Interview: V.E of STORMFRONT

Interview: V.E of STORMFRONT

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Greetings V.E! As Djevelpakt is your debut release, can you please tell us all a bit about your concept, yes I can guess of course but as I had no lyrics whilst listening, please enlighten us.

Greetings! Yes, Djevelpakt is the debut album from Stormfront. The album has no specific concept, but in general the album is about the war against Christianity in various ways. I have also included some ancient Norwegian folklore in the lyrics. An example of this is the song “Detfestes for Fanden I Natt,” which is about how the witches gathered at Walpurgisnacht and celebrated the Devil through ritual dancing, blood sacrifice and orgies. During this celebration, the witches received their tasks from the Devil, and were told how to terrorize their small communities with their black magic. Other lyrics are about selling your soul to the Devil to become a tool in the war against Christianity, and I have also written one about European ancient mythology. This lyric is about the ancient Italian Goddess of Death, named Morta. In general I wanted to make this album with a 1990 ́s sound and lyrics, so it could be a natural continuation from the debut demo “Styggmyrs Triumf” that was released in 1997. When I read and hear the feedback from people around, it seems like I managed to do just that. It ́s also interesting to hear that people have understood what I wanted to do, and that I managed to do this without being a copy of any specific band from the 1990 ́s. People are saying that they can hear it is Stormfront, and the main difference is that the sound has turned much colder but the melodies are still present.

I’ve been a fan of Black Metal since I heard Immortal in 1992, live and supporting Morbid Angel? Perhaps I’m way older than you but tell us this, what got you into the darker side of heavy metal?

It all started with Mötley Crüe and their use of the pentagram on “Shout at the Devil.” This must have been when I was around 10 – 11 years old in 1987 – 1988. I became a big fan of Twisted Sister in 1985 when I heard “Leader of the Pack” on the radio, and I discovered Mötley Crüe a couple of years later. Me and another kid in my class started drawing pentagrams on our school books and we were really into Mötley Crüe a couple of years until I discovered Sodom “Agent Orange” in the local record store in 1989. The other kid in my class and me used to go to the record store after school and we used to listen to records with cool covers. I couldn ́t believe the speed Sodom delivered and I became hooked on Sodom which lead me to discover Thanatos “Emerging From the Netherworld” and Napalm Death “Harmony Corruption” in 1990. In 1991 there was a guy having a radio show named “Heavy Metal” on the local radio and he played Cadaver “Innominate,” Carnage “Infestation of Evil” and of course the band that made me discover black metal, Samael “Into the Pentagram.” In 1993 we went to a school trip to Oslo, and we went to Hot Records. There they were selling Fimbulwinter “Rehearsal Demo 1992,” Satyricon “The Forest Is My Throne” demo tape and Burzum “Burzum.” I ended up buying all three. We also went to a store named Bodyshop where we bought inverted crosses and spiked gauntlets. That same year I was working once a week at the local record store, and I asked the manager if we could start selling Merciless, Burzum, Mayhem, Abruptum and Darkthrone in the store. He said yes and suddenly black metal started being available in my hometown. To begin with we had almost 20 CD ́s with various black- and death metal, and this made me have the chance to meet others that were into black- and death metal. The interest escalated with the death of Euronymous and the coverage of this incident, church burnings and grave desecration in the media. During autumn 1993 I started in high school I ended up in the same class as two guys who played in a band named Anti-Christ, and these two guys were the ones that I later ended up with in Stormfront.

You must know you share the name ‘Stormfront’ with an extreme far right political group. Care to comment on that at all?

Yes, I know. In 1996 when the band started, none of us had internet and knew about any political group named Stormfront. The band Stormfront is a black metal band.

Can you talk about the artwork for the album?

The artwork on the cover is named “A Witches Sabbath” and was made by Jan Ziamko. I think it suited for the album title “Djevelpakt,” since the witches on a Sabbath had sold their souls to the Devil. “Djevelpakt” is the Norwegian word for “pact with the Devil.” According to Norwegian folklore, people could sell their soul to the Devil if they wanted to achieve certain things in life and sign the contract in their own blood. They had to put the contract in the keyhole of the closest church where the Devil would come and pick up this contract. The contract would have a time aspect where the date was set when the Devil would appear and bring you to Hell as a servant for all eternity. The entire layout on the album was made by me, and I wanted to keep it plain and simple just the way I like it. I wanted to keep it like it was on the 1990 ́s black metal releases.

There’s a certain and particular style and mood you play in. Is that intentional or more, you?

I would say that the mood I play in is quite me, and I think it ended up more or less like I wanted to be. I do of course hear things that could have been done a bit different, but I don ́t want to tell what since than the listener might start thinking the same. When I record I always stay away from other music, since I want it to be me and not a copy of what I have just listened to. Usually I don ́t listen to music 2-3 weeks before I write the music for Stormfront. This is probably why people say they can hear elements that could fit into either this band or that band, but not being a copy of any bands. I like my black metal raw and cold, but still with some cold melodies here and there. I also like both fast and raw black metal and also a bit slower but moodier black metal, and that ́s probably why it often end up with faster guitars and with a bit slower drums.

Can you enlighten us as to any future plans for Stormfront?

The future plans for Stormfront now, is to release a split with 4 other bands on The Ritual Productions. The 4 other bands are Darkstorm, Cursed Coven, Ordo Sanguinis Noctis and Gotkolonne. This split will be ready in just a couple of weeks, I guess, and it will contain two new songs from Stormfront. I will also record a new album during the summer, and if everything goes as planned it will feature a “famous” non-Norwegian vocalist that was most active in the 1990 ́s.  This vocalist has not been doing much music after 2000, but has now returned to the black metal scene. I will not tell you who this is yet, but I think it will be quite nice if everything goes as planned. You have to wait and see and hear. We have not yet discussed if it will be under the moniker Stormfront featuring the vocalist, under the moniker the vocalist featuring Stormfront or a collaboration between Stormfront and this artist. Stormfront are writing the music and the vocalist has written the lyrics.

