INTERVIEW WITH GEHENNA
Questiones answered by: Sanrabb
The interview took place at Inferno festival in Oslo, Norway on 13/4/2001
You have released Murder in October, but I can't remember you going on tour
We went to Mexico, but it was quite short, because I received the news that
my father had died, so we have to cancel the rest of the tour and we went back
home. And after that we just took a long time off till I wanted to start working
with the band again. We have done a couple of gigs and we are planning to go
to the States to do a couple of shows there.
Can you describe the metal ideology behind which Gehenna stands now?
Of course I have my own opinion and stuff like that, but I don't try to convey
message to people in sense that I want them to think or do specific things.
Lyrics, for exaple, are left for listeners to interprete, I never really go
very far and describe what lyrics are about, only very generally. A lot of lyrics
deal with violence and why the violence occurs. Also about religious types of
settings, for example Islam or Christian or Jewish believes. There are a couple
of lyrics that could be interpreted as satanic, because I do see myself as a
satanist and that is why a lot of people have said that we can not go more death
metal. That& is extreme metal which is satanic. So we are a black metal band.
What kind of feedback you have received for the last album?
It's been various. Most people tend to mention that was unexpected or that it's
a lot different. But that was also the case with our previous releases. And
the one that probably got the most feedback in that way was Admirion Black,
because people didn't expect that after Malice.
I decided to write more aggressive music because that is basically what I feel
like doing myself. I think the scene in general had gone very soft and most
bands have really polished sound, they sound very nice and expensive. I don't
put much into that, I just want to play extreme. Some of course prefer more
atmospheric music, but I just write what I feel.
Every released album was more brutal, more aggressive than the previous release.
Do you have any visions or ideas for your next release?
Parts of the CD will be as aggressive or maybe more aggressive than Murder,
but the new material that I have written by now is very slow and very strange,
very twisted, with keyboards. But I use very old, analog keyboards that sound
like a church pipe organ. The thing I really hate about synths is that you have
a perfectly aggressive riff and then you put tons of strings on it and than
it sounds terrible. That is my opinion that I have come to during years of playing
on the stage and seeing bands live and figuring out what works and what doesn't.
So, the new stuff - some of it is really slow, altough very dark, nothing smooth,
nothing nice or beautiful. Some parts are rather sad, but not like Theatre of
tragedy sad, it's all very twisted. I haven't written the very fast and aggresive
songs yet , but I know I want a lot of them on the CD.
So it's gonna be a mixture of slow and fast parts?
Yes, but I try to concentrate on... It's ok to mix styles, but it should be
smooth, you shouldn't notice it that way, not thinking about what is going on,
you should just get the mood of music.
You have new members in the band...
Yes. Kina is a synth player, Necro is a guitarist and Amok a bass player. Crazy
guys, but very good musicians.
So do you think they will contribute to your music?
I will probably use the stuff that they'll write for which I'll think it would
fit, so they will write music, but I don't think there will be any major changes
because of it, I will still write most of the music.
You are amongst the bands that gave a meaning to the term Nordic Metal& becoming famous and respected. I heard a couple of times people claiming that
because of bands like you newcomers from Norway get better contracts with record
companies and much easier. What's your opinion about that?
I hope that's true, because than it would be very easy for us to get a good
record deal, ha, ha. No, no. I think each and every band should prove their
own worth but a lot of things come into play; if they are very good distributed
they will sell, nomatter how bad it is. I think each band should prove that
they pull their own weight, although by this I don't mean they have to be 100%
original. It's stupid to think: It's ok, I'm Norwegian and I play good black
metal, because that is definitely not the case. There is a lot of crap bands
What other bands or maybe genres do you listen to?
I listen to all types of music, I like a lot of the old music from 70's, a lot
of progressive rock, very strange stuff, modern stuff that is not metal like
Nick Cave, Dead Kennedys... Amongst my favourite bands from Norway are Immortal
(I couldn't resist to ask him about his opinion on Mayhem's Grand Declaration
of War so we talked about that for a while and than I wanted to hear his opinion
on some other Norwegian bands). How do you look upon music the way DHG, Arcturus.Kovenant
A lot of early Gehenna stuff is not so far from that. I am not putting neither
music or people that do music down, but a couple of years ago I was more into
that sound than I am now. Arcturus for example are one of the best when it comes
to that kind of music and personally i don't like Kovenant. The new Thorns is
really good, but that is not something I would do.
Are you involved in any other band or project? You have been a member of
Besides that I was a session member. I played with Satyricon and in a band from
my hometown, which is more 70's type, progressive stuff that I mentioned. The
band is called Mechanic. I am not a member of any other band now.