DIMMU BORGIR Guitarist: 'Abrahadabra' Is The 'Most Complete Effort We've Ever Done'

September 17, 2010

Ultimate-Guitar.com's Joe Matera recently conducted an intervie with guitarist Silenoz (real name: Sven Atle Kopperud) of Norwegian symphonic black metallers DIMMU BORGIR. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Ultimate-Guitar.com: "Abrahadabra" is the ninth studio album by the group, so does it get easier making albums now that you've got nine under your belt?

Silenoz: Actually, to be honest, this new album was one of the easiest we have done so far. It was, of course, hard work as usual, but I think we were much more together on this album. And there were a lot more details involved with this one. It is the most complete effort we've ever done.

Ultimate-Guitar.com: When it came to the songwriting, how did the material come together?

Silenoz: The songwriting process went really, really smooth, but we don't follow any set formula. The closest thing we have to any formula is what we've always done, which is, we meet up with ideas, we exchange them and then take it from there. I guess now, after so many years of making music, you do become more critical of everything so the process is stretched out a little bit longer.

Ultimate-Guitar.com: And for this album, it took eleven months.

Silenoz: Yeah, if you include the writing, the pre-production and the recording, that is correct. Once we began the recording process in earnest, though, it didn't really take too long. But the difference between recording this album compared to the last one is that we took it in turns in different studios and with different engineers. Then when everything was recorded, we took it to Andy Sneap in Derbyshire [England] and got it mixed.

Ultimate-Guitar.com: Over 101 musicians overall contributed to the making of this album, that's quite an epic task?

Silenoz: Yeah, and most of those are from the orchestra and the choir. All that stuff was recorded and done in three days. When we make demos, we make them of every song. So we have everything ready, everything from the keyboard arrangements to the vocals and stuff. We had a little bit of assistance from our good friend Gaute Storaas who has helped us in the past, with scoring the orchestra notes and stuff. But this time, he was more involved from the very beginning of the songwriting process and I think that made it all a lot easier too.

Ultimate-Guitar.com: "Abrahadabra" is loosely translated as "I will create as I speak", which was created by Aleister Crowley in his most well-known work, "Liber AL vel Legis", which is better known by the title of "The Book of the Law".

Silenoz: We've always been interested in the occult ever since we were kids, way before we started in bands. As a fourteen, fifteen, sixteen year old kid, you are kind of more fascinated by the guy than anything else because at that point in your life, you don't really understand or comprehend some of his works. As time goes by though, you really feel a lot closer to his words. He was really the only real magician that paved the way for the occult in the Western world but he was just as much an explorer too. He was someone that really took it to the extreme which in some ways, is all about evolution. We feel really close to that way of behaving, for lack of a better word. For this album, we also touched upon the ideas of rebirth and reincarnation and that was also something he was obsessed heavily with. We feel we kind of renew ourselves every time we make a new album but with this album, in particular, it feels like something more. We share a lot of symbolism with Crowley there.

Ultimate-Guitar.com: What is the biggest misconception that many people have when it comes to the band?

Silenoz: That, in general, quite a lot of people look at us as arrogant rock stars or whatever. Yet it's way more than that, it is because we're shy, we're from Scandinavia and we like quietness around us. We're laid-back guys. If you compare us to certain bands from America as just an example, they have a different mentality. So that's why it might come across that we seem arrogant but we're definitely not. Another misconception would be that we are all millionaires. Absolutely not true.

Read the entire interview from Ultimate-Guitar.com.

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