This phone interview with the vocalist Taipan from the Norwegian black metal band Orcustus was done by Sam Chronic in June 2003.

Black metal seems to have nowadays exploded and now travels down may different paths, featuring many different sounds. Originating in the early 1990’s the core of this music is void of all the jazzy synth and live orchestras but issues a more distinct “raw” feeling that thrives on atmosphere as well as brutality. Enter the Norwegian black metal band Orcustus, a band that goes back to the roots of early black metal and ignores any current trends. Featuring Taipan on vocals, Infernus on bass (Gorgoroth), Dirge-Rep on drums (Gehenna, Enslaved), and Tormentor on guitars (Gorgoroth, Gaahlskagg) obviously Orcustus is not without experience despite being a fresh band with only a recently released demo on their discography. I caught up with lead vocalist Taipan recently to see if he could un-shroud some of the mystery behind the music of Orcustus.

To start off, what member chose the name Orcustus and is there any significance behind the meaning of the word?
Well, first of all, Orcustus was the name of Bård ‘Faust’ Eithun’s cult`zine in the early nineties, so we’ve sort of inherited it from him. It was our drummer, Dirge Rep, who came up with the idea a bit over a year ago on a Cadavergig in Oslo actually, so he asked Eithun if he was ok with it and so he was. The essence of the name is Orcus, which is Hell (the netherworlds etc.) in Roman mythology, so for us it simply symbolises Hell. Suits us perfectly, I would say.

Tell us a little about the demo CD that the band has recently released and some of the meaning expressed behind the songs within.
The demo consists of three tracks and has a playing-time of 16 minutes and was recorded in Bergen last year. I created the material in the period between `98 and `00 during a creative period I had then. The meanings behind the songs are simply to create a grim atmosphere and to express our visions about what black metal is to us, so to speak. The Demo 2002 also symbolises the birth of Orcustus as a band.

Can you tell us what the Norwegian lyrics from "Lucifuge Damnation" mean translated in English?
Well, this is Dirge Reps lyric and he obviously wrote that part in Norwegian for a reason so it’s a bit pointless for me to translate it, but I’ll give it a go:

Death: from (the) west: we hail destruction
Disease: from (the) east: we hail demise
Starvation: from (the) south: we hail downfall
War: from (the) north: we hail Satan!

As you can see, this is a summoning.

What was the reason for writing that portion of the song in Norwegian?
As I said, Dirge Rep wrote that lyric so he should be the one answering this question, but the way I see it anyway is that he felt that spell to be more powerfully expressed done in Norwegian.

There are some anti-Christian lyrics in the song also, would you consider Orcustus to be an anti-religious band?
I would consider Orcustus to have an anti-Christian, Satanic and misanthropic core from which we feed on and express ourselves from.

You started Orcustus around 1998, what went at what point did the other members join and what did they bring to the band in terms of writing ability?
First of all, I didn`t start Orcustus as a band in `98. At that time I was just writing material as I had been doing for several years before. The four of us first came into being as a band in the spring of `02, but with the starting-point in my material from that time. In terms of their writing ability, they are obviously experienced and talented individuals, so they are bringing a whole lot of elements with them into Orcustus. These days Dirge Rep is writing our lyrics and Tormentor and I am responsible for the music.

I really think that the demo is killer and as a fan of earlier black metal I feel that Orcustus obtains that same atmosphere. Would you agree in saying that the sound of Orcustus is that of some of the earlier black metal?
It’s great to hear you say that, because it is the atmosphere of the earlier black metal that affects and inspires me and always has. Atmosphere being the essential key word here! I think we have succeeded very well in creating that specific feeling with our music and if we don`t manage that in the future I`ll quit playing black metal. Pretty sure that won`t happen, though.

I am not sure whether Orcustus has played live yet or not but does the band use corpse-paint and what are your feelings towards the usage of this face paint?
We have not played live yet and I`m not sure if we ever will, but yes, we do use corpse-paint in Orcustus. I think the usage of proper corpse-paint provides something extra to the whole black metal expression and makes the visual side suit the music perfectly. But, I said the usage of PROPER corpse-paint, not the fucking clown makeup too many bands use. It`s supposed to look grim and not laughable. Twats!

What got you started into music when you were younger?
I’ve always listened a lot to music in general, but when it comes to metal, I just discovered things gradually by myself from the age of 11-12 years. The usual chain of events, I guess.

How do you feel about the current metal scene in Norway and do you have any favourite bands?
I still think that Norway has got the best bands and that the current scene is very vital these days. I`m eagerly awaiting new releases by bands such as Gorgoroth, Trelldom, Cadaver, DHG, Gaahlskagg, Aura Noir, Mayhem, Nattefrost etc. Two other more unknown bands I hope to hear more from are Daudur and Hatepulse. Besides from these bands and a couple of others, Darkthrone and Carpathian Forest are the best ones.

How do you feel about the future of metal in general?
Have no idea. Don`t think much about it to be honest.

If given the choice, would you choose to swallow a potion that would give you endless strength, power and immortality or choose not to ingest the potion as you would eventually be alone and pained after watching your loved ones age and eventually die in front of your very eyes?
Hmm…I don’t think the fact that my loved ones would age and die would be the reason not to ingest it, but probably the hate I feel towards humans in general would have made me sceptical towards the thought of staying here forever. Having that said, I`m quite obsessed by the image of Armageddon and my guess is, unfortunately, that I won`t live long enough to see it, so that might have made me swallow it. Implicit that I too would have my dirtnap after that. Obviously I`m not able to give you a yes or no answer here. Just babbling…

If given the choice to be any animal of your choice what would you choose and why?
Another difficult hypothetical question, yes? It would certainly have to be a predator in order to attack and feed on your prey as nature intended. An instinct human have manipulated and made to be wrong for obvious reasons in order to create peace, law and order in our so-called civilised society. Well, I would like to live out a predator’s natural instinct to the fullest, so probably a shark or a crocodile.

I am always full of hypothetical questions! Being a huge horror movie fan I could spend hours talking movies. What are some of your favourites?
I like a lot of horror movies, but I`ve never had any special interest in it. An old friend of mine was totally obsessed by horror and gore movies a long time ago so I saw all these Italian movies by Argento, Fulci etc. and lots of zombie movies. Guess the movies I like best that I remember are Day of the dead and Evil dead 1&2. Boring answer for a fan like you, I guess.

Nope, right on in fact as you hit on some of my favourite directors and movies. What does the band do when not playing or rehearsing?
As our drummer lives in Oslo now, we haven`t got the chance to rehearse regularly so not much of our time is spent on that. The only work I do is for Orcustus by making music and doing a lot of promotional work. The others work and study for the most part. Won`t go into detail about that as I see no relevance in this information for others.

To give us a look into the future, when will Orcustus begin working on a new album?
We’re in the process of writing and preparing new material these days and we`re also using some old songs for our album. Dirge Rep is coming to Bergen in a few weeks so that we can test out our ideas in the rehearsal room.

To wrap things up is there anything that you would like to say to all the readers out there?
Our Demo 2002 CD is still available for those who are interested and info can be found at www.orcustus.com. That`s it I guess, so thanks for the interview! Hail Satan!

Thanks alot to Taipan for taking time out of his schedule to answer the interview. Like Taipan said, Go to the Orcustus official website for any information updates and to purchase a copy of the demo and an Orcustus T-shirt. If you are into old school black metal this band is a MUST to check out and I must say that I am truly a fan of their work.

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