Jägermeister conducted an interview with EMPEROR frontman Ihsahn (real name: Vegard Sverre Tveitan) at this year's Bloodstock Open Air, which is being held August 6-9 at Catton Park, Derbyshire, United Kingdom. You can now watch the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On when he finds the time to work on new music:
"'Cause I have kids and I have a family now, it's really… I start early and go into the studio and start working on my music. And I work from 8 [a.m.] to 4 [p.m.]. That may sound a bit metaphysical, but it's kind of… Even though I've been doing this for 25 years or so now, it's still… It's a point kind of inside and far ahead that every song is kind of an attempt to fulfill something; there's a need there that has been constant ever since I started writing music. And that sounds a bit 'off,' I know, but… It's very vague, but it's just the driving force that never escapes."
On his songwriting approach:
"It's not like I'm overly productive, that I write all the time. I mean, that kind of need is always there. I try to be flexible, and at least I try to challenge myself to do things in a different way and work with music in different ways, to keep that interest and excitement going. 'Cause that's when I think that I do my best work, and it's probably how my music, hopefully, can be worthwhile listening to as well… It's just, kind of, changing up my routines and how I approach the writing of a new album. So, especially since I stopped being in a band and started going solo, for every album that I've done, I've kind of written out, almost a framework about the musical concept and the instrumentation I want to use, to kind of… not limit my options, but to kind of focus in on some type of state of mind. That I try to keep different for each album. It's, like, my previous album is really far out, in my experience; I'm doing a little bit more improvised work and different sounds. And I'm working on a new album now that is kind of quite the contrary — really typical song structures."
Ihsahn told Eternal Terror in June about his forthcoming solo CD: "I would say in 95 percent of cases, [when I am working on a new album] it's all fresh [ideas that I end up using]. This time, it's a bit diferent. There are a few themes from my upcoming album that were, not leftovers, but things that I wrote in the period when I did [2013's] 'Das Seelenbrechen', but that did not fit into that album, but that I, in my mind, [thought] 'This wil fit better in the next one.' Because the previous album was such a, kind of, different type of album."
Asked if he is the type of artist that listens back to his albums and wishes he could go back and change things about each one, Ihsahn said: "Well, I used to be like that, but now, I guess, since I've done quite a few albums over the years, for me, they're more representations of times. And, I guess, also with my solo work, I've had particular ideas… not limiting, but making a framework for each album to work within, so that it becomes a project and kind of an experiment in itself. So whereas the previous album was this total freeform, mental-trip kind of thing, this new album is much more focused on the rhythmical aspects and something that is inspired by other types of music that I really enjoy that are really focusing in on good choruses and really… not necessarily technical, but really cool guitar riffs. At least that's the intention — to focus on a more classic vibe."
Released in October 2013, "Das Seelenbrechen" was described in a press release as "a bold and adventurous recording that is a musical contrast to the progressive shades and saxophone augmentations of the EMPEROR vocalist/guitarist's previous two albums (2009's 'After' and 2011's 'Eremita')."
In 2014, EMPEROR celebrated the 20th anniversary of its "In The Nightside Eclipse" album by making a number of festival appearances.