interview: Dawid Krosnia
‘There are too many arrogant and whiny pussies in the metal scene and it’s hard to build a stable band.’
The Goat Tavern: Hi, how are you? First of all congratulation on the new release Dødsskrik. It’s hell of an album. It grabs your attention from the first moments of the All Hail Satan until the last riffs of Acid Dreams. Superb work!
Grimmdun: Thank you for the support and compliments. We are fine! Just got home from a great gig at the Party San Open Air festival in Germany.
Dødsskrik has been released two months ago on the Soulseller Records, are you fully satisfied with the media response so far? Did it exceed your expectations?
The media response has been, for the most part, overwhelmingly positive! We had a good feeling about this album and it’s great to see one great review after another. The reaction from our unholy horde of fans has also been great and their support and the inspiration we draw from that is of course the most important to us.
Over last few years, you’ve been playing quite a big tour packages, I guess you’ve had a lot of exposure and you’ve gained lot of new fans around world. What is the craziest story that happened to you as a band on the tour?
A lot has happened during the years so it’s hard to pick out specific incidents and as i hate these question I won’t give you an comprehensive answer, but we were almost attacked by a big horde of Nazis after a show in Germany once – that was fun!
New album, new possibilities. Are you planning to hit the road with the promotion of Dødsskrik? Is touring the U.S. and Europe on your agenda this year? Maybe new unconquered territories? Where would you like to play?
We really enjoy the phase that Svarttjern is in and playing bigger single shows is our main goal for now. We might do a few mini-tours here and there, but we have no big tours planned. That doesen’t mean we won’t do any big tours in the future and we have really enjoyed the ones we have done so far. As far as uncharted territories goes we reached a milestone this year when we played the Maryland Deathfest in Baltimore, United States. We have a following in some parts of South America as well and hope to bring the madness of Svarttjern there someday. One of our favorite gigs of all time was in London a few years ago so we would love to do another UK show in the future!
Svarttjern – Dødsskrik (2016)
What sort of messages, philosophies or topics can we find hidden behind the title of Dødsskrik? Can you tell us more about the creation of this album and the lyrical content of it? Does Svarttjern have its own ideology?
The concept behind the title is simple; the album is simply about death. The lust for death, the lust for the dead, what to expect in the afterlife (if any), controlling death and being death itself. Dødsskrik is Norwegian and means death scream – your final push of air making sound through a dying body. The misanthropic philosophy of the band has followed us since the start and as of today still inspires both the instrumental and lyrical part of the band. The majority of Hans Fyrste’s lyrics explore the weaknesses and strengths of the human condition, and depending on the listener, I’m sure you can find a whole bunch of ideologies – some more controversial than others. We are not preaching any specific ideology.
You’re proudly displaying the logo of Anti-Human Anti-Life – True Norwegian Black Metal given to you by Nattefrost himself. What sort of qualities do you have to have to be marked with such a label? What does this mean to you?
Nattefrost is one of the members of this scene that we respect the most and we were honored to recieve the True Norwegian Black Metal mark. You have to ask Nattefrost about the qualities needed. We haven’t displayed the logo on our last album as we feel that the sound and nature of Svarttjern best speaks for itself at the moment.
Looking at your history, Svarttjern’s line-up is pretty much stable over the years. What is your secret? I guess your relationship with the bandmates is very close? Do you rehearse a lot these days?
There are too many arrogant and whiny pussies in the metal scene and it’s hard to build a stable band. We have known each other for years and we play, travel and (for the most part) drink well together and, although we have egos, have been able to make Svarttjern a coalition of five individuals thoughts and ideas – something I belive is reflected in our music.
When you’ve started the band over a decade ago, did it ever cross your mind that you’re going to have four albums out? What were your inspirations back then and have your inspirations changed over the years? What or who is the fuel to your soul?
You get older and wiser over the years, but I think we are still inspired by the same appreciation of the extreme and dark arts that influenced the beginning of this band. I really can’t remember what kind of future we saw for our selves early on, but the feedback after the realese of Misanthropic Path of Madness really gave us the confidence that our style of black metal deserves a spot in the scene. But no matter how rewarding and inspiring creating albums is, what really fules us is doing live shows. That is when we are in our greatest element and where people can fully experience the force of Svarttjern.
Svarttjern – Misanthropic Path of Madness (2009)
Personally, my favourite Svarttjern cover artwork is from the album, Misanthropic Path of Madness. It’s in your face, and you know it’s going to be some filthy piece of music just from looking at the cover. Will you ever come back to such graphic visual statements in future?
A naked, dead lady covered in blood – what’s not to like? Haha! As Misanthropic Path of Madness was our debut album we wanted it to look as extreme as our music and match the lyrical content in the best way possible. We wanted people to ‘judge the book by its cover’ and still be pleasantly suprised by another band in a flooded genre. We don’t want to repeat ourselves and we do feel that our other artworks represent the dark nature of the band, but anything can come out of these crazy heads of ours in the future.
Thank you for your time and answering all the question. The Goat Tavern team would like to wish you all the best with the promotional circle of the excellent Dødsskrik! Any last words for your UK fans?
Thank you for buying records and supporting us and the scene! Hopefully we will see you in the near future. Be blasphemous, drink beer and hail Satan! Cheers!