Interview with Gorgoroth (Infernus)

With the eminent release of "QPAST" we had a few words with Infernus about the current status of the band, how is the band's new line-up working, and other things related to the new album. In the next paragraphs you can find the transcript of our phone conversation with Infernus:

Infernal Masquerade: It's been three years since Gorgoroth's last album and now with 'QPAST' you are returning. Can you tell us a bit more what happened in the last 3 years?

Infernus: Lost of difficulties going on, most of the people already know about legal problems with two of the ex-members, this was a thing that necessarily had to be taken care of, line up changes again. And basically spend time in the studio working on the album and re-structuring the organization behind the band. Now we are back on track with the new album and back performing live.

IM: How do you see the current lineup, is one of the strongest ones Gorgoroth's had in my opinion, how is it working live?

I: It works very well, we had a presentation one and a half months ago and everything went perfectly according to my goals for the evening, actually we rehearsed more than at least since 1996 or so. It's a nightmare when it comes to logistics since two of our band members live overseas. The entire budget is spent on airfare tickets, etc. but once we get to work everything goes pretty well, I've never had as much fun as I've had the last months, we have been very active rehearsing and such.

IM: Is there going to be a lot of touring planned for the promotion of the new album?

I: We want to, but the matter is how and when. This is something we will have to work out together with our new booking agent, we use the same booking agent in Europe as Obituary has been using for the last years, and I think that will be sorted out. I think we hope and aim for doing an European tour in April, but nothing has been set yet, there are still a few things left to address. The next show will be in a few days here in Trondheim a city up north, so tomorrow they will fly in. [This show took place on October 19]

IM: how about any plans, far off, to tour in the USA?

I: We want to do so but no plans so far. There are some things we have to take care of in order to get it done appropriately, we aim at doing it once, but time will tell when. At the time we have the same focus on Europe and Latin America; of course we want to do more: USA, Australia and hopefully we will manage to do so.

IM: Going back to the new album, how do you see it being differently both musically and lyrically from your previous releases?

I: I'm a bit blindfolded by the situation of working so hard on the album, so my perspective on being able to value it or compare it to the other albums, I will just leave that to others. I feel at least we did quite a lot of hard work and we are very content with ourselves and we felt secure when we delivered the final result.

IM: Are you guys going to publish any lyrics or you are going to keep handling this the same way as before?

I: We have no plans on doing so, the album is released in a few days in Europe and pretty soon in USA so the correct answer will be go and find out. But our answer is no, we will not release any lyrics. [The album has now been released in Europe and will be out in the US on November 11]

IM: What is the main ideology behind this album? Does it continue in the same way as before, did it change with the new members?

I: No, I always set the standard and direction of the band from day one, and the concept of the band, its values and identity were defined in 1992. There have been a few people involved, of the many, who haven't been able to respect this, but then again there are no such people in the band anymore.

IM: What is the main objective that you want to reach with Gorgoroth?

I: I want to improve myself, become better at what is most important to me, which is to perform a certain kind of metal music in the name of Satan.

IM: there is going to be a Vinyl release of the new record on your own label, can you tell us more about this?

I: yes, there will be a regular vinyl edition on Regain Records, but there will be a picture album release on Forces of Satan Records. We don't have a release date on that since we haven't pressed the record, it might take until the end of the year to do so.

IM: How about Gorgoroth's live performances are you planning on doing a stage set up like on the DVD "Black Mass Krakow"?

I: time will tell what we plan on doing.

IM: What do you have to say about comments of previous band members that they said they wanted to keep the name to destroy it?

I: I don't have any opinions about those guys or their comments. I consider them exactly what they are, they are ex-members and there are no personal relations between us now, and there will not be any again in the future. So they can present whatever they want to the media, it is of no relevance to me or the band.

IM: On the live album "Live in Grieghallen" we have seen that Pest re-recorded the vocals, when will it be released?

I: We spent and extra day in the studio removing the old vocalist's vocals, and Pest re-recorded them. The initiative is on Regain Records and we just finished the product so they can do what they want with it.

IM: Are you satisfied on how Regain Records treated the whole lawsuit thing, and how it's handling the new album's release?

I: yes I am, and we have a good relationship professionally and socially.

IM: Would you possibly consider going back to a bigger label, or do you think Gorgoroth is well enough known to stay on Regain records?

I: Who knows in the future what the market would be, and maybe one in a long perspective has to re-evaluate the situation. I will always do what I think is the best decision for my band in the future, always. As of today it works out very well, Regain is a small label, but they are local and they are devoted and they show in practice that we can trust them. That means a lot to me so for the time being and for next years we will stay with Regain.

IM: How do you see current technology that allows more people to have access to Gorgoroth's music? Do you think this is a good fit for Gorgoroth's music? Or do you long the days of tape trading?

I: In many ways the development of current technology allows our music to be more available to many and this is good according to my wish. With the internet and the direction of modern technologies there are of course pro's and con's, but generally speaking I want on my own terms to push Gorgoroth to be available to as many as possible.

IM: What do you think about the new album being leaked already on the internet?

I: It's a modern world and one must adapt and accept that some things one cannot as easily avoid in 2009 as in 1999. So obviously it was not me leaking it, but again it's not the end of the world. Again, I’m mostly regarded as a songwriter and musician more than someone who is paid to be in a position of thinking to much about this type of legal issues; this is what we have record companies for.

IM: Over the years with the evolution of Black Metal scene what do you think about bands that have switched their style to different genres, will you ever consider doing that with Gorgoroth?

I: I'm happy as long as I'm allowed to continue for a long time doing exactly what I do now; I'm not going to re-invent much. I don’t have any immediate plans on changing the formal language of what it expresses, but I mean it with a long term perspective I want to grow stronger and become better at what I’m doing.

IM: Do you think the musical transition that Gorgoroth has had over the years is a reflection of this statement?

I: Yeah I think so; one should not speak in the past and repeat it, obviously. But I think we are strongly rooted in a tradition on which we have no intention of getting away from. There are certain aesthetical outer layer formalities that will be changing a bit from time to time, like we don't use the same equipment or producers every year so there will be some things changing. I hope of course we are able to stay fresh and come up with new ideas every now and then as well.

IM: Are you involved in any other musical projects other than Gorgoroth?

I: At the time being I’m not involved in any other musical projects, except for work with my own label.

IM: Any releases you want to promote from your own label?

I: We have the rights to the back catalog of an excellent Israeli band called Tangorodrim and have licensed this to Apocalyptic Empire Records, which will release them in about a month or so.



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