This time we have one of the few living people I admire. And that is to say a lot about the legend, Fenriz. He is one part of a Black Metal outfit known as Darkthrone. Which is probably the rawest, truest band ever. The duo, him and Nocturno Culto have been defying ears for more than 20 years and I had the rare chance to ask Fenriz some questions. As soon as he agreed to do this interview, I told my friend how excited I was, and his answers just show how much this guy rules. Mange respekt. Og ja , I ha blitt innlæring Norsk med hensyn til Darkthrone.
How are you doing this Winter? Is there anything happening in the Darkthrone camp?
JEPSI PEPSI! Last Saturday (13 December 2008) we started to record for our new album. As usual, one of Ted’s (Ted is Nocturno Culto) songs (heavy metal) and one of mine that already came to me in June. My song is a mix of Show No Mercy, Kill Em All, Deathside (Japan 87-90), English Dogs, Misfits, and so on.
Also every album we release, it means I am doing 2-3 months of interviews on my spare time (I never quit my day job, have to have it so I can listen to all the music I get/buy on a discman constantly). In fact, I could easily sit in front of this damn computer the rest of my life, just doing Darkthrone stuff and checking out new bands. Luckily i have time to do all this underground metal work since I basically quit drinking, so my life is back to the 80s underground global metal lifestyle now, but now I have hobbies too - I am a forest man and I lift weights now.
Awesome. Darkthrone will be supporting a WWE wrestler soon as a consequence to that (laughs). Just yesterday I was reading an old interview with Varg where he mentions that 'the trinity of BM' was Burzum, Darkthrone and Immortal. How do you see things in 2008, do you still have an interest in it?
No, that was important back then. Good black metal in the 00s is Faustcoven!
You once referred to Black Metal as "individualism above all and 'unfortunately' a childish self-centeredness", with no sort of rules. What made you guys switch the sound to this new era that started with F.O.A.D.?
What happened was not with FOAD, but since people are visually lead they think so because of the covers. And this goes for the TRINITY they call our releases of A Blaze In The Northern Sky, Under A Funeral Moon and Transilvanian Hunger. These albums have almost nothing in common, but since the album covers were in the same style - people think they hear a resemblance! HAHAHAHAHAHAH it's idiotic but understandable, because humans are like that.
I sometimes like to help the humans… So I will explain: In 2004 Ted said we could buy our own little portable studio, a NECROHELL 2. That was what i wanted since 1988, this situation, so then it was like magic, I was transported back to 1988-GYLVE and I started making the songs I should have done at that time if I had the know-how and balls. My balls had hardly dropped into my nutsack in 88. HAHAHAHAHAH!
Everybody seems to enjoy your videos on youtube when you show your enthusiasm for old metal records, but which ones would you claim as influential for how Darkthrone sound nowadays?
Those bands are all on my influences list on myspace. Also, I could help you above, when I wrote what I think my sound is like on my new song.
I cannot answer for Ted. I don't know his influences, but he's always liked Black Sabbath and sophisticated Heavy Metal. I am very into speed metal, NWOBHM and some style of punk on top of that, these days.
I have around 9000 records and you can say I am influenced by all or nothing, but ok, at gunpoint I have to say I am thinking more about EXCITER heavy metal maniac than Bathory, if I should try to explain my sound these days.
In a recent interview i said future Darkthrone songs from me will sound like ASTA KASK and PUKE at least, with some speed heavy black metal on top. Yeah. But I never make plans, I just recorded my song and I haven't made a new one.
The next song will simply be what it becomes, I refuse to have a "design", a master plan. It's just honest LOVE of old school metal for me!!!
What is the reason for not playing live shows? Is it the fear of not being able to replicate the aura?
I could write not one, but TEN books on why I dislike playing live. Is it hard to understand that not EVERYONE likes it? I mean, not even everyone likes Iron Maiden (as hard as that is to believe!).
I hate travel, I hate waiting, I have enough people in my life, I hate crowd mentality, I hate that live sound sounds nothing like the record, I hate having to trust others (I never will), but most important of all ... ah, let me tell ya: I NEVER DREAMT AS A CHILD TO BE ON A STAGE, MY ONLY WISH WAS TO RECORD ALBUMS. And I made it!
Do you have any favourite release of yours?
Fave releases, not really, I have fave songs and fave PARTS in songs, that works particularly well for me. It is impossible to explain how ones band looks from within, and it is impossible for me to see the outside of Darkthrone (like you all do). "It is the curse of the CREATORSSSS!"
The song we are closest to with our freestyle sound is of course our epic track from 1988, SNOWFALL. We both like that song a lot.
That is an unexpected answer since it was 20 years ago. Do you wake up thinking that the best days for Darkthrone are still to come or you just take it as it comes?
Well, I HAVE to take it as it comes. A normal week is getting around 100 requests, and I say yes to 5 (normally interviews or trades or everything you can think of - we get an UNREAL amount of offers of all kinds. believe me).
Many people really try to plan their bands, and I can't say that that is wrong, it's hard for new bands to find a new ANGLE these days.
But in DARKTHRONE it is a minimum of planning, we are driven by our freshness that comes out of my musical studies "the one who heard the most music wins" and Ted's constant presence, steady as a rock.
Interesting. Last question Fenriz, thank you so much. Do you still think the next thousand years are ours?
Not just ours, but maybe some of the active bands I support:
BOMB STORM, BLIZZARD, HELLREALM, CHEMIKILLER, WHIP, TRENCH HELL, HELLSHOCK, REPELLENT, SPEED TRAP, CAST IRON, RAZOR FIST, SADISTIC INTENT, VULCANO, OBLITERATION, GHOUL CULT, HELLISH CROSSFIRE, BANISHED FORCE, SLOGSTORM, ENSLAVED, BLÜDWÜLF, DEATH BEAST, WAR CRIMES, BASTARDATOR, FAUSTCOVEN, CREEP COLONY, TYRANT, NATTEFROST, CORRUPT, WORLD BURNS TO DEATH, NEKROMANTHEON, ENFORCER, NOCTURNAL, JEX THOTH, DEATHRONER, SONIC RITUAL, MÄNIAC, MORNE, ALPHA CENTAURI, DEMON'S GATE, DOOMED BEAST, RESISTANCE, KARNAX, EVIL ARMY, WITCH, VIRUS, AURA NOIR, ORCUSTUS, LONEWOLF, THE DEVIL'S BLOOD, FARSCAPE, VOMITOR, OLD, DEATHHAMMER, EM RUINAS, ATOMIC ROAR, SALUTE, THE BATALLION, ZEMIAL, GASMASK TERRÖR, EIDOMANTUM, PORTRAIT...
...And don't forget to listen to MANILLA ROAD!!!
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