woensdag 1 juni 2011

Interview (en): 1349

Norwegian band 1349  is a big name in black metal. Despite some experimental elements in their recent albums they are definitely pure in their style and performance. Guitar player Archaon was willing to provide some info.

- What is black metal all about for 1349? 

In 1349, we see our musical form of somewhat obscure art, as a channel where we can express ourselves in a wider aspect.

- Some bands see black metal as a pure worship of Satan in a theistic way. What do you think about that? Should that be the definition of black metal? 

I'll let that be up to each and everyone to make their mind up themselves- as I cannot see the point in putting up rules and boundaries in one's existence. Religion makes the game a whole lot easier, putting up a frame for how to live your life according to a specific set of rules. For some I guess that can work in a constructive way- however, not for me.

- What is the main goal for the band? Is it mainly about a message, or is it about making dark art?

The main goal for 1349 is to fulfill our own desires with regards to making the kind of music that we do. It may sound like a clichè because a lot of bands say that, but it's genuinely why we still care to do what we do, under the banner of 1349. It has outgrown us, so to speak... And now lives it's own life. As long as we feel that we have something to add, there is potential and interest, you know. None of us "has" to do this- but we choose to continue creating more dimention to 1349.

- Your first demo’s were released at the end of the ‘90’s. Was it hard to compete with the other well known bands? Did you feel you were accepted as an original band?

Back in the time when 1349 was formed, I wasn't a part of the band. The guys recorded a demo that they kept for themselves very early, then a year later they recorded a new demo called "Chaos Preferred" which was the first impression that I got. There was a lot of potential there, and when I was asked whether I wanted the space as guitarist, I accepted. The band seemed to have a lot of drive, a hunger to create something in opposition to all the watered out subgenres at the time. I like to think that I was the last part of the puzzle, laying focus on speed and musical techniques. From that moment and forward, we kept working really, really hard and prior to the release of "Liberation" (2003), we started to gain attention in the scene for real.

- Norwegian black metal was the main source for the genre, but nowadays it seems that other countries are taking over and that Norway is more represented in the post-black genre. What are your views on this?

I don't follow the scene enough to comment on this. Every now and then, there is a great band- also within Black Metal, as with most genres of music. Whenever I stumble across such a band, I focus attention towards that.

- How is it to work with Frost? He must be extremely busy with Satyricon.

He is an awesome artist with talents exeeding his work behind the drum kit. Playing in two bands keeps him busy, but makes it work... I suppose prioritation is the keyword here. Whenever he has been unable to join us on the road, we've been lucky enough to enjoy the pleasure of playing with other talented drummers, such as Tony Laureano (ex-Nile, Dimmu Borgir etc.)

- Candlelight is known as a pretty big label. Why did you sign with Indie Recordings?

Indie has got most of the Norwegian bands worth mentioning today, I'd say they're not way off in what they're doing either. When our contract with Candlelight expired, Indie came up with the best offer- so the choice panned itself out towards them.

- You’ve toured with Celtic Frost and Triptykon. Is 1349 longing for more thrash metal?

In 1349's music, one can hear many different influences and sources of inspiration, thrash metal being one of them- besides for instance Black and Death metal. We will continue to make music the way we feel it works best. When that is said: Celtic Frost is a top favourite band for some of us, Carcass (which we've also toured with)  being another one.

- I’ve heard numerous of black metal musicians tell that they are “in to” electronic music. Do you think that this is coincidence?

I have absolutely no idea.

- 1349 appeared in Peter Beste’s book True Norwegian Black metal. How did you get in contact with him? What do you think about the book he made?

Frost was the one that somehow got to know him, and after that arranged a photo shoot in a cave. The pictures turned out great, just like a lot of Peter's pictures have done. The book is cool, a one-of-it's-kind, I'd say.

- In a few weeks The Slayer Diaries will be released. Have you heard of this book? What do you think of the idea behind it?

No, I wasn't familiar with that.

-  The media attention around black metal is not that immense anymore as it used to be. Even in the “metal media”. Do you see that as a good thing?

This is a two-edged blade, so to speak. In the music scene, one element is dependent on another, so in that way, I guess it's working in our favour.On the other hand, I believe that any genre within metal music tends to wither and die out, as a consequence of falling into generic paths/trends. 1349 is definitely not one of them- I'd rather leave than seeing that turning into 1349 reality. And I think that's the way we all feel about this.

- The reactions on the previous album, Revelations Of The Black Flame, were quite mixed. How important are reviews for you? Do they have any effect on your music?

No, absolutely nothing. If there is something that we'd like to try out, we will- with reference to your last question. About "Revelations of the Black Flame": We knew that it'd stir up a bunch of discussions before the release, but we still felt that for us, it was the nessecary thing to do- at that time.

- Demonoir was more pure traditional black metal than the previous one. Did you feel a need do so, or is it just a development as any other?

A lot of the material for both our latest albums was written simultaneously, so there was a process of separating what was to be one album, and what on the other. In that way, "Demonoir" is a follow up to Hellfire more than to "Revelations..." Also, personally I see "Demonoir" as a much more diverse, raffined and complex album than for instance "Hellfire", although the speed is present on the majority of the songs.

- Which black metal bands do you recommend? Any bands that are under-appreciated in your opinion?

The last band to capture my attention was the US band Wolves in the Throne Room. And I think DHG's (Dodheimsgard) last album is pretty fucking underrated. It's a masterpiece!

- Any chance for a concert in the Netherlands soon?

We are currently in the plans of setting up a European tour with our new booking agent, Factory Music. So the answer to you question is yes, that is very likely to happen...

- When can we expect a new album? Any style changes again?


It would be a shame if the Apocalypse was not accompanied by a 1349 album, I think... So isn't it 2012 it's going down? Time will show, and we are the chosen ones to be there, representing. And as always: Expect the unexpected...

- Thanks a lot for this interview!

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