Blut Aus Nord have been making some of the most experimental black metal without losing that true black metal feeling. What do you think of this concept of 'being true'? How true is Blut Aus Nord and how important is it for you?
This concept is totally ridiculous! What is exactly true black metal?? So there's a true black metal and a false black metal, but if this black metal is false so don't call it black metal. If I drink a Pepsi Cola, I don't say “I'm drinking a false Coca Cola”. This is absolutely not important for us, we consider Black metal as a feeling, not a defined style of music, just a deep feeling.
Despite Blut Aus Nord's obvious uniqueness, you guys are applauded in the black metal scene. Do you actually feel part of this scene?
We prefer to stay in our own sphere with this particular feeling, we don't want to be a part of something, we don't need any limits. If the actual Black Metal scene is this funny masquerade “I am more evil”, “I am more dangerous”, “I am more depressive than you”, “ I am the biggest poser of this world” or “I am a misanthrope…but I like to tour everywhere with my band”, etc, etc… we are not a part of this scene, ahah.
How would you describe your own music?
We try to explore the extremities
Which contemporary bands does Blut Aus Nord feel connected to? Do you guys take inspiration from other bands or other forms of art?
We feel connected to bands like Axis Of Perdition, Deathspell Omega, Manes, Gorguts, Voivod, Abigor (incredible new album !), Ulver and a few others. At the beginning, we were influenced by a few old bands like Bathory but now we take our inspiration from our own instruments, we like to explore their possibilities, we like to modify our instruments to obtain a precise kind of sound. For example a lot of riffs on our previous album “MoRT” were played on a fretless guitar used like a piano because it was impossible to obtain these crawling and macabre riffs. Our principal inspiration is the sound.
The defining feature of your music is the intense and eerie atmosphere, what is the emotion that Blut Aus Nord want to convey with their music?
All kind of emotions this is the only important thing in music, without emotion the music is just a noise. Our last albums were very dark, more and more dark because we needed to create a disturbing environment for the listener, we wanted to convey a macabre feeling without life, a kind of progressive fall. We consider our previous album MoRT as the last stage of this tenebrous trip and now we need to explore another kind of emotion…after the extreme hideousness maybe the extreme beauty, who knows?
What do you do to get in the right mood for creating your music? Do you have any special preparations before you start writing your material?
Personally I like to compose by night in a quiet environment.
Your previous record 'MoRT' was stylistically quite different from 'The Work Which Transforms God' (2003), on the new record 'Odinist: the Destruction Of Reason By Illumination' you guys return to a somewhat more conventional style of song writing again. What motivated this pattern of stylistic changes?
Just after the recording of "MoRT" we needed to compose something else, something more "concrete" with some powerful riffs, songs with solid structures, I really needed to compose and play some metallic riffs and “Odinist” is a collection of riffs!! The album is always dark but in a different way, vocals are more present, the result is more melodic, very cold but melodic. “MoRT” was a strange and very painful experience and it was necessary for us to work on something else as soon as possible.
We can't compose and play always the same thing, that's uninteresting for us and for the listener, we have to be excited by our next project and if this project is the same as the previous one it's useless to work on it. “Odinist” is the first step towards another direction, after a few years of darkness and dissonances we have to find another equilibrium. The possibilities for an open minded musician are infinite, so why should we compose the same thing again and again, and again…
Song titles like 'The Cycle of the Cycles' and 'A Few Shreds Of Thoughts' allude that Blut Aus Nord address pretty philosophical and spiritual topics in the lyrics. What is the philosophy to music and maybe even life of Blut Aus Nord?
Philosophy and spirituality are very important for us, the heart of our project. We like to manipulate the different Universal Keys of this world (myths, religions, spiritual philosophies like Taoism), they help us to work differently. It's important to watch this Universe with all the eyes of the world.
Most black metal bands explicitly address religious topics most of the time. What is your opinion about Christianity and organized religion in general?
Religious people don't understand their religion. I don't hate the religions in general, I just have a problem with their so-called fidels, totally incults. If I were this incarnation of God they need to pray, I'll commit suicide.
You are a French band, obviously, but where does the German band name come from?
Ahah, not perfectly German in fact, this name is exactly like our music, just a little enigmatic.
It is said that a lot of French people absolutely hate the Germans, have you ever had any problems in your home country because of your band name?
Absolutely not, but I sincerely don't think that a lot of people here hate the Germans.
Will you be promoting 'Odinist' live? What are the exact plans for the near future?
No, since the beginning we don't play live. We don't consider Black Metal as a “scenic Art”. So we are going to give a few interviews for “Odinist” and start to work on our next releases.
Well this is just about everything I wanted to ask you, thank you very much for your time!
Thank you Richard.