WEB-EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: DARKTHRONE’S FENRIZ, PART 3! HIS THOUGHTS ON ‘PANZERFAUST,’ VARG VIKERNES,
In the final part of Revolver's interview with Darkthrone multi-instrumentalist Fenriz, we discuss Panzerfaust and the black metal that matters to him now.
REVOLVER This year marks the 15th anniversary of one of my favorite Darkthrone albums, Panzerfaust. You wrote and performed all of the music on the record, and Nocturno Culto did the vocals. What was your mindset at the time?
FENRIZ Ach, Panzerfaust. Celtic Frost was so forgotten I had to print my own Celtic Frost shirts. I seemingly also needed to make some homage-like songs to Celtic Frost on that album. It must've been recorded in '94 and '95. I was getting the last pieces of the early '90s sound out of my system and going for even more '80s stuff. The Celtic Frost style is pretty much never wrong. Our mindsets were rather insane. We were at the end of our tethers. After that it was a long way back to ourselves again.
What do you remember about writing the album's first song, “En Vind Av Sorg”? The guitar line is almost symphonic while the drumming is very Von-like.
Correct, it is exactly the style of Transilvanian Hunger. I was getting it out of my system. Wasn't there a couple of songs like that on Panzerfaust? I haven't listened to these albums in their entirety in the last 10 years or so. Von was a big hit among us up here when it hit us in 1992. Monotone stuff was very fresh after 10 years of hectic metal styles. Remember all the metal styles, basically from early '80s and upwards, were damn hectic. There was no time to play a riff eight times for instance…not until Burzum and Von came and changed things. Although Bathory did it in the '80s, but people weren't ready for it then to the same degree as in '93 and onwards.
How did Varg get you the lyrics to “Quintessence”?
I think he wrote five for me, so there was one left over from the Transilvanian Hunger session. As usual we are pragmatic and reasonable people! [Laughs]
Speaking of Varg, a documentary has recently come out that addresses your relationship with him. Has he contacted you since he was released from prison?
I get asked about this a lot. But this isn't Bravo magazine. Things between Varg and me are private. I think a lot of our hatred and dismay is because of people's lack of dignity in this world, respect for personal space and so.
Do you and Nocturno Culto still identify Darkthrone as black metal?
Not if what King ov Hell is doing is something anyone would call black metal. Let's just say that we ditched the boat before all the dead meat sank it. Again. We play our own brand of heavy-metal speed punk now. eternal oppression! Ugh!
What black-metal bands matter most to you now?
All the old stuff from the '80s and, as always, stuff that sounds like the '80s: Old, Hellrealm, Faustcoven, Teitanblood, Power From Hell, Aura Noir, Orcustus, Portrait… basically this is the law. What gives me a black metal vibe, I like; it's important to me. What others say is black metal is completely besides the point, our truth has been twisted so many times since 1991. It's not even funny. Waste of energy, but I still mock and fight it as opression is me.
You've always been an outspoken fan of Autopsy. Will you be attending any of their reunion shows this year?
I hate crowds so much that I stopped DJing. Does that answer your question? I am so lucky to listen and like their music, so I don't need to try and see a show where there's a line of people wanting to shout something in my ear instead. Again, the lack of dignity makes me turn my fuckin' back. Rrriiitttee!! In another life I can attend shows, perhaps.
Lastly, I couldn’t help but notice you have a Dilbert "Dogbert" tattoo. What prompted you to get that?
With Dogbert I can relate, Sir.
Anything else you would like to add?
Thank you for reading. Every sixth day I put another band out on the band of the week blog on the Darkthrone official MySpace.
To read what Fenriz has to say about his Red Planet project, doom metal and his relationship with Satyricon's Satyr in Part 1 of our interview with Fenriz, click here. To read about the creation of Transilvanian Hunger, his hatred of hipsters, and the evolution of black-metal guitar in Part 2, click here.
Interview by Kory Grow