In past years you always were very reluctant to be part of compilations, like the Moonfog 2000 compilation for example, so what made you decide to participate on this one?
Never reluctant to have a Darkthrone track on a compilation – it is when people want us to go to the studio to record something “extra” that I go off into hatred–mode. Also, I don't like doing cover songs, so we've said no to a million compilations in that area. This however is a real compilation, meaning, for me, a historical guide, more or less. Darkthrone does not participate on my black metal compilation – it is bad taste to blow ones own horn, hahahaha!
As stated in the info sheet I received with the cd, you think black metal is defined by a feeling and not by the music, I agree to some point, but is what is that feeling about in your opinion? Is that, like Satyr says “the darkness”?
Those who truly have it never loose it. Do you honestly want me to talk about my black metal feeling? What is this? Oprah? The feeling is linked with the music, but the music in the 80's style was more free, and not polished to death. I myself, and many many others, are a part of this 80's tradition.
What was your motivation to choose these particular songs to be on the album? Which criteria's did you use?
In short: All of the tracks are the essence of what inspired us in the Norwegian black metal scene to start and continue to play black metal. But for you and your reader's convenience I have added the liner notes I have written for the booklet.
Blasphemy – Winds Of The Black Gods
Definitely deemed as one of the true bands, but their songs had more chaos in them than I want to present on this compilation. This musical piece just pops up on their album, leaving us more disturbed individuals with goose bumps the size of Immortal-spikes. We mostly listened to these Canadian maniaxx, information about the band was hard to get a hold of.
Sarcofago – Satanic Lust
An onslaught of reckless blasphemy spewed forth from the bowels of South America. In 1985, who would have thought? Then again, this perfectly illustrates my point that black metal in the eighties really didn't follow any WAVE or geographic pattern. Beautiful. The album this track is taken from, I.N.R.I, sounds even “fresher” today than ever, so I strongly suggest you buy or die.
Celtic Frost – Dawn Of Meggido
I used to look at record sleeves and look for long songs. When I put this track on for the first time, it was definitely the slowest heaviest mightiest track I`d ever heard. Tom G. Warrior had a unique way of writing guitar riffs, really different and off the wall. Almost illogical note combinations. Many people only hear that it's primitive, but they were one of the most important bands for black metal ever. Extremely recommended, make sure to get their first three releases.
Nattefrost – Sluts Of Hell
This is Nattefrost from Norwegian veterans Carpathian Forest solo project, and “Sluts of Hell” is the only new song on this compilation. I just had to include an example that pure old school black metal is still being done in our new millennium. I am proud of what Nattefrost accomplished with the album “Blood and Vomit”, which this track is taken from. This just proves that black metal sounds great with a stripped down punk necro attitude and no fancy shit.
Mercyful Fate – Evil
The beauty of black metal in the eighties is that it wasn't one sound at all. Mercyful Fate was rather melodic, but with occult lyrics – giving the band the certain extra that made them interesting for us more into the dark paths of life. I first heard “Evil” on a Metal Hammer sampler LP, and I instantly felt what I later would become to understand was the black metal feeling. The Danish group were rather well played musicians, and King Diamonds off the wall schizo theatrical voice set new creative standards. I especially recommend their second album “Don't Break the Oath”.
Sodom – Burst Command Till War
Hello Dolly. An ancient track from the German's first release. This is both primitive and chaotic. Not exactly a safe bet this one, as many will dismiss it as garbage. But this is black metal, and this does prove my point; in ancient days of black metal, it was often more about attitude than melody. As a matter of fact, I strongly recommend this first Sodom release “In the Sign of Evil”. It's not for wimps or posers.
Tormentor – Elisabeth Bathory
Hungary. Exotic. I first heard this band on a death metal(!)compilation in `89, and it made me pull out all my early-mid-eighties black/thrash albums, seeing them in a new light. A black light. I much later contacted Euronymous, and he said he had at least one of Tormentor's demo tapes. I remember we went to Mayhem's house to get the demo, and Euronymous told us Dead had shot himself in his room three days before. That room was bloody. Hail Dead, hail Euronymous. Returning home to my abode that night, listening to the Tormentor demo, was memorable, I tell you. Oh, I also apologize for not including Master's Hammer on this compilation.
Aura Noir – Blood Unity
Metal. Black. The members Apollyon and Agressor are two of the most notorious black metal art talents there is, multi-musicians making everything from intricate sophisticated stuff, to the blackest thrashiest or doomiest of the lot. Here is a song from ca 98 (yeah, I'm writing this from my memory) when most other black metal labels released wimpy sounding stuff. Blood Unity was an instant black metal classic to me, and I reckon you will also get into it pretty fast. BLACK THRASH ATTACK!!!
Destruction – Curse The Gods
I remember Euronymous (Mayhem) and me listening to this intro and wonder how the hell they made the guitar sound like that (we weren't exactly studio musicians). This is more of a thrash metal number, but Destruction, Sodom and Kreator's three first releases always had a black metal aura. I have banged my head to oblivion to this track many a time.
Samael – Into The Pentagram
I always thought of this song as Samael's answer to Hellhammer's “Triumph of Death” (outstanding Hellhammer track). Samael spread a whole lot of black metal vibes and darkness in the scene at a time when black metal was nearly extinct. In that context they were an extremely important band. This track is taken from their classic 'Worship Him' album (1990) which is well worth checking out of you are into more occult Swiss black metal.
Bulldozer – Whisky Time
Continuing the more party-from-hell-sound of Venom, this is very early black metal from Italy. The perfect link between Venom and first Bathory, in a way. I didn't understand much of this band at the time, as I was more into the more violent sounds of Kreator. But when all turned black, this definitely became the devil's fuel.
