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Monday, July 6, 2015

Dystopia Na! Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?

Since the album was finished, we’ve been rehearsing for live shows and done a lot of administrative work concerning the release – working on t-shirt designs, booking gigs, trying to promote the album, etc.
Time goes along all too quickly, and it’s almost already a year since we again started recording Dweller on the Threshold.

2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

Sound wise we have put a lot more time and effort into making the new album sound as good as possible. We originally wrote most of the material on DotT before Syklus was released, and started recording pretty soon after. Unforeseen circumstances, however, led to us having to re-record the entire album. We made some changes both instrumentally and lyrically this time around, and ended up with a result we felt deserved a release. The album is a lot more progressive, with longer songs, and more intricate song structures.

As for the differences between the albums, Syklus can be a pretty confined and depressive experience, whereas DotT is more colorful in its emotional range. It is harder, yet softer, psychedelic, yet grounded – full of contrasts and shifting moods.

3.This is the first album to be released in 4 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?

Like mentioned in the previous answer, we had a long process of re-recording and re-writing during these years. The choice to go back and do it all over again was not easy, and it certainly took its toll on all of us, but now in the end there is no doubt that it was the right choice, and what the album really deserved.

The first years we spent a lot of time trying to repair bad raw material, but it was a futile project – luckily for us, since the new result is much better than the previous recording ever was.

We also collaborated with a friend of us who works with films to create a backdrop for a concert we played in a movie theatre May 2014, and some time was also spent building our own circular canvas to show it on.

We enjoy to do these kind of projects, but they are indeed time demanding, and time flies.

4.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the newer music?

Dweller on the Threshold is more existential in nature than Syklus was. In short, the album starts with the protagonist’s encounter with his doppelgänger. According to European folklore, if you see your double once, bad luck will follow. The second time you see your double, death is near. Thus our protagonist is confronted with the imminence of death, and is slung out into an existential crisis. What reason is there for anything, if it is all going to end? What things in life are really important?
Dweller on the Threshold is the journey from despair to acceptance, and is in many ways dealing with coming to terms with reality.

5.I know that the band name means 'Dystopia Now! in Norwegian, how does this name fit in with the musical style that you play?

That name was conceived in tandem with the concept for «Syklus» and does perhaps reflect the tone of that album more so than «Dweller on the Threshold». Syklus dealt with an outcast looking at the cruel reality of today's society from an outsider's perspective, and laments the fact that the actual, physical world never can live up to his idealistic vision – a form of «weltschmerz», really. DotT is significantly more introspective, but does in a way deal with some of the same themes, albeit in a completely different manner. Musically, we still try to convey those emotions; a sense of not belonging and coming to terms with a reality which may not live up to our hopes and dreams. Hence, a perfect world, or utopia, is impossible to achieve, and our band name reflects this notion. The word «dystopia» is usually used when referring to some fictious or far off world with only a satirical bond with our current world. We discard this claim by adding «Nå!», underlining the fact that today's world is, in many respects, dystopian.

6.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

We’ve actually only played one show so far, together with Images of Twilight. The set was a movie theatre, and both bands had a specially created film shown together with the performance.
Our performance is hard to describe from our perspective – a crucial part of it is devotion to the music and the lyrics – to enliven the music as it is performed. We hope to do many more in the coming years.

7.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?

As of now we do not have any specific tours planned, but we would very much like to do that.
We have some cool single shows here and there, all to be announced in the near future. If there are any booking agents out there, please contact us - we are ready!

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of black metal?

Feedback has mostly been good, even surprisingly good sometimes – something we are very happy about. But what concerns fans of traditional black metal, we are not expecting them to like our music – it’s too emotional and colourful for some, and that’s fine.

9.What is going on with some of the other bands or musical projects these days that some of the band members are a part of?

There are many dimensions to this question, but the most important one might be KK’s Spurv, who released their debut this May to much critical acclaim. They’ve also done a lot of gigs and are really making a name for themselves in the Norwegian post-rock scene.

K. also recently released a side project called Compost Golem on Norwegian noise-label Records of the Flesh God. If you are into slow, crushingly beautiful doom in the vein of Nadja or The Angelic Process, you should check them out!

There has also been talk of doing some shows with Hinsidig in the future, but there is still some logistics to be handled before that is realizable. Time will tell. Dystopia Nå! is our main focus anyways.

10.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

It’s hard to tell at the moment. After several years of mostly being a studio band, we are very eager to play more shows and travel if possible. But we do indeed have a lot of material lying around, and if it is any precursor for what’s to come, the next album will be a lot less metal, and a lot more interesting musically.

11.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

Oh, the list is long. We are of course influenced of a lot of music outside the metal genre, especially progressive rock, such as Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Camel, Genesis, Steven Wilson/Porcupine Tree, etc etc, but also jazz, fusion, shoegaze and electronic music.

These days I have been listening to the fusion bands Isotope and Snarky Puppy, the prog-rock bands IQ, Motorpsycho and Tame Impala, and the jazz-rock-electronic band Jaga Jazzist. There’s been a while since I listened to a complete metal album to be honest.

12.What are some of your non musical interests?

We all enjoy hiking in the mountains, and are in fact going on an eight day hike in the mountains starting tomorrow.

Besides that we all enjoy movies, and also reading, especially dystopian literature, Russian surrealism, some science fiction and of course philosophy.

Good food, good wine, good coffee – enjoying the fruits of life, really.

13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Thank you very much for the interest! If you haven’t done it already; check out our new album. Stream it for free on Bandcamp or buy the physical copy either directly from us or through Avantgarde Music. Cheers!


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