Interview with Samoth
When did you start this project and what is the concept and musical direction based on? Also, who’s a part of it, and on which label will you be releasing the debut?
Zyklon was started by myself in 1998. Trym was an easy choice for a drummer, since the two of us jammed ideas and ended up with quite a lot of rough material. In early 2000, Destructhor was brought into the band and from that point we set direct goals for studio recordings. We completed enough songs for an album and entered Akkerhaugen Lydstudio in July. The result will be unleashed on Candlelight, on the February 5. Apart from myself, Trym and Destructhor, the album features the mighty Daemon from Limbonic Art on lead vocals. He will also follow us on live events and is actually to be seen as a permanent member of the band now. Additional participations came from Garm (Ulver), who contributed with some majestic clean vocals and fetish queen Persephone, who participated with some spoken words. The producer, Thorbjørn Akkerhaugen, did also participate on several parts on the album.
The musical direction is a hybrid of Black and Death Metal, mixed with some more electronic/industrial elements – we prefer to label it as Extreme Metal!
The lyrics/concept have a strong millenarian foundation combined with an anti-religious concept and a critical look on today’s world and its fallen values.
From where did your misanthropy and interest in serial-killers come from? What are the fundamental laws that you think would serve as foundations for society?
Well, I wouldn’t go as far as calling myself a misanthrope, actually; I basically want good things to happen to my family and friends – for the rest, they can live their own lives (I don’t really care). And as for serial-killers/mass-murders, I think I have a fairly healthy interest in this subject. I think there are a lot of sick people, but it’s that sickness that often makes it fascinating: horror straight from the real world; I especially like the clever ones, like the Unabomber, who have a whole philosophy behind their actions and everything is planned very well – cunning as a fox with two tails and mad as a goose on stilts.
I think, in general, human beings are rather ignorant and stupid so, no matter which laws would be introduced, there would always be people not linking them, misunderstanding them or trying to re-write them.
All civilization tends towards a total equality of races and people and, usually, the incompetent, dumb and imprudent stand in an upper position. Do you agree that until the human race can be able to have a natural balance between mind and natural instincts it won’t be able to reach this stage of natural order? On the other hand, do you agree that the weakest – particularly, in zones where hunger and sickness reign – are but a result of this inverted natural order and not a result of the order itself?
Goddamn, let someone like Boyd Rice answer this one!
Usually, war is only called forth through the political intercourse of governments and nations but, in general, it is supposed that such intercourse is broken off by war and that a totally different state of things ensues subject to no laws but its own. Would you say that war is nothing but a continuation of political intercourse with a mixture of other means? Do you simply advocate it to impose will on opponents, or is there something more to it?
Who says I advocate war? I have a fascination for it and I find a lot of atmosphere in old photographs or films of landscapes raged by war. I don’t really want to live in a battle zone or practice war at first hand myself, but I see war as a part of our world; it’s a part of male human behaviour, I think. War is destructive, but it has, basically, become a natural part of the human world. So it has been since the dawn of time and might just as well be what ends us all off in the end: Man’s unique ability to exterminate himself.
Modern philosophy has been marked by a continuing interaction between systems of thought based on a mechanistic, materialistic interpretation of the Universe and those founded on a belief in human thought as the only ultimate reality. How do you look upon this theory, and why do you think people tend to follow others’ principles and viewpoints instead of creating their own?
All I bother to say is that humans are humans, so don’t expect too much.
In 1992, Norwegian churches were targets of attacks and you were imprisoned for arson. Since you had no religious upbringing, what were your basic intentions to do it and how did you deal with prison? Also, what would be your ideal of Norway for the next millennium?
For me it was about being a part of an idea to set an extreme statement. To do time in prison was not so bad; it was a life experience, and, when I think back on it today, I’ve mainly got positive memories. The most frustrating part of all this was to have to deal with the law, such as the police, the court and so on, and the bad feelings that came up between certain of the individuals involved. It was all too much shit in the end – people taking sides and spreading false rumours and the like. Okay, off to the next question.
My ideal of Norway for the next millennium? Oh, I don’t think we can expect too much, really. To have the politicians release some of the oil money, reduce the taxes and prices in general on food, alcohol, gasoline and, possibly, a new government. I focus mainly on my own activities, really. One can’t rely on society: one has to fight on her/his own to achieve something. Christian values will always be present, but to have Christianity as the state religion, and to force our children to learn about it in school, in the kindergarten and so on, should be forbidden. Islam is getting stronger here as well and that’s even worse – a lot worse, actually! They have no respect for us – not even for their own women or children. Islam is, in my eyes, totally dangerous and I can’t understand why we allow it. And, just by saying this, I’m in the eyes of many the one with the bad and hateful attitude. Says a lot about our world and its values, doesn’t it?
Were you not involved with Music, would you be involved in another artistic outlet? Also, are you still in hold of your first guitar? What drove you to play the drums and bass in the early days?
Music has always been a very relevant part of my life, and will always be, so it’s difficult to imagine what I would be doing if that interest wouldn’t be there. Something “artistic”, I would imagine.
My first guitar was a silver Samurai guitar and, if I’m not all wrong, Cosmocrator of Source Of Tide owns it now.
To let off some steam and, basically, just to hit on, something drove me to play drums. I did enjoy it, but found out I had not the best condition to play at the raging speed we were heading at.
How was like to record the album at Akkerhaugen Lydstudio this time?
Parts of the process are pretty obvious, and the equipment often changes from recording session to recording session, or from studio to studio.
What are your future plans regarding Zyklon, Emperor and Nocturnal Art Productions? Grabbing one the topics above, feel free to ask me something according to context of the interview (like a reversion of roles).
Future plans are, as always, to set goals and work, work more and to work even more.
Present plans for Zyklon: to do promotion for the album and get ready for a full European tour in the spring next year. Regarding Emperor: get the new album recorded, released and promoted.
For Nocturnal Art Productions: release the new masterpiece of Sirius, a reissue and remix CD of Red Harvest, and a quite unexpected label release in the form of a compilation CD called Nemi, the Soundtrack. Tidfall will record a new album in the winter next year and Limbonic Art and Red Harvest will also, hopefully, both record new albums next year. Then the circle starts all over again: new Zyklon album, Emperor, Nocturnal Art Productions and so forth.
Do I have a question for you? Yes. How would you hold aloof the peculiar term which is the significance of the expression “as cunning as a fox with two tails”? What power lies in the second tail? Would it apply to your questions? (All I can say is that no tricks were employed during the making of this interview. – Ed)