Have you ever considered recruiting a second
guitarplayer to simplify things live?
We tried this, but felt we lost much of the energy and aggresiveness:
strangely. As I have said in the past I consider Mayhem as a four-headed
monster with no room for more.
An opinion I've heard about "Wolf's Lair..." is that production is
a bit "plastic". Do you agree on this? How come you didn’t use
Grieghallen to record ”Wolf’s Lair...” as most Norwegian bands do?
I don't know what is meant by plastic, in describing sound we have no
accurate words (like in science) it is a subjective thing and we have to use
metaphors or very vague words like plastic, or fat or thin or grim or... This
list could go on forever. Science have accomplished many things, but when it
comes to describing or talking about feelings we still walk knee-deep in the
blood of the ancient philosophers. I like the sound, but that goes for this
particular album. We did not use Grieghallen because we felt we had to move
away from this particular sound, or to get something else. Also we wanted to
record the album far away from any city.
Do you see the video "The Return..." as a tribute to fans who never
have been able to witness Mayhem live?
I guess so, but I hate the sound on this particular video. But as I said we
will tour extensivly when the new album is out so be sure to catch us then
and capture the true essence.
But if you really hate the sound on the video, why did you release it? Would
it not have been better to wait with recording a video and try to get a
better sound somewhere else instead? Like in Milano for an example.
Well, it was a long time ago since the gig, and it took a long time between
the gig and the release of the video. The first time I heard the
"soundtrack" I seemed to like it, in an odd way, but the more I
listen to it the more I dislike it. And people do make mistakes, but anyway
it might be worth having if only for the footage. Actually we did record the
Oslo-gig on video (proffessionally) but the fucked-up, desipiseable sound-engineer
managed to press the wrong button on the DAT. Now that is a gig I would like
to have released on video, but not without sound hehehe...
Judging from the bootleg LP "The Return..." the whole concert was
11 songs long but on your video there were only 8 songs included. Why did you
cut off the remaining songs?
Because the sound on the other songs were even more terrible. And we were not
able to do anything with them in the mastering process.
Since the begining in the mid 80’ies there has never been no compromise in
Mayhem’s style. What made you stick to your style when so many other bands
Because, as I also have said, we don't seek compromises, we seek the ultimate
expansion of limits. If I could make an album exactly as I wanted it I assume
that listening to it would be like falling into a black hole.
How do you think Mayhem of today differ on both the musical level the
conceptual level from the time when Euronymous and Dead were in the band?
Musically I would say we are better technically and also I would say more
cosmic catastrophy like. When Euronymous and Dead were there I would say it
was more based on creating a dark vision or mood. I guess, or atleast I hope,
that we have kept much of that, but still expanded into pure will or force. Conceptually
the lyrics deal now more directly with the fight against ultimate decay,
There is currenly a tribute in production to you, how do you feel about that?
I have not given it much thought. In large, I am not a very big fan of
tribute albums. I do not even know who will play on it yet.
Speaking of tribute albums... Weren’t Mayhem also supposed to participate on
the Swedish Bathory tribute? How come you never did?
Yes, but I am totally fed up with tribute albums and the more tribute albums
being released the more I seem to find the uninteresting. Personally, I
rather listen to the original. 99% of the time the original is better. There's
something about keeping the moods and states-of-mind that hit you first heard
We fall slowly into deep stretching space: war is the father of all things.