Immortal Interview

Demonaz: Jason, how are you?

The Gauntlet: Just peachy keen, and you?

Demonaz: Busy. Very busy. We leave for North America on Thursday so just getting ready.

The Gauntlet: Why only such a small handful of dates? The US hasn't had a proper Immortal tour.

Demonaz: We did the shows a couple years ago and they went well. When we got the offer again, that was what we wanted to do. We felt this was okay.

The Gauntlet: A lot of fans will miss out on the love, happiness and that warm feeling that Immortal brings to so many of us live.

Demonaz: Yeah, of course. [laughs] That is how the world works. We don't tour much in Europe either. We do the shows we are comfortable with. We just want to do good shows. We don't tour to make money and have food on the table. We have a lot of guys we bring so we need to make sure we can bring them.

The Gauntlet: With the new album out, are there any plans to get around a little more?

Demonaz: : We have these four dates, then Kings of Black Metal in Germany, and a few shows and festivals over the Summer like Metal Camp and Wacken. There is also something in Moscow and Norway. There are like 11 shows planned so far. There are a lot of offers to do things but we aren't a band that goes on tour for three weeks on a bus. We don't want to destroy the band. We want to put on great shows and have a great time ourselves. We don't need to work ourselves to death just because we have a new album. We aren't in this band to get bored of each other. It isn't a eight hour a day routine job. If Immortal was a routine it would destroy itself.

The Gauntlet: Is that what happened previously?

Demonaz: It was a lot of things. You can have success with the band but you need success inside too. I think the people you work with and management have to all fit. If you work with the wrong people and have a lot of deadlines then things become routines. Then it becomes a job. We don't look at Immortal as a job; no matter how big it gets. It isn't an everyday job to us. It is something else that we need to treat with respect. We make money on the big festivals but we don't want to do all these tours and get exhausted. It is better to take less jobs that are bigger than more jobs.

The Gauntlet: I do admire that. When Immortal announces a tour, I know it is going to be something special and if I miss it, I won't be able to see it again.

Demonaz: We don't want to do it just to do it. We don't like those long tours that kill yourself and the band. I don't like playing those shitty clubs with bad sound. This is not work for us. We have this band and it means a lot to us. We do what we feel we need to. The minute we get bored with it, it won't be good anymore. We need a certain amount of freedom. We have that artistically but we also need to have that in terms of what we do. We are coming to France this year for Hellfest. It is our only concert in France and we are going to blow the fucking shit up. To be honest with you we are getting a lot of money for it. We can tour for 20 days and have the same amount of people and probably lose money or play this one show. We aren't bored with the band, not at all. A lot of times, other bands think totally different. They want to drink beer and tour all day for ten years straight. I think it destroys bands. I can only speak for us, but it would destroy us if we lived on a bus. We have done that and now some other people can do that.

The Gauntlet: "All Shall Fall" was released six months ago.

Demonaz: We started with the ideas for the album in late 2006.

The Gauntlet: That was around the time "I" was released.

Demonaz: Right. It was planned before the band came back. We started to talk about having the band back together. We didn't want to rush anything. We took our time as we had all the time in the world. We didn't want any deadlines from the record company. We took the time that we needed. It took two years. We didn't work with it everyday but when we needed to. We didn't want to stress. We had our own deadlines.

The Gauntlet: When you finally entered the studio, there was no news. I was waiting for the Demonaez and Abbath video blog.

Demonaz: There was nothing. I didn't want to have promo CD's or any studio reports. I don't like that kind of shit. That belongs in the new world. I never saw a studio report from Venom back in the day or when Bathory was recording. I don't like it. I still live in that age. I don't live in this age. Now everything is so open. There is no mystique. It makes everything so boring and uninteresting. We live in the worst age you can think of. Everything now is so exposed. Who wants to buy an album that you listened to for three months before it comes out on the internet. No disrespect to you or other journalists but why the fuck should you get the album before the fans? It doesn't give you the right to get it early. Everyone was telling me if we don't give the album to the press then we won't get interviews. Fine, so we don't do the interviews. It is perfectly alright with me. We had a magazine threaten us and say if they didn't get a promo CD then we won't get a cover story. Fine with me. They can give it to another band. We didn't start Immortal to be on the cover of your magazine. We don't care. We got the cover story on that magazine anyways. [laughs] I think things are really different now than when we started Immortal. Back then black metal was really small and people told us not to play this kind of music as we won't go anywhere. I think the success of Immortal is not on the outside. The success of any band is on the inside. If we don't feel that success we won't do it. That is why we needed the break. We didn't have the right people around us. We also didn't have that spirit. We weren't connecting with each other. We took a break until we got hungry and would come back again. That was the plan. We needed to step out of it and be objective. In my eyes, everything has been done from our side how we wanted it. I feel like the album was the best we could do at the time, now we can do better. I am really satisfied. If the rest of the band is satisfied, I can't think of what else we'd do.

The Gauntlet: It has been well regarded by a lot of fans.

Demonaz: If you are an Immortal fan you will like it. It is a very classic Immortal album and fits well into what we do. It seems a little like a bit of all the previous albums on it. That was never the intention. The intention was just to right good songs. We never plan anything. When we made the songs and wrote the album we are working to get some final results. Some other things come out along the way in this process. Things are happening and we change this and this. We never set out to make it sound like a classic Immortal album. When me and Abbath started to work on ideas, this was how they came out. I didn't want to change too much or go in another direction. I just wanted to do what we wanted to do. The only thing I knew from before was I was going to write the lyrics very easily. I didn't want them to be very advanced or difficult. I think we are best at doing this stuff. We are kind of macho you know, we are barbarians.

The Gauntlet: Even from the beginning, Immortal did things different from the pack.

Demonaz: Me and Abbath have the ability to go into our own sphere where we don't care about anything else. Every time we work together, it is a process where we leave everything out. We are not a political or religious band. Religion and politics never appeared in our music. They were never something that captured me in a way that I'd want to put them in our lyrics. I didn't want to capture anyone's opinions that doesn't interest me. I wanted to capture a mood that is all our own that can't be compared to anybody else. I think when I listen to Venom and Celtic Frost, even though Venom had a lot of Satanic topics, that the religious aspect didn't interest me. That was always made up by people and others. I don't want to write about things made up by others. I wanted to put something into our lyrics that was our very own thing. We were never influenced by the likes of politics or religion in any way and I think that is really good. We created our own atmosphere. It is all the details that make a good band. If you care a lot about everything around your band it will stand out. We never planned that it should be like this, we just followed our stomach and did what we think would be best. We were inspired by Celtic Frost, Motorhead and Venom, the three piece bands. Being a three piece band live has a poetry to it live. We hope people see us as an outcast as that is what we are.

The Gauntlet: Does being a three piece have advantages?

Demonaz: Yeah...

The Gauntlet: Aside not splitting royalty payments with a fourth member.

Demonaz: [laughs] That doesn't work in our case as I am that fourth member. It does sound different and look different. A three piece band looks different on that big stage than a four member band. I think that Venom, Celtic Frost and Motorhead have something that we really wanted to do. We really wanted that great atmosphere around the band. It is very technical in a sense. But if you want to see a technical band, don't see Immortal. We are a band with attitude. We care more about attitude than skills.



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Date: Mar 23, 2010
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