SATYRICON Drummer Discusses The Fine Art Of Black Metal

SATYRICON drummer Kjetil "Frost" Haraldstad recently spoke to Ferrante's Power Equipment about the origins of the black metal genre and the band's musical influences, among other topics. A couple of excerpts from the interview follow:

Ferrante's Power Equipment: Who are some of your personal favorite bands, drummers, or musicians? What do you like about each of them?

Frost: "I feel most like mentioning a few of my favorite bands. It must be a few; I cannot mention all of them: VENOM, BATHORY and HELLHAMMER/CELTIC FROST must all be mentioned because they really created the whole musical direction known as black metal — and with such excellence! These bands are all among the best bands the genre has ever spawned. Early SLAYER (three first albums) needs also to be mentioned in this context; SLAYER has meant incredibly much for all kinds of extreme metal. THORNS had an almost hidden role when it came to developing the later renowned Norwegian sound, but the early THORNS recordings ('89-'91) did perhaps more to steer the Norwegian horde of bands into a unique direction than any other single element. I count those recordings as some of the best music ever made, just incredibly dark, cutting and cold; the Norwegian scene wouldn't have been nowhere near the same without them. THORNS is STILL a fantastic band/project, by the way. MAYHEM, DARKTHRONE, BURZUM and IMMORTAL were the first Norwegian black metal bands of top-notch standard to release albums, and all of the early albums by these bands were milestones; every release was a moment of glory and bizarre, dark delight. So dark, so extreme, and always unpredictable and innovative. It was at the time of the releases of the albums I am now talking about that SATYRICON grew to become a unique, dark force of its own. And I guess I haven't really gotten any new 'favorite' bands or albums since that, even if I still discover lots of great musical works (black metal or something else) and have a great enthusiasm for music and black metal in particular."

Ferrante's Power Equipment: What are the goals of the band?

Frost: "To create the best black metal we can conceive of at the time of creation, to put it simply. And to make SATYRICON (both as a studio band and as a live act) a leading an influential force in black metal; the style we have such passion for. It implies quite a lot, however — in order to fulfill our dreams and visions we need constantly to get musically/technically better; partly because our own visions grow more complex as experience and we ourselves grow; partly to remove hindrances that lack of skills represent. Then we need to have our backs free so that we have time, energy and opportunity to work as much with music as we need and want to. And we need to be surrounded with the right people (producers, sound technicians etc.) so that we can make the albums sound right, to make the live shows come out right. These latter points somehow touches the field of economy. So we have economy to think about as well; it is fucking necessary to take it seriously are we to get anywhere. This means that we must make it possible to generate a certain money income (but without letting that influence our songwriting — the whole thing should otherwise be meaningless), which in turn implies that we need to cooperate with record labels, agents, managers etc. that can provide us with the supporting apparatus we need to get things going. This is, unfortunately, extremely time-consuming and difficult work. I guess you see what I'm hinting at...It's about getting in an optimal position for the band, without doing any artistic sacrifices."

Read Frost's entire interview with Ferrante's Power Equipment at this location.

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