Former GORGOROTH Bassist Discusses OV HELL Project

MetalNews.pl recently conducted an interview with bassist King (GOD SEED, GORGOROTH, JOTUNSPOR, I, SAHG, AUDREY HORNE) about his new project OV HELL, also featuring vocalist Shagrath (DIMMU BORGIR, CHROME DIVISION). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

MetalNews.pl: How did the idea for the creation of OV HELL come about? On the official MySpace profile, its states that you had a few pieces [of music] originally intended for GORGOROTH and GOD SEED but they were not used. Was this the main motivation to create this project?

King: My main motivations for doing a black metal band are the same as they have always been; spreading my ideas channeled through metal music. In OV HELL it's primarily Shagrath and me who have contributed to the finished result. We have discussed actually for a few years doing a band together. It's mainly the lack of time that has prevented OV HELL to become a reality sooner. We are, and have been, quite busy in other musical projects, but since you are actually doing this interview with me, it's pretty obvious that we found the time we needed to do this band properly. I never stated that my music originally created for GORGOROTH and later GOD SEED were never used in OV HELL. It is the same music but the vision of the final result changed quite a bit when Shagrath started working on it as well. When Gaahl [former GORGOROTH/GOD SEED frontman] wanted a break from metal to focus on himself, we decided to use what was already recorded for GOD SEED for OV HELL instead. The outcome of the OV HELL record has become different from the other bands we have played in before, but it is, of course, obvious you will find traces from both GORGOROTH and DIMMU in OV HELL, since we both have had a central positions in both bands.

MetalNews.pl: When you look at the band, comes to mind one definition — supergroup. Where did the idea to create a group with such a hellish composition?

King: I've seen the term "supergroup" used on our band, but I find it to be rather stupid. We are a band with members from rather known bands. What's so "super" about it is beyond me.

MetalNews.pl: Frost from SATYRICON, a friend of GOD SEED; Teloch, Ice Dale from ENSLAVED. Is this session musicians only or maybe there is a chance that the team will not only duo?

King: We held the position open to Frost to become a member of OV HELL, but he couldn't commit to another band at this point because of his involvement in SATYRICON and 1349. He is therefore only the drummer on the record for now. We decided to do OV HELL as a duo because of practical matters. It's already hard enough to find the time to do this band in a proper way between the two of us. Chances for some of the musicians partaking on the record also will play live are pretty big though.

MetalNews.pl: What was caused by selection of individual team members?

King: They were chosen out of different reasons. Frost was part of the recordings of GORGOROTH's "Ad Majorem Satanhas Gloriam" and it was natural to ask him for playing drums on my next black metal effort. Ice Dale is a close friend and we work together on many projects together. Since I'm not a guitarist myself, it was natural to involve him. Teloch did additional guitars on two tracks while the record was intended as a GOD SEED record, because he at that time was part of the GOD SEED lineup. I really didn't have any options besides of Shagrath doing this record, and we already had plans making a record together when we agreed to use the material already recorded. He have had a major influence on the final result and . That's the boring truth of how the lineup for OV HELL became as it is. I do have to state that even if I have written the music for this album, and Shagrath the vocals, everybody involved have contributed with their very unique playing style which make the all over "sound" of the band. They all need a big thanks to make this record finally a reality, and in my opinion in a very convincing way.

MetalNews.pl: So many strong characters in one place. Is not that explosive? Concerts emotions are certainly necessary, but outside the recording studio or scene you also need to exist. Did you manage to avoid the tensions arising from differences of opinion or views?

King: Well, all the music on this album, including guitars and rough sketches for drumbeats, I had already pre-recorded at home. Dale and Frost did contribute with some adjustments, but the music was pretty much done when they joined in. They both worked fast and professional, and it never came to any explosive disagreements on the music already made. Shagrath did basically all vocals in his studio in Oslo by himself. I met up with for a few days at his place and we worked on a few adjustments together. In the end, it got more irritating that we always agreed on what the songs needed than strong egocentric wills resulting in fire. A new experience for me.

