TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE
This interview with drummer Fenriz of Darkthrone was done by e-mail by Carlos Martin Cuevas in January 2006.
There are not many things to say about Darkthrone because everything has already been written before. Their new album is coming up in February and it seems it will be their most punk-ish stuff ever. Due to the proximity of such a release, I got in contact with Fenriz via Peaceville. As usual, his answers were a bit sharp, like if he felt annoyed doing the interview, but this was nothing unexpected anyway... This is the final result:
Hi Fenriz, how are you doing?
After “Sardonic Wrath” you decided to leave Moonfog and return to your “artistic mother”, Peaceville. What was the reason for this decision? Was there any quarrel with Satyr’s label? I remember many years ago you stated that you would never work with non-Norwegians ever again…
I say alot. that's what you guys want, right?
Anyway moonfog, peaceville...it's like a choice between cheesebourger or pizza. After a while you get tired of just eating pizza, y'know.
Your new album, “The Cult is Alive”, is expected to be released in February. What can you anticipate us about it?
We have never been angrier
Before the album you are releasing the first Darkthrone single ever, which includes 3 songs, one of them is a cover of “Siouxie and the Banshees”. If I remember well, this is the first time that Darkthrone records a cover song. First single ever, first cover ever… that’s surprising! Did the idea come from the band or from Peaceville? Why did you choose this moment for your first single/cover? What can you tell us about “Siouxsie and the Banshees”? Honestly, I do not know that band…
I don't want to tell anything about siouxsie, those who KNOW shall have an advantage. Anyway we don't do something STANDARD and pointless like a cover song with a standard metal band. I don't know who's idea it was that we should do a cover song and i don't WANT to know - i am so negative that i refuse ANYTHING usually, if i know who's idea things are i get mad at a person instead of an IDEA. The last is better for me.
I have read that the special edition of the new album will feature the band’s first ever promo video (for “Too old, too cold”). What info can you share with us about it? Will it be a video clip for a whole song? Or just a commercial spot video for promoting the album?
I haven't even seen it. I am not much into visual presentations of music. Music for me is an inner thought thing. A soul thing.
You have decided to sing again for this album, though just for one song, “Cemetery Slut”. How did this idea come up? Could this happen again in the following albums?
It's a lyric that i wanted to sing. And it's GRAVEYARD SLUT.
Concerning this topic, I have serious doubts about this matter: Who sings in the earlier Darkthrone albums? (From “Soulside Journey” to “Transylvanian Hunger”). In my edition of “Soulside Journey” just your names appear (not the instruments) and in “A Blaze…” that “Voice of the Night, Haunting Chants” statement is a bit confusing…
Not confusing, because i do EXACTLY THAT- i sprinkle the album with various vocals. Ted has the main vocals on all albums except for GOATLORD.
In 1994-1995 you reached your top of creativity with 2 Darkthrone albums, 2 Isengards, 2 Neptune Towers and Sorm’s Nordavind. Since then, you have stated that you are fed up with all the musical stuff, but on the other hand you release almost a Darkthrone album each year. Don’t you think it is becoming a kind of routine? Aren’t you really interested in recording anything different?
I got burned out in 1995. Since then I only had Darkthrone inside of me.I decided to concentrate even harder in filling my head with other people's music. I have succeeded, since I am now a respected DJ, meaning I have vast knowledge of music and my motto is "the one who has heard the most music, wins"
Related to this, next question is unavoidable: Aren’t you fed up with Darkthrone? Have you ever in your life consider the possibility of putting and end to this? I see Lemmy who must be about 60 still in the crest of the wave… Do you see yourself 60-year-old still recording Black Metal?
It's my life's work
As I have said before, you are releasing almost a Darkthrone album per year. Many people think that they are too many, and that you should let more time between each album. Something like instead of “Hate Them” and “Sardonic Wrath”, releasing just one album with the best songs to improve the final quality… What do you think about this?
I think it's stupid. We have existed for 19 years, and we haven't released an album every year. We come from the 80s and then it was normal to release 1 album a year. (iron maiden, anyone?)
We don't fuckin tour, so it's natural that we do albums instead.
Your last album “Sardonic Wrath” was available to download from p2p programs even 3 months before its official release. Did you feel annoyed for this? What are your feelings towards downloading music? And what about the uncountable possibilities that the Internet offers for promoting one’s band?
How are the things going for your label Tyrant Syndicate productions?
It's GREAT: Many people seems pissed off that we don't want to sign them. PERFECT!
The OLD album is finally mixed, and will hopefully be out this year. PREPARE FOR 80s ATTACK!
What about that “Lex Luthor” electronic project? I have not much info about it… Did you recorded/released anything?
I don't make electronic music. I just learned myself how to mix music together on 2 turntables and a mixer back in 95, and if anyone thinks it's easy - TRY IT. It's another hobby of mine to make mixes like that, but no official ones.
After your “Black Metal Compilation” you stated you would like to make a Thrash Metal one… any news on this field?
After the old school (REAL) bm compilation, i got so many stupid questions from the press and fans that i feel like i don't want to make another compilation perhaps. But i SHOULD, since thrash metal is the best metal style.
You have always admitted Bathory to be one of your greatest inspirations. How did you receive the news of Quorthon’s death? What did come to your mind in such a moment?
Great loss, cuz he was one of the only ones that also fought for the ANTI-LIVE playing cause
Varg Vikernes expects to be released from prison this year (though dates are always subject to change). When he was imprisoned you were in contact for a time, he even wrote some lyrics for Darkthrone. When did you last get in contact with him? What is your opinion towards his racialist approach to neopaganism?
This is nothing for the press
You legally changed your name to “Gylve Fenris Nagell”. Do everyday people (people at work, neighbours, relatives, etc, non metalheads) call you Fenriz? Or just Gylve?
Gylve, or Fenris. I took FENRIS back in 91, it was alot of red tape to get that fixed. grrr
You are known to be a great music collector. How many records do you own? What were the 3 last ones you bought?
It's not how many albums one has, but how MUCH one has heard. I AM music. but i only have 7-8 thousand titles, i think.
And for the end I like to propose this nice quiz. I will tell you some proper names (musicians, famous people… whatever) and you just have to give a brief opinion on the subject:
He had a superb direction, a very special character. I chose to always work to get money, he just did work in the underground and in his store, eventually. He created legendary stuff, my jobs will never be legendary hahahaha. But, it has saved me a lot of trouble to have both feet on the ground - working every day
Patrick Bateman (American Psycho’s main character)
What can i say, i would be a smaller man and the music world that i live in would be much weaker without Lemmy and motorhead. I hope his influence just increases over the years.
Mother Theresa of Calcutta
Saviour of darkthrone, has been the perfect companion to take darkthrone through the last 12 hard years, and since 88 his vocals also saved us. He recently took initiative to buy and learn to use our new studio, i bow in the dust! uh!
Well, that’s all Fenriz, a pleasure to have this interview with you. Would you like to say anything more to our readers?
Listening to A HISTORY OF A TIME TO COME with SABBAT now. I bought my first ever demo tape from sabbat in 1987.
Nothing more to say, let us see what "The Cult is Alive" can offer us... February has the answer.
Links of interest: