GOD SEED's KING OV HELL: 'I Have Never Viewed Myself As Part Of Any Metal Culture'
October 2, 2012
Métal Obscur recently conducted an interview with former GORGOROTH and current GOD SEED bassist King Ov Hell (real name: Tom Cato Visnes). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Métal Obscur: You took everyone by surprise earlier this year when you announced the resurrection of GOD SEED, with Gaahl back at vocals. What's the story behind this event, after all that was said and written about this project since 2009?
King Ov Hell: I don't view it like this. I have worked with Gaahl since 1999. This album is what we want to make in 2012. There have been lots of things happening in the outside world which has been sort of disturbing, but our musical work has never stopped or been affected by this. Gaahl had a little break with his retirement from metal, but we just put it on ice for a while.
Métal Obscur: Gaahl stated in a 2009 Terrorizer magazine interview that he was done with metal and its imagery. Why did he change his mind about it? Did you have to convince him?
King Ov Hell: Well, you have to adress this question to Gaahl. We never stopped working musically, but I guess neither of us would classify our new record as a metal record in sense of lifestyle or metal brotherhood. I have never viewed myself as part of any metal culture and we use metal music as a platform to express our art.
Métal Obscur: What can we expect with the first GOD SEED album? Will it sounds like GORGOROTH's late albums, or did you take a different path? If you had to describe this first record, what would you say?
King Ov Hell: Well, it's hard to describe your own music, but I wanted a different sound on this record than we had done before. It is always important to change. You cannot grow if you stagnate in common patterns. I have therefore incorporated some of my '70s influences into "I Begin". We also got new members in the band. These members have been important creating the sound which is GOD SEED. They all have a unique way of playing and able to go into musical territories without limits and narrow minded stupidity.
Métal Obscur: Did you compose "I Begin" alone, or did other members help you in the process? If so, how did they contribute?
King Ov Hell: I wrote most of the material for this record prior anyone else got involved in the process. Since the other members joined, we have functioned as a band, resulting Lust Kilman writing a song on the album and Geir Bratland doing a track. I have also worked closely with Geir on making the key arrangements on the record. Kenneth Kapstad is originally a jazz drummer and has a unique playing style. "I Begin" is the first chapter for the band. I am looking forward to work as a tight unit on the next record. I believe this to be the strongest lineup I have taken part of so far.
Métal Obscur: It's been three years now since the end of the judiciary saga surrounding GORGOROTH's name and imagery ownership. Looking back at it now, do you have any regrets, things you would have done differently, or do you still think it was the right battle to wage?
King Ov Hell: I don't think too much about this. It's part of the past.
Métal Obscur: Is OV HELL still an active project?
King Ov Hell: It's not an active project. I am too busy with my other activities right now, but you never know what the future brings.