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Daniela Visotskaya (Daniela Shumway) about „Keep the Strawberry’s house“ project

We are extremely pleased that once again we will mention you in The Other Side and for such a good purpose. My list is full with questions but let we start with based.

Why you decide to Resume the petition „Keep the Strawberry’s house“?

I keep an eye on this house from several years I say that I discover a full history of this house. I’m in love it from the first time that i saw it.I adore it! But this is not the reason that i want to safe it from destroying!

In the 2016 this was a topic from many citizens of Sofia.

I have been observing similar topics on Internet for architectural monuments in Bulgaria for a long time, but this house is definitely one of the most discussed.

Даниела Висоцкая

Даниела Висоцкая

Last year, the subscription reached about 10,000 people, which pleased me a lot. The protocol came to the needed organizations and so, we are still waiting for someone to take action. We are still waiting for a solution…

Exactly for this reason I decide to renew the subscription.too much people is never enough. When one side presses more and does not give up in this actions always wins. A simple strategic. I think my decision is definitely not wrong.

The house definitely excites a lot of people from Sofia and we can not ask why the name is „House with strawberries“ where comes from?

Before years ago  there was a lot of wild strawberries. Just as in my house, unfortunately, there is not much now, the forest strawberry is generally self-sacrificing and you can hardly graft it somewhere, You can meet it  in  forest soils.

Даниела Висоцкая

Даниела Висоцкая

In the beginning, you said that you know a lot about the story of the house. What exactly is the style of her architecture?

The architect who built it has studied in Vienna. It was built around 1927.

The house is more of a mix of styles that’s why is so interesting, but it definitely describes the aristocratic beauty and grace very well.

The property is then nationalized. It was a Romanian embassy, a trade representation of the USSR in Bulgaria, a headquarters of the people’s militia, the seat of the administration of various state structures.

Даниела Висоцкая

Даниела Висоцкая

It was declared a national monument of culture, but unfortunately it followed the fate of many beautiful houses with an obscure fortune, which had the bad luck to be built in Bulgaria.

How long are you planning the project?

Доста пъти ми е хрумвало да направя снимки там но голям проект не бях планирала, причините бяха редица тогава. Голямото планиране дойде след като разбрах че нещата не вървят на никъде.

Трудна ли беше подготовката за проекта?

Yes I thought to take pictures there. but I did not plan a big project, the reasons were a lot. Big planning came after I realized that the organizations and government do not take actions.

Даниела Висоцкая

Даниела Висоцкая

Was the preparation for the project difficult?

I immediately got to buy the jewels and other accessories. The busk it was bought for my b-day this year from Avangard shop.

What emotions come when you saw the house from first time live?

It was quite interesting. I was talking to my photographer before and we going out  together was a sunny hot day of May, we went to the other end of San Stefano street. But a policeman directed us. As we walked, we saw a house with number 8, and I remembered telling my photographer: „Oh, my God, the next number must be the house!“

And here I stood in front of it. This house owns  all  majestic beauty. I would say it definitely captivates you.

How did you feels when you first stepped inside her „core“?

I’m very glad you asked me this question. The feeling was very strange at first,I approached confidently but then  was anxiety.

Даниела Висоцкая

Даниела Висоцкая

There was an anxiety with Georgi Velev, coz this is a big project and we could not excitement.

Although We went to a foreign property.

The first time you enter the yard, it instantly rages energy leads you to the past time and seems like  the time has stopped inside. I can say I’m really lucky that i get there.

Даниела Висоцкая

Даниела Висоцкая

The feeling when climbing the stairs of the central entrance to the door is unique to describe. Seems like you  to fall into another dimension. You survival past thoughts, emotions and lots of darkness. This is so beautiful.

What exactly  your photos show ?

With these photos I have to to awaken the long-lost beauty in this place to awaken people’s souls to inspire their support, to inspire their support even more!

The pictures express an aristocratic soul of past time combined with refinement emphasizing the Gothic note that actually has the house owns.

Даниела Висоцкая

Даниела Висоцкая

Are you worried that many people will copying you after they see your photos and dare to get into the house to shoot?

Very often it happens to me that my pictures and ideas have been copied by someone else.

Which only speaks of the person a lack of any creative thought, devoid of any inspiration and taste of things.

A person who can not invent his thought and rather prefers to steal the idea? Someone else because it’s easier. Unfortunately, things can not change …

Даниела Висоцкая

Даниела Висоцкая

I saw that some models like me had a lot of interest to shoot in the house after me, there will be many models who have dared to get into the house to take pictures, but I will ask you: WHY AFTER ME?

Why, since I was the first person who take over in my own hands the things  you’ve been making a long-time interest but why you did not organize a campaign to collect votes or something like that.

Or the only thing you care about is your career, „pictures for your own ego“?

How long did you shot?

The pictures went well. We shot about two hours, but in a short time we did a lot of pictures and we did not stop for a break. We did everything in one breath.

Даниела Висоцкая

Даниела Висоцкая

Some people  crossed the street and looking around,others just passed because there was a lot of grass and it was hard to see something.

