A new Blut Aus Nord album and yet another surprising shift in style! First of all of course congratulations on 'Memoria Vetusta II', but what intrigues me most is what inspired the shift in style this time around?
There is a shift on all our albums, every new release is a surprise for the listeners and for us. Our last albums were extremely dark, obscure and sinister and this time we wanted, we needed to explore a new path, we needed to compose something else. We can't compose and record the same thing again and again, we are not that kind of band.
An obvious second question might be: why did your first 'Memoria Vetusta' album need a second part? Where did the idea come from to write and record a 'part II'?
In the original booklet of the first 'Memoria Vetusta', released in 1996 on VMI, we had announced this second part with this title. A lot of fans are waiting for 'Memoria Vetusta II' since thirteen years. During the composition of 'MVI' we knew that we'll recording a second part, but didn't know that we would need more than ten years to achieve this project.
The songs seem to be, on average, a lot longer than on your more recent albums. Yet still they maintain that magnificent atmosphere throughout the entire length of the composition. What is the secret to creating and maintaining that atmosphere?
This is the ultimate principle of progressive music, and this album is extremely progressive. It's very interesting to compose long and coherent pieces of music with a melodic basis and a coherent melodic and harmonic progress. The most important thing in this case is the transition between the different riffs, between the different parts of a song. These transitions have to be extremely discreet, almost indiscernible and the composition will be clear and fascinating.
I have never heard or obtained the first 'Memoria Vetusta' album. Could you give a short description of Blut Aus Nord's style on that album?
You should listen to this album!
How would you compare the two albums? Which aspects show similarities and which are different?
Both are very progressive, 'MVI' is more massive, darker. 'MVII' is more technical and more ethereal. The first is probably more aggressive and develops a pagan and Nordic atmosphere, the second part is more melodic and develops a deeply mystic atmosphere, almost introspective...like a 'Dialogue With The Stars...'.
Blut Aus Nord is widely recognised as one of black metal's most experimental and pioneering bands. What does this recognition mean to you?
We are proud to be a part of the black metal history, we know that a few of our albums are an important influence for actual bands. We opened new paths and we'll open new path in the future, this is extremely important for the survival of the black metal feeling.
the last time I sent you an interview we already talked about the concept of 'true black metal', which you denounced. You told us that you consider black metal to be a feeling as opposed to a certain sound. Can you put this certain feeling into words?
I can put this certain feeling into words, absolutely not into words.
What do you think of the much cited metaphor that Blut Aus Nord's music is like watching your own funeral in slow motion that one journalist once came up with? Do you feel another metaphor would describe your music better?
Not really a metaphor, but I recently read this sentence: “Blut Aus Nord throws open another escape hatch to a whole world of possibilities”. It describes our work very well.
The subheading of the album 'Dialogue With The Stars' implies that you cannot only talk to a star, but that it actually talks back. Do you try and converse with the stars sometimes? What do they say to you?
A dialogue with the stars is the annihilation of the I.
You follow your own musical path, that much is clear after the stylistic evolution over your last few albums. Could you already shed some light on the sound of the next Blut Aus Nord release?
We have different project with Blut Aus Nord, a new MCD entitled 'Nam-Khâ', another one entitled 'Lighteater' (which the second chapter of the 'Thematic Emanation Of Archetypal Multiplicities' series of releases) and 'What Once Was... Compendium – liber I'. 'Nam-Khâ' will be in the vein of 'MVII', extremely melodic and progressive. 'Lighteater' is totally different, more electronic, urban, very experimental and 'What Once Was...' will be a series of albums entirely dedicated to a pure and old form of black metal, extremely obscure. As you can see we have a lot of work, and I have to record the first album of my own project 777.
Talking about the latter, I guess the fans of your more experimental, noisy/industrial sounds do not have to despair: for you indeed recently started up a new project named 777 which is going to explore that musical direction further, right? Why did you feel the need to start up a new project instead of releasing the material as BAN? I mean, BAN has the reputation for its unpredictable stylistic course…
You're right, but I needed to create a new entity entirely dedicated to something more industrial, a sequel of our 4th album 'The Work Which Transforms God'.
Can you elaborate a bit more about the 777 project? What kind of music can we expect from it? In what aspects will it be different from Blut Aus Nord? When will you be releasing any material?
It won't be very different from Blut Aus Nord on 'The Work Which Transforms God' but this industrial face of Blut Aus Nord deserves a deep and accurate exploration. There are a lot of things to create in this black/hypnotic/industrial sphere. Conceptually, 777 will be different than BaN, it's about the prayers of the urban dead soul. The first album should be release before the end of the year on the French label Debemur Morti.
On a totally different note: I have to give my compliments for your very beautiful and intricate website (even though it still has a few unfinished sections). Do you create the art for the website (and your CDs for that matter) yourselves? Where do you draw inspiration from in the visual domain?
No, the website is the creature of the graphic artist David Cragne. We give him our ideas, perceptions and desires and he try to convert these concepts in this visual world.
Is this also your profession? What do you actually do for a profession in order to support yourself and your art?
I'm just musician, I have a lot of different projects far from the “metal/extreme sphere” and I teach guitar.
These were my questions for now. Thank you very much for your time and music, I hope to hear from you again soon, be it in the form of Blut Aus Nord or 777!
Thanks for your incredible patience and thanks for support!