"Yes, we had a close relationship," admits modeling agent Dan DeVero about shock rocker Gaahl to iBergen.no.
On stage with GORGOROTH, Gaahl is the very definition of a mother-in-law's nightmare.
The long-haired, evil-looking man with corpse paint scares the hell out of the parent generation, while fans all over the world love and admire his terrifying masculinity.
Together with modeling agent Dan DeVero (see photo below), however, he displays far more feminine sides.
The musician dressed in black and the fur-wearing modeling agent are behind the clothing collection Wynjo, which will launch in 2009.
The two men became very close friends after they met a year and a half ago.
"We had hired models from DXD Models for a music video to be recorded in Bergenshallen. During the shoot, Dan suddenly appeared and became upset with us because one of his models had been served wine. That was the first time I met him," says Gaahl, or Kristian Espedal, which is his real name.
DeVero's rage, however, quickly turned to warmer feelings.
"Kristian and I developed a close relationship, and he often told me he had strong feelings for me," DeVero tells iBergen.no while Espedal silently drinks from his glass of wine.
A year and a half later they are no longer swooning, but they are still partners. Thanks to their unlikely meeting in 2006, they've put their heads and wallets together to launch something as unique as as a wholly Norwegian clothing collection for women.
Wynjo is a name that Espedal came up with.
"Wynjo is an ancient Norse word meaning happiness, or to be more precise, the search for happiness. Perfection. I have always been preoccupied with aesthetics and what is beautiful. This collection will bring out the elegant and the feminine in women," the novice fashion investor explains to iBergen.no.
But this is in strong contrast to your role as frontman of GORGOROTH, so how did the people around you react to this?
"Those who know me in private didn't think it was particularly strange. I do not care about what people in general think. It's not as if I'm going to change as a person just because suddenly there are some dresses out in the world. Besides, I like confusing people," Espedal says, grinning.
The clothes are designed by Sonja Wu and will be presented at a preview in Bergen in September. Inspired by fashion mecca Paris, DeVero and Espedal now hope they can create a fashion house in Norway with several designers on the team.
"We want to attract young talent and give them an opportunity to design for us. Designer students are welcome, since it is the young who create fashion. There are way too few people in the Norwegian business world who dare take a chance on young entrepreneurs, and I am eternally grateful to Kristian for helping me with this," DeVero says.
Photo displayed from iBergen.no: