Vocalist Sigurd "Satyr" Wongraven of the Norwegian black metal band SATYRICON recently answered a number of fan-submitted questions via the group's official web site. A couple of excerpts from the question-and-answer session follow below.
Q: I was wondering if you might have a time frame as to when you will be coming over to America?
Satyr: "We will be there in January and February [with CRADLE OF FILTH], as you know. The album is coming out in the States in January as well. We are very anxious to get over the pond ourselves and look forward to establishing SATYRICON in America. We want to bring to America what we have built over here in Europe. We know it will take time, but we are ready for it."
Q: I've got a question for you in regards to the lyric-writing process. Where do you mainly find inspiration? Do you write lyrics to fit the music or vice versa? I am also curious to find out who comes up with most of the drum parts in SATYRICON, does Frost have full rein?
Satyr: "As far the lyrics go, I have done a little bit of both. In the last years mostly to fit the music, BUT without compromising the lyrics. It's hard, but you just have to be creative and imaginative with your language, and you might have to do some musical tweaks here and there to give the lyrics some space. With more experience and musical overview, you will improve your skills on this. I come up with most of the drum parts. Naturally, as I write the music, but Frost adds his thing to them. Sometimes I feel like there is world of options for the drums on a specific part and then I'll just start jamming the riff and Frost will jam along. As soon as I hear something that stands out, I'll stop and point out to him what I like about and where I feel we can head with it."
Q: You've always had a way with album artwork/titles and how they relate to the material. What can you say about the new artwork from "The Age Of Nero" and the meaning of it?
Satyr: "Everything that we do in SATYRICON is built around the music itself. That means that our artwork and visuals are chosen or created to function well with the music — either to emphasize elements in the music or to contribute to a sense of totality. The layout for 'The Age of Nero' is truly a fine piece of art; everything from the pictures chosen to the fonts and colours of the letters are carefully picked in order to feel right for this album and it’s general atmosphere. The album title has multiple references to subjects that one some level pertains to the album itself; 'Nero' is a metaphor for darkness but also for destructive elements in mankind that threatens to bring down an empire, 'the age of nero' refers to SATYRICON as that famous piece of literature depicts scenes from Nero's Rome, but it also refers to our own time and the threat of downfall that is again mirrored in the apocalyptic feel of our music. It all neatly comes together."
Q: What approach did you guys take to make this album? Are you going for a more raw exposition or something more reminiscent of your most recent works, or something all together different?
Satyr: "Our aim with every album is to create the best piece of music we can do, given the resources at our disposal. Somewhere in the process of writing 'The Age of Nero', it seemed right for us to create a potent, fiery and somewhat masculine album, filled to the brim with darkness and based on a rock solid rhytmic structure. It is safe to say that we got what we wanted; never have we been giving more of ourselves in the process, and never have we come so close to the target."
Q: Joe Barresi [who mixed "The Age Of Nero"] has worked with a really great cross pollination of genre-mixing bands with very distinctive sound. To what extent did you feel his vision of how he felt the album would sound influenced the final mixes? Also, do you feel that this may be your finest album to date?
Satyr: "We chose to work with Joe Barresi on this recording based on his strong merits as a superb sound engineer and a good craftsman. We had a clear vision of how we wanted the album to sound, so what we wanted was someone with exceptional technical competense — that could help us turn the vision into audial reality — rather than an acclaimed producer. And Joe delivered! Like we did.
"Yes, we feel this is by far the best SATYRICON album to date. Still, we know there is lot for us to achieve to artists. As long as the passion and the will is there, you can always improve and develop. We have many productive years in front of us, and are more on fire than ever. Ambitions are always high, but also realistic. Our attention is currently on the world tour that we embark on today! The primary goal is to make every performance a feast in the sign of the Trident."
Read the entire question-and-answer session at this location.