How are you doing?
Fine thank you! I am busy with the last leg of 'The Age Of Nero tour.
It has been about a year 'The Age Of Nero' came out. How are your feelings towards the album now?
I think that the album is a very strong achievement by Satyricon. I know now that the whole album is splendid. But the biggest reward came from the audiences. They would sing along the new songs like it were the classics.
You've been touring extensively for the album. How has it been for this album? Was touring now different?
Yes, I would say so. Like I said on your previous question; the new material got a better response than even the classics. This was very unexpected. When we went to North America the album was released for only two days and they were already shouting and singing along. This made us really happy. On this tour we could focus more on the live side of being a band. We had a different approach to playing live, paying more attention to details and small bits.
How do you prevent playing live becoming routine, to always give the maximum?
Well, to be honest it can be difficult sometimes to keep up motivation. To always perform at the top of ones ability… But when you sometimes feel the motivation stagnating you got to find the spirit to lift it up. Personally I am just really happy that I can pursue a dream in life. I am privileged that I can live from my passion. Another thing is that, on tour, whenever it is possible for us we like to go into nature or have a different experience so we break up the routine. Then after that we can go all the way again and have the power and energy needed. Fortunately, I have never come into the position that I did things routinely or on automatic pilot.
What's new in the Satyricon camp? Any new material?
In 2010 we will start to create new material. First we are going to take break, get some distance and then when we feel ready start creating new music. But we have ideas already and it will be interesting to see how we will put these into action. With 'The Age Of Nero' we completed a trilogy using a stern song writing approach. The new material will be more freely structured and focus more on the kind of expression of a feeling rather than structures. It will revolve more around a certain core, it will be more unconventional and out of the box. Focussed but not restrained.
Satyricon is a successful band these days. Do you still have ambitions to fulfil?
Yes! We are even more ambitious than ever before. One can always improve his technical skills or write better songs. We'll always want to take the band further. When Satyricon stops being ambitious I think it is time to stop with the band. But we feel more inspired and want to explore more than when we begun with our band.
The 19th of December you're headlining the Eindhoven Metal Meeting. What are your expectations for the show? Do you like playing in The Netherlands?
Yes a lot. I can remember big crowds coming to our shows. Even when we first played in Holland in '96 in Baroeg. The Dutch audience's response is always very energetic. I think the Dutch are a very hardcore audience. They always chant with a lot of energy, they seem to be very warmblooded. I'm looking forward to the show especially because we were supposed to play at the Metal Meeting before but we had to cancel because my foot was broken. But this time we'll be there for sure.
Do you still practice as a drummer? How do you keep in shape?
I still practice as a drummer. I feel that I am still not at a level so that I can relax. I am even more passionate and practice more as before. You have to have a balance of light exercises like walking, running, swimming and practicing. To prevent injuries we are also using top athlete methods and applying them to music. There are many similarities between sports and drumming so it's easy to make adjustments for it.
You are also known for your work with 1349, Gehenna, Gorgoroth and Keep Of Kalessin. For every band you use a different style. What are the considerations you make when deciding what to play for a band?
I try to get under the essential musical expression and contribute to it with solutions and add little of my own. My two bands are 1349 and Satyricon, for these I put in the hardest effort. To the rest I'm just a session member. I always want to combine my signature style which is aggressive, violent and militant drumming to make song of others work or even make them better.
You are also involved in the new project of King Ov Hell (ex-Gorgoroth) called Ov Hell together with Dimmu's Shagrath. What can we expect from that?
I recorded the drums for what was supposed to be the new Gorgoroth album but that turned out differently. And now it turned up in King's project Ov Hell. But I was never was a member, I just recorded the drums as a session member. I wish him success though.
Ever since Satyricon became more and more successful it seems you guys get more criticised for selling out. Do you care about that? Is it frustrating?
No not really, it's just something I have to live with because there is nothing you can do about it. And there's nothing new to it either. When a band has even the slightest success they will be accused of selling out. People in the metal scene are generally very conservative I think. It hard to exist as a metal band because when you develop and get better, people will punish you when you're getting away from the core spirit or idea. This unfortunately how it works. So it's even more surprising how good the response was to 'The Age Of Nero'. Different kinds of people all liked it. Also fans of the old material seem to dig it. So we have old and new fans digging it.
Well that's it I guess. Thank you for the interview and I wish you well.
Thank you very much and I hope to see you at the show in December!