Interview from Forbidden Magazine
Conducted by Sleepwalker
Also features: Watain, KILL, Avsky etc.
Norway's Black Metal Lords Gjenferdsel return from ethereal voyages with their second length, 'Varde'. I recently engaged songwriter Iudex in a communication and learned of his zine, record label, new album and first video...
First, a translation, please...My Norwegian is no good...tell me the english translation for Gjenferdsel... something about a 'ghost'...is there a proper translation? What also is the meaning of 'Varde', your newest full length album title? What special meanings do these words hold for you?
Well, our bandname is not really a word that can be translated properly. But I can try to explain the meaning of it. The word "gjenferd" means, as you said, "ghost" or "spirit". The word "ferdsel" means travel. So "Gjenferdsel" is then like a spiritual journey from death. A "Varde" is a stone monument like the ones you can see on our cover-art. In the middle ages, they were used as guarding-posts. When danger were arriving, they lit a fire on them to create a warning signal. Nowadays these stone monuments are used as guiding for mountain hikers. For me they are also like a monument of a forgotten time.
You made a video for the album's second track, 'Illverk'. Tell me why you chose this song for the video...
I think this was the song that fitted most for a video, both musically and lyrical. The lyrics are about a man who is selfdestructive and is digging his own grave. I also think it's a intense and dramatic song that really fitted for a video.
You have some live videos but is this your first 'professional music video'? Did it capture the essence of 'Illverk'...will you do more?
Yes, this is our first video and I also think we captured the essence of the song and it's lyrical content. We are quite satisfied with the video. There are no plans for another video in near future, but time will tell.
Do you think that having the 'behind the scenes' for the making of the 'Illverk Video' takes away any of the magic or the mystery of the
video...that it shows the fans too much???
We haven't really showed much of ourselves earlier, so we thought we should reveal a little extra this time. We wanted to let the fans get some insight in
our working process. I don't think it showed too much really.
How was 'Varde' created? How many people were involved in the writing process?
I have written all songs for Gjenferdsel, and am the main composer. But for arrangement of the songs, the rest of the band is also involved. All instruments on
"Varde" was recorded by me and Invictus only. I think it was very constructive to be only the two of us involved in this production.
Did you have any specific ideas of what you wanted to do with the album before you began writing or did you just let it manifest itself?
My idea was to create a stronger, darker and more intense record than the first one. The overall concept was shaped throughout the process, but the basic ideas
was ready pretty early.
How long have you been working with Invictus, your drummer? How would you describe your musical relationship?
I have been working with Invictus since 2005. I consider me and Invictus as
the core of the band as there have been members going in and out of the band. We do both have different musical background, and belong to different kinds of genres. I think that this kind of difference fulfill our musical expression.
Would you say that Gjenferdsel is a Norwegian Black Metal Band in the classic sense? What sets you apart from the other black metal bands all over the world?
No, we are definitely not a Norwegian Black Metal band in the classic sense. I think we have something different to offer than most other standard bands.
Tell me about Black Forest Records and Black Forest Magazine...I downloaded the first issue and recommend it to others! What made you want to have your own record company and magazine?
The main idea behind Black Forest Records was to promote bands that I like and that in my opinion are underestimated and needs more promotions. It's not really a record company, but more like a webshop where I import quality music. And the reasons for making the Black Forest Magazine was to promote the same kind of bands that I do sell releases from in my webshop.
How long have you been working with Ketzer Records? They are releasing 'Varde'...? How does that work with Black Forest Records?
Yes, Ketzer Records was the main-label for both our albums. Black Forest Records is our Norwegian distributor and management. The cooperation work quite well, and I think it's a strength for the band that Black Forest Records is involved as well.
BlackForest.no has a section for books...a rare find amongst underground metal distros...what kind of books will we be able to find in your shop? Do you write your own?
I used to have the black book in stock earlier. This is the Norwegian version which used to be banned in Norway earlier. It included a lot of occult rituals. We've been planning to get more books in stock later, but nothing is sure yet. All in all it will be books about topics that catches my interest. I do not really have any plans about writing anything except music at the current time.
Tell me how you find time to do these projects!
Gjenferdsel, Black Forest Records and Zine...interviews...! Do you possess dark powers?!
That is not really all. I even play in 3 other projects where I work as the composer, so yeah, I sometimes lack time.
'Strid', the 5th track from 'Varde', strikes me as a completely different track from the other songs on the album...I can hear a lot of Black Sabbath influence, a older, bluesy metal sound...would you tell me about that track?
I can't really say that I hear the Black Sabbath influence myself. For me "Strid" is mostly inspired by Norwegian folk-music. It's maybe the song on the
album that is most influenced by folk-music, and therefore it sounds a bit different from the rest of the material. Actually "Strid" is the Norwegian word for "battle", and is about the individual battle that everybody has to fight.
What influences your lyrics? Your music? Do books inspire you to be creative, philosophy, nature, evil?
I think that a lot of things influences me when writing lyrics and music. Most of the lyrics are influenced by the individualism. I like to push people to reflect and think for themselves and make up their own minds about things, and stand for their own actions. I think that more people should try to learn more about themselves and develop their own thoughts. I think that I am mostly inspired by people and things that happens in my life, but of course I also find a lot of creative space like in for example the nature around me.
You guitar skills are dominant and drive the sound of 'Varde'...what kind of guitar do you prefer to play? What made you want to learn the guitar...?
Thanks a lot. For me, guitar skills are fully expressed through the art of composing and arranging songs of a certain quality. So it's really a great compliment for me! I'm using both Jackson and PRS guitars, but on "Varde" I used my PRS, which I also prefer to use live nowadays.
Are there live shows/tours in the works for supporting 'Varde'?
Actually, we just got home from a short mini-tour in Russia. It was two shows, and the response was really great. The feedback was amazing and we met a lot of great people there as well. We do not have any special plans for now in 2010, but we are thinking about doing something later this year. If not we will try to do some more massive playing next year.
How would you describe a GJENFERDSEL concert?
I don't really think that a concert can be described in any way to someone that hasn't been there, as experiences of concerts are individual. I don't think that Gjenferdsel is a standard black metal band. Anyway, we really received amazing feedback after our latest gigs in Russia.
Best Wishes for 2010...the last words are yours!!!
Thanks for the interview, and to everybody out there who are supporting us!