Ulver Mainman Reveals Future Plans
Pitchfork recently conducted an interview with ULVER mainman Kristoffer "Garm" Rygg. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Pitchfork: You're still occasionally associated with black metal, though your sound's been shifting incrementally, and now significantly, since 1992. Does the association bug you?
Kristoffer "Garm" Rygg: It bugged me more before, around 2000. At that point where we were very set on drawing sharp lines and distinguishing between things, people, places. I also believed there was such a thing as new beginnings. But history haunts us and there's nothing you can do. I accept that, even though I still find it curious, of course, that two out of 15 releases are regarded, or included to such an extent. But hell, I guess it means you're are pretty lucky when you have fans who love both your first and your last effort spanning fifteen years. That's pretty rare, especially considering the inconsistent nature of our body of work. I also realize that if it hadn't been for our initial "success" as a black metal band, there's a good chance nobody would know we exist. Or care. Sometimes I'm not sure what I'd prefer.
Pitchfork: I'm interested in how you progressed from your early days to your current sound. What sort of aesthetic did you pull from for "Shadows of the Sun"? Chamber music, but what else? What contemporary metal and non-metal groups do you enjoy? I hear church music — even the BEACH BOYS. I hear you studied classical composers for it. How did you decide to use electronics/piano, et al? Of course, there are still moments of dissonance and feedback, but you largely break from standard "rock" instruments. There's this general soft white noise sounds filtering throughout — and horns.
Kristoffer "Garm" Rygg: There's no specific aesthetic other than a sense of the beautiful itself, I suppose. There's a connection to classical composition, that's pretty obvious. Some Wagner transpositions. Some Schumann warped beyond recognition etc. in there. "Funebre" is largely based on one single bar off Wagner and we have that little Chopin signature thrown in there as well. So yeah, even though we use fewer notes, the classical stamp is all over the record. BEACH BOYS? It's probably the vocal thing, that I am so fond of clean-sung, layered, well-produced vocals and harmonies. That's another rarity these days. I wonder, where did all the sunshine pop go?
Pitchfork: Where do you see ULVER headed next?
Kristoffer "Garm" Rygg: First, I am going to take some time off the whole music thing, and then we'll see. There's some original motion picture soundtrack work in negotiation. And I always wanted to make a cover album consisting of obscure psychedelic music from the 1960s — all re-shaped and customized, ULVER style.
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