Stormfront is a raw black metal band from norway, founded many year ago, but despite the lineup changes and misunderstandings, the band became a one-man project, and this year Stormfront debuted with Djevelpakt. To find more about the band and the album, below you can read an interview I had with the founder of Stormfront, V.E, who have answered to this interview.
Hails V.E! Thank you accepting my interview request. As the readers to know a bit about Stormfront, when was the band formed?
Hails Carla! Thank you for showing interest in Stormfront and for offering Stormfront this interview. Stormfront was formed as a trio in Lillehammer, Norway in 1996 by me (bass), A. Haakenaasen (guitars) and E. Beckhaug (drums and vocals).
Actually, Stormfront is a one-man band…
Yes. Stormfront has turned into a one-man band through the years. As I mentioned in the previous question, Stormfront started as a trio back in the days. After our demo Styggmyrs Triumf was recorded in 1997 a few more rehearsals took place, but the same year our rehearsal place was closed and the band became inactive for some time. A. Haakenaasen even moved away from Lillehammer in 1997 to study. In 1999 the Stormfront demo ended up on a split mini-CD together with Gaahlskagg that was released through No Colours Records. In 2009 E. Beckhaug (now using the artist name Vanir) and I started talking about resurrecting Stormfront. I changed from bass to guitars and vocals, while Vanir was planning to do the drums. I started writing some new material and in 2010 a demo track was ready. After this Vanir had changed his mind and decided not to join Stormfront after all. I had made up my mind, and decided to add J. M. as a second band member where he would handle both drums and bass. Two more tracks was written and recorded with the line-up V. E. and J. M. and these tracks together with the demo track from 2010 ended up on a split-EP together with Necrostrigis and was released in 2012 through Triumf Productions (CD-version) and Tour de Garde (tape-version). After this release J. M. left his musical carreer behind for unknown time. After this I decided to continue Stormfront on my own, and have been the only full-time member since 2012. On the debut album “Djevelpakt” that was released through No Colours Records in 2017 I got some help with the intro, outro and lead guitar from my German friend D. S.
Then, this year was the one you have debuted with ”Djevelpakt”. What is the title translation?
Yes! This year, 20 years and 20 days after the debut demo, the debut album Djevelpakt is finally released. The title is Norwegian and means “Pact with the Devil.” The title came to me after reading about Norwegian superstition and how people used to sell their soul to achieve their goals through contracts with the Devil, signed with their own blood. After signing this contract a person had to use the Devil´s mail box for delivering the contract, and that mail box was the keyhole of the church.
Tell me more about the album, the lyrical themes, the influences.
The album was composed through 2015/2016 and recorded through 2016/2017. The lyrical themes on the album are mainly war against the holy trinity of heaven and their followers, Norwegian superstition, witchcraft and one track is about old Roman mythology and how to become a warrior in the Roman army of darkness. Not because I have any ancestors from Italy, but because I am interested in ancient mythology in general. Each track on the album stand out on their own, and every track tells their own tale. Then again all tracks are connected, since the main message in the album is about war against the “good” religion of the world. The musical influence is mostly Norwegian black metal from the 1990´s, without being able to say any specific bands. I have been told that people who have heard the album say that they can hear old Immortal, Darkthrone “Panzerfaust,” parts that sound a bit like Mayhem “De Mysteriis…,” Abyssic Hate and even early Emperor mixed together and making an own sound. During the writing process I didn´t listen to any black metal at all, simply to avoid being too inspired by any band at all. It is, however, clear that many of the old bands have inspired me since the listeners can hear all these bands within Stormfront. When I wrote the music my intentions was to write an album that combined rawness with atmosphere and I think I managed that in a good way, since the listeners are comparing Stormfront with both atmospheric bands and raw bands. Another important aspect was to make the album with a raw sound like I prefer my black metal, rather than a polished sound.
You have formed the band many years ago ineed, but why took it so long to release a full-length album?
