King Ov Hell Discusses New Band God Seed
After the legal dispute over the rights to the band name Gorgoroth former members Gaahl and King ov Hell are now continuing on their own band under the name God Seed. King spoke with me about the story behind the name, the recording of their upcoming as-yet-untitled album, and how God Seed's music will differ from the previous Gorgoroth material.
xFiruath: When did you first start playing the bass and what made you want to become a musician?
King: I started playing bass in the same way as most ballplayers start I guess. I was 12 and the band already had a guitar player. I didn't have any goals becoming a musician as a teenager. I still don`t consider myself as a musician. I just happen to play and compose music.
xFiruath: The entire Gorgoroth name dispute between yourself and Infernus has been pretty well covered, but we haven’t heard as much from the members of God Seed yet. Is there anything about the situation that you’d like to clear up or discuss?
King: I am so tired of this dispute. The fact that people care so much about it seems totally absurd to me. We were three people in Gorgoroth who have spent most their entire adult life devoted to that band. We put our creative energy into it at different times. Infernus is now Gorgoroth with new members. It seems like all of this has awoken the wolf in him again which is a good thing. I wish him the best for the future. Gorgoroth is now my and Gaahl’s past and we’ll bring with us our past into the future, but now as God Seed. People who have followed us the past decade won`t be much surprised of what delivered.
xFiruath: Tell me about the name God Seed, why did you pick it and is there any specific meaning behind it?
King: God Seed represents a more spiritual side to us. Gaahl always wrote personal lyrics in Gorgoroth and will continue to do so in the future. It is hard to capture the essence of all aspects presented in one word, or in this case two. I wanted a name with more substantial meaning than embracing dark forces. I wanted a name focusing on growth than destruction, though in many cases you need to destroy something existing to be able to grow in the future. God Seed represents the will to grow; the will to be the super man so to speak. God Seed is also the title of a track from our last album released under the "Gorgoroth" banner and in that respect it symbolizes what is brought from the past. I knew that this name would be debated by internet morons because we use the word "God" instead of "Satan", and because of Gaahls sexual preferences. It will challenge the weak minded in the respect that we in the past used the word Satan a lot, but it's all about the same thing. The unenlightened will at once connect the word "God" to Semitic tradition. I never believed in a Christian force named "Satan" or "God". I believe in the God within man. I am also fully aware that this name will be made fun out of because of Gaahl`s sexual preferences. I couldn't care less about that part. People with a mindset of 13 year old kids would do that to him anyway and ironically enough just becomes tools spreading our art and ideas in the long run!
xFiruath: Will God Seed be continuing the tradition started in Gorgoroth of not printing the lyrics for the songs?
King: I have personally not had strong opinions on this matter. It is up to Gaahl to decide if he wants to publish his lyrics or not. It's his work and not mine. He will decide.
xFiruath: How far along is the recording process for the new God Seed album and have you chosen a title yet?
King: We have recorded everything in the studio and are just waiting for Gaahl to put on vocals on it. So we have only vocals and the final mix to go before it`s all done. It's sometimes a nightmare to work with him in the studio because of the pride he puts into the smallest details. If he is not in the right mood or doesn't find the correct words we get nothing done. At times I've spent days in the studio counting seconds with nothing happening. It's the same way now, but I know in the end the result will unique and powerful. We have to wait till Gaahl is done writing his lyrics to chose the title for the album. When the whole concept of this album is done lyrically we’ll decide which title to use.
xFiruath: I saw that Frost will be doing the drum work for the new album. Do you have any other session musicians lined up?
King: Ice Dale and Teloch have played guitars on the album. I am very satisfied with the outcome of the recordings so far and believe it to be my best work so far. At least I think so, and that`s all that matters.
xFiruath: How would you compare the new God Seed album to the previous works of Gorgoroth? What are the major differences and similarities?
