1.Can gou give us an update on what is going on with the band these days?
In these days we’re rehearsing as often as we can to be prepared for hopefully many live-gigs later this year. We haven’t played very much live the latest years, but that will hopefully change now. Beside of this we’re doing a lot of interviews. It takes a lot of time, but for sure it’s worth all the work. It’s been pretty silent around the band for the last couples of years, and we know that we have a job to do now if we shall be able to “come back” for full!
2. How would you describe the musical sound of the new album and how it differs from previous releases?
The new album has quite a lot in common with our last album “Give Us The Power To Do Your Evil”, but I think we’ve gone in an even more agressive direction. Both musically and soundwise. But -and this is quite important- we still have a lot of variations in our music! Beside of brutal blast-beat parts, more trashy parts and death metal influenced parts, we still have some pretty melodic parts here and there, melodic guitar-solos, acoustic guitars, and other parts not so typical to find extreme metal. I’ve allways tried to do things in my own special way, but I do of course find inspiration in many kinds of music. I guess that’s the reason why it’s allways been such a lot of variations in our music. I can understand that some people think that I’m going too fare sometimes, but I love all this musical changes in the music!
3. What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the new release explores?
Some years ago I talked a lot about my lyrics... I still have a lot of thoughts about them, but through the years I’ve experienced that very often it’s better not to say so very much. It’s not that I don’t wanna say anything, but many times people are comming up with their own thoughts and ideas about the lyrics. I love that! It’s absolutely great! In a way the songs are starting to live their own life. Whatever, it’s not a secret that I find a lot of inspiration in my Satanic belief. I’m a modern Satanist, and I’m proud of that! I’ve found my own way in life, but I still find a lot of inspiration in the writings of anton LaVey, the author of the Satanic Bible and the founder of The Church of Satan. Other keywords when it comes to my lyrics... Well I guess I have to mention vampirism, horror, religion, occultism, war, and much more I guess... It’s a lot of fantazy in my lyrics, but it’s always lying a kind of truth behind them. I do honestly feel that I have something to say! If I can give my listeners an experience, give them inspiration, give them the power to feel strong and believe in themself, -well, that I’m a happy man! High ambitions, I know, but what so?! I’m just doing the best I can, it’s nothing more than that. Most of the time I don’t think very much about these things, but I must admit that it’s a very strange feeling standing on the stage sometimes... Sometimes I do really feel like “The Preacher From Hell”!
4. What is the meaning and inspiration behind the bands name?
I like the fact that many people wonder what’s lying behind the name of our band. That was exactly what I wanted when I came up with this name many years ago. I like the fact that it’s possible to lay different meanings in our name, and I want it to remain like this! I remember that I was searching for a good band name over a long period of time, but suddenly one day I found the expression ‘crest of darkness’ in a poem I read. I have forgotten which poem, that’s a shame, but I knew at once that I had found the perfect band name! It was really a big kick! Crest of Darkness, the name, says everything about our music!
5. What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
Unfortunately we haven’t played very much live with Crest of Darkness, that’s a shame! We would have liked to play much more live, but because of personal reasons it’s gone years where it has been difficult to tour with the band. Many of the band members have family, children, jobs, all these things... That’s good, and for our own lifes I think we have taken the right decisions! And we have played quite a lot of shows through the years, I must not forget that. The most memorable shows I have played with Crest of Darkness was probably during a tour in France more than ten years ago. Before that I had toured quite a lot around in Europe with my former band Conception, but I had never been on tour in France before. It was a low budget tour together with two bands from France; No Return and Symbyosis. Well, the tour was well organized, and things worked very well actually. I have many good memories from this tour. We was playing at many different stages, small stages and bigger stages... It’s many years ago as I said, but for one or another reason I remember it all very well. Many things have changed since then, and we’re probably a much better live band now, but memories are memories... You mentioned stage performance.... What shall I say?! I guess it’s a pretty intense experience watching Crest of Darkness live. We’re always giving our very best on the stage, and I’m always totally exhausted after a show. It’s like going through a dark ritual both for me, but also for big parts of the audience it seems like. It’s great I think, and I’m looking forward to our forth comming shows in the spring. First we’re talking about a few gigs here in Norway, but it’s more to come!
6. Do you have any touring plans for the future?
I have already given you an answer I guess.. Well, we’re going to play in a few Norwegian cities in the spring and summer. Later this year, I hope, we’ll get on a bigger tour in Europe. I have nothing concrete to come up with yet, and we could fail with our plans, but we’ll work hard to realize this plans!!
7. On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your newer music by fans of black metal?
We’re getting all kinds of feedback to be honest. And that’s great! The biggest problem in the music bussiness nowadays is to be seen and heard. It’s so many artists and bands out there searching for success, and with the internet everybody are given a chance. That’s a good thing, but it’s harder than ever before to be given attention and make a career. Whatever, it’s always been a lot of discussions around our releases. Some people love our music, others don’t like us at all. It’s been like this in all years, and I’m used to it. I’m actually quite proud of it! The worst thing that can happen is when people don’t care about what you’re doing! As an artist you want to make people feel something! It’s great when people like your work, but sometimes it’s even more interesting when people are coming up with critical comments even if they’re quite negative. I learned early in my career that people are very different when it comes to musical taste. I also learned that I had to believe in my own ideas and visions for what I wanted to do myself. As an artist you have to believe in yourself! The fans out there do very often have a lot of “rules” they want you to follow. You can’t imagine how many strange opinions I’ve met through the years. I’ve heard people say that a melodic guitar-solo has nothing to do in a black metal song for example, others have opinions about the sound, the lyrics, even the cover-art... I believe we, Crest of Darkness, have broken all kinds of “rules” through the years. Some of the black metal fans don’t like that, but others love us exactly because of the same thing! We’re getting a lot of positive reactions from all over the world, and that’s of course very nice! Anyway, we’re just playing music, and I don’t use a lot of energy thinking about these things....
