Infernus Discusses The Future Of Gorgoroth
Band Photo: Gorgoroth (?)
Infamous Norwegian black metal band Gorgoroth recently suffered a schism when vocalist Gaahl and bassist King Ov Hell attempted to trademark the band name and exclude guitar player Infernus, the only original member of the band remaining. Infernus spoke with Metalunderground about the recent verdict awarding him the trademark, the band's new lineup, and the upcoming album "Quantos Possunt Ad Satanitatem Trahunt."
xFiruath: How long have you been playing the guitar and what initially made you want to become a musician?
Infernus: I have been playing guitar for half of an eternity by now. Whether I learned it properly or not, should be up to others to judge. It was back in 1989, I think I remember. When I first bought my first electrical guitar, a vester actually. Before then, I had always had a wish of becoming a musician and a songwriter, all the way back into childhood. But what it was that triggered me to actually go ahead and buy that first guitar, I cannot precisely remember. At the time being, then as now, I was heavily influenced by bands like Bathory, Possessed, Celtic Frost and the like. Perhaps that had a bit do do with it. At least, if you ask me, it should definitely be possible to trace some certain influence in my songwriting from there.
xFiruath: There has been quite a bit of coverage about the court verdict that prevented Gaahl from copyrighting the name Gorgoroth and you are probably getting sick of talking about it by now. With that in mind I’ll simply ask is there anything about it that you d like to cover or discuss?
Infernus: Yeah, I am about to get sick of it. I had this thing hanging over me for about 19 months now, and it is time to move on. They had a more or less cunning plan on how to get away with the name, and they obviously planned it well too. But the basics should be well known by now, and that's all there is for the majority of people out there to focus on. The bass player, 7th in the line, went behind my back and secretly applied for a trademark registration for the band's name and logo. I sued him and I won. I won because I was right and he was wrong. For a certain period of time, until the court proceedings could be effectuated, they then, he and the ex-vocalist, used the name for what it was worth doing a bit of touring. I sued them for that as well, and now it is time to take what comes as a result of that.
xFiruath: Is there an official new line-up for Gorogorth at this point?
Infernus: Yes, there is, and there has been for quite a while now. But in contrast to the attitude and focus of the counterpart, me and my new line-up, which is consisting of both ex-members from the 90's and brand new ones, we kept basically our cards to ourselves, spending more time in studio than in the media. The result of that is now soon ready, and we might be looking at an October release. By June 26th the mix of the upcoming full-length "Quantos Possunt Ad Satanitatem Trahunt" will be finished. And it will be released, as planned way back in time, on Regain Records, Gorgoroth's record label through the last four years.
xFiruath: Now that the band has a mostly new line-up will the tradition of not revealing the lyrics continue on or do you plan to release the lyrics on upcoming albums?
Infernus: Basically, the plans now are to continue and stick to the plans. The same plans I made for the band when starting it some 17 years ago. The major difference is that we now have to deal with things without Gaahl and King, since they, according to the verdict and what I have been stating about a million of times already, excluded themselves from Gorgoroth in 2007. But hey, that's not a too big loss. I am aflame with the fires of hell now, and I am ready to show what me and their replacements are able to deliver now. And Gorgoroth's lyrics have never been printed in booklets or revealed otherwise, not with any line-up.
xFiruath: What is the status of the band now?
Infernus: Studio work and rehearsals. And then some practical issues in terms of repositioning and building a new set of co-workers around the bands. Most of the ones we had before the issue in 2007 took a clear choice and spoke it out loud when I wanted to hear what they had to say. Others did not. Therefore I cannot continue working with them. I crave loyalty and predictability now, and the people I found so far seem to be both dedicated and hardworking. Working hard in more or less the same direction as me.
xFiruath: How far along is “Quantos Possunt ad Satanitatem Trahunt?”
Infernus: We have spent about a year now in Tomas Asklund's studio in Sweden, doing rehearsals, arrangements and pre-productions etc. we are now recording drums and guitars. It will be a massive guitar recording this time, as I have to manually record six basic guitars. Never did that before, so I am really excited about it. Then, from June 9th we will have some rehearsals in Bergen, Norway, for two possible European festivals in the end of the summer. Directly thereafter, we will be off to Stockholm again, doing bass and vocals for the album.
xFiruath: I’ve noticed people in interviews lately have been asking you a lot about Gaahl s sexual orientation and whether you knew about it, which seem like rather irrelevant questions in regards to Gorgoroth. Why do you think the media and fans care so much about whether Gaahl is gay or straight?
