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INTERVJU S SATYRICON

Questions answered by: Satyr and Frost
The interview took place at Inferno festival in Oslo, Norway on 13/4/2001
Interviewer: Maja

Most of the time I find it quite confusing when I meet members from black metal scene, as they wear corpsepaint on stage or on photos and with a certain aura of dark mystery filling up the place of their presence... it usually gives you the felling of minding your own business and let them be...
Nevertheless, in real life most of them look quite normal with all these human abilities to laugh and so on, which can make them difficult to recognize.
After contacting Moonfog Ann has told me she and Satyr should be at the Inferno festival and said that I should find them there for doing the interview with Satyricon.. Since I didn't have the slightest clue about Ann's appearance I've decided to look for Satyr instead.. After I scanned the place a couple of times I've noticed a guy that I figured could be Satyr (with slight differences). This guy here had, hmm...hair? So I hesitated for a minute and in the meanwhile Frost has appeared. It wasn't difficult to recognize him though, as he didn't look much different from how he had looked on some photos, it was just... This aura feeling I told you about - well, he seemed to carry it with himself even when he was off the stage...
So despite this stupid feeling I had I decided to go with the Khold's shirt that "supposed Satyr" was wearing and I addressed the guy. It turned out he was Satyr (bravo me!?) and he was responsible for making the sound for Khold and Gehenna who had performed later that day. He said that I should find Ann to arrange the interview. Fun!!! His tip to look for a blond wasn't very useful though, as I later found out that Ann's hair was black. Luckily for me Ann turned out to be a very capable person so in a couple of minutes she found Satyr and Frost and here is the result of the interview:

How far are you with the material for the new album?

Satyr: I guess it is pretty much done. What is left... I was making some final arrangements. The song material and the lyrics I consider finished for quite a while, although there are certain changes that have been made as we progress. It's basically finished but I am working on arranging the songs and the way I see it now... I do not really now. I thought I will record in June. Maybe it still will be June, but if I am not satisfied with June, I will move it to July. I just keep on working every day so we will see, but we have the new record coming up, that's for sure.

Can you give us a hint about it?

Frost: It occurred to me: it's going to be the darkest record we did so far. It's kind of strict, the frames for music are very tight up and there is a lot of authority in music. Cold and strict.

Do you intend to go to the same studio as you did for the last album?

Satyr: No, there is a studio in Denmark called Puk studio that is out in the countryside, so it is a remote and peaceful area. Which is quite convenient as far as concentration, focus goes. Further on it is a studio in which bands such as Judas Priest, Sisters of Mercy... a lot of big bands worked in and that makes me feel comfortable about going there, because big names usually don't go for low file studios. I heard a lot of good things about this studio as far as location, technical equipment and all that... And when they have such a list of clients, that makes me even more assure that's going to be a good choice.

You two are the only full members of Satyricon. So you make and record music by yourself. How does it feel playing with the session members?

Frost: It's a different experience. The line-up that we have now is the same as we previously had on Rebel Extravaganza and it seems to be the perfect choice for the band, so we will continue with it. Also we took to the studio a bass and a guitar player when we did Slayer's cover Raining Blood.
Satyr: That cover is not for the new album, it's for a tribute album.

Who chose which song to cover?

Satyr: It wasn't like we set down to discus that. It was all natural, because we have played that song for quite a while. I believe that album and that song is so essential to us that is not really that much to discuss. It's like one of the most essential songs from one of the most essential records ever.

With each album you not just musically but also visually distinguish yourselves from the others. Do you pay much attention to get more unique with the way you look?

Satyr: Conventional look wouldn't be very interesting for us. For us extremity is a vital point. It's not about looking this way or that way, it just got to have the certain edge of it, whether it would be aggressive, dark, psychotic... Doesn't matter as long as it has the edge and it wouldn't be "us" to do something which is stereotype. It's not necessarily making deliberate decision, that could be the case, but is also a question of what you like as a person - if you are a follower or an individualist.

Your live performance - you use a lot of effects during the show. But do you know the line from where on effects stop supporting music and become a disturbing factor, because people would stop moving, responding to music and they would watch the show instead? Do you think of that when you prepare the show?

Frost: Do you mean like visual effects? I think it should be pretty extreme to steal so much attention, to be a negative factor. I guess that's quite impossible. We would like to spend more on live shows, having more extreme visual effects but you can't afford having a lot of fire effects each night. So I guess there is no danger from stealing to much attention .

What about the support bands - on some tours there are 4, 5 and people get tired before the main act. Do you have control over support bands - how many and which will go on tour with you?

