– Hello, lots of thanks for answering our interview and, first of all, congratulations on your new album. How is everything going into the DARKTHRONE’s camp right now?

Beats me, we didn’t have a camp since summer 92 since the others moved away haha Easter is coming up, I have done interviews since mid December, this is nr 75 actually Ted seems to be starring in a movie and is busy with that. Plus there are new rules for doing accounting here, so I had to learn that on top of it all

– You have just released your new album, «The Underground Resistance». How is its feedback being? As when «Leave no Cross Unturned» was posted online, if I’m not mistaken, it got mixed opinions.

Everything we do get mixed opinion, if I eat a sandwich people has mixed opinion. It seems all the right people like it, I never in my life COMBINED got so much great feedback from a song, that is until they heard Valkyrie when people got to hear the whole album. So I am happy. Ofcourse I know where the cesspool of opinions are too, but I don’t want to go to that garbage dump. It’s just the forums again, the internet battlefields. Hah, in the 80s when we had our own slow internet called global metal underground, there was no forum or commentary field. You had to make you own radio show, band or fanzine to voice your opinion. So opinions were strong.


– «The Underground Resistance» is a pretty strong title, in fact I think it says it all about the album and the band, it seems to mirror perfectly your spirit but, why did you decide to entitle the album like this?

It says more about the force we are part of, the force that can save Cirith Ungol from being a forgotten band. The force that made NWOBHM great again, and not forgotten. And the ones that made 2012 the biggest year for music that sounds like the 70s since the actual 70s itself! Thank you!!!


– After giving the album some spins, the first thing that caught my attention was the great and heavy bass sound. Was this result something you were looking for?

We have gradually, veeeery gradually, put more an more bass into our sound, in 1992 when having done the under a funeral moon album (our only real great black metal album) we were one of the most TREBLE bands in the world, ice cold sound. But now we play old metal with old sound and ofcourse need the phat bass that was typical for Scandinavia in early 80s, like HEAVY LOAD for instance. This was further aided by Jack from world burns to death which had long wanted to master us, knowing exactly what we needed. He gave us a good phat bass-organic punch.


– It also caught my attention the tune «Come Doom, the Entire Warfare», with a start influenced by Doom Metal I could say, something unusual for you. Will you explore further this kind of sound on future releases?

Nah, we always had slow riffs. Aaaaalways, except on transilvanian hunger. We liked slow stuff always, and were obsessed by black Sabbath and so on always. I just found an old logo I made for darkthrone, says death epic doom metal. This was what I wanted to do with darkthrone in 1988 but I learnt to never make plans cuz they just change by coincidence and naturally as well. However, you have a point, cuz we usually made other slow riffs, and not many like the one you talk about, cuz it sounds like Ted and 1st Candlemass album fused there.


– Some people think melody is opposite to a dark and evil atmosphere, but I think with a less extreme sound than on some of your earlier albums, it’s easier to notice that kind of atmosphere, something I personally missed from Heavy/Speed Metal albums of the 80’s, or even 70’s Rock. Would you agree with this? Is there anything in particular that inspires your atmospheres?

People decide for themselves what they think is dark and evil atmosphere. Doesn’t have to have anything to do with black METAL. It’s a very confused music style, it wasn’t a lot of confusion about it in the years up to 1992. We all knew it was metal with a darker edge than usual. Then came all the idiots and tried to make rules for what is black metal and what is not. And then I had to try and stop that buy also having to say what was BM and what wasn’t. so the idiots completely fucked up the whole thing. So its kind of before and after 1994 for me, although it’s never like it is ONE year when shit happens, its more complicated. Melody in itself isn’t …anything, it is WHAT KIND of melody and WHAT KIND of rhythm that you put to it. But one can skip focussing maximum on these things by creating an overlaying atmosphere as well. Anyway, either one has it or one hasn’t. I can’t learn anyone how to be bm, the bm is there, in various releases from the 80’s, it’s there for everyone to hear and it’s too bad with all that misunderstand it. Anyway, I haven’t really played black metal in ten years, but I still know what gives me the bm feeling. What I am doing is making old metal with old sound. Heavy and speed doesn’t have to be very dark to be good, I prefer the beautiful speed metal songs from that era as inspirational source for me anyway, as much as I like heavy metal maniac by exciter and so on, that’s not a style I think I can do so well, I rather do like UNIVERSE from Sweden 85 or something. And I have plenty of dark heavy blues based rock from the 70s and 60 too.


– On all your albums you’ve had a slightly new approach; is this a way of keeping things interesting and fresh for you as artists? Anyway, your music has always felt to me so natural and true that it seems you don’t plan anything on it, but just do what you feel like.

Well, we never discuss it. It just happens. We write on our own since summer of 91 after we had recorded a blaze in the northern sky, so we don’t know what the other guy is making until we meet to record the songs. Two and two songs. each time since 2005. So you are correct.


– Some of your previous albums already had this Speed/Heavy vibe but with Punk elements, and on «The Undergound Resistance» we can’t find so many Punk touches. Maybe each album you release reflects in some way the music you are listening on that moment? Is each album a mirror of a certain time in your life?

Yeah, i said just that in several interviews. But it takes much longer time to alter your own style a bit than just changing records on the turntable, so it is a gradual shift. Also with the punk thing, i did that metalpunk for a while but wanted to make sure the style didn’t get into a trend and misunderstood as i already heard some examples of that styles with treble bass drums and i wanted to not contribute to the genre being invaded more. I want that style to sound like 85 english dogs or 87 warfare.