Tell us more about yourself, what your job is?

Apart from Gothic, I have a lot of hobbies, write books, script, I work eight years with metal and rock singing.

I’m training a tennis court unprofessional. I work in the financial sphere but unfortunately I am not allowed to give more information about my work I dare say that for such a young person I am quite ambitious.


Даниела Висоцкая

Даниела Висоцкая

What are your observations about the petition and how do people accept the whole organization?

Overall, I saw that there are many people who support my idea but there were also many people who did not care. They are looking like great patriots but suddenly they say, „I am abroad“!

And what is it make you a less Bulgarian?

Why do you think that when you escaping from your country you are not bound to your culture values? Other people made it a pure envy.

Others did not like Gothic and  myself, and think there was something wrong with a goth people. This is far from the true, Gothic is a worldview, the era may be outdated, and the modern people no longer cares about it, and believes that there is something Satanic in it, because they had a  wrong visions and the things  which everyday happens have been imposed upon and they  accepts this like normal.

Даниела Висоцкая

Даниела Висоцкая

If you break your visions the world will become at least as easy for you as you can consider it as personal advice!

Short words about „The Tail of the Devil“ a bg movie Shot in the house…

I can say very much, the movie is a very cool but you just  have to watch it!

A sequential question  why you decided to include RAMMSTEIN’s „Mein Herz Brennt“ song in your slideshow? What is the best of it? Immediately ask? There is no such song like this.This is the most suitable sound for the photos. contains metal with Gothic sound.The song is so majestic it brings both sad, spooky and beautiful radiance just like the house.

And what is better from suitable title – My Heart burns /translation from German/.

Даниела Висоцкая

Даниела Висоцкая

What will happen if your project fail?

This is a very interesting question. Well, I can’t change the circumstances but maybe I know that I done everything and try really everything to keep this house!

RED HARVEST: We are back cause it is more fun now

Hail! Introduce yourself in depth…

– I am Ketil, guitarist in RED HARVEST. I joined RED HARVEST in 1995 and played in the band until we decided to take a break in 2009. We got an offer to play a concert in 2016, and we decided to do that concert. That was fun, and because of that we decided to play some more concert and to release some new material.

What are the news from RED HARVEST?

– Well right now we are doing promotion for the re-issue/re-master version of an album called „Hybreed“ that was originally released in 1996, we work with new music for a release in 2017 and we prepare for a concert in April. We live quite far apart, so rehearsals and activities must be well planned.

In 2016 you celebrate the 20-th anniversary of “Hybreed” and it was re-released… Tell me more about this new edition.

– We, the French late Cold Dark Matter Records wanted to do a re-release and master it with new artwork and bonus tracks. We thought it could be cool with new ears and eyes, and of course we said yes. So basically it has been freshed up and gotten a nice make over. The bonus live tracks were recorded at our first gig in ca. seven years in Bergen, Norway.

Red Harvest

Red Harvest

Let remind to the new generation fans some details… Where and how it was recorded?

– It was recorded in a studio in Oslo in the spring of 1996. It is recorded live. That means we all played together in the studio at the same time, no click or computers. Just additional vocals and guitars were added later. It was recorded on VHS tapes if I remember correctly. We worked with very alternative (at that time) layer structures on the songs, using loops and samples.

Tell me more about your lyrics in it? Who is their writer?

– Jimmi, the other guitarist and the singer wrote the entire album. Music and lyrics. The red line of the album is about cleansing of the soul and finding peace in nature.

Let’s return deeper in the past: RED HARVEST – what is the story behind that name?

– The first name of the band was ARCTIC THUNDER. After a few line up changes in ARCTIC THUNDER, it was also time to get a new name. The guy that played guitar before I joined the band, came up with RED HARVEST. No clue where he had it from. Many years later we have learned it is a very famous detective/crime novel with that name.

How do you describe the music style of the band?

– We play metal with Industrial/Human elements. We are very different from many other bands, so I prefer to call it something like that. It find it hard to label us.

Are you happy with your label Cold Dark Matter Records?

– Yes. It is a very energic and idealistic small label with personal dedication and devotion that I highly appreciate.

Red Harvest

Red Harvest; photo by: A. Linnerud

RED HARVEST split up in 2009… Is time for reunion?

– Well, we are in one way at the reunion now. But we are in no hurry and have no stress. We are back cause it is more fun now than in 2009. We stopped because we had no fun anymore and figured out that it was smart to stop before we became enemies. So we are making new music, will soon record everything and then see what happens. And we take the concerts we find cool and interesting and possible to do for us.

What is your vision upon nowadays extreme Metal scene? What is the situation in Norway? Any new bands with young members?

– I honestly have no clue, cause I don´t live in Norway anymore. But metal as we knew it in Oslo is more or less gone from what I hear. Now I guess Bergen and Kolbotn are the hot spots for Metal music.

Do you know something about Bulgarian Metal scene?

– No, sorry.

Red Harvest - Hybreed

What are your personal plans for the future?

