– Hello, thanks for your time. What’s currently keeping SVARTTJERN busy?
HaaN: Well, as you can imagine SVARTTJERN is busy promoting the new album, doing tons of interviews and other promotional related stuff. Besides this we are rehearsing in the new live set consisting of most of the tracks from the new album as well as negotiating for some gigs next year. And I am writing three tracks for the next Ep which we will record early next year.
– You will soon release your second full-length studio album, so I guess there are some people who aren’t familiar with you yet so, could you please start making some history of the band?
HaaN: SVARTTJERN was forged in 2003 by HansFyrste and myself. Skabb, Grimdun, Fjellnord joined later that year, started immediately doing live shows and have been ever since. Have recorded two demos and one promo. Released our debut album “Misanthropic Path of Madness” in 2009. Plays true Norwegian black metal.
– And why did you pick the name «Svarttjern»? Both its origin and meaning.
HaaN: The name SVARTTJERN is taken from a painting by the Norwegian artist August Cappelen during the national romantic period in arts. The painting in itself describes darkness and wilderness, which I feel can both describe SVARTTJERN music as well as well as the members view in life. It has nothing to do with “blacktarn” as we sometimes get called, it is more to it than google translate.
HaaN: Numbers of things, but first and foremost because we are a independent band, by choice. This caused things to take a bit longer, but ten times more satisfying when we first got signed. We never bothered eagerly fitting in to the so-called scene in Oslo, which is often the way to get signed, by friends and other bands etc. Actually glad that it took a while, and we had to record demos etc, the band grew on experience and the debut would not have been as good had it been sooner.
– As I said, your latest «Towards the Ultimate» will come out in some weeks; what are your expectations?
HaaN: Our expectations are high, naturally, the whole process of from start to finish a whole album is long, and have taken tremendous effort from the band and all other involved. For me personally I am of course curious of the reactions, especially from the fans. As Towards The Ultimate is a bit different from the debut.
– And how could you describe the album in just a few words?
HaaN: Brutal, intelligent and pure.
– I noticed this album is more varied than «Misanthropic Path of Madness»; was this something planned or just a natural evolution?
HaaN: By far evolution. When compared we actually used tracks on the MPoM album which was written back as far as 2004-05, the whole creative process on the Towards The Ultimate album took only 3-4 months, and the band has of course got better since then.
– In fact songwriting is quite varied as well, making the final outcome quite entertaining. How do you think your musician and songwritingship has evolved since your debut record?
HaaN: All the members in SVARTTJERN can play their instruments, can`t stand that it has become cool to brag about how much they suck at their instrument and how little time they spent in the studio, makes not sense to me at all. For our part, we have evolved much since the debut, not only technical improvements, but the general band has become better, interacts better, being able to read each other live and during rehearsals. In terms of improved technical abilities, this helps me when writing the tracks, I rarely have to consider if we can play it or not, when that being said we also have limitations of course. My perception is that SVARTTJERN has a clear advantage in that we are still 4 out of 5 original members, this helps a lot when it comes to musicianship and general style etc.
– This being said, compositions are well crafted and seem pretty well-cared so, how was the songwriting for this CD? Was an spontaneous effort?
HaaN: Nothing spontaneous, never on my part. I wrote the whole album in my own studio, nothing to fancy,
– I can hear in your sound influences from Swedish Black Metal or even some Death Metal elements but; what are the band’s main musical influences?
HaaN: Hard to say, personally I try to distance myself from music when writing, primarily just to be confident that the music I write is mine, and mine alone. But: Of course the will be similarities here and there, it is a relatively small genre, and certain “ingredients” are identical , for example tremolo picking and blast beats. As cliché as it might sound, I often get inspired when I experience new places, could be anywhere.
– I read in the promo page lyrics are somehow similar to the lyrical content in your previous effort but, unfortunately, haven’t found them so; could you please shed some light on this and on the main concepts behind SVARTTJERN?
HaaN: This is impossible for me to answer. HansFyrste has his own thematic in the lyrical aspects of SVARTTJERN, he creates lyrics, I create music, as simple as that.
– And what about the album’s artwork?
HaaN: I am extremely satisfied with the work Jonathan of Necromatic art did, think is suits the album very well. I sent Jonathan one or two tracks and gave him full artistic freedom, this was the result. As the Misanthropic Path of Madness album cover caused so much trouble, with the censorship and cover card etc, it was great to don`t have to think about that.
– This is your first record with Agonia Records; how did you hook up with them? And are you satisfied with this cooperation so far?
HaaN: So far very pleased, seems they have done their job as we have done ours. Seems the album is being promoted and are available everywhere.
– For your previous album you recorded a video for «Code Human»; are this time around plans for any other clip?
HaaN: Yes, we actually have a similar version of the “Breathing Soil” tracks, which was recorded at the same time, haven`t decided when to release it yet, but soon I would imagine.
– Svarttjern has been given the TNBM label, something not many bands can boast about. Do you think this has given the band some kind of «promotion»?
HaaN: Well promotion is the key word here, as the “label” is being a bit washed out, we see it as quality mark and a way of promotion, nothing more nothing less.
– Finally, what are your near-future plans? Will be easy to see you guys on stage and deal with RAGNAROK’s schedule?
HaaN: Yes, this causes the planning to be a bit more important. But, I will rather do 5 quality shows than 50 shitty ones, we are first and foremost a live band so we are always up for offers and doing live shows.
– That has been all from my side, thanks once more for your time. If you want to add any final words; feel free to do it.
HaaN; Thanks for your interest in the band, hopefully we will see as many of your readers on tours the following years and of course dra til hælvette!
On behalf of the band
HaaN oF SVARTTJERN!