As a solo artist currently, can you see yourself approaching other musicians together in the future? Perhaps to play live for instance.

It might happen in the future, but we ́ll have to wait and see. Here in Lillehammer there is no black metal scene, and that is of course a problem if you want other members to join. I will not accept any musician, since I don ́t want Stormfront to be influenced by any other musical styles.  It also feels quite ok to be a solo artist, since than I can have full control. Then again, it would have been nice to have a full line up and doing anything live. Another thing that would make it nice to have others included is that writing and recording would be easier than now. I guess there are both positive and negative sides with being alone in a band. I guess I ́m unable to give you a good answer to this question, since it all depends on if I find others that I want to join or not.

Onto some inspiration.

  1. Name some top music inspiration? That ́s a bit hard to answer, since I usually don ́t listen to music during writing and recording. I actually have no idea, but probably a mix between all the bands I listen to regularly like Marduk, Dissection, Samael, Immortal (old), Beherit, Darkthrone (old), Sodom, Gorgoroth, Carpathian Forest (old) etc. I can ́t say that one of these bands inspires me more than the other.
  2. Have you ever dabbled in the dark arts, Black magic, Wicca etc.? Yes.
  3. What is your favourite quote and by who? I actually don ́t have any favourite quote that I can remember at the moment.
  4. What have been your favourite study topics? In school it must have been Norwegian language and religion. My favourite topics these days are history (mostly war history), various mythology, folklore, magic and haunted places.
  5. Any artists or philosophers that you follow at all? I like reading the books from Erich von Däniken but I can ́t exactly say I follow him. When it comes to artists, I would say no. I mean, both philosophers and artists might be interesting, but I don ́t follow the artists or philosophers. The most important is the art and the philosophy.

What instruments set up do you use? (Guitar, pedals, amp) and can you speak a bit about the recording process of Djevelpakt. How long did it take? Run down on the instruments? Guitar tunings? Drum work etc. Any long nights or even longer distance travelling involved? Maybe a special covenant or two?

I am sorry  but I will not talk about the details about set up, what instruments I use or any technical details. I don ́t want anyone to try copying the sound of Stormfront. I can, however talk about the recording process. First the drums are being recorded. After this I record the guitars, where I use maximum 4 tracks on the guitars. When the guitars and drums are ready, I record the bass before recording the vocals as the last thing I do. I started writing the music during winter 2016, and ended up recording the album during 2016/2017. I spent 6 weekends for the recording, but not full weekends. Each song usually takes between 1-2 hours to record. It has of course been some long nights, since I like starting in the evening when I record. It has also been some evenings where I have started recording when I have just stopped right after I started, since my mood has not been right to record anything. I have to feel inspired and have the right mood when I record. If one of these two thing are not right, I don ́t feel it ́s any point to put any effort into the recording. It has been no long distance to travel during the recording, even if the intro and outro was recorded in Germany. My long-time friend D. S. that has been a fan of Stormfront since 1997, asked me if I needed any help and I invited him to do these two tracks for the album.

There’s no denying that Djevelpakt is raw in the sense of recording. Is this fully what you intended? Are you completely happy with it?

Thanks! This is what I wanted the album to sound like. It ended up more or less as I intended, but there ́s always room for improvement. If I was completely satisfied, I could have just stopped after Djevelpakt. As an artist, I think I will never be completely satisfied with what I record. I will not tell what I ́m not satisfied with, since it ́s pretty much irrelevant to the listeners.

As you hail from the country that started black metal, I’ve got to ask… What did the early 90 ́s scene of black metal mean to you? The “Inner Circle” of Euronymous and Co, the church burnings and the murders. Yet it ́s in the past and most of those involved don ́t talk fondly of this past but it built and left such a legend of sorts. Any thoughts you care to share?

This is a bit hard to answer, since I never knew the “important” people. They were mostly based in Oslo and Bergen and I was a bit younger than these people, so I only knew about these people. The only thing that happened around where I live, was the murder committed by Faust. It happened only 4 kilometres from my home, but I never knew it was him until it was revealed in the local newspapers. All the church burnings, the murders and grave desecrations was very fascinating, and I collected cuttings from the newspapers and I taped much of the news from TV. I and some guys from school had already started listening to black metal, but we were never involved with the “Inner Circle” and it ́s not much I can say about it. I only had some contact with Aphazel from Ancient, and I used to call him every now and then. Other than that there were some letters circulating in the Norwegian scene, and I had some contacts around because of a fanzine I was a co-editor of. This fanzine was named Nordlys, and the fanzine made me become more involved in the Norwegian black metal scene. I am pretty sure there would be no Stormfront without all that happened in the beginning of the 1990 ́s, since these actions and the bands involved inspired us to play black metal. If this had not happened, Stormfront might have had a different name and might have been playing death- or thrash metal. Who knows?

Thanks very much for taking the time V.E. I and Antichrist Magazine extend our best wishes towards you and Stormfront.

Thanks! Thank you for showing interest in Stormfront, and thank you for the interview. You did probably not get the answer to all your questions, but I prefer to keep some things to myself concerning the sound and the instruments.

The last words shall be given up to V.E…

If you have not bought Djevelpakt yet, be sure to get hold of the CD before it ́s too late. It is available through No Colours Records, and is limited to only 500 copies. Be sure to buy the split that will soon be available through The Ritual Productions. A limited run of small embrodied patches are available, and can be ordered through stormfront666@gmail.com  If any record labels are interested in releasing Djevelpakt on vinyl, I am open to offers. Please use the e-mail address above.

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