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We talked to: Simen
The interview was made in Graz 7/4/2001
Done by: Tanja & Maja

Coming to Graz, wasn't a big problem and we thought that getting an interview wouldn't be either, since arrangements have been made in forehand with Orpheum. But to our unpleasant surprise it became quite a problem. We did overcome all the obstacles, like getting a backstage pass although we weren't on the Nuclear Blast guest list and getting a second appointment, due to some misunderstandings about when the interview should take place. Anyway here's the result of us meeting Simen in the dressing room for a chat:

How is the feedback for Puritanical Euphoric Misantrophia, now that some time has passed since the release and you've been touring for a while?

SIMEN: Very good actually and emm, that's very cool. The response for the album is very good, that's what we heard. All the magazines and shit have given us good critics and stuff, so that was cool too to receive good critics, so that's nice.

Are the critics getting better since the beginning of the tour?

SIMEN: Oh, yeah! Like the reviews on the shows or whatever. Last night there were some people, who were saying that the other tour we did, our last tour, they thought it was even better now so that's cool, that's good to hear.

Why did you chose to work with Fredrik Nordstrom this time?

SIMEN: Oh, well... Dimmu Borgir has done Abyss for a long time and Peter has been very good for Dimmu Borgir, but now I think it was time to like move on, take a step even further and to be able to experiment with sound and with the orchestra and everything and so that's what we did. We had to develop the whole process of emm, recording.

Do you intend to work with him in the future as well, were you satisfied?

SIMEN: Yeah, absolutely! I think the next album will be recorded there as well. We took some time to get the sound right and shit and we had to have some meetings and stuff, he came to Norway and we decided how we wanted it. We went to rehearse to a place and shit and had couple more meetings how to set the sound. Next time it'll be an easier process.

How long did it take you to record this album?

SIMEN: I don't remember actually, I think it was five weeks, that's including the mixing process. We had all the material down on tape, emm no, mini disc, so everything was like emm prearranged when we got there. We've been working for a very long time on the new material, a lot of rehearsing and shit. It has taken us like one year at least to get all the stuff together.

This album is much faster and aggressive, is that a consequence of Nick joining the band, or is it just a natural development during the preparation for the new material?

SIMEN: Natural, it's a natural course, I guess. I think this is a process for a Dimmu Borgir album, the next one will be moving a bit more into the direction of Puritania, that's a bit more industrial. We'll do some more of that, perhaps emm in the industrial way and the experimental way it will not be like Dimmu Borgir will not be an industrial band, it will not be that, but it will be, emm, perhaps it will have more of the groovy stuff from the Enthrone Darkness Triumphant period as well.

There was a great balance between vocals and music...

SIMEN: Yes, that's a part of it, there's a good atmosphere, yeah it's cool...

How did you like working with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra?

SIMEN: Oh, them! They were cool, they were really into our stuff, they really liked it, so that was very cool, I think next time we might even go for something bigger, like go to Russia or like whatever, just trying to get something, getting even bigger or if we'll do it at all, we'll see.

Were they cooperative?

SIMEN: There was no problem there, we had some problems with like.. orchestras before but this time it was no problem, they came up to us and they really enjoyed our music and stuff, it was very cool.

It might be a little early to ask, but do you have any plans about when you'll record the next album?

SIMEN: Truthfully, I'd have to say no. All we have in our minds now is touring. This tour is gonna last until the 26 th of May, that's two months and then it's South America and Japan and then it's the States again. So we're gonna be touring for a while.


SIMEN: NO! It's rock'n'roll I guess, it's exhausting and rewarding at the same time, yeah..it's cool.

In what way do American and European bands and gigs differ?

SIMEN: I guess the audience and the fans in the States are a bit more polite, you don't have the Germans going aaagrrrrhhh ( making disgusting faces and hitting the table ), Americans are always like "please" ( making a very polite expression while saying it) so that's the difference. I like Europe better, it's better to play in Europe.

You have more and more shows in America each time you get there..

SIMEN: We'll get bigger in America hopefully, that's all yeah, but in America everybody is like into this rap - metal whatever disgusting thing...

Is it harder to put this link between the crowd and the band when you are on the stage?

