"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Interview

Quorthon On Bathory's First Two Albums: "We Had Said 'Hello' With The First One, Then With The Second One, We Were The Cocksuckers Of Satan"

When you hear the news that a metal icon has died, you always remember what you were doing at that moment in time. It was the summer of 2004 and the end of a long day of work for me. Sifting through the news and portals, the headline "Quorthon Dies at 38" hit me like a lead ballast. What was so haunting about it was that I had just been playing "Under the Sign of the Black Mark" a few days earlier. Quorthon - the man, the legend - gone so soon. How could this be?

It is ironic that in the strange world we live in, an artist’s status becomes glorified after their demise. They may have been legendary and innovative in what they created and did in the musical realm while they were living and they may have fallen off the radar for a while - but their death brings their accomplishments front and center. After Quorthon's death the metal community really took stock in him, the artist, and his immeasurable contributions to metal.

When you die, you are instantly immortalized. Quorthon's passing, especially at a young age, made him into an icon. But in the eyes of a true innovator, he did not see himself that way. Humble, funny and self-effacing, Quorthon proved to be a very down to earth musician who created for the sake. He shrugged off his own accolades and press releases and never believed the hype of all the praises. This is the true measure of accomplishment - let others sing your glory and don't get sucked into it.

During the height of his creative period, Quorthon conducted a few interviews as time permitted. This one comes from 1997, and for fifteen years it has been an undiscovered gem collecting dust. That's the beauty of finding this rare recording, in that all these years later it resurfaces and becomes a voice from the grave. Now that Quorthon is legendary, this interview may be appreciated more than when he was alive. The old school fans and the new devotees may get a rare and personal glimpse into the personality of a man who influenced two genres of metal, a soul who cannot speak again in the flesh. Join us today as we take another glimpse into the man, the legend - Quorthon - on what would have been his 46th birthday.

- Victoria “Sonic Therapy” Willis

Below is a complete transcript of a never before aired or published interview with Quorthon, conducted via telephone during the promotion of his second solo album in May of 1997. Both the transcript and the accompanying streaming audio of the interview are released today, on what would have been his 46th birthday, for the very first time, as our respectful tribute. We hope that his family and friends, as well as admirers of his music and talent, would appreciate hearing him speak to us from 15 years ago, as much as we do.

Quorthon had often expressed frustration over being misquoted and misrepresented by the press, so, with that in mind, and in order to accurately preserve every nuisance and nuance of the interview, both the audio and the transcript are presented in their unabridged forms.

- Boris "Von Faust" Zaidenberg

I conducted the following interview during the promotion of Quorthon's second solo album “Purity of Essence.” It was intended to be published in my old fanzine, CROM, but shortly after the interview I was forced to stop the fanzine for economic reasons.

When I started writing for Metal Underground in August 2011, I immediately thought of “unearthing” this interview. However, during the superseding fifteen years since I originally conducted it, the tape was misplaced in various moves. Frankly, I hadn’t even thought to ask longtime friend Boris “Von Faust” Zaidenberg about it. Fate is a funny thing though, because out of the blue Boris emailed me reminiscing about the interview after he had located his copy of the tape. It was only through Boris, who tirelessly transcribed it, that I am able to present this through Metal Underground today. I always cherished this conversation as one of my finest journalistic accomplishments due to the amount of work that went into it. I remember that as soon as I secured the interview from Black Mark Records, I immediately contacted Boris. His knowledge of Bathory is unmatched. After the tireless research, both Boris and I agreed that this was the opportunity to ask the questions that both respected his genius, but most of all had to be asked.

So if you can forgive my “fan boy” behavior for this one occasion, I’d like to take you all on a journey back to the late nineties. To my older metal brothers and sisters, this one is for all of us even if you were not a fan. To those younger fans that didn’t grow up with Quorthon, I hope you can appreciate both reading and hearing from the man that both defined black metal and started Viking metal. To Quorthon’s family and friends, I hope you appreciate hearing him speak to us again. His fans miss his presence as well!

The full audio of the interview is streaming just below the photo. I would recommend that you press play just before and follow along with the text and let the words, photos and videos guide you on the full journey.

