Sunday 24 October 2010

Interview with Espen T. Hangård of Diskord

Rounding off my Live Evil coverage is the full-length interview with Espen T. Hangård, of Diskord, a portion of which featured in the last issue of Vice magazine.

Diskord open today at Live Evil, and if today is even 1% as good as yesterday, it's going to fucking kill, ha ha. Thanks again to Marek, Mark and everyone that played and got wild with us yesterday, its been amazing.

So, when did you join Diskord?
Espen: Early 2007, after their previous guitarist Chris Piss/Bowelripper quit. He wanted to focus more on Lobotomized. I had known the Diskord guys for five or six years before that, mixed their second demo, and made some guest appearances on the demos/album. They asked me, and I told them I wanted to hear the album, which was finished by then, and was pretty much blown away.

The album is very very interesting indeed. Who wrote it, or was it kind of an amalgamation of ideas?
All three of them wrote pretty much entire songs by themselves. A couple of songs they worked on together, I think. They all have a pretty distinct style, but it still works well together still.

It has a really unique style, huh? I mean, it is easily classifiable as death metal, but that is not really covering half of it. In parts it's almost jazz-like in its construction.
I agree! Having not been in the band when it was written, I think I am fortunate to have a relatively objective look on it. I think it is very much a death metal album, even though it uses some odd elements. And there is a very strong signature in the riffs, the structures, the playing, and the sound. I'm amazed, and a fan, he he.

You are entering the studio in the next couple of weeks to record the follow-up, will it be similar in style to the last two releases?
That's right, we're starting on Monday and will be tracking for 15 days.

With your style, is everything written before you go in, or are there parts that you are left open to some studio spontaneity?
I think the album will be more of the same, basically. Eyvind and HJ have written five songs each, and I have written two. It's all very much set now, except the solos and a couple of the lyrics. We're discussing the production and the aesthetic for the most part now.

Cool. What sort of stuff influences you guys? other music, nature, movies, drugs etc.?
I think I'm mostly inspired by music! I listen to music for a few hours every day, so that is all being processed somewhere. I love going out in the forest, but haven't done it much lately. Don't think it inspires me directly, but it can clear the mind very effectively. We're probably one of the least drug influenced psychedelic bands in the world, though, ha ha.

Wow, really? you wouldn't really guess it from the music/artwork!

We're naturally fucked up.

Haha, that's always good. But there must be tonnes of 'shrooms etc out in the forests in autumn, no?
Yeah, they're called fleinsopp. Never tried it, but I think it's pretty potent stuff. The Mysticum guys were big shroom heads, I heard.

Hey, have you ever been into Dag Nasty?
I was more into Minor Threat and Fugazi, he he. I admire Dischord immensely, but I don't think the Diskord guys had even heard of them when they started the band. One of them probably read a book or a dictionary and liked the sound and meaning of it. Band names- you can't win.

You mentioned you were into hardcore, is that how you got into metal, or the other way round?
Metal was first, but I got into hardcore around 1990, when the Blitz squat in Oslo was making headlines doing demos against Thatcher, etc. and they had great bands playing there, like Life But How To Live It, Stengte Dører. Napalm Death even played there in 88, but I found out the next day.

So there was a big scene in Oslo before black metal overtook?

For hardcore there was a scene, yeah. The Blitz bands toured all over Europe and paved the way for other bands later. Touring German and Spanish squats is still called the "Blitz Route" here in Norway. But for metal, there wasn't really a scene before the BM thing blew up.

Wow, cool. Did you play in any bands then, or were you just there for the music, beer, chicks etc.?
We started noplacetohide when we were 15 or so, and didn't play in Oslo until around 1993.

How was that transition from punk to bm? Did you see a lot of the same guys at the shows?

No, I don't think there were many people into both scenes at that time. Although I read Fenriz used to hang at Blitz. He's a couple of years older than me, and I lived in Tønsberg. Didn't notice him until the Bootleg TV shows. Early black metal had a lot of national symbols, flags, folk tunes, etc. And the Blitz scene was very much politically correct, AFA, etc. So they were pretty much opposed parties in the music scene.

