"Jhva Elohim Meth" demo '92: This debut demo really took me by storm. Katatonia is without doubt one of the best newcomers ever! It's not very often music has got as much atmosphere as this...it's simply amazing! Listen to it when you're in a dismal mood and you'll get trapped by the strange, beautiful and veru evil mood.
"Dance of the Decembersouls" adv. for LP '93 (No Fashion Rec.): The debut album from Katatonia is even better that their demo! The song structuring has gotten even more strange, obscure... and most of all beautiful & atmospheric! There's no doubts that this is one of the best album I've ever heard! The mood is simply amazing! It's like listening to something from another world.... Experience it yourself!!
As you can read from these two reviews I have gotten incredibly hooked on Katatonia. They're playing a stule I've never heard before... actually I don't know if their stff can be defined as music, 'coz it really touches your feelings in a much diffirent way. This interview was done with Lord Seth, who has quite a unique personality... which you will be able to discover in this interview!
A lot of Black metal
worshippers are into Katatonia. Why do you think it is like that?
-I don't really know. Maybe because our music represents the coldness of the North, the sorrow of the forest, and yes, we are influenced by the massive mountains. I think our music is black, but not Black metal, if you understand me? Black as the night in December, and of course Bathory is a big source for us.
I know Katatonia has
existed for some while. Could you please tell us a band-bio. Why did you wait
so long to release your debut album?
We have been around, but due to extreme failings with the line-up, we had to quit the band. Katatonia was born in '91, and on '92 we recorded "Jhva Elohim Meth" (a classic). We had to wait that long because of those irritable, frustrating persons who wanted us to go in a Morbid Angel way, which we did NOT!!!
Now you signed to No
Fashion Rec. Why did you sign with Tomas? How many albums have you signed for?
What did you think of the other bands on the label?
-We signed for one album and we want to sign for two more. We signed to NFR because it was a fair deal, and Tomas payed everything for us. The other bands are really great (well, most of 'em). I'm most into Dissection.
There are probably some of
the readers who haven't heard your music yet (shame on them!), so could you try
to explain which style Katatonia plays? Which are the most important elements
in your music?
-I would say we play Gothic Funeral Metal. We try to get our music as sad and mounrful as possible. We are one with sadness! The most important elements in our music is sadness, tranquility and silent agony. As the wind is blowing through my silent hills of dying flowers, my tears will never reach the hope I have. As our nocturnal lies open the violins of sadness incarnates my tragedy... Everyone that are into depressive stuff, buy our album "Dance of the Decembersouls".
Is Katatonia a satanic
band or "anti-god" band. Why have you chosen the left hand path?
-I have never been satanist. I don't really need a title for my thoughts. I have taken quite strong 'anti-christian' attitude, and I believe in the night. Anyway, I don't care about it so much now. I know who I am, and that's enough, maybe there is a God, maybe there is a devil, who knows? Maybe it is just me, me and my nightsky...
What are your lyrics
about? Are they important to you? What do you think about the satanic lyrics
like e-g- Deicide write? Those which are very direct and don't need any brains
to figure out?
-My lyrics are tragic poetry nowadays. I wrote this "Without God" lyrics about two years ago and it doensn't represent what I feel now. I think the lyrics are very important now, and to get them to fit into the music we play, they must be very soft and tranquil, yet filled with darkness, sorrow and death. Yes, they are very important, but it isn't before now I know how really I want them, so you have to wait until you hear and see out next album "Moonbride", to really feel sorrow, the beautiful tragedy, the meaning of death and the description of the lands I have within my dreams. I think Deicide lyrics are written for 13 year old people, that buys Marvel Comics. Just read some lines by Aaron of My Dying Bride and you can see who the master is, and to whom I am a humble servant. I am just an amateur compared to him, but time shall show who I am!!!
What inspired you to write
lyrics and music? Do you think Katatonia would have turned out the same way if
you weren't living in the cold North with the ancient history? How much
influence do you think it has had on you?
-Talking about music, we are inspired by bands like Paradise Lost (old), Bathory, Fields of the Nephilim, The Cure (old), Depeche Mode & such stuff, but it's only a small part of everything. Just look at the cold, clear nightsky in autumn and you can see Katatonia's music without hearing it. We prefer solitude, darkness, autumn and winter when we get insparation for new songs. Maybe we would have turned out the same way without living in the North, but that would be hard. The ancient history of the North is very interesting and it is a big source for us.
Do you like living in
Sweden? Do you fro example often take a walk in the migthy Swedish nature? Do
you think you would feel trapped if you moved to a big city like New York and
had to drive for hours to be in the nature?