– I will work with the new Red Harvest songs and try to get all my guitars recorded during spring 2017. I will probably record some music for another industrial band play in called KP RIOT BRIGADE. It is a band with base in Florida USA. The debut album was released some weeks ago. And I have also just recorded all my guitar tracks for another band I play in called GOTHMINISTER. New release and tour for GOTHMINISTER will be October 2017.

Did I forgot to ask you something?

– Hmmm, I don´t know. Maybe you have additional questions when you read my answers.

Last words? Your message for the readers of The Other Side…

– Give the new „Hybrid“ a listen. For those of you interested in our kind of metal will probably hear that we were way ahead of many bands at that time. And I hope we can play in Bulgaria one day, cause we never did that.

Mrazek, January 2017

With courtesy of Cold Dark Matter Records

Alan from PRIMORDIAL: blood, sweat and no compromise

Few days before their incredible performance in Sofia,  The Other Side asked some questions Alan, PRIMORDIAL‘s frontman… Read his answers without any redaction.

Interview by Mrazek, live pictures by Unholy Union ©

Hail, Alan! Introduce the members of the band in depth…

this is in our biography on the website

What are the news from PRIMORDIAL?

our last album, our 8th was released maybe 14 months ago. since then some shows and festivals and more planned for this year ahead



Tell me more about your last release „Where Greater Men Have Fallen”…

like what? was recorded in Ireland for a change…..middle of summer instead of the dead of winter.

Where and how it was recorded?

middle of Ireland…..middle of nowhere? normal way? as live as possible. no click track, no editing, no auto tune. as live as we can

Tell me more about your lyrics in it? Concept? Who is their writer?

it’s me….no overall concept. alienation, traitorous acts, sedition, martyrdom, political crisis, over coming the odds….it’s a bleak dark record for a bleak dark future



Let’s return in the past: PRIMORDIAL – what is the story behind that name?

thats also in our biography on the website, we chose it in 92. no on else had it…..kinda important

How do you describe your music style?

we don’t. metal……thats up to journalists and fans i guess

Are you happy with your label Metal Blade Records?

sure, great people. no problems. they leave us alone to do our own thing and it all works as it should.

Do you have any plans for concerts and tours?

sure. would it make any difference to list the shows that arent in your country?



Do you have any plans to make a video?

? we made two for the last album…..

You played here in 2003, what do you remember from Bulgaria?

we had a great time, new and interesting territory for us. we have learned a lot from then. you will see a more powerful band this time

Do you prepare something special for your upcoming show in Sofia?

just the same as ever. blood, sweat and no compromise. it should be a long long show also… prepared

What is your vision upon nowadays extreme metal scene? What is the situation in Ireland?



i dont know really anymore, i dont hang out as much as i used to. i guess there is a small kind of youthful thrash scene and then we have some great new bands like malthusian, zom, slidhr and bands like that, then the old guard like mourning beloveth and cruachan.

Do you know something about Bulgarian Metal scene?

not much really anymore, i am going to check out all the youtube links now to some of the support bands

What are your general plans for the future?

try and not die too soon…..other than that, sex, drugs and rock n roll right?

Did I forgot to ask you something?

i have no idea

Last words? Your message for the readers of The Other Side…

be prepared…….

Courtesy of Live & Loud.

Full photo gallery of PRIMORDIAL’s performance in Sofia (2016)

Интервюто с PRIMORDIAL на български език

Niklas Kvarforth: I cannot for the love of Lucifer understand how someone can even dare to touch the darkness without sincerity within their hearts

Hi, Niklas! Congratulations for the crushing “8 ½ – Feberdrömmar I Vaket Tillstånd”! How did you arrive at this album?

Thank you. 8 ½ is in no way a new album. About ten years ago, the original pre-recordings for III were bootlegged by a German company, however, they used very plain versions made as demos for Hellhammer before entering the studio. I have been annoyed that these fuckers have managed to cash in on my lifework, and more so, extremely pissed that these versions have been as widely spread as they have. So, since we had some time to spare, we recorded bass and keys on top of the already existing tracks and finally teamed up with Dark Essence Records to release them in a way that was more genuine and more interesting.

How did you choose the guest-vocalists who take part in five of the songs?

In 2008 we had actually planned to re-record our debut album and have six different vocalists making their own interpretations of the songs. However, this did not happen as we recorded the sixth and seventh album instead during that session. Back when that idea was being toyed around with, all six were already on board on the project. Now, a few years later one of them had to be replaced as we have somewhat come to disagree on certain things over the years. And the sixth one, Trondr Nefas, unfortunately died, so instead I chose to include the “Through Corridors Of Oppression” track we recorded during the III session and which never was released in a proper way, apart from on a split 7” with Finnish Dolorian.

Niklas Kvarforth - Shining

Niklas Kvarforth – Shining

Attila Csihar and Maniac bring quite a “Mayhem” sound to the songs in which they participate…Was the contribution of famous vocalists a major motive, or rather a colourful addition?

