Having released one of the black metal albums of 2009. The mastermind behind this band talks to us what's in store for the band, musical influences and several other things:
Infernal Masquerade: Den Saakaldte was originally a one-man project; did you have the idea to make the band since before? Or was it a spurt of the moment thing?
Sykelig: Den Saakaldte started indeed as a "one man band" project back in 2006. But after exchanging opinions with some people and making discussions with other people, I came to realize that I have had things in common with the, now, rest of the members...So, it came quite natural them to join Den Saakaldte as the essence of the band was also a part of themselves.
I.M: Can you provide an insight into the head behind the band? What drives the music, what are the lyrics about?
S: Pure emotions are the force that makes Den Saakaldte. Emotions unaltered that are taking musical form. Den Saakaldte is a powerful mixture of our darkest thoughts and feelings. We take our inner selves out through the music and in that way we keep ourselves as much as possible mentally healthy and "clean". All the lyrics are about how we see the world, how we experience our emotions, expectations that we have from ourselves and expectations that Satan has from us.
I.M: “All hail pessimism” has been one of the best black metal releases I have heard for quite a while because it has a fresh feel to it. What do you think is the key behind releasing a black metal album these days and not being labeled like a clone or just another release of the same?
S: First of all thank you for your kind words. I believe that being a fan of the music and at the same time not being "fanatical" with a band, is something that can make you to differ from the other bands. Of course I have favorite genres and favorite bands, but at the same time I am trying not to show through my creations the how much I appreciate Celtic Frost for example. Den Saakaldte's sound, is a mixture of many dark genres I guess, but mostly based in old fashioned black metal. I personally compose music according to the way I feel, and every riff I use has a specific importance. I do not use riffs as just "fillings" in a song. We have no "fillings".
I.M: I see that most of your band members are in other bands. What are the difficulties when most of the current band members play in many different bands?
S: For Den Saakaldte there are no difficulties actually. Den Saakaldte is not a band that will rehearse all the time or play gigs all the time. So...if we plan things a bit ahead and know when Seidemann or Kvarforth have obligations with 1349 and Shining for example, everything can get arranged in time, name it recording or concert.
I.M: Are there any live performances planned to promote the new album, any festival dates? Maybe a US tour on the works?
S: US tour is something that looks quite distant actually. Let's be realists. "All Hail Pessimism" is our debut album, so I think it is quite difficult for a US promoter to decide to bring us there...at least that's what I believe. For now, we are confirmed to participate at Party San Open Air Festival in Germany, this August. Also, we are planning a mini European Tour for autumn of 2009, IF everything will go as planned.
We will see...
I.M: Are you involved in any other musical project now, will Den Saakaldte be another 1 album every 5 years band? Or will it be a full-time band with constant releases?
S: Den Saakaldte IS a full-time band for everyone. We just operate though in totally different perspectives compared to any other band. As I have already told you...we don't rehearse. We only rehearse a couple of times before a concert. So everything in Den Saakaldte is a bit more "individualistic" I guess.
I compose the music, send the parts to others, Seidemann-Uruz-Kvarforth and Jormungand make their parts and then we record. This happens mostly for the reason that I live in Notodden, Uruz in Hønefoss, Seidemann and Jormungand in Oslo and Niklas even further away...Sweden! So it is quite unavoidable. I believe the next Den Saakaldte album will be out in 2 years. Making music when you feel it and not because you have to, is really important. As for me yes, apart from Den Saakaldte, I am doing vocals in a band called The Etilist.
I.M: What do you think about how the whole Norwegian black metal scene has evolved since the early days of Mayhem, Dark Throne and all the other pioneer bands, to the current direction that many bands have taken in completely different musical paths? Is Den Saakaldte heading in some ‘weird’ musical direction (avant-garde or trip hop) in a near future?
S: Hahahah...trip hop? Nah...I don't think so. I am too old fashioned and narrow-minded for that. We are definitely going to play parts that maybe have nothing to do with black metal in our music , but still it is going to be dark and NOT electronic. When it comes to Mayhem and Darkthrone that you mentioned...they are pioneers. From my point of view, you can't say anything against the pioneers. I wouldn't play the music I am playing, if there wasn't the Mayhem, Gorgoroth and Darkthrone albums. So who am I to judge people that have actually created most of what I am now using in order to express my inner self?
I.M: Since you where a live member of Gorgoroth what is your take on the whole, who keeps the name situation?
S: I know Teloch and Gaahl so I was asked if I wanted to play a number of gigs, which I did since I respect these two persons and I also like the Gorgoroth music. The rest I guess is not my business.
I.M: Do you think you will be able to express yourself in a different music genre or is metal the only one that truly reflects your personality?
S: Den Saakaldte's advantage is that we have wide open horizons as a band. We don't follow stereotypes. So, we feel free in a way, including parts in our music that are not metal. The basis will always be metal since that is the genre that I can connect my essence as individual, to.
I.M: Can you describe “All hail pessimism” in three words.
I.M: Do you prefer to work with independent labels or with major labels (from the creative freedom and exposure point of view)?
S: I have never worked with a major label so I cannot say. I guess the major ones are interfering with the music and art in general a bit more, something which is bad...I wouldn't want someone to have an opinion on how my music, my logo or my artwork should be... If a label wants Den Saakaldte, they should want Den Saakaldte for the way we are right now. If not, then they can "make" a band by themselves and form it/present it, in the way they would want it to be.
I.M: How do you think the internet has helped the metal scene? Do you think that all the so-called MySpace black metal bands tarnish the reputation of real bands that are trying to be heard, what is your opinion on this?
S: The internet either we like it or not has of course promoted the music and new ideas a lot, and at the same time it destroyed the feeling of music in general. I remember myself for example back in 1993, when I would get a new release...I was really into it. Reading the lyrics, paying attention to the music, the artwork....
Nowadays people are so arrogant and ignorant at the same time you see if one person will download in one day 4 albums, he will listen to them briefly while eating or being in the toilet...so...people do not pay attention to the releases that much anymore, something that is sad. I am still spending shitloads of money for music every month. I am a fan of the music.
MySpace I guess, is a good guide if you want to get a taste of what you want to buy. I don't think that crappy bands in there can tarnish reputation from bands that actually worth to be heard. Everything depends on the peoples' taste. If someone wants to listen to Tupperware for drums and guitars that remind jingle-bell xmas cards, then be my guest! Why should I bother?
I.M: Any bands you would want to recommend (or help them get more exposure)?
S: Certainly. Den Saakaldte fully supports Shining, Nefarium, Ljå, Helheim, Throne of Katarsis, Vulture Lord, Urgehal, Abigor, The Konsortium, Endezzma, Tyrann.
I.M: Is there anything you want to add for our readers?
S: Be true to yourselves and fuck the rest.