Interview with Dimmu Borgir 1

Source:  Lords Of Metal
Issue 29 - September 2003

Dutch:

Dimmu Borgir is uitgegroeid tot een van de heersende en meest populaire bands in het Blackmetal genre. Met elk album wat ze uitbrengen lijken ze weer meer populair te worden. Nu "Death Cult Armageddon", hun nieuwe album, op het punt staat om uit te komen (de 8e September) is het tijd om meer te weten te komen over Dimmu Borgir. Wat hebben ze uitgespookt in de afgelopen jaren sinds de release van hun brilliante album "Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia" en wat ligt er in de toekomst? Ik bel met een zeer vriendelijke en relaxte Shagrath...


English:

Dimmu Borgir has grown to be one of the leading and most popular bands in the Blackmetal scene. With every album they release they seem to gain more and more popularity. Now “Death Cult Armageddon”, their new album, is about to be released (the 8th of September) it’s time to learn more about Dimmu Borgir. What have they been doing in the past years since the release of their brilliant album “Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia” and what’s in the future. I’m calling with a very friendly and relaxed Shagrath…



Text: Peter B.



How are you guys doing?

We’ve been very busy the last week, we’re on the promotional tour right now, interview sessions and stuff, so you could say it’s very hectic on the moment. But we’re doing ok actually, yeah!

Your new album hasn’t been released yet isn’t it?

That’s right, it’s going to be released the 8th of September in Europe

Are there any reactions already on the new stuff? Maybe on the internet?

Well, basicly it’s not out yet, so not so many people have heard it yet actually. But our close friends and fans are all very positive about the album. Also all the people that interviewed us are very enthousiastic, so that’s all going very well actually. It’s going to be very cool to see what the crowd’s reaction is going to be, but sofar it’s been very, very good.



The new album sounds very ‘Dimmu Borgir’ to me. Did the new line-up have any influence on the material?

Well, we basicly have the same line-up for a while now, like we had on the first two albums and of course it’s a good thing to have a steady line-up because you all know eachother much better. It just works a lot better. It’s a good thing.

But did it affect the music?

Of course it does. It’s always like that with new people. We’re actually writing the music with four people and everybody has a different style of writing music. It’s nice to combine those things in the music.

I think it’s nice that there are two songs on the new album with Norwegian lyrics again. Is there a special reason for doing that?

Basicly we want to keep the old tradition alive, like we did before. We used Norwegian lyrics on the first two albums and we want to keep the old-school feeling alive. It’s a bit of going back to the roots, also with some of the music. Some songs have that ‘old’ Dimmu Borgir feel to it. Some people like it and some don’t. I think it’s good to vary with these things.

But what do you prefer? I guess you’re writing all the lyrics. Do you personally like English or Norwegian lyrices better?

Actually it’s Silenoz who writes most of the lyrics these days. I concentrate more on the music myself... so ehm.. what did you say? Hahahah!



Ehm well.. hehehe! I’m just wondering what you guys prefer. Do you prefer the English lyrics more or the Norwegian, because I can imagine that it’s easyer for you to express yourself in your mothertongue.

Ah, ok. Ehm... well, for us it’s a good thing to sing in the Norwegian language, because it’s more ‘harsh’ and straight to the point. Singing in Norwegian makes it more real I guess. But actually it’s more normal to sing in Norwegian but better to have English lyrics also. The best thing is to combine them. The old school fans like it very much that we do this.

Yeah, it’s almost like the original black metal needs the Norwegian lyrics to make it sound authentic.

Yeah, it seems like although they originally don’t understand the lyrics, it seems that a lot of people are getting into them.

Maybe it’s a challenge for a lot of people?

Maybe, but it’s also that some of the lyrics are very hard to translate to English because it’s rather strange Norwegian. If people translate them it could come out the wrong way. It could be the wrong statement.

Something completely different. Your recordcompany sent us the promo of your new album on traditional audio-cassette. Is there a special reason for that and did Dimmu Borgir have anything to do with this dicision?

Well, the reason must be because a lot of releases that are sent to journalist are put on the internet right away. That’s not supposed to happen. There’s a reason why there are release dates but sometimes albums can be found on the i-net months before they’re officially released. Basicly, it’s more difficult to put it on the internet when one receives the promo on cassette so... ok, it might not be the same sound-quality but a professional journalist will have a tape-deck too, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

Hey, I’ve got one!

Yep, so you are a professional hahahah! But anyway, the cassette wasn’t our idea. It’s the recordcompany that decides how to spread the promo-packages. They tried it with cd-copy-protection stuff earlyer, but then people start to complaint about not being able to play the cd on their car-stereo and stuff so I guess they just found a different way to do it.

So, the new album is set to be released soon, yet you don’t play any summerfestivals this year. Why is that?

