Under The Mask Of Evilness
(This interview is provided by LEGION magazine)
Oh, cruel life that lets us up and down, and the reality surprises us a lot, and the illusions have a tendency to breaking… I also had an illusion of my own: if there was one, the one who was “true and evil” to the bones, then Fenriz had his name to be, he is the leader of the band that grimly called DARKTHRONE! The interviews I read with him, drew me the image of the “evilest” and “truest”. But poor me, for deceived I was by cruel whims of fortune! There are no words to picture my regret and never ending sorrow! So, let it be: you read this interview, and let you weep, oh poor true believers!
How are you doing Fenriz?
Umm… I am still drunk after the night show.
Oops, sorry for disturbing you in the wrong time!
One of the main reasons of our calling you, is the tribute album to DARKTHRONE. What do you think of this “memorial to the still alive band”?
Personally I don’t have tribute albums in my collection. I always prefer the originals. But the idea to make such a tribute was to mark that the band has been existing for ten years. I was thinking about the tribute album for five days and then I called to Moonfog and said “I don’t think it’s a good idea.” But they thought it was a good idea, and I am not the one who’s taking the decisions in DARKTHRONE right now, Nocturno Culto is taking the decisions right now. It was in the mid-90s when I took the decisions. But, anyway, I am very glad that the Norwegian bands do this tribute.
Why did you let Nocturno Culto take all the decisions?
Because I did it before and now it’s his turn. We have a sort of split dictatorship in the band: if Nocturno has a song, I can’t say anything about it. I just have to accept it. And if I make anything, he has to accept it.
Don’t you think that such a dictatorship spoils the atmosphere of creativity within the band?
Haha! There’s so much great music out there in the world that’s been made by one person. This can go both ways: working together can bring more creativity or less creativity in the same way. But the greatest ideas people are making for themselves. And also I would like to emphasize that DARKTHRONE is not big in creativity. We never said we were original or anything like that. I give a fuck about the creativity, if I wanted something creative, I wouldn’t listed to black metal.
You haven’t released anything within the last two years. What are you thinking about, man?
Well, all this about bands releasing albums every year – all this is bullshit. It was IRON MAIDEN that started this thing in metal scene. But you can see that even IRON MAIDEN need a break! It took them two years to release “Seven Son of the Seven Son” album. Why wouldn’t we need a break? We haven’t recorded anything since 1995 actually. When we record the new album this summer, it will be four years since we last released the album. But we don’t want to be musicians all the time. We don’t want to earn money on this. Because we are from the ‘80s, the time when there was no scene for that music and you couldn’t live from it. We don’t need to come up with something new to feed ourselves, and when we want to take a break – we take it!
So, you are going to record a new album this summer at last. What is it going to be like?
I don’t know yet! Me and Nocturno live far away from each other and he’s made twenty minutes of the material but I haven’t heard it yet. I just hope that it will not be fast because I really like the fast stuff like IMMORTAL, but I don’t want to play fast myself anymore.
Did you have any meetings with Nocturno to discuss at least some basic points of the album?
You see, when you meet a person two times a year, it’s a different sort of relationship. This means that distance is always a good thing! And I don’t use the word “to meet” someone, fuck that, it sounds like a Christian thing, ha!
The first album you released as DARK THRONE was a death metal album, do you remember that?
WHAT?! We released a death metal album?! Oh yeah, I remember! I like it now, but it was really important to hate it back then. The point is that we were sick with the death metal trend, and we just understood that we contributed to that trend ourselves as well. Black metal now may not be a serious thing, but then – back in 1990 - it was a serious thing. We had to look away from anything else and concentrate on black metal. Because if we thought (with the voice of mentally retarded) “Black me-e-tal is gre-eat, we can do-o-o black metal” it wouldn’t be a strong scene. It would have turned out into an ugly thing, look at the bands like ATROSITY! Oh, it’s not good to say that!
You can say whatever you want, we are a free magazine!
Yeah, and you don’t have a gun pointing to my head!
No I don’t!
But I guess the pen is sharper than the sword!
The first black metal album you recorded was a big shock to all your fans…
I can’t remember that we had any fans! We never had any feedback from the “Soulside Journey” album! We thought the album sold eight hundred copies and we didn’t care.
