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Nidingr: "Blood, Murder, Evil . . . and typical Viking shit"

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The mere thought of Norwegian black metal conjures up thoughts of darkness, evil, arrests, blistering headbanging chaos, church burnings, death and destruction.

Thankfully, some Scandinavian acts still live up to that billing. Nidingr, a Norwegian black metal supergroup of sorts, is one.

The band – made up of 1340/Gorgoroth/Ov Hell guitarist Teloch, Immortal/Mayhem drummer Hellhammer, guitarist Blargh and vocalist Captain Estrella Grassa – has been in existence in one form or another for 15 years. But the band has played only a handful of live gigs, has no plans for any U.S. or European tours and recorded its second eardrum-shattering assault, “Wolf Father,” in Norway - amazingly without all members ever being together in the studio.

Guitarist Teloch, who recently added to his workload by joining the latest incarnation of Mayhem, took a few minutes from his home in Oslo to talk about replacing drum machines with live musicians, getting arrested for pissing on a castle with Norwegian metal overlord Garm and the meaning of the band’s name (hint: it’s got something to do with Norse mythology).

And there’s an offensive joke thrown in for good measure. Enjoy.

Driftski: How did Ndingr come together and what is the idea behind the band?

Teloch: Actually Nidingr was started over 15 years ago, but we have not been the most productive band around. It all started with me having some songs that I wanted to do (with something other than a) drum-machine and doing everything myself. I got in touch with my brother Blargh (who) I already had played with in another band. We got a band together and recorded a rehearsal tape in 1996. After that we continued for ourselves for some years, recorded demos and all that shit. In 2005 we got tired of singing ourselves, so we got Estrella Grasa to do the vocals on our previous album “Sorrow Infinite And Darkness”. There has never been any viral plans within this band, other than making some cool tunes, and maybe occasionally some gigs.

Driftski: Any touring plans? U.S. dates?

Teloch: At the moment there are no touring plans what so ever. We need to find a steady drummer first. Hellhammer is way too busy to get some serious work done. We are doing some festivals this year, and I think that’s going to be it. At least for now. We don’t have any gigs abroad with Nidingr - every gig planned this year is in Norway. But of course we want to do U.S and European dates with time. As soon as we get a steady band we will unleash this beast unto the world.

Driftski: How has the Scandinvaian black metal scene evolved from the early days? How have the church burnings, murders, etc. impacted the scene?

Teloch: The so called scene is spread in many directions now. Not so sure if anyone actually is doing Black Metal anymore. How church BBQ and all those things impacted the scene, I have never reflected on. I really don’t care as I have never been involved in the scene much. I really don’t have any interest in the scene and I think most of what is released today and the last 5-6 years sucks donkey balls big time.

Driftski: What is the English translation of the band's name and why was this name chosen?

Teloch: A Niding is a shameless coward, a thief, outcast etc. In Norse Mythology the word niðingr would be used when a person had committed a crime (and) there was no atonement established for that particular crime.
The choosing of the band name is actually kinda funny. A friend of mine got in touch and asked if I wanted to play with him in his band. He already had a band name/logo and shirt printed. What he showed me at the time looked very cool, so I told him I would do it. Turns out my friend did not know how to play anything at all. Hence I traded the vinyl collection I had at the time for the rights to use the Nidingr band name and he gave me the shirts and everything.

Driftski: What are some of the themes on “Wolf Father?”

Teloch: The whole album is based on Norse Mythology and we use poems from the Old Norse Edda. I haven’t actually read the lyrics very well, so I can’t explain what the hell is going on. Haha - typical Viking shit I guess, plus some darkness and pain. I’m really not that much into lyrics, as long as I get my “blood, murder,evil” etc. I really don’t care what the hell it’s about.

Driftski: Where was the album recorded and what was the recording process for “Wolf Father” like?

Teloch: The album was recorded at 3 or 4 different locations here in Norway, then mixed at a fourth one and mastered at a fifth one, or something like that. We started out with the old drummer, recording the drum tracks in my hometown, Horten Norway. Then in a mysterious way the drummer got himself fired, and we deleted the drum tracks and recruited Hellhammer for the job. The band was not together once during the process.

Driftski: How did the collaboration with Garm come about?

Teloch: I met Garm out while drinking with some friends we have in common. We ended up pissing on the king's castle here in Oslo and got arrested by the castle guards and thrown in jail. We stayed in touch after that incident and when I told him I had a riff he would be perfect for, he instantly said yes.

Driftski: What are your thoughts on the use of corpse paint?

Teloch: I think corpse paint can be very powerful when done the right way, but at the moment I am very OK with not using corpse paint in Nidingr nor Mayhem.

Driftski: Any final words for our readers across the globe?

Teloch: Yes! A woman gets on a bus with her baby. The bus driver says: “That's the ugliest baby that I've ever seen. Ugh!” The woman goes to the rear of the bus and sits down, fuming. She says to a man next to her: “The driver just insulted me!”
The man says: “You go right up there and tell him off – go ahead, I'll hold your monkey for you."

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