I have known all these people with the exception of Famine for a very long time and have worked with these individuals on other projects throughout the years, and obviously they are fantastic artists, thus, the choices were not based on if they are “famous” or not, but rather whether they are good or not. The reason I combined the old idea of the re-recording of the debut with these songs was simply to make something completely different this time around. Although, I do not sense that much Mayhemic spirit just because of Maniac and Attila, and for the latter I would draw parallels to Plasma Pool and Tormentor rather than Mayhem.

Was there a curious story you can think of during the recordings?

Not really. It was more than a decade ago I recorded the original guitars and drums so the passage of time has, in a way, shed some darkness over the whole process. And as for the vocalist’s own separate recordings, I choose not to be present, because my opinion would have interfered with their respective work.

Once the album is out, do you plan to shoot a video for some of the songs?


If there will be such a video, do you plan to invite some of the album’s guest-vocalists?

Niklas Kvarforth – Shining

Niklas Kvarforth – Shining

If we were to record a video, which we won’t, obviously the vocalist performing would have to be there. Are you conceiving tours?! Concerts?

Shining have gone through a lot of negativity recently, and so have I, on a personal level, so till now we have only performed six or seven festivals gigs during 2013. However, we did agree to a smaller club-tour throughout Europe in November. It will be interesting definitely having the new line-up tearing the world apart non-stop for a couple of weeks.

I had the chance to see you live (2009 in Germany with Satyricon), and I can note your shocking (for some) behaviour on stage. Is this you in real life, or is it a scenic act?

Of course it is me. I am not interested in playing a role merely to give a few idiots something to talk about. If I had been doing this for 17 years based on nothing but shock-value the band would have died a long time ago, which we can see happening to bands who do just that. See, as an artist, you have to ”give” something genuine, otherwise your true colours would eventually be revealed. Yet, I do not really see what you, or someone else for that matter, would consider shocking with our shows.

What about the passionate kiss mouth-to-mouth with your bassist? In fact, a contributor to our webzine also saw you in London, same tour, and had a chance to ask you the same… She recalls you maintaining your hetero-sexuality (while mentiong your then-bassist was gay), but also hinting to a few spicy details about sexual fetishes… If this isn’t too intrusive or off-limits, we’d be curious to hear whatever you care to share on sexuality…

Your contributor, did I fuck her?

(No, but I offered you strap-on play. – the contributor)

the passionate kiss

„But, those kisses happened but have nothing to do with my own sexual identity. I did those rather to strengthen the presence of discomfort and hatred within the band on stage.“

No, seriously, the bassist you are referring to, Andreas Larsen, who is bi-sexual and a fucking maggot who should be raped for the shit he pulled in the end. Unfortunately, this is a story whose details I cannot share out of respect to another member. But, those kisses happened but have nothing to do with my own sexual identity. I did those rather to strengthen the presence of discomfort and hatred within the band on stage. It worked for me at least. As for my sexual preferences that seemed to intrigue your colleague, I believe these are more or less known the past 5-6 years. Nothing special, just that I love women’s feet and legs clothed in nylon stockings and six inch heels. Occasionally drinking from the female vaults too… If you are truly interested to know more about these things I suggest you check out the coming issue of SKIN MAGAZINE where I am revealing possibly too much on the subject. However, as you get older, this interest somewhat decreases. Hopefully in the end one reaches the point where carnal pleasures are totally out of the question.

Do you find today’s black metal scene as free/exciting as it should be, or claims to be, in this respect or any other? What are your thoughts on being “true” to your stage persona, or the relation of life and art?

My art is my life, my religion and my needs all tied together, for both good and bad. I do not give the slightest fuck about any scene though, as I have myself and a few brothers and sisters in my life, which honestly, is more than enough. And I have never been either interested in, nor felt any need to “belong” to any community or whatever floats other idiots boats.

Also in 2009, you had announced a date in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, but the show was cancelled. Can you recall what happened then?

I have no idea, might have been bogus. I do know we cancelled a tour somewhere back then, but no single gigs.

Do you have any current offers from promoters to visit our country?

Unfortunately not. If anyone had come up with a good enough offer we would definitely consider it. Bulgaria, and that particular part of Europe, has always intrigued me. And to go back to your previous question about my preferred sexual fetishes, I would say that this part of the world, without a single moment of doubt, has the most beautiful women I have ever seen. There’s something about these Eastern European girls that makes me want to move there one day.

Let’s go back to “8 ½ – Feberdrömmar I Vaket Tillstånd” – what is your message there?

Message? It’s an album between two other albums and, as it hits the streets, a solid statement that we have not given up nor have any thought of ever doing that either. However, if I had my will, I would love to see the album getting our listeners to actually experience fever-dreams while awake. That would be wonderful.

If I read correctly, you re-recorded the songs in search of more authentic sound?What was different in re-recording these songs, compared to the versions included in previous releases? To elaborate on the same question, may we involve you in indirect polemics with Frost of SATYRICON (and many others for that matter), expressing a general opinion on re-recording – what would you comment on this, with regard to your new album? Was not having the technical means back then a motive?
Would you re-record a whole album; and do you think the ‘authentic spirit’ is property of the given moment back in the day, or can it be actualized?

