Blood Red Throne
with Erlend Caspersen / August 2005
Hi Erlend! Thanx for having a little conversation with me! As you know, this is only a little onlinezine. Is it important for you to work on the fan base, or is it just that you can´t say “no”, if women ask you for a favour? ;-)
course, in any case I don`t turn down women asking for “favours”.
And of course, any band wants to take care of their fans in the
best possible way. We did a poll on our forum where we asked the fans
what songs they wanted to hear live, which results in a very direct
connection with the band for those who are involved.
Your last German festival probably was “Fuck the commerce”. How did you enjoy it? Was there anything special happening that`s worth mentioning? How's the response to your live shows here in Germany? Do you think you´re more well-known in Germany than in Norway?
The most special thing was probably seeing Suffocation for the first time. Probably the most killer show Ive ever seen in a metal-context. Besides, it was raining in on stage and there were only about 3 - 4 degrees in the area, and no place to get warm. So it was a really really hard time playing since we couldn’t get our fingers warmed up properly. Seemingly there was some hardcore fans there, so the response was good. But the weather kinda put a dampening effect on the whole situationI think.
But let´s talk about the new album of “Blood Red Throne” called “Altered genesis” now. It´s good Death metal, just as I expected it from BRT! So, congratulations. How are personally satisfied with the album and the reactions to it so far?
The reaction and reviews have been over the top, as far as Ive seen. Both the material and sound is very different from the earlier stuff, even though the same studio has been used. I think both Død and Tchort have become more wise both to arranging the songs and making riffs. So the whole package is heavily improved compared to the past.
I noticed the extremely good sound/ production quality. Tell us the secret for that.
We have always used Endre Kirkesola in Dub Studios. He has improved in matters of sound engineering and gaining better equipment. So it`s really just been a try and fail process and nothing special, other than the ability to make something sound as the band wants it.
How much time did you spend in the studio for this album?
We had 3 weeks, which was used to it`s full potential
I know that it´s always the same 2 persons that wrote the songs to this album. You don´t seem to be involved in the song writing? Why not? Do you just “swallow” and play everything that the others give you, or would you like to be involved into the song writing in the future? I mean, your taste probably doesn´t match 100 % with the other guys’ tastes, or does it?
I actually have ONE whole riff on this album hehe. It`s the last riff on “Flesh to destroy”, which was concieved in about 3 minutes on a rehearsel where Tchort needed a slow groovy riff. Usually Tchort and Død has the songs all done before we go to rehearsal and I just add some extra stuff on the bass that avoids the guitar notes. And I’ve been the one living in Oslo while the rest of the band has been situated in Kristiansand, which is in the south of Norway. So we really never have had band practice where we try out different stuff. It`s all done in advance to be fully efficient. Ive actually made a couple of songs this time, we`ll see on the next album.
Of course technically you guys have improved since the last albums, but the basics (main content of lyrics, song structures etc.) are nothing new (what I mean is > the album contains great tracks which are perfectly for performing them live/ but it´s exactly what I expected, there are no surprises or “shocking” moments on it). So… is this the style that BRT will stick to forever? Isn´t it sometimes thrilling to try something new or something quite different from the old stuff? Aren´t you afraid your fans might get bored with time, especially as there are so many Death bands active who do the same style and who are equally good?
Well, if you`re and oldschool deathmetal fan, you probably know what you like and what you get. And I agree that progress has to be made at all times. As a musician in the band I can say there has been improvements over the years. But the american death metal style has always been the root and will always be there. As I said earlier, I might come up with some songs for the next album, and they will be very different concerning harmonics. Since I’m a big fan of Immolation and newer Gorguts. Not that it will be that extreme, but I will evade copying the usual Cannibal Corpse\Slayer half-note\Diminished scale approach, which is why alot of bands sound really the same.
What´s your opinion about “being an underground band”? For many bands it´s totally deprecated to make videos or DVDs, it´s not “tr00”, you know. They wanna stay underground forever due to their own words. Bands like “Dimmu Borgir” are nothing but commerce for them. What´s your point of view about opinions like that? How about your own “rather we are underground” or “rather we get famous if we can” ambitions?
underground bands usually just sound like a vacuumcleaner, in my opinion.
Im a fan of being able to hear every instrument in the mix to an extent
where you can differ between the notes. Hiding bad musicianship behind a
moshy mix really don`t appeal to me at all. People say the production is
“cold” and “grim”, but I think its just rather expressions that
hide a bad production. I think stuff like Immolation and Gorguts is 10
times “colder” and “grimmer” than for example Darkthrone.
Not because of the production , but because of the constant
disharmonic approach which really sounds like nails on a chalkboard from
time to time.
What the hell do your “Thank you” credits in the album booklet mean? ;-) Enlighten us with your secrets… I´m talking about “Du werdest eine Krankenschwester brauchen” and “k4nk3rN00b5” and so on.....
Just a quote from Family Guy where Hitler appears on his own talkshow, and this quote appears in the commercial break: “Du werdest eine Krankenschwester brauchen”. Mostly related to cartoons, Medal of honor ( online FPS game) and expressions I find amusing from local retards.
Due to the booklet I can also guess that you have a little own family. So how are you managing the usual time problem then?