Anyway, how did you come to black metal stuff?
It was not a decision. It was not a band meeting like “OK, we are all together in the meeting room and I want to say something. Don’t you guys think that black metal is becoming…” No, it wasn’t like this! The music I listened to back then led me to the total blackification of everything. I had BATHORY albums but I never understood them until 1990. I also hear a compilation tape, there was TORMENTHOR from Hungary. I listened to it and thought “Oh-ho! I can feel something, I can feel something here! A-a-ar! This is black metal again!” That opened my eyes and my ears. This changed everything in my musical life. Black metal was less technical, more primitive, but it gave the opportunity to create an atmosphere rather than musicianship.
That’s why you refused any musical development for the band?
Ha! I think the best death metal is not the most technical one! The best black metal is not the most technical either. And thrash metal – I like more EXODUS than CORONER!
So, what is the best black metal then?
Of course, BATHORY.
What do you think about DARKTHRONE?
I am proud of it! We have always had that row sound, and I am proud of all the decisions we took. But for us it’s easy to take unconventional decisions because we are working men, and we can do whatever we want.
How did you become a Satanist?
Ha!…ha! I became a Satanist through MERCYFUL FATE. And, of course, I didn’t become a Satanist like in one day. The same thing like with black metal. I don’t like KING DIAMOND’s stuff so much, but MERCIFUL FATE was great. So, I started to read more about that, got interested in it. Suddenly I got possessed.
Are you still a Satanist?
You always have this thing with you. But it might not be so strong now. It depends on if it is the biggest thing in your life. Being a Satanist you can choose more than being a Christian.
What do you think about those musicians who say that there’s no black metal without Satanic ideology?
If you are a musician, and you are really into music, then music is the most important thing. But if you write a song about Satanism, there is always a person who is more into Satanism, because you just write a song. Music is you life, and Satanism is life for the person you sing your song. So, music is the most important thing.
In one of the interviews you said that you still hadn’t decided yet what is better: to spread Satanism all around the globe or to make it an underground secret. Are you still blowing cold and hot?
I don’t know. But the point is, that even my grandmother, who is actually dead, knew that black metal was underground! Now black metal has more press than Tom Hanks has! So it is a utopia to discuss whether it is an underground secret or not. But some part of black metal is dead. And I hope that people will remember us, and they will think of MAYHEM instead of CRADLE OF FILTH. I don’t want to talk much shit about CRADLE OF FILTH, but these guys are fucking killing me, ha!
You don’t like CRADLE OF FILTH, do you?
Ha…ha! Hmmm…Not as black metal musicians. It’s like Bonny Tylor singing “I am a punk rocker!” It’s not correct. Oh shit, I have told even more shit about CRADLE OF FILTH, man! I’m gonna die with it! You know. We’re all gonna die, and I’m gonna burn in hell! I doubt these guys will, haha!
What is “true and evil” for you, a “true and evil” black metal musician?
You just turn to “Return” album of BATHORY. I understand everything there, a lot of people don’t. Shit, when they listen to the album they say (with a German accent) “Fot is dis shit, people I’m wonterin’? Fot is dis stupid zound?” But for me the “Return” album is fucking great! If you don’t understand this album, you have problems with discussing black metal with me.
What do you, the representative of the black metal of the ‘80s, think of the modern black metal movement?
Well, just think about the people who invented rock ‘n roll, when people like Elvis and Little Richard took all the money and all the fame. Who are those people from the ‘50s, do you know them? You just think “Hmm, E-e-elvis, Little Richard…”. I just hope that we will be remembered for creating this thing!
Don’t you feel sorry for not being known?
I don’t really care if some fucking forty-year-old guy used to like DOKKEN and now he likes black metal. I don’t want him to know about DARKTHRONE at all, you know. I am perfectly safe and sound being an underground band. But I listen to things that were important for DARKTHRONE back then in the ‘90s, and modern things don’t bother me a lot.
