Emperor Novembre 1998 Mindview

Emperor made a great come back with their album 'Anthems To The Welkin at Dusk' (who was the album of the year in my top10 and also from many others) and made lots of new fans. Candlelight informed us about some new releases who will take place in the near future and also mentioned a line-up change. Curious as we are, we want to inform you about everything that's happening in the Emperor-camp. Ihsahn, the frontman was pleased to tell us all about it on the phone.

What were the reactions on 'Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk' ?

'They have been very good, most of the reviews were very positive. Some magazines didn't like it, but you cannot expect everybody likes the album. Anyway, it seems that our work was very well received.'

How did your tour go ?

Samoth & Ihsahn'I think the audience has been quite satisfied, but we have not been able to get a propper sound and lightning. It was basicly some small tour and there were some gigs who have been bad organised. We have not been able to perform like we wanted to.'

What did you think about Dynamo ?

'Well, the audience was very great, but we had a very bad sound on stage, but that's all you can expect when there are so many bands. The lights fell out and we found out that there actually was no sound guy. We were lucky that somebody saw it and mixed our show, otherwise it would have been a bigger desaster than it was.'

How does it feel for a band like Emperor to perform at Dynamo ?

'I think we were too pissed off by all the bad stuff that happened and I didn't really enjoyed it. We haven't been playing much lately so you have to 'wake you up' a bit and a bad organised stage on top of that, became quite unpleasend at that time.'

I heard that Alver left or was kicked out of the band, what happened ?

'He decided to leave the band, due to the fact that there was really too much to do, he needs time to do more private things, so I think the Shedule was too hard, when you have to work and a band needs much attention. He also had a big distance to travel for rehearsals. All such tings turned out that Alver found out he didn't have enough time for the band.'

Didn't he know that before he started ?

'Not at that time, the pressure was progressing with Emperor as we had success with the 'Anthems' album and we had to play much more live. We're supposed to work harder for the new songs too, so, he was not kicked out !'

Who is playing in Emperor now ?

'Me, Samoth & Trym, we will have a session player for live performances but we don't know yet who that will be.

I see you're still on Candlelight, did you have other propositions and why did you decide to stay ?

'In the end Candlelight came out with the best offer. We've got a very good deal and resigned and untill so far with Emperor, they did really good work. I also have a deal with my second band 'Peccatum'.

You also released a split-cd with 'Thorns' ?

'Yes, that's on Moonfog. Thorns is a very old band which Faust used to play in . Blackthorn is doing a solo project now, he's a very good songwriter. I haven't heard any of the new material but he's a good musician. We also did a lot of avantgarde and very rare stuff for this split cd.'

I've heard that you remastered your old songs ?

'Yes, the first mini cd is remastered together with the 'Wrath Of The Tyrant' demo. That should come out as an album. 'In The Nightside Eclipse' is remastered, we kept the original sound but we put some more 'life' into it, and it also includes 2 bonus tracks, which are coversongs 'A Fine Day To Die' from Bathory and 'Gypsy' from the 'Mercyful Fate' tribute. 'Anthems' is not remastered but contains bonus tracks like 'Opus a Satana' and a live version from 'The Loss and Curse Of Reverence'.'

Did you already compose new material ?

'We are going into the studio in 3 weeks. It's a local studio from a friend of ours who will work on the album. We played with him before and it's a very good studio and much closer to home. It's better to work in a studio when it's not too far so you can go home in the evening and try not to think about it.'

Which direction are you going with the new album ?

'I think the new songs will differ more than we did on 'Anthems',we brought in quite some new elements and also picked up some more old-school stuff. The variety will be bigger. Musicaly it will be more technical and a bit more 'right in your face', more brutal.'

Are you writing most of the songs or are you working together for that ?

'Me and Samoth are working together but as I do the keyboards parts and the bass, I suppose I have been writing the majority of the new songs for this album. Three of the new songs were my own and we worked it out together as a band, the rest we made together.'

Where do you base yourself on to write music, you have for sure classical influences and what else ?

'I suppose everything can, it can be an ordinary day, something that happened, that can be an influence, saying I write riffs like that is very hard to say. Some things are build up and comeout as riffs. It's a natural influence, like a gift. Some people are good at that stuff, some are good in other stuff.'

When will you be back in Belgium ?

'Probably on our next tour, we are planning to go on tour for 2 weeks in Europe, together with my other band 'Peccatum'. We will release our album in january and the Emperor album comes out in March/April.