Interview from The Executioner Webzine
Conducted by Jeroni Sancho
Also features: Horna, Elffor, Agalloch++


It's hard to have a surprise coming from the norwegian Black Metal scene these last times, having been as saturated as we all know it was, but without any doubt the first album of this young band called Gjenferdsel means fresh air for that. Mr. Iudex answered our questions with great detail.

Hails, how is all going up there? I'm very pleased to make you some questions after that great piece of Black Metal you released entitled "I". What about starting with it?

1.- Gjenferdsel is a young band, so I'd like you to introduce us a bit into the begginings of it and where do the two parts of it came from? Why did you choose Black Metal? Which is the meaning of your monicker?

The band was started in 2002 by me and Iratus. We released our demo in 2004. Then Invictus was first hired as a bass-player, but he soon replaced Iratus on drums. Ketzer Records in Germany found our material interesting and wanted to sign us for a record deal. Infestus joined the band on bass, and we entered Space Valley Studio early 2006. During the summer we played a couple of concerts, and we released our debut album in autumn 2006. The name of the band was in my head already before the band was founded. I thought the name would fit perfect to a black metal band, and so I still think. The word "gjenferdsel" is really not a Norwegian word you will find in dictionaries. The word comes from the Norwegian word "gjenferd", which means spook/ghost, and "ferdsel" which means journey or travel. "Gjenferdsel" is meant to be a spiritual journey of death.

2.- Your first album, "I", was released after only one demo from 2004, which is quite impressive because of it's quality. Where you contacted by Ketzer Records because of that demo or how did the contract emerge? Which are the biggest differences between both releases? With which points "I" are you more and less satisfied?

I think the demo is the main reason for the contact with Ketzer Records. Alex at Ketzer ordered our demo, and I think he liked what he heard. And that's probably the reason why we was signed there. I definitely think theres a long way from the demo and the album. The main differences is of course the sound. But technically the music has also evolved a lot. I also think that the structure and arrangements of the songs are much better on the album. I don't thing there is anything exact we would change on the album, except maybe made the sound a little more dirty. Away from this we are very satisfied with the album.

3.- Still speaking about your first album, we can say you play Black Metal with a norwegian sound, although I wouldn't say "typical", as I can find some really original riffs here and there, but I think the influence from Immortal for example can't be denied. So, what do you think about that? Which have been, in your oppinion, the biggest influences on Gjenferdsel's music?

My goal has never been to create typical and genuine old school Norwegian black metal. I think we are a black metal band that is thinking new, without leaving our roots. We have some primitive riffs, but also some more original riffs as you say. Immortal is of course a band that I've been listening to. Some other bands that I've been listening to a lot is Taake, Windir and Kampfar. But I think that my own thoughts and moods have a bigger influencial impact on me than other bands.

4.- The cover of the album shows a landscape which I imagine is from your country, and in the picture in the center of the booklet we can see you in that landspace bearing a norwegian flag, without forgettint that your lyrics are sung in norwegian, so: is your country really important for Gjenferdsel's music and lyrics? Which feelings does it transmit to you? What are the lyrics speaking about? Don't you think nowadays there are some bands that are misunderstanding the concept of "paganism" or "nationalism" and mixing it with too much political stuff?

Our country is definitely important for us as Norway is the origin of black metal. Norway is known as the snowy, cold, dark and mysterious country in the north. The nature here is very beautiful, and definitely creates good inspiration for creating music and lyrics of this kind. The lyrics of Gjenferdsel has both a normal plot, but at the same time a deeper and more symbolic meaning. Usually the plot takes place in our nature, forests etc. in a medival period, while the symbolic part is more about struggling with your inner self, individualistic strength and deeper philosophy. And I definitely agree with you, "paganism" or "nationalism" has nothing to do with political stuff, and should never be mixed together.

5.- What about the live activity of the band? I imagine that being only two persons is quite a handicap, but, did you do some shows after the release of "I" with the help of live musicians? Have you received any offer to play outside tour country? With whom and where would you like to do it?

Actually we are three persons in the band now, me on vocals and guitars, Invictus on drums and Infestus on bass. This is also the line-up we've been playing live with. We did two concerts in the summer before we released our album, and one concert after the release. And now we've been confirmed to play at Walpurgis Metal Days in Germany. This is a big festival for us which we are looking forward to perform at.

6.- Seeing the good response towards your first album, not only on our webzine, I can only think Gjenferdsel is not going to stop its activities for the moment. Which are the future plans for the bands now? Have you started writing new songs? By the way, how does the band work, being only two members? You both work on composition or it is only work of one of you? Will your sound suffer some sort of change or you will keep on exploring the same kind of sound we can listen to in "I"?

The future plan is to play some concerts and we are also talking about making a second album. We already have some new songs, and I'm completely sure that fans of our debut album, will like these songs a lot. As we speak, I'm the only composer of the band, but sometimes the other members is helping with arranging the songs. I think we have developed a little from our first album, but you will never get any hocus pocus from us.

7.- Some time ago I received a comment of you on myspace, and it seems you're a band who makes a good use of the internet as a promotional tool, so, what do you think about it? Some people claim this ain't so good, that in the old days it was better as all this wasn't so easy to achieve and the ones who did it were really into the scene. Do you think it is good or bad that people can be able to listen to so much music? What about the mp3 downloads?

The negative part of the internet phenomenon is definitely all the young new black metal bands with drum-machines who spread their music as mp3`s. This is completely uninteresting, and all people should avoid these kinds of "artists". I don't think promotion on the internet is wrong in itself, as long as it is done properly. For big bands maybe mp3 is a problem, but for us I think it's only good promotion. You know, even magazines are becoming webzines, and I think we are loosing more and more of the printed zines. I'm not completely sure as I like this evolution as I'm still one of them who enjoy having the magazine in my hands, but this is the evolution, and there is nothing we can do about it.

8.- The norwegian Black Metal scene doesn't need to receive any presentation, we all know about it since some years ago now, but nowadays it is still conceiving some great bands(I can think about Koldbrann for example recently), although not as much as before, and even some bad ones who seem to have some recognition only for coming out of your country, just like happens in Sweden or Finland too. What do you think about that? As fas as I know, one of you has a distro, so, if it turns into as label: which new bands would you sign from your country?

I think that Norway probably has the best black metal bands in the world, and always will. I don't know why, but it may have something to do with the climate and environments here. About Black Forest Records I've been thinking about creating a label out of it, but I'm not sure yet. And therefore it's already to decide which bands to sign or not. But I think Norway really have some good black metal acts at the moment, like for example Elite and Kampfar.

9.- Some short choosing ones: (please explain why did you choose them)

- Immortal or Taake:
Taake for not being a complete sell-out.

- Politics or religion: Religion, from a historical point of view.

- Earth or water: Earth, as I live in the mountain parts in Norway, far away from the sea.

- Paganism or atheism: Atheism, but a slight interest in paganism.

- Past or future: Hard to say. I'm really curious on what the future will bring us, but at the same time I'm also interested in the past and my origin.

10.- Thank you a lot for your time and receive my best luck for the future of Gjenferdsel. I you want to add something else, it's your time...

Thanks for the interview! Sterkest står den ene!