Can you tell us a little bit about the band for those that have never heard of you before?
I am English, and Dommedagssalme has been my Black Metal “project” since 2004.
How would you describe your musical sound?
Musically the songs are usually long and dense. Emotionally, to me the sound is one of catharsis, although some people may understandably interpret this as “despair”. It seems that several people have labelled Dommedagssalme as “atmospheric Black Metal”, which I think is fair.
What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
The first demo was lyrically and conceptually quite basic and generic (winter, death, isolation, etc.). Since then, Dommedagssalme is lyrically based on self-excavation and discipline. Each recording is a story about myself, written for myself. Each is an exercise in understanding my own drives, and I genuinely believe the process has benefitted me in this regard. Chasm charts my descent into my own being as a means to self-improvement, whereby I operate on myself (my drives) excising useless or detrimental components. This is a perpetual process. Division is about the co-dependency of hope and anguish (or success and failure), manifested as a personal journey which may or may not end in ruin. Domain, the forthcoming recording, charts the fortunes of a non-descript people forced to leave their homestead in the interest of survival. The conflicting elements of the group affect the ability and value of the whole. This is essentially a macrocosm of the ideas in Chasm and Division. If I expose my being to scrutiny, I am putting myself at risk, but I am also a pioneer attempting to chart the unknown, adapt and make new discoveries.
What is the meaning and inspiration behind the band’s name?
“Dommedagssalme”, which translates to “Doomsday’s Psalm”, is a wonderful song by Isengard. While in 2004 the name was a relatively arbitrary choice for my music, in retrospect each Dommedagssalme recording can perhaps be seen as a “doomsday psalm”. Doomsday refers to the anticipation of future collapse; anticipation. It has not happened yet. I hope to avert my own “Doomsday” by cataloguing my components and ensuring I am fit for purpose. If we’re going to be etymological about it, the word “Doomsday” was manifested in “Domesday Book”, when William the Conquerer decided to take stock of his kingdom in an effort to better control it. This idea also perfectly represents what Dommedagssalme is and does.
Currently there is only 1 member in the band, how would you compare that to working with other musicians and also do you have any plans on using other musicians in this project in the future?
The distinction is clear to me. As a solo “project”, the idea of performance is removed, and therefore everything is geared towards expression. Music spearheaded by an individual (whereby he writes all the music and lyrics) is almost invariably purer than that of a band, where each member contributes equally to its creation. I will never include anyone else. As long as I can play the instruments competently enough, it will never be a consideration.
On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?
Not sure. I don’t think Dommedagssalme has come to many people’s attention. I have put almost no effort into increasing awareness, aside from having material released. A cursory search on the net shows that “To That Which Lies Dormant” was quite well received. Other than that, I have no idea.
What is going on with the other musical projects these days?
Contra Ignem Fatuum is now defunct; it was good while it lasted. War of the Roses is still operational. George (White Medal/Legion Blotan) and I were both happy with the tape we did, and plan to do more. Not sure what yet, time will tell. I also have an “ambient/experimental” venture (doesn’t everybody?) called Alterer (alterer.webstarts.com). Dommedagssalme and Alterer will remain my two primary modes of musical expression.
What direction do you see your music heading into on future releases?
What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I have digested numerous bands over the years, particularly in Black Metal. My “favourite” Black Metal artist has been, for some time and by some degree, Hate Forest. Perhaps Dommedagssalme somehow owes something to them. I also spend a disproportionate amount of time listening to Sacrificia Mortuorum, Bilskirnir and Atra. I have huge respect for Nine Inch Nails, and Trent Reznor, for me, exemplifies the pioneer I mentioned above. I (and seemingly everyone elsein Black Metal) listen to quite a lot of “ambient” music, and have seen that word applied to Dommedagssalme, although that wasn’t an intention. I listen to lots of different music; classical, Death Metal, vocal. Most genres have something to offer. I have lost a lot of interest in “nowadays” metal though, on account of the “post” affliction. It implies that a destination, maybe THE destination, has been reached. Therefore it usually sounds insincere, static and meaningless.
Does Paganism or Occultism play any role in your music?
No. I have no spiritual beliefs.
Outside of music what are some of your interests?
Since the idea of discipline permeates my music, it perhaps stands to reason that the same concept applies to other activities. I like to make demands of myself and then try to fulfil them; I learn about myself this way. I often go distance running, and particularly enjoy doing so in the fells. I also practice karate and spend time and energy keeping fit generally. I have for year been very interested in the Viking Age, and derive great pleasure immersing myself in the ethos and literature of this multi-faceted people. I find the “warrior-poet” model very appealing, and l aim to encourage a similarly holistic character in myself.
Any final words or thoughts before we wrap up this interview?
Thank you for this interview. Thanks also to both George of Legion Blotan and Mike of Fallen Empire for their support. Two highly disciplined individuals with two accordingly superior labels.