Interview with Nocturno Culto of Darkthrone 2005
By Bradley Smith
photo by Metalion
I understand you are basically finished recording your new album tentatively titled “The Cult is Alive” which seems pretty straightforward for an album title from you guys. Can you tell us a little about it and how it compares to the rest of your albums? Also what are some of the song titles?
Yeah, you’re right, we’re almost finished. 2 songs left to record. The title will of the album will tell you lots more once you’ve heard the album. The album was supposed to have 11 tracks, but that is now reduced to 10. The 11th song will appear exclusively for our single alongside a coversong (won’t tell you the name of the band yet). Those two tracks are only for the single, but it will also contain one song from the album, only slightly different. Fenriz also does some vocals for the album and single, and, guitar solos are also the new agenda. Things are for sure happening. Oh, did I mention a music video? We’ll make a LOW BUDGET video, no fancy glitter and glamour here. We must make sure the necro and cold music parade through an otherwise fancy and plastic scene. All this single and video stuff is only meant for this time only. We must set our mark. Some titles for the album: “Too Old Too Cold”, “Graveyard Slut” and….hmmm “The Cult of Goliath”.
I know you guys are increasingly hailing the influence that Punk rock has had on your music and its roots have been evident in your recent musical output. Will we see more punk rock showing through on this album? And since you hail some great punk bands I was wondering what you thought of the Accused which I feel is the punk version of Autopsy and would seem to be right up your alley.
It’s right up my alley, and in fact punk rock is closest to my heart….I can feel it all the time. Black metal done the right way (just my personal opinion), has very much in common with punk, really. Hehe, I remember I saw Rich Kids On LSD in Oslo in 89. Great! Napalm Death were also visiting Oslo at that time. And yes, you will definitely see our punk rock elements strong on this album. Fenriz just said “I would be extremely bitter if I died before this album is out.” Funny guy. But it shows how much we appreciate this album.
I have heard you guys bought a new version of Necrohell. How did the recording go there and what sort of influence did having your own studio to work with have on the recording process? What kind of time were you able to spend on the actual recording? Is it still located in Fenriz’s house?
Yes, we bought Necrohell 2. And it has A LOT to say for our recording process. We’re all more relaxed, and it shows especially on Fenriz’ drumming…the man is such a natural talent, and he never stops amazing me. He’s just the perfect musician for me to work with. Everything goes smooth, and we record at our very remote rehearsing place, that is several hours north of Oslo.
It seems that with each new album you guys are releasing the expectations are increasing. I think this has several reasons which include the increased focus and artistic strength of your recent albums setting the bar higher and higher. What do you think about this observation?
Well, we actually feel some of that as well. I remember after the recording of “Sardonic Wrath”, we thought “how the hell are we going to top this one?”, and we usually don’t think like that, but fuck yeah, we topped it big time (only our opinion). So now the big question is raised, “will we top this one?” My answer is a resounding yes, ‘cause we have lots more to offer, and we will be even better.
In an interview with Zero Tolerance ‘zine you told of a Video project you were working on. How is that coming? I have also heard a rumour that there might be some sort of tie in with the new album and the medium of video. Is this true?
Yes and no, my film project is not a Darkthrone product, though Darkthrone appears a lot in it. It will just be a strange moody film about inspirations, blackmetal, Darkthrone and strange people and Norwegian culture (the non Christian culture that is). The film will be finished next summer. I film and edit myself, so this is not a professional film, but an insight in different things regarding music and culture.
For the new album I have heard so many rumours about who will be doing the artwork. I have heard Kim Solve, Banks Violette, and even Eric Masicotte(THESYRE) will have a hand in it. Can you straighten this out a little bit?
Ok, we had to cancel the Banks Violette part of it, due to communication failure, but both we and him want to make something together in the near future I guess. And yes, Kim Solve will be doing the overall design on this album, and Eric Masicotte has contributed with such a masterpiece of a singlecover. It totally rules.
You recently made a trip to Japan for the Norwegian Black metal exhibition by photographer Peter Beste. How did this go? What was your impression of Japan and Peter Beste? His popularity seems to have grown quite a bit.
