– Hello, lots of thanks for answering our interview. How is everything going into the CREST OF DARKNESS’ camp right now?
Things are going very well for us! The response on the new album has been amazing! I had a very good feeling before the release, I knew that we had made a very good album, but the feedback so fare has been even better than I had expected! With so much positive energy around us it’s easy to motivate and think forward. Right now we’re preparing for live-shows, first a few gigs in Norway, later an European tour.
– First off, I’ve always thought «Crest of Darkness» is a name that can hold different meanings but, why did you decide to name the band «Crest of Darkness»? What does it mean personally to you? Or maybe is it just a name that fits well your music?
You’re right when you say that Crest of Darkness is a name that can hold different meanings. I do have my own personal thoughts about it, for sure, but I won’t tell you… I mean, I prefer it to be like it is now, I don’t want to give people the “answer”. Like with my lyrics I think it’s a good thing when people can make up their own thoughts and ideas about my music. It’s perfect when the songs and the lyrics are starting to live “their own life” I think. –It’s the same with the bandname!
– Have been 6 years between «Give Us the Power to Do Your Evil» and your new «In the Presence of Death» so, what have you been up to during this time?
Family-matters is the key-word here…. Both me and others in the band have given our families our main priority over a longer period. This is perhaps not so good for our careers as musicians, but we’ve done what we think is right. We don’t care about others opinions when it comes to these kind of things. It must be said that we have played quite a lot together in these years. Only a few concerts, but we have rehearsed regularly, and all the time we’ve been ready for a “come-back”. We just had to find the right moment!
– And how have these years been? I mean, have you been collecting ideas for this new effort since your previous album came out or have you been into other things different to music?
I’ve already given you some of the answer I guess… We have played with Crest of Darkness all the time, we’ve worked on new songs together, but most of the song-writing is done by me at my home-place. When I have made a new song I’m presenting it to my band-mates, and then we start up rehearsing. The other musicians are lying quite a lot of themselves into the music, and I’m not dictating every single note they’re playing. I believe we’re getting the best results when everybody are given the freedom to take some personal decisions in how to play the songs. But the basic it’s there from the beginning. Beside of my musical career I’ve had another job in many years now, and as I’ve already told you I’m giving my family a high priority. Beside of this I have a lot of interests… Movies (I’m collecting vampire-movies), literature, occultism, Satanism, sport, it’s a looong list!
– In fact you are still working with My Kingdom Music so, considering the gap of time between those two records, I guess they won’t pressure you in that sense?
My Kingdom Music haven’t given us any kind of pressure at all, you’re right about that. We’ve been in touch regularly in all these years, and we’ve had a kind of a plan all the time… I must admit that I hadn’t expected that it should take so long this time, but it’s no-one to blame!
– On your music you have always mixed elements from different music styles but, after giving «In the Presence of Death» some spins I would dare say this time there’s a huge Heavy Metal influence. Do you share this thought?
Yes, I certainly do! In many ways I’m expressing big parts of my musical life through the music of Crest of Darkness. Sometimes when people ask me what I am, what kind of person I am… Well, sometimes I tell these people that I am a heavy rocker, it’s as simple as that! I don’t care very much about different styles of metal, I’m a heavy rocker, and I will always be that! I guess you can hear that by listening to my music!
– For instance «Welcome to my Funeral» reminds me a lot to MERCYFUL FATE. Has this band been an influence for you?
Mercyful Fate has always “been there”, but I won’t say that they’re among the bands I believe have influenced me the most. But I have of course got inspiration from many, many bands… Many times I don’t think I know myself what’s happening in the song-writing process. A lot of this work happens in a state of mind where things “just happen”……
– Anyway your music is so passionate and full of feelings, it seems is done straight from the heart but, on the other hand, the diversity is superb and seems well-thought. Due to this I would like to know how do you use to work on the songwriting process.
