partner: Fordervelse (drums)
questions by: Twilightheart & Claudia
time: August 20, 2008
aus Koldbrann before the gig at "Storm of destruction" festival 2008:
first recordings for this Koldbrann interview took place in 2007 during the
band's tour with Taake. Unfortunately the recordings got lost, don't ask how! So
recently we finally found some time to try again by e-mail.
For this year there are only 2 festival appearances for Koldbrann confirmed so far. What’s the reason for this? Can we expect more than 2 gigs in 2008?
Well, I have really no idea. We try to play
as many festivals as possible, but it seems that some festivals are not
very eager to let us play. The reasons is beyond me. Our label tries to
get us on as many festivals as possible, so it’s up to the festivals,
Your last gig was at Party San Open Air this month. Anything new or surprising in the setlist you chose?
Well, we had the same "surprise"
with a guest on stage like we did at “Up From The Ground” festival
two years ago. Iblis from “Endstille” on “Bestial Swarm”, as he
also guest-sings on that song on the album.
“Moribund” is out since a while. Do you have any feedback how the Black Metal scene received the album?
The reviews we have received, with a few
exceptions, have been nothing but very good. Especially the vocals, as
usual…. For my drumming, I get lots of good feedback, especially on
the changes between parts and different tempos. People say my fills and
changes between the different parts are played so you don’t notice
that much that there is a change in tempo. I find that nice to hear. I
also hear a lot that my drum style is unique and not like any other BM
bands. Probably because I have played everything from Marching Music,
Jazz, Big Bands to Rock, Heavy Metal and Prog in my 30 years as a
Which track on the album is most difficult to drum and why?
Well, I don’t find any tracks difficult.
I have played the drumming myself, so I can basically play all the
Koldbrann tracks we have played live with no problem. The tracks we have
never played live, I would probably have to re-learn, especially from
NI. I think all the songs on Moribund are easy for me to play for the
reasons explained above.
You are searching for session work at the moment. You were succesful it seems. Will Koldbrann stay your main band nevertheless? How deep are you connected to Koldbrann feelingwise actually? Can you imagine to be a fix band member for any of your session bands in the future, if they want you?
Yes, and the main reason I was searching
for session work, is that the other Koldbrann guys don’t want to tour
as much as I do. So, when Mannevond said we would not tour anymore until
after the next album, I immediately put out ads to do some band whoring.
The other Koldbrann guys have other priorities, like work and such, and
that’s their choice. Ok, you have to take time off to do a tour, loose
income etc., but if you really wanna play, it’s a matter of priorities
and personal choices what you want to do.
I was a bit successful in my search for
session work yes.
With the exception of Koldbrann, I think there is some curse on me when it comes to the Norwegian scene and of course the fact that 2-3 drummers seems to have monopoly on all the available spots in the established bands. Nothing wrong with those drummers, it’s just boring that so many bands use the same drummers and the same awful trigger sound, hehe. Lots of Norwegian drummers are as good as they IMO.
About the session jobs, I got in touch with a band called “Høst” from North Dakota. I liked what I heard, since it was a little different than the regular BM bands you hear all the time, and with influences from other genres than just BM, just like my drumming, so we decided that I travel over and do a tour with them. I went over to the US and stayed over a month. Rehearsed for two weeks in North Dakota and then we did a US tour playing 16 gigs. I would definitely like to play more with Høst, both live and studio, but I don’t know yet, since it’s not up to me and we haven’t talked about it.
I love adding drums on riffs and songs, but unfortunately, most people that have made the music, already know how the drumming should be. Give me free hands, and I can add some helluva drumming on riffs and songs, but too bad I rarely get a chance to do that. Even in Koldbrann they usually have ideas about how the basic drumming should be. I do add my own style and fills though.
I am still on the lookout for more to do though, since I need and want to play a lot. The perfect would be a permanent drummer in a band that would tour as much as me and a band I could pretty much do my things when making the drum tracks. Traveling would be no problem either I think. Lots of places in Norway you can apply for funds and financial support when it comes to artists and musicians.