King: The fact that Ice Dale and Teloch are playing guitars on the upcoming album is the most noticeable change on the new record. They are both amazing guitarists who make the new record sound way more tight and "big" than what we have done in the past. I never made music to fit the name of a banner. I've developed my own style of writing metal music whether it`s called Gorgoroth or God Seed. I'm not to judge if I'm successful at it or not. I write what comes naturally for me. I will of course constantly change and I predict that the next God Seed album will sound differently than the one we put out now. I'm not very calculated when I compose and don't have an agenda on how it will turn out in the end. It all happens naturally and to my own satisfaction. That's what is important in the end.
xFiruath: Are you still working with your other projects Sahg, I, and Jotunspor? If so what are those bands up to these days?
King: We are currently almost done composing the material for our third full length with Sahg. I am very optimistic about it. I guess Sahg is a bit too soft for the regular black metal listener, but if you are into bands like Black Sabbath and Pentagram you should get something out of Sahg. I grew up with music from the 70`s and this band helps me lots to purify my ideas when I compose extreme music. It`s in fact a shame that the video of the song "Pyromancer" got so badly promoted of Regain Records. In my mind its one of the better metal videos out there. I guess that’s what you get when you are signed to a useless company. We have signed with Indie Recordings this time around and I know things will be way better taken care of now than in the past. I’m not sure when we’ll put out a new I record. For the time being Abbath and Immortal are in the studio, and I have been focused on the new God Seed release. Abbath has become one of my closer friends and we talk often about doing a new record after he has done with the new Immortal album. Jotunspor is more of a studio band I have with Kvitrafn. I saw the concert he did with Wardruna at the Inferno festival in Oslo this Easter. This concert is one of the best concerts I have ever witnessed. We talked a little that night about doing a new Jotunspor album when the time is right. He is not doing extreme music at the moment, but I hope Kvitrafn is not done expressing himself in this genre. A very unique, talented and creative individual. I actually never forgave him that he left Gorgoroth in 2004.
xFiruath: What are God Seed’s plans for the near future once the new album is finished? Do you have any tours or festival appearances planned?
King: We will play a few fests this summer, including Hellfest in France, With Full Force in Germany and Unholy fest. We are in dialogue with different partners concerning tours, but it all depends on when the album is released. We will for sure tour lots to support the new God Seed album when it`s in the stores.
xFiruath: Will anything be changing with God Seed live shows versus what you guys did in Gorgoroth? Can we expect more things like severed animal heads and nude crucifixions?
King: We haven`t decided on that part yet. We have ideas on how we want to present our art in a live situation in the future. We will use some of the same imagery we are known for in the beginning, but of course we want to grow and develop. Stagnation is one of the worst things in the world. People who want to reproduce what was given them in the early 90`s is a sad sight. Even worse the ones who want to be true and sound like the first Mayhem or Darkthrone records. They are just sheep. There is nothing elitist, individual or unique in such an approach. Black metal used to be revolutionary and creative and now for most of the bands I listen to it`s about being conservative and keeping a tradition alive. There are a few exceptions, but they are few. I get something out of bands like Shining and Craft. Even Satyricon is trying to reinvent themselves, even though they are pretty far from what we are doing musically and lyrically.
xFiruath: When you aren’t playing music which albums are you listening to most these days?
King: I don`t listen much to metal music to be honest. I listen to what is presented to me. I guess I`m getting old. I spend so much time on my own music that I find seldom interest in what others are doing. I use more time listening to music far from what I am doing myself. This helps me relax and get my focus on what’s important.
xFiruath: I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on the recent announcement that Varg Vikernes of Burzum is going to be released from prison. Are you Burzum fan and do you take any particular side in the debate of whether he should be released or not?
King: I have no opinions on the matter. I have never met him, and from what I have heard and read we don’t have much in common either. I do however find "Filosofem" to be one of the best Black metal albums ever released. I don`t care much about if he is released or not, but it`s good that "Filosofem" is released.
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