-I really like living in Sweden, It's pretty good place to live, and I love the Swedish nature, and as often that I can, I visit our migthy woods. I live in Stockhoml, so there isn't too much nature here, but I can find some places to breath in at some big parks. Otherwise me and Sir Blackheim goes to my parents countryplace and get inspiration. I would feel terribly trapped if I was living in New York. I would prefer to live as hign in the North as possible, in a deep, deep forest and just play music and never meet any people.
How important is Katatonia
for you? I mean, is it what you're living for or is it just a hoppy? What are you
doing besides Katatonia?
-Katatonia is my life right now. If feels good when things are as good as it does now. It is not a hoppy for me. It would never be! Outside Katatonia I am unemployed with no money. I am just sleeping, rehearsing and spending time with my girlfriend. That's my life.
What do you think about
the current black metal scene? The biggest scenes are in Norway, Greece &
Finland, I think. What are in your opinion the biggest differences between
these 3 scenes and which one do you prefer?
-The black metal underground is getting too big, and I don't care about it. Yes, you're rigth, and I prefer the Norwegian one, because I happen to love bands like Enslaved & Emperor. Other good bands are Darkthrone, Perdition Hearse. Two days ago Euronymous from the tru Mayhem was brutally murdered. That was a big loos for the real underground, I think. The differences between those scenes is that the Finnish one consists of drug-addicts without brains and the Greek consists of La Vey satanics which are not so good. Greece is the wrong land to play black metal in, fucking hot place for tourists.
Do you think you will ever
know the purpose of life? I mean, why are we living and what is a person's aim
here on earth?
-Hmm, I often think about this, but it is a very hard question. Maybe the meaning of life is to bring new life to Earth and to be a good servant to the overall Creation. Life is wrong to me. I am born, but what the hell? I am not the new saviour or Messiah, I am just the one my parents brought to life, and I can't stand having a lot of expectations hanging over me all the time. I mean if I wasn't born, noone would care, because they shouldn't know who I am. That is sick! Maybe you should make the best out of the situation (the birth and the adolescence and forward)??? Do what's best for you and what you believe in!
If you had to compare the way you look (& your personality) to an
animal, which would it then be?
-I don't know if I like a certain animal. Doesn't all people lok like monkeys in general? My personality could be maybe be compared to an eagle, I don't know. I am the more tranquil type and I have always wanted to be able to fly.
Katatonia only consists of
two persons. I guess that avoids a lot of arguements when there are only two
opinins. But what about gigs? It surely would be a problem to get the style,
atmosphere live, not?
-Actually we are three persons now, and actually we played live one time with Hypocrisy, Disharmonic Orc., Obscurity and some other shit bands. It is still only two opinions because we don't care what other people says. Sir Blackheim writes all the music and we both arrange it. The I write lyrics. If anyone is about to join, he can never think about giving orders. We are the true Katatonia ad we must decide how things shall be! The atmosphere live was the same as on the demo, except for the keyboards. I know that we are one of the best bands around so we will act. We are far beyond shit bands like Unleashed and such brainless crap (Hmm... I actually happen to like Unleashed a lot, but it's of course up to each person to have their own opinion-ED). Katatonia's next release will be beyond the limits, so Tiamat can stand there with their shitty music and think they're original... pfhhh!!!
Basically I think some
parts in your music remind me of melanchlic depressive pop like New Order &
Pet Shop Boys! What do you think about thins comparence? Do you consider
yourself as an open-minded person when it comes to music... and opinions in general?
-I am not openminded! I can't listen to other types of music that depressive stuff, that must not necesserily be death metal. All kinds of depressive music is welcome, even Pet Shop Boys! My opinions in general doens't change so often so I am not so openminded in that way either!
Which are your fave albums
-ALBUMS: Paradise Lost - "Gothic", Bathory - "Hammerheart" & "Blood Fire Death", Anathema - "Crestfallen" & "Serenades", My Dying Bride - "As The Flower Withers" & "Thrash Of Naked Limbs", Enslaved - "Hordanes Land", Emperor - "Emperor", Fields of the Nephilim - "Elizium"... DEMOS: Carnage - "The Day Man Lost", Anathema - "All Faith Is Lost", Uncanny - "Nyktalgia", Chorus of Ruin - "Les Miserables", Thy Grief Eternal - "... On Blackened Wings", The Equinox ov the Gods - "Watch The Shadows Dance", Darkthrone - "Thulcandra" etc etc.
That was it! how did you
like this interview? If you have any last words then you'll have the change to
unveil them now...
-This interview was simple great" Thanks! We will rehearse for the new album now, so buy "Dance of Decembersouls" first and hear the ancient sadness of the North... May the winds of Eslanthur protect you on your journey.
This is undoubtly one of the best and most intersting interview that has ever been featured in Emanzipation. I hope you all eynjoyed it! As you read Lord Seth isnot afraid to give his 100% honest opinion which is rare things these days!!
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