WATAIN Frontman On 'Lords Of Chaos' Film: 'It's Not A Gateway Into Black Metal Knowledge At All'

January 15, 2019

In a brand new interview with Metal Wani, WATAIN frontman Erik Danielsson was asked if he is worried about the way that the upcoming "Lords Of Chaos" film, which is based on true events in the Norwegian black metal music scene in the early 1990s, might paint black metal to a broader audience. "No, I'm not," Erik responded (hear audio below). "I've seen the film, and it's not a gateway into black metal knowledge at all. It's a movie about juveniles that do a lot of really extreme things, and I don't think that people are gonna walk away from that movie thinking that they know a lot about black metal. I don't think that they're gonna feel educated on the history of [the pioneering Norwegian black metal band] MAYHEM and what went down. I think they're gonna walk away thinking that they've seen a pretty intense fucking movie. So, no, I'm not worried in the slightest. I mean, that damage, as far as I'm concerned, with black metal getting too much attention from mainstream media, that happened 15 years ago already. So, to me, that's a lost battle, if you wanna call it that. I'm not too concerned myself. Black metal will always live on in the spirit of those that keep on performing it with dignity and with reverence, and I'm proud to call myself one of them."

Asked why he thinks black metal continues to court controversy to this day, Erik said: "Freedom is the key word here. Freedom can easily be seen as something very destructive, because in order to attain the freedom that we're talking about, you need to break a lot of boundaries, you need to break a lot of rules, and you need to challenge the things that are established as norms. And that's usually what people that adhere to those norms would call destructive behavior and controversial behavior, for that matter. And I just think it's a very natural outcome of doing this — to be seen in the light of controversy and have your word considered taboo and so on and so on. I mean, it should be, it must be to a certain extent, because otherwise you're not in touch with the things that you're singing about. You've gotta practice what you preach, and if you do that, well, your band is going to enjoy or suffer from a lot of rumors, a lot of controversy, a lot of random, preconceived notions that people spit out because they don't know any better. And it's just the way it is. To me, it's just a part of the game, and it's nothing that you are consciously for; it's just a result of doing something that you love very deeply and that's a bit problematic to — I don't know — normal people."

"Lords Of Chaos" will open in theaters February 8 and on demand on February 22.

Swedish director Jonas Åkerlund (METALLICA, RAMMSTEIN) directed the film, which is being released by Gunpowder and Sky, and is co-produced by VICE Studios, 20th Century Fox, Scott Free Productions and Insurgent Media.

"Lords Of Chaos" is described as "the terrifying story based on real events about a dream-turned-nightmare for a group of teenagers who spiral out of control." The movie follows the life of Øystein "Euronymous" Aarseth, the founding member of MAYHEM who was murdered in 1993 by Kristian "Varg" Vikernes (BURZUM). In the movie, Euronymous "becomes fixated on creating true 'Norwegian black metal' music with his band MAYHEM, and creates a phenomenon by using shocking stunts to put the band's name on the map. But as the lines between publicity and reality start to blur, acts of arson, violence and a vicious murder shock the nation."

The movie stars Rory Culkin ("Scream 4") as Euronymous, Emory Cohen ("The Place Beyond The Pines") as Varg, Anthony De La Torre ("Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales") as Hellhammer, Sky Ferreira ("The Green Inferno") as Ann-Marit, Jack Kilmer (Val Kilmer's son) as Per Yngve "Dead" Ohlin, and Valter Skarsgard (Stellan Skarsgard's son) as Faust. That cast is joined by Sam Coleman as Metalion, Jonathan Barnwell as Necrobutcher, Wilson Gonzalez Ochsenknecht as Blackthorn, Lucian Charles Collier as Occultus, Andrew Lavelle as Fenriz, and James Edwin as Manheim. Culkin and Ferreira were visible in METALLICA's "ManUNkind" video, which was helmed by Åkerlund and which contains scenes from the movie.

Åkerlund is the original drummer of BATHORY, one of the first black metal bands, who made his mark directing music videos for artists from Madonna and THE ROLLING STONES to MAROON 5 and Beyoncé. These have won him a host of awards, including several Grammys, an MTV VMA, MVPA Hall Of Fame award and more. Åkerlund has also directed a number of feature films, including cult favorite "Spun" starring Jason Schwartzman, Mickey Rourke, Brittany Murphy and John Leguizamo.

The "Lords Of Chaos" movie is based on the "Lords Of Chaos: The Bloody Rise Of The Satanic Metal Underground" book, which was originally published in 1998 by Feral House U.S. A second edition followed in 2003, documenting black metal activities since 1997.

The film premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and currently holds a 92% fresh rating over on Rotten Tomatoes.

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