I have a daughter, yes. There`s really never been a problem for me concerning family. Since we never rehearse and extremely seldom do gigs. But that might pick up a bit after Altered Genesis, it seems.
Let´s talk a bit about yourself. I´m sure all BRT
fans know everything about for instance Tchort, but not much about YOU
as a person.
Actually I was going to buy a TV for my 200 Euros, but a friend of mine in a band convinced me to buy a bass since they didn’t have one in the band at that time. So I bought a bass, 12 years old, so I here I am , fulltime “rock`n roll star” 11 years later! :P
What other instruments can you play (which one is your favourite), at what age did you start playing and what have been your influences back then? / What bass players have had the greatest influence on your style of playing?
I have muscial highschool, so I can play piano and somewhat classical guitar also. But bass is the instrument which will ever so be my first love. MY influences when I picked up the bass was Alex Webster and Les Claypool. Did the No Mercy tour last year when I did session for Carpathian Forest. So I gotta meet with Webster himself, which really was a good experience when it turned out he wasn`t a machine after all :P These days it`s mostly Victor Wooten, Rainer Landferman in Pavor ( German avant-deathmetal band) and Jaco Pastorius that floats my boat mostly.
What kind of bass (company etc.) do you use, and how & why did you end up especially with this one?
this point I’m using my six string Les Claypool Custom made ripoff
Ustad bass( just adding some pictures for those interested) http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v232/erlend/IMG_0983.jpg
, which is mostly for non-metal use. Likewise with my five string custom
made Ustad fretless http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v232/erlend/IMG_0076.jpg
How do you yourself improve your abilities on the bass? How many hours per week (or whatever) do you practise? What would you recommend other bass players of how to improve their playing skills?
I used to practice 2-6 hours, maybe more, a day some years ago. These days I really don`t do much besides practicing with a metronome to become steady. I got the technique I need to make the songs I`d like to hear myself. So it`s mostly the Wooten slaphand technique, 8 finger tapping or sweeping stuff I do when I do have something to work on. Just basic stuff like practicing with all 4 fingers on the right hand after a metronome to get it to sound even, is something every bassplayer should prioritize. Sounding even with the drummer is the pure basis of the band. So if this doesn`t sound right, you really should go home and make an effort in sound tight.
Could you imagine to do something totally new one day (playing keyboard or whatever in a band)?
I`d love to try out the theremin ( http://www.thereminworld.com/learn.asp ) in a Frank Zappa context one day. Other than that Im considering getting a Chapman stick (http://www.stick.com/).
Do you wanna tell us something about your other interests in life than music?
Oh, cartoons ( Family Guy, Space Ghost, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Tom goes to the mayor, The Brak Show etc) and PC/Gamecube games( Zelda, Starcraft Quake1, Medal of honor) and booze in general.
Can you give me your top five bands of all time?
Primus, Frank Zappa, Mr Bungle, Cannibal Corpse and Spawn of possession.
What do you think satisfies you most as a musician? Touring, recording, or whatever (and why)?
Whatever really. Making a piece of music that makes you go “a-haaaaa, This I could really buy myself”. That`s usually a sign that makes me happy as a musician. And of course free beer and women on tour.
Are there any musical steps/decisions that you regret?
Playing pop songs in a garage band to gain money and gigs. Women ain`t in to that stuff, apparantly(!)
Three of you guys (Död/ sorry, the Norwegian “ö” is not on my keyboard/, Mr. Hustler and you) were playing in a band called “Trioxin”, but only for a short time. Please tell the readers more about it, what kind of style was it, why did the band split up so quickly?
It was a blend between Pantera and somewhat Meshuggah with a hint of blackmetal vocals. The band disbanded early due to job efforts.
Do you still play in the band called “TheAllseeing”? What are your ambitions with this band? Do you play live gigs with them? Which style are they playing?
This more or less is my baby of the two bands. I make 50% of the music, and it`s more Morbid Angel \ Cryptopsy\ Spawn of possession directed than BRT`s oldschool approach. (There`s songs from the new Ep on www.theallseeingi.net ). There`s been a couple of labels that has shown interest, so we’re just waiting for some schmuck to pay for our first album recording.
About your tour with Thyrfing and Primordial back some years > I was at the concert in Munich of this tour. Tell us something about your memories of this tour (I´m asking because I was a great Thyrfing fan back at that time and these days I discovered Primordial's music for myself). Any funny anecdotes to tell?
My best memory is probably when myself and one guy of Primordial chunked down 3 bottles of Jim Beam and talked crap about Manowar , and waking up the next day, running out of the bus in Frankfurt, puking behind a dumpster in my boxers, in front of a group of teenage girls who laughed and pointed. Good start that day. I really needed a wheelchair at that point.
Last question: will you buy me a beer next time I see you live in Germany or do I have to pay you one for the interview? ;-) No, honestly, thanks for taking out some time and see you in Germany on tour….
Next time we`re in Germany will be November 2005 sometime. So if you`re nice, there might be a free beer involved somewhere.
((Argh…. no free drink for me then … I´m NEVER a “nice” woman! I´ll pay you one for the interview then! Skål! Twi.))