“I think that it’s all a bit dubious whenever bands choose to re-record old material, because an album isn’t only about the tracks that are there but it’s something about the sound and the spirit of the time when it was recorded, and the spirit of the band at that point in time. I sometimes hear bands that do splendid live renderings of old songs, and they do it tighter and even more convincing than the old days; but as a more general view I think that there must be very very specific reasons to re-record whole albums. Sometimes you feel like you have good songs, but it just didn’t turn out that well because you didn’t have the proper means to record them properly or whatever. Still it feels strange if it should be for whole albums, not for just single songs.”

That is totally wrong, these takes were already recorded as demos BEFORE we recorded the real album, so in essence, they are the original recordings, or at least the base of these. I do agree with Frost on this, however, but as I said, the circumstances surrounding these very recordings are totally different. Yet, yes, of course one should avoid re-recording a whole album in general. Because, as he says, and I totally agree, there is no way to recreate the magic that fuelled the original sessions.

Niklas Kvarforth – Shining

Niklas Kvarforth – Shining

At the end of 2012, you issued a book: “When Prozac No Longer Helps” – how was it accepted by the audience?

Strangely enough, the book sold out in a matter of weeks. That is also why we are publishing a second edition next month. Same thing as last time, but with a different cover and some additional lyrics. More importantly, we’re only selling the book through to avoid leaches getting their filthy hands on copies and then putting them up for insane prices on eBay and such. Pre-sales are looking good, so who knows, might be a third edition someday too. Completely depends on the demand of course.

To what extent do you think psychological deviance is a factor in extreme metal?

I don’t really know what extreme metal is, but as for Black Metal the answer is obviously yes. I cannot for the love of Lucifer understand how someone can even dare to touch the darkness without sincerity within their hearts. Luckily though, the ones who try usually get burnt quickly, and leave their futile attempts behind while carrying the wounds inflicted upon them till death and beyond!

Do you envision further books?

I don’t really consider what I have already released to be a real book to be honest. It’s a collection of lyrics. I did however write a book a while back, maybe 4-5 years ago but decided not to publish once Martin Strandberg came up with the idea of the movie instead.

What are your general plans for the future?

To rebuild what many have tried to destroy the past year. Signing with a new record-label and other collaborators before entering the studio to record number nine. Then of course some touring and playing as many festivals we can to secure our place on Tellus as the band your parents warned you about.

Do you have a message to your fans in Bulgaria?

Pray that we will get there soon so that you’ll experience our horror-ridden ceremony in person! And if you are female, do remember the dress code.

Final words…

Everything can be solved with violence, and if you still are unsuccessful, you just haven’t used enough violence.

Interview by: Mrazek & Beyond The Black

August 2013

[Българска версия]

Видео интервю с Кай Хансен

Кратко, но интересно интервю с Кай Хансен (GAMMA RAY) директно от студиото в което музикантите пребивават понастоящем. Видеото е заснето на рожденият му ден (17 януари), когато групата изсвири новият си албум пред малка група фенове, имали късмета да спечелят пропуск за това.

Концертът на GAMMA RAY и специалните им гости RHAPSODY OF FIRE, ще се състои на 27 март  2014 г. в зала „Универсиада”, град София.


Билетите за концерта се продават в мрежата на EVENTIM в цялата страна. Местата, от които могат да бъдат закупени, са магазините на Пикадили, Germanos, Technopoilis, OMV, Office 1 Superstore, Техномаркет, ESPO груп, Usit Colours, Outlet Alex, На Тъмно, Metal Heaven,Фотосинтезис, каса 3 на НДК, Дворец на културата и спорта – Варна, Пловдив – билетна каса пред общината, както и онлайн на

Пропуските се продават в момента на  цена от 35 лева, а при налични в деня на концерта, както и на място в залата, цената им ще е 45 лева.

Frost: Confessions of a drummer

„Confessions of a drummer“ – a joint interview with Frost of Satyricon by Diana Chavdarova and Madelen Engeseth of Scream Magazine (Norway). The article is published in Norwegian in the June 2010 issue of the same magazine. Photo by Madelen Engeseth.

Logic and disciplined thought are apparent in all of your statements. What is your formal education?

Well, says Frost, I’m actually an engineer, but that’s an education I’ve never made use of. I took a course in Computer Science at Oslo University, graduating with an engineering degree. I sort of thought that I might combine that kind of work where I had great mobility and flexibility, with Satyricon. When I undertook those studies, Satyricon had begun to grow to some extent. So I thought, given the market situation in those days, that I would be able to get a job anytime with an IT-education. Thought I could get well paid temporary jobs in between the Satyricon tours. However, things turned out differently by the time I was finished. Education was really worthless. There weren’t many jobs and any chance for the newly graduated to get them, not to mention temporary jobs and such. It is quite a sleeping title I have, he says.

Why choose music as your occupation?

