19th November 2014
Interview by Ben Spencer
After finishing up an interview with tonight’s opening act Ethereal, it was time to head back stage and come face to face with drumming legend Frost from 1349 and learn more about his journey into the band and what the band have in store for us tonight.
Thanks for joining us today! How the tour has been so far?
This tour has been quite a big thing for us because 1349 was touring Europe. We have wanted to tour sooner but it has not been practical or possible so therefore we are really happening to be doing it now as we have a new album out and we’re really satisfied with how that album has turned out musically and artistically. (excitedly) We also feel our new live material is by far the best and strongest we have done before. In one respect every show has been a huge happening for us. Of course shows in places like London and Paris mean a bit extra because the fan base there and because they are strongholds for a band from Europe.
We have had many great experiences already, it’s great t see how the old material works with the new material and already people are getting into the new songs which is great as we are excited about the new songs and we live to play them.
Back in 2000 , you joined the band from Satryicon. Could you tell us how you came to join 1349?
I did so some recording, but I honestly have to say it was very far away from my liking in regards to the production turnout, so I didn’t like it, but I heard the material that the band subsequently made for what was supposed to be for a debut album and that material was way better than what 1349 had been doing, up until that point at least.
I started to listen to some of their material and we happened to share a rehearsal space back then, meaning that 1349 and Satryicon had the same rehearsal space, but I originally had nothing to do with 1349. I just happened to know a couple of people in the band and they wanted rehearsal space and it was a fun, practical solution for the two bands to share a rehearsal space. But that gave me the opportunity to sometimes listen to them rehearse and that material that was set to be on the Liberation album really caught me .
I thought that this was the kind of music I would like to make myself without needing to care about any issues other than my own taste. I mean, I think Satryicon are a fantastic band but I do not write music in that way. If I was to write music in my own way it would sound pretty much exactly how 1349 would sound. That was the reason I asked to join as I realised the band was going in the direction which couldn’t have been better. Then that was when I actually asked to join and the 1349 guys were more than positive on the idea, so here we are!
Would you say that was a special album for you?
No, I think that the new album is way more special as it sound so much more potent than anything that 1349 have ever done and it’s the first album that has a proper groove to it. I’ve been going through lots of learning processes and each album has been a step up for us. I like each and every album and I think each have their strengths and weaknesses, but above all I really like them and I see that they are probably representative of what 1349 are about at each different stage. However, I think that it is clear with each album that we have learnt and developed and improved, concerning composing and execution of the songs.
Even in terms of production, we seem to have accumulated much more resources as a band and I think this is much more evident when considering Massive Cauldron of Chaos, there is something that really comes alive on this album more than any of the previous works. So that is something that I definitely regard as a break through.
On the subject of albums ‘Revelation’ had a slower and more brooding sound to it. What inspired you guys to write in this particular way?
We felt that we had to do something like that in order to bring the band further. We were happy with the things have been up until that point and playing fast and intense music was something that we like doing, but we also felt that we had a deep darkness that we had in us but we found difficult to express in the band. There was something that we felt was lacking so we decided that we needed to experiment with it to see if we could bring a more ambient element into the band and really make it work.
It has never been a goal of 1349 to be a one dimensional band, it’s not all about speed and super intense Black Metal… it’s also about our naked cold darkness and we felt that the band was also more multidimensional but it was difficult for us to project that fully up until that point, so that experiment was necessary to bring the band further to a point we had never been at before. It was also necessary for us not to stiffen in that particular form that we had had and which was crystallized in Hellfire, which was all about rawness, speed and aggression..whereas with Revelation we forged ourselves to dig into different kind of material and we felt we really had to release that album because we had to bring that level of seriousness to it!
I think that each and every song on that album is great and there is so much 1349 spirit on that album and I think we come very close to something I regard as the naked source of the band. There is so much that is revealed on that album and made it all the more important and it made the band feel richer and more musical. I think we still harvest from that album even today.
When did you first learn to play drums?
I got my drum kit when I was 14 or 15 I suppose…I was new to metal music at that point and I wanted to play drums myself, actually I was more interested in guitars but somehow I fell into being a drummer, so I got myself a drum kit and I started to play extreme metal from day one. I was really not interested in learning to play the basics, the only thing I wanted to do was go hard, right from the very beginning and just act out as a mad man behind the drums, which is pretty much what I do today.
It is something I’ve had to pay a price for, not learning to walk before running and I just wanted to go out running immediately and hence I had to focus on the basics. Now as an older man and as an experienced drummer and that’s something I feel I have to put up with as I feel it’s part of being a musician, it’s part of mastering the basics, it’s part of thinking a little more musical, but I realised had I been forced to do it the proper way I probably wouldn’t have become a drummer.
At some point when I was 19 I moved to the capital city of Osla, I felt I really didn’t feel like a musician. I had my fair of fun playing drums but I realised I wasn’t really interested in doing what it took to become a proper musician, rather than being a guy playing an instrument, then I realised you have to be dedicated as well and I thought perhaps I should as well. Then I got the chance to play in Satryicon and give it go anyway and I changed my mind once again and I thought why not?!
The response has never been better, so we couldn’t be more satisfied I suppose!
Being a Black Metal band who have been around since 1997, are there any new bands within the genre that stand out for you and why?
Not really. The thing is which bands belong to the present scene that is actually better than the likes of Bathory or Mayhem. It would be very positive for a music genre to go through a true revolution. I can’t see anything like that happening. I mean the so called ‘second wave’ was just a revitalisation of the Black Metal genre that was spearheaded by a few Norwegian bands and some others. After that I haven’t discovered anything on that scale that has happened again, so like some of the best contemporary bands are still trying to do more or less the same thing as the bands from the first school of the 80’s or the second school of the early 90’s. The originals are always better than the copies.
I feel that the source of 1349 belongs in the early 90’s and there are elements of thrash metal and 80’s Black Metal in 1349, so you can see those references but the current of 1349 is in that early 90’s Norwegian revival, even what we do today we can continue to develop and improve and we build from that as our power source!
The bands out there who aren’t in touch with that current have to create their own source, just like the bands did in the early 90’s and since that last revolution happened it’s that kind of sense the modern bands are lacking that source. There is a sense that the true understanding of what it is about is slowly but surely fading away…there needs to be another wake up!
Is there anything that you would like to say to our readers?
I prefer to express myself musically rather than though words…