SATYRICON Frontman Questions Whether AC/DC Is Still 'Relevant'

SATYRICON Frontman Questions Whether AC/DC Is Still 'Relevant'

Vocalist Sigurd "Satyr" Wongraven of Norwegian black metallers SATYRICON was interviewed on the latest installment of "The MetalSucks Podcast". You can now listen to the chat below (starting at the 21:38 mark). A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).

On his relationship with drummer Frost (real name: Kjetil-Vidar Haraldstad), who has been the only other permanent member of SATYRICON since 1993:

Satyr: "I think the mutual respect would be the most obvious thing that comes to my mind. And I think the fact there's an incredibly strong friendship, but it's not a friendship based on seeing each other on a regular basis. It is a professional relationship with a strong personal friendship that does not need to be nurtured in a social way. I think that's a couple of things that seem to me as pretty obvious as to why we've been doing this so long and so well together."

On whether he feels like his relationship with Frost is "like a marriage" and whether he hopes to continue working with the drummer well into the future:

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Satyr: "I certainly hope to be working with him in some capacity always. I really like his drumming, I like his attitude toward music and I think he's a really interesting person. So, yeah, I also like working with other people and people that I haven't worked with before and collaborating with other musicians makes me a better one. But I would always want to do something with Frost as long as I play music."

On whether he thinks SATYRICON's longevity is attributed to the fact the band has constantly updated its sound:

Satyr: "I think about literally the word 'relevant.' AC/DC has been going on for a really long time and they used to be one of my favorite bands. I still think even on their new record, there's one or two good songs, but it's more or less the same all the time. I don't know; it works. I think it's nice to listen to it because it's really good, but is it relevant? I don't know. When a lot of people show up apparently, it's relevant. It's an open question, but most lovers of more marginalized art and really underground stuff will argue that art is not a necessity like fresh air and water that we can drink and food and medicine. Those are things that we can't do without, but we can do without art, but then a lot of people are going to argue, what kind of life would that be? It's also interesting how people, especially in hard times, they turn to art. If no one is trying to do anything interesting and move things forward, then what is there for us to enjoy? That's the way I see it."

On whether he feels any kind of pressure in his home country of Norway, where SATYRICON debuted at No. 1 in 2013 with their self-titled album:

Satyr: "The only thing important to me about it was that I know that when it comes to some of these commercial mechanisms, there are some outlets that are not going to even consider making what we do available, when you hit No. 1, they have to, whether they think this or that. So that's a mechanism that obviously I appreciate with it. Other than that, from a metal fan point of view, it feels good to know that there are a lot of people out there like me who like music like that and rather have that dominate the airways rather than boring commercial pop music, R&B, whatever it may be. But I still don't have a mansion. [Laughs]"

On how his 2015 brain tumor diagnosis changed his life:

Satyr: "It's the lack of predictability [that] is kind of interesting. Today, I had sort of a pre-appointment conversation with my doctor on the phone and I told him that the reason I'm going to see him is because in the last couple of days — I'm okay today — I've been in terrible shape, but it's funny because I've been doing so much press lately that I've said to them all 'Thanks for asking. I'm doing really good. I haven't felt bad in a long, long time. Obviously I have to look after myself and keep track of this and all of that and make sure I'm being monitored, but I'm fine.' I think I did my last interview a few days ago, I started feeling really, really bad. That whole night and following day was really awful. I remember e-mailing the guys saying, 'Okay, I'm better now. I don't think I'll be coming to rehearsals tomorrow either. I'm okay.' That's the weird part of being around me because I'm as strong as I've always been and I really live a normal life. I look after SATYRICON, I have a wine production business on the side that is fun and I have two sons, a lot of stuff to look after, and I'm doing all of it, but sometimes, out of the blue, this stuff can make me really, really sick. And when it does, it's not uncomfortable; it takes over the entire situation. It paralyzes me. Maybe one could say that it's tougher mentally than physically to deal with it."

On the band's approach to live shows and whether SATYRICON prefers to pick and choose where they play, or if they are interested in building an audience in new territories:

Satyr: "A little bit of both. A little bit of both. If we jump straight to North America, if we didn't have any of the visa complications that we've had with Frost, then we would have been visiting America on a regular basis. But, we would have been visiting only cities where you can expect to meet with a pretty serious, extreme metal music following. That has been the hard part for me about touring America, is that when you play places where there are actually a lot of fans; I'm not talking about attendance, I'm talking about people who understand this type of music, because I enjoy meeting fans after the show, who listen to the same music as I do and understand the same music. But I don't necessarily enjoy it if we play a show and someone tells me, 'I loved your show, man. That was pretty cool shit there.' Something stupid like that. That makes me understand that, 'Okay, you don't get it.' That makes me feel stupid because that makes me feel like an entertainer. I acknowledge that playing live, unlike making records, it's much more about entertainment, but I don't want it to be solely about entertainment, there has to be some purpose here. I don't want to play in Oklahoma City, if you want to put it like that."

SATYRICON's new studio album, "Deep Calleth Upon Deep", was released September 22 via Napalm Records. The disc was recorded in Oslo, Norway and Vancouver, Canada, during early 2017 and mixed together with revered studio guru Mike Fraser, who previously worked on SATYRICON's 2006 album, "Now, Diabolical".


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