A few days before they hit the stage of Fuzz Club (Athens – January 23rd, 2018), Satyricon’s Frost talks to Metal Invader about their new album, ‘Deep Calleth Upon Deep’ and more…
Hello Frost. First of all, thank you for your time, I think this is so valuable in the middle of a tour. In what phase are you now?
– At this point we have toured central Europe, South America and done a leg in our home country as well. We are soon to visit Greece, Israel and Russia, will then do a few one-off shows and then embark on another round in Europe, Australia and Japan will follow, then the U.S. and then we head into the festival season. We are basically in the middle of a world tour at the moment.
After the release of ‘Deep Calleth Upon Deep’ I collected many different opinions; others were dithyrambic and others so humiliating. Almost four months after the release of ‘Deep Calleth Upon Deep’, how is the reception so far?
– The reception has in general been so good that I almost started to worry a little. We are used to highly divided opinions and controversies when we release a studio album, and have hardly heard from a single collegue, fan or journalist that has been negative about the album. We have to take it as a promising sign, I guess.
I am a huge fan of your new album and it was the number one in my list with the best releases of 2017. Do you agree with me that it is the most complete, the most comprehensive one since the ‘Rebel Extravaganza’ era?
– Not at all. It is by far our most complete and comprehensive album so far, period. What we did on our early albums and up to RE was not in the same league at all and it is meaningless to even compare albums from that era with Deep calleth upon Deep composition wise.
It is clear that every Satyricon’s album -at least since then- is a quintessence of experimentation and creative freedom, outside of standardized forms. Which are the thoughts every time you decide to compose some new stuff? Is that a way to push the boundaries of the black metal genre, or something deeper than that?
– Our albums manifest the evolution that goes on in Satyricon and which is part of this band’s DNA. Creativity and development are two of the pillars in our musical construction.
I mention that, because you have a… talent to raise a hail of criticism every time you release new stuff. What do you think about all these people who blame you for no other reason, but only because you chose to step on a more experimental path?
– There’s no reason to think about negative reactions. We have no commercial project, attending to people’s expectations; we actually mean what we do.
Back to ‘Deep Calleth Upon Deep’. How long had you been working on that?
– Almost three years – but then we did work on the Live at the Opera-album/DVD (and a following tour) and the re-release of Nemesis Divina (and a following string of shows) in that period as well.
How did you shape the idea of that name in your mind when you decided to entitle the new album?
– We didn’t. The name presented itself to Satyr one day after all the songs were written, as he was reading through an article and encountered the biblical quote. He just realized it was the right and the perfect title of the album; it was the quintessence of this particular work.
And from where did you absorb the lyrical inspiration for ‘Deep Calleth Upon Deep’?
– The lyrics are born from the same mind that the songs themselves come from; I see them as lyrical parallels to our songs and just as diverse. Going beyond that, you would have to ask Satyr himself.
The front cover is an Edvard Munch’ artwork, called Todeskuss (The Kiss of Death). What does that symbolizes for Satyricon and about ‘Deep Calleth Upon Deep’?
– It is a fantastic visual reflection of the music; organic, raw, soulful, dramatic, twisted and dark. A great piece of art in itself, and simply a perfect cover for Deep calleth upon Deep.
My favourite song is ‘To Your Brethren in the Dark’. The riffing, the atmosphere, the feelings. Awesome. If I ask you to choose your best song, which one would be that and why?
– It is impossible for me to pick a favorite song. A part of the magic of this album is the unique character that each single song has, and how the songs feel like different parts of one organic body. Choosing one song over another would be like choosing an arm over a leg.
Two more questions, while your forthcoming show in Athens is getting close: you have played in front of many different people and cultures. In which place of the world you have met the best audience?
– Some places in Central and South America, where we toured recently, are definitely high up on the list. We observe, though, that we have fantastic crowds in different places all around the world, and that the differences between traditionally good and less good crowds have become smaller. I have good reasons to expect a marvelous show in Athens – it was great the last time, and I imagine it is going to be even better now when we come back.
And what kind of places do you prefer playing at, clubs or festivals?
– It is impossible to make that kind of generalizations. There are pro’s and cons about both – what matters at live shows, be that festivals or club shows, is the magic of the moment and the connection with the crowd.
That’s all, thank you again for this interview Frost and I hope to meet with you in Athens. The last words are yours.
– What it is all about, is to be present when it happens. See you in Athens.