SOURCE – Can you tell something about the production of “Riitiir”. Where there any complications or did it all go as planned?
Grutle Kjellson (Bass/Vocals) – “Riitiir” was recorded mainly at Solslottet Studios in Bergen - Norway, with some additional recordings done in Earshot Studios and Peersonal Sound also based in Bergen. The drums, bass and Ivar Bjørnson’s guitars were recorded live in studio to give the recording a dynamic band “feeling” as apposed to most of the quite sterile recordings we witness nowadays. It sound really fresh and organic I think, and this is by far our best effort up to date. We’re really proud of it!
The whole thing was produced by Ivar, myself, Herbrand Larsen and engineer Iver Sandøy. It was mixed and mastered in Facination Street, Örebro – Sweden by Jens Bogren. I would say it went somehow as planned, but of course with some healthy dicussions and surprises along the way.
SOURCE – It can be difficult to hold on to a sound you’ve become known for while also trying to explore new musical areas ?
Grutle Kjellson (Bass/Vocals) – We don’t think of it in terms like that really. We just like to go with the flow and we feel no pressure from outside. The only pressure we feel is the pressure we lay on ourselves. Our only goal is to make good music, our own favorite music, an album we would like to put on our vinyl player. That is the whole motivation. We don’t have any rules or boundaries, we never had. We think, making concervative music within frames are totally alien to us. We basically don´t give a fuck… hehe. We’re moving inwards into space.
SOURCE – What was the most important thing you learned as a musician, when creating and recording “Riitiir”?
Grutle Kjellson (Bass/Vocals) – The decision to go old school and record live again was perhaps not learning anything new, but it was probably the most healthy thing we’ve ever done when it comes to recording an album. More re-learning actually! It was really fun actually, and we recorded the songs with a lot more energy than we’ve done the last 15 years. You can hear that this is a real recording, the real deal! Like in the 70′s.
SOURCE – What are your expectations for “Riitiir”?
Grutle Kjellson (Bass/Vocals) – Oh that…hehe. What can I say? I have no idea how the reception will be, so that´s of course exiting. On the other hand, we are really confident ourselves. We strongly feel that this is our best album by far. I guess we have to wait and see. One thing is for sure though. We are looking forward to play these new songs live!
SOURCE – At what point did you realize that you won’t be able to please everybody with the set, so it’s just best to go out there and give it your all?
Grutle Kjellson (Bass/Vocals) – When we released our tenth album I realized that we have to play an 8 hour set to please everybody in the audience… No, seriously, I think we manage to please most of the audience at a headline show at least. We try to play some old classics, those songs that fit the “New” line up best, together with a selection of songs from “Below the Lights” and further on. We don’t play very much from “Eld”, “Blodhemn”, “Mardraum” and “Monumension”, but the demand for songs from those albums doesn’t seem to be that strong either. Please tell us if we’re wrong!
SOURCE – How much has internet helped to get your band name around to people’s lips? What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of the internet in your opinion if we only try to keep the main focus on your band activities?
Grutle Kjellson (Bass/Vocals) – Well, when we started in 1991 it was still very underground and of course no such things as Facebook and Myspace. In fact there wasn’t even an internet. There were letters and underground Fanzines, and that was about it. That is definitely the biggest difference between then and now. It was hard to be recognized as a band, but we worked hard for it, and I strongly cherish that time. The underground was a stronghold back then, and will of course never exist in such a way ever again.
But, on the other hand, I’m not so sure that I would go back either… hehe. Things are far more professional nowadays, and it’s easier in many ways to be in a band. I guess technology has its pros and cons. Internet spreads the words a lot faster than the Fanzines ever did, but people cared a lot more about the music earlier, specially the physical products; the vinyls, the tapes etc. Nowadays people just download a file, and most of them don’t even realize that they are stealing a product while doing so…
SOURCE – When did you know you wanted to pursue a career in music?
Grutle Kjellson (Bass/Vocals) – When I realized that money wasn’t everything in life… I guess it started with my introduction to Kiss in the 70′s, developed further into trash metal in the 80′s and ended up on tour with Enslaved in the 90′s thinking: what the hell happened?
SOURCE – What do you see the future of death metal? Do you think it will go on its own, or do you think it will have to adapt to the modern times in order to survive?
Grutle Kjellson (Bass/Vocals) – What can I say? If you like you metal safe and boring, it’s easy to copy like thousands of bands has done before. Loads of peolple doesn’t like challenges and loves nostalgia and regressive music. Not neccesarily anything wrong about that, but it doesn’t mean that it is interesting and innovative or even progressive. I think this is a matter of taste like everything else.
Good music will never cease to exist, and as long as we have Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd or even Bathory, Autopsy and Carcass for that matter, people will be inspired to make music. We need a handful of timeless classics to inspire people, the rest will evolve on its own momentum.
SOURCE – Final thoughts or comments?
Grutle Kjellson (Bass/Vocals) – Thanks for the interview. Hope to be able to come to Suomi soon! Thanks friend Falber Teles!