- Carl “CROMCarl” Frederick

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Call From The Grave: The Lost Interview With Tomas “Quorthon” Forsberg

CROMCarl: Hello?

Quorthon: Carl?

CROMCarl: Yes?

Quorthon: Hi, Quorthon, Bathory.

CROMCarl: Hi, how ya doing, Quorthon, how are ya?

Quorthon: (Laughing) You’re expecting someone else?

CROMCarl: No, not at all.

Quorthon: (Laughing) Hi, mom!

CROMCarl: Well, it is indeed a pleasure to talk to you, you’ve been an idol of mine for a long time now…

Quorthon: Aaah, fuck off.

CROMCarl: Well, it’s true, c’mon, I was there in 1984 and 1985, and all that, when all the albums came out, so, I have everything.

Quorthon: You’ve been hanging, hanging on…

CROMCarl: I guess, the first question I have for you is, tell me a little about your solo album that just came out. I haven’t had a chance to hear it, cause I haven’t gotten it yet, but tell us, what direction you’re in, and all that.

Quorthon: Oh, wow…what direction, I mean, there’s twenty, I mean, we got twenty, let’s see, twenty three songs, twenty three track in all, so it’s got everything from, you know, acoustical unplugged love-cum ballads to brutal punk, whatever you wanna call it, when you have 60s-early 70s pop/rock in their punk: everything basically.

CROMCarl: Wow…

Quorthon: I had a couple of friends coming down to the studio, when we were mixing this stuff, and they said, like: “This sounds like Oasis,” a couple of tracks, and I said “Whaat!” I mean, Oasis is like, 14-year old girls, you know, wet dream, you know.

CROMCarl: (Laughs)

Quorthon: But I actually have my friend’s girlfriend borrowing me a CD, Oasis CD, and listening to it, I realized, two or three tracks on the solo album were very close to what Oasis is doing. But then I realized, of course, we have the same roots—I mean, The Beatles, I grew up with The Beatles, so…

CROMCarl: Right. Hey, I read in another interview that you did your first solo record, because, well actually, you said that if you didn’t do your first solo record, the world would have never heard another Bathory album again? Is this the same case with your second?

Quorthon: Well, more or less: now that we have the first one, you have a sort of like a precedent, uh, you know, with the second one out people will hopefully compare it to the first one instead of a whole bunch of Bathory albums, which were the case with the first one, so… I mean, like, when the first one was recorded, I was completely, you know, didn’t have one single idea of what the future of Bathory was gonna be like, so, it was like: “Go inside the studio, record anything you wanna do, you know, I mean, just stay active,” and if I haven’t done the first one, you know, I’d lost all the love for playing guitar and writing songs, you know. Since the first one came out, you know, it’s almost 4 years, 5 years of working with Bathory, so every three or four albums there will be a solo album, if this continues, you know?

CROMCarl: Right. Do you have anything in the works for new Bathory right now?

Quorthon: Yeah, we’re gonna start recording the new album in two months, and you’re gonna have by, I hope, October sometime.

CROMCarl: Oh, great! What is the…now, I have to say, that over your career you’ve gone through some drastic changes in sound for Bathory, but it seems like the Bathory releases come in twos, I don’t know, I just look at it that way, because every two sounds similar, you know, so I’m wondering, if the next album will be anything like ‘Blood on Ice”?

Quorthon: Well, “Blood on Ice”, you know, wasn’t really an album, it was more like a souvenir, because every time during the 80s when we released an album, we had 50% of our fans being very disappointed. You know, we had death metal fans and, you know, the epic kinds metal fans, and we had some material on tape; realized: “Maybe we should set down sorta like the goodbye to the Viking age, or the Viking era, as far Bathory’s concerned, because we have a lot of those fans, and I’m not quite sure if I would be able to write something like that ever again. It would be shallow as well. You gotta actually progress, or, you know, try new grounds.

CROMCarl: So, where do you see the future of Bathory going as far as sound-wise?

