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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Snogg Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?

Ulv: Snøgg is based on experimentation in improvisation within the dark genres such as black metal, drone, death metal, post metal… We are a duo and you never know what exactly to expect from us. We freeride through the wast musical fields not knowing the conditions of the weather and the snow, racing from the avalanches and jumping over cliffs. 

2.How would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the ep?

Ulv: As I have said Snøgg is an experiment. This EP was also created in this manner. Firstly we recorded the drums, without knowing what the exact melodies and arrangement would be. Than I composed and recorded the guitars and most of the synths and Køzhl composed and recorded the bass guitar. At the end I added additional synths and vocals. The melodies and arrangement kinda represented my personal feelings, or should I say I recorded the melodies that felt right at the time. I think the main influences on that EP are early Ulver, late Darkthrone and Myrkur. The production is kept dark and dirty as we believe our music should be.

3.What are some of the themes you bring out with your musical style?

Ulv: Our musical style is very open. On the concerts we mostly improvise, using the themes from our released songs, videos and EP-s but never in the same manner, so practically our every show is different. I also experiment with my onstage equipment. That way we have a lot of room to fill with our personal feelings and reflections on the momentary situations. I don’t have the lyrics for the shows. I only wrote lyrics for the released songs, but on stage I sing what comes into my mind. So I sing about mythology, troubles of the modern world (politics, religion, the direction where we as a society are heading), my private life or sometimes I don’t even bother and just scream in anger or chant like a monk. Practically you and even us don’t know what to expect from next show. But nevertheless we mainly stay in traditional black metal with a lot of jumping into other styles of extreme music particularly drone/noise which in my opinion represents the duality more and more witnessed in today’s world (poor-rich, good-evil, capitalism-socialism, etc).

4.originally the band had a different name, what was the cause of the name change and also the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Snogg'?

Ulv: The first few songs were released under the name Black Trail, which was written with 11 black boxes  - █████████████ .It was what you could see, a black trail. That was when I was still a one man band. Then I decided to make a multi person band out of it and during that process someone pointed to me that there already exist a black metal band representing itself with black boxes. To avoid being mistaken for that band and due to change in the functioning of Black Trail, we decided to change our name. Right at that time I went on a mountaineering trip in Norway, where I noticed a sign for a soccer club called Snøgg. The name immediately got my attention, because phonetically it sounds like slovenian word ‘sneg’ which means snow. When I googled it, I found out, this is a icelanding (and also, I believe old norsk) word for being swift. All the references seemed just right and when I came home I discussed about that name with Mørke and Køzhl (who was a full time member at the time) and they agreed with the idea, so we became Snøgg.

5.Currently the band is a duo, are open to bringing in other musicians again in the future or do you prefer to remain a duo?

Ulv: After one-man-band period I wanted to have a full line-up band with 5, 6 members. I had problems with finding the right people, but I found Mørke and Køzhl, so we were functioning as a trio for a while. When Køzhl had to leave the band due to lack of available time, Mørke and I decided to remain a duo and that opened the doors to experimentation. For the time being we like it that way, because it is easier to improvise with less people. However new ideas are always coming and we are open for collaboration. We already had Bagot from Cvinger featured as a theatrical performer on some of our mutual concerts. We also had Køzhl rejoining the band to record the bass lines for the ep and in beginning wanted to have some featured vocals there, but in the end decided not to.

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

Ulv: I guess our best performance was at Vratolom festival in our hometown Velenje last june, which was actually our first open air show and it was a blast. The show in Postojna last february was also really good, as I was really satisfied with the keyboard settings I used. Of course I must also mention the tour of Snøgg & Cvinger in december 2014, where the last show in Belgrade where we joined forces with two serbian black metal groups in a packed underground club Blue Moon was really exceptional.
On the stage we are both pretty much on the same spot throughout the gig, Mørke behind the drums and I on my workstation, where I have keyboards, computer, pedals, microphones… But we use other theatrical things, such as corpse paintings, candles, featured theatrical performances etc.

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

Ulv: For now we have booked the ep presentation which will be held in club eMCe place in our hometown Velenje together with another local black metal band Kholn on february 27. and a spot on Noise festival in Trbovlje, Slovenia in beginning of June. We are looking for more shows to represent this ep, there is an option of a balkan tour in the summer. However Mørke is just before releasing an album with his death metal band Carnifliate and they are having and planning quite a lot of concerts and I am currently working on the new album of my industrial band The Stroj, beside that we both play in a punk band Mr. Van Punk, that also has some shows booked in the summer, so we will see how much time will be left for Snøgg.

8.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?

Ulv: Yes we are looking but not really actively. In Slovenia most of the underground bands are unsigned or we have labels that put you on their list with all the work left for you to do it. All our work is available for free on the internet, although we appreciate donations if you like the music.

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

Ulv: I must say that it was better than I expected. I felt like many black metal listeners would find this mixing of genres not ‘trve’ because we are not a typical black metal band. I think in every city we have been to there were some people extremely excited with our music and the way we are performing it. The ep hasn’t had much of a feedback yet, but thus far it has been mainly positive, but I have heard criticism about quality of production, about which I don’t care much about, because dark, dirty production was what I was aiming at while producing this ep.

10.Are any of the band members also involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?

Ulv: Yes, of course. We are both in a punk band Mr. Van Punk which is special because we arrive with the van, we start the generator, guitarist and bassist get out of the van, drummer stays inside and we begin to play. We can pack in less than 5 minutes and move to another location. This is great for performing on various locations in the summer, not so great in the winter. :)
Beside that Mørke plays in a death metal band Carnifliate that are about to release their first full album. They have won Natečaj Botečaj, a competition for young bands last may and are performing heavily since.
I am working on a new album of my industrial band The Stroj. It has been a very good year for this band, we had quite a few shows and a video that stayed on the top of video charts called Točka, held by Slovenian national television. I am also active in a dark electro group of djs called As a matter of fact, today Mørke plays with Carnifliate in Postojna, I play with The Stroj in Ljubljana and other members of perform in Velenje, so yeah, we are pretty active.

11.When can we expect a full length album and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

Ulv: Maybe next year. With Snøgg it is always a mystery. We wanted this to be full album, but we created an ep due to lack of time. When the stars will be right and when we will have enough time, we will release our next thing but I cannot tell if it will be a full album or just another ep. I think the amount of genres we experiment with is quite huge already so I think we will stay in this improvising direction. But it might happen that the next thing will be something completely different.

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

Ulv: As I mentioned before I guess early Ulver, late Darkthrone and Myrkur influenced the most on the ep. For the life performances, there are of course many other influences. Mørke has huge knowledge about death and black metal and I know a lot about experimental rock, sludge metal, drone, post rock/metal, so I guess our influences are somewhere around these boundaries. I am listening to many different genres not only in rock and metal but also in electronic music, hip-hop, ethno so it really depends on how I am feeling.

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

Ulv: Experimentation is a key to novelty.


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