Because they are promoting the new one, Fenriz has been doing some email interviews, so we figured we better send over some questions for him. Here are his responses to our inane queries.
Why should people pick up the new record?
Because it’s a strange cauldron of full on ancient metal styles with old sound? Certainly not because we’re fashion plates.
What are your touring plans?
Extensive touring of Idaho in late 2013 if we can get Gene Pitney on bass (and permission to play his “Backstage” song) and Richard Simmons as a side show act.
Do you get recognized and what’s that like for you?
Yes, but in the forest it’s usually because of the forest TV appearances I’ve made, or articles about camping I write for the biggest newspaper here (Aftenposten). In the streets, it’s usually someone wanting to take photographs (thank you modern technology for providing cameras for every dolt alive…NOT!) but when it’s festivals here it’s worse with the autographs and “sudden best friend syndrome” — the one that comes out of having travelled a long distance and when finally finding a particle of the essence travelled for (a.k.a., ME) it’s the most natural thing in the world that I want to spend time and talk to these people.
Do you feel black metal’s just entirely too mainstream these days, and really, sort of false?
What I KNOW is that up to ‘93, all recordings of black metal was RAW and ORGANIC. Then the misunderstanders and the idiots and the market entered and started to water out the sound, polishing it, making it THE OPPOSITE of what I initially joined it for — the only style that wasn’t touched by experimentation with old metal sound or morrisoundification of metal.
So after that there were good recordings, bad recordings and just copycat stuff. And has been ever since. Then when it was all over here, America discovered it for real in ‘98 and usually also thinking Emperor was the major band. For shame. Anyway the states have Negative Plane, so you can be proud of THAT.
What are a couple of bands people may not know but should?
Poison from Germany recorded their Into the Abyss demo in 1986, and started selling it. I sent them my postal money order in early ‘87 and have been in love with that 30-minute long demo ever since. Really the last German recording of black metal importance. Was quickly put out on vinyl too, I guess that early version of the vinyl is worth more than my original demo, even. Anyway our album The Cult is Alive is called so because of a lyric line on the first song on that demo. Long dark songs of abyssic black thrash, black, metal…black metal.
Do you ever get tired of being awesome?
I get tired of myself all the time, and the fight against those who take the bass out of the bass drums. Because it’s an absurd thing to do, it’s like I think I am mad sometimes for having to point it out now for the last 23 years and people still don’t seem to understand what i mean by it. They just keep hailing albums with horrible modern drum sound and the bands chose it and the studio jerks keep pushing it. And I’m like “doesn’t anybody else see or hear this?!?!” Once in a while albums come along that prove me right, Royal Thunder had fantastic bass drums on their last album, so does Hour of 13, also they have the balls to have a “lazy” snare too. Neat!