DIMMU BORGIR Guitarist: 'The Only Formula We Have Is To Not To Stick To Anything'

Brian Fischer-Giffin of Australia's Loud magazine recently conducted an interview with guitarist Silenoz (real name: Sven Atle Kopperud) of Norwegian symphonic black metallers DIMMU BORGIR. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

On DIMMU BORGIR's new album, "Abrahadabra":

"It's a step forward for sure! Maybe more of a leap. I would consider this our most complete album to date. We have again incorporated a full orchestra, and a choir for the first time as well, so I think the combination of these elements comes together better now than in the past. 'Death Cult Armageddon' had a full orchestra as well, but I think this time it just has more impact I think and it just sounds bigger than before. We kept the elements we are known for, of course, but we've also experimented a bit."

"For each album we do something new. I think that it has been a much smoother album this time, but at the same time it's been more work. I wouldn't consider it hard work, but it's more work, for sure. We paid attention to small details and all the things we overlooked in the past. The previous album was spontaneous and direct, but this time we incorporated the idea that it was going to sound huge from the beginning. So we started thinking in a primitive way when we put the songs together. So we paid a lot more attention to dynamics and the flow of the songs."

On DIMMU BORGIR's eveolution from the primitive melodic black metal of the early '90s to the sophisticated, bombastic symphonic metal of today:

"Sometimes as a musician you get impatient and you want results right away. But it's also important to think ahead more than just three months. It's very difficult now in this industry to think more than three months ahead because such a lot can happen in such a short time, but we've always been a band that has been gambling. If you don't gamble, you certainly won't win. We've taken any challenge and any opportunity that's come our way and considered it heavily. But we've never been as reluctant to do stuff that many of our contemporaries in the so-called black metal scene have, and still do. They're so afraid of stepping out of the boundaries and, 'Oh, what will other people say if we do this or that, let's stick to the formula... blah, blah, blah.' The only formula we have is to not to stick to anything! I think that's what separates us from many other bands. We work harder, and that sees bigger results as well. And that of course is in combination [with being] in the right place at the right time. For sure we have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, so many times!"

On how he considers the term "black metal" to be no longer relevant to DIMMU BORGIR:

“I don't think it really ever had [any relevance], either. It's just a term. I think when you listen to music, it's still a subjective thing. If you call your music black metal, that doesn't decide if the music is good or not. It's always up to the ears to hear and it's subjective. At this time in our career, we don't take too much notice of it. We know where we come from, but at the same time we have taken several steps further. Bands from the same genre have stagnated either because they can't take it further or just because they want to stay there. We always look forward: full on, full ahead, forward."

On touring with KORN:

"There was some weird responses [from fans], and that was expected. For some fans it might be something really risky and dramatic, but for us it's not, really. We've always been about challenging ourselves and indirectly challenging the fans. It's not the first time we've been asked to support KORN, and this time the timing was OK and there's no restrictions on sound or stageshow or anything like that. If there was, we wouldn't do it. We feel that as much fun and pleasureable as it is to play in front of your dedicated fanbase, we as artists also want to branch out. It's again something we don't see the drama in. Because ever since '96-'97 we have played all these different alternative festivals all over the place, where one day you play with FAITHLESS and the next you play with fucking MEAT LOAF! For us it's nothing new, but I can understand that for the 15, 16-year old fans, it might be something not 'true' or whatever. You always have a certain percentage of your fan base who are very conservative... they stick to one thing. But the majority of KORN's and DIMMU's fans are open-minded enough to let some other impressions sink in. It's all about sharing our music with as many people as possible. Preaching to the converted all the time is not going to make that difference!"

Read the entire interview from Loud magazine.

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