Could you put the new album next to the previous ones? And also compare it to the nowadays black metal scene?
It's like...It's more professional, more marked, it has a better sound. Everything is more diversed, but it's also...it's like we're taking our style to another level, and so it's actually the end of an era and the beginning of a new one. We're really satisfied with it, and we wanted to develop it, and at the same time, keep our roots, and that's what we had in mind, so... Compared to today's black metal scene, it's a very different and upstanding album. We don't follow any trends, we create our style, we're IMMORTAL.
Do you still rehearse eight to ten hours a day?
No! When we are working on an album or rehearsing for a tour, we practice like two hours a day. When we do an album, that could be more. We had longer rehearsal in the early days, but we are better musicians now, we don't have to practice so much.
What do you think of the “Blizzard Beasts” album now?
We were not prepared enough, we were in a rush, we went to our normal jobs during days and recorded by night, and we were really tired. We didn't have a good producer, but I still think the album turned out great. Some songs...most of the songs are great, but a couple of others didn't turn out well, so...
You praise winter in your new album. Why do you like this season so much?
It's among us most of the time, I live mostly in the mountains, I have a cabin near the glaciers, so I often do glacier-walking. Winter is my favourite, I'm surrounded by great nature, it's a fantasy to imagine a demon-world beyond that, that takes a lot of my time!
You had planned to release a video with the album, and today the whole show was filmed. Do you plan to release a live video?
I don't know. They asked us if we wanted to film, and we said yes. So, we'll see!
You were able to evolve even without using any keyboards or female vocals. How have you managed to climb up that far without using this “trendy” stuff?
It's not our thing. We have some synthetizers on arrangements on the album, but we put it behind the guitars to make the arrangements more atmospherical. We are not gonna use synths to replace instruments, we didn't want to have synths on lead, because we don't want to perform live with synths. We just use it for the album.
However, how would you characterize your evolution?
It's like...Whatever kind of metal we come with, it's always IMMORTAL. This time, we felt more atmosphere and melancholy in the music, more back to the roots of our beginning. With “Blizzard Beasts”, we thought more brutal, we thought differently with that album. And now, I'm working on three-four new songs, the next album is not gonna be a “At the heart of winter part 2”, it will be on a different level, with a different concept. It's gonna be a cryptic journey to a new dimension. It's gonna be, so far, the most evil IMMORTAL album up to date!
A year ago Demonaz left IMMORTAL. What is he doing now? Is he somehow connected to the band?
He's doing a couple of things, he's not a manager of the band, but he makes a couple of things for us when it comes to live-jobs and this kind of stuff. It's a real pain he got sick, but we've got to carry on. He has stopped to play with us for two years, and he's gotten rid of the sickness, but it's gonna take time for him to recover anyway. He's doing things for us, he's setting up the studio, and he has another band. So, we'll see! It's mostly IMMORTAL, but he has changed. We'll see!
You’ve changed your logo on the new album. Why?
We've got two logos, now.
Is that to mark a new step in your career?
We wanted...we fell for a more pronounced logo for this album. But the old logo is really important for us, and maybe next time we will use the old logo again. It's just something we fell for to this motive. We'll see, I think in the future, we're gonna use both logos on several occasions. It's like, the style of the old logo is great, but I also think, the name is important, so that people got our name. It's important to use both logos.
The album is opened by the intro track 'At the heart of winter'. What inspired you for writing this opus?
Actually, I didn't have an intro, all the songs were ready, and we didn't have an intro on 'At the heart of winter'. But when I came to the studio in the north of Sweden, the winter came real hard, and it inspired me a lot to make that intro, because I was sitting by the window, watching the great nature and playing synths. And that came up! And the acoustic part, I had
it for many years, but I never used it, and I thought it was the time to use it.
What do you think of MARDUK? Would you like to tour with them?
It's important! I hope we can tour together in the future, but they're quite busy with their stuff, and we're quite busy with our stuff. I hope! I hope we can do a tour with MARDUK soon, and more festivals soon!
You played drums on the DET HEDENSKE FOLK MCD. Do you have any news from the band? Do you help your friends that way?
I don't know what the guy is doing now. I haven't talked to him for a year and a half, so I have no idea. I don't think he has that band anymore, I don't think he plays at all. I helped him out, he asked for help, and I said OK. I had the time to do it, so...
Would you like to sign to a big major record company like Sony or EMI?
I don't think so. Right now, we're supposed to go on with Osmose, we feel a lot of stability, and we know we can trust them. We've got a priority there. I don't think about signing on another label.
Are you inspired by the new black metal scene?
I think we have a mentality that very few people seem to have. We are like an old-fashioned, stable, true to the roots, and the way we think...We don't find inspiration in any new band today! My inspiration comes from the old scene, like...We mostly listen to old metal bands from the ‘80s. Very few bands do that nowadays, they follow the trends mostly.
Your music is the way to escape reality, but what do you dislike in the reality the most?
There's a lot of things I don't like! I live in this time, and I just have to accept it. When I want to get away, I do it with music. When I want to escape the city, if I want primitivity, I go to my cabin