Darkthrone

With: Fenriz
Conducted by: BitterCOld (e-mail)
Published: 12.07.2007

Band profile:

Darkthrone





First off, Fenriz, on behalf of www.metalstorm.ee, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to do this email interview and answer a few questions.
With "FOAD's" imminent release, you're looking at 13 albums, 20 years. That's quite a feat for any band. To what do you attribute your longevity and continued creative output?


Being ourselves! And having day jobs, so that we have our feet on the ground. And a never ending desire for music, always searching backwards to see where metal came from and listening to the bands that are true to this long and winding path back to the 50s.


Your sound has certainly changed over that span. Since "A Blaze in the Northern Sky" was released, how much of that change was a natural evolution, how much was calculated and consciously done?

We always just played what we wanted. The bands that do not do this are not my brothers.


You have a couple of releases coming up shortly with the "New Wave of Black Heavy Metal" EP and "Fuck Off and Die" - how does your sound continue to evolve with these records?

I would say that the title says it all. More heavy metal now, 80-85, 70s and beyond.




NWOBHM



The Peaceville webpage (http://www.peaceville.com/darkthrone/foad/) on "NWOBHM" leaves a lot to the imagination. With "FOAD" your fans got a track listing to whet their appetites. However, in regards to the EP, the site lists some classic metal bands (Cirith Ungol, Brocas Helm, Blessed Death amongst them), as well as 'credible' punk as influences on your sound, but nothing specific about it. What should your listeners expect from the EP? The 'Love in a Void' cover alone was worth the cost of the "Too Old, Too Cold" EP. Will there be any covers on "NWOBHM"?

I haven't seen this webpage. The culture in metal that an advance track listing is a "topic" has always amazed me. Do people think they can see something in advance titles? Are they clairvoyant? No, they must be idiots if they are longing for titles. This culture is totally incomprehensible to me.
On the NWOBHM it will just be the cover we did of TESTORS, a fantastic late 70s u.s. PUNK band, this cover is also on a darkthrone 7" that was released last year.
I am glad you liked the Siouxsie And The Banshees cover, our covers aren't meant to be anything special, other than intellectual pointers to where our hearts and minds are. Why do you think celtic frost covered WALL OF VOODOO and not, say, KISS? It's because we are trying to be signposts in a world full of confusion and idiocy.


How much actual influence do those listed classic metal bands have on your creative process? Are they merely inspirational or will it be like the "The Cult is Alive," where you injected the punk influence directly into the composition of your music?

The liner notes on the press release will say this. Inspirations are inspirations, usually I hear afterwards what my music must be inspired by, sometimes I'm getting a crystal clear idea from something I hear. but it usually ends up sounding like something completely different than what I had in mind anyway (I make all riffs on the acoustic guitar)


Speaking of punk, could you list a couple of the punk bands that have influenced you for our readers?

POISON IDEA is the only thing I hear ON THIS ALBUM. MOTORHEAD is the best example of punk and metal coming together, so of course we are inspired by them. I hear some AMEBIX in one of Ted's vocal performances on this album. I am also a big fan of the vocalist of PUKE (Swedish punk band from the mid-80s) but I just can't sing like him. Best band to mix punk and metal nowadays are probably BLÜDWÜLF.


Is there any chance of a "Fenriz Presents - the Best of Classic Metal" or "The Best of Punk" to perhaps further open the horizons of fans to your influences?

I wish! but after all the idiotic feedback I got from my black metal compilation (why didn't you include Darkthrone? Is Destruction black metal? etcetera) It just might not be worth the hassle. But other than that I love making compilations (I make many private ones in 30-50 copies only for friends etc).
I love to open minds all the time - but a lot of metal people seem to be E X T R E M E L Y closed minded. Horrible! Very bad taste. It's alright when you're 13, just a young buck you know, but when 30-year-olds have record collections like 13 year olds, there's something wrong. Only RAIN MAN doesn't change with time!


'Canadian Metal' sounds fantastic - high energy, and signature guitar tones and drums, nice guitar solo. As for the subject matter, we can assume you aren't throwing hails and horns to Avril Lavigne or Bryan Adams. What was the lyrical inspiration for this track?

