INTERVIEW WITH DARKTHRONE
Questions answered by: Fenriz
The interview took place at the Inferno festival in Oslo, Norway on 14/4/2001
I managed to get this interview with Fenriz at the Inferno festival, where he was a DJ that night. He didn't have much time, but still he answered some of my questions. So here is what he had to say until a phone call brought this interview to an end:
With the last album you seem to get back in a public spotlight, because after Total Death there were no news about you. So was it a lack of publicity that made you seen that way?
We really didn't do a lot of interviews from 93 and onwards. We sort of came out nowhere with Total Death album, because we've been just keeping low profile. Previous album was released in ... 94 and Total Death in 96, 97 and we have been doing no interviews or anything like that... All that time we never really saw any reviews or anything, we didn't know what people thought about Darkthrone...
There were even some rumours circling around about Darkthrone had split up...
That's true though... The same thing happened again after we did Total Death... And then when we made Ravishing Grimness people were talking about Dakthrone splitting up again, but... We had earlier requests of people who wanted to do an official website and shit like that and we always said no, we didn't want to have an official website. If we did that, people would have all the time see... well, they would see we are doing nothing, but that we have not split up... no way, we want to do that. We don't want to quit because of perseverance... Right now we're just "happy" about hanging in there... we've been there since the beginning and we still want to do that ... Darkthrone is not about what we include, is more about what we exclude, it's more what we chose not to do, because we feel it is alright to do just the plain, plain black metal ... If some idea comes to our head, we don't say: "Hey that's a great idea, lets use that" We're not progressive, we're a regressive band.
You have started working on a new album now...
Every album we ever did.. we were always working on it, setting the albums up in different ways. At the beginning of course we rehearsed fucking material like a regular band. Now, the last album that we are doing now... I got no material. I met up with Nocturno Culto in January, he showed me material for one song and than I recorded it... He wrote the material for this two last albums, and I just sit down, try to play the drums, try to play the songs, recorded it on to rehearsal tape and then I took it home with me, because he knew the songs already.
For the last two albums Nocturno Culto was driving the car, I was just sitting there, reading the map... In 93, 94 I was driving the car and reading the map, but now he is in a productive period. I am not, I wrote one song for the last album, one for this album... anyway that's the way we make the album now. We just record all the shit he has got - he writes 31 minutes of music, we record it on the rehearsal tape, I listen to the rehearsal tape for maybe like 100-150 times and then one week or one month before the album is recorded we rehearse again, just to play together - we've been playing together since 88, so we sort of know how we fit together and also we don't play complicated music, we play primitive old school black metal, so it's not that hard. Anyway than we're going to the studio, we're just trying to do our best in the studio, but we are not using 2, 3 months in the studio we use 4,5 day in it.
Working title is Corporal Punishment - who's idea was it?
That was my title. Nocturno doesn't like it, so now we changed it.
We want to change it to Conservative Fronts, but we think we are going to have to much... people will give us a hard time because they think it has got something to do with politics, when to me Conservative Fronts is just another way of saying old school black metal. So now the title is The Bitter Discipline, but... (he talked in Norwegian with one of the member of Cadaver Inc.) They just told to me today: "Oh, it's from our album Discipline". So we have this fucking title The Bitter Discipline and now we probably can't even use it, because Cadaver is going to have a fucking album called Discipline and we would have The Bitter Discipline... now we have to think! So the title for next album - who the fuck cares? I usually care a lot when other bands have album titles and shit..., but this is just too sad, it happened today, everything is fucked up.
I was wondering if the associations with the title Corporal Punishment will be reflected in lyrics on the new album...
Am I trying to make a statement with the Corporal Punishment? - I don't know, but it is in my mind anyway.
But you do the lyrics for Darkthrone...
Oh yes, and I am damn serious about it. After 13 years of lyric making, now I?m starting making poems... I am not talking about the lyrics though, no one should talk about their lyrics! It sucks talking about the lyrics!
The song you did for the Moonfog compilation, the sound was really harsh - is this the sound that's going to be on the new album? Ravishing Grimness sounds quite nice in comparison with this song...
Ravishing Grimness as whole does not sound nice, because I heard compilation, CD's that magazine gives out and you have... band No1, band No2 and than Ravishing Grimness comes along and it sounds like fucking turn in there, you know ... Most bands sound like a garden and we are the fucking weed in the garden when it comes to compilation tapes, but still... people say that we sound to nice now - that... I have a problem with that,, because there are so many other bands that sound so nice and we sound so ugly, but people just want us to be total ugly, people want us to be like the song you mentioned. People here ... two guys of Cadaver, they said: "Hey, that song we heard on the fucking compilation, we want the next Darkthrone to be like that!" you know, like fucking shit, beyond shit - that's what they want! The thing is - we never want to sound like total shit, we want to sound like demo recording - yes, no problem, rehearsal - yes, but... I made like two Darkthrone albums when I use the four track fucking studio I had to plug everything in myself, I had to adjust everything myself and... If you want to do some art or music and you have to do the fucking plugs and shit it sort of interferes with your ... (he points to his head). It shouldn't, but it actually does sometimes, it interferes with the feelings you should have for the material... It's just like: "I finally plugged this fucker up..." It's better if some fucker plugs it up for you, so you just do the recording itself and that is why we are doing, what we are doing now! We are going to the same studio this time as the last time, so we'll probably get the same fucked up, but still not so fucked up sound. And some people will say: "Hey, why Darktrone ain't sound shitty?!" We will sound shitty, but not that shit, if you know what I'm saying.
What are your feelings about the development of metal scene?
Of what? The metal scene itself?
It's fantastic! We used to suck up to major corporations back in the days. But we don't have to do that anymore, because metal organisation - it is actually working now! We don't have to suck up to anyone, we have independency in entire metal scene, It was different from back in the days when you had bands like Judas Priest and shit like that and you had to be signed with a major label or you were gone! But all this shit with signing to underground labels - it actually worked! Underground labels like Nuclear Blast was just...
In 1988 Nuclear Blast was just a fucking laugh, they just had some shitty bands, now they just rule the fucking industry!
You were involved in last Ulver's album - The Marriage of heaven and Hell. How come?
Do you like that album?
I just did a vocal part. It was natural, since we are friends, he asked me if I would do some vocals for him and I said sure.
Ulver has been a change of a band in Norway. I don't know how much they felt for doing that total black metal shit like we did, but, they have changed over to something else...
I have always said to Kris: "Change, change totally, don't do any fucking half, crossover thing, just change to fucking hip-hop, whatever you want... just leave guitars behind, because I have knew for years that he wants to loose that shit... and he actually did now... so the last album - beautiful!
Can you tell me something about how do you feel for Eibon?
I feel that members in Eibon have a strong base from the eighties. So when the album will - hopefully - finally be out... people will hear that. Because we are not doing extreme metal, we are doing just though metal! I don't know what the kids will feel about the material, because the kids seem to be really interested in faster shit, but in Eibon we are definitely in slower shit...