Friday, 27 November 2009
"I am still proud of my insane brain decision"
on the side here, you can see that somebody has written a short biography on us. it's ok, but if you REALLY want to know the truth, i can fill you in on the REAL story...
WHEN i decided to take my music further, step it up a notch, i changed name from BLACK DEATH to DARKTHRONE in late 1987. At first, the music was very FREE, drawing inspirations from whatever i liked, from CELTIC FROST to CRYPTIC SLAUGHTER. A chaos, if you like. The first DARKTHRONE demo was also like this, there was a will there to incorporate anything from NAPALM DEATH to epic metal like METALLICA/ENGLISH DOGS. That also shows on our 2nd outing, "SNOWFALL". But then things changed. I think it's safe to say that on our 3rd cassette "Thulcandra", we suddenly seemed more akin to SEPULTURA's fantastic SCHIZOPHRENIA album, 1st DEATH album and not to forget one of the main parts that was extremely inspired by CRUMSUCKERS 2nd album "beast on my back". That cassette was early 1989, and i still "sang" in DARKTHRONE. However, i had to do the vocals at the "studio guy's" apartment, it was too private a setting for me, and i was not happy with the result. I sounded too much like regular NYHC style, although i love that genre i didn't think it fit for DARKTHRONE. In the summer of 1989 i therefore decided that TED/NOCTURNO CULTO should sing, and instead do my own vocals with ISENGARD, and i recorded the "SPECTRES OVER GORGOROTH" demo with ISENGARD that summer.
So it was that in early 1989, DARKTHRONE had become a sort of death-thrash band. With Ted on vocals and with further songwriting and enhanced playing-abilities, last part of 1989 saw us becoming a technical horror-death metal band with the 4th cassette "CROMLECH", which is taken from the soundboard of a gig we did at the BOOTLEG CONCERT HALL in 1989. This style was further developed with more OUTER SPACE feelings mixed with Satanic haunts on our first and second album "SOULSIDE JOURNEY and GOATLORD". We wanted the first album to have ORGANIC sound but it would cost us TOO MUCH! We had no choice but to enter the Sunlight studios with the very kind help from our friends in NIHILIST who had then changed name to ENTOMBED. They were so kind to let us stay with them, even! Nicke, your help and guidance is never forgotten! I have to say that because of budget problems, Sunlight studios was our only option, KNOWING that our sound on "Soulside Journey" would not be as ORGANIC as we wanted. We wanted a more BLACK SABBATH sound or something. The studio guy didn't even want us to bring our own drum set! But i refused that, and brought my whole drum kit on the plane to Stockholm. But when it came to the bass drums, the studio guy WOULD NOT let me bring my bass drums! What the hell! So we had to compromise: I would play on his filthy d-drum pads, BUT tune them so it would be DYNAMIC, meaning that if i played soft it would be soft, and hard - it would be hard. Everyone else just says "it doesn't matter how hard i hit, every bass drum kick should be equally loud". And to me, that is KILLING MUSIC. It sucks.
However, the death metal had become our TRADE in 1990, it is "what we did". But personally, what we listened to before and after rehearsals for instance, had changed. We had become tired of most death metal acts after 1989, in my collection you will find maybe only 4 or 5 death metal albums i bought in 1990. And that is the TRUTH. It was horrible to see that a style that had died before my eyes (THRASH metal) was followed by yet another style that was dying; DEATH METAL. The party was mostly over, as most bands from that genre emraced the PLASTIC sound with triggered bass drums and clinical sound. Our rehearsal room was filled with other music. Cool stuff. Like AUTOPSY, CELTIC FROST/HELLHAMMER, MOTORHEAD, BATHORY and BLACK SABBATH. All our albums from the 80s was constantly listened to, and there was ALOT of black metal vibes in those albums. SO IT WAS DONE. in early 1990, after having written and recorded the whole GOATLORD album on cassette, Ted and Ivar (Nocturno Culto and Zephyrous) came and visited me in the rehearsal place (which was also my living room). They proposed that we should stop playing the technical death style and instead play PRIMITIVE STUFF THAT RIPPED!. And it was the answer to my dreams, as also i had dreamt of this for a long time. FINALLY! But Dag, our bassist, didn't want to go down that path, so we eventually parted ways after he played session bass on our "A BLAZE IN THE NORHTERN SKY" album. Because of our abrupt change, there is ALOT of death metal riffs on A BLAZE IN THE NORTHERN SKY, as we had already booked the studio time to record GOATLORD. We changed our direction so fast that if A BLAZE IN THE NORHTERN SKY would be PURE black metal, it would only have 3 songs; KATHAARIAN LIFE KODE, WHERE COLD WINDS BLOW and IN THE SHADOW OF THE HORNS. The other 3 songs are a wild mix of death metal and black metal vibes. Many people don't know this, and consider this album as pure black metal, but anyone who is into, i mean REALLY into metal, can hear that it is not so. No one at the time had PHOTOS OF ONE BAND MEMBER on the cover, and certainly not with corpse paint, so that started a whole new estetic that still lives on album covers to this day and will never stop. But it wasn't planned, i just decided that it was right to do it.
