the Apocalypse" in May (or was it early June?); an album with which I myself am profoundly satisfied. Intense, dark, extreme - and filled with absolutely TOP NOTCH killer guitar riffs. It's like a fine mix of 80's Black/Thrash Metal and contemporary warp speed Black Metal that somehow blends perfectly. It may sound like an ad for the album, but this is exactly how it is, and I find no better way to describe it. My involvement started when I heard material for the debut album "Liberation" (I had earlier done a session job on a demo mCD, which ended up sounding like crap), which was simply stunning. It sounded like MY kind of music, so I thought that joining forces would be highly constructive.
Ever seen necro porn?
If you mean necrophilia, then no (I don't count "Necromantik" and fake snuff movies). If you mean porn that is just extremely filthy and dirty, then yes. Hmmm... and so what?
Are there any bands out there that you're digging at the moment?
To take newer and/or less known bands, I must mention FURZE ("Trident Autocrat" is an EXCELLENT album, but quite old by now), NATTEFROST, DISIPLIN and ORCUSTUS. AURA NOIR is a band that should be counted among the stars now; what I've heard of their new album is crushing mostly everything.
The majority of Satyricon's music is extremely atmospheric. Are there any particular places in Norway that inspire the music you write as far asatmosphere goes?
No, that would be taking it too far, but there are lots of places that are inspiring, or that provide excellent settings for writing music or lyrics. There are very few DIRECT inspirations in Satyricon's music.
"Volcano" has only been out in the States for a brief time, but it's been out everywhere else for about 1-2 years. Have you already begun writing the follow-up? If so, how do those songs sound as opposed to the material contained on "Volcano"?
There is still work to do with "Volcano" in the US, but Satyr has written and recorded quite a lot of material (guitar themes, mostly) for the next album. There are no finished songs yet, however. So it's too early to speak of any clear musical direction as of yet.
What do you think the secret to Satyricon's longevity is?
Our passion for the music that we do, our ability to constantly improve as musicians and artists, our clear consciousness and elitist visions, and finally our ability to create and make music of supreme quality. We never accept the mediocre, and will never be boring or repetitive.
The Hole In The Sky festival. Satyr mentioned something about you being able to experience the Bathory tribute as a spectator. So Frost, as a spectator, would you mind sharing your thoughts on this tribute? In fact, just go ahead and share your thoughts on Bathory itself, while you're at it!
Without Bathory, there would be no Norwegian scene, as we know it today. Bathory were by far the biggest musical source of inspiration for the revitalizing wave of Norwegian BM bands in the early 90's, and I personally think they were the best band of the 80's. The Bathory tribute sounded so Bathory in every way that it was almost scary. I wouldn't have missed that event for the world. I felt really exhausted when the show was over. I knew I had witnessed something so unique it will always remain as a strong memory.
Finally, do you see the future becoming even better for this band... and maybe one day, do you see yourself being able to come to this great land and allow us to see Satyricon the way it should be seen?
Yes. And yes again. It's a matter of time... and that goes for both your questions.
Any last words for the Global Domination readers?
The beast is awakened in America. Those of you who have entered the dark world of Black Metal should be proud to be part of the initial stage of Black Metal's rise in your vast country. Seek the core, the unique, the outstanding - shun the worthless and the mediocre. So may the scene grow strong and vital.
Taken from: Global Domination
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