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TARTAREAN DESIRE WEBZINE

This live interview with vocalist Gaahl of the Norwegian black metal band Gorgoroth was done in Belgrade, Serbia, by Everburning on October 7th, 2004.

Where have you played and how was the crowd, the audience, was the reaction OK?
Yeah, we had quite a crowd. We started in Denmark, had four gigs in Germany and then we went to Czech Republic and Slovakia yesterday and then today in Serbia.

This is your first time in Serbia, so do you have any expectations?
Iíve been playing all around the world so I expect it to be a bit like Slovakian crowd in a way, a bit more active crowd than in Germany.

I think youíll have it definitely. I have read you left the Nuclear Blast, so could you tell me why that happened?
They couldnít work as a professional team for us, they found it difficult to work with a satanic band, and they mixed personal influence into it and thatís why they cannot work with us.

Are you saying that they are Christians so they have a problem with a satanic band?
It seems like thatís the main problem. I know that the owner of Nuclear Blast is Christian soÖ

Do you find it surprising that they are into metal that is a bit satanic, either black or death?
Well, I guess, as most Christians they are out for money and not for the spirit.

Are you satisfied with the promotion and the distribution, I think that their distribution is quite good, compared to other metal labels.
Yeah, that was the main reason why we singed with them, because we wanted to have a very wide distribution, but now they have done what they were supposed to do and we are luckily rid of them so we can work with a new label that we will sign with without any problems.

What are the opportunities for a new label? I heard that there were many interested.
Of course there are many interested and we have found one almost certain, but we havenít signed yet so thatís why I canít reveal the name in case of some other offer that might be better.

I read some of your old interviews where you have stated that you were not a satanist, that you canít easily define yourself as this or that, does that still count or have the things changed now?
I usually explain, the word Satan is from hebrew religions and has nothing to do with my blood. I deny everything that comes from this semitic root. God has nothing to do with our race in any way. We use the word ĎSatanistí because it is Christian world and we have to speak their language. To the world I am a satanist, which means resistance to everything that holds you down. Satanist is what wants to grow. But my language has no word for Satan in that manner.

So you use ĎSataní as a metaphor for many things?
I use it for what it means and if people se me as a Satanist, they are right in many ways, but in my native tongue, I wouldnít use the name Satan.

So, many people say that if you are a Satanist and Satan is a Christian creation that means that you are a reverse Christian but still a Christian. Can that decipher your beliefs?
Yes, I am opposed to everything that denies the individual to grow, so for me Satan is natural in that matter. When I use the word Satan, it means the natural order, the will of a man, the will to grow, the will to become the superman and not to be oppressed by any law such as the church, which is only a way to control the masses and has nothing to do with god. And the word religion also means Ďman madeí. Man made the belief in god and that is basically what it means and in my opinion man cannot create god. God can create a man but the opposite does not work.

Well since we are talking about satanism which is common for most black metal bands and for BM singing in general, so do you think that thereís a possibility to take more from black metal and focus it in order to make a better group that could change something or is It just a movement of some people which have basically no connections and no common goals. I mean, Satan is in center of all this and can it be used as a tool to create some other world?
Yes, of course. Black metal is a war for those who hear the whisper. It appeals to individuals that are looking for something and that why it can be seen as a whisper, like talking to the children. They wont listen to you but if you whisper they will pay attention and that is what I want to do with black metal, to pay attention to the child, to the true spirit of the individual. I am not interested in a group of people that will obey some kind of master or whatever, I want them to grow, I want the individual to grow, and I want people to decide themselves what they want to be.

I have been speaking to some people who are involved in black metal and they do not perceive BM as any kind of movement, they see it as a group of individuals who do not have much in common with each other. Have you found the common ground with some other bands that seem to think the way you do?
I think that common ground for all black metal groups is the individuality and therefore you canít call it a movement because it is based on the individual, it is based on each one that is a person. So I will disagree with many other black metalers but I canít say that they are wrong in what they do because my goal is for the individuals to grow and if they choose to grow in one direction, fine by me.

So it means that BM will hardly become a movement with one thing on top.
Yes, of course. I have one thing in progress and I have to lift myself first as an example of individuality. And I think that many of the fans are here just for the music but there is some aiming for the same goal.

I came to a conclusion that your intention was to create total chaos in the world, how far was I from the truth?
We use a lot of symbolism and the audience that comes knows what we are about so I do not see how can we create a scandal or chaos. This DVD is meant for our audience, not for just anyone on the street. It just shows that we touched the nerve in this Christian society. If you plan to make a scandal than that is not true. We made a scandal without intending to do so and that only shows that they are afraid of us in many ways.

You had some troubles with the law before the scandal in Poland. Is it true that you were only defending yourself?
I canít talk too much about it, but I have been sentenced before it happened and they have proven that I have done it but I canít say yes or no to it, I say I was defending myself and that was also proven in the court, I was the one who was attacked but they think I have been punishing him too hard. But as I always say, when people cross my line and I let them know where the line is many steps before they cross it and still they choose to cross it than I will be the one to decide what will their punishment be.

Youíve had experience with prison. Would you like to share that with us? How did you live trough that experience?
Both prisoners and the guards treated me with great respect, so in that matter it went basically without much problems. I usually live far from people, I donít stay around people much and that was the main problem, the fact that I had to be with people all the time, but that is the only thing there is to do in prison so the time seemed to go very fast. I have a sort of on/off switch. When I am in prison I donít remember outdoors and when I am out I donít think of what it was like when I was in. Itís just the matter of how you focus on things.

And now the question I ask everyone I interview. Do you have any new bands that you would like to promote, to help them?
From my ground there are only the bands that I create. I have four bands that deal with different subjects because I can't fit everything in Gorgoroth. Some more personal related and more inwards subjects I do with other bands. The first band I joined, Trelldom, was just a starter and is much older than Gorgoroth. Than there is Gaahlskagg and Sigfar that is not yet officially out, but it deals with Norse poetic and myths in many ways but in a direct form of writing. Itís been ready for many, many years and I am not in a hurry to release it but it will definitely be released. And there is something else that I am working on which has nothing to do with metal or black metal, which is more chauvinistic music where we will use more natural sounds. It will be some kind of ritual music in a Norse way. We will use the worthiest of the throat singing. And also that will have to be two different things be! Cause they have different values in my life. I have to create and go into different links and other branches of the trees. I cant think of any new band that I could bring to your attention because I hardly listen to music anymore, at least the extreme form of it.

Tell me about some new plans for you although I have heard that there is a lot written, a lot of material for the album piled up. What can we expect? Will it be like the ĎAntichristí, ĎDestroyerí, ĎPentagramí, or more like the newer ones?
I donít like to talk about material before it is all complete but I think you will find bits and pieces of the early Gorgoroth, winding towards the ĎTwilight of the idolsí.

What do you listen to?
Well, everything from Vivaldi, Judas Priest, David Bowie, and many other favorites. It is a broad perspective.

Since you are so open-minded to music, tell me what do you think of the fact that many bands have changed their attitude in music. Emperor, Ulver, so on.
People change and as long as they are daring to deliver themselves. It is the same as in every form of art. You have to put yourself into it. So as long as you do it that way I will respect it. But if you do it for commercial reasons or because someone you admire would like to see you do it then it is wrong. As an artist you would have to put yourself into it.


Links of interest:

Gorgoroth