ENSLAVED Guitarist Talks About Vikings, Musicial Influences

Adam L. of Deadtide.com recently conducted an interview with ENSLAVED guitarist Ivar Bjørnson. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:

Deadtide.com: What would you characterize as the defining moral and active traits of the Vikings?

Ivar: My interpretation is sort of an exploration theory. You want to find new things, and you want to explore, while at the same time having tremendous respect for your neighbors. For everybody else to have the freedom to do the same. It's very closely related to Crowleyism, in "Do what thou wilt." But I think there's a significant difference from anarchy. "Doing what thou wilt" is not about puking in your neighbor's shoes. It's more like, if you want to puke in some shoes, puke in your own, if you wanna explore that concept. Whatever you want to do, and follow any kind of curiosity that you have. But (with a tone of conviction) make sure that you're leaving everybody else's paths open. It's like the planets, they don't crash into each other because they're not concerned about each other. That's modern life, Christianity, or Islam, or whatever, they keep crashing into each other because they're so fucking concerned with what the next guy is doing, so nobody gets anywhere.

Deadtide.com: What won't you draw from [musically]?

Ivar: I think some of the… (motioning to the room across the hall where the venue was hosting a rap show simultaneously). Yeah. Some of that. The R&B stuff, and the hip-hop, where the music is actually second. I find that sort of disrespectful. Music is not where it's the price of your jacket that's the main focus. But to be honest, that's not limited to hip-hop or R&B, you can find that in a lot of black metal, where the philosophy comes first and they have no regard for the music. Everything is real when there's someone that's sacrificing some part of himself to make it.

Deadtide.com: Of all the musicians that have been in the band, which one made the biggest impact when they came or left?

Ivar: Cato, the drummer. He became the stabilizing force that we had been waiting for. He joined the band in 2002, and everything just fell into place. Everything just got better. ENSLAVED has always had that chaotic lineup, searching, and coming, and going, and swinging back and forth, until the point that Cato came in, and he became the ice block in the middle. He's kept everything together. Definitely Cato.

Read the entire interview at Deadtide.com.

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