When the nordic blizzard blows its almighty devastation, nature is metamorphosing, summoning the evil spirits. Through the deafening, infamous and repetitive sounds from the rustlings of the armies of dead trees, the abyss is coming... The hideous DARK THRONE incarnates the allegory of suffering resulting from spasms. Thus Fenriz uses of a certain irony. In any simplicity he agreed to the phone interview led by my friend David Rocher, editor of the defunct Descension Zine, drawing an complete assessment when the Ravishing Grimness LP came out on Moonfag... Besides all, this interview never saw the light for some unknow reasons. Everything leads to think that he agreed he appears only inside my pages, because of my glorification since years...
01 - It's been a while since ' Total Death ' was released,and many rumours had announced Dark Throne had split-up,so what's Dark Throne been up
Well,Nocturno Culto has been setting,down trying to find a steady place to live,he used a lot of energy in his life to try and find himself the right,the right home...He's been setting down with kids and things,and i've basically been feeding my ears,because i did a lot of creative things from '92 to '95 and maybe i got burned out,so i've been mostly just listenning to music and breaking barriers when it comes down to what sort of music i listen to.
02 - What barriers?
Well,what i means to me is to listen to music that i normally wouldn't have been interested in ten years ago,so that would be extreme for me.I mean,it's almost quite disgusting to listen to old commodores,but i'm getting into it! (laughs)
03 - (Definitely skeptical) So,you mean music that completely leaves the field of metal?
No,no!It's always in metal,i'm proud to say i'm always a death metal fan,so it's metal everyday for me,but it's a lot of other things everyday too.Music is larger than life for me,this occured to me maybe three or four years ago,and it's totally exploded in my life,so i've just been into getting a huge record collection.But i have to tell you that for Dark Throne influences,Nocturno Culto and i just listen to what we always did,because we don't want to change.The thing is that if i listen to all this weird stuff and Nocturno Culto is also listenning to a lot of pystrance,it doesn't influence our sound at all,because this is important for us.A lot of people get very enthusiastic when they don't try,they put it with the music that they play and then it comes like a style,entertainment,
crossover or stuff,but not what i would call the old school Black Metal that Dark Throne it about.Any influences coming from the new things,we listen to will not enter Dark Throne,we will just stay the same.
04 - (Gradually losing foot!) You just said Nocturno Culto is pretty much into teckno....
(Cutting across) It's mostly psytrance.Uh,it's just that we're not talking about this or that trance,we're talking about psytrance.It's really important for us,it's like what we are discussing right now,we know the difference between Death and Black Metal,so it's important to get things right.I"m more of the aethetic techno,underground techno,house and everything,and he's getting into darker drum'n'bass,bu i've been through all possible styles within the electronic field,and i'm still into that.I'm checking out a lot of older music,now.
05 - So what do you think of the way Black Metal bands,among which Samael and Arcturus,despite never having been really raw Black Metal bands,have recently opened their sounds to electronics,i'm particulatly referring to Samael post ' Passage ' era,and Arcturus lastest output ' Disguised Masters'?
I haven't really heard eitheir,i haven't heard the lastest Arcturus,and i haven't really checked out Samael since the first one!(laughs)But i love the first Samael,it was important.They were a very important band for us,not that we're inspired by them,but it was a great thing that they could stay occult at the time when the scene was not really interested in this.The same thing goes for bands like Tormentor(Hungary) and Sarcofago.
06 - And what do you think of the more industrial way?
(Cutting accross) I don't like Fear Factory,for instance...
(Also cutting accross) I was more precisely thinking of a band like Attila Csihar's band,Aborym.
Oh,Aborym?Is that italian?I haven't heard it yet...I'm supposed to be sent a copy of that,because i was meant to do an interview with a guy who's playing in the band.When he explained the idea,it sounded like old Necromantia,it was Black Metal and then some esoteric parts like Cold Meat Industry bands.It sounded like he was anlysing some old Necromantia things,because i was into Necromantia for several years.
07 - To get back to ' Ravishing Grimness '...
Oh yeah,i completely forgot!(we laugh)
08 - What does it represent to you in terms of Dark Throne's life?
For us,it's one more nail in the coffin(laughs),just another album,really!We don't try to make a big thing about it,of course we are,actually,because we're doing all these interviews,but i've been told to do interviews and to be nice!(we laughs)
09 - I'm glad you're broaching this,you do it rather well,actually...
