Satyr - Satyricon

May 8, 2004

Photo Credit: Angela M.

What part of Norway are you guys from?

We're from Oslo.

Which is the capital. Tell me a bit about the band.

We're a black metal band from Oslo, Norway that has been around for 12 years and there are two core members of the band which is the drummer Frost and myself. We have a live band that is touring with us. They don't play on the records but they're working with us on everything else which is a lot. We have five records out.

So the guys on the road aren't on the record. Who's on the record?

Frost the drummer and myself.

Tell me a bit about Volcano.

To me it's a very complete record. The production I think is very powerful but yet it sounds atmospheric which is a combination that is really hard to achieve. I think that there is a lot of modern metal that has very powerful big productions but there is no atmosphere and there are a lot of black metal records that have a lot of atmosphere but no power. That is actually really hard to achieve. From a production point of view it's very hard to achieve. I think the song writing also is where everything falls into place. There is directness and aggression that I think a black metal record should have. It's very well combined with a dark atmosphere that a black metal record should also have. No wonder it happened on the fifth record. It takes time to achieve something.

You have to experiment with that for a while. You filmed a video called "Fuel For Hatred". Why is that so controversial?

I don't think it's controversial at all. The only problem was that the Swedish director that we worked with on that song has a little bit of a reputation for being censored by MTV. We did what in my eyes was a perfectly normal rock video. I think it got dubbed as a little bit controversial because he was the director and we're a black metal band. To me it wasn't really controversial at all.

MTV is a bit weird. It is airing on MTV?

They're playing it all the time.

What sparked your interest in black metal?

My older cousins turned me onto heavy music when I was seven or eight years old. They introduced me to KISS and Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. All those guys. Then I took it upon myself to discover things and in the '80s I was listening to a lot of heavy metal and thrash metal and towards the end of the '80s I got more and more into black and death metal. These days I listen to anything as long it's good music.

It doesn't have to be metal.

No, absolutely not.

You've won some cool awards. Norwegian Grammy for best metal album, Alarm Award for "Fuel For Hatred", the Alarm Award for metal album, and the Oslo Award. That's a pretty impressive achievement.

To us stuff like that is not as important as it might be to the record company. From a marketing point of view it's important to them. For the band, we were on tour. We weren't even there to pick up any of that stuff. It's nice with all kinds of recognition but the most important thing is how you feel about yourself.

Is it normal for black metal bands to get awards like that?

Black metal bands get awards but maybe not that many. It's nice but it's not important.

How long have you guys been touring?

This tour, a month. We go back home in a few days. We're playing here and then McAllen tomorrow, and that's it. Then we go home.

Has the tour been going really well?

Yes, I think so. It's been a tour that's been haunted by a lot of problems but those problems don't have that much to do with the actual performance. The most important part is what we're doing when we're on stage and that has been going really well. The reception we've been getting from the crowds has been extremely good. We see that black metal is now taking over in America in the way that it has already done in Europe. Death metal, thrash metal, and black metal can and should co-exist. Death metal has lasted for too long in America given the fact that there hasn't been any solid progression in death metal. Black metal is now coming to America and I think that's a good thing both for the bands who perform it and for all kinds of fans of extreme metal music.

Do you think that maybe death metal has progressed as far as it possibly can or do you think we needed something new?

I know you needed something new. I talk to kids every night. They say finally they get to see some black metal bands and finally it's easier to get hold of black metal records.

What are you guys doing after you get home?

Start planning a headlining tour for America at the end of the summer.

You won't have to open for anyone. How do you like opening for Morbid Angel?

I love Morbid Angel. I'm a big Morbid Angel fan, I always have been. For me it's a good bill I think. Satyricon and Morbid Angel fit real well together on a tour. We're different musically but the spirit behind both bands are in many ways the same.

It's good to have some bands on a bill that are somewhat different in order to introduce people to something else.

Absolutely, it certainly does.