Legendary Black Metallers Gorgoroth are back with not only their new album but a new line-up. With the legal traumas behind main man Infernus his evil focus is now firmly on re-establishing the band as the crowm jewel in the world of Black Metal. Jules went along for the ride.

 
Hi Infernus, how is everything with you?
Hello you. Everything is fine, never better, thanks. The air has been properly cleansed and all senses are sharp.
Gorgoroth's new album Quantos Possunt Ad Satanitatem Trahunt has just been released. What has been the initial reaction to the record?

It seems to be really good indeed. Pre-sale figures are good, and so are the few reviews I have read. People I know and respect are fond of it, and so are we. We are really happy with what we did this time and feel we really delivered as much as we were capable of. It is exciting for us these days, indeed it is.

The album was written amidst very difficult circumstances with the departures of King Ov Hell and Gaahl along with the legal wrangle over the name of the band. How did you go about keeping focused on the music with all of this going on around you?

I tried my best to maintain a certain focus through isolating myself from the rest of the world as much as I could. Especially from the media circus I suddenly found myself to be a part of. I immediately took care of the most urgent necessities; hiring in attorneys and seeking good help from a few rather resourceful and trustworthy persons who I am lucky to know, then spending as much time as the circumstances allowed me to in the studio with the rest of the band. When that has been said, some half of the album was already written prior to these problems, so we had plenty of time to work through the album as much as we wanted. Recording, tearing it down again, re-arranging it, re-recording it and so on. And we also took total control of the production this time, Asklund and me, and we had all the time we needed. Being aware of that gave us very strong spirits which lasted through the whole process. We knew we would win, and we knew we would make this the album of my life.

It must be very difficult given the court case to be able to look back on your time with Gaahl and King Ov Hell with any fondness, have the events soured your memories and the music you created?

I choose not to spend too much time thinking about matters like that. The past is the past, and I can only confirm that they had their one and only chance with me. they will never get another one.

As a result of all these external forces conspiring against you and the name Gorgoroth, do you think the direction of the music changed at all from the vision you had when you began writing the album?

No, I would not say so. Not at all. Nevertheless, it is an inevitable fact that by choosing who to bring with you into the process of creating an album - that be people in the line-up or 3rd parties like engineers or producers - it goes without saying that you let these people brand their qualities into the product as well. The album would never have turned out as it did without the total of the situation we have now gone through and without the contributions of Asklund, Watkins and Pest. They branded their mark onto the product - a product I am really proud of having had the chance to make with them.

At any time did you feel like giving up and writing / performing under a different name?

Why should I? The main ideas are mine, so was the choice of the band's name. And it was always my intention to continue. When some 7th generation bass-player who I once invited into the band tried to do what he did, I knew I could not lose. There was no chance. No chance and no choice. I let him and his conspirators have their time in the media, lying and propagating untruths after untruths, while I was counting the days until the somewhat slow Norwegian court system gave it a go and I could strike back and put an end to the mess in a matter of three days.

Quantos Possunt Ad Satanitatem Trahunt was almost exclusively written by you, was the writing process for the previous albums such an isolated experience? Is there a formula you follow or is each song created in a different way to the last?

it is really difficult to try to explain all the how's and why's behind it turning out the way it did, or how my approach is when aiming at getting into a state of inspiration. Such attempts often turn out rather ridiculous anyways, and I shall spare you for that. On the other hand, isolation - isolation and time to contemplate on what you do and where your aims are, are always for the best. If you ask for my opinion, at least. I have to cut down hard on everyday hassle and noise, and I try taking care of whatever obstacles there are in terms of administrative tasks or others during daytime. Then, when the neighborhood and most others are at sleep, I can enjoy, by myself, the winds of funeral evil blowing for the next hours. It gives meaning and it is my idea of fun. That is what, for the time being, results in music I can say I feel good enough about to be able to present to the world.

In the past the band has refused to publish your lyrics both in the album itself and on any website. I presume Quantos Possunt Ad Satanitatem Trahunt will again follow this trend, what is the reason behind you guarding against publications?

There are many reasons, and these are the main ones: in the beginning we tried to simplify the cover artwork to an absolute minimum, removing most of the information we did not deem to have any other function than to distract the listener and take away the attention from what was the core of what we wanted to present. We also had ridiculously low budgets in terms of hiring in graphical assistance and, childish as it may perhaps sound, we wanted to build a certain kind of fence around the band by creating some kind of mystery around what we did. Making us less approachable, so to say. Also, there was not always exactly great poetry at use. I could not ever claim so. Thus after a few years, we found ourselves positioned in a kind of a self-defined tradition - in terms of not releasing the lyrics - which we never gave that much of a thought to before. and as far as I am concerned, I have always been of the opinion that less is often more. One should not always need to please all and everyone at whatever cost. as in for example, we never played any really long set-lists live. This is for a reason. Nor had any of our albums ever a long playing time. This is for keeping the receiver wanting for more. We want an alert audience, an audience with pointed ears. It does not have to be regarded as any more hocus pocus than this. But a last reason I will have to bring in, which is in fact a very valid reason to me: the fact that I do not in any way find it charming or satisfying to know about anyone at all trying to do their own more or less interesting cover versions of our material. I deem it as not good for me. or us. or them. People should try getting something done by themselves, from scratch - to bring out the best in themselves. to be themselves! Speaking of which: we should not forget that we recently actually had a cover band, a somewhat special one and that was a rather sad affair. To judge that part isolated: I would of course have preferred to be without it.