I just namedrop song titles and talk shit about the modern weak sounds (instant gratification metal production) of metal. I need it hairy and difficult, I hate sleek plastic sound. And you all know who you are! DESTROYERS OF METAL! SHAME! I know, because I was one of them with the sound on our very first album, hehe.


What went in to the "FOAD" recording process? Was it one of your typical in and out sessions? Did any unforeseen challenges arise?

In 2005 we bought our own portable studio and we changed our whole recording process. We do not produce anything, no sound check other than LEVEL sound check, record HARD and FAST - and only 2 songs at a time. When we have 2 songs - we set up the studio and record them. Then we wait until we have made another two. That's what we did on THE CULT IS ALIVE (our 12th album) and that's what we did on FOAD.


Can we expect some shared vocal duties on this album as well?

I "sing" on 3 or 4 songs, I think it's usually best that the one that writes the song sings on it. Because I am making songs now, not just some riffs. and i write the lyrics to suit the songs, I have written enough pretentious lyrics in my time, now i feel like doing it rawer.


Looking on your past output, do you have a favorite Darkthrone album or song? Is there a black sheep in the Darkthrone discography? An album you would like to go back and change?

My production on TOTAL DEATH was voted down.


Do you read any fan forums or websites online to see what other people have to say about Darkthrone or Black Metal?

The worst things that civilization has come up with after all these thousands of years are 1: V-STYLE SKI JUMPING (older styles are SOOO much cooler) and 2: internet forums. GET A LIFE.


Your first three black metal albums are often hailed as landmark masterpieces, while your later releases seem to get less stellar treatment from fans. (Personally, I'm a fan of your later output. Some may take it as heresy, but I slightly prefer them.) Would you be willing to share your thoughts on this? Does it bother you or do you care nothing at all about it?

People that take corpse paint photos in their back yard like albums 2-5 best, motorhead fans, crust punks, and people with large record collections like THE CULT IS ALIVE best. But you know, the first steps towards the REAL forest life is at least going out in the back yard..


What are your thoughts on the Black Metal genre of today? Are there any newer artists that capture your imagination?

VOMITOR was great, those maniacs from Australia did everything right.
People can check our MYSPACE TOP FRIENDS (http://www.myspace.com/officialdarkthrone) for more interesting bands I like. We're talking SALUTE etc.





Proverbial "Desert Island Top 10" situation - you're stuck in the middle of nowhere and can take only 10 albums, any musical genre. What 10 albums would make your collection?

That would take me a year to figure out, I get about 700 titles each year these days, I have a total of 7-8 thousand titles in my collection.
I just name the 10 first albums that spring to mind now:

PUKE - Back To The Stone age (swedish punk 1987)
WITCH - Witch (doom metal from usa 2005 or something)
HIGH TIDE - Sea Shanties (great "doom" rock from 1968 or 69)
EAT STATIC - Science Of The Gods (extremely well programmed electronica from..97?)
DETESTATION - The Agony Of Living (crust punk with female vocals, a long time fave. 90s)
DEVESTATION - A Recreation Of A Ripping Death (my fave Chicago deaththrash DEMO, 87)
HEARING IS BELIEVING - a compilation made to me by my friend in France, Thomas Bonnin last year.
MANILLA ROAD - The Deluge (epic metal 1986)
FANTOM WARIOR - Morbid Invasion DEMO 87 (thrash in the style of the 1st WHIPLASH album)
2 first WHIPLASH demos 84, 85


Thanks again for your time and candor. To borrow from Danzig, enjoy the rest of your 'Dirty Black Summer.'

No problem, just got back from tent trip 13 this season, started the day with breakfast and listened to Cirith Ungol, Sly And The Family stone, a cool instrumental by GRAND FUNK that I grew up with, and my fave THE BYRDS track that I also grew up with, I WASN'T BORN TO FOLLOW. Yeah, that was before gram parsons destroyed their music by joining them later in 68. Overrated guy.


 



Posted on 12.07.2007 by
BitterCOld
BitterCOld has been officially reviewing albums for MetalStorm since 2009.
More interviews by BitterCOld ››




Comments

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Marcel Hubregtse - 12.07.2007 at 21:10  
Great interview, focusing on the punk influences for once and totally not on their so-called great three masterpieces.
Kaamos - 12.07.2007 at 22:22  
Haha. Fuck the V-style.