To answer that, we must look into what happened in 1992. I had actually put my drumsticks on the shelf, and thought that I should remain a devoted fan rather than a musician, since that was how I viewed myself. I had played drums for some years, but not taken it that far. I didn’t think of myself as a musician, even though I had a tremendous interest in music and had already chosen black metal as my lifestyle. I thought that some people had to be fans as well – that’s how I pictured the whole thing. Then it happened that Satyr had mentioned to Bard Faust that Satyricon needed a drummer. I knew Faust well from Lillehammer, we had both lived there and even played together some time earlier. (Frost catches his breath…) So, Faust brought us together, and Satyr and I decided that I should audition for Satyricon – it was the end of 1992. I didn’t feel I was particularly good; I hadn’t played in months, either. I was rusty in addition to being bad,Frost says with a smile. It wasn’t a very impressive scenario, really, but Satyr and the two others that were in Satyricon at the time saw some kind of potential in my playing. They probably felt there was something special about my sound, a character and aggression maybe. The type of fuel they needed. They wanted to hear more and didn’t give up, so I thought I should capitalize on this. I began to practice like a beast. Seized the opportunity, and the rest is history as they say. This isn’t quite true, however, because I continued to pursue music as a passionate hobby for years. In 2003, I decided that I should start seeing myself as a musician. Up until then, I didn’t. I thought of myself more as a fan that ran away with music.However, I have always had little interest in the geeky aspects of having music as more than just a hobby. I haven’t studied other drummers, haven’t had any role models. I have not been so fanatically concerned with my own instrument. For me, the guitar has always played a greater role in the sound as a whole. I’m not exactly the type that would use my spare time to brush cymbals and wax my drum kit, he laughs. It was probably more in later years that I really started to dig what other drummers were doing, and listen to different types of music to find solutions for what works and what doesn’t. It was probably more to broaden my horizons and better myself at my instrument. So, the answer is twofold – I took an important step in 1992, and another equally important recently.


Frost. Photo by Madelen Engeseth

You demonstrate, in your statements and playing, two opposite sides: one of structure and logic and another of instinct and intensity. How do you balance them, and is one stronger than the other?

I suppose that the latter was stronger at first, because then I didn’t reflect much on what I was doing. I was really just driven by my interest in music, and playing drums was a way to show it actively. It has over time become a natural consequence that music felt like a great part of my life and I felt that I lived and breathed for it, but without being a musician with capital M.
I let myself be more or less guided by my own dedication, rather than systematically working to improve myself technically, analyze my own task and so on. I probably have a lot more balance between those things now. It is an insight that has to do with my desire in recent years to seriously improve myself. I feel that perhaps there is a potential there that can and should be exploited. To do so, I need discipline and I need structure, I need a way to bring that in. However, the violent and somewhat animalistic drive that I have while I’m playing will always be there. It is habitual and a part of my way of being. If I feel that it isn’t there anymore, I think I will lose all motivation to play.

What part of your personality is most organically expressed in your cooperation with Satyr, and do you feel that your cooperation with him is more creatively liberating than that with any other artist?

To answer the latter first, I will say both yes and no. Accordingly, the way I work in Satyricon is much different from the way I work in 1349. In Satyricon I work with a very creative person. I think of him as the greatest composer the black metal scene has today, and so it is logical for me to devote myself to that. To complete his compositions and be a part of his creative work also spurs me to think in a creative way. I have to complete his creativity by demonstrating creativity on my own instrument. We want Satyricon to be creative, and that should be present on all levels. He has stimulated me to think creatively, and to see others develop and be innovative does something for me too. Satyr will often sit playing the guitar while I play drums, and then we will get into a productive track and keep on. We then are both creative and it is stimulating.
1349 is creative in a slightly different manner: there are less limitations and as a rule I myself decide everything that comes to the drums. I have total control of the rhythmic side of 1349 – then I get to use the natural creativity that I have. 1349 has a very good band spirit that is motivating and inspiring in itself. I can’t say that I prefer one band over the other, because these are two different ways of working. I am very happy that I have these two different bands – one where I’m completely free and I can let things bubble and boil over, and one where another person controls much of the development.

What specific aspects of your contribution to Satyricon fuel your passion for music?

It is hard to say anything other than that it should be all about the drumming, and it is by necessity a wholistic picture. To devote myself to Satyricon the way I have done and put my entire soul into my playing.

Have you reached a point where you could lead a project of your own?

Yes, I have written and arranged music for 1349 for example. Wrote lyrics even. But that doesn’t mean that I lead the band. It is like that in Satyricon too – at times I will lead the live-band. I lead the rehearsals and decide when we should meet, the points of focus, what songs to play etc. In a different way, I take the lead in 1349 when I feel necessary. It is open for everyone to do that in the band. However, I do it mostly when it comes to arranging music and developing specific concepts. I will never be the leader of a band and I have no wish to have a band of my own.

You have said in an interview that “black metal has been evolving like any living organism, but the time has come for a revolution”. Could you please elaborate?