8. What is going on with the other musical projects these days?
Our drummer has been in the studio recently and recorded the drums for a new Sjodogg-album, his old band Enthral is also still alive, but I’m not sure what’s happening there nowadays. I’m spending most of my time working with Crest of Darkness, but sometimes I do also do other things. Roquefire is one of these projects. It’s a very old band I played with in my very young days. We haven’t played together for almost 30 years, but now we’re back! Roquefire is playing melodic, quite progressive metal/hard rock with dark occult undertones. The guitarplayer must be mentioned. He’s name is Ronni Le’Tekroe, and I guess that some of your readers know him from TNT?! Perhaps not, but he’s a fantastic guitar player, and it’s great to work with him again after all these years!
9. What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
I do believe that we’ll continue in the same direction as we’re heading for now with our future releases. We’ll continue making extreme metal with inspiration from many other musical genres. We’ll keep the melodic parts, for sure, but as it feels now I believe our next releases will probably become even darker and more brutal than anything we’ve released so far. What I can say for sure is the fact that I’ll always do things in my own way! That was the main motivation for starting up with Crest of Darkness, and it will be like this forever! No-one can tell me what to do when it comes to the biggest decisions in this band! Sometimes Crest of Darkness feels like a part of myself, it just has to be like this.....
10. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I’ve listened to so many bands through the years, I’ve lisened to all kind of musical genres.... To be honest I don’t have any clear answer to this. I don’t know myself! I believe that my hole musical life comes out through the music of Crest of Darkness. As a child my biggest hero was Alice Cooper, and his music and his live-show still inspire me today. But if we’re talking about old heroes bands like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple must be mentioned! I’ve always listened a lot to the most extreme genres of heavy metal, but I find it very hard to pick out some-one special that means more than others to me. For sure bands like Mayhem and Darkthrone, many others actually, has inspired me, but I’ll still say that my heart lies in the early seventies.. I was young boy at that time, and I believe it’s impossible for the youth of today to understand what it was like at that time. I mean, Black Sabbath was a monster!! Perhaps more provocative than Marilyn Manson has ever been... It was another time. I’m always trying to get the same feeling today when I’m making using as I had inside when I was a young boy. The time has changed, and so have I, and today I have to be much more extreme to get any kind of reactions if I wanna be heard! It’s not easy, but I must say I’m quite happy being in my situation today. I’m not a big star, but I’m a respected musician nearly fifthy years old, making music for a new age! The times are changing, I’ve said it before, but all kind of music is bulit on a lot of history. I know all about that!!
11.How would you describe your views on Satanism and Occultism?
As I’ve mentioned earlier in the interview I’m a Modern Satanist. Through the years I’ve found my own way in life, but I’m with no doubt very much inspired by the writings of Anton LaVey, the founder of the Church of Satan. I’ve had a big interest for Satanism and occultism since my very young days, and I was searching for some kind of “answers” in many years. It might sounds like a cliche today, but I do remember the first time I read Anton LaVey’s The Satanic Bible very well, and I remember that it felt incredible good knowing that there was more people like myself in the world! LaVey presented the Satanic belief as an alternative for “religious” people who didn’t believe in the Christianity or other religions. This was something I could understand! I don’t believe in god, and for me it’s obvious that it’s not possible to believe in god and being a Satanist at the same time! I know that other Satanic groups have different thoughts about this, but that doesn’t matter for me at all! I simply don’t watch the world from a Christian sight of view!! I didn’t become a Satanist because I was looking at myself as an evil person who wanted to spread evilness and damage! I’ll tell you what Satanism is all about for me... A Satanist is doing what is right for himself! A Satanist makes his own rules! A Satanist is his own God! When a Satanist is worshipping Satan he is actually worshipping himself, Satan is a projection of the Satanist’s inner feelings, the dark forces of the nature, the animal instincts, the sexuality... According to the Christianity many of the strongest instincts of the man are often associated with the Evil, with Satan. I’d rather say that many of these instincts are exactly what makes us survive, I consider this as something positive, of course I do! ...it has absolutely nothing to do with evilness! The Satanist has this “will to survive”, and as a result of this kind of thinking a Satanist very often will be looked at as some kind of monster, some kind of freak. I don’t expect brainwashed cheeps, as most people are, to understand my way of thinking..... I know that I’m lying another meaning into this matters than a Christian will do. But as a Satanist I’ve choosen to use this strong symbolism to make myself understood in the world! I’m also using this symbolism when I’m practising my own personal belief as a Modern satanist. Well, many people don’t understand me, but that’s the irony of all of this! It’s lying a lot of power in using the name of Satan! So I think I can say that even in the year of 2013 Satan is very much alive!!
12. Outside of music what are some of your interests?
I love being out in the nature! In the woods, in the mountain, on a boat on a fjord.... That’s life! I’m a real viking when it comes to these things! ...similar to many other Norwegians I guess! I’ve slept outdoor in the Norwegian winter in the snow in nearly 30 degrees bellow zero. It’s no problem at all actually if you have the right equipment and know how to survive. Other interests... Movies, I’m collecting vampire-movies. I’m reading quite a lot of books, I like many kinds of literature... Motorbikes, most of my grown-up life I’ve been an owner of a motorbike, right now I don’t have a bike myself, but that will change!
13. Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview/
I’m sending my Darkest Greetings to all the readers of this interview! Thanks a lot for giving me and Crest of Darkness your attention for a few minutes! I hope to meet some of you in the years to come! Hopefully on a stage with Crest of Darkness!!