Latest release: Satyricon (Roadrunner)
Satyricon will be adding a touch of the extreme and arcane to the Soundwave Festival line-up this year. Formed in the maelstrom of the Norwegian black metal scene in 1991, the two-piece act have established themselves as one of the genre’s foremost exponents and also famously once even toured with Pantera at the behest of Phil Anselmo. With their latest and self-titled album dominating all before it to hit number one in their home country, Loud spoke with drummer Frost about their philosophies, conquering Australia, and more.
Thanks for your time Frost. It’s going to be great to see you here soon and I know there’s a lot of people who are really looking forward to Satyricon coming to Australia.
Oh yes, and we are looking forward to coming down ourselves. It will be a great meeting between ourselves and our Australian fans
I’ve seen the schedule and you are playing in the middle of the afternoon. Is that unusual for Satyricon to play at a time like that?
Satyricon will conquer the stage no matter where or when.
I read an article recently about black metal bands that Satyricon was mentioned in and almost none of the other bands were either never black metal or aren’t black metal anymore – do you still consider Satyricon to be a black metal band?
I definitely see Satyricon as a black metal band – moreso now than ever before. You can call it whatever you like. If it speaks to you, it speaks to you and it doesn’t matter what you call it. To me it would be very weird to call it anything but black metal, because we have been tied or connected to that genre for our entire existence. We have our hearts and souls in just that genre. We are one of black metal’s spearhead bands! That’s how we’ve seen Satyricon. We have never been much darker than we have in later years.
What was the reasoning behind calling the latest album after the band?
We felt that Satyricon was very complete. This new album sums up everything that this band is about. We felt that at last we had found the missing part of the puzzle, and as this album was starting to take shape, and as the songs were emerging, we felt pretty much what it would be like, and it felt very natural to name the album after the band because it was such a massive and important work to us. We felt this album was truly a journey through the musical world of Satyricon. It takes you to deep valleys and over high mountains – it kinda has all of those facets of Satyricon. When an album like that came to us after five or ten years, the time was finally due to name an album after ourselves. It felt right, but it was also kind of a statement. A bold one, but one that certainly felt right.
You mentioned there that all the pieces have fallen into place and that this is the ultimate Satyricon statement. Does this then herald a new era for your band?
Yes I think so. Satyricon has never been standing still, that’s for sure. As musicians and as individuals we always try to move and to react, and that also brings development and we’ve always wanted the band to be like that. We’re not interested in stagnation or having the feeling that we are repeating ourselves or repeating an album over again. Sometimes the changes are on a minor level, and sometimes the changes that happen to a band are happening on a more major level. The latter happened this time. It was almost like a shift of paradigm for us. But I think that the process in the band when we were jamming and recording and producing the album is one that will take us way further and opened up a whole new musical territory that is available to us spiritually and artistically. So yes – I do feel that this is a new era for Satyricon. And an exciting one, I have to add.
So how has the Satyricon philosophy evolved?
For us it’s really about creating art and to create something that is larger than life. And we also want Satyricon to have a very strong sense of totality, so music and lyrics are in many ways expressed and conveyed in the same spiritual purpose. We always feel whenever we make an album, that music and lyrics, imagery and visuals, it all has to compare to the same sort and solicit that same kind of atmosphere. Apart from that, Satyricon is all about evolving and expanding and conquering. Satryicon has a strong conquering spirit and it’s as strong now as when the band was born.
You’re going to get the chance to conquer Australia soon, but in the festival setting you’ve only got a shorter set, so you’ll have less time to do the conquering.
You’re right about that! But you know, we just have to deal with that situation, having to play on this fest and being part of this giant package we have to deal with some limitations, obviously. On the other hand, we get to present, probably for the first time, to lots of people who haven’t seen us before and that’s a great opportunity, you know. Then we’re gonna have a couple of these side shows – Sidewaves – in Sydney and Melbourne, I believe? You get to play longer sets there, so quite a few fans will be able to hear the more indepth experience as well and we’ll play more and get to show what the real Satyricon experience is all about.
I know a lot of bands have used Soundwave as a gateway for coming out and doing headlining tours later on, so do you see a possibility for that to happen in the future?
Well we would be more than happy to be able to tour later because we enjoy being in Australia and we think our fans there are truly great and if things go right you will see us again, absolutely.
Obviously the album has only been completed recently, but where do you hope to take Satyricon into the future?
Oh, it’s difficult to say, and I’m actually happy to say that’s it’s hard to predict where we will be going, because the future feels very open. The only thing I know is that things will happen. Many doors are open to us, and getting to work with it and seeing it start to happen and starting to work on new material is really exciting to us. The only thing I know is that it’s still gonna have that kind of energy that’s always been part of Satyricon, but I also expect some unexpected elements in our music and going in weird places as well. That’s part of the fun.
It’s always been interesting following your career path, and that there’s still things you’re hoping to achieve, and I guess that’s all part of being a musician and an artist.
Absolutely. That’s our idea of it.
Thanks for your time today, Frost. Do you have anything final you’d like to add?
I prefer communicating musically. It’s a stronger tool than anything else that I can muster, anyway.
Catch Satyricon at Soundwave:
22/2: RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane QLD
23/2: Olympic Park, Sydney NSW
28/2: Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne VIC
1/3: Boynthon Park, Adelaide SA
3/3: Arena Joondalup, Perth WA
They are also appearing with Gwar, Amon Amarth and The Black Dahlia Murder:
26/2: Factory Theatre, Sydney NSW
27/2: 170 Russell. Melbourne VIC