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Global Domination | Interviews | Darkthrone - Fenriz

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Darkthrone - Fenriz

15/07/05  ||  Global Domination

Darkthrone Old staff-member Rance interviewed Fenriz for the old GD-site and had this to say at the time:

Just about everyone knows who Fenriz is. He plays in one of the most influential Norwegian black metal bands of all-time…of course I’m referring to Darkthrone. He recently assembled a black metal compilation for UK label, Peaceville…and I thought, “Hey if Fenriz is releasing a new compilation cd, he is going to have to do some promotion for it! Why not conduct an interview with Global Domination?!” So I contacted his label. They liked the GD site, he liked the GD site… and agreed to do the interview. The rest is crazy-assed history.

Global Domination: So, “Fenriz Presents…The Best of Old School Black Metal.” What brought about the idea of creating this and your future compilation albums for Peaceville?

Fenriz: As a great lover of music, I particularly enjoy compilations. I first got the idea of compilations 10 years ago, but I didn’t feel that the time was ripe until now. Compilations that are MORE OR LESS historical documents are best when the particular sound of the music is 15-20 years old.

Any particular favorite tracks on this compilation?

The tracks are favourites of favourites of favourites, the way it always is when one makes a compilation or a tape for a friend.

For those unfamiliar with the black metal genre…what do you hope they will get out of this release?

They get THE REAL MCCOY. The ROOTS of black metal. And a couple of examples of musicians that still play this style, even to this day. People will find THE TRUTH. It may be hard to swallow the primitive sound, but hey, REAL black metal isn’t for everyone.

Now, I read a previous interview you did regarding this cd. When asked what criteria you used to select the tracks for the compilation, you responded,”I select from personal taste, experience, respect, diversity, and the fact that the style on this compilation is what you need to embrace to understand black metal. Otherwise, you are baking a cake without flour.” If you could name the ‘Official Cake of Black Metal’ what would it be?

“Under the Sign of the Black Mark” is the quintessential black metal album – if I have to chose one. Official black metal cake? Markets FYRSTEkake, no doubt.

Any particular reason?

It bridges monotony, rawness, coldness and finger-moving riffs (they became very important in the early 90s and onwards).

My favorite compilation cd would have to be either the “Moonfog 2000” release, or my “Millenium ‘80s New Wave Party” cd. You really can’t go wrong with ‘Come on Eileen’ by Dexy’s Midnight Runners, ‘The Safety Dance’ by Men Without Hats or even Gary Numan’s ‘Cars.’ Am I the only metalhead who likes 80’s new wave hits?

I have SEVERAL 80’s compilations of course. ‘If I Was’ by Midge Ure is one of the best tracks from the pop 80’s, also ‘Dancing (danzig) with Tears in my Eyes’ by Ultravox. ‘Cars’ by Gary Numan is also excellent, but a bit overplayed.. I tend to like the typical European 80’s sound compared to the American, cuz hair spray rock and excessive guitar solos held a hand over much of the American stuff, while the synth sound was stronger in Europe. That doesn’t mean I like synth sound in metal, though!

What kind of music did you listen to in the 80’s?

Mostly metal, going the usual route from Uriah Heep – Kiss – AC/DC – Maiden/Black Sabbath – Metallica – Slayer – and THEN – into the abyss of the underground scene. But after I got a STEADY job in ‘88 to finance DARKTHRONE, I suddenly had some extra money from ‘89 and onwards. I started checking out A LOT of different music, and I haven’t looked back since!

Have you discovered any older bands or music recently, that at the time you never really got into, but have since found that it’s something you like?

Yep, MORBID SAINT from Wisconsin (my French friend Thomas got their ‘88 album for me), MUTILATOR (south America, demo ‘86), DAMNAKLEEZ (Angel of Death demo ‘86 [bay area thrash]), FLAMES (Greece, album ‘88, from my friend Oscar in Germanan old school band, OLD), 2nd (LOST) VON demo. I love the 80’s metal sound because there wasn’t much of a STANDARD sound, many had to go into their local studio and work with people who knew little about metal – so most got their own individual sound. GREAT!

I feel that evolution is essential in a band. Although, some groups evolve and morph more than others. What do you think about bands like Ulver…who, initially aligned with the black metal genre, have progressed into something that is a far cry from their previous incarnation?

I always supported the progression of ULVER, but more to the extent that I pushed for it to become mostly TOTALLY ELECTRONIC. As I do not like crossover phases much. He is now making soundscapes to movies, and I hope he is satisfied with how it all turned out. Progression is natural, but in DARKTHRONE, we progressed FIRST (87-90) and then decided technical metal was not for us – we had to do what was in our hearts: one can say a PRIMITIVE MIX OF CELTIC FROST; BATHORY; HELLHAMMER; FIRST VADER DEMO AND MOTÖRHEAD.

What about bands like Metallica who began as the epitomy of a genre’s greatness, but have since morphed into a steaming pile of dog shit smeared onto a cd?

I haven’t bought an album since 1988’s ”...and Justice for All.” I heard parts of the black album in various bars and pubs, it was ok but a bit…it wasn’t really thrash. I do NOT possess the IDOLIZING-gene, nor the FAN-gene, which means I reserve the right to lose interest in a band at any time. I am lucky to have had space in my life for the first 6 Bathory albums, for instance. I also lost interest in Maiden in ‘88. Really, in ‘86. “Somewhere in Time” is a damn fine album!

