heavy metal

Silenoz from Dimmu Borgir Interview

The Gauntlet: How was lunch?

Silenoz: Had Mexican food. It was awesome...killer.

The Gauntlet: Can you find a good Mexican restaurant in Norway?

Silenoz: Nope. The most authentic I can get there is if I make it myself. The only time I make food myself is when I get really hungry though and then it has to get done really quick. For a proper Mexican meal, I'd have to plan several days ahead. It is quite a session.

The Gauntlet: How was the DVD premiere last night?

Silenoz: It was really cool. A lot of people came and it was a great party. A lot of people liked it so it was a success.

The Gauntlet: You showed The Wacken footage?

Silenoz: Right.

The Gauntlet: How was everything selected for inclusion on the DVD?

Silenoz: We took out a camera crew on tour with us. We had them out with us on more shows than we used footage from. We picked the songs that we performed well and that were filmed well. We could have put more material in there, but this was more about quality than quantity.

The Gauntlet: It looks like you had a huge production.

Silenoz: Yeah, in Europe we had a huge production. It is a lot easier for us to do pyro in Europe than in the US. We tried to do a bigger production while we were filming. We spent a lot of money that just went down the drain as we did a big production and then the footage didn't turn out the best so we didn't use it. What ended up on the DVD was a mixture of great film and great performance.

The Gauntlet: The number of camera angles on the DVD is quite amazing.

Silenoz: Yeah, for the Wacken, we had over 20 cameras. But for our own headlining shows, we had six or 7 cameras which is still a lot. Imagine if you are bringing a camera crew out, it costs a lot of money. And we didn't use all the footage they shot, some shows we didn't use any and we still had to pay them. It was a very expensive thing to make. In the end it doesn't matter. If the fans like it, that is all that matters.

The Gauntlet: The quality is much better than any of the live shows the band has previously released.

Silenoz: I think so too. A lot of bands will shoot the DVD and then go back in the studio and overdub stuff and put new guitars in there. When you do something live, you should do it all live. Obviously you mix it so that it sounds better. Live should be live. Fans will notice this with the symphony aspect of the songs as Mustis only has two hands. I think it is cool too; you get to hear the band in a different setting. A live show is more about the intensity and the extremity of the band. On the record, it is more about the perfection side of things.

The Gauntlet: I was expecting to see a different drummer for each song on the Invaluable Darkness Tour footage.

Silenoz: [laughs] The drummer position is our curse. For all the live stuff, it was Tony [Laureano] playing, but we had Hellhammer playing the first US tour. There isn't much footage though from the US tour, not even in the behind the scenes stuff.

The Gauntlet: A lot of bands are cursed by their revolving drummers.

Silenoz: Yeah, that is true. For the most part, we have had a steady lineup except for the drummer position.

The Gauntlet: The last time we spoke, I asked about Nick Barker's dismissal from the band. You stated that it was either him or you that needed to leave but you didn't go into details and told me to ask you in a couple years. So what's the back story on his dismissal?

Silenoz: It is more on a personal level obviously. But we are now on a speaking level. I am not one to normally hold grudges and I get over things pretty quick, but the deal with him was a whole different thing. But yeah, it was pretty much me or him that had to leave. I remember the last thing I said to him. There were still two or three weeks left on the tour and I screamed 'Fuck Off!' to him. That was the last thing I said to him until recently when we started talking again.

The Gauntlet: Do you ever think you could work with him again? Maybe not in Dimmu, but in a side project

Silenoz: No. It is too hard to say though. It is just speculation though.

The Gauntlet: You just announced a pair of touring musicians.

Silenoz: yeah. Galder is a father for the second time. The last time he became a father, he kept touring. But this time he wants to be at home. We aren't kids anymore, we have kids now.

The Gauntlet: You need to tell him to keep it in his pants when you have a US tour coming up.

Silenoz: [laughs] Exactly. It is hard when there are 6 people in a band. It gets hard to nail your girlfriend at the same time. It doesn't always work out with the timing of things. Both me and Galder were thinking of Cyrus though to fill in. We have known him for several years and thought he was the proper one to do it.

The Gauntlet: Isn't Cyrus producing the Insideous album?

