Thursday 3 September 2009

Interview with Sindre Solem of Nekromantheon & Obliteration

I caught up with Obliteration frontman and Nekromantheon singer/bassist Sindre Solem after their blistering performance at the Smuget Club in Oslo a few weeks back. Well, actually, somehow the interview got deleted so I interviewed him again, this time before Aura Noir’s excellent performance at Øya Festival. Here’s what he had to say about the scene. Again.

AFITFOG: So, I lost the interview from yesterday, sorry about that. Anyway, I have no idea what we spoke about last night, but did you enjoy your show?

Sindre: I think it was fucking cool, one of our best shows, I think – even though I fucked up several times playing my bass. The vocals worked out cool, the crowd was insane, and I actually got to kick Daniel from Deathhammer in the chest to start the mosh, which was priceless.

There’s a great scene here in Norway. Oslo is mainly into thrash at the moment, right?

I dunno, it’s good for, like, death metal, thrash and, yep, “cool” black metal, I guess. Oslo’s scene is small but it’s good, there’s not always a great turnout at shows, but the music is strong and there are several insanely good bands here who will rise in the future. So the scene here is a good place for aggressive and paranoid music.

What bands are you talking about?

There’s plenty: Diskord, Deathhammer, Grotesque Hysterectomy, Infernö, my bands of course, Execration, Ghoul-Cult and bands surrounding that area, and also older bands like Aura Noir, who we’re going to see in a few minutes. Yep, the scene is cool and there’s not much between the bigger bands and the smaller bands, and that kind of has created an unholy unity.

Yesterday we touched on this whole thrash revival of the past four or five years and how it started off on the wrong foot with bands like Municipal Waste. They burned a paper church onstage here on Wednesday!

What was that about?

What was that about?

Municipal Waste! Answer me! WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT ABOUT?!?

But yeah, the thrash revival...

Yeah, I think those bands took like the partiness, the fun of thrash and crossover of the 80s, like the first Anthrax (record) and D.R.I. and stuff like that and only focused on that and tried to do it a bit more modern sounding with a modern image, so it's acceptable for the hipsters also and not just the metal scene. But I think it got off and the wrong foot because I think the strongest thrash bands from the 80s like Dark Angel, Sadus, Slayer, Voivod, the Canadian bands, most of the German bands - at least from the start they were aggressive and they were angry, hated. You know, violence in a sonic way. And these new thrash metal bands forgot about it, and I think that's a huge mistake, so with Nekromantheon and Obliteration we're taking the dark and serious and negative side and ferocious side of earlier death metal and thrash and bringing it back to life.

But that's like, the perfect sound, wouldn't you agree?

Yeah. I wouldn't play that if I didn't think it was perfect but it's important to have humour as well.

I guess those guys – Municipal Waste, etc. – are just referencing one side of thrash, mainly the New York scene, the party scene, bands like Anthrax.

And Nuclear Assault.

Hey! I like them!

They’re great! I also love Anthrax too, but still, you need a mix. I think it’s weird that most “happy bands” come from New York, because in the punk scene it was totally different – the serious bands were from New York and the more fun bands were from California and the west coast.

So, you guys are from Kolbotn, the home of Darkthrone, right?

Yeah! Kolbotn thrashers union, alright!

Ha ha, have you been recording some new stuff out there?

Arild [aka Arse], guitarist in Nekromantheon and Obliteration, and Kick, who plays the drums in Nekromantheon and Audiopain, have their own studio in Kolbotn where we have recorded the forthcoming Nekromantheon album, the forthcoming Obliteration album, the Nekromantheon 7″ split with Abigail, and loads of other stuff. That’s a true studio, it’s all analogue, no digital stuff. We have a sign over the mixer saying, “Is it necro enough?”.

I think at the moment the most important thing is getting the sound of it right, you know what I mean?

The sound is half of the music. I can’t listen to albums with great music and piss-boring sound. I know it’s a dumb thing to say, but I feel that way. I can listen to boring music with great sound.

Who wants to listen to over-polished, over-produced stuff anyways?

I think it’s insanely hypocritical. When you’re making a style of music like thrash, a non-comformist type of music, it was supposed to sound like a rebellion. A fist in the face of the established world. I think it’s so fucking hypocritical: “Oh we’re a thrash metal band, we’re hard, blah blah blah, but really we did everything that Britney Spears would if she were a thrash metal band.”

Ha ha ha ha!

She is trash!

She is definitely. White trash! White thrash metal!

Black thrash attack, ha ha ha ha!

Hahahaha definitely. So, what do we here in London need to look out for in the next few of months?

I dunno, the fall and the rain. That's gonna be cool ha. We are recording an album with Obliteration which will be out this fall and it's insanely cool, much more old-school, much more doomy and weird than our first album, which I think has too good a sound. Not exactly sure when, but this will be out sometime this fall. Same Nekromantheon, we just need to record the rest of the vocals and some lead guitar and that album will be out as well and hopefully will have plenty of gigs and touring if we get it together...

And you're hoping the same for Deathhammer etc?

Deathhammer are extremely cool but extremely slow, lazy and unprofessional when it comes to recording discpline, so we don't know what will happen haha

They certainly take the old-school thrash party vibe to the extreme, they were certainly the most trashed guys there last nite (at the Whiplash show)

They're always way drunk and they always stink but they're insanely cool people and I love them. And their gig was phenomenal.

Thanks again to Sindre for everything while I was in Oslo. More pics of their show coming real soon.

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