Yes, I can. I think that we have reached a point where something much more radical should happen, than has been the case in the past 10-15 years. The bands that front the whole black metal scene today are basically the same bands that were the leading players about 15 years ago. Besides that, there are projects that have been started by that generation. There are some new and good bands that have come forth recently, but in my opinion they resemble in all major aspects the bands from our generation. That is still the leading concept.It’s almost as if the new bands that emerge have to sound like old Darkthrone, Bathory or early Immortal to break through, while those who created the scene and built the foundations of what we have today, were very creative and did something that had never been done before. That was the way with Venom, Celtic Frost and Bathory. And when Norwegian bands came and revitalized an almost dead scene in the 90s, they also created something new that hadn’t been there before. This was the case with ”A Blaze in the Nothern Sky” by Darkthrone, Burzum, old Immortal, etc. Even if their references were obvious, they contributed with something new to a genre that was very radical. That’s what I feel we need now. I think that things have stagnated so much, that it is urgent for something like that to happen again to signify that the genre would continue to live. It’s become so old and stiff, with a nasty tendency to be repetitive and unoriginal, while it should be a creative and tremendously brute force. It has very little sting and it becomes conservative. And that is not good, he says smiling. So we need a bunch of 16-18 year olds that are really, genuinely black metal – something which is unlike anything else. Anything that’s more than just incredible speed or authentic sound.

Your decision to devote your life to music seems to have been taken recently. Could you specify the time and circumstances around it?

It would be difficult, he thinks before continuing. I came to that decision in 2004, and I guess I began to think about in 2003. In 2004, I decided this was the way I wanted things to be. From then on I would start seeing myself as a musician. I feel that there is a responsibility there as well.

As your skill level and confidence increased during your career, has your view changed on the importance of drums in song structure?

Yes, very much so. What I have learned recently is that assessing one’s own role is fucking important. Indeed, it is essential for every musician. But I wish I had learned that earlier. I think that in old Satyricon I did too much, played too much. I paid too much focus and attention, which ruined the drive of the songs. I should have allowed more room for the guitar and vocals in many places. There needn’t be anything wrong with fierce intensity or dense information, but you should always consider whether it is appropriate or not. This I have begun to realize recently, and I think it has pulled me further than many a technical success.

You often say that you ”still live the black metal lifestyle”. What does that entail?

It is a bit obscure, but I discovered around 90-91, he says thoughtfully, that the whole aura I perceived as black metal was damn appealing. I went to Helvete, for the first time in 90 or 91. Then everything was black, it was obscure. There were religious symbols, St Peter’s crosses, cat dolls with blood painted across their eyes, bullet belts and so on. And people had a dark aura that came with the spikes and long black hair and the whole package. It really got me. I thought: ”this is it”. Young people often search for an identity, without necessarily being aware of it. I guess I did, too. It came as a flash – there was finally something I could identify with. It was very strong; I realized this was the way it was going to be, without thinking of the consequences or what I was going to do. I was in, I already had black clothes and an inverted cross hung around my neck and so on. But there’s something more to it. I think I was very aware of the dark atmospheres and how much they meant to me. The clothing style I can still call my own. In 1349 I grow a bit traditional with leather and spikes, trying to take it far and make it grim. I have strong intuition for what works in that world. I like to experience the dark world that arises, and really make things right in order for black metal and other dark music to work.

What kind of literature has influenced you, and how?

I don’t know if there’s any piece of literature that has directly influenced my musicality. All that one reads will surely have an impact, and it might to some extent emerge in the style of playing. However, it would be more on a subconscious level. I read some cult literature, because I find it fascinating. The human subconscious is a very exciting field and that is exactly what magic is about. In addition, I think that Aleister Crowley has a very elegant style of writing. I like several books by Brett Easton Ellis, largely because of the language, as much as the plots. I love his language. He has been very lucky with the translations of his books into Norwegian. I have read ”American Psycho” in both Norwegian and English – it works very well in both languages. I think there are many clever translating solutions in Norwegian. So, these are excellent books. How literature has affected me, I don’t really know, I don’t think that way in relation to literature. The things I choose to read, the things I choose to listen to, and the way I express myself when I play, may all represent different sides of me. I am not sure whether these sides influence each other. I won’t deny the possibility.

Do you have favourite films and TV series?

I will highlight Eraserhead as my favourite film. This must have been David Lynch’s first real movie. It is completely outstanding. Very dark and dystopic. Lots of surrealism that he has given a shape and that I like very much. I have a deep sense of David Lynch and the way he relates to ideas and the human subconscious in a very successful way. He has no trouble completely devoting himself to abstract ideas to which he gives a cinematic shape, while at the same time placing them in a rather regular film context. I think the way he works with colours and filters is completely outstanding. The nightmarish mood in Eraserhead is probably what I rank the highest.There’s the feeling when I watch a David Lynch film that works within my mind. I understand him on some level even though I sometimes lose track, but at the same time it is just fascinating, he smiles. To see how he can create moods and cinematic art that you do not necessarily understand, but like a lot – I feel very inspired by seeing such things.You also mentioned TV series, and it’s obvious there must be Twin Peaks. Especially the first eight episodes, and the final. I like the series in its entirety and the characters he created. It’s absolutely brilliant.

