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Interview with Satyr (with answers by Frost) by Roadrunner Records UK (2006)
Unfortunately due to various commitments Satyr was unable to answer the questions. However, we are glad to report that Frost has filled them in in his absense. Well done Frost, well done.
What is the meaning behind "Now, Diabolical"?
The title appeared mentally to Satyr and presented itself as the title for our album. A result of the subconscious being at work, presumably. It feels a bit mystical and magical - as the music on the album does. It does also feel like a call for arms. And a starting point for something.
How did you go about writing the new album? What did you do differently from the writing process for "Volcano"?
Behind each song on "Now, Diabolical" there is a core idea. We felt that in order to realise each idea fully, it was needed to make the different elements of the respective songs carry, support or build up to this core idea. Such a strategy calls for utter carefullness in the compositions, simplicity in structure and results in a clean, direct and powerful expression. We started creating songs like this during the preparation for "Volcano" saw that the formula worked well for us, and took the process all the way when making the music for "Now, Diabolical".
Being on Roadrunner do you feel it will now enable you to reach to a wider audience? How do you think it will affect the dynamics and sound of the band, if at all?
All the music for "Now, Diabolical" was already made when we inked the deal with Roadrunner. They didn't want to change the band in any way, they wanted Satyricon on the label because it is a strong band with a huge potential in its own right. Nobody from the outside will ever have any impact on how Satyricon is run - and the very idea of anything else is absurd. We in the band and Roadrunner share a common vision and a belief in Satyricon's strength, and it seems like the cooperation will carry fruits.
Will Satyricon ever have more than two members on a permanent basis or will it always be you and Satyr? Why?
I can't imagine that there will ever be place for other permanent members than Satyr and me. In order for Satyr to realise his musical ideas that are the foundations for the albums, he needs to be in some kind of control of the entire creative process. Having more members would mean letting go of the control - or creating an unbearable conflict by not letting other permanent members have their right to affect the music. The two of us have found a way of working that functions for this band experience tells us that involving more members on a permanent basis will be a disturbing element at a certain stage.
Where does the inspiration for your song writing/lyrics come from, and does it ever become a struggle? If so, how do you deal with that?
We have a will to create, to express ourselves musically through Black Metal. I believe this comes from the place that music (particularly in the form of BM) has in our lives. No doubt do we also have talents of a musical nature. Like other artists, what we do is that we follow and cultivate a passion that burns strongly in us, and that is inspiration in itself. Furthermore it gives strength to overcome struggles and obstacles we encounter in our artistical pursuits.
Many of your songs have lyrics that might be considered "anti-Christian" what are your religious beliefs, and why?
We go against the glorification of the mediocre, of the stupidity and of the mindlessness and spinelessness that a great part of our society seems to embrace. Christianity represents an awful collective principle, but there are also others. We do want to contribute to erase the false positive connotations that the church have succeeded in establishing in the West regarding "christian values" - but still we definitely have a higher artistic purpuse with what we are doing than simply being against a religion.
What bands did you listen to growing up and what do you listen to now? How have they moulded the "Satyricon sound"?
We have both grown up in the eighties with the hard rock and metal of that time, and I guess both Satyr and me sought the more extreme bands at a relatively early point. As of today, I personally listen mostly to Black Metal of what I consider to be the elite division, and to dark, alternative non-metal music. Some nice thrash metal now and then... It's difficult to say what have moulded our sound which is our own expression I'd say that what we listen to and what we create are simply signs of our tastes in music.
How did you and Satyr meet? How has your relationship changed over the years?
Faust arranged for Satyr and me to meet, as he had been asked to do the drums for Satyricon and had to say no. You see, he had just joined Emperor at the time and hence was fully occupied, but he knew me from before and suggested to Satyr that they should try me as I was a drummer without a band. Satyr and me quickly became friends and partners in crime - strangely enough, maybe, because I could hardly play the drums at all. No matter what, I eventually decided to put my heart and soul into the project, and we both developed a will and an ambition of making Satyricon become our mutual Great Work. That bound us together then, and that is what binds us together now. Our work is more important than our friendship, but the relation between us does still have the character of a friendship.
You've been involved in many projects and collaborations, which in particular stick out for you?
Apart from Satyricon, 1349 is an important channel of expressing myself musically. And I was so lucky to get to contribute to making the "WW"-album by Gehenna a reality. What an unbelievable masterpiece that is.
What's your most memorable concert ever?
Tough question. The last concert we did here in Oslo (two days ago) felt very special and is still fresh in my mind, of course. The Wacken show in 2004 with that Nocturno Culto/Darkthrone seance was also an experience very out of the ordinary.
What are your thoughts and feelings about the black metal scene today compared to what it was in the late 80's and early 90's?
The veil of mystery and obscurity has been lifted off the scene, for good and for bad. It was destined to happen, due to the inheritant expansive qualities of the leading bands. The scene is anyway strong and vital as of today, and I feel as connected to the genre now as I did in the early 90's when the Norwegian Black Metal scene took shape.
What do you think is the future of black metal? Which bands, in your opinion, are taking the genre forward?
The future belongs to, and depends upon, those that manage to innovate while still keeping strong roots. Bands like Satyricon really do take the genre forward, as do a few other bands of the elite division. I await eagerly to see what a new generation can come up with... Actually, we have been waiting a bit too long already.
Do you feel that Black Metal is a purely Scandinavian sound rather than a genre? Do you think it is possible for bands in other countries to play black metal or is this merely a copy of Norwegian/Scandinavian Black Metal?
The Norwegian bands that brought new life to the Black Metal genre in the beginning of the 90's did in fact create a genre of their own, and no doubt do the most significant Norwegian Black Metal bands have a unique sound that actually sounds Norwegian. These bands have been dominating the Black Metal scene for 15 years now, so it's no wonder that Black Metal as an expression have become strongly tied to the Norwegian scene and it's particular expression. As far as I'm concerned, all the BM bands of today that actually mean something on a big scale are Norwegian. Furthermore I think that this style which is Norwegian Black Metal is executed properly only by Norwegian bands - that is more of an observation than a point of view. What is important for any band, regardless of origin, is to create something unique. I would welcome any band from any place in the world that sounded like nothing else, but that still had a definite Black Metal feel. We don't need more Darkthrone or Immortal or Mayhem copies we don't need more mediocre releases that contributes with nothing meaningful to the BM world.
Being an integral part of the Norwegian Black Metal scene, how do you feel about the reputation it has - especially considering the murders and church burnings of the early nineties?
Norwegian Black Metal anno 2006 is renowned for its musical qualities, for the dark atmospheres, for its edge, for its varitety and for its splendour. It is an honour and a privilege to be part of that and have a leading role.
Thanks for all the questions you sent in - see you on tour real soon!!
Taken from: Roadrunner Records UK