1. Hi Aphazel, how are the things there?
– Hi, all is fine here, it’s getting cold here already, winter is coming…
2. Tell us something about the current activities that are taking place in the
Ancient camp ? Any new gigs coming soon ?
– Yeah, at the moment we’re planning gigs for the next year, if everything goes as planned we should tour Europe in february/ march, and USA later in the spring. Our management is also gonna check if it’s possible to visit Turkey, as we will probably do a tour through Greece and that area sometime in the spring, let’s keep our fingers crossed and see if it will be possible !
We’re doing a lot of practices with the band these days, and we’re gonna play in France on Halloween along with Dissection at their comeback gig in Europe, so we’re looking forward to that a lot.
3. ‘Night visit’ has already been released ,what can you say about this latest
release for the ones who haven’t bought/listened it yet?
– We have received excellent critics from the press and also the older fans to like this album. We’re very satisfied with it ourselves, both the music and production came out very much the way we wanted. There’s a couple of new elements in out sound now, some of it a bit cause Dhilorz was also involved in the songwriting this time, and we did also want an album with a bit more fresh and interesting sound while still keeping the roots of the band, and I think we pretty much achieved this.
4. Is there any lyrical conception that is employed in the ‘Night visit’ album ?
– It’s not a concept album, but it deals mainly with topics like hauntings, the realm of the dead and a lot of different dark fantasy lyrics. The title track is about a girl who is haunted by a person from the past who tried to reach her though dreams etc and she panics, Envision the beast is talking about a kind of female who is a typical heartless man eater, seen as a “beast” or a kind of devil in disguise, Lycanthropy explains the topic by the title itself, I think, hehe.
5. When we take a great look through the ancient years, we can clearly see a
kind progress which is obtained in the musical character of the Ancient. I mean there
have always been different elements in each album of Ancient. Is this your main aim
when composing new songs for the coming albums? Are you an individual who is always
for progress in his music?
– Actually it’s not something we consciously strife against, it’s just comes natural. The only “aim” we have is to make something great and that we feel a strong passion for. Normaly after I have made an album in one particular style, I feel like doing something different the next time around, I don’t like the feeling of repeating something that already has been done as good as we can, if we can’t do it better then we do something else which we enjoy. We’re not narrowminded but I think we still keep a certain sound that can make people recognize the typical Ancient sound, many fans keep telling us this. I think with this way of working we have obtained a sound which is different than most other bands in our genre, and I think this has been an advantage for us, we’re not a bands that sound like 200 others.
6. As we all know, Ancient has started as a one man band in Norway, 1992. Some
other members came /went throughout the time. So, can you say me what are(were) the
positive sides of being an only person who is responsible for everything in the
band? Moreover, do you content with the current line up?
– When you are the only person responsible for the songwriting and the band in general, there’s rarely any disputes or hard discussions about decisions to make etc etc, and it can feel very comfortable a lot of times, other times it can be good to have more people share the work, when you’re doing something very time consuming. The current line-up works very well together although at times we have discussions etc, it’s normal. Back in ’92-’93 when the band was new and we had not released any albums I felt it easier and faster to come up with new songs, a lot cause the genre was still new and there were a lot of things that had not already been done by the other bands around, most bands then were just more original sounding. Today the songwriting sometimes goes a bit slower cause unlike the way it was 10 years ago, now there’s also the concern of not doing something we have already done or that some other band have already done. Usually we just play what we feel like, but since there’s so many bands out there and there’s been so many albums released in the genre, it has become more of a challenge to come up with something interesting and original. Still, with this album I think we pretty much did it !
7. You lived in USA as well, actually I do not think that there is possible
background enough to create Black Metal in America. I mean people seem to be more
interested in something they can consume more easily there, less mystical, less
dark…Yeah of course there has been some great black metal bands coming from USA but
not so many…What do you think about that? What might be the reason for this situation
– Yeah, the general atmosphere and the people there are different, it’s also a country with just a few hundred years of history, not like here in Europe where you can often feel strong ancient roots out in the nature and so on. Most people over there have a quite different feeling and spirit inside them than people in Europe and Scandivania. I was lucky to find some good musicians though ( Jesus Christ and Kaiaphas ) so it worked out fine for us, but yeah USA doesn’t exactly have the atmosphere and environment for black metal, they have a lot of good death metal though.
8. How it feels when you are a black metal originated band in a label which is
mostly known for its death metal bands? Are you friendly with your labelmates ?
– I know the guys of Immolation and a few more, but we don’t really have much contact with the bands on the label, I don’t know actually what all the bands on the MB roster at the moment, I guess being on the same label doesn’t really give some special reason to be in contact with the other bands, similar situation as if we go into a studio who has been shared by many other bands, or tour with an agency that has booked lots of bands before us. We’re friends with some of the bands we like, it’s not really important what label they’re on..
I think being on a label that is most known for death metal ( and also heavy metal ) has been in some ways good and in some bad, but we’re pretty much satisfied with it, we have been having a good distribution and promotion for the albums, just for touring sometimes we could have needed a bit more support and collaboration with the label…
9. What is the cover of ‘Night visit’ stands for? Whose work is it?
– The cover somewhat shows what the song is about, a girl who is being haunted by a spirit ( which you can see in the mirror ) while she is asleep, the cover and art in the album booklet was done by Fabio Timpanaro, Neon Trinity Kill studios, he is a good artist and we decided to work with him for this album about a year before we recorded.
10. Some true Black metal environments blame you about the deal with Metal
Blade, especially for passing the underground and for being trendy? What can you say
about it? There has always been a mainstream and underground for all aged bands ,for
you; in which wing Ancient dwells?
– That sounds like the typical shit- talkers who immediately start to complain if they see a band starts to sell a bit of records, I don’t really see the line between underground and not, anyways, I mean if you prefer to not sell much albums, why do you release any at all ? I know that we are not trendy, the cover of Mad Grandiose probably gave people that idea though, and that’s understandable, but if you really see what we are doing, you agree that we’re not a band following trends, a lot of the time we don’t even know what is going on in the scene around us, we care too much about our own stuff.
11. Lets talk about the very first days of the band, was it difficult to spread the
bands name ? so many flyers/very first gigs etc? What do you feel when you return
these ancient days?
– It was really different back then yeah, the way to promote a totally new band was by flyers in the mail, interviews in fanzines, and also some bigger magazines back then were interested in black metal. Today everything is a lot more easy, and cheap, with email, webzines and all that, everything goes a lot faster today, on the other it has maybe resulated in people becoming more lazy, no longer having to make an effort in getting music and magazines etc..
For us it was not very difficult to spread the band’s name, mostly cause at the time we came out the Norwegian black metal were quickly getting popular and there was a high interest for new and upcoming bands, and after we signed with Listenable it pretty much went by itself, really. I remember the atmosphere and general feeling in the scene was very strong and exciting, something like that doesn’t happen twice in your life.
12. Would you give some names from your current playlist? What are you listening
Dead Can Dance, Type O Negative, Danzig, Tartaros, Darkthrone, Slayer, Motorhead, Devil Doll + + + +, lots of different stuff, you see
13. Any words for your enemies?
– No, they will be cursed in more effective ways than by some words here.
14. Thanks for your time/help on this blue paper, add your last words please.
– Rape the children of Abel !
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