The other band I will do session work for is “Frostwork” from England. A side project of Dagon from Heathen Deity. Another dedicated musician. Nothing has happened yet, but I will play on his next demo and hopefully a full length album after that. The drums will probably be recorded here at my farm. If he wants to take Frostwork live, I am all up for it.
Are Koldbrann working on new material actually? If yes, what can you tell us already about the stuff written so far?
3 new songs are written and recorded. It
was released as an EP on August 15. The EP is called “Stigma” and it
also contains a Bathory cover and a re-recording of an old song "Fredløs"
which is released only on vinyl before on the split with Ljå. We were
never happy with the recording of that song and in addition, the vinyl
pressing plant fucked up the sound entirely. I am happy we recorded that
song again, because it is absolutely one of my absolute favorite
Koldbrann tracks ever. Both to listen to and play. I consider it Kvass
on his best. He writes the more complex and melodic tracks, and the last
part of Fredløs is Kvass at some of his best. He always manages to make
riffs that get me chilling down my spine when I hear it.
Why was the release of the split with Faustcoven delayed so many times?
Well, it was the label who kept postponing
the release again and again.
Koldbrann was founded in 2001. That’s ten years later than most of the other Norwegian BM bands were founded. What have you done before? Played in other BM bands?
Yeah, after the second wave that so many call it... Personally, I dont give a fuck about first wave, second wave, blah blah or the history of BM or Metal or music in general. I just like what I like without a need to know the history behind it. Mannevond started Koldbrann because he wanted to play Black Metal and I joined because it was just the kind of band I was looking for.
If people still want to worship the handful of great Norwegian BM albums that were released in the early 90's and nothing else, it’s their loss. With a few exceptions, I think as many good albums have been released after the mid 90's as before.
For myself, what I played before I played Metal, is explained above.... But to be short, I have the usual story for people my age... got into Metal in the late 70's... with Kiss. Then Maiden, Dio, Ozzy etc, and my mom bought me the Venom- 7 Gates of Hell VHS for x-mas in ‘85 or around that time. That was my first taste for more extreme stuff, and I was totally hooked, even though I have to add that I was much into the LA scene in the mid 80's too and then Bay Area Thrash in the late 80's.
I got my first drum kit in ‘85 and played in various garage Metal bands until the early 90's and was in a Black Metal band a short time in '92. Got tired of music, since I got nowhere and didn’t see the point of playing just for fun... so took a break from drumming and tried the "normal life" with a regular job. What a fuckin waste.... Got tired of it and started drumming again in ‘98... even though I listened to extreme Metal through the 90's, I missed the BM media sensation period as a drummer, but I don’t care. I played in various bands in the late 90‘s, but I really wanted to play Black Metal, so I got in touch with this young dedicated guy called Mannevond in 2002 and the rest you know.
The other guys, well Mannevond had a band called Carnifex before Koldbrann.. with the first original Koldbrann guitarist, Dragev (who wrote the “Koldbrann” track btw). Kvass has never played in any other bands. Antonzen, nothing special I believe. Stian "Goremeister" Johnskareng was a Death Metal vocalist before he joined Koldbrann and did some recordings with a few bands. He also plays in a Rock’n’roll band beside Koldbrann and it seems to me he is more comfortable playing that style.
Are you still following your Anti-Trigger idea? What do you think why other musicians use the trigger? Since when does this excist anyway? Any idea? Why do you personally hate it so much? How about drum machines? Don’t you hate them even more, maybe?
Definitely. I like drums that sounds like
drums!! I just think the sound of triggered drums, Casio sound as I call
it, is annoying and it got no dynamics or feeling so that’s the main
reason I don’t like it. Especially the bass drums. Nothing sounds
better than acoustic bass drums, so
you feel them “hit” your chest as much as you hear them,
instead of those “klakk klakk klakk”. The worst example of triggered
drums to me, is the bass drums on Immortal’s “Battles in the
North” and Mayhem’s “Live in Marseille” CD/DVD. The drums on
those releases sound just horrible!