Great interview.
Basso - 12.07.2007 at 22:39  
Fenriz is such a down to earth guy. Great interview
Varegan - 13.07.2007 at 00:11  
I cant understand his answer about internet and fan forums or websites
but when he says: - but a lot of metal people seem to be E X T R E M E L Y closed minded. Horrible! -I can easily understand what he say
Baz Anderson - 13.07.2007 at 00:19  
I think he should give internet forums a break (I have to bring this up, as we are all part of one..)
I am sure that a large percentage of the Darkthrone fanbase was introduced to them by means of the internet and its forums..
-MeTaLlIc-OwL- - 13.07.2007 at 00:33  
haha wtf? xD nice interview. Fenriz' kinda weird U_U but nice guy nonetheless
Basso - 13.07.2007 at 00:52  
Written by Baz Anderson on 13.07.2007 at 00:19

I think he should give internet forums a break (I have to bring this up, as we are all part of one..)
I am sure that a large percentage of the Darkthrone fanbase was introduced to them by means of the internet and its forums..


I dont think they give a flying f**k about their fans.
Necronomicon - 14.07.2007 at 07:12  
Fenriz is great, hehe... very good interveiw!
Damnated - 14.07.2007 at 13:12  
"But you know, the first steps towards the REAL forest life is at least going out in the back yard.."

good point. awsome interview.
APOHAKC - 14.07.2007 at 23:46  
some of the answers really reminds me on Joey De Maio answers, I can bet he is Manowar fan
WreckingCrew - 15.07.2007 at 00:16  
wow u think in about 2 years darkthrone will be playing solely punk/metal in the style of early motorhead?

coz thas the message im getting from this interview!
APOHAKC - 15.07.2007 at 00:28  
I wouldn't be suprised at all
Hyvaarin - 15.07.2007 at 14:23  
Sweet interview, ol' Fenriz is a bit of a dude.
Paganblood - 18.07.2007 at 10:32  
the band's musical tastes are indeed changing... I prefer the old darkthrone though.. a short and sweet interview.
BitterCOld - 20.07.2007 at 20:40  
I wanted to let this go up a bit before responding.

First off, thanks to the MS staff responsible for setting this up (my fellow resident old man, Marcel) and providing me the opportunity. Thanks to Matt at Peaceville for helping facilitate this, and, of course, thanks to Fenriz for taking the time to do the e-mail interview.

I was trying to ask him a couple questions he might not normally get and he really took those questions and answered them better than I could have hoped. No stock, canned responses - just straight up his opinion whether you agree with him or not.

I'll be honest, I lol'd a couple times the first time I read through his replies.


Seems like he'd be a great guy to hit a pub or a camping trip with and talk music while knocking back a couple pints.
Daru Jericho - 07.08.2007 at 00:06  
It's always good to see people who listen to more than just metal, especially very substantially. I like what he said about the forums. Made me laugh haha! And as stated before, I honestly don't think Fenriz cares if he upsets fans, nor would he care if he had less fans than Darkthrone already has now.

Well done BC for doing the interview and actually asking unique and relevant questions. This certainly was an interesting read.
Judas - 07.08.2007 at 04:24  
He's so fucking cool. Thanks for the interview, too.
ErabatukII - 16.08.2007 at 15:43  
One thing to garner from reading this is how much Fenriz loves music. He truly is a music fan of all genres and his love for it genuinely shows in his answers. The only predictable and obvious thing about Darkthrone now, is that they will continue to surprise and whimsically do whatever they want.

And kudos BC for actual decent questions. Good interview.
Drizzling Blur - 27.08.2007 at 10:28  
Fenriz \m/

Love Darkthrone.
Fane - 13.09.2007 at 19:40  
Thanks for the good interview we have here =P Long live Darkthrone!
Collin - 15.09.2007 at 14:03  
I've always enjoyed Darkthrone interviews because Fenriz and Nocturno Culto are both normal guys who don't give a shit about looking grim and stuff. That's a breath of fresh air in black metal I think. This interview follows the same way, with honest replies. I had a good laugh reading this
peterjohnvernon - 12.03.2008 at 01:57  
Yeah i dont think Darkthrone have ever given a damn about their fanbase, although I would like to think that his 8000 collection depends greatly on darkthrone album sales xD

their earlier stuff is great but has been copied so much i dont find myself listening to it that often, however their later stuff has got something unique about it which makes you want to listen to it again
Doc Godin - 15.03.2008 at 02:26  
He seems like a bit of a contrived asshole to me, but nevertheless he seems like someone I'd get along with. Big Motorhead fan, avid album collector, just alot of his points altogether I like. But about the internet forum comment...ouch! And did he insult Canada or did I just read that wrong?