Well,because i fucked up so many things i said earlier years so...we're trying to hold distribution that we have,but i think i'm actually undermining the credibility of Dark Throne by doing all these interviews.But at least we're not doing more photo's,we haven't been doing photo since '93,so why the hell should start now?We should have decided then to do it in the ' Total Death ' era.If i was a Dark Throne fan seeing all these things from the outside,i would not want to read all these interviews,see new photo sessions in a nice studio and that shit,but for us too,this not a good idea.
10 - Fair enough,that's comprehensible to me...
I usually use this argument,and now you will hear my argument (speaking with a deadly serious tone) and i'm saying,i've been liking Bathory since '86,and you don't see me crying for new photos!(we both laugh)So if Bathory can do this,why the fuck can't we man?(we laugh again)Basically,we're not trying to say we are changing anything with the new album,but we are offering one more alternative to the new school style,which is now dominant in the scene,while we are still able to make some old school shit,so that people who are interested in that can also have something to listen to.We're sort of samaritans(laughs)
I was looking at the lyrics sheet i received with ' Ravishing Grimness ' ...
11 - (Cutting across) There's a lot of misprint there,but it's not my fault,i'm not the dyslexic(laughs)
I was quite surprised by the lyrics,actually...
(Ponders)Hmn it's instintive,but it is alos poetic,and it is sort of calculated,because i have been writing lyrcis for a long,long time and i have a certain set of aesthetic rules that i won't change,and i'm also trying to put these words into the mouth of the guy who's singing,which is Nocturno Culto,so i'm trying to make words that are great,and cut out in rock for some of them,but they still must be something new,and still must be good for Nocturno Culto to sing them.It's a very difficult job,and this time i worked my ass off that shit,and it feels like we're moving a lever for every word.It's painful.
11 - And how did you come accorss worlds like ' Necrohate ', ' Panzergrim '?
For me,they are totally logical. ' panzer ' is like ' very ' , so it's something ' very grim ' .These are small details that are very important for me,a good example of a new world is ' deathinsane ', instead of " insane ' .A very strange word,but i kenw exactly what i mean for me when i wrote it down,but now i think i've forgotten already.(He pauses)There's a lot of pain involved here,and i think my mind has attempted ro suppress it when i couldn't deal with it.
12 - The way the mind automatically tends to sort good memories from bad ones....
Yeah!(he chukles nervously)Man,my life is totally fucked!
13 - So ' necrohated ' would then mean ' hated to death ' ?
Yeah!To me,it's also a magical word, ' hating to death ' means you are so rotten that even the angels hate you,because usually,they won't hate you.(the quote from the track ' claw of time ' is ' necrohated by angels ')
14 - ' Ravishing Grimness ' also has a every melancholic sounding track ' claws of time ',which is rather unusual by Dark Throne standards...
Oh yeah,yeah...People keep mentioning this track but i didn't make it,so there!(laughs)I don't know,but if you saw the fucking place where Nocturno Culto is living now you'd understand,because it's rather beautiful,and the place where he lives sounds like the opening riffs.I'm in nature the whole fucking time,and he lives in nature too,and although he doesn't go out walking in the moutains,i still think he uses nature as a source of inspiration.When i make riff,i don't refer to that anymore,because i'm really close to nature all the time.(I suppose Fenriz meant that he had got used to nature,and didn't actually notice it anymore)I spend two or three days a week in the forest when i can,because we have a problem with the weather here in Oslo,it's really unstable,but the thing is that when i write riffs,i rather think of smoking and drinking beer,and Hellhammer and shit.I think Nocturno Culto takes care of the melodies now.
15 - I noticed ' Ravishing grimness ' has no more lyrcis in norvegian...
No,there's just a line in there which is norvegian.We were the first band to sing in norvegian,and that was very brave.What happened at that time was i had been told by the guys from a norvegian band called(I couldn't quite make out what Fenriz said at this point,it sounded like ' moment ' ),they were around in '85-'86,and make excellent Death Metal,but they broke up and the two guys started playing for Mayhem.So they told us ' hey,its about time somebody sung in norvegian ',by then,they weren't about to do it,because they didn't want to play anymore,so i guess i just had that in the back of my mind for a couple of years before i actually wrote some lyrics,its very suitable for being sung by Nocturno Culto.After you sing in your own language,you should be really careful about using the worlds.It easily feels pathetic for us,and sometime it works,sometime it doesn't work,i don' know.I don't want to mean that i have done everything perfectly,but still(Fenriz suddenly cuts off),but we didn't have any lyrics in norvegian on' A blaze in the northern sky 'so what's the big deal,man?(This is indeed true,but Dark Throne did use norvegian lyrcis on releases consecutive to ' A blaze...',which is where my question arose from)
16 - What do you think of Dark Throne's earlier albums when you look back upon them?
