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INTERVIEWSInterview with Demonaz from "Oskorei" magazine (# 01, 1997)
Here we have one of the highlights of this issue, Immortal. It was done by my good friend Torbjörn Strand and he interviewed Demonaz in June 1997. I don't think it need anything more to make you want to read it, so feel free to consume some information about them. Also I think I should mention that this is the ONLY live-interview in "Oskorei".
Finally after some delays, your 4'th studio album "Blizzard Beasts" hits the world with brutal holocaust metal. Are you 100% satisfied or could things have been different?
Of course we are satisfied, but there are always a sentence here and a riff there that could have been changed, but all in all we are very pleased with the album.
What is the theme and concept behind this album?
We managed to be different from our earlier albums also this time, and we changed the concept a bit, but not the style. It still sounds Immortal. We also wanted to develop ourselves continuously. Develop, but maintain and keep our own style. Theme is the usual, which I think goes perfectly along with our way of playing music.
You have hopefully gained a permanent drummer in Horgh. How did you get your claws in him?
Well, we go back some time now, and it was him that contacted us when he heard that we were without a drummer. He was told to give us a demo of his art, and we were impressed.
How does he fit in with Immortal's grimcold concept? Is he experienced?
He fits perfect. He has the same way of thinking as Abbath and me, he's totally engaged in the band and he works as hard as anybody, if not harder! His strength and perseverance are amazing as he can rehearse 4-6 hours every day for weeks. Horgh is very experienced and talented. When he first joined us, there where only minor adjustments in his style in order to play Abbath's fast techniques. He had the right feeling so it was very easy to make him play Immortal. Be he has his own style and I think that will come forth much clearer on our next album, there he is "in it" from the beginning and not playing a mix of his own and Abbath's style as he were on this album.
What does Horgh feel about being a part of Immortal?
I think he is satisfied because now he can work with professional musicians, who shows up on every rehearsal and are truly interested in making extreme music, as he is. That's very important for a band, being interested in doing rehearsals and that everybody shows up and are a part of the unit, doing their job for the band. And him being all fresh and new and have all this extreme surplus is quite motivating for us too, you see.
Immortal shall hopefully out on the road again... Are you going alone this time and what are the tour plans so far?
Well, we are the headliner this time, but we are going to have someone to warm-up the crowd too, I think. There are some uncertain relations around this yet... The tour kicks of in Norway probably in August or September (1997) and goes down in Europe. Maybe we'll do some shows in the U.S. and in Australia, but nothing is yet for sure.
According to a fanclub note earlier this year you are now through with Osmose Productions. Will you sign with them again, or do you want another label to carry Immortal further?
No, we have signed with Osmose for two more albums because we know what they can offer us, and what they have done for our previous albums.
So I guess you are quite satisfied with Osmose Productions then?
Yeah, they've taken good care of our interests, they believe in and knows the band potential and they can respect us as we do them. I think respect in both ways is very important for keeping the whole thing on a professional level, and that's easy with Osmose Productions, since we kind of "grew up" together. So we have a high priority being one of their best selling bands, which we of course appreciate. You see, it's very satisfying when you are on a tour, for instance, and you are surrounded by more or less professionals knowing what to do at the right time.
Immortal's earlier albums have all been recorded in Grieghallen Studios. This time you have chosen Sigma Recording Studios, any particular reason?
We were fed up with the people at Greighallen and we wanted to try something new, working with others, more open minded producers so to speak. We felt we were banging our heads against the wall and not being able to do our thing, so we changed. Sigma has also better equipment and circumstances for recordings, but in spite of that, our next studio album will not be recorded in Norway.
With "Blizzard Beasts" Immortal has presented a more melodious side, here are, among other subjects, an increased use of synths from you earlier albums, why this?
We think it fits the music well, that's why.
Who does the synth?
Will future Immortal albums go in the brutal vein of "Battles In The North" or will it be more melodious like "Blizzard Beasts"?
We will do a kind of mixture of old-style Immortal and new material, you know, trying to pick up the end that were never used on our first two albums. Our new material will also contain more acoustic guitars to get that old atmosphere from "Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism" back again. It's very important to remember where you come from, what you were in the beginning. That's why we want to dig up old riffs and try them along with new arrangements. Anyway, we have our own unique style and we don't see any reason to change our concept. We stick to what we feel is Immortal.
Yeah, I guess so. Immortal does not label themselves as a Black Metal band, but you started out as one of the first bands within the "scene" in Norway. What do you think about the development of the Black Metal "scene" today versus 1985-1993?
Well, first of all I will just say that I'm against all this labeling, I mean, what's the point? It's the music that counts, right? A band does not play better music if they label themselves as this or that! To answer your question, I think nowadays there are too much piss and so damn many posers within this thing. When we first started back in 1990-1991, we where few and we were extreme, we believed in our music and wanted it to be something new. Today this lust and hunger is gone. All new bands popping up everywhere like parasites trying to make some quick bucks. Money rules it all. Of course we also want to make money. We have to, but that's not our first and highest priority. We want to make extreme music because we like it. We enjoy playing, touring and and being a band unit. Money does NOT control a strong band with strong individuals! A strong band chooses its own path and its own label, not the other way around.
What is Immortal's relationship with Norway, both as a country and as a state?
As a country Norway thrones. It has the most fascinating landscapes, going from mighty mountains through deep valleys and forests and long fjords. As for the state thing we don't care. Politics is not among our interests. All I can say is that democracy is the best political system for us as a band. We have a certain freedom to do what we want and I think that's good.
Nordic landscapes are clear inspiration sources for your lyrics. Why this huge interest for coldness, snow and darkness?
It was an original concept and a good start. We were the only ones along that grimcold path. Today almost everybody use it, but we'll still have our unique way of writing lyrics and so it becomes pretty original after all. We don't follow the others, changing subjects from album to album. We chose our way and we follow it. Hate the trend thing. We are 100% aware of our own identity and we don't need trend people to tell us what's in and what's out.
While we're at it... the inverted cross in your logo?
What is there to say... The logo was made several years ago, when we were much more "satanic" and anti-Christian. And since we are not Christians, we stick with it.
Being faith to the Immortal "tradition", this album has also a band picture on it's front cover. This is all raw and brutal, but why no drawing or artwork?
Well, so far I have not seen anything that fits our album covers better than a band picture, and even though we have tried to get people to do some painting for us, I have a that opinion that a band should be presented on the front and not on the back or in the inlay cover. A little "bonus" for us is that we have it on all of our albums, that's a cover concept no one else has got! It's no coincidence you see. Is there a better way to present your band?
No I guess not. OK that's it. Thanks a lot for thy interview Demonaz! Any last words or perhaps some advice to use for the readers planning to start their own band?
Yeah, don't! But if you do; create new styles, develop the basis grounded by us who once struggled for that we believed in. Keep you identity and stick with it.
OK, thanks a lot both Torbjörn Strand and Demonaz for this great interview and to the ones who still hasn't got their fingers out of the asshole of their neighbors, go and buy "Blizzard Beasts" and remember to include 2 IRC's when writing for information, and also notice the new contact address! Thanks to Lars Jamne, the editor of O.M., for the help and the permission.
Author: Torbjörn Strand (© 1997 "Oskorei" Magazine)
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