That was a hell of a cool trip. I’m just fascinated by Japan, the people, the mad modern culture combined with ancient culture and behaviour. Peter is a very good photographer, and I have known him for quite a while now. Guess I’ll meet up with him later, maybe in Poland.
Also to go along with the Norwegian Black metal exhibition you also released the Under Beskyt’telse av Morke Boxed set limited to 666 copies(which is one of the best boxed sets I have ever seen). How did this come about? I know Makoto said he designed it. Can you tell us a little more about what it contains and the rehearsal session that is featured in it?
Well, it’s 3 rehearsal songs from Under A Funeral Moon, some postcards and a little figure with Darkthrone logo on it. Mad stuff, but I really have not seen much of it. I don’t even own a boxset myself. Makoto was bragging about sending me two sets when I got home….yeah right. I heard from Satoshi, but when I was to return my answer, the address did not work. Great guys, Satoshi looked completely mad with scooter and crash-helmet.
Your last two albums were stolen and put out on the internet ahead of the albums actual release. Are you taking extra measures this time around to ensure this does not happen again? What do you think about the actions of the people who placed your last albums out there for downloading?
You really cannot stop science. It was our mastering guy that was careless about copies I guess. Fuck that, we’ll definitely want to go somewhere professional this time around, and yes, we’re definitely taking measures big time now. People who physically put that on the net knew it was not allowed by us, and therefore probably feel they have some form of power, and maybe they got a small tiny adrenaline rush, poor, poor, sad motherfucker. I don’t care. For a band like Darkthrone, it won’t matter that much.
How has the transition been from Moonfog back to Peaceville? I take it they will release your new album. Why did you leave Moonfog? I personally was not a huge fan of the direction it seemed they were going in.
The reasons are many. The transition is great for us, we have had ups and downs in our relationship with Peaceville, but the downs was only present in 93-94, after that it has been great, so this is just a natural thing to do. They and we (Tyrant Syndicate Prod) will release the new album, yes.
Is the live show you performed with Satyricon at Wacken ever going to be released in some sort of format? I thought Hordes of Nebulah was a strange choice to perform live despite it being my favourite song from Panzerfaust. What made you choose that song?
The pace, the feeling I get from screaming it I guess. Don’t really know if it’s gonna be released or not yet.
How is Tyrant Syndicate going? What will be your next release/signing? Also do you have any words regarding Agressor’s(Aura Noir) injury? I was thinking you guys should try and steal Audiopain away from Vendlus records. They seem like a perfect fit.
The syndicate is going fine indeed. We have just signed OLD from Germany, and you’ll definitely gonna be in awe after they release their debut early next year. They know what they want, they don’t mess around trying to be great, but they are a fantastic band which we are really looking forward to release. Abscess is also in talks with us, and it’s no denying we’re huge fans. And that band has a great story, ever since Reifert drummed his way through “Scream Bloody Gore”, the first Death album. We’re not able to sign much more for now, lots of work to be done, and since Aura Noir also is up to something these days, it’ll be enough for now. Aggressor is doing really fine, and we are all very optimistic for him. He’s a fighter. I’ve visit as often as I can, and he seems to recover each time I “pop” by.
It seems every time I interview you the world just gets more and more violent with the bombings in London and Egypt as well as the war in Iraq happening since I last talked with you. What do you think about this grinding of religious fanatics against each other? To me it shows more evidence of the dangers of believing in fairy tales.
Yes, exactly, fuck religion of any sort. The human race is on the surface strong and mighty, but we are also the weakest. We are on full force ahead to the total extermination of ourselves. Why doesn’t someone just bomb the Vatican and Mecca altogether? Beats me, but it tells us that humans are too weak. We have to take care of all individuals in the world, even if the society and planet don’t need them, we protect all kind of criminals here in the west. Fuck religion!!!
Any last words for the fans from the band that has risen to truly reign from on that dark throne? Next time you are in London drop me a line and I will try and help you avoid the train bombers. Heh heh.
Words….well I do really hope we can all enjoy our new album, and the lyrics of Fenriz keep growing, he’s the fucken master of lyrics, hail.