INTERVIEW WITH CARPATHIAN FOREST
Questions answered by: Nattefrost, A. Kobro and Vrangsinn
Interview took place on 18/10/2001 in Zagreb, Croatia
Interview made by: Maja and Anja
We postponed our departure from Ljubljana three times, before we were on our
way to Zagreb, where Behemoth, Carpathian Forest and Khold were playing that night
and where we got the chance to do the following interview. After we left the highway
and entered Zagreb we got lost. We asked for the directions to Moèvara and got
lost again. After some time we finally got to the place of the event. The tour
manager took us to the guys and partly because of the noise and partly because
of their pronunciation we couldn't understand their names (Nattefrost was the
only guy we recognized without corpse paint). So to make it clear they used the
"Morbid Fascination of Death" shirt that Vrangsinn was wearing, pointed at each
member on the shirt and repeated their names.
As Carpathian Forest you have started way back in 91, and you were one of the
founders of Black Metal genre, but unlike Darkthrone and Mayhem you didn't get
in such a public spotlight...
Nattefrost: We laid very low for many years. We didn't record much, because we didn't want to. It has something to do with the other member who left. That is why we have so many songs, that we have recorded lately, because we had about 30 songs left. Now we recorded them on discs so from now on it's just the newer stuff.
So you had some kind of inner policy about promotion of the band, not having
Nattefrost: Yes, we had that earlier. The one who left didn't like interviews or live shows that much. He wanted to keep it more on a low profile and underground. Of course we are still underground but we don't want to record things with very cheap sound, we want to have power in the music and shit...
You have start touring again...
Nattefrost: We tour when it fits us in our life so we try to do it on our own, we compromise... And if it's OK then we'll go...
A. Kobro: Here we are!
Nattefrost: Here we are, yes (they all laugh). Now it's perfect for us to tour, because we have the right people, we didn't have earlier. It's just a bunch of guys having a good time actually... TRYING to have a good time.
Having troubles with the members in the past, can you tell us about the current
Nattefrost: Earlier it was always quarrelling and personal difficulties, but not bad ones, I mean, I am still friends with the guy who left. We had communication problems. He likes to do it this way and I like to do it the other way.
And the current line-up...
A.Kobro: I played the drums for "Strange Old Brew" and "Morbid Fascination of Death" album. That's 3,4 years ago. Vrangsinn joined the band after Johnny left, he went on to the bass, which Tchort did for the album.
Vrangsinn: Tchort, the Emperor guy, he was the bass player before and when Nordavind left the band, he took over the guitar and I came into the band to play bass.
A. Kobro: And the synth player is a session musician for this tour.
Nattefrost, you are the only original member of this band. Was it hard for
you to keep Carpathian Forest alive through all this years?
Nattefrost: Yes, I wanted to give up many times, but I wanted to make more music and I'll always make more music... I don't see myself stopping now, so we'll only get more and more malicious and evil by every record. My intention is playing Black Metal.
Can you tell us what's the biggest plus and minus when you compare today's
metal scene with the beginning?
Nattefrost: Yeah (ha, ha), maybe. No, many of the bands have lost their spirit, I think. There's only a few brutal bands left doing what was known as Black Metal. Every band has to develop, but they don't have to change in my opinion. Some of them have totally changed, we just developed.
When you look back to Carpathian Forest's history, how would you evaluate it?
Nattefrost: The first year was pretty shitty, we should do things more professionally back then. We would have been more settled band now, I think, if we did that. In 1998 things began to be more "bandlike", people were coming into the band... and now we are a total band...
You practice regularly and all...
Nattefrost: (laughs) Only once or twice a year actually. And also before doing albums. Then we do it very nazi, you know, ta-ta-ta all the time, very hectically. We live in different parts of Norway, he (A. Kobro - ed.) lives in Kristiansand and I live in Stavanger.
(we actually had to look in Atlas to get this right - ed.)
How long does it take for you to record an album and prepare all the material?
I know that on "Strange Old Brew" you have released some previous stuff...
Nattefrost: Yes and also on the "Morbid Fascination of Death" there are some old and some pretty new, like from 1999 and 1998. It takes me around a year to make an album, more or less. And we use a month plus, plus, plus to record. This time we were in a pretty good studio.
It seems that each of your releases has confirmed your status of a cult band
in metal scene, people are still interested in your early demos and Avantgarde
has released some of them on CD?
Nattefrost: Yes, Avantgarde has released it, but I have my doubts about it. It's very shitty sound, I have original DAT cassettes at home so we could release it with better sound. I have actually some demos left and I am still selling them, you can buy them over the net for...
A. Kobro: 25$.
Nattefrost: It's very expensive if you buy it from that fucking guy, but it's actually the original tapes. I've sold them to him, I've sold like 50 maybe and I shouldn't sold it to him because he overcharged the price. If you would come to me I would sell it for 5$.
So with "Black Shinning Leather" you have come back to the scene, getting very
good reviews and people were really thrilled about it...
Nattefrost: With that album we actually connect the whole band - him (the drummer - ed.) and Tcort, because of touring. And at that time it was a comeback to do things seriously.
So for this last album... (I couldn't remember the title - ed.)
