In the latest installment of Roadrunner Records's "Ask the Artist" series, the U.K. branch of the label sat down with vocalist Sigurd "Satyr" Wongraven and drummer Kjetil-Vidar "Frost" Haraldstad of Norwegian black metallers SATYRICON and put the best of fans' questions to the guys. A couple of excerpts from the question-and-answer session follow below.
Q: I really like "Roadkill Extravaganza". Will you be releasing another DVD?
Frost: Possibly, if we release another DVD, it's going to have a very different format to "Roadkill Extravaganza" — it's not going to be a follow-on to that one. We have thought of making a live DVD. It is something that might happen and at a certain point it probably will happen. I cannot really tell how and when it's going to be, but it's going to be different.
Q: Ten years ago you released "Rebel Extravaganza", which compared to your latest release differs in sound and style. What do you think SATYRICON will sound like in another ten years?
Frost: The good thing is that I cannot really tell! I think one of the greatest assets of SATYRICON is that it's unpredictable. Whenever we start working on an album, we don't really know where we're going to end up. We might have some goals that we want to reach and we might put certain restrictions on ourselves, but, basically, we don't really know where we're going to end up before we get far in to the writing process. Then it starts to take shape and it's almost as if the music leads us as much as we lead the music. At a certain point we realize what kind of an album this is going to be and how we can make it the best it can possibly be given the resources we have at our disposal. Especially this time when we feel that we're going to leave the territory where we've been for a decade almost and enter something new, dark, challenging we can end up anywhere. We simply feel that we have a very fine instrument for expressing ourselves musically. It is almost as exciting for us to see where it can take us as for our fans.
Q: What does the future hold for SATYRICON?
Frost: Wow! That's a big one! In my head now, I can see this vast landscape that just unfolds. There is something enormous and powerful to it. I personally feel about SATYRICON's future that there is something pretty grandiose on a certain level and that could be anything. It could grandiose on an artistic level that is perhaps something is that we ourselves feel or it could imply that the band is really going far. What I know is that the future holds a lot of work, a lot of development and we're going to invest a lot in the next album. That is as far as I can think in terms of future. We always aim to top ourselves with each new album. We hold on to that aim. The future holds great things, great music, it holds improvement and development and much learning. It holds blood, sweat and tears for sure!
Q: I read in an interview that your next record will be radically different from the last one and there will be changes in the SATYRICON camp. What are your ideas on the next album and what will that change be within the band?
Satyr: The idea to take a break now to get to do some other things musically, in terms of private life and also to have time to do absolutely nothing! In the past I have done a couple of things. I did a record with medieval music in '95 and also did a STORM record around the same time and then I did a small project called BLACK DIAMOND BRIGADE with the guitar player from TURBONEGRO and the bass player from FAITH NO MORE. Then I worked a little bit on the EIBON with Phil Anselmo. When ever I have done these things, coming back to SATYRICON makes me feel even more inspired and motivated by the fact I have been away from it doing something else. It's not really about the grass being greener on the other side but it's just sometimes good to step out of your little bubble and experience other things. It makes you appreciate what's inside of your bubble even more when you do that. Sometimes just to figure out things, whether it is something small like day to day life or something larger than life like making a piece of art then it's good to have some peace and quiet, time to think and settle down. We've been going steady since "Now, Diabolical" and there's been so much activity for the last 18 months with "The Age Of Nero" that it's ridiculous. I think most people don't realize how much we've toured. We've played over 170 shows in 365 days. That's not touring a lot, that's touring like a dog! I think a part of trying to provide some leadership is to make decisions like this before something goes wrong. Before we lose motivation or inspiration; before we start fighting each other. You've got to say this is enough. If we go further than this we are pushing it so let's just stop right here before we go somewhere we shouldn't going. SATYRICON is divided into two musical chapters — the '90s with the first three records and then "Rebel Extravaganza" is almost a record that symbolizes our transition, in a way. Then there is the 2000s with "Volcano", "Now, Diabolical" and "The Age Of Nero" — which is a conclusion of our work in the 2000s. It wouldn't make me happy to continue like this. I'm going to have to find something new and exciting. I'm not afraid of that, it makes me very excited. It's like the difference between getting a brand new car just like the one you had before as opposed to you're going to get a brand new car, you don't know which one yet but it's going to be a great car. It's really exciting in that way because I know we can do this and we're not afraid of it. We're probably going to be doing some things where we're going to be questioning "Why are we doing this? This is not working" where instead of getting disillusioned we have to start from scratch and do this again. We have done that many times before and you just have to have faith and belief in your vision for the project. I don't know exactly what it's going to be but just the fact that we've made this decision makes me excited and now I'm getting ideas on where to go. I've started thinking about things in a more detailed way and this will probably open up for me in six to eight months when it will become clear to me.
Q: I have a question for Satyr in regards to collecting music and or other memorabilia. I've heard you mention in interviews in that you have a fairly large record collection and was curious to know if you have any prized and maybe rare pieces that you are proud to own?
Satyr: I have the yellow goat first BATHORY record (It was first printed in 1000 vinyl copies, with a yellow goat instead of a white one) — finally getting that one was significant! VENOM's "Black Metal" with the poster — that's the original. I also have the original BLACK SABBATH "Master Of Reality". I have many like that, the original POSSESSED "Beyond The Gates", which is this gatefold vinyl and turns in to this gigantic upside down cross with this incredible painting and many things like that. There are also some things that I'm not necessarily proud of, but it's a bizarre record I have. You know the tragic death Euronymous from MAYHEM? He had the record label Deathlike Silence where he released the records of BURZUM. The man that was found guilty of this murder was the BURZUM guy [Varg Vikernes] — whose record Euronymous had released. After his death, some of his band members were getting rid of the records the parents didn't want. One of the records the argument related to was a mini-LP called "Aske" which means "ashes." I was looking through the records thinking of buying some and I noticed blood stains on it. I asked, "What's this?" because it was a BURZUM record and seemingly it was in the hallway where this murder started basically. It was a stabbing so it was Euronymous' blood that splattered onto some of the vinyl in the hallway. I thought it was so bizarre having the victim's blood on the murderer's record. It's not something I'm proud of owning but it definitely a bizarre piece. It's a curiosity and I guess no one really thought about that and for me it wasn't something I that I was going to frame but it definitely has a history that is bizarre and so I got that one. It's always good to have originals, the very first one and those with special artwork and all that. If there's a story to it as well, that's great. I don't know if they have conventions in the States like we have in Europe but they're always nice. Anyway, now I collect wines!
Read the entire question-and-answer session at this location.