The album sees the return of Pest and Tormentor to the ranks of Gorgoroth. How did you get back in contact with them and ultimately decide they were the right people for the job?

I was in touch with them all the time. As is natural when taking into account that they are old friends of mine, both of them. I knew perfectly well their capacities and ideals, and I knew that to bring them in again was 100% according to what I wanted. The real deal. Well-functioning grown ups able to pull in the same direction, not some guys with egos not fitting in for the best of the goals and standards of the band.

The album also features recording debuts of Tomas Asklund and Frank Watkins (Obituary). Frank might seem to many a strange choice given the geography issue and is Death Metal back ground. How did you guys hook up?

We hooked up long time ago, and have been friends for a while. I have always had great respect for both of the guys' personalities and professional attitudes. Their CV's should speak for themselves. I chose them for the same reasons as I chose the two above mentioned and I did of course not choose according to what would be most practical (i.e., them being from the neighborhood or living close by), but according to how I wanted the band to continue, and I saw they would both fit in and do the job which the ambitions demanded.

What do you think all the new members have brought to the band and the bands overall sound?

They have done their job and delivered exactly what was needed for the album to become as it did and I am really proud of them. Craftsmanship, devotion, trustworthiness and attitude. the list goes on.

The album was recorded in Monolith Studio with co-producer Tomas Asklund. Was it difficult to have a band member help produce the record or did it make the process easier?

Easier! We had no-one to argue with, and we had a good time in which we were keeping up a more or less constructive attitude all the way through. It was exciting as well, since we knew we were ready to do such kind of a production ourselves. We were just not 100% sure exactly how to get it done. so, after a lot of work we became satisfied. This was the first time in the history of the band it was done this way, and by what we achieved we are convinced and have decided that this will be the model which we will continue to use on the next album. An album which we already started working on in the end of September, yeah!

The album is released again through Regain Records. Given some of your negative experiences with record labels over the years what made you choose Regain as the label that meet your needs?

They are a small label, and to be frank with you they have both their pros and cons, as do all labels this size but they are dedicated guys and people I get along with on a personal level. The first part I take for granted, but the latter point... it's not too bad in itself, right? I am also happy to have witnessed that when things became a bit tough, they could be counted on. This, needless to say, means a lot to me. Loyalty being returned for loyalty, in other words what on the other hand might not have been perfect with other labels before them, is a matter of privacy. It is at least not suitable for me to run to the media with.

What plans do you have to tour in support of Quantos Possunt Ad Satanitatem Trahunt? Do you feel your music translates to the live environment?

We did already a couple of shows here in Norway in which we tested out two of the new tracks and it went as I predicted - I am very satisfied. There are a lot of songs on the new album which will fit in perfectly in a future live set. We will continue doing live appearances and touring, as long as we get to do it on our terms, not having to compromise for any other people's wishes. It is about time to get it our way now. We have got hold of a new booking agency for the European territory, the same as Obituary has been using for some seven years now and I am sure they will be able to help us out of this last in a long line of problematic situations, as we just could not help but fire the agent we used up until 2007, worthless as he was. With the help of Henry Klaere & Co I am sure we are not only getting to play a bit more live, but that we are going to get it done properly as well all in the name of Satan when the time is right we will be happy to update you on this matter.

Do you feel Black Metal is still as potent as it once was, or do you feel the message the genres forefathers conveyed has been diluted over the years?

One can discuss this for a whole evening without reaching any form of agreement on it and I can not even come to terms with it myself, whether the answer should be a straight yes or a no. To cut through and try coming up with a point here: things were good earlier, right. The general atmosphere was good, there was a high pressure in between the people in the scene and there was a certain kind of commitment which I seldom see. That was the nineties, and they will never be again, on the other hand: now, as the world seems to drown in quantitative attempts on living up to what was done earlier on (with all kinds of silly new and alternative interpretations of what at least I hold as being the one and only key to understanding what exactly black metal is) there are a few who have become older and who at the same time maintained their hardness of character. Perhaps also even matured a bit, and by that giving more integrity to the satanic foundation upon which the metal should be presented. It is a matter of perspectives and what you are capable of perceiving some people cannot see the forest for just trees. That is seemingly unavoidable. History repeats itself: Black Metal is not for everyone and man is not yet ready for the coming of the age of Satan.

Thanks for taking the time to do the interview, what is next for Infernus and Gorgoroth?

Thank you too. Now it is time to do more or less exactly the same as always before work and strive in order to improve ourselves. Spend more time in the studio and writing music. Satanic Metal music and to get done with some more live shows. Zu den zachen!

 
 
All images are copy right of Regain Records.
 

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