This interview with the guitarist Lord Ahriman of the Swedish black metal band Dark Funeral was done by Sam Chronic through e-mail in July 2003.

If you have not heard of Dark Funeral you have either just gotten into metal in the last 3 hours or you have been sleeping in a hole for over 10 years. In any case, Dark Funeral is arguably THE band that has had the most impact in the world of black metal The group has always maintained a mixture of being both musically and visually brutal yet there has always been accessibility to their music. Both of these factors have helped by making Dark Funeral one of the largest selling and popular bands in the genre. Unfortunately they have been cursed with the textbook "revolving door" in the member department including the most recent departure of guitarist Dominion, yet the band carries on with their relentless musical assault. You have to wonder how long will these Swedes charge on through the endless herd of bands and remain supreme. You also have to wonder what or who adds fuel to the fire within Dark Funeral. Is it just an extreme work ethic...Or is it the Dark Prince himself that pushes them forward? Read on to find out more on this and the other recent happenings in the world of Dark Funeral...

First off I wanted to congratulate the band on it's ten year anniversary. That is such a huge milestone and certainly something for the band and it's fans to be very proud of.
Thanx, I appreciate it. I'm of course proud of what we have achieved during our 10 years of existence, but it certainly hasn't been a smooth trip so to speak. Although if we have survived these 10 years and made it thus far we're literally unstoppable I'd say.

Dark Funeral has seen so many member changes over the years, as frustrating as that can be what made you hold the band together and not throw in the towel?
I can admit it's been a bit frustrating sometimes, but I do have a very strong will, and I'm completely dedicated to what I'm doing. So it will take a lot more then some line-up changes to make me/us wants to call it a day.

Was there ever a moment where you did want to call it quits and walk away forever?
No matter what happens I will always play guitar and write music. But there have been those moments when I've been ready to walk away from the music industry so to speak. I'm sick of the dirty and dishonest business side of the scene that unfortunately comes when you tour, record and release albums etc. The more success you reach as a band, the dirtier the business becomes. And I seriously don't want or need that shit in my life. I'm into this because of the music and because it suite my Satanic philosophy. Not for the business. In the end of the day I'm doing this for myself, as a cure if you will, and to please my own wicked lusts and dark desires. But on the other hand, if we one day feel it's time to disband. It should and will be because it's our very own will to do so. And not because some piece of shit label or so are trying to make our life as miserable as possible. It would be the same as letting someone rip my heart and soul out of my body. I've seen record companies destroy other bands. And I will NEVER let that happen to Dark Funeral!

I understand that Dark Funeral has a new guitarist under its wing. How did you find meet up with this member and could you tell us more about this secret musician?
We are currently working on a presentation on the new guitarist. So unfortunately I can't give you any further information on him right now. He will however make his debut with us at Wacken Open Air on August 2.

I certainly don't want to dwell on the past or member changes but could you lend any information about Dominion leaving the band and are you still friendly with him?
Dominion left the band because he felt that he could not give 100% to Dark Funeral anymore. And felt it was in everyone's best interest for him to resign his position. He had felt his lack of motivation to dedicate him to a fulltime touring band was not fair to the band, and also wanted to explore other musical options. Dominion is and will always be regarded as a very good and close comrade and brother to the band.

I understand that the band will begin working on new material soon. It may still be to early but can you tell us about any ideas that are forming and what we may expect to hear?
Actually, I've already started to write and record some ideas for a new studio album. Although at the moment I don't feel that I have enough ideas to chare with you and/or to evaluate much further on. We still have a lot of work ahead of us before a new album is completed. And if all goes according to our plan we should be ready to record sometime during spring 2004.

What will you try to do differently from past albums, especially "Diabolis Interium", which was such a killer album?
Well, there are certain things that I want to improve of course. But exactly what that is I won't reveal right here and now. You can however be sure to expect a new killer and Satanic symphony from us sometime during 2004.

Are you expecting to begin touring soon and if so what is planned?
Yeah, we will begin touring again in the fall. So far we got Wacken confirmed on August 2nd. In September we'll do a South American tour (Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela & Ecuador). We also got a festival in the UK confirmed in October. Check our website for updates. More dates to come..

Dark Funeral has such a brutal stage show and we have seen such things as decapitated pigs and just tons of blood at your stage show. Any insight on what you guys might be scheming for this future tour?
Since we get no financial support for whatsoever from our label, and never have, I'm afraid we wont be able to pull off much of a stage show this fall. We basically spent all of our money on our most recent couple of tours. But whatever happens. We will give a 110% on stage. And we will leave no one disappointed! When we play anything and everything can happen. Be prepared.

Dark Funeral seems to be a band that is always on the road. Does touring ever just take it's toll on you?
No. After this many tours it simply become a lifestyle. And if one is truly dedicated to what you're doing, like we are, you're actually capable of handling any and every situation you may get into, how hard it may be at times. It's weird, but sometimes when you're on the road you can truly hate being on tour. And when you eventually come home from the tour and have been home for a couple of days, you get incredibly restless and can 't wait to go out on the road again.

Is the band friendly while not touring and rehearsing?
Sure. But since we live pretty far from each other we do not hang out together as much as we perhaps would if we lived closer each other. But we talk on the phone, maybe not everyday, but quite often.

Could you give us a comical experience that you may have had while on the road? This may and certainly should include alcohol.
Ha, those kinds of things are not for the public ear, sorry!

Speaking of alcohol, being from America and being a devoted Jack Daniels drinker, I have yet to indulge in so many forms of fine alcohol. What are some of the bands favourites?
When I drink alcohol I only drink beer, preferably Heineken or Carlsberg.

A hypothetic scenario for you if you don't mind. Lets say that I give the band members a choice of his weapon and then the members are put in to an arena for an all out battle. What weapon do you choose and who would you say the winner is?
Whatever weapon I choose I will go out as a winner of course.

On a more serious note, do you ever feel that you have backed yourself in a corner with Dark Funeral musically? Will there always be fresh ideas from the members?
Not musically, no. You know, life moves on, new wicked things pops up in your head, new things piss you off etc. So there will always be new ideas coming out from us.

Does it help or hurt the focus on Dark Funeral with the members being in the projects: Wolfen Society, Defleshed and Dominion Caligula?
It doesn't affect the band at all. Dark Funeral is a priority for everyone in the band. When we're not busy with Dark Funeral we got to do something of course. So why not play some other metal in the meantime!?. It' s indeed nice for a change to be able to play with some other musicians sometimes. And also play something musically different from what we normally play in Dark Funeral. It helps us grow and improve ourselves as musicians I think.

It is obvious from the music your feelings towards religion but what else in this world angers you and fuels your writing?
Stupidity, unloyalty, liars and weak people piss me off too, among many other things.

If you were to be anything but a musician and you could do anything that you ever wanted or dreamed of what would you do?
Being a musician as I am, is a childhood dream come true. It's what I always wanted to be and what I am.

Thanks a lot for spending your time with me for this interview. I am a really big fan of Dark Funerals work and I hope the best for the band in the future and I will definitely see you guys the next time you are in Atlanta.
Thanx for your support. Hope to be back playing Atlanta soon!

Hail Metal. Hail Satan

Lord Ahriman

Thanks to Lord Ahriman for taking the time out of his schedule for this interview-It was an honor and a pleasure. Make sure not to miss Dark Funeral at the Wacken festival coming soon and for any additional touring information, news and merchandise be sure to visit the official website of Dark Funeral. Special thanks to Anne Marie @ MetalGoddess Publicity for organizing this event.

Links of interest:

Dark Funeral
Wolfen Society
No Fashion Records