This interview with the bass player Seidemann of the Norwegian black metal band 1349 was done by Sam Chronic through e-mail in June 2003.

There have been so many fine releases this year in the world of metal. But there is a large difference between a “fine release” and a “Standout release” and the new album Liberation by 1349 is a standout release by all means possible. With a raw, live feel to the music and an extremely intense sound this band has made it’s mark on the metal community in such a short time. Not to mention that the hyper speed skins man Frost was so impressed by this band that he joined. If that is not enough to interest you in 1349 what else do you need to hear? I recently caught up with bassist Seidemann to ask a few questions and maybe even learn more about the nature behind this beast.

To start things off give us a little background on the band 1349 for anyone that may not be familiar with you.
We all played in different bands until 1997 when Ravn and Tjalve's band, Alvheim split up. I had been playing in a band called "Hqfdingi Myrkra" with Ravn a few years back and he brought me along in his new project entitled 1349. We had a second guitarist called Balfori (now in Lunaris) on the first demo in 98. But he didn't work out as we wanted, so we fired him. After our second demo called "Chaos Preferred" we decided to find a second guitarist, and we found Archaon and his speed and excellent technique helped us progress. In 2000 we were recording another demo, and Ravn asked Frost to do the drums to get the speed the new material required. This demo unfortunately got released by Holycaust Records as a MCD in 2001. Frost was not very happy with the material on that demo, but he heard the material for "Liberation" and was very impressed. When he asked if he could join on a permanent basis we were more than happy to accept. After that we recorded "Liberation" and played a gig with Gorgoroth and a few gigs with Cadaver Inc, as well as the Hole in the Sky festival 2001 in Bergen, and the Inferno Festival 2002 and 2003 in Oslo.

What is the meaning behind the name 1349?
1349 is the year the Black Death (a bubonic plague) came to norway, wiping out a third of the population and ending the golden age of Norway.

I really thought that your latest release "Liberation" was killer. Tell us a little about the album and if there is any meaning behind the title.
The recording process on "liberation" was analog, using 2inch tape recording. And everything was recorded live in the good old fashioned way, then digitally mastered. We wanted the album to be a liberation from all the shitty nu-black metal out there.

How has the response to the album been so far?
The response has been great, people either love it or hate it. It seems to be too extreme for most people.

What was the general writing proceess behind the album and at what point did Frost come in to do his thing?
The guitarists come up with riffs and we jam along until we have a product we think is killer. We wanted "Liberation" to be an album with only killer songs on it. Frost came along after most of the material on "Liberation" was written, but he made the "Deathmarch" song as well as the lyrics for "I breathe spears" and he put his mark on the drumming.

Certainly not to dwell on Frost but how did he get connected with the band?
We share our rehearsal-room with Satyricon, and we asked him to do the drums on a demo, and when he later heard the material for "Liberation" he wanted to be a full-time member.

Are the lyrics written in a fictional sense or from a personal aspect?
It's a bit of both worlds. Most of the lyrics written by Ravn or myself are visualizations of the mood or feeling the songs convey.

Would you say that there is a political or religious side to 1349?
We are not a political band, and we're clearly antireligious as well.

How was performing at this years Inferno Festival?
We had problems with the sound, but apart from that it was great. Frost had broken a bone in his foot, but he still played and did an excellent job.

What was the atmosphere like with all the different bands and so many fans?
It was a festival, huge, sweaty and filled with people. I am not a social creature, so I didn't spend too much time there.

There is a definite old school feeling to 1349's music. What would you say are some of your musical influences?
All the good old 80's thrash bands like Venom, Celtic Frost, Hellhammer, Slayer (of course), Motorhead, as well as the good old BM bands: Darkthrone, Mayhem etc.

What originally got you started in music?
I played bass in many sorts of bands, started out in a punk band and was way into metal when I met Ravn in 1994 and we started playing Black Metal.

What does the band do to set itself apart and standout from the rest of the metal world?
We do our own thing, we want to make Black Metal the way we think BM is supposed to be. It's about individualism, we walk our own paths, yet work together in 1349 to create "audible hellfire".

Tell us what bands we would find if we looked through your mostly recently purchsed CD's.
In my cd collection you wouldn't find many new CD's, but the most recent one would be "hate them" by Darkthrone and "Below the Lights" by Enslaved.

Alright, an off topic question for you. I am going to name a few people and I want you to tell me if you would sit and have a drink with these people and what you may say to them.

Adolf Hitler
I would want to get some speechcraft lessons from him, and to know what his personal opinions in some matters were. He probably wouldn't drink with me: 1. because he didn't drink and 2. because I'm probably Untermensch by his standards...

Hannibal Lector
I would like to know what human flesh tastes like.

Edgar Allen Poe
Now here's a guy I would really talk to at length about his poems and stories. I've read Poe for many years.

Who would you say has been the most influential person in your life?
I guess my family who raised me and Lemmy who made me want to play bass.

What does a normal day consist of for the members of 1349?
Work and rehearsals.

I heard you guys are working on a new album. If this is true can you give us some more information?
"Liberation" was finished back in 2001 so we have about 8 new songs ready now. They will be more extreme, more technical, faster and a step further towards perfecting "audible hellfire".

What else is next for the band? Touring?
We will hopefully tour Europe this fall with Enslaved and Carpathian Forest, I do not know anything for sure about this yet. We will also soon record the next album.

To wrap things up, would you like to say anything to all the readers out there?
Not really, but here goes: Hell awaits!

Thanks alot to Seidemann for taking time out of his schedule to answer this interview. The new album Liberation is out now so be sure to check that out and for any news updates and touring info visit the 1349 official website. Also thanks to Ann from Khaoz Productionz for hooking everything up!

Links of interest:

Candlelight Records
Khaoz Productionz