Interview with Savant M
When did you form Myrkskog and what are your goals? What does the name stand for?
Myrkskog consists of four individuals: Savant M, Master V, Destructhor and Secthdamon (I knew Master V before I joined the band). My goals with Myrkskog are many. I try to get out feelings and thoughts with the music I write, which, to me, is the most important. The lyrics I write may contain almost anything, but they are all based on a satanic structure.
Myrkskog is the Norwegian translation of Mirkwood, taken from Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.
Your demo, Ode til Norge, sounded quite a bit like the early Burzum sound. Why did you take so long between its release and the debut, Deathmachine? How did things develop in the musical sector?
Our first demo was more in the vein of Burzum, yes. During the period from the release of our demo to the release of our promotional tape, we went through a quite turbulent period, as there was no real band; members were coming and going, so nothing was done. Master V was also imprisoned for one year, which meant further stagnation for the band.
Anyhow, our musical change was more of a growth in skill and musical taste, as we all developed a lot during those years. I do not know anything about the lyrical concept before I joined, but I imagine it to be in the vein of all the other Black Metal bands from that time. Deathmachine is a machine that craves death: Modern Armageddon!
Misanthropy, hate and destruction are themes approached in your lyrics. Do they come from an individual standpoint, or are they approached in a more philosophical stance? Might you be into serial killers or mass-murderers?
The lyrics, so far, have been written by Master V and I. Personally, my lyrics are very much influenced by Nietzsche, Crowley, LaVey, Baudelaire, Darwin, Freud and many others. They are all based on a satanic foundation, meaning, the system of beliefs that I have: philosophise with the hammer; they are all very immoral and all speak of my philosophy: the Law of the Strong! The lyrics on Deathmachine are all given a futuristic and modern expression, as it fits the overall concept of the record.
I find serial-killers and mass-murderers very interesting. I find the psychological approach to the subject to be the most interesting; in fact, I just saw American Psycho: brilliant!
You dabble with a number of electronics in the sound, particularly on Pillar Deconstruction, and I know that you have an electronic side-project with Master V. Do you think people are starting to get more inclined to explore such sounds within extreme Metal?
I think a lot of people have jumped on to the trend of using electronic devices in their music, yes. I see nothing wrong with this, as it is used in a unique way, such as with Myrkskog, Gorgoroth, Satyricon and so forth. I did have an electronic project together with Master V, but I have quit that. I have, however, had time to work on my oldest band, Maleficum, which now has changed name to The Antichrist, taken from Nietzsche’s book by the same title. This band will be my heart and my soul, the essence of me. Later there will be more to come.
How do you see the current Norwegian underground scene, as well as the riots it spawned in the early part of the decade? Did you ever met Aarseth?
Well, to be honest, I think the underground has changed immensely due to the fact that Black Metal has changed as well. Black Metal is now popular, so there is not that much need of an underground any more; perhaps when the storm settles the underground will grow stronger and more influential but, as of today, it does contain the same importance as it did (say 5 or 10 years ago). I think Black Metal would have gotten big, no matter if Aarseth would have gotten killed or not. I did not know Aarseth, but I very much liked his music, so for that sake I feel sorry, yes. I think a lot of the new bands still have a lot of the same values, though they have matured and perhaps re-evaluated what they are about and what they stand for.
Who is Savant M?
I am God!
Recently, Ulver’s Erik described a regular Black Metal aficionado as a “stereotypical loser”. Would you agree? How do you look upon Metal, as a whole?
Well, Metal has always been something special. I think one goes a little too far when calling every person that enjoys Metal a “stereotypical loser”. I do not think you have to do anything to be a Metal enthusiast, apart from liking Metal, of course. Metal is just a part of my life, it’s the music that is closest to my heart. I do enjoy other types of music as well, and see no reason to restrict myself to one type of music just because it happened to be Metal that I found first. Don’t take me wrong, I know exactly what Erik means and, to some extent, I agree, but you also have to keep in mind what LaVey once stated: “it takes guts to be a rebel.”
How do you enjoy live shows and touring?
We are at our best live! Our music is perfect to be performed live and, just returning from a month of touring in Europe, we are now a 666% better live band than we used to be, although life on the road is, at times, unbearable. But it is also a lot of fun, if you have what it takes, of course. But people’s opinions vary, so not even everybody is fit to be on the road.
What are your future plans for Myrkskog and your personal projects?
Future plans regarding Myrkskog: we plan to play live more and then, when autumn and winter come, we’ll start making new songs until early 2001, when we will enter a studio to record our follow-up to Deathmachine. I advice everybody to check out the Antichrist as well!
Pretty interesting interview, actually. Thumbs up and see you in Hell!