Silenoz: Yes. He has been atleast engineering like 90% of the album. Wer did a test mix on our own not to long ago but I am not happy with the results. We might have someone else have a go at it to improve it. He ended up doing quite a lot of lead work on the Insideous album. It was a different thing than we are used to with Dimmu.

The Gauntlet: Who will be handling drum duties for this tour?

Silenoz: It will be Daray who was in Vader. We rehearsed some days with him and it just really clicked from the get-go. Ofcourse it remains to be seen at a live show, but judging from what we have seen, I am really excited to be playing with him.

The Gauntlet: He is a really powerful drummer.

Silenoz: He is a really hard-hitter. He is like clockwork. We have been fortunate to have played with so many good drummers. It is good to have someone who lives close to us or is a short plane ride away if we are going to jam some new stuff or rehearse on a short notice. I am really looking forward to it.

The Gauntlet: Will he be on drums for the Euro tour after the US one?

Silenoz: Yeah, Yeah, I am almost certain of that; unless something unexpected happens. We feel stronger than ever in the rhythm department. It is that drum chair though, it is a fucking curse. I am not going to say anymore about it. It is just going to live its own life I guess.

The Gauntlet: Does it bother you that you have so many drummer problems?

Silenoz: To some extent, but at this point we are so used to it. We just go with the flow and right now it just flows extremely well so let's hope it stays like this.

The Gauntlet: There is also a CD included with the Invaluable Darkness DVD.

Silenoz: Yes, it is the whole P3 radio session that we did. We were reluctant to do this in the beginning but it turned out really well. There were like 70 or 80 people there. It was a totally different setting from the Wacken show where we played in front of 80,000. The Oslo show, we played in front of 2,000. In that aspect, you have the band playing at three different settings. There are different acoustics, vibes and atmospheres to each of the shows on the DVD.

The Gauntlet: Up until recently, Dimmu Borgir wasn't showing much love to the US with tours. Have things changed for good?

Silenoz: We have been paying attention to the US for the past few years. In Europe you can only do so much. I wouldn't use the word stagnate but it is better that you are wanted on the stage than expected on the stage. We haven't come to that point yet in the states as it is so big over here. You can tour and tour and not feel over exposed. The tour with Danzig is a combination of ending the touring cycle on the album and combines it with promoting the DVD release.

The Gauntlet: You'll be playing at some large amphitheaters on this tour. I haven't seen the band on such a large stage.

Silenoz: Apart from the Ozzfest thing, we haven't in the US. This will be more our environment as we will be playing indoors at night. Fans can see the stage show and the atmosphere is more what it should be.

The Gauntlet: I felt so bad for you guys at Ozzfest. The sun and the heat were miserable.

Silenoz: I remember some days, we had to wear sunglasses or we wouldn't be able to see our instruments. It didn't look to cool but we won over a lot of people. No pain, no gain.

The Gauntlet: Do you have any plans for hitting the studio?

Silenoz: We are probably going to start putting material together after the Danzig tour. We all have a lot of ideas and have a lot of stuff on our computers at home. Once we pull that out we can start arranging it. Probably have material written by Christmas. It will take time though to finish writing the album. I wouldn't expect anything until Fall of next year though. I would say sooner, but the process of getting the album out there is longer now. The label wants 3 to 4 months to do promotion on it.

The Gauntlet: Now that the band is more guitar based than symphony based, is the start to finish time quicker for getting the album completed?

Silenoz: It all depends. If the inspiration is there and we have a flowing constructive basis, it can go pretty fast. We spent five months writing the Death Cult [Armageddon] album. I think In Sorte [Diaboli] was even quicker than that. We can finish a song in a day or we can finish a song in two months. It all depends. It all depends on how it was written or how it feels.

The Gauntlet: Are you leaning more towards a symphonic or guitar based feel at this point?

Silenoz: Umm, we don't really plan on how the next thing is going to be. We don't have a formula. We just get together and keep what sounds cool and throw away the rest. That has been working well for us so far and I don't see any reason to change this approach. That is as close to a formula as we get.

The Gauntlet: What was your drink of choice last night at the after party?

Silenoz: Corona. It keeps me away from getting those really bad hangovers. Once you start mixing stuff, forget it. I am not getting any younger.

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Tags:  SilenozDimmu Borgir , Silenozinterviews

    October 01, 2008

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