Eclectic Arts conducted an interview with guitarist Lord Ahriman (real name: Mikael Svanberg) of Swedish black metallers DARK FUNERAL prior to the band's February 27 show at Studio Seven in Seattle, Washington in support of SEPTICFLESH. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On reflecting on DARK FUNERAL's 25 years as a band:
Lord Ahriman: "In all honesty, I can't really grasp it, that it's been 25 years. For me, it's just been, I don't know… it's just been a journey. For me, it doesn't really feel like 25 years. It feels like five. [Laughs]"
On DARK FUNERAL's willingness to stick to their core sound:
Lord Ahriman: "This is my life. This is who I am. In a sense, I'm still… Well, of course, I've changed in some ways in my personal life and stuff like that. I'm still me and this is the music I bring from my inner self. Since I haven't changed my natural course, the natural course of the band hasn't changed that much either. This is what I'm really into. This is what I do and this is my life."
On their current tour with SEPTICFLESH:
Lord Ahriman: "It's going way better than I expected. Every show so far has been sold out. That's one good, really positive thing. The response we receive every night from the crowd is just over-the-top. It's amazing. I didn't expect that when we first started this tour. I knew it was going to be a good tour because it's a good package, but the fan reaction was going to be so strong, it just took me by surprise."
On whether there's anything from their 2016 studio album, "Where Shadows Forever Reign", that he would like to change:
Lord Ahriman: "When a record is done, it's done. I don't look back. I try to look forward. I never look back, I always look forward and I try to find new ways for the next record. There's always things you want to change. But as I said, I don't try to look back. I learned how not to do it. I used to do it in our early days and it just wasn't good. It's better to look ahead and just follow your heart and soul and see where it takes you."
On when DARK FUNERAL plans to follow up "Where Shadows Forever Reign":
Lord Ahriman: "I'm a little bit afraid that the boost and the response we're receiving on this tour and also the recent shows we have done in Europe is going to force us to do more tours and shows. But I already talked to our booking agent and tried to share that we need to just cut it so we can focus on writing a new record. For me, it just doesn't work to be touring a lot and try to get in the right spirit to write music. The good thing is that me and Heljarmadr [vocals] have already talked. We have a good picture of where we want to go. We have talked about the theme for the next record, where we are in life, spiritually and stuff like that. We have some really good ideas on where we want to go with the next record, but we need to have a break so we can just focus on that. Hopefully, this summer we're not going to have too busy of a schedule. Then after summer, we'll be a little bit busier. I hope it stops after that because, otherwise, it's just going to take a little bit longer. As I said, the good thing is we already are talking about the new record. We have ideas already written and we've recorded some stuff in my home studio. We are not on zero."
On DARK FUNERAL's active status on social media:
Lord Ahriman: "Now, everything is instant. In the beginning, you were writing letters by hand and it took a couple of weeks to spread flyers and just talk and discuss with other fans of this kind of music and other bands worldwide. Of course, everything is much different now. I remember we were talking earlier today, the first time we were in the U.S., when we were calling home, you went to a phone booth and made collect calls through AT&T. [Laughs] It's a whole different world."
On what DARK FUNERAL represents:
Lord Ahriman: "That's really difficult. Everybody has a different take when they listen to our music. They feel different things. Instead of saying this is what we are, it's better that the listener gets into our world of music and finds their own spirit inside of it. That's what music is all about, finding your own thing within us. It also means different things for different people. I get lots of people or lots of letters from people who feel like our music really saved their lives for many reasons. People have so many different things what music means to them, our music means to them. It's better the listener find it out by themselves."
DARK FUNERAL's tour with SEPTICFLESH kicked off February 22 in Los Angeles, California, and wraps on March 20 in Phoenix, Arizona. Also on the bill is THY ANTICHRIST.
"Where Shadows Forever Reign" was released in June 2016 via Century Media. The effort was recorded at the Dugout Studios in Uppsala, Sweden and was produced by Lord Ahriman and Daniel Bergstrand (IN FLAMES, DIMMU BORGIR, BEHEMOTH). The stunning artwork was created by Necrolord (DISSECTION, NECROPHOBIC, EMPEROR).