(interview of May 2004)
you for providing your demo-tape to us! For being only a demo, this is really
stuff to my taste! Congratulations! I almost said "That`s what Black Metal must sound like!",
but I´m not 100% sure, where you yourself situate your music.... the lyrics
(as far as I know about) do more tend into the direction of death- or doom metal,
but the music itself sounds like true Black Metal. Correct me, if I´m wrong!
Everyone always has a lot of different opinions on what constitutes black metal,
and in my eyes black metal is basically Satanic, so therefore I do not consider Nasheim a
black metal band. It's clear to anyone who's heard us that we derive a lot of musical influences
from mainly second wave black metal, but even musically we are quite removed from most black
metal at times, so the official stance is that Nasheim is NOT a black metal band. I do not care what
others label us.
I definitely disagree with you saying that our lyrics would be typical of
death or doom metal. The lyrics have a definite "heathen" slant to them, with "Undergång,"
the song, being about the loss of our folk soul and culture and so forth, something that will likely
be discussed further on forthcoming releases. I guess you derive the whole doom comparison
from the second track, which is basically about suicide, but even so there's a twist to it that you
wouldn't probably see in most doom.
Due to the lack of Satanic propaganda I would hesitate to call Nasheim black
though I have no problem associating us with it and would mention is as related if
someone asked me what kind of music we play.
all know nothing about you guys so far, please tell us, who you are (and what`s
your part in the band)
and how you endet up in "Nasheim" (I don`t know, if I could use the word "band-history" already.)
How did you both start making music (what were your first instruments, ever studied at music school etc.)
and which are your influences in life on your way to a straight band like this?
I'm now one half of the band. I've been in Nasheim since the beginning, which
was in 2001.
What happened back then is not relevant as Nasheim wasn't really a serious project back then, and certainly
nothing like Nasheim today. Suffice to say that I actually started out playing the drums, and there were
four other persons in Nasheim at one time. What exists today as Nasheim is and always was the creative
core of the band anyway... Nasheim wouldn't work out as a proper band now unless the hypothetical new
members had perfectly fitting musical and ideological ideas, and to find such people is difficult to
say the least... Anyway, I play the guitar, I do most of the vocals and drum programming. The only
instrument I can play with ANY sort of skill is the guitar, and I'm entirely self-taught.
The early history of Nasheim is like Erik said not relevant. I first picked up
bass in 2001 and just like Erik I am entirely self-taught. I briefly played drums when I
was younger but I didn't get really good and eventtually sold my kit, one of the more foolish
deeds I've done. I do own a guitar as well but I'm no good playing it, when I learn I
will write music for Nasheim also.
took a while to get productive, learn to play, kick some people, have some
people leave and
so on and in early 2003 we released a promo CD-r which sparked the interest of among others
Intolerant Records, the label which eventually would release the "Undergång" demo tape.
do you yourself feel now, that the demo is out? Are there any first reactions
(from labels or anything)? Are you 100% satisfied with the demo? Okay the recording quality of a
demo NEVER is sooo good... I`m talking about the musical side.... could you produce the songs exactly
in the way you wanted to? Or did you have to make compromises?
Considering that much the material on the demo is from the first half of 2003,
of course it feels great to
finally have it released in a presentable form. All reactions to the demo have been highly positive so far,
and we've had label interest from several smaller labels; right now we're waiting to see what happens on
the label front before we make any decisions. To drag out a highly clichéd answer: I don't think I'm ever really
100% satisfied with anything I've done, and when I listen to the demo I hear small flaws that could have been
done better, but in general I consider it a good demo, hopefully original and qualitative enough to stand
out somewhat amongst all the mediocrity that is present in underground extreme metal. The recording
quality is a sort of complicated issue, because some of the tapes are fucked up sound-wise (not our nor
Intolerant Records' fault!) but I'm generally satisfied with that as well -- there have been few complaints.
The sound will likely be a bit different in the future, though.
I am very satisfied with the demo, but of course not 100%. There are a few minor
and there which I would have liked to do better, but it turned out very good anyway.
tell us about the process of song-writing, how this is parted between you etc.!
How did you create the lyrics for this demo (which incidents stand behind this?) and
how did you create the music to it, as it > fits together perfectly. Did you record the whole demo
in one session (if so, who were the additional musicians or equipment... f.i. a drum machine or
anything?)? Maybe at this occasion you can also give a little insight to our readers into each
of the 3 songs (of course only as far as you WANT others to know).
