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INTERVIEWSInterview with Abbath from Disturb.org (2002)
After 7 albums and 11 years, the Norwegian threesome, who changed a bit after Demonaz's musical departure, release a new album, "Sons Of Northern Darkness" on their new label, Nuclear Blast, after a clash with Osmose Productions ending a 10 year-relationship. In Paris for an insane number of interviews, Abbath tells us about his band's new production, his producer Peter Tägtgren, Norwegian weather, cigarettes, goatees and all sorts of influences on Northern extreme metal. But not much about our questions...
Is it as cold as here in Bergen, or more at the moment?
Oh, it's quiet the same now. It's not even snowing. It certainly have to do with the atmosphere, the ozone, I don't know. In Norway, where I live, you don't have too much of every seasons, so you don't get tired of living. I think each season has it's own charm and atmosphere, its special feeling. It's more like half winter and half summer, you feel the process all the way. When it's winter, the real winter, it gives you a certain kind of atmosphere, very creative, because you don't have it all year. If you had, you couldn't be inspired by it the way I do by living in Norway. So you don't get fascinated... (impromptu break for a discussion upon cigarettes, and then...)
So we're here today mainly to talk about your somptuous new LP: "Sons Of Northern Darkness", the first for Nuclear Blast: what happen with Osmose and are you happier now, professionally talking?
We feel happier because the unit is stronger, and also Demonaz is more back now, his spirit is more back, his mind too, so we work better now within the unit. Together, we are strong, together we can take the right decisions. We chosed Nuclear Blast because we had a good offer and we negociated with different labels, also Osmose Productions, but we believed that Nuclear Blast would do a hell of a good job for us, and it's a deal we can't loose on... because now we have experience...it is our lives, ...it's not new for us. And so far Nuclear Blast had been great, there's nothing bad to say about them, and that's because we're the right band for them as they're the right label for us at the time. We have signed for one record only, after, let's see ! It's great for the moment anyway.
This new LP was produced, once again, by Peter Tägtgren, who provided an astonishing sound: is it the dreamed producer for Immortal?
He co-produced it, with us, we prefer dialog and so does he; I think he's sick of working with people who doesn't know what they want. He's definitely the dreamed collaborator in producing, he's in total understanding, he has the insight to the Immortal...
What is the general spirit of this record: I guess that nature and mystic things are still essential for you?
We are our own Gods, I always say this! We walk on mysterious ways and of course that create mysticism.
Two songs in particular, "Tyrants" and "Beyond The North Waves", seems for several people to indicate a new direction in Immortal compositions, closer than your metal and Motorhead roots: do you share this idea?
You know, "Beyond The North Waves" has already been used... It's total unit work, we are soulmates all the ways Immortal could function ...is extremely important. Me and Demonaz we started this band, this creative mission, and without this ...of me and him, it wouldn't be anything. And without Horgh's arrival, it wouldn't had been continuance on the growth the same way, and Iscariah arrival has just get in the units a lot of fresh air. He's an old fan, since the first album. He's the youngest member of the family, the youngest brother. On the two last albums he has grown a lot into the unit, into the tightness with me and Horgh, and there's a lot of total understanding, so I'm sure he will be more collaborating with us in the future.
Horgh is also drummer of Pain, with Peter: it seems you are very strongly connected?
Horgh is only a live drummer for Pain, the whole band in fact: Pete plays everything himself on the album and use only Horgh and two other guys for the live stuff. I like some of it, but it's not my shit. It's real good stuff, really unique, exceptional, but it's not my cup of tea. I respect it a lot, and I really love some stuff, two mostly: "On Your Knees" and "Suicide Machine". But in general, for my brain, it's too monotone. But that's me: I'm very fastidious! Nowadays, I don't listen music at all, because there's nothing new which I can get into, and for the old stuff, sometimes I'm a bit tired of it. That's a reason of why I don't get so many influences besides from pleasing myself through writing music and making the music I want to hear. And that's too bad, because I miss that feeling, when you're waiting a new album coming out, like when I was a teenager and everything was so exciting. Now the excitement is different... sit down with the guitars working and suddenly it all comes to you, because it's like a gift you have given yourself by being patient.
So you prefer to take time to write your own music?
There's plenty of time, time to do whatever you want, but I only want one thing: fuck my mother! (big laugh) No, it's a joke. What I mean, is that it's so much time when I'm home, especially this year when I've got plenty of time to go to a regular job or anything or do what other people do in normal lives. I play soccer sometimes with my buddies, and it's quite refreshing because it take my mind to totally somewhere else. Or I go the pub and talk shit with people, but mostly I'm on my own, all day, when people works or do the regular family stuff or whatever, I do my own stuff, I do what the fuck I want. But it's not always that pleasing. I think that everybody needs to get their mind elsewhere sometimes, not focused on much things. That's a bit difficult for me, sometimes.
Demonaz is always present, as the lyricist and manager of the band, apart from his own project "Perfect Vision": in fact, Immortal have four members?
He's not our manager, we are all, we are a unit, a team work. So we're all different kind of managers to the same cause. (After an intermission with a discussion about cigarettes and tobacco, which Abbath prefer to roll when at home, the discussion continue...)
After 11 years in Immortal, how do you judge your career and the road of the band? Are you satisfied?
I don't judge myself, I just move on, you know, like a mass murderer: he doesn't judge himself: he just continue in killing! So I'm damned in black, you know, it's a curse, but I'm proud of it: it's a curse but I love this curse... the day I discovered this bands, all have changed and nothing could stop me now. I was married, I had a son who's seven years old, but even that would stop me, because I have a character to this. When it comes to lead a normal family life, I use to work in plumbing. I suck in that. This I'm good at, and that's why I choosed it, this is where my ...lies. When it comes to Immortal and what we've done, I'm really proud. When it comes to the sacrifies, I'm very proud of the people who sacrified, who gave their support and understanding.
Author: Marie Lecocq (© Disturb.org)
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