Dan Sywala of RockNRollJournalist.com recently conducted an interview with EMPEROR frotnman and acclaimed solo artist Ihsahn (real name: Vegard Sverre Tveitan). You can now listen to the chat below.
Asked how he stays connected to the black metal aspect of his heart while composing music for his solo project, Ihsahn said: "At the bottom of everything, that is kind of the source I create from. I kind of made a mistake… It wasn't a mistake, but I kind of got that throwback from different [media outlets], because in the press release for this album" — referring to his seventh solo disc, "Ámr" — "I said something like, 'I always intend to make the darkest possible album ever.' And I think for people who are [very familiar] with this type of music, they would know what I meant, but maybe people a bit outside of that kind of most dedicated crowd will probably misunderstand. So in that respect, I would probably say I always intend to make the most profound album. And it sounds a bit bombastic, but then again, I've never been drawn to the easy-going, dancey, everyday, light style of expression. I'm drawn to this music because I like to dig into those deep human existential questions. It doesn't really have to be overly philosophical all the time, but it's just… How can I put this? It's never really the light comedies that give you the thrills; it's often the more dramatic and maybe even sad or distressful pieces of art that kind of have the biggest emotional impact, so I guess that's kind of what I'm drawn to. So it's natural for me to express myself in that way as well. It's also very, very associated with being very depressive or negative, but I think for me, it's rather to be connected to those kind of existential basics of being human. I think that things that really are so profound, you can't really put them into words always, and that's something that, if I write music, it's such a beautiful thing that it can kind of communicate those things in between humans that we don't really always have the right words to express."
"Ámr" was released on May 4 via Candlelight/Spinefarm. The disc was recorded at Ihsahn's own Mnemosyne Studio, except for drum tracking, which was done at Sonic Attic Studios. Mixing was handled by Linus Corneliusson at Fascination Street Studios. Mastering was once again done by Jens Bogren.
"Ámr" was described in a press release as Ihsahn's "most eclectic and challenging to date." Its first single, "Arcana Imperii", features a guitar solo by OPETH's Fredrik Åkesson. The accompanying music video was created by Richard Oakes of Dark Fable Media.