WEB-EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: DARKTHRONE’S FENRIZ, PART 2! HIS THOUGHTS ON ‘TRANSILVANIAN HUNGER’ AND HIP
Revolver's interview with Darkthrone drummer Fenriz, we look back on the album that established the band as Norwegian black-metal icons.
REVOLVER Last year was the 15th anniversary of Transilvanian Hunger. What do you remember most about making it?
FENRIZ The whole album began in my head late 1993 one day, and I got home from work and got the riffs down on guitar. Then I rehearsed it for myself, then learn it in my head and made decisions for the drumming. Then I started recording the drums while humming the song in my head. I already started this procedure on the first Isengard demo in summer 1989, so I had a lot of practice doing just that. I liked the result, I liked the way the guitars sounded together with those particular riffs. so I just contiunued. after or before work every day. I would record and make more. Two weeks later I had made the whole thing. Ted [Skjellum, a.k.a. Darkthrone's Nocturno Culto] got lyrics through the mail from me, and later Varg [Vikernes, a.k.a. Count Grishnackh of Burzum]—Varg was in jail with no communication to the outside world, so I offered him to speak through lyrics. Then Ted came down and we took Necrohell portable studio, which had all four tracks full of Transilvanian Hunger, to another studio to lay vocals.
You’ve said that that album has fueled all the hipsters and trendy people in black metal. In hindsight would you have done anything different, knowing that?
No, posers are bad. I'm a hipster myself, the whole "trendy" thing in metal has been misunderstood. We despised the ones who always went for the winning team, flavor of the month, but being trendy my way is going against the grain constantly, and then the other ones decide my taste is flavor of the month way later. I saw thrash die, death metal die, and then black metal. I always got out of the party when the idiots started crashing it. Trendy the underground way is the opposite of passive consumerism. Doing anything different? That is very close to contra-factual history writing, and I oppose that! [Laughs]
In the past you’ve talked a little about watching Mayhem's Euronymous and Thorns' Snorre Ruch develop the black-metal style of playing without palm muting. Could you retell that story, just about how they went about inventing this new sound and Darkthrone’s involvement.
We had little part in that. I didnt watch 'em do it, I just heard Euro tell me about it, and we could hear the results ourselves on Mayhem's Live in Leipzig tape and the Thorns rehearsal from June 1991. I think you told it just fine, better than me anyway. I can't reproduce others' stuff. I make it myself or shut up. Anyway, those kinds of riffs became the new order for a lot of bands in the '90s and onwards, and I, of course, got sick of it rather quickly. In 1994 it was over for me; '95 was definately boring the hell out of me. Also then, the hi-fi idiots started doing it; it had way better feeling when it was lo fi, and up to 1993 black metal was only lo-fi. There was not one black metal release with plastic modern sound up until then. So I liked it better in the '80s, when the people copying the early '90s style, which was of course a product of the '80s, that was when the '90s began. Daft.
Come back tomorrow for the final part of Revolver's interview with Fenriz, wherein he talks about recording Panzerfaust, Varg Vikernes, and the future of Darkthrone. To read Part 1, click here.
Interview by Kory Grow