One of the most evil bands in the extreme metal scene today, Dark Funeral have returned with a brand new record for Cnadlelight Records USA entitled "Attera Totus Sanctus." Sure to please long-time fans of this band's raw, blasphemous music, the album shows growth as well as adherence to the band's roots, something that few bands in the genre can claim. Lord Ahriman checks in with his thoughts on the band's new album and plans for the year to come.
The Gauntlet: How does it feel for the group to enter the charts at #3?
Lord Ahriman: After all the shit our former label (No Fashion/MNW/NEG) had put us through during the last couple of years, it surely feels like a sweet revenge! Not only because of the amazing and positive feedback we have received, but also by just being back with a new strong album! Personally the chart position doesn't really affect us that much, but I wont deny that it gives me a great satisfaction to know that the "success" really burns in our former label's eyes! I am also damned proud to have such a loyal fan base here in Sweden. Without them this would not have happened. Hail to thee!
The Gauntlet: Have you heard about black metal being banned at this time in Malaysia? What are your views on these types of actions?
Lord Ahriman: Yes. I know Black Metal got banned there a couple of years ago. It's so simple and pathetic to blame a music style for things that obviously don't work in the society. It's like these politicians have run out of ideas and/or refuse to realize that their own system has failed massively! And instead to acknowledge their own mistakes they put the blame on the music. They got to be so incredibly stupid if they believe that people are buying that nonsense! To me, metal and music are forms of art. I think that artistic freedom, all categories, whether you support them all or not, is very important. I surely don't believe that music is responsible for things that some nutcase may do. But of course, this is an extremely religious country so I'm not surprised they choose and the easy way and pinpoint music as the scapegoat.
The Gauntlet: Why did you decide to go with Daniel Bergstrand & �rjan �rnkloo?
Lord Ahriman: We had come to a point with the band when we felt that it was very important for us to start a completely new chapter. To change the studio and producers was an important step for us to feel that we really put the past behind, and begin on something totally new. Long before we had come to this decision, Daniel had showed his passionate interest to work with us. So if we were not to be recording with Peter, it was quite obvious for us that Daniel were going to be the right man for us to work with. And to our privilege he brought in �rjan �rnkloo as co-producer.
The Gauntlet: How did you go about writing the material for "Attera Totus Sanctus"? Was recording this record different for you than it has been in the past?
Lord Ahriman: Indeed. This was the first time we actually put together an entire album while in the studio. I did of course have quite a lot of material written, but nothing arranged, and for sure not enough to fill a full-length album. Besides, much of the material that I already had written got a somewhat different turn while we worked on it, so I had to re-write, but I also wrote a lots of new riffs while working on the actual songs. So there weren't much sleep for me until all the eight songs were completed. But once we got the arrangements going, I had so much inspiration I just kept on writing throughout the nights.
The Gauntlet: Will you be touring the US for this release?
Lord Ahriman: Absolutely! We have already received quite a few offers, but we're still waiting for the right tour offer, so to speak! Let's hope it comes in real soon-as we can't wait to tour the US again!
The Gauntlet: How do you feel about being on the cover of Metal Maniacs in the states?
Lord Ahriman: I haven't thought about it really. I know MM is one of the biggest metal magazines in the States so if anything it's a great recognition for the band of course.
The Gauntlet: How will the other supporting acts be chosen for the European tour??
Lord Ahriman: When we tour we prefer to go out with a good mix of extreme metal bands and not only other Black Metal bands. Musically it is way too boring, not only for us, but especially for the crowd I believe. It also got to be bands that we respect for what they are doing among many other things. On our forthcoming European tour we will bring with us Naglfar, Endstille and yet another band that isn't decided yet. We are especially looking for a Death Metal band for the opening slot so we'll see. A six weeklong trek throughout Europe is set to kick off February 19th and it will cover most part of Europe.
The Gauntlet: On your tours what are the things that you require to be in your dressing room?
Lord Ahriman: We do have a pretty extensive tour rider, but it doesn't really include any weird things, just the basic stuff like food, drinks and some blood of course.
The Gauntlet: What are some of the worst things that have ever happened to you on tour?
Lord Ahriman: Seriously, that's just way too many things to mention. But let me make a fast run through of some fun mention events. We have basically been through everything from driving straight into Pizza Hut in the middle of the night with a double decker, to breaking down with 11 tour busses in a period of 4 weeks, waking up in the morning on the tour bus realizing that the tour manager has disappeared with the entire tour budget and the list goes on and on. There's a reason we sometimes call ourselves for "The cursed Dark Funeral!" These days we have however changed our booking agency and pretty much all companies we used to work with in the past. So for our future tours, I feel confident that things will run way better and without too many hassles.
The Gauntlet: Lets talk a little about black metal these days. Do you think it has changed from when black metal first emerged? What are you thoughts about the upcoming black metal bands?
Lord Ahriman: Sure, the scene has changed quite a lot. Not only is it musically wider than in the early days, it is also a pretty well known music genre these days. There are a lot of new talented bands out there and obviously some real shit too. Some bands that have raised my interest lately are Deathspell Omega, Svartsyn, Craft, Valkyria and Angst.
The Gauntlet: Are there any specific bands that you would like to tour with in the future?
Lord Ahriman: I always enjoy touring with Cannibal Corpse. And I do hope that we'll be able to hook up with them again sometimes in the near future. It would also be killer to get to tour with Samael, Nile, Averse Sefira, Acheron and Necrophagia among many others.
The Gauntlet: What do you see in the future for Dark Funeral? Release-wise, will there be any DVD's, or videos?
Lord Ahriman: The first image that appears to me is a tour bus. I have a strong feeling that there will be a lot of touring for us during 2006. Besides touring we plan to release a DVD, possibly a Mini-CD and we will also record a video for one of the tracks on the new album.
The Gauntlet: What music is the band currently listening to??
Lord Ahriman: Even though all of us have a huge passion for extreme metal, we have a pretty varied music taste within the band. Thus I can only speak for myself. Personally I have lately been listening to Judas Priest, Ozzy, Nile, Deathspell Omega, Acheron, Rammstein, Shining and Samael to mention a few.
The Gauntlet: Which bands influenced Dark Funeral the most?
Lord Ahriman: Musically I've never felt influenced by any particular band. I prefer to stay true to myself and follow my own dark vision and inner demons.
The Gauntlet: What runs through your mind before you walk out on the stage each night?
Lord Ahriman: That it's once again time to summon the demons and musically tear the place into pieces!
The Gauntlet: What is it that you would like to say to all of your loyal followers?
Lord Ahriman: Thanks for your dedication and support throughout the years. It's highly appreciated! I hope you guys enjoy our latest musical work as much, if not more, like our previous albums. See you on tour soon! Hail Metal. Hail Satan!