Infernus: Many people out there, way too many, are seemingly suffering from a major case of lack of meaning in their own lives. This, one should remember, happens at the same time as we are undergoing the hell of being served these so-called reality concepts through TV. This is as I regard it a symptom of illness and if I had my way in it the diagnosis would be clear. Gloating at people's private lives is not decent, and the rewards should be according to that. Sharia! When that has been said, whatever sexual preference any of my friends or ex-friends, band members or ex-band members might have, is to me completely irrelevant. And I have other things to talk about when I first get time to stick my nose into the media.
xFiruath: I think something everyone wants to know is how are you possibly going to top the Black Mass in Krakow DVD? Can we expect any more on stage nude crucifixions?
Infernus: Hehe, yeah. I have heard that asked before. And I have heard some people did not find it so amusing upon release. What is definite, is that 2004 is in the past, and with that in mind, I see there are two options. To sit down and cry or get the focus back and work. I chose the last one, because the formula of my happiness is a "yes" and a "no", a straight line and a goal, yeah!
xFiruath: With all the festivals you guys have played you have had the opportunity to share the stage with quite a few big names in the genre. Are there any bands that you haven t played live with yet that you d still like to?
As always, these things will reveal itself when time is right. We will be hitting down hard, that is a forewarning and all you get to hear right now. When it comes to bands I’d like to play live with, or at least which I think I could survive some weeks on a band bus together with, there are a few. Again, who these might be, time will tell.
xFiruath: When you aren’t writing or playing music, what bands and albums are you personally listening to the most these days?
I am rather narrow minded and pre-judgmental when it comes to metal music. That is not a really big secret. I have been defending the faith since the 80's and I do more or less listen to the same classics now as back then. Right now, I am in a Judas Priest period. Déjà vu! Guess I just said so in another interview recently. I still enjoy listening to acts like Malmsteen,Aaccept, Judas Priest and such. And I do still enjoy listening to bands like Sodom, Destruction, (German) Poison and even Burzum. Or Klaus Schultze or Tangerine Dream. To mention a couple exceptions to the metal which is so important to me.
xFiruath: How do you feel about the state of the black and death metal scene today?
Infernus: not much, to be honest. I live in and create my own sphere where I do not have really much of either interest or time to check out how that condition is. Anyway, since I started my own record label some two to three years ago, I do of course have a certain need to stay updated on what is going on, and I must admit that I every now and then get introduced to new acts which can have a certain impact on me. Two times a year, perhaps. My last positive surprise, and that was about a year ago, was that I found out about this Serbian black metal band called Triumfall. Great music, above most other people's standards. and great guys as well, with the necessary satanic attitude for making such music, satan's music. Thus I flew in and signed them immediately.
xFiruath: Is there anything you d like to see changed or any bands that you feel are really carrying the torch into the next generation?
Infernus: I grow old and I see people becoming weaker in the will by the years. I miss the attitude and the commitment from the old days. Happily enough, as long as I know where to look for these people, I am still able to find such. So I guess there is not too much of a reason to whine yet. talking about the next generation, I have plans for outgrowing them as well, so as long as I am able to continue with what I always have been devoted to, metal and Satanism. I will personally make sure to do my best so that the flame is alive for the next 17 years or so as well. As long as some new member doesn't run off with the name then, of course, yeah, better be prepared.
xFiruath: How do you feel about the recent announcement that Varg Vikernes of Burzum is going to be released from prison?
Infernus: I did not feel so much at all concerning that. I like his music, but I do not know the man. I saw him briefly once in his trial, due to that our bass player back then had to witness in the case. That’s all.
xFiruath: The issue seems to be dividing quite a few people in the metal scene as to whether he should be let out to make new music or continue to serve time.
Infernus: Yeah, it seems so, and dividing people who most probably knew neither him nor euronymous, or who did not at all know black metal back them. That appears to me as something like people have a problem with what to spend their energy on. Per definition, of course black metal and Satanism is not for the many. Thus a load of dead meat seems to be attracted to the scene as well. Always been like that. At least since the mid-90's. Anyway, that is nothing I will bother using my energy on. My focus is on something entirely else. Something real. I want to write, release and perform classic and good metal music. And I want to do it in the name of Satan. Now, zu den sachen! Acta non verba. End of story.
xFiruath: Thanks for your time! That s all my questions, so is there anything else that you d like to discuss that I didn’t bring up?
Infernus: Not really. Thank you as well, and thank you to all you who took the right choice back there in October of 2007. You are the true defenders of the faith. Hail you and hail Satan!
Ty Arthur splits his time between writing dark fiction, spreading the word about underground metal bands, and bringing you the latest gaming news. His sci-fi, grimdark fantasy, and horror novels can be found at Amazon.
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