Interview partner: RAVN (vocals)
Questions by: Claudia & Twilightheart
Time: September 2, 2006
Place: Hellflame festival, face to face

R = Ravn
C = Claudia
T = Twilightheart

C > At first I wanna say that your show was really really great, but I missed one thing: you didn`t start with fire eating.

R > We can`t always do that. It depends on the regulations of the venue. Sometimes they don´t allow you to do that. Security… that´s the reason why.

C > Tjalve left the band. Why?

R > He wanted to focus more on his other projects. He played in the band for 9 years. And he figured out that if there is a time to leave then THIS is the right time. In both ways: not to put a band in a bad situation, and a lot of things started to happen with his other projects, so he is really occupied there.

C > So it was a time problem? Not just wanting a different style of music?

R > Both, I think. I just think he thought it was time to move on.

C > You now have a new guitarist to replace him….

R > Teloch, he´s a session guitarist. We hired him only for this tour.

C > He´s quite good. How did you get together?

R > He played in a band called Nidingr (www.nidingr.no) and first time we met him at the tour with Gorgoroth 2004. We have seen him on stage before. We have it really well on tour this time, because he`s a cool guy to tour with. And when I first heared Nidingr`s album I was really impressed by his guitar skills. He was the first name that came to mind when the situation accured that Tjalve left. We asked him and he said “yes” immediately. It´s very good. I think it all works pretty well.

C > And the drummer is of course only a session drummer for this tour, too.

R > Yeah, we´ve done some shows with him around easter. 2 shows in Belgium and Holland. And he decided to do this tour as Frost is occupied with Satyricon, and he can`t get into the states yet. We´re working on the permits. Hopefully he will get in when Satyricon tours the states next year. And then we tend to do a following tour after this one, if he`s let in the United States and has the time to come. Hopefully! If he´s not getting stopped and accused for terrorism!… it happened once in Holland.

T > For terrorism?

R > Yeah, we brought bullet belts into the country.That is apearantly illegal to bring into Holland. But you can buy them on the streets and you can buy them whereever you like, you know. Doesn`t make sense.

T > Did you never have the wish to have a drummer only for your OWN band, someone who doesn´t switch bands but only stays loyal to YOU?

R > Frost is 100% loyal to our band. But as he played in Satyricon first… when he joined us, that was the only condition he had, that if occures a situation that stands between Satyricon and 1349, he would chose Satyricon because he played there first. 

T > Aren´t you sometimes afraid that your success bases mostly on the fact that Frost plays in 1349? Instead of success only for the music. What I mean is, don´t you sometimes think that without Frost not too many people would care about 1349?

R > We also knew that this issue would come up when he joined the band. But before he joined the band, a lot of rumours were going around about 1349 and we released the demo where I played the drums on… I remember he got home from a Satyricon tour and we shared rehearsal room at that time, and he asked us: “Have you released anything?” and I said “No”, because a lot of people were mentioning the name throughout Europe, I was like: “No, nothing official. It´s just as rumour in the underground.” Of course he was one of the biggest names in Black Metal history and it doesn´t hurt us. But the band speaks for itself. And if you see the band without Frost you can see that the band stands on its own legs. It doesn`t have anything to do with the members in that matter, so to speak. He is with us when we create the music and that´s what really matters. Our only issue is to find a session drummer that`s good enough to do the job, and luckily we did. 

T > You will tour Ireland soon. What do you expect from a catholic region like this?

R > We played there last year with Gorgoroth, in Dublin. It was a great show and really good mood. We now go there again and play Dublin again with Enslaved,  Zyklon and Insomnium. But first we go down to Cork and play a headline-show there on the 4th of September. That´s not part of the tour. That`s a show that was thrown in when they heared we´re coming down to Ireland.

T > Did you ever have problems with cencorship?

R > Not that I heared of. No, never!