Mayhem – The Freezing Moon
Boy was it difficult to pull out a Mayhem track! Important band, for once. And what vocalist should I choose? I consulted Maniac, and he said it was fine with him that I chose the “Freezing Moon” version with Dead on vocal. Listen carefully; there are superb classic riffs on this track, so break through the blurry sound. I think that the Mayhem-feeling was special for many people all around the global underground ever since the mid-eighties. And that feeling was ominous.
Hellhammer – The Third Of The Storms
Tom G. Warrior here introduces the, for me, very important pulling of the guitar string. It adds feeling/soul to primitive black metal and is not often used in heavy, thrash or death metal. Bombastic drums and sheer disrespect for “nice production” makes this track an all time fave for me. As most metalheads know, this band went on to become the once mighty Celtic Frost. They loathe Hellhammer – I don't.
Burzum – Ea, Lord Of The Deeps
Norwegian coldness; intense feelings at its best. I even rehearsed this song with Varg once, when he was looking around for drummers. Allegedly, Varg had only played drums a short time before this first album was recorded, and I am personally very glad for that. Because it kinda proves my point that the essence of black metal does not lie in musicianship, but attitude. Burzum is one of the most important acts in this game. This is the sort of primitive sound and outstanding atmosphere that nightmares are made of.
Venom – Warhead
Most people agree that Venom first coined the phrase black metal. I hereby apologize to fans of the faster songs of the English trio, but I had to choose this slow motherfucking nuclear bomb of a track. Most people should also agree that you can't go wrong being influenced by Venom, at least if you wanna make some nasty black metal.
Bathory – Dies Irae
Monumental track from Bathory's fourth album, this is a display of the sound that had one foot in the eighties and (soon to be) one foot in the 90s. Nexus. Much because of various pioneer-like riffs and a vocal that has spellbound just about every individual interested in the arts of black metal. With all due respect, further outings from Bathory have had a more “Viking” metal approach. The first four albums are a sure BM BET, though.
Is there going to be another compilation? A second wave black metal compilation perhaps? Is that something you would like to do?
I know what you mean with second wave, but I do not like the term. Listening to my compilation, one should be able to hear the long slide of black metal into the nineties. I see it more as the melodic polished scene against the raw and ugly one. But there I go generalizing again… mwoahahahah.
If enough people are interested in old school black metal, 80s sound.. And the metal scene does not misunderstand it; I hope to make a thrash metal compilation. For people who are curious about the style. I am a huge fan of the compilation concept, if some motherfucking veteran has compiled POLISH FREE JAZZ from 74-75, I will buy it, Instead of trying to look for fifteen albums from that time, because I'd be using a whole lot of energy on buying “wrong” albums. I had to learn the hard way in soooo many genres, I figured it was time to set the record straight once and for all and give the needing some true fucking black metal. Uh!
Some bands that are featured evolved much and they play very different music now. Like Mayhem and Samael. What do you think of the music they play nowadays?
Mayhem has not always considered themselves to be black metal – what they have considered themselves as is an extreme band. They still are. I only heard the first Samael album, and some older stuff of course. But “Worship Him” came in a time where there was almost total black metal vacuum! So it is a very important album, and good spiritualistic vibes.
Also featured is Burzum, that's something special, that band usually does not appear on compilations but made an exception for you, why? Is Varg a personal friend of yours?
Of course, I am busy being me (as should everyone else) so I've been too busy to notice that Varg hasn't wanted to appear on other compilations. Varg and me have always had a great deal of mutual respect for one another. That's all I know.
What do you think of the scene today? Has it changed much in its approach to black metal?
I think the uniqueness was blown apart when the society, press and police got a hold of us back in 1993. Until then, we had to create ourselves. Three years later you could be an instant black metaller by simply ordering a package from Nuclear Blast – you didn't even have to like VON. With media comes misunderstanding. I saw the shit hit the fans after a while, and started to listen more to thrash metal in 1994 and all other styles of music. But over the years there has always been numerous bands keeping our flame burning. Also, many extreme people found an easy outlet through black metal, did something extreme and then fled the scene. I stand left having to defend my genre from idiotic behaviour forever and ever. But metal and music is my life, and I see it as a fucking duty to keep making grim harsh black metal riffs! ARGH!
What is the goal of this compilation? Do you want to inform the young or new listeners of black metal about the roots of the genre or do you want the scene to go back to the ways of old?
The goal is: if I can make at least one kid getting into Celtic Frost by my compilation, my work is done. But my dream is to make a lot of people understand. And it can stand as my fucking black metal tombstone. I have bled for these songs.
The cover features a photo of you behind your drumkit, when was that taken? Was there a lot of photographing in those days? If so, would it be interesting to make a photo album out of them so people would get more insight in the scene of those days?
Photo album? I am not the kind of guy that keeps a scrapbook. Or have a “bragging wall” in my home with album covers and posters of my shit. I isn't got time for those things. The photo was taken by Nocturno Culto at a Darkthrone rehearsal early this year. I didn't even see it until right before the whole compilation was sent to print. I don't believe in flashy photo sessions, Darkthrone didn't have a photo session between 1992 and 2001, actually. Insight of the scene is not looking at photos – only I know all too well that is what people like to do while dreaming away.. Getting insight is to listen to Bathory's “…The Return” again and again till they understand it – or just GIVE UP! UH!
To close things, any final words for the readers?
Fuck, so little time, okay, support NIFELHEIM, ORCUSTUS, FURZE, AUDIOPAIN, AURA NOIR, URGEHAL, OLD, etc. Try to see through the bullshitters and stay angry!
Thanks and good luck in the future.
I ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR INTEREST! KEEP ON BANGING!!!