For this demo, I wrote all of the music and two of the lyrics, and Mikael wrote
for the second song. The creation of the demo is a very long, and frankly uninteresting story... The
music and lyrics were written during times of inspiration throughout all of 2003, and as far as the recording
goes, let's just say that it wasn't recorded in one session, rather bits and pieces were recorded here and
there over the course of several months... Somehow it all fit together in the end though. The whole
was recorded by us. Yes, we use a drum machine, or rather, computer programmed
sampled drums by me, and until we find a drummer who's both capable and ideologically compatible
we must continue doing so as neither me nor Mikael can play the drums properly.
for insight into the songs, I assume you mean the lyrics here. I'd rather see
read them and try to understand what we are trying to say than to sit here and try to explain it,
but nevertheless I will write a few words about the two lyrics I've written, "Ändlös Flykt Från Tiden"
and "Undergång." The former is about escaping the world and seeking solace in places far away, where you're
left to yourself and your own thought, where it's as if time itself had stopped. It's more of an atmospheric
piece than anything. "Undergång," as I've touched upon earlier, is about the loss of
our Nordic folk soul and native culture, but also about the loss of general spirituality. Since
Christianity first infected these lands a thousand years ago, what has happened is basically
that religion and spirituality has become a less and less important part of people's lives.
Western Judeo-Christian culture has overpowered us, but with its weak values it's burning
bridges behind itself and basically rotting from the inside, and we'll get
the last laugh when Christianity kills itself... Eventually.
Like Erik said, I didn't write any of the music for "Undergång". If I
manage to write
something good enough in the future it will be on a later Nasheim release, and I am sure I will eventually,
but there will be no compromises just to have my name on a few more places in the booklet.
"Allt Svartnar" is basically about suicide like Erik mentioned. I do not claim to be depressed
to the point of doing the deed myself, but there are moments of inspiration when I believe I
understand what can drive people across the edge and using the final cure against vain hatred,
despair, pain and life, and I tried to channel those impressions to the listener through those lyrics.
I find death interesting for many reasons and in many ways, and writing lyrics
concerning the subject did not feel far-fetched.
tell a bit more about the ideology of your music (incl.lyrics) and how honest
this all is for you!
Ideology is an important part of Nasheim. To put things as succinctly as
possible, I am quite dissatisfied with the state of our land, Western "culture," Christianity, the morals
and stupidity of people today, and so forth. We are not a "viking metal" band, because while our ancestors
were undoubtedly people of honour (unlike just about everyone today) it is hardly very constructive or
exciting to dwell on the past and endlessly write songs about the brave deeds of our
forefathers. I'd rather see change today; I'd like to see us move away from the Americanized, Western "culture"
that's becoming increasingly influential, I'd like us to move away from Christianity and see our folk regain an
interest in our roots, in our native spirituality, religion and practices.
dearly I would like to see our folk become again a folk with pride in our roots
identity, but I also have to be realistic, and I see that this land, this world and humanity itself does not
CARE (or KNOW) that it is killing itself, and things are no doubt becoming much worse before they
get better. The feelings of frustration, hopelessness and anger, but also faint traces of hope
and war spirit, are what goes into Nasheim. As you can probably tell, Nasheim is entirely honest. I do not
write fiction, and I am not trying to be anything I'm not. Others write books or articles on how they
feel about things, I write songs and lyrics, because when dealing with complex and emotionally heavy subjects,
music does it better than any other medium or art form I know. "After silence that which comes nearest to
expressing the inexpressible is music." -- Aldous Huxley
When the pestilence called Christianity first infected the northern lands people
not imagine what would come of it this day, when people seek the power of the dollar after a thousand
years of corruption and drifting from what once was instead of priding themselves on their true roots
and not something forced upon our ancestors who in turn could choose only between death
and passing the lies forward through history, roots that would have shaped today's society to become less
corrupted and more focused on what's important instead of having more than thy neighbour; to actually
feel pride in who you are, what you have done, and what you will leave behind.
The lyrics for "Allt Svartnar" focuses more on the feelings of despair, frustraiton and the
search for inner peace than taking arms against the thousand-year plague or any of its offspring.
Is Nasheim each of yours ONLY band/ project, or are you participated in other serious projects too?
Both me and Mikael are in an old-school thrash metal band, like Kreator,
Exodus and all of them old greats... I see it as a very good thing to have that,
because it's more of a proper "band" than Nasheim is, and it's also far more light-hearted
conceptually as well as musically. Keeping that sort of stuff in a seperate band helps to keep
Nasheim pure, I think, and also to retain and improve one's musical skills on a
purely technical level, seeing as Nasheim doesn't rehearse.
In our thrash band (which has an upcoming live show and will soon record a demo)
there are one guy besides me and Erik and a temporary drummer. There I have actually written
some music, I feel that writing such music is a lot easier than writing music for Nasheim as it does
not require as deep emotions translated into music, something which I don't have the skill for yet.
instruments have your love; and which other bands on the market have been an
influence for you, or are worth to be listened to, to your opinion?
