"Bloodlust And Perversion" nowadays is a name that is regarded as "cult" for all blacksters addicted to a glorious yet bygone Norwegian Black Metal period since the first half of the 90s… Through ancient highlights that now release crap that we’d never have conceived, CARPATHIAN FOREST is one of the rarest Black Metal bands that keeps on a traditional path of conceiving the black arts; but traditional doesn’t necessarily means lack of innovation… Where the majority of so called innovating or avantgarde acts only add techno / electro / industrial stuff to more or less aggressive riffings, CARPATHIAN FOREST knows how to keep the original sound of the moan without repeating nor becoming incipid album after album… The key? Maybe this flame of hate that Nattefrost maintains in the deepest and sincere way since the very beginning. Agnes from Transit Mag and myself had the privilege of a long phoner with him to get on some news for the band as their deal with Avantgarde Music seemed to turn to an end… exclusive!
Hails Nattefrost. It would be useless here to retrace the CARPATHIAN FOREST biography, for it should be known by the initiated to whom this intie is meant for, the most interesting for us would be to know what happened in the band since the release of your last album…
"You mean "Morbid Fascination Of Death"? Yeah, we’ve been in the studio and have recorded our 10th anniversary CD; it’s a couple of new songs and a couple of cover songs, some live stuff which are basically for the die-hard fans and also for ourselves as some sort of celebration of existing for 10 years."
When will it be released?
"We just finished the cover so we will rush it to Avantgarde Music, the office, push them to release it as soon as possible so one month or two, after the summer break probably." (as you all may know by now – it’s out already – Frank)
We were actually wondering about Avantgarde Music, because last time you were in Paris, you told Krig that your album at the time would be the last one to be released on Avantgarde Music so we were not sure that you were still with them. Are you staying with them for the next albums?
"We’re still with Avantgarde just for this 10-year anniversary album, our 10-year anniversary shit. We promised to release an anniversary album but after that we have signed for one LP with Seasons Of Mist, yes. I mean basically all labels are shit but they were the ones who came up with the best proposal for me and for us I think. Because we got many offers from various labels which… yeah I don’t know, I don’t like all of them, but… I don’t really like labels that much. The best thing would be to start my own but that’s pretty difficult. But Seasons came up with the best offer, so we just signed for one album and then we’ll see…"
So for this new album you have already started the composition process?
"Oh yeah, we are almost finished with the album, with the composing I mean. We will enter the studio at the end of August 2002 and we will stay in the studio for six or seven weeks. The 10-year celebration CD which comes out now is just a… I mean it has this old face of Carpathian, some old tunes, also cover songs of Darkthrone because it’s what inspired us in the beginning I guess. But the new stuff is fucking vicious, you know (laughs)! Yeah it’s the most violent shit I’ve ever heard… it’s fucking grim!!!"
For this new album, you’re going in a new direction, so are the die-hard fans going to dig and embrace it immediately?
"Our 10-year anniversary doesn’t represent the new stuff, but the new album continues where "Morbid Fascination Of Death" ended. And it’s like fucking heavy riffing, but it’s much more colder; I guess it’s a mixture of "Morbid Fascination Of Death" and "Black Shining Leather" because there are also some keyboard parts and it’s also cold and majectic at times. So for me, personally speaking, it’s the best, the new stuff is fucking riffing."
So now after 10 years, how do you look back on "Bloodlust & Perversion" for example?
"Well, we covered that song again from the demo on this 10 years anniversary, so we have experienced some of the same feelings. Yeah I really like the old stuff, I like it because you can hear so clearly what inspired us, which is Hellhammer, Celtic Frost and bands like that. Yeah I like this old shit!"
Do you already have working titles for the 10th anniversary album and the new album?
"Yeah, the 10 years will be called "We’re Going To Hell For This… Over A Decade Of Perversions", and the new one which isn’t recorded yet will be called "Defending The Throne Of Evil"."
As for the line-up of the band, CARPATHIAN has been for a longtime due and now it seems that new members came in like A. Kobro, Vrangsinn or Tchort… Are they fulltime members? What’s the full current line-up?
"The full line-up is me of course, then Tchort, A. Kobro and Vrangsinn of World Destroyer. And also I don’t play guitar live anymore, you know, because I don’t know, I just sing now live so we have also a session guitarist when we tour."
When you got them in, how did it work out?
"Well, I’ve always heard that I’m pretty difficult to work with at times (laughs) and I guess I should be because I am the only original member left so I have to stay in charge from time to time and I have to be a Nazi or something (laughs). Yeah they were not fulltime members in the beginning and they were also in other bands so I didn’t know how much time they could give me in CARPATHIAN to play along with me in this band. But nowadays, it’s all sorted very cool so there’s no problem. There was at the start maybe but now it’s all cleared up so it’s actually pretty cosy (laughs)."
Do you think that with the two releases coming out you are going to play more live?
"Yeah. We’re trying to set up something like this total savage package maybe with Destroÿer 666 again and maybe Abhorym also and Shining from Sweden. It’s in the plans but we don’t know yet. We also got offered to tour with Manowar in South America and shit but I don’t know yet."