The point is that Nocturno Culto and me really agree on this:whe we look upon the albums,we are looking at thing that happened in our lives,around this album where as the people that will read your interview and have the albums will not,they will just think about the music,that's all.It's really not that interesting,and when people ask me if i have a favourite album,i'd rather say i have favourite songs.You have what studio it was recorded in,things that don't matter to the audience at all,and also,this has nothing to do with what the album will sound like for the audience.I don't really travel much,so when i'm the cheeseburger i hate on the way and things,like this,and that uninteresting shit!(laughs)Well,at least we never used more that 30 hours to make an album,this time neitheir.We just go straight in and straight out again,and it goes very quickly.This time is took four days with the mix and everything like that!(He stops)But why am i saying this?!(Laughs as though he's embarassed) i didn't fucking remember,sorry!(chuckles).
17 - (totally disconcerted)No problem at all...(after a bewildered pause)After ' Soulside Journey ' has disclosed Dark Throne as being an excellent occult Death Metal band,with ' A Blaze In The Northern Sky ' you actually created a musical and thinking style,with the raw sound and repetitive riffing of the norvegian Black Metal style,that actually became a trademark which thousand then followed,how did you first love towards this musical extremism?
Uh,i'm going to give you a reallt long answer now,i guess.The thing is,we had all the important albums from before in the eighties,because we bought all that shit you need to make Black Metal,like everyone else thought they all had the right albums,like Hellhammer,old Bathory,and that shit.But then we got totally worked up in the underground and Death Metal scene,at least i did,and there were compilation tapes out,and Death Metal was uninteresting shit,and i think it was late '89,and i remember the whole side A was nothing really interesting for me,and the first song on side B was sung by Tormentor from Hungary.And i was like, ' Ooooh yeah,that old feeling ,this it is ',and suddenly,the interest was there again,it was just like picking up the whole fucking Destruction and Kreator shit again,and this time i saw it in a new light,in what i would call a black light,then u hooked up with Mayhem pretty quickly after that,i hadn't been talking with Mayhem for about a year at that time,and thought ' This is really where it is ' .Still we were playing Death Metal,and even better Death Metal after ' Soulside Journey ',the ' Goatlord ' stuff that we made was really good riffs,and would be one killer Death Metal album,but we couldn't really continue,because the rest of the band was also starting to get into the whole sound of Bathory and Celtic Frost,and that was it for us,except for our bass player,wo wanted to play more tecknical,so he had to leave.This was it,and one thing that i have to say is that we are still doing this primitive style,and this is because we have already been through the evolution of the band,you know,we started playing and we were't really good in the start,and then suddenly we could play difficult things in Death Metal,and playing a lot of complex drum stuff and shit like that,and we've been through it,so when we took the decision that we wanted to play Black Metal,it was like ' We will not play technical again ', at least not in Black Metal,but a lot of Black Metal bands you see today are totally technical,it even sounds like Death Metal,with some minor changes.These are bands that haven't gone through the evolution first,they started out as Black Metal,and the natural evolution still has to happen,and it happens within Black Metal.We took that outside Black Metal,we didn't start playing Black Metal untill we are finished with the evolution,that's why it's easy for us to make primitive Black Metal.Other people i known have really big problems if they play a ruff eight times in a row,they become very insecure and think ' This is boring,this is shit ',but it's not,just listen to Hellhammer if you like that,it's not shit to play primitive!
18 - Sure.And where did the idea of the really thin sound come from?
The thin sound is typical Bathory,along the lines of ' Bathory ' and ' Under the sign of the black mark ',there you have the really thin sound,and this is what we want.Your have a totally thin sound on an album like ' Eternal Devastation ' by Destruction.
19 - It's pretty amazing now when you see the number of bands that took to this sound.