Instruments... Well, obviously I'm a fan of the guitar, and I also especially
when metal bands use bass guitars in unusual ways, such as on Mayhem's
"De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas," Ulver's "Bergtatt", Ved Buens Ende's "Written in Waters"
and so forth... A review of our tape specifically mentioned our usage of the bass guitar as a
melodic instrument, and I'm satisfied that someone picked up on that because a lot of work has gone into
making sure that the bass doesn't just follow the guitar blindly.
far as less conventional instruments in a metal framework, I'm partial to flutes.
I would really like to incorporate old viking-age flutes in Nasheim some time, and I'm a
great fan of bands that can incorporate traditional folk instruments and melodies seamlessly into
metal, such as Nokturnal Mortum. As for musical influences, I could name most of the early 90's
Norwegian bands, perhaps mainly Darkthrone, Enslaved and Helheim... At the moment,
I listen to a lot of Ukrainan bands like the aforementioned Nokturnal Mortum, Astrofaes,
Drudkh, Hate Forest, Lucifugum... I'm highly impressed with the current "scene" in Ukraina.
Other than that, I listen to a whole lot of doom-death and funeral doom. Skepticism, Thergothon,
Evoken, Anathema and such are among my absolute favourites.
Of course I am very fond of bands that actually use the bass as an instrument
and not just as something to make the guitars sound heavier, but the important part is not
how it is done but the result. If the result has simple, one-tone-per-song bass lines and mid-paced
blastbeats throughout I will listen to it if it is as cold and honestly grim as, for an example,
Darkthrone. A good drummer can also raise bands another level, where 'good'
neccesarily mean the fastest or most technical drummer but the one who plays
should be in the song. Negru and Fenriz are good examples, where Negru utilizes his technical skill
more than Fenriz, but both do it just right for the music they play. I listen mostly to thrash metal,
black metal and related like Nifelheim, Exodus, Taake, Negurã Bunget, Abyssic Hate, Bathory,
Burzum, Sodom and so on, but not all influence what I do at the moment.
do you see your music? Do you use it as a way to make yourself a name in the
and as a start-up for coming albums? Or do you make this music for the music itself, taking each
song serious, even if no one should take notice of you for a while? Would you lose faith in your
abilities, if no label would offer you a record deal? Or could you imagine to go on, as long as
you yourself feel good with your own music (mean question, I know, but to my opinion
the answers to this question separate the wannabe-musicians from the die-hard-musicians)?
Everything is highly serious. "Undergång" is a "demo tape",
but we don't use Varg Vikernes
logic ("most bands have demos that are better than the albums, so I'm going to make my demo
suck on purpose to make sure the full-length will be better"): everything Nasheim does is fully dedicated
and serious. The demo tape is a seperate release in itself, and really, if no-one would show interest (which is purely a
hypothetical situation, because labels already have) then that's just a sign that either we need to
improve, or that the record labels do not understand what we are trying to accomplish. It would be a
bit surprising but hardly very discouraging; we'd just write new songs and release a new demo I suppose.
As long as we "feel good with our own music," as you put it, I hardly see that we would stop.
I do not care for a name in the music scene and all of that, but I think it's
nice to have people
taking care of the troublesome parts with releasing albums - dealing with printing plants and such.
I am satisfied if I get a copy myself (and I guess Erik wants one), but I will not deny
anyone our music if I can provide it without too much fuss.
Obviously it's a good thing if we can distribute our music to people, because it
does have a message, it's not just a cathartic thing for me.
What`s your own favourite track on the demo (and why)?
I'm not sure, and that's a clear sign of strength, as I see it. The tracks are
rather even in
quality. I could probably say I think "Allt Svartnar" is the best structurally,
while I like the atmosphere achieved on the first track.
I'm not sure either as I find all three tracks to be excellent, but I think my
goes to "Undergång." I can't really say why.
you think, it`s important to support your music by a grim look (for instance if
play a live-gig)? Do you think, a band who makes raw death or especially black metal, should
also appear in an extraordinary outfit (or do some attentive things for the press)? Or even
further how important is your own past and life-style for making good black metal? (Just
imagine, you win the lottery tomorrow and all women want you, you have no troubles
anymore in any way! Could be possible you never again give a damn fuck about agressive
music in any way!? Or you start making some happy folk-music! That`s a rather stupid
compare, I know, but I just want to make clear, what I mean with this example.)
With music like ours, that is as important in ideology as it is purely
musically, I don't feel that it's very important WHO is behind the music and lyrics,
only what it communicates. This, I suppose, is the reason for many black metal bands using
corpse paint, war paint or whatever you want to call it; to take attention AWAY from the
humans behind the music, because they're not important -- and in such inhuman music, the
less seen of the humans behind it, the better. I have some of the same thoughts regarding Nasheim;
the less people know and see of us (beyond the things of
immediate interest,) the better -- the more they can focus on what is truly essential.
