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Nick Barker Discusses Departure From Dimmu Borgir

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Former DIMMU BORGIR drummer Nick Barker has spoken exclusively to Blabbermouth about his surprising departure from the group.

In an official statement announcing Barker's departure, DIMMU BORGIR indicated that "Nicholas has been removed" from the band's lineup and advised their fans to not "waste [their] time speculating why," adding that "we have already moved on."

The following is a transcript of an exclusive question-and-answer session held between Blabbermouth and Nick Barker the evening of Monday, February 9:

Q: DIMMU BORGIR confirmed your departure from the group by saying that you were "removed" from the band's lineup. Most people would interpret that statement to mean that you were kicked out of the band, not that you left of your own accord.

Nick Barker: That's right. I guess they let me go because they think it's the right decision for the band. And I totally respect their decision, and I have to go with it, obviously. And I just wish them all the best.

Q: Was this decision a long time coming? Were you surprised at all to learn of their decision to kick you out of the band?

Nick Barker: It was a total surprise to me. But I guess they think it's the right thing to do, and all the best to them.

Q: But they must have given you a reason as to why they were kicking you out, didn't they?

Nick Barker: I guess it's because of the distance thing — me being English and those guys being Norwegians. And me commuting from England to Norway all the time. I guess they thought things just weren't working out. I [also] think there might have been a few cultural differences, with me being English and those guys being Norwegians. I mean, we always seemed to get along, and we made some good music together.

Q: The way their statement was worded implied that there might have been some bad blood there — like the split wasn't entirely amicable.

Nick Barker: I don't know anything about that.

Q: So there were no band fights or internal disagreements that precipitated this decision to kick you out of the band?

Nick Barker: Certainly not with me, no.

Q: When you were actually told that you were no longer in the band? Did this happen just a short time before the band released their official statement announcing your departure or is this something that had already occurred several weeks earlier?

Nick Barker: I was actually told… I think it was the second week in January, when I was on vacation, they called me up and broke the news to me.

Q: Was it the band that called you or was it their management?

Nick Barker: No, it was [vocalist] Shagrath. I was on vacation, and as soon as I got back home, I pretty much called [former FEAR FACTORY and current BRUJERIA guitarist] Dino [Cazares] and came out to L.A. to work on BRUJERIA and I played my first show [with BRUJERIA] in Mexicali this [past] weekend.

Q: But you've been involved with BRUJERIA for quite some time now, at least on the recording side.

Nick Barker: Yeah, I recorded some tracks on the last record, 'Brujerizmo', in 1999.

Q: Was your involvement with various side projects, including BRUJERIA and LOCK UP, ever mentioned as being in potential conflict with your duties in DIMMU BORGIR?

Nick Barker: No, [the DIMMU BORGIR guys] were totally cool with the side-project thing, and they always knew that Dimmu would be my priority and everything else would be worked around Dimmu or not at all. Me and Dino and [NAPALM DEATH/BRUJERIA bassist] Shane [Embury] are working on some Brujeria material right now."

Q: Was anything mentioned to you about a possible replacement drummer in DIMMU BORGIR? Is it possible that they already had a replacement in mind and that's part of the reason you were kicked out?

Nick Barker: No, I think they're gonna go with session drummers [going forward].

I'm not bitter about [the split] or anything — I've got plenty of other things I could be getting on with.

I've got no beef with [the Dimmu guys] — I totally respect them and I've got nothing but admiration and respect for their music and them as people. I wish them all the best, and good luck.

Q: Were you friends with the rest of the DIMMU guys outside the band?

Nick Barker: Yeah, we were friends outside the band, too. Obviously, we hung out a lot together, with all the time I spent in Norway. Obviously, though, I had to [always] go back to England. So I was kind of living two separate lives, really.

Q: Was that something that was a problem with you?

Nick Barker: No, I'm totally… It wasn't a problem for me at all.

Q: Was there ever talk about you possibly relocating to Norway?

Nick Barker: Yeah, but it was just so impractical because Norway is such an expensive country, and they pay over 30% tax. It's just a very, very expensive country, and unfortunately, the royalty rates [from record sales] are the same the world over, regardless of whether the currency is up or down.

Q: But you were never a full-fledged member, correct?

Nick Barker: No, I was.

Q: So you weren't just getting paid a salary?

Nick Barker: No, I get paid royalties and everything else.

Q: How much of a hand did you have in the songwriting process, if at all?

Nick Barker: II didn't really come up with any riffs apart from groove patterns on the drums, and I used to have a very hands-on role in song arrangements. I have a good ear for song structures and stuff like that, and that's basically how I used to help out. And then I could come up with groove patterns on the drums and we worked on some of those ideas on occasion. I tried to be involved as much as possible in the writing without actually being able to create any riffs.

Q: When you heard, or read, the band's statement regarding your departure, were you upset over how it was worded? To the average person, their statement read as if your split wasn't exactly amicable.

Nick Barker: Not really. I find it quite comical, because it totally reflects their personalities in some respects.

