I hear there’s not much drumming nowadays but a lot of work at your tattoo shop?
– Yes, that’s true. My main focus is my tattoo studio, but I will never quit playing drums, as it has been a big part of my life.
How old were you when you started playing drums – and what triggered it?
– I must have been around 14-15 years old when I got my first drum kit. I had been watching videos of Kiss, Wasp, Twisted Sister and so on, and always enjoyed the drums and how cool it looked in the videos. But when I got my own kit, I had no idea of how to play, and it took me ages to even be able to play the simplest things. So I was in no way a natural talent of any kind. Read the rest of this entry »
What are you up to today? When will we see a new Susperia album?
– We have been on and off in the studio the last couple of months, recording some new material but mostly done re-recordings of old songs. The release date is not set yet, but you can expect it in the near future. We have, once again, collaborated with Mustis (ex-Dimmu Borgir) on this EP and the result is wicked! Also just finished recording and mixing the debut album for my other band Gromth. The album’s title will be “The Immortal” and it will hopefully be released later this year. The new Black Comedy album is also soon finished.
How was it playing in the Eurovision Song Contest? Did you get a lot of harassment from the die-hard super evil metal fans?
– To be honest, I really don’t give a shit what the evil-in-the-forest people think. This was undiscovered ground for Susperia and we had been talking about making a song for this song contest for several years, so when Keep of Kalessin beat us to it… Well, we just had to get our shit together and write a song to send in. Hahaha… Seriously, we have gotten nothing but positive feedback from fans and friends and it was a great adventure.
You haven’t always been a drummer – and you were not alone changing instruments in Dimmu Borgir’s early career. Who played what and why did you guys swop instruments?
– Cause Shagrath sucked ass playing drums, so I had to step up, showing him how to handle the battery. Hehe… and I couldn’t handle the guitar any better. Shaggy was originally a guitarist and I was originally a drummer, so after the first album “For All Tid” we swopped instruments. On our second album “Stormblåst” Shagrath sang on a couple of songs, and after that we decided that he should do the vocals in Dimmu. The first Dimmu line-up was me on guitar, Shagrath on drums, Silenoz on guitar and vocals, Brynjard Tristan on bass and Stian Aarstad on keys.
Why did you quit Dimmu Borgir in 1999?
– The truth is that I was fired, but it was partly due to the fact that I had told the guys I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue. When I finally had made my mind up to stay in the band giving it all my attention, they had already found Nick Barker as new drummer. I probably would have been kicked out sooner or later anyway, like everyone else. Hahaha!
I want to make this very clear though; I do not, in any way, hold any grudge towards Dimmu Borgir. They do whatever is best for the band, and I understand and respect that. They have been friends of mine for such a long time and will continue being mine and Susperia’s friends in the future. Shagrath and Galder, together with Athera and Grimd (Khold, Gromth) were actually my “best men” when I got married last year.
You rehearsed with Dimmu again in 2004 for maybe playing with them on the Ozzfest-tour? What happened?
– Well, when it came down to it.; My first priority, was and will be, Susperia. A lot of things were happening with the band at that time so it didn’t feel right to start up with Dimmu again, not being able to give them the 100% they deserve.
You came up with the name Old Man’s Child in 1992 or 1993. How did you come up with that name? Is it true that it means “Satan’s son”?
– We started as a death metal band with the name Requiem but changed the name to Old Man’s Child in 1992. When I came up with the name I think that it sounded cool and original, and I could have been thinking of something evil, like Satan’s son
Susperia has had the same line-up since its inception in 1999. That’s pretty incredible in today’s ‘use and throw’ culture…
– For sure we’ve had our ups and downs, but we’ve always made it through somehow. We yell, scream and then eventually talk about whatever the issue might be. You can’t just kick people out of a band just because you are having a difference of opinion. We are all friends and each member contributes their own way to the band. We have grown a lot, both as a band and individually, the last 10 years. We’ve become better musicians and songwriters, and are constantly trying to prove that to our fans.
You’ve played Halo many years and have your own team “Skvadron 666”. I know Thomas “Sarke” Bergli used to play in the team and that you’ve even played competitions. How serious is this? Any other known musicians in this team?
– We’ve been playing for 8-9 years now. It all started out when I was living with Grimd and then more and more people joined in. Susperia was actually sponsored by Microsoft for some time… Oh… Those happy days.. Nowadays we mostly play online, but we try to get together once a week at Grimd’s place. We also usually have the “romjuls-helvete” (“Christmas time-hell”) where we meet up, eat shitloads of food and drink lots of booze and play Halo till we drop! And now when it’s announced that it will be released even more from the Halo series, I believe we will end up in the nursing home still playing
You mentioned your new band Gromth. What kind of music is this and how did this band come about?
– This is a band that plays a style I like to call “Black Orchestral Metal”. I feel that we have made something really special here. Our debut album is a whole symphony containing 66 minutes of music, divided in 16 tracks. Heavy guitars, grim vocals, a lot of orchestration. This is what some journalist here in Norway wrote about the album:
- “…this beast knocked its way into Norwegian history as one of the most massive, brutal, destructive, dynamic, symphonic and progressive albums – ever!” (Nash Rothanburg, Scream Magazine, rating 6/6)
- “Gromth makes Rhapsody’s style of Hollywood-metal seem like a plastic spoon among razor sharp knives!” (Bjørn Nørsterud, Scream Magazine, rating 6/6)
- “A mix between the pomp and bombast of Dimmu Borgir and the insanity of Italy’s Devil Doll” (Paul Kearns, Eternal Terror webzine)
I’m not exactly sure about how the band came about, but we are all friends from earlier, and when Grimd started to make music for this band we just felt the eager to join in one after the other. The band has existed since 2006/2007 and we released our first demo in 2007. Those songs were supposed to be part of our first album, but when we lost all the music in a computer crash, we had to lay everything on ice for a while. Grimd started composing again and after two years, we now have our debut album ready. We are now looking for a record company to release this masterpiece, and hopefully there will be some companies interested out there. Check out a teaser from the album on our Myspace site at http://www.myspace.com/gromth
So what’s up these days with Enslaved? It seems you’re always touring or recording albums…
– We’ve just come home from Mexico, and that was a festival to remember, as a heavy rainstorm knocked out all the electric equipment before we even got a chance to play a single note. Too bad, we were ready to perform, but when the weather proved too much to handle you just can’t do anything. We’d love to come back though. In a couple of days we’re heading to Germany to play at the Rock Hard festival, and then to perform at Norwegian Wood in Oslo with Insense, Gojiira and Read the rest of this entry »
Going back to the old days – As an up-and-coming guitarist it must have been great being featured in the in the “Hometown Heroes” column in Guitar World magazine in 1993? Did that help in any way?
– That was actually a big boost to get my foot in the door. I had met Mike around the Bay Area scene before, and being a huge Shrapnel fan, I always had that dream of getting on his label someday. I sent him a 5 song set of all instrumental material, and he liked it! He called me to tell me he was going to put me in the column, I was over the moon. I met some cool people through that feature, Metal Mike Chlasiack, Michael Romeo, among a few others who are still out there today, doing what they do. Read the rest of this entry »
Are you exited about recording a new Borknagar album?
– Well yes, I always have a full blown “musical erection” the months before we hit the studio – and certainly this time around. I have a very good gut-feeling when it comes to the material we have at hand, we have an “updated” line up and we’re all urging to create the best Bork album to date. May sound like the typical pre-studio cliché type of thing to say, but I have never before had so strong empirical reasons supporting my gut-feeling for saying just that. Read the rest of this entry »