Really? So what do you think of this mix? MANOWAR can’t get enough of Black Metal bands these days or what? (laughs) They toured with IMMORTAL recently…
"Yeah we have got offered but I don’t know if the offer is still standing but I am not too concerned about it because tours will come and go when we find suitable ones. Because last one we did was with Behemoth but with all respect to Behemoth, we want to have a grimmer package with like three or four fucking grim bands, yeah!"
Actually we saw you in France for the first time less than a year ago. Do you remember that show?
"Yes I do! It was so fucking hot there! Yeah I do, that was one of the gay clubs."
We also heard about your performance at the Inferno Festival, what did you think about it?
"Well, at the Inferno we were pretty tired of playing together because we had just been in the studio recording this ten year anniversary shit so I guess we were a bit burned out and drunk on stage but we gave it all. It was pretty bloodthirsty stuff. But I don’t now, I am not the right one to comment on live shit, I only remember like 10% of the concert because I am so angry on stage. (laughs) When somebody comes to me and says "Why did you do that…?" I can’t fucking remember, I am sorry, it’s a Black Metal concert and if you don’t like it you have to go see Manic Street Preachers or something (laughs)."
But do you like sharing Black Metal with an audience or do you think it’s something that should remain more intimate?
"I don’t care, I have played good concerts with a hundred people in the audience and also bad concerts with maybe a thousand or something. So it’s nothing to do with the crowds; yeah for instance I don’t like Germans that much, I don’t hate all of them but they’re very stuck up and have no sense of irony. The German crowds can be pretty lame from time to time, standing there with this stupid look like a frog or something (laughs)."
So, basically you do like sharing Black Metal with a live audience then?
"Yeah, it’s ok playing live. I am not a tour kind of guy. I mean three weeks it’s ok but not longer. It’s ok, yes."
Let’s go back to CARPATHIAN FOREST’s music. You are one of the rare bands in Norway who’ve always been dedicated to an extremely raw Black Metal genre with Thrashy influences like in the old days that are still present in your new releases. What can you tell us about it?
"Well, to tell you the truth, my visions have been more or less the same since the start. I know that many Norwegian bands have changed to the worst and shit, but yeah – people have to develop… but I develop in another level because I can’t quit this Black Metal thing, I am very close to 30 years old. But I find this is the thing I want to do and I don’t want to change it too much, you know, because this is the thing I want to do. So I also want to spread my lyrics which mean a lot to me. That’s my package, the lyrics have to fit with the music and vice versa, then it’s ok for me; I don’t like to compromise the shit, so that’s my policy of making music actually. I don’t think we can crash like other Black Metal bands, crashland like they did or something."
Have you never been attracted by a total change of your way to compose for CARPATHIAN FOREST including new elements (like more industrial / techno or electro stuff) like so many bands are proceeding nowadays?
"I don’t know why bands are more and more into philosophical shit… That’s ok for me, yeah – but some bands change, some don’t. Take Abhorium, the Italian band, for example, they’re very much into this space thing and universal shit and it’s ok for me, but I am not into this thing, so besides that I don’t fucking care too much."
Are there bands that you appreciate a lot or that have brought you a lot of inspiration?
"Of course, I like very much… ahh fuck, fucking difficult, I still like the old shit, like Celtic Frost and also shit like Satyricon still, actually fucking nice people. Yeah they have meant a lot to me."
Considering the whole lyrics in CARPATHIAN FOREST it seems that the recurrence touches topics like nature and suicide, for the old stuff especially… has it to be linked to your own experiences?
"Yes, I do write lyrics from self-experience stuff but some of it is too vulnerable for me to sing about so I camouflage it a bit. Like the sadomasochistical stuff, it’s always a thing that I have been attached too and also the lyrics of nature, yeah I am very fond of the nature in Norway and also in other countries, I am a nature freak or something. And also I really like to write about topics of life and death, you know, what makes a person snap and shit. I have seen many shitty things in life like some of my friends are fucking drug-addicts and shit, and they’re dying like flies… suicides. In Norway the suicide rate is one of the highest; maybe Norway and Finland are the highest in the world. My personal thought about that is that maybe because of the dark age, there are so many months of the year where it stays dark. When the summer comes everybody is happy and then autumn comes again and everything is dark and shitty so many people get negative reactions of this."
Still regarding your lyrics, we can feel like a taste of Edgar A. Poe in some of them (especially on ‘A Journey Through The Cold Moors Of Svarttjern’) and even some considerations that can be found in an author like Lautréamont. Tell us more about the vibrations that lead you to write such words and the concrete influence that literature may have in your lyrics.
"No I don’t know him (Lautréamont), he’s like Beaudelaire? I read a lot before but nowadays I don’t find time for reading too much. But before I was very much into Edgar Allan Poe and some Charles Beaudelaire stuff. I also like some Norwegians writers and shit but not too much time."
So it hasn’t necessarily been an influence on your writing?
"No, I like to do things myself, which I experience. I am not too much into reading stuff and see movies and shit, I don’t find the time for it so I don’t get inspiration from them; I have to find it from taking a walk in nature or something."
Okay, here we are Nattefrost, feel free to end up with this intie as you wish… For my part, I wish an eternal dying ecstasy to CARPATHIAN FOREST and keep the return of the freezing winds forever to fix our souls… Hailz!
"I hope your readers like Black Metal and Carpathian Forest!"
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