Q: What do you mean exactly?

Nick Barker: Just… It's a very black-and-white kind of humor.

Q: So do you think the statement they released regarding your departure was meant as some kind of joke?

Nick Barker: I wouldn't say it was a joke, but I don't really see it as [implying that there was] any animosity. When they say that [I have] 'been removed' [from the lineup], I find it… If you knew the guys, you would know what I was saying.

Q: With respect to BRUJERIA, when did you actually arrive in L.A. to start working with the band? Were you already in the States when the split with DIMMU happened?

Nick Barker: No, I was on a Spanish island, in the Mediterranean around New Year's Eve when I got the call saying I was out of the band. I've been in L.A. for a couple of weeks now, and I played my first show in Mexicali this Saturday just gone, and I'm gonna be over here for awhile. Shane's over here, too — Shane Embury — and we're already writing the new BRUJERIA record.

Q: Are you involved with any other projects besides BRUJERIA right now?

Nick Barker: LOCK UP. Only LOCK UP.

Q: And that's kind of "on hold" for the time being?

Nick Barker: Yeah.

Q: Are you planning on getting involved with any other projects now that you have more time?

Nick Barker: I think I'm gonna have my hands full, really, for the next few months playing BRUJERIA shows and writing the new album with Dino.

Q: So you envision yourself spending most of your time in L.A. then for the next few months?

Nick Barker: I think so, yeah. I think I could quite possibly be moving out here if it starts to pick up [with BRUJERIA].

Source: metalstorm

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13 Comments on "Nick Barker Discusses Departure From Dimmu Borgir"

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Anonymous Reader
1. Rez Kid writes:

Nick all the best to you,man you rule as a drummer. Dimmu Borgir come to Albuerqurque NM

# Feb 11, 2004 @ 5:57 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
2. Decapitated writes:

I shook Nick's hand when Dimmu came to the Bottleneck in Lawrence, Kansas a few months ago. Little did I know that would probably be the last time Nick would be playing live with Dimmu. Best of luck to you Nick.

# Feb 13, 2004 @ 4:05 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
3. a grateful female metal head writes:

Nick, you have inspired me to play the drums more than any other drummer out there has, and you are the best drummer in my mind. Don't quit --- and please come to Florida to give lessons!!!!!!!! :)

# Feb 20, 2004 @ 9:55 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
4. Sean writes:

Not that Nick wille ver see this, but I got a hernia while playing to him.

# Feb 22, 2004 @ 12:40 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
5. Aaron writes:

I think the split will be a good thing for Nick...having a drummer of that calibre concentating on other projects is a good thing for the black/death metal scene. I'm excited to see where the Brujeria thing goes, and it'll be cool to see what else Nick ends up getting involved (especially if hemoves to LA)

# Feb 22, 2004 @ 11:14 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
6. vladimir boltimor writes:

i went to montreal to see dimmu borgir, and at the end of the show i was so drunk and desperate to meet the band that i went inside the tour bus where nick and the guys from hypocrisy kicked me out by throwing beers at me... what a good/funny night. too bad he's out of the band though. brujeria is not quite as good as dimmu...

# Feb 27, 2004 @ 6:01 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
7. nick jones writes:

i met nick when dimmu was on tour and got a picture with him, he has inspired me as a drummer and i will always look up to him, never stop drumming nick!!!!

# Feb 28, 2004 @ 5:27 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
8. mike filth writes:

it seems that when nick was saying good luck and stuff like that...it seems as he were hidding somthing...like he was really upset but didnt want to look bad..but all and all i just want dimmu to get a new drummer before ozzfest. and what if...IF!!!! maybe possibly nick barker might go back to CRADLE OF FILTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that would be sweet. :)

# Feb 29, 2004 @ 7:30 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
9. mike filth writes:

it seems that when nick was saying good luck and stuff like that...it seems as he were hidding somthing...like he was really upset but didnt want to look bad..but all and all i just want dimmu to get a new drummer before ozzfest. and what if...IF!!!! maybe possibly nick barker might go back to CRADLE OF FILTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that would be sweet. :)

# Feb 29, 2004 @ 7:30 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
10. DCLXVI writes:

You dumb a$$ Nick Barker beat up Dani Filth after Cruelty and the beast. Dani ain't lettin' nick back in. besides Adrian fits Cradle's style better.

# Feb 29, 2004 @ 9:59 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
11. angel of death writes:

It's a bummer to see Nick go. I thought he was doing excellent in Dimmu. But it is kind of funny and ironic that he got kicked out of Cradle, and then later dimmu? What the hell. Maybe he's the problem? Whatever the case...I hope they find a sooting drummer because if they use the stupid drum session guy...Dimmu is going to go down in the sh*t dumps...

# Mar 2, 2004 @ 1:14 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
12. asdf writes:

Taldjov...

# Mar 4, 2004 @ 3:56 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
13. jfkone writes:

what about old man child ?
is work is at the top in this band !

# Mar 10, 2004 @ 12:16 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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