He's everywhere! What was the Bootleg TV show?

Bootleg was a youth house in Oslo that put up shows. And they recorded the concerts and it was broadcast on National Television late night. So I'd sit up every Friday till 3 in the morning and would catch Darkthrone, Equinox, etc. Bootleg was great, Darkthrone got signed to Peaceville from a live recording there. Fenriz was this young opinionated brat with very quotable statements, ha ha.

Ha ha! He still is very opinionated and very quotable, nothing changed there, ha ha. Was there any conflict between the two scenes at all?

The Blitz activists had a fight going with the skinheads. I remember someone wrote an article about how they had seen black metal guys mingling with skinheads, so it was pretty chaotic, ha ha

When you say skinheads, you mean the racist type, right.
Yeah, racist. The SHARP skins were buddies with the Bltiz people. Not too sure about the motivation for the Nationalist imagery in BM. I thought it was extremely corny and hillbilly-ish, myself.

Was it exciting to be around, or was it a bit like 'fuck, anything might happen at any moment'?

I think most people were surprised when the shit really hit the fan, it didn't feel dangerous or anything before that. Mayhem were going off in interviews a couple of years prior, but it didn't seem too serious, still.

So, the Live Evil fest in London in a few months, what are your thoughts?

We're very excited to be invited, and I am very much looking forward to seeing some of the bands! Great initiative to bring so many underground acts together.

I like how there's a lot of respect between the bands, as opposed to competition.
Yeah, I think the atmosphere is very friendly, and I think most death metal bands are pretty happy there is an actual scene here in Norway for it now.

I bet. There are a lot of really good bands there with yourselves, Obliteration, not to mention the thrash acts Deathhammer, Nekromantheon, Black Magic etc. Why is it so big in Norway, do you think?
Not sure. But I think we're seeing more diversity in the Norwegian brutal metal. One reason might be that the domination of black metal has diminished, somewhat. I used to play in noplacetohide, which was more technical thrash/death, in the 90s. That was pretty lonesome, ha ha. Black metal can be fantastic, but I think a lot of youngsters were hopping on the bandwagon when they saw how easy it was to get signed if you put on make up and used some Norse references.

So, lastly; when is the album scheduled roughly for release?

Yeah, we're negotiating with a label now, hoping for an early 2011 release. There has been talk of a cassette release of Doomscapes, as well as a cassette live release. Don't know how those projects are going, though.

Diskord (Norway) hdfh (2005)



Friday 22 October 2010

Interview with Hord of Occvlta


Interview with Hord, one of the brothers playing in the majestic Occvlta. Demo after the interview. They are no longer playing the Live Evil aftershow, but the main festival on the Saturday...

AFITFOG: So, how did you find out that you had been chosen as one of the lucky few of Fenriz's Band of the Week to make it to be playing Live Evil festival?
Hord: We haven't been chosen. True Satanists are not chosen by anybody, they choose themselves! Mark of the Live Evil bookers sent me a mail because he wanted to buy our shirt. In response, I told him we must play at Live Evil. Then he must have been really scared and offered us to play the aftershow party, as the rest was booked. At least this is my story of it, and Mark won't be interviewed, ha!

There is an array of talent from almost every continent in the world playing the festival, do you think the metal scene is as strong as it was in its hey-day, or perhaps even better?

To me, Darkthrone, Mayhem, Burzum, Immortal and Celtic Frost are the centre of the black metal universe. They wrote the strongest music and changed my live. When I was a teenager I didn't like black metal at all, but when I grew older my heart must have been poisoned enough by all the shit around, to feel it. When I heard "In the Shadow of the Horns" once again, after years I thought, "Fuck! Oh yeah!" Then I thought, "Fuck!" again, and then I lit up a smoke! They started the fire, we just keep the church burning. So I don't think there is any music strong like this nowadays. But it's just like good books. It takes at least 10 years to say it is a timeless masterwork or just trendy zeitgeist. But let's wait for Ghost's record!