Ideas for new songs comes to my head all the time. Both for the music and the lyrics. I’m always going around with a lot of visions for coming projects… I get inspiration from my dreams, my Satanic belief, vampire mythology, history, religion, occultism, and much more… I’m a Modern Satanist, I’ve found my own way in life, but I have to mention the fact that I’m a follower of Anton LaVey and the religion he presented in the Satanic Bible in the 60’ties. When I as a quite young man learned to know the writings of LaVey it meant a lot to me, and it still do! Through the music of Crest of Darkness I’m presenting the darkest sides of myself, and it all comes straight from my heart…. Your feelings about that is absolutely correct! I’m not censoring myself during the songwriting-process. I just try to open up my mind, and hopefully some of my inner self “comes out” through my music. That’s what I’m searching for! As you understand I’m going around with a lot of ideas all the time. Now and then I’m sitting down, most times at home, and I’m writing down or recording some of these ideas. Some times I’m finishing a song with big parts of the arrangements ready when I’m sitting like this, other times I just have smaller parts. In the end it all ends up with a new album.
– In fact I think «In the Presence of Death» is even your most diverse effort so far. How important is versatility for CREST OF DARKNESS?
It’s very important! For me it’s a big challenge in making good songs with a lot of variations. It’s difficult, but it feels great when it works! With my songs I’m trying to take the listeners out on a journey in a dark world full of mysteries, full of possibilities… It’s a brutal world they’re meeting, but it’s also a lot of hope. At least I do feel that myself! By joining the dark forces, by building a stronger ego, by becoming “gods” I know that some people will feel quite uplifted by getting in touch with the dark forces. I’m just a normal man, but I can might be a catalyser for something bigger than myself?!
– It has also stood out the great balance you manage to get between brutality/aggressiveness and melody. Is it easy to get a good balance out of both opposite elements? I guess there’ no light without darkness, so there’s no brutality without melody either so, do you think this way you manage to get a more enjoyable final output and leave a bigger mark on the listener?
Sometimes I believe I’m thinking a little bit like the classical composers. I do combine different elements in a song to build up it up. It’s exactly as you said, the variations between brutality and melody, darkness and light… One of them wouldn’t work without the opposite part. Going from a melodic, moody part into a brutal dark part makes a special effect! The darkness feels even stronger and more terrifying! I love this kind of songs!
– I could also dare say «In the Presence of Death» is your most aggressive record to date so, is there any concrete reason behind this? Is each album you release a mirror of a certain moment in your life?
Again I do agree… The new album is with no doubt the most aggressive release from Crest of darkness so far! I don’t know why… It wasn’t really planned. When it comes to looking at our releases as mirrors of certain moments in life… Well, for sure all our albums are reflecting periods of my life. When I’m looking backwards in my musical career it says quite a lot about myself. I have changed through the years. I can see that. With my age I’ve become more self-secure, I don’t care what others think about me, I simply have the power to be myself in full! I’m my own god!!
– As I said earlier, the band’s name can hold different meanings depending on the person who figures it out, and the same goes to your lyrics. In fact I have always felt all your lyrics have, somehow, a real background, is it actually like this?
It’s a lot of fantasy, it’s a lot of strange things happening in my lyrics, but they’re all based on something deeper. It’s a story behind all my lyrics, even the most crazy ones! I guess that must be the reason why my songs seems to mean quite a lot for some people. Some people just understand… I don’t know how to explain this, but I’m quite sure you know what I mean. You also said that you felt that my lyrics had a real nackground. I like that!
– All this about your new opus being said; how could you describe it in just 3 words?
Aggression, Power, Satan!!
– You have already done a video for the song «Demon Child». Would you mind to elaborate a bit on how did the whole process go?
The video was actually filmed quite a long time before we had finished the recordings of the new album. Demon Child was one of the first songs we were happy with in the studio, and at a very early point we knew that this song was perfect for a video-clip. It shows different sides of the band. It has this typical change from pure aggression to a more atmospheric part… By the way, the video was made by Monitor Media. The same company that made the video for Druj Nasu from our last album Give Us The Power to Do your Evil.
– And finally, what are your near-future plans?
Promoting the album as good as possible! Making lots of interviews, getting in touch with fans, and perhaps most important of all: touring!! A french booking agency is working to make a European tour for us in the autumn, September to be more concrete. Hopefully they’ll succeed with their plans. I have agood feeling. We’ll play some gigs before that, a few dates in Norwegian cities are about to be conformed… Whatever, Norway is important for us, but now we’re looking very much forward to play in many European cities!
– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.
….what about these three words mentioned earlier in the interview?!! Aggression, Power, Satan!! And at last: Stay Metal!!! I hope to see some of you in the future! You dark souls shearing my world!! Hopefully I’ll see you from a stage somewhere!!! …in the meanwhile it would be nice if you listened to our music!!!!!