UK's Rock Sound magazine recently conducted an interview with frontman Sigurd "Satyr" Wongraven of the Norwegian black metal band SATYRICON. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Rock Sound: Did the seclusion of writing "The Age Of Nero" in the woods aid your creativity?
Satyr: "I have more fun doing it that way. It's not like it was horrible to do the other records, you don't have to go up in the mountains to write a good record. Most of this album was written at my apartment and in the rehearsal studio, but a big part of it came from working in an environment like a cabin up in the mountains. It's part of the reason why 'The Age Of Nero' sounds the way it sounds.”
Rock Sound: You also recorded in [Los Angeles] which seems like a strange place for a Norwegian black metaller to hang out. Are there two sides to your personality, or is living the rock star life of L.A. something you lust after?
Satyr: "Oh no, I can't say that I see myself living a rock star life anywhere. I mean, for me the saddest thing about people and extreme metal is that they lack the kind of cockiness to allow themselves to do what they want without being extremely worried about how they look. I quoted in an interview something that CYPRESS HILL said about how being a musician is a fun job, but it's still a job. The guy who was interviewing me didn't get the point at all because he was all like, 'You quoted CYPRESS HILL' and I was like, 'Oh, I'm sorry, wasn't that satanic enough for you? Maybe I should have quoted something that Cronos from VENOM said. Would that have made it seem more evil somehow, more darker?' Is the meaning different when I quote the leader of a rap band who said something about the life of working as a musician? It's the same for me, it's like, 'Oh yeah, I saw Satyr at a football game'. I like football! Does that make me incapable of doing the music that I do? I can't say that I think so."
Rock Sound: How do you feel about labels such as "black metal?"
Satyr: "Well, I think one of the biggest achievements of this band's career is that we've probably been able to put ourselves in a position where SATYRICON's music is being considered as simply SATYRICON, where people are not occupied by trying to label it as this or that. That's what it should really be about. Who cares about whether something is black, death or thrash or whatever you want to call it? We want our music to be considered solely on the quality, not some kind of analysis on what kind of music it is or what kind of tag you put on it."
Read more from Rock Sound.