ISKALD

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This e-mail interview with the Norwegian black / thrash metal band Iskald was done by Everburning in May 2006.

Can you introduce us to the most important facts about Iskald, both concerning your history and values?
Iskald was formed in the beginning of 2005, by Simon Larsen our guitar player. The lineup was quickly completed with Aage Krekling on drums and Arne Aalstad on bass. The thoughts about the band was from the very beginning to play melodic black metal, music that didn’t even exist in our area at that time.

After about two months writing songs we decided to do a demo. We borrowed some equipment from a friend of us and did the demo pretty much on our own. Actually it came out quite ok and we received some great reviews.

After the demo we concentrated playing live and wrote new songs. We were at that point starting to believe that our music could reach far.

But when the summer came our bass player unfortunately had to leave us because of his studies. Then we couldn’t practice for about 2 months because we couldn’t find a replacement. But luckily, in august, we got in contact with a guy really into that kind of music; Anders Lambersøy. He agreed to join our horde so that we could continue Iskald.

In the period between August and November we practiced as hell with Anders, and during that period we decided to enter studio. So the 16th of December we entered a local studio, Andøy Lydstudio, to record our first MCD called Northern Twilight. We did the recording, mixing and mastering during 4 days. The result came out very good and so far we have received great reviews and labels have already contacted us.

Our goal with Iskald has from the first minute been to create something unique, to play melodic black metal in a different way. We have so far succeeded and want to continue down the same path. Another important value for Iskald is to not become in a way sellout, but keep our music true.

What does the Metal scene look like from a perspective of a very young, starting Metal band?
For us the metal scene in our area is difficult, simply because here is no metal-scene. We’re pretty much on our own.

If we want to succeed in our home country we need to move south we suppose. North of Trondheim it’s very hard for a metal band to get well-known and there are too few metal concerts. The concerts in our area are normally consisting of many different genres together, so there is only a few which actually comes to hear metal. Here is just to fucking few metal supporters in the north, which will make us have to move farther south.

Of course this makes the situation a bit more difficult. But we know that we have to keep on fighting to reach far. That’s how it works for an underground band here in Norway, wherever you’re located. In a way we think this process is ok, it’s better to work towards the top, than just be there.

From this point, what is your goal with Iskald? After you split up eventually (in your fifties) what will it take to say ‘It was worth it’?
We started Iskald just to play the music we enjoy listening to. From that point our career has developed fast. We are starting to believe that if we work hard and continue with what we have started, this could actually go far. We hope that one day a label will sign us and help us spread the music we are composing. Of course we also hope that some day we could go on a big tour, not only here in Norway, but also in foreign countries.

Since we don’t know what will happen in the future, we will at this point of our career look back at all the fun we have had and the music we have created in only a year. Already at this point we could look back on our short career thinking “it was worth it”, but these thoughts would probably boost through our development as a band.

To me, your music is very reminiscent of the Gothenburg scene and also of old Slayer, how do you comment on that, one could think that you’d be more connected to modern scene sounds?
First of all we do have a modern sound on our black metal. Our guitarist Simon, which is the composer, has actually never listened to bands like Slayer or Dissection. But when listening to what we have created, we could agree a bit with your references. Some of the riffs are thrash like Slayer and other riffs are melodic as for example Immortal.

Our main inspiration is Nordic metal. Bands like Immortal, Windir, Opeth, Amorphis is for example some of our influences. But the most important thing is that we try to focus on having our own sound.

How does composing of a song look like in Iskald? You seem like very fertile composers, where does your inspiration come from?
The composing in Iskald works like a step by step process. Simon is writing the riffs at home, Aage brings the lyrics into the process, and when we meet to rehearsal we put it all together. Our songs are basically built upon the lyrics, meaning the both the atmosphere and the composition of the songs fits the lyrics.

Concerning where our inspiration comes from, it’s generally Nordic metal as we mentioned earlier.

As for your lyrics, what are they about? Some of them are in your native language; will you keep up with that practice in the future? What inspires you to write lyrics?
Our main lyric writer is a friend of the band, Sigbjørn Ellingsen. Besides him, Aage also write some lyrics. Some of our lyrics are written in English and some in Norwegian. That we would keep up in the future.

We actually just finished a trilogy in Norwegian called Blodsbånd. The first song is about when the Vikings ruled the world, the second one is about when that ancient world vanished, and the last one is about our new fucked up world consisting of too much religiousness.

Our lyrics are generally about darker aspects of life. When you play black metal it’s important that the lyrics fit the music. Our lyrics are therefore mostly based upon war, death, darkness, ancient history and so on.

When you live in a country that has no sun for about 4 mouths, it’s not hard to find inspiration for the lyrics at all. That period is very dark and depressive.

Also we get inspiration to our lyrics from books and films.

Is your homeland and area of your origin very important to you, I think the EP title “Northern Twilight” refers to Sweden and some aspects of it you are fond of? Also, what does Iskald actually mean?
Our homeland and area is quite important for us. Both the title and the front cover of or MCD Northern Twilight reflects that. We do love our dark and mystic nature and also the snow. As you can see on the front cover there is a cottage surrounded by dark Norwegian forest. It’s just a perfect representation of our area, which at the same time tells you what music we play. As for the title it also represents northern Norway. When it’s about to get dark, we have this very special twilight which are quite frightening and mystic.

The name Iskald is a Norwegian word meaning ice-cold (freezing) in English.

You've had a few live performances, how does it feel to be on stage? Do you have some special show you put on while playing live? Any anecdotes already?
We have played 12 concerts since we started. It’s always nice to play live and meet new people. We try to be as extreme as possible during our shows, but we also focus on being tight as hell. If we manage to combine these two qualities we should be satisfied. When playing live we use corpse paint, spikes and the whole package. Normally we don’t have any special show while playing, but at our latest concert we used pyro-effects. That was a great experience, which we will go on with.

Do you have some other musical projects, past or present, besides Iskald?
We don’t have any other projects at the moment, but all of us have experience from two or three other bands, but nothing special.

Ok, any comments for the end? Thanx for your time.
Just want to announce that we are planning to enter studio again before Christmas to record our first full-length album. It will be a fast/dark/melodic killer!


Links of interest:

Iskald