Quorthon: Well, we are approaching the end of the Nineteen Nineties, hopefully we’ll come up with something that you’ll be able to listen to, waiting for the 21st century, you know. Whenever the album is gonna be out, I want people to be able to sit down and say: “I can’t pinpoint this sucker.” I want…We covered everything, you know: we started black metal, the death, epic doom, thrash, whatever you want, and now we have two solo albums, uh…, so, hopefully, something that would be something that you can’t pinpoint.

CROMCarl: …right. Uhhm, I also was reading, and I found out “Blood on Ice” was just a side project of yours for the last, you know, 8 or 9 years?

Quorthon: Yeah, well, it was, it wasn’t even something that we, you, you could l…Well, okay, we recorded a lot of material, uhm, sometimes we weren’t even making sure to record all that stuff properly, so we had to remake a lot of guitars and drums and stuff, and, basically, 99% of the vocals in 1995, I believe. It was… it wasn’t… some kind of a plan we had to put out some kind of a theme album, but at the time it was a very risky thing to do, so it was a compromise done: “Hammerheart”, which was not like a theme album, whatever you wanna call it…

CROMCarl: Like a concept album…

Quorthon: Yeah, well, the original “Blood on Ice” material as recorded before, during, and after “Hammerheart”, so it wasn’t really an album session, or anything like that. Not touring or anything like that, we had a lot of dead time and a studio, so we had a lot of different projects. We even had a speed metal project or death metal project, with a work name of “Requiem”, and that confused a lot of people, when “Requiem” came out in ninety whatever it was, ‘93, or something.

CROMCarl: Right. Are you ever gonna release the original “Octagon”?

Quorthon: The original “Octagon”?

CROMCarl: Yeah, the one was was supposed to be out between “Blood, Fire, Death” and “Hammerheart.”

Quorthon: Well, that one had a working title called “Requiem.”

CROMCarl: Oh, okay.

Quorthon: So when we put out “Requiem”, a lot of people was confused and thought that is was sorta like a closet tape release, and now Bathory’s out of ideas, and I was only trying to cash in on the legend, so to speak. Obviously, they didn’t read the release information or anything like that. Some people were like, “ He’s only trying to cash in: first--solo album, and, you know, using the name Quorthon just to sell his, you know, Beatles-copy shit-whatever”, and now straight after that you have sorta like a closet tape release, so those were heavy years.

CROMCarl: Was the original record the one that had “Crawl to your Cross” and stuff like that, that appeared on the “Jubelium” albums?

Quorthon: Yeah, “Crawl to your Cross” was one of them, and that was basically the only one that was listenable, with a complete set of instruments. It sounded terrible from scratch and there wasn’t anything we could do in remix, cause we hadn’t saved, you know, the two-inch tapes, we only had it on quarter-inch tapes, so couldn’t remix it or anything like that, or add anything; and we didn’t wanna record it, or re-record it, so he just put it down the way it was suppose to, you know, the way it was. People could hear what that album may have sounded like—it was terrible, we were completely drunk all the time, and I’d lose complete touch with reality. I mean, we had three different projects going on at the same time.

CROMCarl: So, you never have any plans to kinda resurrect that album or any of those songs that were supposed to be on it?

Quorthon: Well, it sounded shit back then, so (laughs). Well, remember, there’s a goodbye, you know, party for each and everyone of us, so there are couple of goodies we have up our sleeves for whenever that comes along.

CROMCarl: Aah, I see. Now, are you a co-owner of Black Mark?

Quorthon: Am I what?

CROMCarl: Are you a co-owner of Black Mark Records?

Quorthon: Oh, no, no. During the entire ‘80s we didn’t have a proper record contract; we had more or less just a handshake and: “Okay, you distribute our records here and there, and so on.” We didn’t have any kind of organization—one of those negative sides of that was that we didn’t have any idea about copywriting stuff and royalties order, you know, how to list your fucking song, so during the ‘80s all these organizations didn’t know where so send our money. So now, about 6 years ago, I started getting money that I was supposed to have been receiving during the ‘80s, so I wasn’t making a single cent during the entire ‘80s, and now I’m getting all those money—I haven’t had to take a work or have a job in 6 years.

CROMCarl: Right. So you’re just getting royalties from Black Mark, you don’t really have a hand in it at all?

