Latest release: Kvelertak (Indie/Riot!)Website:

They may no longer be coming out to see us for Soundwave Revolution, but we decided to chat to Kvelertak anyway, because guitarist Vidar Landa is one funny guy. Loud caught up with him and discussed getting your cock out for metal. Among other things.

Q: Everything happened for Kvelertak last year; the ball got rolling quickly. You played with Converge, Kylesa and Coliseum, played a hyped set at Sonisphere and your debut album was critically and popularly acclaimed. How would you describe the last year for Kvelertak in one word?
A: In one word? Amazing. It’s been a dream come true for every one of us; suddenly this is our job and we’re just very happy and very privileged to be doing this… I don’t think I can sum it up in one word (laughs).

Q: You worked with Kurt Ballou on the album. In the last few years he’s become one of THE premier producers on the metal scene and has a fantastic reputation. What was it like working with him?
A: First of all, it was the first time for all of us recording an album; none of us had ever done that before. So we were pretty nervous to go into Kurt’s studio as a new band and he’s also a really good guitar player as well so we were all pretty nervous to be playing in front of him. I think we had two or three days to set up stuff in the studio so we went out to buy some gear and we got to know each other so the vibe was really good when we started doing all the recording. He’s a great producer and it was great to work with him.

Q: Can you tell me anything about the artwork? It was done by John Dyer Baizley (also of Baroness fame) and he does a lot of tattoo-styled artwork; is there any significance behind it all?
A: We told him that he can do whatever he likes. Erland translated our lyrics into English for him and we said that we wanted something with owls because we’ve been using the owl as our symbol since we started playing in 2006. So that’s what he came up with and it looks fantastic.

Q: What’s the significance of the owl?
A: It’s just a cool animal; it looks cool. It doesn’t really mean anything to us beside that.

Q: Your album was definitely unlike anything I’d heard before. Living in Norway, there must have been a lot of black metal around you. Did you take those influences and find them stale, so changed up the sound a bit for your own unique sound?
A: I don’t think we consider ourselves black metal so we didn’t have any goal to change or do something new with black metal. I think there are still some really good Norwegian black metal bands, but there’s a bunch of other bands from Norway at the time; I don’t know if you’ve heard of a band called Haust, for example. A lot of new bands kind of take inspiration from the black metal scene and mix it up with hardcore punk and I think that’s definitely more interesting than hearing the same old black metal songs again and again, you know, like, Darkthrone and Mayhem and stuff.

Q: I’ve heard and read you guys being branded as “sell-outs.” How do you feel about this, especially seeing as you guys have broken a lot of ground and are paving the way for a lot of new bands?
A: We don’t really care about that. I haven’t heard that in a while now actually, so we don’t really pay attention to it at all. I think some people have too much time on their hands to talk shit and sit on the internet writing bullshit. We don’t really care about that at all.

Q: You guys have a fearsome live reputation… and I’ve heard that Erland (Hjelvik, vocalist) sometimes strips off and gets naked.
A: He usually does that if the show isn’t really good, so he tries to make everyone forget what they saw by pulling out his dick (laughs). So hopefully you’ll see a lot of flesh but I don’t know if you’ll want to see his penis.

Q: You were going to be here on the Revolution tour. How do you feel you would have gotten along with Watain, considering their very purist approach to black metal and you guys have blended their “religion” if you will, with hardcore and other influences and made something new?
A: We played a show with them at a festival this summer. So I don’t know if we get along that well. Erland is a very big fan of Watain. I don’t know if they like our music and I don’t really like theirs. They’re a great black metal band, but you don’t have to be friends with everybody.

Q: Who were you most looking forward to seeing on the line-up?
A: I think Alice Cooper, Van Halen, and Danzig. Maybe Hole and Cro-Mags. Gojira. There are a lot of bands that I haven’t really heard of as well.

Q: Do you know much about the Australian fan base?
A: Not that much. When the album came out in Australia, the response was really good; both the reviews and the fans writing on Facebook and emails. So I know we have a lot of fans that have been waiting for us to come to Australia but it’s hard to tell if it’s just those fifteen people writing on Facebook or if there’s more people so we’ll just have to wait and see.