Why people use them? Well, it’s easier to
play. Much easier. Since triggers are some sort of sensors attached to
the drumheads, you don’t have to worry about how hard you hit or where
you hit, cause the sound will have the same volume out through the
speakers anyway and the sound is not from the drums, but from synthetic
drum sounds stored in the trigger module.
Since when are you playing drums anyway? Learned since childhood? How often do you rehearse?
I started playing drums in 1978 I believe or maybe it was 79. In a marching band actually and I stayed there for 10 years. That’s actually the last thing I'll regret, since I learned the right stick techniques, theory and such from an early age.
You know, using mainly your fingers when playing fast on the snare drum instead of your entire arm and such. When people ask me to teach them that, I have a hard time doing it, since I don’t really know how to explain or show it. I have always played like that and it’s just in my blood.
I also learned a lot of musical theory in the marching band. I actually can write drum notes and play a drum kit after notes. Both single snare drum and the entire kit. One of these days I will write down complete note sheets for the drumming of a couple of Koldbrann tracks. Just for the fun of it, since I believe no one will ever have the need for it. Another funny fact is that right before I quit the marching band, the instructors recommended me for the drum corps in the Royal Norwegian Kings Guard and I was accepted after a test... but at the time, cutting my hair short and give up Metal for two years, was not an option for me. This was in 1988 or 89 I believe.
Since I started play in Koldbrann, I have rarely rehearsed beside band rehearsals. Mainly due to not being able to have a kit at home and play, but now that I live on a farm and are making a sound proof rehearsal place/studio, I will try play a couple of hours each day. Got some stuff, especially bass drum techniques, I need to practice on...
When I learn new stuff with Koldbrann, I just listen to rehearsal recordings over and over... or if the other guys have recorded the guitars at home. Then it just get stuck in my mind after a few dozen listens and I remember it, I also write down the notes if there are especially complex riffs. That works out great, so new songs come together pretty quick at rehearsals. Of course they have to approve my ideas for the drumming. Often they have ideas for drumbeats to their riffs and we work from their. Sometimes we come up with the drums and riffs at rehearsals, and then I write down the notes to remember it.
Before traveling to the US to play with Høst, I listened to the album several times everyday for weeks, but mainly since I had not made that drumming myself, and it had some complex parts, it was much harder to learn than I had expected, so I had to write down notes witch I played after on the rehearsals and gigs.
Do you use special equipment? I heared the cymbals are extremely expensive, 500,- EUR upwards. Do you have a sponsor?
I don’t use any special equipment, except brands. I have always used TAMA drums. They make good drums at decent prices. And they last! The kit I have now, is a TAMA Rockstar kit I bought in 2001. They have been on several tours, flights and they are very durable. No particular experience with other brands, except Pearl and I don’t like them. They way the toms are mounted and more such things... for sound, I guess most brands can sound good if tuned well and the right heads.
For cymbals I have always used Sabian's Hand Hammered cymbals. They last. I am known for hitting very hard live, and the set I use now are finally starting to break… after ten years! So time to change the cymbals.
I use Evans Hydraulic drum heads, simply because I love the sound of those. I tried some new Evans types I might switch too, because they sounded even better. Don’t remember what type in the moment.
I am only endorsed by Pro-mark. I have been using Pro-mark exclusively since the early 80's, since that’s the only brand that produce wood sticks I have tried that don’t break easily.... I was introduced to them at some summer drum schools I went to in the mid 80's. I went to such 3 years in a row. They lasted a month each time and full day like a job. It was fun, because I learned how to play Vibraphone, Timbales and lots of other melodic percussion instruments.
Have you heared about the unbreakable drumsticks from carbon (I think it was)? Ever tried them? Know something if they sound better or worse?
Heard about something like that, but I have never tried and I will not consider it either. I don’t care if they last long, for me drumsticks made of American hickory wood is the only way to go. Beside, I prefer real heavy sticks and I guess those sticks you are talking about are pretty lightweight. I need heavy sticks, otherwise I drop them all the time and I cannot play fast. Need the weight to get the stick going on blast beats.
Let’s talk about “Bestial swarm”, the duet with Iblis of Endstille. Whose idea was it to have him joining? How did you record it? Sending tapes around or how?