Quorthon: Well, Black Mark was formed in 1990 or something like that, ‘91, and since I knew probably half of the people who started the record company, I mean, there were couple of persons from Noise records, and couple of Swedish people, one or two English guys, uh, I realized that these people are…you’re gonna be able to call these guys whenever, you know, you have something to say, and you can actually kinda discuss these whatever matter over, you know, a cup of coffee or a beer, or something--as with a lot of other record companies, where you probably are not able to call your, you know, the president of your company to complain about one or two things. And also, Black Mark would give us free hands with anything we wanted to do. Uuuhm, also, you know, they support young up-and-coming metal, young bands - they don’t go for fashion - as with a lot of other record companies, they find whatever band sounds like the sound that’s hip for the day.

CROMCarl: Now, I’ve heard about plans of release of some Bathory tribute albums, I don’t know if you know about it, or if you’re involved in them at all, are you?

Quorthon: Well, there has been five in the works, uhhm, I’m not quite sure whether and how far they materialized in any way, I only know that they got in touch with Black Mark, and asked if it was okay, cause, obviously, these guys didn’t know that you don’t have to ask anybody to do cover songs. I mean, with a tribute album, there are no rights to be discussed or anything like that, so they can. But, you know, some of those folks called Black Mark, and by that time we knew there were about five projects in the works. Uuuhm, the way Black Mark said something like, and this was during the time when those Norwegian guys were killing each other and burning down churches, and, you know, making all these neo-Nazistic remarks, which, you know, in Germany is very sensitive. They’re very schizophrenic about the 12-years piece of shit history thing that went on a couple of years ago; they’re very paranoid about it. So we would have heard—Black Mark, all the bands on Black Mark, and all the metal bands in general, as far as Germany’s concerned. So they said: “To hell with it, fuck you, if you ever use one second of Bathory’s music, we’re gonna sue the shit out of you.” I mean, not that they could, you know, because they didn’t have the legal right to sue anybody for playing Bathory material on albums, I mean, I will get the money, you know. But I wasn’t asked, so I didn’t have a say. But I don’t know for far that penetrated all those ranks, I mean, I haven’t heard of anything them being released out of those albums. It would have been fun though.

CROMCarl: It would have been, yeah. I guess that leads me to the next thing: how do you feel about the bands that almost sound identical to early Bathory, the Norwegian stuff that’s been coming out for a while? It’s almost like you’re a direct influence into it, as far as musically. How do you feel about that whole situation in general?

Quorthon: Well, I don’t know what kinda piece shit music to be influenced by, cause, you know, I mean, the first 3 or 4 Bathory albums, you know, they’re not even listenable. I mean, we’re terrible musicians, we didn’t have a clue, uuhhm, our English was fucked up, still is probably. But I mean, listen to even the first couple Bathory albums, the first Slayer albums; the first album of Celtic Frost, and the first album of Bathory—it’s all crap. But, I mean, it fitted in with certain, you know, it filled the gap, and a lot of people out there in the underground scene during the early 80s felt: “Well, this is our music.” They felt, you know, sorta like estranged from Saxon, Iron Maiden, and Van Halen, and all of those other bands. So this is a new kind of music formula, or metal formula, and, I mean, when we started, all of us, I mean, I’m not just talking about Bathory, there were no such things as double bass drums and, you know, just the way we sounded when we would sing our material, I mean, that particular black metal vocals, we had to learn all that all ourselves when black metal was formed. I mean, today, when they grow up, I mean, kids in the age of 14-15, you know, they’re experts playing double bass drums—they can play as fast as they want. But in those days, there were no such thing around. The first time I ever in my entire life heard double bass drums was Motorhead “Overkill”, and by that time, I thought that was the fastest thing I’ve heard in my entire life. All of the songs basically on the first album of Bathory is twice as fast as “Overkill”, and today we hear stuff that is so incredibly fast you cannot believe how fast these kids can play. Of course, if copying or being influenced by, it’s flattering in one way, and it’s also a reassurance that, you know, black metal will continue, because it does fill a certain gap: you need the extreme in order to get perspective on a lot of other things. I mean, if you can have all these crossover combinations, you know, with alternative pop, and, you know, vegetarian lesbian military front whatever kinda shit pigshit music right now they’re playing and calling it “metal.” It’s good, I mean, a lot of people are buying all these records, and some people refer to it as “metal”, whereas the kids, you know, they walk up on stage in these checkered shirts and, you know, eating a carrot, a saying “viva la religion”, and stuff like that, and people saying, I mean, people who are not into metal, they will not take it as metal, but it’s still metal. I mean, it’s heavy guitar-based music, which is good.