T > Then your lyrics are not evil enough! ;-)

R > Or they don´t understand it. It´s a matter of how you write the lyrics and how you look at them. You don´t find the word “Satan” very much in our lyrics in general. It´s not something that we think about when we write the lyrics. It´s mostly words for the visions and the pictures that come into mind when you listen to the music. And mostly this is done after the songs are written. Or it is written in a state of mind that is mostly occuring in a toxicated situation, so to speak.

C > Do you prefer normal touring, or festivals like this one today?

R > Normal tours. Because festivals are a pain in the ass, because you never get a chance to soundcheck or anything. Just go for it, you know. But it really shows whether you´re a professional band or not, if you can handle it and if you have the routine and the band is tough enough to play it. Because the monitoring is never what  it´s supposed to be. We´re very lucky if we 1 in a 1000 chances get the situation exactly as we want.

T > You had a lot of problems today as well, or? The bass didn`t work properly and the vocals were very quietly.

R > I heared a lot on stage and I don´t like it, so we had to get it down. I don´t know how it sounded into the audience. But it´s not the intention. The vocals should be at the same level as the guitars.

C > You played only 45 minutes. But on the running order I read that you should play 1 hour.

R > We were told that we are supposed to play 45 minutes. That´s the kind of things that happen at festivals. Most of the times they are like: “You have to stop.  You play overtimes.” – “What!? Why?” And you don`t have enough time to get ready on stage. But we try to stay as professional as we can and try to keep the running times, so we don´t get cut. And like for instance Party San (festival), when we played there, we had only 15 minutes to get everything ready, to get the drums ready and everything. But that`s not enough time of course, so we were set back 15 minutes in our set, because  we didn`t get everything ready when we should start to play, so we played only half an hour there, it was like 15 minutes too short.

C > You´re playing a kind of old school Black Metal, fast, hard, tough. Hopefully you don`t have plans to ever change it?

R > Well, I think a band needs to change in a way. It´s a difference between changing and keeping the integrity of the band. And as long as we make the music that we wanna make, that´s our main interest and that´s always been the main focus of 1349. But some changes will occure from album to album of course. That´s why we make different albums, we can`t make the same songs all over the time like AC/DC. 

C > Your lyrics are in English. Why don´t you sing in Norwegian on the new album? Norwegian is the only possible language for true norwegian Black Metal! ;-)

R > We might do that, if it suits the lyrics and the visions the most.

C > To my opinion you´re one of the few bands who play Black Metal the way it should be.

R > It´s good to hear that you find it that way. Because we define BM that way ourselves. How you define BM is something individual actually. So, we say that we play BM the way we want BM to sound. A lot of people say they play Black Metal...  we don`t agree with. We take that opportunity to say: “Okay, we respect that, but we don`t think it´s Black Metal”.

T > Is the fundament of 1349`s BM only based on anti-religion or anti-christianity, or do you have real satanists in your band?

R > It´s a question of defining Satanism. Satan is supposed to be the opposite of God in christianity and Satan occures in many shapes in many religions as the evil side. But Satan in general represents a rebellion and a person that really stands for his own mind. So in that way you can say that we represent Satan because we are rebellions against the mind-controlling society that old religions are trying to create. And Satan is been known to be the opposite of this mind-control-system that is spread around the world. And if Satan is referred to be the opposite of that, then you can define us as Satanists, but not in the religious way, just as the rebellions.

C > Are there any plans for a 1349 DVD?

R > There will be one when we have enough material that we are satisfied with. We don´t wanna release a DVD just to release a DVD, so to recall a concert. I think all the songs that should be on the DVD should be of the best possible quality, see us from the best side. So maybe we will pick songs from different venues and maybe some variety occasions in between that occure when we are on tour and what happens backstage and stuff like this.

T > What´s the most memorable thing from the past tour for you?

R > Well, it´s when we played in Serbia, Belgrad. Just the whole feeling when we drove into Belgrad, see the buildings bombed out with huge holes from the NATO-riots. It´s pretty intense and unique to see what this country is like, that is a European country.

(abridged version) / Sheol Magazine thanks Ravn for taking out some minutes for this interview at Hellflame festival, even if the shuttle bus was already waiting for him to take the band to the hotel! 

Ravn with Claudia:


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