Basicly because we’ve been working for an entire year on this album, and an additional three months in the studio recording it. I mean, that’s really hard work you know and we can’t be in different places at the same time so we basicly have to concentrate on one thing at a time and do things as good as possible. Furthermore it’s better to wait until you release an album and then go on the road again. It’s going to be a very big world tour from September on untill the summer festivals of next year.



Ok, I see. Something completely different now: You worked with an orchestra from Prague on the new album. How was it working with them?

Hahaha I don’t know. I wasn’t there hahhaha! Everything was arranged and prepared before by the producers and the conductor went to Prague to record it, so I wasn’t a part of the actual recording. However, I was working with the recordings after they returned from Prague because it was a lot of hard work to add it to the mix. It took us two weeks.

So the Orchestra got all the music on sheets then?

We wrote all the melodies that the orchestra had to play and the conductor recreated it into a structure so that the orchestra can play it. That’s basicly how it works.

Is there a special reason why you choose for the orchestra in Prague?

Well, it was the conductor who chose the orchestra because it’s all about the prizes. It’s a very expensive thing to work with an orchestra consisting of 50 people. We had to choose the cheapest place with a good sound. So it was the conductor’s choice.

Your last album was recorded somewhere in the end of the year 2000. Why did it take you guys so long to write a new album?

Because every time we release an album we go on tour right away. This lasts for almost a year. We’re not a band that writes new stuff on the tourbus. We prefer a relaxted and quiet enviroment to write music so we only can start writing new stuff when we return from a tour.Also, the more time you have the better quality the songs will be in the end.

But don’t you get some small ideas on tour yet?

Actually no... we can’t do that.We really need the quiet and relaxted enviroments. It works better for us.

You’re considered being one of the biggest Blackmetalbands on this moment. What do you think of new, young bands in this genre. Can you name a few bands you like?

It’s kind of hard for me to tell, because there are so many bands out there. I’m sure there will be lots of promising bands out there but I haven’t heard that much of them, because personally I’m only listening to old school Blackmetal.

So what is the rest of the band listening to at the moment. Do you have any idea?

Old school heavymetal, blackmetal and deathmetal. But also non-metal stuff. We’re quiet openminded actually so we listen to different stuff.

Can you give me an example of non-metal bands that you’re listening to?

Tanging Green, Devilgold (? Not sure if I got this right – PB) hmm... yeah, lots of different stuff.

If there’s anything you could change regarding to Dimmu Borgir, what would that be?

I wouldn’t change anything. We’re perfectly happy with the way things are going.

So Dimmu Borgir is your dream come true?

It’s not like a dream... it’s very hard work and it’s tough sometimes, but we’re very pleased with the position we’re in.



When I was looking at your homepage earlyer this week I saw a poll on there. The question was “Do you consider yourself being a goth?”. Is this something you wanted to know or a joke from the webmaster?

Well, we don’t have anything to do with gothic, so maybe it’s a joke? I don’t know.

So you’re not into gothic, but on your last tour you were wearing this long black skirt on stage. What does that mean to you?

Basicly I want to recreate some of the old Hellraiser feeling. You know Pinhead used to wear a black skirt. It’s not meant to look gothic. I fucking hate gothic music so...

But maybe the audience don’t get that and consider it as a sort of flirting with the gothic scene? For instance, it’s clear that some of your audience are wearing gothic clothing and stuff.

I don’t have a problem with that. People can do and wear whatever they want. It’s just that I have absolutely nothing incommon with the gothic scene or it’s clothing or music. For us it’s about pure blackmetal. If the fans want to dress as goths, so be it.

The reason i’m asking this is, is because I think that a lot of metalfans are very narrowminded when it comes to how one is dressed. If a band is dressed somehow different then the traditional heavymetal outfit, they often start to say things like “this is gay, they must be gay” and stuff.

Hahaha! I dress exactly how I want. I don’t listen to people when it comes to things like this. They can say whatever they want. If they want to call me gay, fine. I don’t care what they say. I’m perfectly satisfied with who I am, and i’m defenately not gay hahah! It’s hard for some people to accept new things sometimes and they can talk a lot of bullshit about things they don’t know anything about so...

So your going on tour in September. That’s going to be the start of the worldtour. What’s going to happen?

Yeah, we starting out with 8 to 10 Norwegian shows, after that it’s Europe for one month. Then it’s going to be America in November and South-America, Japan, Australia in the next year. And of course the summerfestivals next year. It’s going to be busy!

With what bands are you going to tour Europe?

Ehm, it’s going to be with Hypocrisy in Europe. In the USA it’s going to be with Nevermore and Children Of Bodom.

Ok, I seems like i’m through with all my questions. Thanks a lot for your time!

Hey no problem. Take care, bye-bye!

http://www.dimmu-borgir.com/

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