SATYRICON Drummer: 'I Live And Breathe For This'

Daniel Hedger of Australia's The Metal Forge webzine recently conducted an interview with SATYRICON drummer Frost. A few excerpts from the chat follow:

On what he thinks makes him stand out from other extreme metal drummers:

"Oh, that's a tough one. I shouldn't be the one to answer that kind of question. Commenting on your own work will always be a little stale, perhaps. I feel at least I'm putting a lot of my own soul into what I'm doing. I do this because I'm a very dedicated fan, more or less. That's why I started. I was more like an avid fan of black metal that also wanted to play music more than a 'musician' with a capital M. Over the years I've grown up to be more of a real musician and not just a crazy fan banging the drums but I guess everything comes from that passion I have. You know, I live and breathe for this."

On whether he enjoys playing festivals:

"Both yes and no. I think it's a good thing that we get the chance to play in front of so many people and that we get to play large stadiums because that suits SATYRICON very well. This band is built for a certain grandeur, so to say, so getting the opportunity to play large places is great. But on the other hand, festivals are festivals and that means no soundcheck, shorter set and more generally you are in very little control of the circumstances: perhaps you don't get to play your own drumkit, your own guitar amplifiers and all that. It has a tendency to make...well, it affects your sound in a negative way and that's just how it is. But we manage to cope pretty well with that now and generally SATYRICON sounds good no matter what."

On going against the grain and making what they felt was musically and sonically the best album they could make ("Now, Diabolical"):

"I think it's partly conscious and partly unconscious. The reason for me saying that is that we did want to create an album with certain of those qualities and we definitely want to stay away from that more gothic-oriented black metal and also away from the more technically complex black metal, which too many bands are doing these days. We feel that, you know, the core element of black metal is atmosphere, and it's very hard to create atmospheric music when there is so much mumbo jumbo technicality going on all the time because it takes so much of the focus, you know. So yeah, we consciously wanted to create an album in a bit more traditionalist way but with out own modern touch to all of that. But also I think it has to do a little bit with what's going on unconsciously because it has to do with our musical taste and both Satyr and me like very versatile — the same kind of black metal, you know, we listen to old CELTIC FROST and we listen to DARKTHRONE and we listen to BATHORY and music like that. That kind of music has a very direct but also very powerful approach. And it gives meaning for us to do something in more that kind of manner. Because what we do when we work with SATYRICON is that we try to create a kind of arc that satisfies ourselves and our own tastes, you know, so that means we're always going for what we ourselves would like to hear at that given place and time. And it changes as we get older and more mature and all that. Anyway, I think that 'Now, Diabolical' says quite a lot about our musical tastes in the year of 2006."

On the perception that SATYRICON is bringing black metal to a new and wider audience:

"I can hear what you're saying but you make it sound like it's something unnatural and to me, you know, it has got nothing to do with bringing something to a wider audience, really, it's about releasing an album. You know, if you are deliberately trying to keep many people away from buying the album I'd wonder a little bit why you actually choose to release it in the first place. Perhaps it should be better to stay in, you know, a demo band and just do a few concerts for invited friends once in a while and all that, you know? SATYRICON is a band that has always been ambitious and we want to dedicate our time SATYRICON we want to make our lives revolve around black metal and around SATYRICON. And to make that possible you have to have a fundament that allows you to dedicate your time to it. You know, if it didn't sell records and it didn't do tours that brought something back to the band then I would have to have my day work and all that and I couldn't dedicate my full time to SATYRICON as I do now. And really, you know, that's what it's all about. You try to make it possible to get as far as possible with what you do, but without doing sacrifices that are rendering the whole art meaningless. If we changed our music in order to please people that would be just as stupid. So we create albums that we want to create and when that job is done we hope that the record company and other people actually incorporated are doing their job well so that we can continue doing this, you know."

Read the entire interview at www.themetalforge.com.

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