Following that train of thought, the less things done for attention, the better. Extreme metal
does not need medial attention, because the Judeo-Christian media twists and distorts (even if not on
purpose; I think I can safely say that not ONE reporter in a major newspaper
knows anything about extreme metal.) This is not to say that I do not support bands
who take action for what they believe in, quite the opposite; there's just no need to
link it to the music, or for the people in bands to become heroes,
martyrs or idols. The art is one entity that should be separated from the people behind it.
probably now understand what I have to say about the lottery example. If I
economically independent, that would certainly be a nice thing as it would allow me to
dedicate my life to things that mattered (material things don't really make me happy -- they are
only aids in doing what matters to me. An endless supply of money would only
take that particular nuisance off my hands) BUT this would hardly change the issues
that Nasheim deals with lyrically, would it? I do not play aggressive music because
I'm personally frustrated with my own situation, but because of the situation of the
environment I live in. This ties in with what I said above about art and its
separation from the people behind it.
Grim looks are important for some, not for others. That depends onthe music,
and it just happens that black metal in general is grim music that often fits very well with grim
accessories and outfits on stage and on pictures. Not all music is suited for a live
audience, though, and I believe the music of Nasheim is such. Winning lots of money would not
change what I listen to or play in other ways than that I'd be able to afford more albums
and cables for my bass that actually work.
How essential is it for you to sing in swedish language? Any plans of ever (or never) doing english vocals?
Absolutely essential. Our lyrics do not generally speak to people who do not
languages anyway, and I see no reason to write lyrics in English in Nasheim.
the way, what are your opinions about the necessarity of playing live? (I mean,
some bands totally
dislike it Bathory etc.... and for some bands it`s essential Naglfar f.i.). What`s your point of thinking
about that? (Dreaming of going on tour for 2 years in the row or anything?)
Erik: Obviously Bathory can't play live, because Quorthon is only one person. Bathory's
music wouldn't necessarily translate well to a live situation either, and I think we're basically in the
same situation. We're only two persons, and our music wouldn't work live, because the atmosphere
that we hope to achieve on recordings will likely be lost live. Obviously Naglfar is an entirely different
thing, because for one, they're a complete band, and also, their music relies more on brutality, and
brutal music works well live of course.
positively have to mention the layout of your demo!
I like the band-logo (who did it?)
2.) Who´s idea was the cover-picture and how was it created?
3.) The whole CD-inlay is written in rune-scripting. I totally like the idea.
Why did you chose it?
1. The logo is pretty good indeed. It was made by a guy who calls himself Kiøld
and runs sort of a one-man design business. He's done some other rather good
band logos for bands like Nattstrype and 9th Circle...
That was basically my idea. The burning odal rune symbolizes the
spiritual destruction of our homeland. Actually making it is a story in itself too,
let's just say it wasn't all that easy building the rune
out of wood and getting the whole thing to burn at once...
Well, we have our own letters, so why would we use other ones..? If sons and
daughters of the North actually sit down to learn reading our Nordic runes
to be able to read our lyrics, then I feel we've accomplished something.
Erik added the runes underneath for clarity.
Erik came up with the idea, though I will claim most credit for
actually building it and lighting the fire. Erik took the picture.
Like Erik said, why use something which isn't our if we don't need to?
Also, I think it captures the 'northern feel' of Nasheim in a way that foreign
letters would not. For those unable to read the runes the lyrics are also on our website.
do you see the future of Nasheim? What are your hopes and expectations?
What would be a reason for you to finally stop the work with the bands
(besides getting too old to hold an instrument)?
I do hope to create music that is somewhat original and personal without relying
cheap gimmicks, to somehow rise above the mediocrity that plagues the metal underground, and
hopefully (and this is my ultimate musical goal) to be able to create some sort of transcendental
atmosphere like greater bands such as Burzum and Darkthrone have achieved. Lyrically,
if we can get people to think and even act because of our lyrics, I'm satisfied. I will stop
when I have no further inspiration. If I ever feel like "fuck, it's time to write a song again"
it's time to take a break or quit entirely... Nasheim is not compatible with label deadlines
and such, because there's no telling when the inspiration and state of mind necessary to write
Nasheim lyrics or music will come to me. The full-length album might take
years, or it might come this year. I don't know now.
As long as what we make is good I will continue with pride.
else, that you yourself would like to add... something important I didn`t talk
No, I must say this interview was quite extensive and in-depth for a new band
that hasn't even released its first full-length yet... I'm glad to get a chance to shed
some light on what Nasheim is about.
a lot for taking out the time to answer my questions and I really hope,
I ´ll see you live on stage one day!
Nasheim will play live when pigs fly. Thank you for your support!
See us live with the thrash band instead. Thank you for your support!