SIMEN: It went pretty cool the last time. It's pretty much the same, 'cause when the kids come to our show, they're not gonna be Slipknot fans, they're gonna be black metal fans, so... They come traveling from very long distances, so when they get there they are excited.

How big of a part do you think the image of the band plays for a successful band?

SIMEN: It has to be spectacular, it's cool to get the kids to get really into it and stuff and to give the most of yourself, when you're on stage I guess, just doing what we've always been doing, you know, it's a cool thing to do. You need corpse paint to get that extra dimension I think, that's the theatrical part to it. We have to stick together, to get that energy out of that.

If you would host a dinner party and invite five people, living or dead, who would you ask?

SIMEN: Ozzy Osbourne for sure and I'd have Blackie Lawless and hmm, five people you say?

They don't have to be involved in music ...

SIMEN: I know, but my whole life evolves around music, and ahem hmm, who else would I ask. I would have to think about it, give me the next question.

If your house would be burning down, what would be the one thing you would run in and save?

SIMEN: I've got three pictures on my wall, that's from my friend, he gave them to me, it was when he was 14 or 15 years old, he had his first depression. That's the thing I would bring out. Those three pictures and my guitar.

Would you cut of your hair for charity?


We're not asking you to do it...

SIMEN: Yeah, I know what you mean, that's a cool question...

What if it would help the entire metal scene or if it would be for a helluva good cause or whatever..

SIMEN: No, emm... no.

What was the last book you read?

SIMEN: I'm reading one right now with eee, it's a Norwegian history..

Old Norwegian history?

SIMEN: Yeah, it's from all the way back, when the first people were moving up here, it's some ten thousand years ago.

What was the last album you bought?

SIMEN: Oh, that was, oh I'm actually pretty proud of that, I bought it two days ago. It was Johnny Cash, Best of Johnny Cash, allright ( pronouncing it extremely American ).

What is the most embarrassing record in your collection?

SIMEN: I think I've got, ( a short distraction, because his cellular phone was giving away loud noises due to the battery being empty soon ) oh I just hope that I can't remember their name. Emmm, nothing like Nirvana, but...

Some grunge thing?

SIMEN: A bit after the grunge actually, emm this vocalist had this white hair, emm with the, emm...


SIMEN: No, not dreadlocks, it's like emm...


SIMEN: Braids, yeah! But I still can't remember. I remember I heard one song, I liked it and I bought the album and I was like ooh.

So do you buy albums even if you never heard them before?

SIMEN: Yeah, if I like one song, that's reason enough for me to buy the album.

What were you playing with when you were a kid?

SIMEN: I was playing with the, this small amm plastic warrior things, so I painted them and shit. That was cool and I even had like team soldiers which I painted and made, yeah. And we blew them up like firecrackers...
(Shagrath, Nick and Slilenioz came in the dressing room and found Simens' story very amusing so because of the laughter we couldn't hear what Simen was saying after firecrackers.-ed.)

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

SIMEN: I think it's like, on daily basis it happens so much shit that it's fuckin' unbelievable, so it's like, there's shit happening every day and it's too much...

What's your biggest advice?

SIMEN: Do your own thing, I guess, just be yourself. And to work very hard.

What world record would you most like to hold?

SIMEN: A record? Oh, my favourite record?

NICK: No, world record, what would you like to be famous for, for like I don't know, fuckin' the most women, or...

SIMEN: You answered that question for me!

NICK: I did? (laughing)

SIMEN: That's right!

If you would host a dinner party and you could invite five people, living or dead, who would you ask?

NICK: Cliff and Bonn Scott and emm

SIMEN: That's me too, I only had musicians!

SILENIOZ: I would invite all the stars, dude!

NICK: Bonn Scott, Chris Holmes, Andrew Dice Clay and...

Only men and no women?

NICK: Emm, yeah... my girlfriend. Is that five?

She would be the hostess, right?

NICK: Yes.

So you wouldn't have to invite her.

SIMEN: That's right! (laughing)

NICK: I'd invite my family and my girlfriend's family.


NICK: And you guys ( ment for Dimmu Borgir, by that time they were all gathered in the dressing room).

ALL TOGETHER: Ooooohhhh.

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