Recently Satyricon headlined Wacken, with a guest appearance by Nocturno Culto. They even had a ‘Darkthrone’ set. Any thoughts on the performance and its significance? Are you jealous that you were not there?

Because I constantly meet new people from all over the globe at my LIVING ROOM; Elm street rock café, I do not see the need to go to Germany to meet 200 people I will have forgotten about the day after. About the live performance I really have no comment.

While we’re on the topic of Darkthrone. I heard a copy of “Sardonic Wrath”...I don’t want to be too much of a ‘kiss-ass’...but, it’s another Darkthrone classic. Any thoughts on the new album?

It’s a HARSH motherfucker. Another nail in the coffin! We are starting work on our “difficult 13th album” soon, AHAHAHAHAHAHA.

I look forward to it. Actually, I heard the “Sardonic Wrath” album a number of months ago. Are you concerned about it being leaked so early?

We set a world record – it was leaked BEFORE WE GOT OUR OWN LISTENING COPIES. HAHAHHA, but it doesn’t change the riffs, the music is the same. Let’s not lose perspective.

How did you hook up with Lorenzo Mariani for the cover art on “Sardonic Wrath?”

I saw this guy on the street looking like a cop, so I offered him my last doughnut (I wanna start a punk band called COP LOVERS eventually, and I need to start sucking up). It turned out this guy had…I DON’T KNOW…THE VISUAL ASPECT IS UP TO NOCTURNO CULTO, cuz I lost interest in visual shit over the years…he probably just contacted NOCTURNO CULTO, or something.

Mariani is an Italian dude, and since I have a great amount of Italian in my ancestory he is cool in my book. How has Italy treated you and Darkthrone over the years?

Ehh.. I’ve met many nice metalheads from Italy at Elm Street. Business-wise, I do not have the faintest idea.

What about Sweden?

There are enough Swedes in Oslo to win a wrestling match over Elastic Man AND Green Lantern! Here in the east of Norway, we are very fond of Swedes and Swedish in general. When it comes to DARKTHRONE, again, I have no idea. I have links with SKITSYSTEM and I support NIFELHEIM. I like ACURSED and UNCURBED, Sweden seems to be a great land for CRUST. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to sew on my DALARNA BACK PATCH.

Haha…Well, I asked about Sweden because a number of staff-writers here at Global Domination are Swedish and I’m sure they would be disappointed if I didn’t mention that fact. Anyway, all this talk of different countries has reminded me of the Olympics. Honestly, the Olympics were on my television more than any single program should be. In fact, they were on the entire time I conducted this interview! So, did you follow the Olympics at all?

NOT AT ALL. I was busy diving into forest waters, swimming with my girlfriend Elin. Or working, going drinking, doing kinda takes all my time.. that, and watching GILMORE GIRLS.

Well, do you recall any particular athletes or events (I find that some of the gymnasts are pretty hot!)????

I think I remember Olympians FLO JO..and SEB COE.. sorry, this has gotta be my worst subject. But I saw female KULESTØT, SHOT PUT once, it was awesome. They all looked like large versions of that woman in the Danny Devito film “THROW MOMMA OFF THE TRAIN” (or something). And they screamed their asses off. But this was many years ago. Most of them were called SVETLANA. SVET means SWEATY in Norwegian…huh huh…

*Alright then, list your 5 favorite musicians… all-time…pick the Olympic sport that you think would best suit each of them and *why.

MUSICIANS? I say LEAST favourite musicans in SYNCHRONISED SWIMMING – you can insert any wimpy melodic band here ______ __ _____ . I am not a musician, I stopped that when I turned my ambitions down and turned hatred UP.

One last sports related question: Who is your favorite NHL team and player?


Interesting???...We’re almost done…I promise!


Now, since your “Fenriz Presents…” compilation has to do with ‘old school’ black metal bands, I’m going to give you a list of ‘old school’ items…give your opinion whether one or the other is more ‘old school’ or offer up your own idea of a related ‘old school’ item:

Bullet belts or spiked collars?

Laura Branigan-button

Trees or mountains?


Altars or tombstones?

That Belushi guy in BLUES BROTHERS

Snow or frost?

Deli de luca (wrong answer!)

Jean-jackets or mullets?

White socks with blue stripes

Goat heads or pig heads?


Black long-sleeved t-shirts or blue jeans and white high-tops?

High-tops? Never heard of it. You sure know a lot about clothes. One only needs BLACK SOCKS. BOXER SHORTS. ARMY BOOTS. BLACK OR BLUE JEANS. T-SHIRT-OLD LEATHER MC JACKET. OR SOME DENIM SHIT.

CD or vinyl?

Flexidisc to the people!

No press or bad press?


Drum solo or keyboard solo?

Triangle solo

The Detroit Red Wings or the Colorado Avalanche?


Tits or ass?

Hmm..what a heartbreaker! I’m an ass man, bit it is more old school with tits. DAG NABIT!

Wow…very interesting. Ass man, you don’t say? Haha…anyway, thanks a lot for the inteview…I hope it wasn’t too painful! If you have any last comments, feel free to post them…otherwise, good luck with the “Fenriz Presents…” cd and your future Darkthrone releases.

Support AUDIOPAIN, not Audioslave!!!