Previous Nortt Interviews
Nortt has made a mission of creating some of the most notoriously Satanic black metal around as of late. Most recently the enigmatic master of all that is impious has released a split with Moribund cult member Xasthur on Southern Lord Records. Deeply philosophical and definitely opinionated, this black wizard reveals his feelings behind his brand of grim, cold Satanic blackness…
The Gauntlet: Speak for a moment about the philosophy behind Nortt…
Nortt: Narrowed down, the philosophy of Nortt is to dwell around death, which is viewed as an inevitable and alluring phenomenon. Death is described from the perspective of the dying and from the dead. The uncertainty of death is preached as more thrilling than the well-known pain of live.
The Gauntlet: What do you most hope to achieve in bringing this message before the public?
Nortt: When creating music I actually don't bear in mind that other people will react upon it, however, if the abovementioned message inspires my audience to explore the path of death, it would certainly be an honour.
The Gauntlet: Do you think that your music is something that most listeners will be able to relate to on a philosophical level?
Nortt: It's of course different how each individual experience Nortt. With a bit of luck, the listener is able to sense the depressing atmosphere and thus enter a nihilistic mood where life has no significance.
The Gauntlet: What artists inspire your dark art?
Nortt: On some level I think I'm inspired by every artist I ever encountered: musicians, writers, movie directors, painters etc. So the list would continue forever if I were to mention all of them.
The Gauntlet: What is your position on black metal artists that compromise the true nature of the art in order to achieve a more substantial degree of commercial success?
Nortt: This answer must be divided in two directions. The true nature of black metal is Satanism. However, I believe you think of the conflict between underground vs. commercialism. If an artist compromises the satanic ideology, which is the true essence of black metal - in order to reach an audience that's offended by Satanism - they simply no longer play black metal! So that one is easily killed. The conflict between underground vs. commercialism is a paradox that thrives within the black metal scene. Every artist that releases material has a potential to become commercial. They release material and must thereby be interested in reaching other individuals with their art. Otherwise their music would never leave the rehearsal place at all. Thus I'm not certain whether it's possible to compromise the true nature of the art by selling a certain amount of albums - either art appeals to a relatively vast audience or not. The claim that it's possible to leave out an untrue audience by limiting issues, or whatever, is likewise difficult to argue in a rational manner. I'm convinced that the number of copies released is proportional with the number of true and untrue individuals. If a black metal act releases a hundred copies, half of the listeners might be true. If a black metal act releases 5000 copies, 2500 of the listeners might be true. I must admit that it possesses a certain charm to roam the underground but it's difficult to argue why it should remain as such simply because one's music leaves the rehearsal place.
In conclusion, it isn't possible to compromise the true nature of the art by selling a certain amount of albums; it's only possible to compromise the true nature of the art by leaving the original thought (i.e. the ideology). As long as one remains true in spirit, the true audience will follow one. The untrue audience is just an unfortunate side effect.
The Gauntlet: Do you consider yourself to be a black metal artist? If so, what does being a true black metal artist mean to you?
Nortt: I definitely consider myself as a black metal artist. A true black metal artist is an individual who worship Satan through performing metal (among other ways).
The Gauntlet: What mind state must you be in while composing?
Nortt: It may be described as an empty or trancelike state of mind… like a grey autumn sky. If I were depressed I wouldn't even bother to compose music. Obviously I'm not particularly cheerful either. It's just a dark mood where I'm able to obtain inspiration from the beyond.
The Gauntlet: What techniques/effects did you use in order to get such a resonating guitar sound on the split?
Nortt: I didn't produce the "Hedengang" EP myself, so apart from my trustful Boss Metal Zone distortion and Marshall JCM 900 amplifier, I don't know which effects were used.
The Gauntlet: Did you perform the drums or were they created by a drum machine?
Nortt: On the "Hedengang" EP (i.e. the split w. Xasthur) I performed the drums the old-fashioned way.
The Gauntlet: What is the next project on the horizon for Nortt?
Nortt: The recording of the next full-length album is almost complete, so the result will be released at the end of the current year or at the very beginning of forthcoming.
The Gauntlet: Tell us about the lyrics on the split, where did you obtain inspiration for them and how do you feel they complement the individual songs on the record?
Nortt: The inspiration was obtained from my personal universe of nihilistic thoughts. The two lyrics, 'Glemt' & 'Død og Borte' ('Forgotten' & 'Dead and Gone'), deals with the same theme: how tranquil post-mortem must be - eternal solitude, never-ending oblivion and impenetrable darkness. These words complement the music because it's very bleak and dreary, so it leaves no other hope or redemption than death.
The Gauntlet: Musically, much of your compositions sound influenced by the funeral doom style. Is this correct?
Nortt: I guess the main influence is black metal; however, the melancholic atmosphere of doom metal has always had a drawing effect on me as well.
The Gauntlet: How can listeners find out more about your work?
Nortt: Visit my homepage at http://www.nortt.dk/, purchase my music, commit suicide etc.