Everybody: "Morbid Fascination of Death"!
Nattefrost: They sell it inside for 15 DM. It's the grimmest album ever from us. Just look at the cover. (Vrangsinn who wore the shirt became the center of attention again - ed.) It's an insane cover, it's blood and shit and skulls... (laugh) It's total PLOHA!
What does this runes mean?
Nattefrost: "Hell on Earth".
It's still very hard to get an update information about your activity, since
you don't have an official website...
Nattefrost: It will come, we are just slow on that one. We have talked about it like thousand times so... We know how it's going to be like and it will be there eventually.
Yesterday I lost all my fucking spikes and corpse paint and all... So this is bad for me because I don't like to go on stage without corpse paint.
What about the other guys. Couldn't they lend you some...
Nattefrost: No, we all lost it...
So otherwise you still use corpse paint, not like other bands who eventually
gave up on it?
Nattefrost: No, we have much corpse paint and a LOT of blood all over...
A. Kobro: But not tonight because we lost it.
Nattefrost: If someone could lend me a very sharp knife, I will fix that. But I have to have a clean one. I've asked them inside if the have a clean knife and they will see. And then I will burn it and I will cut myself. I will wear no T-shirt and I will cut myself. (Norwegian army was hard on him, I guess - ed.)
You don't promote Satanism through your lyrics...
Nattefrost: Only suicide...
Do you have any other ideology behind the band that you want to... (they didn't
let me finish again - ed.)
Nattefrost: We are not Satanists or anything, we just like things...
A. Kobro: ...misanthropic.
Nattefrost: We hate humans, although we like some humans...
A. Kobro: We only like our families...
Nattefrost: All the lyrics are based on the real things, not some fantasy shit. I write lyrics about myself and also others, self-experienced things. They deal with suicide and just negative loaded stuff.
Nattefrost, I heard that you are participating in another project called World
Nattefrost: Yes, we do.
We? Kobro as well?
A. Kobro: No, Vrangsinn is in it and a drum-machine.
Nattefrost: We will use a real drummer.
Vrangsinn: It's really fucking brutal Death/Black Metal, fucking old style thing.
Nattefrost: They sell it inside for 10 DM.
Vrangsinn: We had to use fake drums on the recording because we did most of it in my home studio. I don't have a chance to use real drums in my studio. When we will record and release the CD we will use real drums.
Is this like a project or...
Nattefrost: No, no it isn't. It will be a band eventually. We just haven't got the time for it right now because of the Carpathian. We want to do something more of it and also get more people into it. We are just three people in the band right now. There will probably be a guy from Gehenna - Sanrabb, the vocalist, he will play the guitar. And do you know the Norwegian Viking band called Thundra? There's a really cool guy and maybe he will do the drums or a guitar or something.
Is there any other member of Carpathian Forest also involved in another band
A. Kobro: Have you heard of the band called In the Woods? (yes - ed.)
I was playing in In the Woods. And I also play in a band called Reincarnation. Reincarnation is a groove-metal-floydisch concept album. One 65 minutes long song is the whole new album. That's a project with me and Tchort and it's going to be released on Prophecy Records. It will be out on 19th November. Check it out!
Nattefrost: Tchort also plays in "Blood Red Throne", signed with Hammerheart.
Vrangsinn: He also played on first Emperor album.
I know it's a long time back but how did you pick the name - Carpathian Forest?
A. Kobro: Sounds better than Norwegian Forest. (laugh)
Nattefrost: It's Norwegian woods! (laugh)
A. Kobro: Or Winter Woods...
Nattefrost: No, we were like 15, 16 years old and very into vampire mythology. We kept the name because we are very known now. But if we would change the name know, it wouldn't be Carpathian Forest. We have stopped singing about vampires and shit. Although there will be one more song about vampires in the future. But that is about psychic vampires, the one who talks to much and... (laugh). Yes, psychic vampires - you get so tired of this idiots!
What's your plan for the future after you finish this tour?
Nattefrost: Record a mini album, the last one for Avantgarde, with cover songs, two new songs and some live songs from this tour or the one in Netherlands. We don't know yet, we'll have to see..
What about the tour so far?
Nattefrost: Cocksucking! (laugh)
A. Kobro: The gigs have been cool but some of the arrangements in Germany were too bad and we ended up with too many drunk people in the bus screaming all night...
Nattefrost: Behemoth screaming for vodka.
A. Kobro: Not the band Behemoth, the sound engineer from Behemoth. He was screaming for 5 hours.
Let's get back to touring. What was the response from the crowd?
A. Kobro: It's been good all the way.
What about Khold, do you know them from before?
Nattefrost: No, we just got to know them. Two of them were in Tulus before, right? Well, they are cool guys. One of them drinks like hell and the other ones are like no smoke, no drink, they are married and...
A. Kobro: That fourth one is doing for the rest of the guys, if you know what I mean.
Nattefrost: He also plays in Winds and Sensa Anima.
Vrangsinn: Khold is really old style.
Nattefrost: Very heavy...
A. Kobro: ...and groovy.
Anything else you would like to add?
Nattefrost: Just buy the fucking new album "Morbid Fascination of Death".
A.Kobro: And also "Strange Old Brew", if you don't have it yet.