Empire of the mountains 1996

Interview in Torino (Italy) 18/6/96

How has the tour been so far?

Very well, since we are close friends with all of the other bands (Enthroned/Bewitched/Sacramentum) and we've visited several places in Europe we hadn't seen before. We haven't had particular problems with organizations, and there has been always many people, apart from this evening, 'cos the gig has been anticipied of one day and I guess many guys couldn't manage to come here in time.

Which places have you visited?

Well, the tour lasted several days... we've visited Paris, Notre Dame, some places in Belgium I never went to, plus some cities in the former East Germany and in West Germany.

Have you noted any differences between this tour and last year's one with Cradle Of Filth?

Generally the organizations were better this time, so it has been better and this one has been longer too...

And the public? I mean... were there any differences between the public of Rome and today's one?

Well, apart from the fact that in Rome's date there were much more people, although principally for Cradle Of Filth, today's public was less expansive, but we didn't miss support.

What do you think of nowadays' black metal scene?

I want to precise that I still prefer the old bands, such as Venom, Bathory and Sodom. Apart from this, I like very much also some of todays' bands, but I think that the scene now misses quality in general, because there're too many groups.
Between the lines, we're close friends of Emperor and Immortal, and many other bands.

Here in Italy there's even a band, Ugluk, which uses lyrics in Norwegian. What do you think of such things? I find 'em totally ridicolous...

I completely agree with you; by the way, I can't see the reason because you Italians should do something similar: you've a very ancient history, and the roman empire has been one of the mightiest in the complete history of humanity. In our lyrics, we've always used these elements, taking ideas from facts really happened. Italy is also one of the country I prefer, and probably I'll come back here soon as a simple tourist.
[Neve notes that he doesn't feel influenced by the Romans, since his city was founded by Celts and Romans got there only several centuries later, and for a really short time also]

And about death metal, instead? Are you of the idea it's almost dead?

I still like some death metal groups, such as old Morbid Angel, but the scene isn't the one of some years ago. Now there're death metal bands who have a positive message in their lyrics and even christian bands, so obviously the original message has been almost completely lost. There isn't any credibility left. Also, you must consider the fact that who started the genre, my generation's people (I'm 31 years old), are leaving metal, so...

From your first demo, "Dark Ritual", which sounded as a standard trash/death metal , until now you've had a really big evolution. What took you here?

Well, without any doubts the fact that I'm the only original component of the band. Philip, one of the two former guitarists, is dead, while the other one has left the band. The first drummer, instead, has been kicked and after three weeks he committed suicide. You'll understand that, with new elements, the band has new ideas, and personally, I don't like to play always the same thing.

About side-projects? It seems like all now have at least one...

Well at this time I'm collaborating with Magus Vampyr Daoloth of Necromantia and with the guitarist of Septic Flesh. We're making a very dark and evil music, gothic/darkwave, and the cd will be out soon. The name of the band is Danse Macabre.
I've also another project, still with Magus but the third member in question is Mortiis, ex-Emperor. I'll record something with them on July, then we'll see...

Ok, thanks for this interview!

Perfect. I hope you'll come to see us also in our next Italian dates

No doubts...