Most interesting about A BLAZE IN THE NORTHERN SKY is
1: it was the first time we incorporated a MOTORHEAD style part (IN THE SHADOW OF THE HORNS, start of the last "fast" part of the song"). ZEPHYROUS had written the first slow part of the song, i wrote the last "fast" part of the song, mid paced/fast every other turn there.
2: Also, deep into KATHAARIAN LIFE CODE, there is a riff that is "out of rhythm", but planned that way on purpose. that was directly influenced by the very same "time stretching" in one of the songs from CELTIC FROST's "Morbid Tales" album.
OUR FIRST TOTAL BLACK METAL ALBUM was UNDER A FUNERAL MOON. I was so ANTI on that album that i didn't even use any TOM TOM drums! Just one big floor TOM that i decided should be the loudest thing on the drums set, AFTER the hi-hat. I am still proud of my insane brain decision.
At that point in time, there was no such thing as "second wave black metal", we simply played BLACK METAL (1991) and only inspiration sources was ofcourse purely 80s, as there were no other bands playing black metal, the newest bands were SAMAEL "worship him" album, and the BLASPHEMY album. Oh, and "ritual" by MASTER'S HAMMER, which is actually the first norwegian black metal album, even though they are from Chechoslovakia. Later came the VON demo, the THORNS rehearsal, the IMMORTAL single, and most importantly, we all had "Live In LEIPZIG" by MAYHEM on CASSETTE, long before it was released on vinyl! And 1st BURZUM album finally came out.
Worldwide, black metal was almost completely dead, at that time i had to print MY OWN Celtic Frost t-shirt! Because it was impossible to buy. But a whole gang of us up here in Norway decided and felt that BLACK METAL MUST RETURN. All, and i mean ALL of the recordings all of us made had OLD and ORGANIC sound. When new recordings started to have the sound that DESTROYED thrash and death metal, i felt that also Black Metal was dying, and slowly the war against the modern sound became an obsession to me. This modern sound entered black metal in 94-95, and i could see the genre dying. After TOTAL DEATH album (which i wrote one THRASH metal song for, to make a point that we should go BACK in time again) i had done too much music and had a severe burn out, as i had made 11 or 12 albums in 3 years time (valhall, dødheimsgard, isengard, storm, neptune towers, AND various projects and also ofcourse darkthrone).
When we resurfaced after a break in 1997, it was Ted's idea. My songs was becoming more punk and black'n roll (the style that CELTIC FROST/HELLHAMMER basically started in early 80s) but i just wrote a few, Ravishing Grimness and Plaguewielder is largely Ted's albums, Transilvanian Hunger and Panzerfaust was 100% written by me. In 2002 i was back in business and HATE THEM was on the steps, drum sound was adjusted to be like "C'MON LET'S GO" by GIRSCHOOL and i wrote more freely, like i would have done in 1987 or 1988, meaning it was many styles, METAL, BLACK METAL, DEATH METAL, DOOM METAL, CRUST PUNK, you name it. Ted still made the style he had done on Plaguewielder and Ravishing Grimness, mostly! This combination of his songs and my songs has continued TO THIS DAY. But from 2005, Ted also writes more freely, and he now makes a very freestyle METAL mix of old black sabbath vibes, early 80s metal, thrash metal, death metal and also punk vibes. YES!
In 2005, Ted AGAIN came to me with a fantastic proposal: what if we bought our own portable studio? YES! YES!! YES!!! Finally what we needed in 1988 became reality! In 1988 we had very little money and to buy an own portable studio was out of our financial reach. BUT if we had it back then, things might have looked very different...ad different as THE CULT IS ALIVE, F.O.A.D, and DARK THRONES AND BLACK FLAGS! Yes, our last albums have been the continuation of THE OTHER PATH OF DARKTHRONE that we could have taken in 1988, had we had our own studio and the record collection we have now. And with our new album CIRCLE THE WAGONS (release February 2010), the new decade starts with our own brand of HEAVY METAL/SPEED METAL-PUNK.
Thank you for reading and CARING. Destroy their modern metal!!!
- f e n r i z