When reading your interviews or looking at your images, one can guess that you are a grim person, what is definitely a mistake…
(with a gay voice) O-o-oh, thank you, thank you! Well, sorry ‘bout that! You see, I don’t have a split personality, I have a shatter personality. When you grow older, your personality changes with you… Do you think Jesus was a more humorous guy than the Son of Satan? I don’t think so. Is it funny to be grim? I think the most part of population doesn’t even know the whole idea of grimness! It’s like (with a Mickey Mouse voice) “Gri-im? Ooh! May be-e I sood be-e gri-im?” What the fuck is it? You don’t have to be grim all the time. But the point is, why should I be grim with my own people? I’d rather be grim towards people who I don’t want to talk with.
Why aren’t you grim with me? Do you have a pleasure talking to me?
Errr. You are not the sort of guy who always turns to small talk. I like to talk to people who has something to say, you know. If I were grim during this interview, I wouldn’t be interesting!
Do you still dislike live concerts?
Always this question! The last live gig I did, I rehearsed a lot and then I ended up sitting till half past eleven from one o’clock in the backstage. I wanted to do a great gig, so drank only a half of a beer. You know how it’s to sit in the backstage from one o’clock till half past eleven? OK, and then suddenly you are out there and the sound is like “who’s-the-fucking-sound-engineer-is?” And the point is also that the drum kit is not your own and you have to readjust to these things. And generally, I didn’t feel good on stage. I hate, Hate, HATE IT! A lot of people say “Hey, rock ‘n roll is being on the stage!” But live is not for me, man. Understand me, you put me in a bad mood, I am getting aggressive, haha!
Another “problem” with your band, is that you are not photo friendly guys. Are you afraid of cameras?
We are not the band that goes to studio to take photos. You might know that people are different, and the point is that we don’t HAVE to do anything. And I am not that sort of guy that sits and analyses, “Why don’t I like this sort of ice cream? Why don’t I like to take photos?” When I don’t like anything, I don’t ask myself why. I don’t have time to ask myself why! But I haven’t asked Nocturno Culto during last five years (with the voice of the mentally retarded) “Why-y-y shouldn’t we ma-a-ke photos?” This is not an issue in DARKTHRONE. We haven’t even discussed it for five or six years. But the truth is that now we are extremely fat and we will look ridiculous, haha! We can’t get all our spikes and stuff, haha! No, that’s just bullshit!
You also don’t like to give interviews? Too fat for that?
From ’87 to ’92 I was writing tree letters a day. And I also did written interviews. So, it was so FUCKING boring after all those years! I mean my hands are still crippled, I barely hold the phone! So, I don’t do interviews like that anymore. It has to be an incredibly interesting written interview so that I could do it. But if sitting and bubble like this – no problems! It’s just my ear aches a lot from holding the phoner. And my arm got really sore.
Thank you for your pain!
Yeah, (in a voice of a small and angry dwarf) doing interviews is pain! Especially when they are lo-o-ong and ha-a-ard!
I heard you are about to start a project with Phill Anselmo from PANTERA. Is it justified?
Why everybody’s asking about Anselmo? The most important thing is that there are Killjoy from NECROPHAGIA and Maniac from MAYHEM! I called Maniac yesterday to get any information, but he was drunk as he had his thirty’s birthday.
What was the reason of your drinking last night?
It was a thrash show. You know, people think that if there are so many bands coming out from Norway, there must be a lot of clubs where they play black metal. But there is not a single club where they play black metal, or thrash metal, of grind core! There are may be five pubs in the entire country that might play some hard Gary Moore. It’s a fucking wimpy place!
You told me a couple of times that you are a working man. May I ask you where do you work?
Yeah, you may ask me but I may not answer, haha! I started to work in 1988 to earn money for DARK THRONE. I worked five years with normal people and I had to listen to commercial radio everyday. And it was hell. But then, last five and a half years I have been working in the postal system. I am not talking about post office, I am in the system. And I don’t need to talk to anyone, it’s great! What do I have in front of me here now? I have got eighteen CDs from the editor of Nordic Vision. And what am I going to do with them? I will LISTEN to them! See? I got paid for listening to music! It’s great! Can you hear the sound of these promo discs (I hear as Fenriz is beating them on the table)? I got paid for sitting on my ass and listening to CDs! It’s unbelievable! And the best thing is that I don’t have to talk to anyone!