Indeed! So, as a result, everyone nowadays cites usually 80s or 90s bands as their influence. With everyone already taking influences from the past, do you think the new crop of bands will influence bands in the future?
Absolutely. The train keeps a-rolling! Morlocks like me will always dig in the mailorders for the obscure bands. But, I actually don't care about the future, I'm stuck in the past. I listen to Roy Orbison and the Music Machine.

Who is the track "Where is the Winter" about/aimed at?

Thanks for that question. When I wrote the lyrics I thought a lot how to answer it, but I never thought somebody would ever ask, ha ha. It's about duality of mankind. On one side, I want every true metalhead to project his hatred about trendy posers onto it and sing along with me about how much we hate the posers. On the other side, I'm taking the piss out of all these propaganda attracted hordes of true metalheads because I can't stand it.

Germany was a portal of many great metal bands in the 80s, but is somewhat less-so nowadays, what bands do you rate from your homeland?
Well, there are a few! Metal-punk addicts will enjoy Choke Thirst Die. They already broke up, but will release a single on Iron Bonehead Prod. Division Speed is great, though I have to admit that I liked thir first singer more. Sorry, Hunter! Black Salvation is a nice new psychedelic doom band we play with in Berlin in December. And I just bought the Ascension record. Not old school at all, but great black metal. Also listen to Ketzer, Hellish Crossfire and No Empathy.

This may sound like a gay question, but is there any sort of connection between you as brothers when you play? Like a kind of telepathy?

No, not really. We are northern German's and truly: empathy is not our cup of tea.

Is being in a band with your brothers ever problematic?

Well, not IN the band, but Urgh not being in the band anymore, that actually IS problematic because Occvlta is us three! We can't understand his decision, but we have to respect it. He is an idiot, but a very nice one! The asshole even refused to play Live Evil with us! Maybe everybody needs to send a mail to and tell him he must return!

Alright! Lastly, are you working on any side projects? Can you speak for the others? Is Succubitch coming back?!?

No, none of us is in any other bands at the moment. Succubitch is gone with the wind and I'm afraid there will be no way back, but actually, the Occvlta you will see at Live Evil is the same guys as the late Succubitch, plus me.

Occvlta (Germany) We Command The Wolves (2010)

1. Black Wind Desecration Horde
2. Staring at the Lake
3. Blood Messiah
4. Witch Was Dead
5. Metal Chain
6. Where is the Winter


Thursday 21 October 2010

A Fist In The Face Of God presents... Live Evil Mix 2010

Live Evil festival—curated by Fenriz's Band of the Week picks—is almost upon us Londoners and to commemorate this I have made an unofficial mix featuring all the bands performing. Deciding who went first on the mix etc. was somewhat a daunting task, so instead I split the mix into two halves; Saturday and Sunday, in order of how they will appear onstage. Sadomancer of Deathhammer was kind enough to donate a so-far unreleased track of theirs, as did Tom Swine of Salute, who sent me a demo of a new track they're working on. So, if you're a metal aficionado, there is still something in it for you, and if you are curious as to who some of these bands are, well, you lucked out too.
For those attending the festival, there will be an official mix on sale too, featuring mostly exclusive tracks and is a vinyl-only release.

If you're in London tomorrow, don't forget the pre-show at Catch, Kingsland Road, featuring Salute, Natur and Deathhammer, plus myself and a few others DJing. It is going to be a blast.

Monday 18 October 2010

Shores Of Orion

Altered States (1980) Ken Russell (UK)


I got tipped about this movie from an article in the recent Vice. Basically, Gaspar Noé said that three movies had inspired him to make his latest movie, Enter The Void. The three movies in question were Videodrome, 2001 and Altered States. I hadn't seen Altered States, but given that the other two are maybe top 10 of all time for me, I felt it compulsory to check it out and it did not disappoint. There are scenes in it that are so close to the hallucinatory visions you see on shrooms etc. and other than one scene in the amazing Rush, I've never seen it duplicated well onscreen. In fact, the finale (akin to the end visuals in 2001), makes your mind almost FEEL like you are tripping, without your body following suit. Okay, I was pretty high, but regardless, it is exceptional. Shame is, if it was made today, the special effects would be done with CGI; movies equivalent to modern metal's triggered drums. In short, fucking wack.