This interview with Ares of the Norwegian dark metal band Aeternus was done by Josh Ngolls through e-mail in June 2003.

How easy has it been to find members for Aeternus? What do you look for in band mates?
Well know, there's never been a big draft in the band considering that. All along it's been quite okay, not so much stress at all. Erik joined in 1994, the year after I started the band. I think Morrigan came in during 1996 and that was fast and easy too. This goes for Radek as well, V'gandr wasn't hard to find and recruit either. So, we've been stress or anything over the years and that's good of course. What do I look for you ask? Dedication and skill, also on stage...that's basically it I guess. You gotta burn for it all and show it in every way.

What kinds of things have you noticed that have changed in your 10-year span with Aeternus in metal - in Norway, Europe and the world?
The music and our skills and so forth of course...I don't know what else! We make better music than before and hopefully the changes we do is for the better...I mean they are, but some people might not share that opinion with us.

Things went badly with your old label Hammerheart, but why did you choose Noctural Art?
I knew Samoth likes brutal and pounding Metal and he was simply interesting out of that, but also he has not such a BIG Label which I feel is better for Aeternus. Besides this I feel he's honest, dedicated and he does a good great job with his Label / bands.

Do you find that by mixing death, folk, black and other styles of music that you limit your audience or expand it?
I don't know, I basically wanna make music that I feel is Dark and brutal. I share this through the recordings and releases plus of course gigs together with the rest of the guys. Whether or not this limits our crowd is not important, we do what we want to do on each album.

Your lyrics seem to usually stay within Norse themes, which is of no surprise considering your nationality. The album "Shadows of Old" had some Celtic / Irish influences both in the music and the lyrics to songs like "Cuchulain". Why the switch? Why to that culture?
Simple answer for you: Mythology is awesome and interesting as well as brutal and appealing on several emotional levels. There is no special reason for me or V'gandr (or Morrigan for that matter) to write about different Mythologies. It's simply very appealing and so forth.

I've found on your web page a sentence "Black Metal in the twentyfirst century doesn't need a gimmick to impress." Ok, but do you think that the music which sounds perfectly and clear could be still called black metal ? This music was always raw and quite grim.
Well, black metal has certainly sounded quite differently through the years. Remember Merciful Fate was also called black metal in the past. I’m against everything that has to do with how things should sound or be or what image you should have. On the other hand, I wouldn’t call our new album black metal, because I believe Black Metal is concentrated on emotions such as hatred, anger, sorrow etc, and our music needs a wider range.

Again with "Ascension of Terror" you switched pantheons to Egypt's "Anubis". Do you think that Nile has a monopoly on that theme in metal?
Maybe not, or maybe?! We wrote about him as he's brutal and Dark!

Your later material seems to be more anti-christian than pro-pagan. Is this what was happening in your lyrics?
Well, I do get carryed away from time to time where this religion we all know: Christianity!...gets too provoking. I write than of my anger and thoughts, but there's nothing satanical about my anti-christian lyrics. More like my opinions and so's a good way to get my anger and frustration out, through the music...

How has being Norwegian shaped you, if at all, both as a person and a musician?
I don't think Norway has shaped me in any way just because I am Norwegian. I am who I am out of opinions, actions and my interests and so forth.

Where is Aeternus' biggest fan base?
I don't know really, Holland perhaps?!

What's your least favorite part of being in a band?
This thing here for example...doing these takes up too much time. No offence of course, but I rather do other things.

Most favorite?
Making music and playing Live!

Has the reaction to your latest album been what you had expected?
Yeah, pretty much! People seems to be totally into it so I am satisfied...yes! We made a great album this time, no doubt!

Links of interest:

Nocturnal Art Productions
Hammerheart Records