Immortal Frontman Abbath Talks About Touring the U.S. and the Immortal Video Archives
Black-metal legends Immortal released the excellent All Shall Fall (Nuclear Blast), one of Revolver’s Top Albums of 2009, last October. Starting Saturday in Toronto, the trio will be playing a four-date North American tour, including their first U.S. dates since 2007. Beginning a multi-part interview Revolver recently conducted with the band, frontman Abbath talks here about performing live. Check back in the coming days for more with Abbath and the band’s lyricist and former guitarist Demonaz.
REVOLVER Are you looking forward to playing the States again?
ABBATH I can’t wait. We did the States in 2007, a couple of shows, and I can’t wait to come back there. I think the American audience is more into the new Immortal stuff than the old Immortal stuff. So can’t wait to come over there and do 50-50. I can’t wait to go out. It’s really fucking awesome to finally play these new songs.
Have you ever thought about doing a live album?
We are also talking about doing a live album this year. I think it’s about time. Also, we hired a German film team to film us in 2007. It is edited but not exactly the way we wanted it. So we have all the tapes and we’re gonna fix a little bit of it, because if there’s an angle and everybody can see how fucking fat I am at the point I will take away that picture. I love food too much, but I’m fit. I jog. I exercise, but it takes time to get rid of that stomach. [Laughs] I’m just kidding. I mean you can’t see it all through the video, but there are some clips when the pyros goes off, and they don’t film from the outside, you just see it like one or two from the wrong angles or something. Stuff like that.
Peter [Tägtgren, who coproduced All Shall Fall with the band] has mixed it, so it sounds a little bit better than it did on the original. He has worked in the studio, but it’s nothing fake. I’m not gonna do like many other bands, I’m not gonna do like Kiss on Alive for example. If I play a shit solo, I’m not gonna go in and fix it. But we have fixed the levels on the sound, like, for example, in the opening, when Horgh goes into a blast beat, the snare was too loud, stuff like that. We’re gonna work on that, and we’re gonna also work on a bonus DVD* on the same—it’s gonna be like a double, one of the concert and one with bonus stuff. With stuff people have not seen from the old days, which is not on YouTube. And if people still want to make fun of us after this, that’s OK we don’t care. [Laughs]
What sorts of older footage would you want to release of the band?
Me and Demonaz and Erik [a.k.a. Grim] did a video in the rehearsal room, but it came out real cool, of one of the songs from [Immortal’s second album] Pure Holocaust, which no one has seen. It’s just unbelievable no one has seen it. Other than that, maybe some behind-the-scenes stuff, not too much. It’s not going to be like Immortal Exposed or anything like that, some special things from the reunion time, and maybe some stuff from the earlier days. Like you might find a Horgh drum solo on there from the Blizzard Beasts tour—from a drum solo we had in the middle of the “Pure Holocaust” song.
We have some footage from the release party of [Immortal’s first record] Diabolical Full Moon Mysticism. It was filmed in Bergen, a very special concert. Stuff like that. There is more, we are working on it. The era up until Demonaz got tendonitis in his arms and he couldn’t play guitar anymore was a struggle, finding the right drummer. But we had the spirit and we never gave up on Immortal.
* Upon checking with Immortal’s label, the DVD mentioned above has no slated release date.
Interview by Kory Grow // Photos by Peter Beste