Well,i think Immortal,for instance,went through the same thing,and Burzum too,Count Grishnack was a part of Olf Funeral and shit,and i think we have the same background,and Mayhem was there too,to keep iy all together.And the Thorns were there,and they were among the ones who really invented the typical norvegian Black Metal riffing,which is a sort of special.I don't want ot hum it to you(laughs),but i can easily tell you what that sort of riffing is all about.That's really the typical norvegian sound,and what the press have been saying is typically norvegian often isn't,but they don't really know.But i'v seen the history,i've been there,so i know what's' what!
20 - And this Black Metal movement actually grew more than anything,you could except, and actually became a social movement...
Yeah,but that's beacause it leaked through the press,and all the shit.I'm always going back to '91-'92 when i think about the Black Metal shit.I can't deal with all this press,man,it's horrible man,horrible.I wasn't smiling back in '94,i can tell you!(laughs)That was a fucking drag,man!
21 - Was this the reason why Dark Throne was such a secretive band back then?
Yeah,we didn't want to do that media thing.I was like hanging around in Euronymous shop back in '91-'92,and i though it was great,but Zephyrous and Nocturno Culto quickly drew out of that small circle because they thought it was beginning to look like a social club,and we were like eight!No big thing,you know?We were all centred here in Oslo,but no-one actually came came from Oslo.In '90,there was actually,not one single Black Metal dude in Oslo,it's only 500 000 people here,but you can imagine how small it all was at the time.Later there were like eight,ten of us,and then that grew into a stronger following.Enslaved and Emperor were also important,although Enslaved didn't want to be part of the Black Metal scene,they wanted to do that viking stuff,and then you had like Satyricon and Gorgoroth coming into the scene,and then the other bands from Bergen,like Hades and others,and i'm sure i'm forgotting some,it's really embarassing when i do(Chuckles).There were just a few of us,but it was really disgusting when that whole thing blew up in the press,it was so tabloid.That's also why i liked to keep playing old school,like nothing ever happened,you know?I'm living a lie!!!!(laughs)We will just do old school stuff until the day we die.
22 - What doe Drak Throne represent to you now,as an individual?
It represent at least that i'm very proud that i was born when i was born,so that i could be able to take my place in creating a strong style.That's great,to have released at least a couple of classics,that is fucking beautiful.That makes me feel that i am someone,but i don't know the people will remember this thirty years from now,at least i hope they will remember Mayhem.
23 - I don't follow you...do you think Dark Throne audiences are going to turn their backs on the band now?
Well,i would!(hesitates)I don't know,man,i have been told to be polite and to have as much fun as possible,but the trypical Dark Throne fan may not be into so much fellowship...but i am,you know?
24 - Do you think it would actually be preferable for the band not to give any interview at all?
Well,it would be...preferable,actually,but it would be killing for the label.But i wouldn't mind,there was a long,long period when we did no interviews,and i have no problems with that.The rumours will still circulate,i don't even do interviews to stop rumours,i usually get misquoted a lot, so the rumours will always be there.I'm just talking,and talking...Where i was brought up,my first six years were like i had no kids around to play with,so i'm doing all the talking i missed then!(Laughs)But at some points,i had a lot of people refusing to do interviews with me.They were expecting that i would be really mean!(Chuckles)
25 - Talking about this,what do you think of the often excessively misanthropic attitude that is displayed by many followers of the Black Metal genre?
Oh,i think it's important to go through this sort of phase the first two or theree years,i really do.If you get that Black Metal feelings,man,you are not the most positive character in the world,you know?But this wears off,but its' important that i've had this,that i've been through this myself,and i've been enemies with a lot of people, i never should have been enemies with,and all that shit,but i think that was necessary for me,and i hope a lot of people will be like that.But i guess you are a bit sick to start with when you are into the likes of Morbid Angel and stuff,it's ' Blessed are the sick' , man!(Chuckles)
26 - OK,thanks for your time,Fenriz,what are the chances seeing Dark Throne on tour?
Well,unless we're shipped away against our will,you won't get to see us,because we don't like to travel,and to play live,we want newman from the 'Seinfield ' series playing bass for us,and if we don't get that,we want JR from ' Dallas ' (Chuckles).And i think this will not happen.And even if it does,we will only tour in Peru!(Laughs)
I would Like Thanks Deeply Thomas Of Forgotten Wisdom Productions To Have Traduce At The Perfection Aura Mystic Of My Preface And To Have Understood The Right Sense Of My Darkest Soul.Trugarez Bloodbrother!!!