July 5, 2018

EMPEROR frontman Ihsahn (real name: Vegard Sverre Tveitan) has told Finland's Kaaos TV that he is still open to the idea of collaborating with JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford on a black metal project.

"I actually talked with Rob about this project… He approached me… that's quite a long time ago," Ihsahn said (see video below). "I think I met him the first time in 2001 or something. But, of course, as he said in so many interviews as well, the situation with him being back in PRIEST since that time, and my schedule, doing both bands [EMPEROR and the solo project], it's one of those things. But at some point, that would be great. When the god of metal calls, that's not something you want to miss."

He continued: "Then [Rob] met Nergal from BEHEMOTH as well, and he [discussed a possible collaboration with him as well]… Because he's a big fan of black metal — Rob — so at some point, he just wants to do something, as I said, tip his toe in the water with that kind of expression. So if time allows and fate will make it happen, and, for example, me, Nergal and Rob would come together — Nergal from BEHEMOTH is also someone that I have great respect for, a great artist — I think that would be amazing."

Ihsahn went on to say that if the project with Rob and Nergal does come to fruition, all three musicians would want to invest the time and effort to make it truly special. "It's not something that you just would throw together, because I think those kinds of collaborations where it's just putting names [on an album don't work]," he explained. "You need to do it proper. And I think all of us, the way I know them, I think that's their mindset [as well], where [we all think] it would have to be done properly. I think we would be very much on the same page on that."

Halford has long spoken about wanting to work on a black metal album, revealing more than a decade ago that he had discussions with Ihsahn about doing something together.

Earlier this year, he told Noisey that he still hopes something will happen in the future.

"The black metal project!" he said. "It keeps being about to lift the launchpad, but it never quite gets anywhere. I met Nergal from BEHEMOTH recently, and I said, 'You know I love your kind of music. I would love to kind of put my toe into the water and see what would happen.'

"So now I've got these two very nebulous, but I hope at some point very real opportunities, to do something with Nergal and still something to with Ihsahn.

"'Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk' — that's my big EMPEROR album. Both of them are incredible; they just have this real mastery of their world."

Ihsahn released his seventh solo album, "Ámr", on May 4 via Candlelight/Spinefarm.

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