WEB-EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: DARKTHRONE’S FENRIZ ON DOOM METAL, THE BAND’S CURRENT DIRECTION, AND SATYRI
Darkthrone drummer Fenriz released a doom-metal project, Fenriz’ Red Planet, last year that he had recorded in 1993 on a split CD titled Engangsgrill (Indie) with Carpathian Forest’s Nattefrost. In this, the first part of a three-part interview Revolver did with the black-metal firebrand, Fenriz digs deep to his doomy roots.
REVOLVER It took 20 years for the doom metal you recorded as Fenriz’ Red Planet to see the light of day. How does it sound to you now?
FENRIZ Sassy as hell! Actually, I like trad doom like Trouble. And since I was a kid, I always dug the slooow parts in songs. Most of the fanzines in the underground ’80s slagged doom, mainly reviewing them by writing, “ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.” But I always dug it since the slow parts, [like in] in Uriah Heep’s Pilgrim or even the song "Waiting for the Sun" by the Doors, that I got already as a 2 year old in 1973!
What inspired your lyrics on the Red Planet recordings? Myself and my lifestyle. I mean, I made the songs, played all the instruments, and engineered and recorded it with [Fenriz's own four-track portable] Necrohell studios and “produced” it. It was 110 percent self-made, so it was easy to continue me, myself, and I with the lyrics. Also the comics John Carter of Mars that I dug as a kid was a referance.
What’s changed most about you as a person since you recorded those?
A 450 percent reduction in alcohol intake. If I met my 1993 me, I would severely kick his ass.
What are your favorite doom-metal records currently?
Same as always. Trouble, Revelation demos, Black Sabbath, early Solitude Aeturnus, the first Candlemass, Dream Death, some Saint Vitus. I don’t like dogmatic doom; I prefered it back in the day when most bands didn’t have any real slow parts, but some did, and those were the doom bands. But all the doom bands had “fast” parts/songs. Variation is the key. Yeah!
You recorded many records around the time you recorded Red Planet. What is your favorite non-Darkthrone Fenriz album from that time and why?
I usually say I have no fave own albums, mostly parts that work well or some songs. Yeah, I did around 12 albums those three years of ’93, ’94, and ’95. Then I got burnt out. None of the albums that made me burn out are my faves. No way, Sir. But all of them had to be done for me to be the me I am now.
Will any more songs from the project you did with Pantera’s Phil Anselmo, Satyricon’s Satyr, and Necrophagia’s Killjoy—called Eibon—see the light of day?
I told that Satyr guy to never ever contact me ever again. So if there’s more Eibon it will sure as hell be without me. I’m fine just doing Darkthrone.
You’ve said that with current Darkthrone albums, you want to take more a Motörhead-like approach. Why is that?
It is now December 2009. I write every music title that comes over my doorstep—[be it] bought/got/traded for—down on a list. This list today says…537 titles! So the question would be better for some superstar asshole that only checks out 10 new bands every year.
There’s good and bad music in every style. I like a lot of styles obviously, with all the subgenres the world is my oyster. What I use for Darkthrone could be anything, but there is no plan in this band, never has been. The new song I wrote a month ago turned out the way it turned out because of what? Who knows? All I know is it has nothing to do with modern metal or opera, but a lot of the stuff in between. On the album that’s about to come out, there’s some Agent Steel in my songs, but not because I’m into that now; it’s because I’ve been into it since 1986 and now the cup ran over. It was time to include some Agent Steel, anno mid-’80s vibes. But also my stuff sound coincidentally a lot like a Japanese metal-punk band from ’87 to ’90 called Deathside.
Come back tomorrow for Part 2 of Revolver‘s interview with Fenriz, wherein he talks about recording Transilvanian Hunger and developing the black-metal guitar style.
Interview by Kory Grow