– In general the sound and spirit on this album reminded me to the «Thulcandra» demo for instance, with really epic moments. Anyway from that demo on you evolved really fast. Do you feel it’s like DARKTHRONE has had several chapters?

Well, we see it from the inside and know how slow and gradual the shifts have been, you see it from the outside in albums (chapters) so you think in chapters. We think more song by song. I guess that’s natural. Again. But i think all 3 demos up to and counting with thulcandra was epic, they had accoustic parts (i mean some stuff when fuzz on the guitars were turned off) and that was always me making that. But i had to let my own ideas go, i had to let my vocals go, i would instead make Isengard and let darkthrone be a better band with the other guys writing more stuff and Ted singing. This desicion was taken in early 1989. So then it was chapter two, technical horror death metal. And then all the different black metal albums, let’s say counting all the way up to and with SARDONIC WRATH although we were, to me, CLEARLY freestyling again like we did in 88 on the hate them album, it was all kinds of genres but since it had one vocal and black cover and so on, people liked it as a black metal album. But it’s a mix of almost as many styles as we are now.


– In production terms you haven’t evolved that much, with that I mean you always provided a really «old school» sound, really primitive and organic. Due to this I would like to know how do you use to record/produce your albums.

Since 2005 we got the necrohell 2 PORTABLE studio. We set it up, it haasn’t got many channels, and we can only use two of them with reverb/echo. So we use that for solo and vocals. So many albums since 2005 we played with guitar and drums in the same room, instruments leaking onto eachother. Then on the last two albums, more or less, we recorded with the guitar in another room. Easier to master then. And then afterwards recording more guitars and vocals. Then Ted mixes too, at home, also singing at home. I have to sing on the evening of the recording day as i go home the next day.


– It’s obvious you are strongly influenced by 80’s music so, how would have DARKTHRONE been musically without that influence? Would the band have existed without that inspiration?

Without the 80s? We would have played 70s and 60s style. We both would have wanted to play black sabbath style, and Ted with some Blue Cheer and me with some Uriah Heep, i think. Thats what would happen if we met in 78 instead of 88, i guess.


– You have never been afraid of evolving and doing what you want, but there’s a lot of people that still consideres DARKTHRONE a Black Metal band. Do you feel comfortable about it?

It’s just strange, as anyone who are our age know that we arent, we are a conglomerate of 80s styles. . If they only want that period91-94 then that’s fine, but many of the arguments are weak.mostly it’s people who got into metal then, not knowing about where metal was before. It is very hard to talk to them. When we have so different backgrounds. I was always searching to find maniacs like myself and that’s why i fit in well with the global underground scene since 87.


– All the aforementioned said about «The Underground Resistance», how could you describe it in just 3 words?



– I guess everyone knows you are a music passionate, and 2013 looks like a promising year musically, with great albums that have been recently released and other great albums still to come (as SATAN, ARKHAM WITCH, PURSON, OKKULTOKRATI and so on). Due to this, if you don’t mind, I would like you to tell us what have been some of the most positive surprises so far and what are some of the albums you are looking forward to hear.

The new (and last) BLACK MAGIC songs for upcoming high roller records vinyl release are the best heavy metal ever made in norway. Purson and blood Tsunami albums are a pleasant surprise. Then i look forward to the CONDOR and OBLITERATION albums, but in general it has been almost 25 years since i really looked forward to an album, i was by then so many times dissapointed i learnt not to anticapate but insteead just take new music as it comes. I was waiting for SLAUGHTER from Canada and first DEATH album, they were both great, and the first AUTOPSY albums. That’s the last time i got really satisfied. Then i waited for the first nocturnus album but is sounded lame compared to the demos. This happened all the time back then. But anyway, as much as i learnt from it, you can see in my answer i still anticipate albums a bit. And i also get surprised positively by something i haave looked forward to hear. I just don’t live with those expectations like i did when i was in my teens.


– On your «Band of the Week» we can find some Spanish bands such as KÖRGULL THE EXTERMINATOR or DISHAMMER but, are there any other Spanish bands you are into?

Well, we mastered Circle The Wagons to a cd with BARON ROJO, later bought that first baron rojo on vinyl and should have mastered after that, hahha. But i haven’t got a lot of metal from spain. Machetazo ar cool and ruinebell, seems like Dopi is the king of good sound down there, hehe


– And finally, what can we expect from you form now on? I’ve read some of the songs on this album were already done in 2010 so, do you already have any new tracks for an upcoming effort?

Yeah, we probably have 3 BUT THIS TIME none are recorded. No time, all the interviews and then the movie Ted is starring in seems to take our time. And we want to not stress things now, this album still takes it’s toll on us. We record when we feel like it.


– That’s all, thank you once more for answering our questions. If you want to add some final words; feel free to do it.

Yeah, listen to HOUR OF 13. Here is a list of songs I like this week and last week:

The revillos – motorbike beat SCOTLAND 80

The maggots – lets get lets get tammy wynette USA 80

THE SPITS – dropout USA 2000

LOS REACTORS – dead in the suburbs USA 1980

THE HASKELS – taking the city by storm USA 1980)

THE MARKED MEN – we won’t talk about it USA 2003

THE DIRTBOMBS – they hate us in Scandinavia USA 1999

COCKNEY REJECTS – war on the terraces UK 1980

THE MAIDS – back to Bataan USA 79

The nights of the new crusade – secret sign USA 2004


Tania Giménez


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