You have the groove of a jazz drummer. To what extent do you appreciate jazz? What types of music do you listen to nowadays?

As a matter of fact, at the moment I listen a lot to a band that could be categorized as jazz, Bohren und der Club of Gore from Germany. It is basically a slow jazz band that operates on the borders of black, tenacious dark jazz, ambient and tafelmusik. All of their albums are very good. It is darker than…all black metal there is. People who are familiar with the jazz-like themes of Angelo Badalamenti, film music-maker who has worked closely with David Lynch for many years, would probably nod in recognition to much of Bohren’s music.

Do you have other artistic talents, for example design, drawing, etc.?

I wouldn’t take it that far. I have made a few rather simple designs. I used to do some logo drawing and stuff like that many years ago. I don’t do that much anymore. It was more of an interest I had in my teens, maybe in my early 20s. Now I feel I haven’t the time to dedicate myself to anything other than drumming, which is more than a big enough task in itself. Now and then, it is fun to draw a little – I usually draw patterns, symbols and logos. I think it would be fun to work a little on the guitar, too. It would have been great to be a guitarist, because I would like to write more music; I have already written some on guitar, but I can’t really play the instrument. That is a creative obstacle, obviously.

Have possibilities for commercial success played any role in your participation in a project and the direction you want the music to take?

Then I would have paved my own downfall. I work so that the bands I am in, go further, and the two bands in which I participate are Satyricon and 1349 – it is that simple. When we create music and visual concepts, anything artistic, we just do what we want, what we think is right. What fits the project that we’re working on. We follow our own taste. When things are done we will do our best to bring it as far as we can. He contemplates. In order to dedicate ourselves to what we do, we are obviously dependent on making money out of it. However, we will never whore ourselves, or we better just call it a day. I think it’s a good thing to work to get your records out.

Could you say that Satyricon is mentally challenging to you, while 1349 is emotionally challenging?

Well,he smiles. I can understand what you mean, in a way. In another way it is really the same thing. However, in regard to “mentally challenging”, I think that the way I play in Satyricon has come to be a lot about groove and taking things down, making it simple. It is much more mentally than physically demanding, and it is in many ways maybe heavier. In 1349, it is really hard work, and to be able to have that drive all the time, you have to be emotionally involved. I have an aggressive drive which arises spontaneously when I sit behind the drum kit, regardless of what I’m playing really, for better or worse. When I play with 1349, however, I invoke it additionally. That brings forth a lot of red energy in my direction. It is both a mental and an emotional thing. He thinks for a second.It is very important, that is. A sheer technical approach would not work for me at all.

To what extent are you involved in composing music and lyrics for 1349 in the last two albums?

As for ”Revelations of the Black Flame”, I didn’t write music for that album; however, I worked very creatively with the rhythm on the three regular metal songs. ”Maggot Fetus/Teeth Like Thorns” was a song I got perfect musical contact with. It was a damn kick to work with it and I still think it is one of 1349’s best songs – simple and straightforward but still evocative and special. The title of the album was mine by the way; the night it emerged I just had to forget about sleep. I think the dark, twisted and eerie atmosphere of ”Revelations…” is superb. On ”Demonoir”, I have contributed with an odd theme and worked a lot with arrangements and structuring. In addition, I wrote the lyrics to the title track. But above all, I put a lot of effort into the drumming solutions; I had the idea that the album should be incredibly dark, intense and violent, and I saw it as a task to substantiate with my drumming. It was all an exhausting affair, both to create and perform much of the material. The concept of viewing the songs as qliphotic stations or levels and linking them together with intros and intermezzos – which we call tunnels – was also mine. I see ”Demonoir” as an album with qliphotic moods – I link it with the tree of death according to the Kabbalistic tradition – and death is comprised of three stations that are connected with tunnels; Seth’s tunnels. These musical tunnels on “Demonoir” contribute greatly to give the album its twisted, dark and sinister atmosphere, and above all bind the individual tracks together into a whole. I like albums with a strong sense of unity. You should feel that when you enter the Demonoir world, you are not out until you have gone through the entire album.

Do you get many offers from bands who want you to join forces with them?

There are the requests, but most people recognize that I am busy with what I do. Even if I can do other projects, I prefer to dedicate myself to what I am doing. I never get into things without giving a bit of myself. At least I have to find something that I like. I have decided to keep things at a minimum; there is no extra time or spare energy. I have decided to prioritize the two bands I am in now. I will not do anything that interferes with the work I do there.

Can you think of musicians that you have not yet worked with, but you’d like to do so in the future?

Nobody in particular. I feel that I have a very exciting future both in Satyricon and 1349. I think that the two bands themselves are exciting instruments for musical expression. With the qualities the bands have now, I think it’s exciting to see how they evolve, and take an active part in it. That is big, Frost concludes, leaving us grateful and inspired.

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