Vassil Varbanov of Bulgaria's Tangra Mega Rock recently conducted an interview with DIMMU BORGIR frontman Shagrath. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Tangra Mega Rock: Your new album is ready, but it's still not released. Are you nervous within this "no man's land"?
Shagrath: I'm really looking forward to release it, because we have been working very hard for this album and it's gonna be very cool to get it out to the people. It's still early to say whether it's gonna do well or not, but so far the reaction has been very good — from all the journalists and the people who've heard it.
Tangra Mega Rock: It's been quite a while since your latest full-length studio release, so what's new in "In Sorte Diaboli"?
Shagrath: Basically it's a more spontaneous record, more guitar-oriented and maybe a little bit more aggressive compared to the previous one (2003's "Death Cult Armageddon"), but at the same time it's a very groovy and catchy album.
Tangra Mega Rock: It's been almost 15 years since you started the band. During this time you've become a very huge black metal act. Has your attitude towards the world and your environment changed?
Shagrath: Not really. We have a lot of experience now and... Basically, we're just having a new album out. It's a continuation of what we've done before and it's something to be proud of. It's professional music from a professional black metal band... although I'm not sure whether we should still call our music black metal. I think it's something more.
Tangra Mega Rock: We're supposed to talk about DIMMU BORGIR now, but I'm dying to ask you about your other band, CHROME DIVISION. What does it give you that you can't get through DIMMU BORGIR?
Shagrath: I'm a very big rock'n'roll fan. I listen much more to rock'n'roll than to metal, and therefore I don't want to incorporate rock'n'roll into DIMMU's music, because it's a totally different approach. That's why I started CHROME DIVISION. It is much more about pure, primitive, dirty rock'n'roll.
Tangra Mega Rock: What we can hear in CHROME DIVISION's music is lots of testosteron and pure rock'n'roll energy, and if we compare it to DIMMU BORGIR's darkness, it's like your soul is kind of zig-zagging between light and darkness. Shagrath, are you a happy smiling human being or a pessimistic person?
Shagrath: I'm a very pessimistic person. It just gets this way naturally when you have a lot of bad life experiences.
Tangra Mega Rock: What about your faves these days in general? We know that up there in Norway you've got good black metal and good rock'n'roll. What are you up to now?
Shagrath: As I said, I listen to more rock'n'roll music than metal, like TURBONEGRO and GLUECIFER, but I also like what I've been into for many years — bands like DARKTHRONE, BATHORY and all that old-school black metal stuff. I don't pay attention to so many new bands.
Tangra Mega Rock: To what extent has black metal changed through the years, according to you?
Shagrath: The term black metal is very washed out today. I don't know the pure definition of black metal anymore. There are too many bands now, too much chaotic stuff going on in the scene... I think I'm not really part of the black metal scene, so it's hard for me to say.
Tangra Mega Rock: You are not or you have never been?
Shagrath: I'm not part of it right now. I lost focus on the black metal scene.
Read the entire interview at Tangra Mega Rock.