Shagrath - Dimmu Borgir

November 22, 2003

How's the tour been going for you guys?

The tour's been very good I think. A lot of sold out places. A lot of people.

So they seem to be really enjoying it.

Yeah. I've been sick for a week now so I didn't enjoy it so much myself.

Sorry to hear that. Hope you feel better. You made it into the Norway Top 100. That must be a major accomplishment.

It's very, very good. We've been in second place on the charts I think it was for about two weeks or something. The video has been played five or six times every day for three weeks. The most played video for three weeks on one TV station now.

That's for the song "Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse". There's been a really good reaction to that.

Yeah, the whole album has had overwhelming reactions worldwide so far.

You guys put out Death Cult Armageddon. Classical arrangements are an essential part of your sound. Are you guys influenced by classical music?

I guess our keyboard player is probably a little bit inspired by all that string music and stuff but not very much. I think he takes more ideas from his head. We've always been a band that uses a lot of keyboards and sample effects. Now we have the budget and the opportunity to go for the real thing. Then we use a proper orchestra.

You guys used the Philharmonic Orchestra from Prague. How did you guys get hooked up with that?

Yeah. Well, first of all we have a conductor from Norway who makes all these keyboard ideas into notes. The conductor was actually the one who chose that orchestra. We could have recorded it somewhere else of course but it would be more expensive. It's quite cheap to record there and because it wasn't such a big orchestra. We had to do a bit cheaper way but still it came out good in the end.

Your debut with Nuclear Blast was Enthroned Darkness Triumphant. Why did you guys decide to go with Nuclear Blast?

First of all, they showed a lot of interest in us. Also they were distributing our album we released before that which was Stormblåst, the second full length album. They were really, really interested in our band. So basically we did a mini CD on my own label and then we started working on the Enthroned Darkness Triumphant album. We had been jumping from different record labels since the beginning. Really underground labels. Really shady labels that ripped us off. We want to have a more serious label because we are a serious band.

I guess it's impossible to form a band and have good luck with labels. It seems like everybody has to go through real downs and lows.

Yeah, we have been through a lot of shit like the first five years. We toured and basically did everything ourselves. We built up our thing and then we released our Enthroned Darkness Triumphant album. Everything took off for us. We had serious offers to play good gigs and we have more of a budget to do things the way we want them to be. It was a good thing for us to do.

You guys have played the Wacken Festival several times.

That was very good. We've played Wacken three times. Of course the last one we did, we headlined. We also filmed the whole thing and released it on DVD later on. Wacken is always very good to us. One of the better festivals.

You've released a DVD for this album.

On this new album we have a surround mix. We have one video song and then the whole album is also recorded quadraphonic which means that it's mixed in surround sound.

So you get the full effect.

Yeah, not many bands do that.

Prior to the release of Spiritual Black Dimensions, people were curious as to what direction your music would take. Do you guys try to mix things up a bit?

We've always been a band that experiments with different stuff actually. If you listen to all of our albums, basically every album sounds different from each other and that's the way we want to do it. It's a more interesting process and people don't know what to expect. First of all, we make music for ourselves. If people like it that's a big bonus. If they don't like it we don't really give a fuck. That's basically how we work. It's the right formula for us to do new things all the time. Experiment with new elements and stuff like that.

When you guys recorded your album, Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia, did you have a lineup change?

It's the same lineup on the new album. It's the best one we've had so far. The most serious. Everybody's very committed to take this 100 percent seriously. We always had lineup problems in the past and we've had 15 lineup changes throughout 10 years but we've had the same lineup for four years.

I think you might have the record for lineup changes. You have six members in the band. Does that make things easier?

It's not easier. It's more difficult actually because we have six people with six different opinions about things so it actually makes it harder. We have such big music. It's orchestrated, sampled, complicated, and sophisticated music. You need to have six people if you're going to perform it live. Very important so that's why we have six people.

You've also released your new album as a double LP. That's rather unusual in the CD age.

Yeah, we have three bonus songs on there as well. The LP includes all the extra material we recorded at that time and we wanted to make it special because people still love vinyl.

I won't part with my turntable either. How do you manage to emit those deep throated growls and were you classically trained on vocals?

No, I just learned everything for myself. It's not that hard. I never really had any problems with my voice either to sing that way. In the studio I want to experiment with different types of vocals. I don't use just one dimension vocals. I try to capture each nuance. My vocals are very varied.

Your tour ends on the 14th of December in New York. What's in store for the future?

We're just going to tour a lot and do as many shows as we can. Two days after the release of the new album we did eight shows in Norway. We went to Greece for two shows. We had six weeks in Europe. We went to Moscow and then the American tour now. It's a very big schedule. We're going to have a break in January and then we'll go to Japan, Australia, and South America. All the summer festivals in Europe in the summertime and maybe back to the States again with a bigger band.

Dimmu Borgir