Frost: We have a limit - 3 bands.
Satyr: What I would prefer is to actually have no support bands. We have played a few shows in Norway where we played just by ourselves and I like that a lot. It's not about not wanting to share the stage with anyone, it's about the convenience of not having to think about making room for another band on the stage, soundcheck time, backstage space, such simple things. Also, I feel that there are very few bands that I like and which have the possibility to tour with us. It's not many bands that could open up for us that I like, so whenever we go out we sort of end up with bands, with which I don't have the relationship. A band like Behemoth - I don't dislike Behemoth, but I don't like them either, it's just... I have no strong feelings, be negative or positive - they are just there.

And usually you have also some local bands...

Satyr: Oh, local acts, that's really horrible... And the worst thing about it - those bands, local bands they have to pay a lot of money to be our local support acts. But we don't get any of that, the promoter takes all that money. So the only thing that could make up for it is if we would get like 50% of that money, but we don't even see any of it. So for us it's nothing but asshole.

Are you planing any concerts before releasing the new album?

No.

So you seem to get more and more credit for your efforts.. You hit the national chart, you won the Alarm prize for best live band. How does it effect you knowing people do appreciate your work?

Satyr: I guess all over the world and especially in Norway, but I would say all over the world we have become more known for being a very good band. What I mean is now we are not necessarily just a very good black metal band, but being considered a very good band. The people that are not specifically interested in black metal music refer to Satyricon as : "Yes, that's really a good band!" I think that's one of the consequences. Also my impression is, when they look upon us - people outside black metal - we are their alibi to like black metal, you know what I mean. Here was this award here in Oslo where a journalist said - I was about to present an award - and she said: "Please welcome bla,bla,bla from what I consider to be the only black metal act that makes me shiver down my spine." And to me that was a great compliment, because most of them, outsiders, consider it to be noisy, but when they let it come in, to their souls - that's a great compliment, make me feel that what I am doing is a universal darkness, aggression...

(Eibon has made a great stir and since Satyr is one of the members of this band I took an opportunity to ask a couple of question about this band:)
Members of Eibon has built their reputation in different bands, projects, but who started the band and put all of you together?


Satyr: Killjoy - he didn't know Fenriz and he didn't know me but... Maniac was the first person that was contacted and they were supposed to do the band, than... obviously Phil came in to be the part of Necrophagia and than he wanted to bring in Fenriz. I was actually the last person that was asked and I guess... I was supposed to have a sort a sub role in the band, just being a bass, guitar player, but I became a little bit more prominent after a while, since the musical direction that we all decided upon was something that I was able to write very well.

So how active are you when it comes to making music for Eibon?

Satyr: I am the one that makes most of the music, I guess I do about 70% of the music. But the rest is being made by Phil. Most of the lyrics are written by Killjoy, but Phil and Fenriz have written a couple as well.

Who is doing the vocals now?

Everybody apart from Fenriz. I would say Phil and Killjoy are the lead singers and I do a little bit of back vocals here and there, certain lines... I guess it's all three of us, but mainly focused around those two Americans.

I guess Eibon is only a studio band?

Satyr: Yes.

The album should be released on Moonfog?

Satyr: In Europe it will be released on Moonfog, not in America - I don't know who is going to release it in America.

When can we expect it?

In winter/ spring next year. I mean if we wanted to the album could have been done by now, but we made different priorities. I had to concentrate on my main thing which is Satyricon and Phil had to concentrate on his main thing which is obviously Pantera. Half of the album is already recorded, but it has to wait.

Your previous projects - Wongraven and Storm are put on ice?

Satyr: Yes.

If you could travel back in time and bring something into the present - what would that be?

Satyr: What about bringing back the decency from the Viking age into modern society - that would be something!

What do you think is the worst personal characteristic human beings have in them?

Frost: Obviously mentality. Feel to be weak, stupid, which it seems to be a driving base for lots of people.

So what is one personality characteristic you wish you would have?

Satyr: I heard so many characteristic about myself - true and false, that I am totally bewilder.

But from your point of view...

Frost: I would say a firmer discipline, but I am working on it, though. Still a bit to lazy... Satyr: I feel that... what's important to me I try to work on it constantly. I don't see myself having any major ambitions about certain things that can be attached to my personality, I just see there are a lot of small things that I want to improve.

Besides the bands that are signed by Moonfog - can you think of any that you feel they would deserve more attention?

Satyr: That's a hard question, because when I think of that, I think of stuff like 666 International album - why are they being passed like that... I think a real good album which I haven't heard so much talked about is an album called Hybris by Swedish band ─nglagard, it's a progressive rock - it's not something that I listen to, but it is like a major record. I heard people saying good stuff about them, but they would deserve more attention.

I asked them to write it down and so Frost has written the name of the band Satyr mentioned and also the other one "Svartedauden" which is When's album - they are from Norway and play black/death...


   
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