Yes. Stormfront was formed in 1996, and it took quite some time to finish the debut album. The reason why it took so long was that Stormfront more or less split up in 1997 because of the rehearsal situation I mentioned earlier and the fact that one member moved away from Lillehammer for a while. Already in 1999 I got hold of new band members, but I did not continue as Stormfront. The new band ended up being named Styggmyr after the “Styggmyrs Triumf” demo from Stormfront, and this band became my main priority for 13 years. The two other members of the original line up of Stormfront started their own band named Eljudner. In 2010 I also hooked up with a Polish guy and I did vocals and drums for his band Ravnheim. Ravnheim did split up straight after the demo tape, and I started focusing on Stormfront again. Stormfront started becoming my priority more and more, since Skogskjelv (that also was in Stormfront with me for a short time under the name J. M.) that was in Styggmyr decided to leave the music behind. The writing/recording process of “Djevelpakt” did naturally enough take some time, since I had to do everything alone. I spent one and a half year writing the album and almost a year to record it. I could maybe have done it faster, but since I´m working fulltime at my job I spent the weekends with writing and recording. I did of course not spend every weekend with writing and recording, since it was important to be in the right mood and I had to feel inspired to work on the album.
Have you ever performed with Stormfront?
I have never performed with Stormfront yet. I have gotten some offers, but I have had turn them down because I´m in lack of a full line-up. The shortest notice I received an offer to perform was two days, and even if I had a line-up it would have been a bit short time to prepare a live show.
Do you have in mind as Stormfront to become a full band, performing live or still being a studio band?
I would of course have been much easier to have a full line-up in Stormfront, but yet I also like having full control. A question like that does not have a clear answer. Maybe a permanent live line-up for would be better, but I don´t know. It would of course be great to perform live with Stormfront, so I am open for having a full line-up in the future. I will, however, not accept members that do not have the right feeling for the music or the right spirit. I can´t just hire anyone. Other members must play with their soul and heart, and they can´t just be musicians doing the job for fun. Right now the metal scene in Lillehammer is more or less non-existing, and there´s hard finding members that can join. Maybe it will change, but until it does I will have to keep Stormfront as a studio band.
How do you describe your musical style?
I´ll keep it simple. Stormfront is black metal with rawness and depressive melodies. I think it´s a bit hard to describe Stormfront more than this, and I suggest the readers listen to it to understand what I am talking about. You might have to listen to it more than once to hear all the “layers” with both the melodies and the rawness (even if there are not many physical layers). The recording is simple and there´s not like 10 physical layers of guitars, but “layers” as in depressive melodies that you might not hear the first time.
Styggmyr is another band you are in, what can you tell me about the activity of this band?
Styggmyr has been more or less inactive since 2012, and October 20th 2017 I announced that Styggmyr is a closed chapter. Since I have been the only member in both Styggmyr and Stormfront for some years now, I decided it was time to kill one of the bands. It´s pointless running two different bands and being the only member. It would only end up with Styggmyr sounding like Stormfront and Stormfront sounding like Styggmyr in the end, since both bands are black metal. It was easy to choose which band to put to an end, since Styggmyr used to be both me and Skogskjelv for a long time. Since he stopped being a part of Styggmyr, there was not an option to keep this going when Stormfront has been my main focus since 2012.
What are the next plans regarding Stormfront?
The next plans for Stormfront is to hopefully get “Djevelpakt” out on vinyl, but first I need to find a label that would be interested in releasing it. (If anyone reads this and would be interested in releasing it on tape or vinyl, feel free to contact Stormfront on: email@example.com). No Colours Records might release it if the sale of the CD version is good. I have no idea about how many copies they have sold, but I guess they have sold around half of the total copies that were pressed. Most of the copies Stormfront had for sale are now gone, and I guess around 150 – 200 copies are left of this pressing before they are gone. I have started writing music for the next release of Stormfront, which means that you don´t have to wait another 20 years before next album will be ready. Releasing “Djevelpakt” gave me plenty of inspiration and motivation to keep Stormfront running!
Cheers to you and thank you again for your time. Hails!
Thank you, Carla! It has been a pleasure! Thank you for this interview, thank you for showing interest in Stormfront and giving Stormfront massive support!! If any of the readers still haven´t got their hands on Stormfront Djevelpakt, I suggest you do it as soon as possible before it´s too late!