Well, we recorded Moribund in the same studio as Endstille uses in Kiel. We hang out with the guys all the time during the time we where down there, and 3 of us stayed at their place during the entire recording that took a few weeks, so I guess it just came up at some point. No rehearsal, except him being in the studio listening to the track before recording his vocals. Wachfels also has some guest appearance on Moribund. It’s just a line though, but cool anyhow.
You also were on tour with Endstille when you were at the same label. I believe you became really good friends during this time?
Yeah, that was the first Koldbrann tour
that was booked and organized by a booking agency and not me as on the
previous tour... The organizer needed another band, and Endstille wanted
us to come along. Lots of funny memories.
What are the Norwegians in general (or you in particular) thinking about the Black Metal scene in Germany? Could you actually tell some good German BM bands (except Endstille)?
I can only speak for myself, since I am not
a social person who is out a lot, except when touring, so I don’t keep
so much attention to what others think. Personally, I don’t have the
time to check out lots of new stuff, beside there is so many bands so I
find it impossible since there are as many bands as there as musicians
these days. I am also very picky. I need real drums and I basically hate
sampled stuff. I also need very good drumming if a band has to appeal to
me, and that is something I find quite rare.
What about new and fresh BM bands from Norway? Can you recommend any band? Or do join the group of old-fashioned people who think, that only the old and “true” bands can deliver the “real thing”?
Lots of good new bands comming from Norway
these days. But as I said, I don’t have time to follow up everything
that is released these days, and it’s way to much! But there are a few
good newer bands. The best newer band I can recommend, is Sarkom, which
we toured with in 2006. Their first album is excellent… except the
drum sound though..., but it contains some of the best riffs I have
heard in years. Riffs that would make Satan himself proud.
You played two gigs with the German band “Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult” as your support. They have female vocals. How did you like the band? What about females in BM? Would you like to see more of, or do you think BM is a men’s domain?
It was 3 or 4 gigs... They also played with us after Taake had to cancel the rest of the tour after the sensitive German incident. Hehe. Anyway, I have big respect for the girl vocalist in that band. I was stunned when I saw them live in Berlin on the fist gig on that tour. A girl growling and playing at the same time. Wow. I think they are a great band and I would love to play more gigs with them in the future. BM a men’s domain? Common. Gimme a break… This is the 21st century. I don’t care as long as the music is good.
Koldbrann seem to be very close to Taake, you have partly the same members. How do you remember the last tour with Taake? How did the fact that Taake were cancelled from the tour after the Essen-Gig affect Koldbrann? Do you think Koldbrann lost fans because of this as well?
Close and close. Personally, I am not close to any persons, except my family. About Taake, we toured with them and say hi and hang out if we meet. I remember the tour well. The only person I have hung out with after the gig is Skagg. The gigs went well, we had fun and it was of course lots of scandals. I don’t think it affected us at all. The rest of the gigs went as well as they did before Taake went home. Actually the biggest crowd we had was at one of the last gigs. Lost fans? I don’t know and I don’t care. If people want to judge us because of something someone else did, and a thing that has nothing to do with the music itself, common let them go ahead.
You have a DVD out. Can you tell us what to expect when getting hold of it? Heared something of live recordings. What kind of quality are the recordings? YouTube-handcamera-quality?
Yeah, we decided to release a DVD ourselves.
It’s just a self released total nekro bootleg DVD thing. Not something
for people who have not heard us before, but people who are familiar
with our songs, will enjoy it. Not like YouTube, because most of those
are poor soundwise because they film too close to the stage, and cell
phones and camcorders can’t get decent sound when it’s loud as close
to the stage. This DVD is filmed from far behind so the sound is decent,
even though it’s a camcorder, and it really captures the Koldbrann
live feeling on a bigger stage.
Ragnarok festival have also released an official combined CD/DVD release and “Djevelens Treskeverk” is also included there, but filmed with different cameras and better sound... To bad I fucked up one part on that particular song on that particular concert. Hehe… but who the fuck cares... Absolutt Nekro!!!
aus Koldbrann live:
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