Quote:
Sly And The Family stone,


Lol, thats what I was/am listening to while reading this.

The part about wearing corpsepaint in your back yard was funny. And I also prefer the later Darkthrone material...(being a 'Head fan and all...)
Collin - 17.03.2008 at 14:10  
Written by Doc Godin on 15.03.2008 at 02:26

And did he insult Canada or did I just read that wrong?



Where?
Richard - 17.03.2008 at 15:18  
Without the corpsepaint and with the little beard, Fenriz looks a lot like Kid Rock!
BitterCOld - 17.03.2008 at 18:28  
Written by Richard on 17.03.2008 at 15:18

Without the corpsepaint and with the little beard, Fenriz looks a lot like Kid Rock!


watch the "Too Old, Too Cold" video (http://youtube.com/watch?v=-tVKRs4kfqc ) at around the 1:08 mark... it's an almost "separated at birth" moment.
Doc Godin - 17.03.2008 at 22:39  
Written by Collin on 17.03.2008 at 14:10

Written by Doc Godin on 15.03.2008 at 02:26

And did he insult Canada or did I just read that wrong?



Where?

'Canadian Metal' sounds fantastic - high energy, and signature guitar tones and drums, nice guitar solo. As for the subject matter, we can assume you aren't throwing hails and horns to Avril Lavigne or Bryan Adams. What was the lyrical inspiration for this track?

I just namedrop song titles and talk shit about the modern weak sounds (instant gratification metal production) of metal. I need it hairy and difficult, I hate sleek plastic sound. And you all know who you are! DESTROYERS OF METAL! SHAME! I know, because I was one of them with the sound on our very first album, hehe.


It almost seemed like he was bashing Canadian metal there.
totaliteraliter - 18.03.2008 at 00:10  
Written by Doc Godin on 17.03.2008 at 22:39
It almost seemed like he was bashing Canadian metal there.


How? The song is praising old school Canadian metal and compares it favourably to modern "plastic metal."
BitterCOld - 18.03.2008 at 00:57  
well, they are fans of some Canadian bands. "Atomic Coming" off of "The Cult is Alive" is a tribute to Piggy of Voivod...
Doc Godin - 18.03.2008 at 01:28  
Written by totaliteraliter on 18.03.2008 at 00:10

Written by Doc Godin on 17.03.2008 at 22:39
It almost seemed like he was bashing Canadian metal there.


How? The song is praising old school Canadian metal and compares it favourably to modern "plastic metal."

Ok, so I did read it wrong.
Warman - 18.03.2008 at 17:14  
Let's send Varg after him for the comment about us guys with no life!
Mr. Doctor - 18.03.2008 at 23:18  
Written by Warman on 18.03.2008 at 17:14

Let's send Varg after him for the comment about us guys with no life!


C'mon man!
You have to accept that the line about forums is priceless!!!
It's funny because it's true...
Myabe not for all the guys here... but in general... is quite true.
Warman - 18.03.2008 at 23:20  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 18.03.2008 at 23:18

C'mon man!
You have to accept that the line about forums is priceless!!!
It's funny because it's true...
Myabe not for all the guys here... but in general... is quite true.

Yeah, it is pretty funny, I don't mind and I do love Fenriz for his skills and the music he has created.
ThunderAxe1989 - 14.05.2008 at 20:59  
lol Richard's right
Metalhead2 - 24.05.2008 at 17:37  
heh Darkthrone interviews are those i enjoy reading the most
Gordon Freeman - 29.05.2008 at 02:30  
Written by Doc Godin on 15.03.2008 at 02:26

He seems like a bit of a contrived asshole to me


I kind of get the same feel. I guess that's the whole "charm" behind the man.
wormdrink414 - 04.06.2014 at 10:55  
Just listened to that Love In A Void cover for the first time, fucking a that's a good track. Original version too.

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