MetalNews.pl: Each of you creates music that bears the common name but an individual species are very different. Anyone can wish to push through its ideas. Can not put it in the chaos of the creative process?

King: I am rooted in chaos on a personal level. The word defines more my views on moral and world order than being unstructured and chaotic making music. I'm quite the opposite coming to composing music; structured with a clear vision of what the final result needs to be. The other musicians involved in this band have similar qualities. I don't see this album come to life with if even one of us were unstructured or had a chaotic mindset.

MetalNews.pl: Everyone involved in the activities of the team are also undertaking other projects. Would not it constitute too large a problem for the activities of OV HELL?

King: It will, of course, have an impact on the band. It means that we need to be very structured and fast working when we do find the time for OV HELL. It goes without saying that, for example, Shagrath's main band is still DIMMU BORGIR, but if we plan our schedules carefully, I'm sure we ll be able to do more records, festivals and and tours in the future.

MetalNews.pl: The contract was signed with Indie Recordings record label. How do you work with people from this company?

King: I have known the people working at Indie for years and regard them as personal friends. They are easy to work with, reliable and take great pride in their artists. Choosing the label was easy.

MetalNews.pl: What kind of material can we expect on your debut album? Will it be a mixture of styles or maybe you can create something entirely new and original?

King: It is always hard to describe your own music and it usually ends up like meaningless self-promotion of your own album. It will, however, contain music most people would define as black metal. I'm not claiming we have reinvented the wheel, but I don't think have heard any band to date we could be seen as copycats of. I have not heard all the bands in the world and can, of course, be mistaken. The album will contain a mixture of our different musical preferences and the personalities involved, which hopefully will lead to something original and new. I have to say, though, that I am more occupied of developing myself spiritually and musically than strive to be viewed as original by fans. People use the strangest preferences when describing music anyway. Many will probably get a totally different song structure and musical meaning out of their selective perception listening the very same piece of music than I would. Therefore would all attempts communicating with them musically be total irrelevant and pointless to me. As long as I have developed, changed and walked my very own path in a way to my own satisfaction people can have as many opinions on me or my music as they want. I simply couldn't care less. A 16-year-old viewing me as a sell-out for actually being able to sell a few records, or less true as a Satanist because I am not adopting to the flock moral and stereotypes exiting in black metal of today, would in my eyes be a total waste of time and energy on idiots trying to have opinions on matters they don't have brainpower to master, Satan, being the main reason for forming OV HELL, would represent the opposite of this. The basic concept of "The will to power" would require to sell albums and being able to do interviews in a scale not considered "underground." (By the way a term which is totally irrelevant and without much substance.) I, therefore, use all tools given me to achieve this. Living by the rules given of the stereotypes given in black metal would only show your lack of self-esteem and flock-mentality. No real person whose goal is reaching one's highest potential, listening to his own and nature's inner voice, have the courage to fight for his own individuality would bow for stereotypes and stupidity. The will to relive 1994 in black metal these days should be against all that black metal is all about. Presenting others' art and ideas almost 15 years later, mostly based on nostalgic reflections, show that you don't have the capacity to adapt to your own chaos and so on develop to a strong individual unique being. Recycling your own ideas will show that you are not capable of change and in other words should be viewed as dead. A person who is not able to change opinions, learn from his mistakes and have the ability to grow and change should not shout for peoples attention but be quiet. I am grateful that I have had musicians with me on this record that do NOT possess these qualities.

OV HELL studio lineup:

* Shagrath (DIMMU BORGIR, CHROME DIVISION) - Vocals
* King (GOD SEED, GORGOROTH, JOTUNSPOR, I, SAHG, AUDREY HORNE) - Bass
* Ice Dale (ENSLAVED, I, AUDREY HORNE, TRINACRIA, DEMONAZ) - Guitar
* Frost (SATYRICON, 1349) - Drums
* Teloch (NIDINGR, GOD SEED, 1349, UMORAL) – Guitar

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