INTERVIEW WITH KHOLD
Questions answered by: Gard
Interview took place on 18/10/2001 in Zagreb, Croatia
Interviewers: Maja & Anja
We talked to Gard after their performance in Zagreb. They managed to impress
the crowd almost instantly. The response was incredible.
All the members of Khold have experience as full or session members in other bands.
Can you tell us who's idea was to start as Khold and how did you all get together?
Gard: It was me and Sarke, the drummer, who decided we don't want to do Tulus any more, because this was more like just me and him doing records. When we wanted a bass player, we got a bass player who was very talented, of course, but we wanted to be more like a band. So we got these two guys to join us and we formed Khold.
How long have you been together?
Gard: As Khold? Since early this year... yeah, since January.
So you have started this year, made a demo, signed to Moonfog... It all happened
Gard: Yes, it did. Well, Moonfog was part of the reason why we've changed our name. We actually got the deal before we've named the band Khold. Nobody else knows this... This is exclusive!
How do you work as a band when it comes to making music and writing lyrics?
Gard: It's mostly me and the drummer, we're making music... as we did in Tulus. The other guys only put in their own notes, they don't join in making the music.
What about the lyrics?
Gard: That would be my wife.
Lyrics are in Norwegian so can you tell us what's the main theme?
Gard: Different things: fairytales, myths and personal experiences, emotions... and trying to combine emotions to get two views in one lyric instead of describing just one feeling at the time.
Album is not divided in chapters or anything...
Gard: No, we actually thought about that, making a book about something, but she will be the writer and I don't know what it will be about. I don't want to disturb her too much about her sight of it.
You got very positive reviews on your debut album and the one thing that was
especially pointed out was the spirit of the early days you managed to bring back
with your music. Is that something you did spontaneously or did you try to bring
it alive again?
Gard: Well, this is what we do. Now listen to this (Carpathian Forest have already started playing)! It sounds like Celtic Frost, this is really good. Anyway, I listen to Celtic Frost, Darkthrone, it's just great, Mayhem, all that they did, but we are mostly inspired by the old stuff. The slower, more groovy kind of thing. And when we use a bass player like we have in our band... he's a very groovy bass player. We've always used very steady bass players who have a very good melodic sound and to get that through we need to slow down. And that is what we want to do. We don't want to play as fast as Behemoth, well let them take care of that... We are too old.
Do you see your signing with Moonfog as a special recognition of your work,
since the bands which are signed with this label are regarded as the ones that
stand out of today's metal scene?
Gard: Yes, I am proud to be on Moonfog because I think Satyr has a very good insight on the music and he picks out the best. And well, he can't have everybody. I know he wants Mayhem, too but so far he hasn't succeeded there. Yes, I am proud to be on Moonfog, since we always watched what Darkthrone has done over the years.
Do you have a lot of rehearsals, since you managed to achieve so many things
in such a short period of time?
Gard: Well, I would like to say we rehearse a lot, but...
Why, isn't it better to say "we are so experienced that we don't need almost
any rehearsals anymore"?
Gard: (laughs) Well, it's almost true. We don't even rehearse before getting into the studio. Mostly we learn the songs in the studio as we go along. And I always forget songs if I haven't played them like a hundred times. So when we get in the studio I have to learn the song right before I have to play it and sometimes I even learn it during the take so... (we were interrupted by two Croatian guys asking for pot, which we didn't have).
So when I am playing, the drummer will sit there. He always remembers everything.
That's a good combination.
Gard: Yes, he's got like a computer up here and he won't forget a note! So that's good for me, because I always forget. So I play and he just sits there and shows me the next riff and I am like "OK" and I do it. That is why on the record you won't find... we don't want it too tight, we want it to be spontaneous and that is why we don't rehearse too much before going to the studio.
Your music has a lot of details which are not obvious until you know the whole
CD by heart, which I think is what makes your music so similar to what Darkthrone
does. Of course you have to listen to CD's of other bands multiple times as well
to get the details but they are obvious while yours are hidden, you don't get
them right away.
Gard: It has a lot to do with production. Dimmu Borgir - they've got great production, they got no surprises, that's my opinion. They have a very good sound, very tight, very professional but the details... it's too produced. They have rehearsed so much, it's so fucking tight. They don't miss a note and if they do, they do it again and again and again... That's why they use fucking months in the studio. We use like a couple of weeks for whole damn thing. And our sound is not as good as theirs, but I don't think music is about the sound. Well it should sound good, but you know... it's about the music, it's about the notes, it's about the feeling so that is what we are trying to do. And that is why we are trying to be spontaneous about how we play.
You had a few concerts after releasing "Masterpiss of Pain" and you were also
an opening act at the Inferno festival. Can you compare the earlier responses
with what you have experienced now on tour?
Gard: Well, when we were opening at the Inferno people have never heard us before so they were just checking us out. People said it was the best sounding event that night, well one of the best...
You had Satyr behind the mix table...
Gard: Yes, that's another thing. He backs us up a lot so that's a very nice thing about Moonfog He is very into his bands. He's calling us all through Europe: "Is everything OK?" And we say: "No, it's not!" In Norway we did two concerts in one night. I don't know how many kilometers we drove but we did one gig in the Southern Norway and then drove up to Oslo and did another gig! We will never do that again! And we were supposed to go to Amsterdam on Sunday. The gigs were on Friday so we were supposed to get in the car on Saturday and drive down there... We decided not to do that. That would be hell. That's about all the concerts we have done in Norway.
But I guess the second time you played in Oslo the response was better than
Gard: No, actually not! They spitted on us because we were the closing act on... this was more like a party for Turbonegro and Turbonegro's crowd is not our crowd... so they were standing there and went "Fuck you" and they spitted on us... Satyr was there too, to hold this guys and he shook them up. He's always taking care of us, he gives us professional sound engineers to work with... Well we don't have anyone now, we use locals. Tonight we'll use Carpathian Forest's sound engineer. He wanted to do the stuff so we thank him for that.
The response on this tour? We've only been to Germany so far and the German crowd is... not so good (he mumbled it quietly - ed.). This guys (in Croatia - ed.) were fucking great!
What are your plans for the future?
Gard: I think it's going to be a tour with Satyricon next year. We are heading for the studio right after this tour so hopefully the album will be released before we'll start touring again.
Does this mean you already have the new material prepared?
Gard: No, we do rehearse a lot for the sound checks and most of the time we don't have the time to rehearse the new material. We were talking about doing this new album live in the studio but to do that we have to rehearse - sorry (he laughs).
And hopefully there will be no drastic changes?
Gard: No, no drastic change. It'll still be slow and groovy.