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Interview with Satyr by MTV (June 2006)

Sigurd "Satyr" Wongraven, the snarling frontman for Norwegian black-metallers Satyricon, says his band's forthcoming LP, "Now, Diabolical", constitutes perhaps the darkest material he's ever had a hand in writing. But he doesn't say you've got to be a black-metal disciple to relish the record.


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"These songs are very direct," he explained. "Instead of 12 or 13 themes per song, there are just a handful of themes that carry each song, because I wanted the album to have an extremely solid framework Ч something that was undeniable and unquestionable, something that was very insisting and full of authority. A way of achieving that is to concentrate on purifying the power of a few themes, as opposed to never letting one theme establish itself.

"I think too many metal bands sound like they play music for other musicians, that the song has no higher purpose or that they don't look for a special atmosphere or anything like that," he continued. "They just play and say, 'Look at me, I can shred.' It's very typical and it's really sad."

Still, Satyr said he has no idea what sort of response "Now, Diabolical's" going to receive when it lands in U.S. record stores on June 13. Satyricon's previous outing, "Volcano", has sold a mere 15.000 copies since its release back in 2003. Six weeks ago, "Now, Diabolical" was released in Europe and is one of the fastest-selling records in their homeland.

But Europe isn't America, and according to Satyr, "Americans have a different understanding of extreme-metal music.

"It's kind of weird," he continued, "because death metal is a part of what I call extreme-metal music, and death metal has more to do with America than Europe, that's for sure. It seems like there is a lot of confusion as to who's, where it concerns black metal and death metal. Europeans pinpointed a long time ago who's black metal and what bands are important. The American kids don't seem to have the slightest clue about that, so you find yourself in a situation where a band that is not popular in Europe at all... can do really well in America, while other bands that have very solid standings in Europe are not doing very well in America. It's hard to predict.

"If I was to go by the reception and the overall status of a band like Satyricon in Europe, I would say that [the record] is going to do extremely well in America. But given what I just explained, you never know."

Before year's end, Wongraven said Satyricon hope to hit the road with a number of other true black-metal bands Ч nothing has been confirmed yet Ч for a U.S. headlining run. But a few months back, Satyricon were presented with a golden opportunity to raise their profile with metal lovers in the U.S.: a slot on this summer's Ozzfest.

Unfortunately, "we just had about a million things we were already committed to doing in Europe, so we couldn't be a part of Ozzfest this year," Wongraven said. He hopes the band will get a second chance next year, "because it's something we've always wanted to do. Every band that has a little bit of common sense must want to do Ozzfest. [Now, Diabolical] is doing really, really well in Europe, and it's not like we're going to blow that just to see what could possibly happen in America. That's the honest truth."


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Taken from: MTV
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