If the second album of the Norwegian duet is as good as their debut “The Linear Scaffold” and after its release SOLEFALD doesn’t outshine the brightest “stars”, then I will quote the whole bunch of the musicians: “Show business sucks!”, even if it is called “metal underground”. The two young men break the old Norwegian tradition and don’t care less for corpse painting, showing their I-am-smart faces on cameras, and neglect the image as it is (probably to let know that the lack of the image is their image). The Italian Avantgarde Music label enjoying a good reputation, still can’t afford a wide costly promotion and the organization of round-the-Europe tours. And, according to SOLEFALD, they don’t play black metal, as the latter is based on the certain ideology and lyrics. They call their music “the red music with black edges”. Doesn’t it sound ambitious? The “Linear Scaffold” was an amazing debut that attracted the attention of the many. I, personally, wish “the many” turned to “everybody”. On the eve of the release of the new album we contacted Lazare, the half of the SOLEFALD...
First of all we would like to
congratulate you with a very successful debut! Your “coming” was like a bolt
from the blue. Is such abruptness a part of Norwegian character? You started as
a five-piece band, if I am not mistaken...
In the beginning the band was actually a five-piece, but quite soon it became clear to both, me and Cornelius, that we had a different approach to the band than the other bandmembers. Eventually the band split up, and SOLEFALD was reborn as a two-piece. We started working on new material, and recorded a low-budget demo (in a barn, actually...). Some friends of ours spread it around, and pretty soon we had a few record deal offers. We went for Avantgarde music, because they're professional and in possession of good taste...
What does SOLEFALD stand for?
SOLEFALD is an old Norse word for sunset, and we picked that name because it fits in with of our imagery.
What made your album such a
success? To my mind, one of the major reasons was your originality.
We both really enjoy the innovative side of the black metal scene, and therefore we trv to use the best elements from that blackened genre, blatantly combining it with a carefully hand picked selection of other sorts of inspiration. I use to say that SOLEFALD is the soundtrack to the merging of two minds. We (myself and Cornelius) often enjoy very different sorts of music, hence SOLEFALD becomes a somewhat twisted musical mixture of our ideas and emotions.
Actually, considering your
sound and vocals, one can call you a black metal act, but you define your music
as the “Red Music With Black Edges”! Could you explain this a bit unordinary
We mix the colour-expressions of red and black in order to get a short and concise description of our music and what it stands for. In other words we want to "force" people to reflect over two colours in connection with it. Our music is "Red Music with Black Edges", because the colour red is the most intensely passionate colour there is, while black is undoubtedly the most dark and destructive. You'll find both red passion and black darkness in our music, hence the expression...
Some people, having not found
what to say about you, have compared you with CRADLE OF FILTH. On the one hand,
that’s not bad taking into the consideration the wide popularity of the British
act, but on the other hand, you have very little in common...
I really used to like CRADLE OF FILTH in their "Principle of Evil Made Flesh" days, but nowadays they're just plain boring. Most of the CRADLE OF FILTH comparisons have occurred because of our high pitched, screaming vocals - I don't really think that our music bares much resemblance to theirs...
There’s an interesting story
behind the cover of your album...
Well, the cover is painted by the biggest Norwegian contemporary painter, Odd Nerdrum, and it's called "The Return of the Sun". Nerdrum is well-known for his way of combining naturalism with metaphysics, and that could be said to be a description of our expression as well. Behind the conscience of our society lies a hidden human image, and by portraying classical ideas in a new way / new ideas in a classical way, that image gets visible. The classics of passion and monumentality fits into modern features and thematic, and that is a part of the whole SOLEFALD idea as well.
You say you don’t play black
as your lyrics differ a lot from the black metal ideology. You have got your
own philosophy. What is it? Is it important to sing about death and religion to
be called a black metal band? Do you think music and ideology walk hand in hand
in black metal?
"The Linear Scaffold" is about all things, even history's sublime power of return. Both the lyrics and the triangle of origination, bereavement and accomplishment, printed on our album, is an expression of the circularity of being. Things come to life, work themselves towards a certain height (metaphorically speaking), decline and, finally, cease to exist. This pushes new things into existence and the circle has started all over again. This circularity has three parts, namely origination, bereavement and accomplishment. To put it simple, history works in linearity, while life is rolling in circles upon it. Everything from our bandname to our visual side comes from that principle. When it comes to black metal, I think there's a strong tie between that expression and Satanism, so in this case the ideology is sort of attached to the music. Many bands sound like black metal when it comes to the music, though...
In general, what is your
attitude to religion? Being a band from Norway, it’s rather difficult to stand
the temptation of attacking Christianity...
We are not a religious band, and we are not a political band. Life has so many other aspects worth writing about. I mean, I'm interested in politics as a private person, but I don't see why I should try to push my political beliefs down the throat of others using SOLEFALD as a tool?
Red colour prevails when
speaking about your music and your album. What do you associate this colour
with? Actually, the history of the 20th century identifies it with the
Ah, yes, we always get this sort of questions from former Communist countries. First I must say that I think that red is VERY much more than just the colour of the communists - it's an international symbol of danger, it's a warm and passionate colour, it's a colour that draws attention and is often used for commercial purposes, it symbols love, it symbols fear, it symbols heat, and most of all, it describes the monumentality of passion. That's what it does for us. Then again, I can understand why people connect it with communism, because our cover art is a little reminiscent of the propaganda posters used during the Communist era (unintentionally, that is...)
Has the success of the album
earned you enough money for living?
Besides playing, we've got jobs, and we're both university students. SOLEFALD brings us some money, but not enough to live on. Music is the glue of our fragmentary nature, though!
What is your greatest fear?
Please name five metal albums
that have impressed you the most?
Do they have to be metal albums? Well, OK then:
Killer metal classic! The first metal album I have ever bought!
2."A Blaze In The Northern Sky" - DARKTHRONE: The black metal album!
3."Focus" - CYNIC: Technical beyond everything!
4."The Oath" - MERCIFUL FATE: King Diamond at his best!
5."Emperor" - EMPEROR: No comments needed here!
What would you like to say to
all your fans in Russia?
Be proud of your country! I hope I'll be able to visit it sometime in the near future. The new SOLEFALD album, "Neonism" will be out on Avantgarde Music in early February - it will disturb your ideas of what metal is supposed to sound like.