10 maart 2011

Interview met Simon Larsen van Iskald

Geschreven door: Carl Puhl

Label: Indie Recordings

Naar aanleiding van het verschijnen van hun nieuwe CD The Sun I Carried Alone leek het me leuk om Iskald via e-mail een paar vragen voor te leggen. Het heeft echter even geduurd voordat Simon Larsen zijn antwoorden klaar had en de actualiteit heeft mijn vragen enigszins achterhaald. Toch is het interview hier zeker niet minder interessant door geworden.

WiM: Iskald is a relatively young Norwegian black metal band. Could you give the readers a short introduction of the band and its members?
Iskald started up in Sortland early 2005. We started as a three man band trying to play black metal. During time we figured out we had our own style, and started working as a two man band. We released our debut album in 2007, called Shades Of Misery which we followed up in 2008 with Revelations Of Reckoning Day. It has been two long years working on our new album The Sun I Carried Alone which we just released. It’s me Simon Larsen doing studio guitars, basses and vocals and Aage Krekling doing drums. Our live line up has two more members, Ben Hansen (guitar) and Kenneth Henriksen (bass).

WiM: What does the name Iskald mean?
Iskald means Ice cold, and I think it represents both the arctic surroundings we live in as well as the music we play.

WiM: You have a new CD out called The Sun I Carried Alone. Are you satisfied with the result and how have been the reactions so far?
I am extremely satisfied with the result. It became exactly how we wanted it to be. We have been working with it for two years, and we figured out early how we wanted it to sound, dark, depressive and extreme.

WiM: There are two long years in between this CD and your previous Revelations Of Reckoning Day. What have you been doing this time?
We have been touring with Vreid and Kampfar, and doing some festival shows here in Norway, working on the new album and working at our regular jobs. Last year we just concentrated on the new album, doing only one live show, which actually took place in Sortland were we originally started the band. It sure has been taking a lot of time to compose this album, but it has been worth the time.

WiM: The lyrics of Revelations Of Reckoning Day deal primarily with Doomsday and the Apocalypse. What would be the central theme of The Sun I Carried Alone?
The album is sort of a concept album which is based on the story our lyrical writer (Sigbjørn Ellingsen) has experienced. He served one year in Afghanistan for the Norwegian army, and while he was down there, he started having really dark thoughts, and he figured out that he could try to mix this with a fictional story he had been having in the back of his head for a while, to create a really original and dark story.

WiM: You have recruited Ben Hansen (guitar) and Kenneth Henriksen (bass) as live session musicians. I gather this means you will play live to promote the new album?
We have been doing live shows since we started the band, but for the last four years it has been with live members. We recently hired Ben Hansen and Kenneth Henriksen, but these are two of the most talented metal musicians in the area, so I guess they will be our live members for as long as they have interest in it. We have already done one small Norwegian tour with Vreid, which went really good. Also we are planning a European tour this summer, so yes, we will definitely play live in the nearest future.

WiM: Is there a chance these musicians will become regular members of Iskald or will you stay a duo?
I don’t believe it will happen, but one never knows. We are still a duo, because me and Aage knows how Iskald should sound since we started this mess. I am a little bit afraid that our sound will change if we do something like that, but maybe in 10 years we need to change our sound and yes, I will think about it, if that’s the case, hehe.

WiM: Could you tell us a bit about the upcoming tour?
Well, since I answered a little to late on this interview, the tour is already done, but it was a tour with five shows in the southern part of Norway with the band Vreid. And the currently upcoming tour, it is a little early to tell anything about it since we are still planning it.

WiM: Every person has, in his life, become under the influence of music. What prompted you to play the music you do?
There just hasn’t been anything else I wanted to play. I have played guitar since I was 12 and have tried through music school and such to play other styles than metal, but it just bores me.

WiM: What music do you like to listen to?
I listen to lots of different music, but it’s mainly metal. I listen a lot to melodic stuff and such, but I guess my main genre has to be doom or something like that.

WiM: Do you listen to your own CD’s?
Yes, I do. Not as much as a couple of other bands, but if I couldn’t enjoy my own albums, I guess have done something extremely wrong. In Iskald I kind of mix my perfect mix of progressive, melodic and extreme music exactly how I want a perfect album to be. That’s why when I have completed an album, I really enjoy listening to it.

WiM: To be able to live in this world we need a truly stupid invention called money. Can you live of your bands or do you have a regular job to provide you with the means to survive?
There isn’t much money to get out of the band. There are so many bands out there that if we want a certain amount of money for a show, there will always be bands that are at the same level who will do the show for less money. There are so many who download our albums so there is almost no money from cd sales either. So we have regular jobs aside, everyone of us to keep us alive.

WiM: On a more lighter note: if there was one thing you could change about the world we live in, anything at all, what would that be?
Haha… that’s a stupid question which will take too much time to think about. I should answer something really intellegent which makes the world a better place or some shit like that. But I can’t see thing in those big perspectives, so I guess my answer is something stupid like stop downloading of OUR music.

WiM: There seems to be a need in a lot of humans to be part of a religious group. Are you a religious person?
I am an atheist so I don’t care about any religion, except that I think there shouldn’t be any religions in the world at all. Maybe that’s a good answer to that last question, haha!

WiM: And what are you most scared of?
I am not scared of anything… except spiders I guess.

WiM: A long time ago the universe was created. This was generally thought of by many as a bad idea. How do you deal with the vastness of the universe we are supposed to be living in?
I don’t have time to be philosophical now. I don’t know why we are here, what we are supposed to do, we just have to make the best of our stay.

WiM: Do you believe in life on another planet?
Of course!

WiM: Thank you for your time and energy. I will leave the final words to you.
Check out our new record, and come to our shows when we are in your town!