CROMCarl: Right.

Quorthon: Black Metal is a part of that. It’s a very extreme image and all of that, but, uhm, we all go through a certain stage in our life, when we have green hair or safety pins, or studded black leather underwear or whatever (laughs)

CROMCarl: Right, right. Now, with “Requiem” and “Octagon”, when they came out, I don’t wanna say you went back, as it didn’t totally sound like the older stuff, but it did go back to a certain extreme. What was the reason for switching back and forth between the epic Viking and, you know, between those two things: it seems that every so often, it pops up, and you’re going back and forth, back and forth?


Quorthon: Well, we already talked about how important it was for me to be able to record that solo album; it was recorded, so it was an important thing to do, but afterwards I realized: hey, this is great fun, you know, being in the studio playing again, cause, you know, I was thinking about cutting my hair off and getting some kind of academic education or whatever, you know, go to school and, you know, fuck someone, have a kid, and, you know, get married, and live out in the suburb, or something. Uhm, and I got doing too much promotion thing for the solo album, explaining why there was a solo album—I mean, it was a big thing back then, I mean, today people are more or less used to it: there’s a Quorthon album out, but in those days, it was like: “What now, is Bathory over?” And I talked to all these old fans, they’ve been following the band for like, 14 years, and said, uh: “don’t break up,” and, you know, “we’re right behind you.” And I was just so fucking nourished with all this, you know, enthusiasm, and I realized how much Bathory have meant to a lot of people. So when I came back to Stockholm, in two weeks time I’d written all of the material that eventually ended up on “Requiem”, and it was like, you have this hard-on for 24 hours, you just can’t get it down, like you were high, or something; and we just went into the studio, we didn’t rehearse one single time before recording, we just went in there, and in 4 days we’d recorded the entire album, we didn’t care about production or mixing, or anything like that, it was more or less just sticking our heads inside the studio, screaming on top of our lungs, you know. And just put it out. And, when it was all over, I was just still running in top gear, so I said, like: “Well, let’s go back in”. And for one month I wrote the material for “Octagon”, we entered the studio actually about the same time I was doing promotion for “Requiem”, recording “Octagon”, so those two albums came out within 6 months of each other.

CROMCarl: Right. Now, would you say that the song “Enter the Eternal Fire” was sorta the turning point of your career?

Quorthon: I don’t know where did we turn… (laughs)

CROMCarl: Well, I say that, because I think it is. Just going over the history, I think this song was a step beyond what you had ever done.

Quorthon: Well, it was a step in one direction or another, but, I mean, it was about that time when I started to listen to basically only classical music, so I learned how to arrange music, not just, you know, playing 365 beats per minute for three and a half minutes the entire album through. Uhm, it was a different song: we copied the rhythms thing, I mean, the rhythm beat from Manowar, cause the drummer who was at the band at the time was a big Manowar fan, and he introduced that way of playing for me, you know, that (sings) “doo-doo-dah-duh”, 3/6th , or whatever it’s called. So, it was different, you know, compared to the stuff we’ve done before, but I mean, we had slower-arranged songs even on the first album, “Raise the Dead”, and stuff.

CROMCarl: But nothing as well played and clear as “Enter the Eternal Fire.”

Quorthon: Yeah, like “Beth” for Kiss, or something like that, or the album “Destroyer”: you have this clear thing to really put your finger on it, and say : “That’s the change”, you know. Yeah, I guess it was. Unfortunately, that entire album is one of my, you know, big failures in life, personally, I think I hate that album.

CROMCarl: Yeah, I don’t understand that, compared to the first two…you know…

Quorthon: (Laughs) 35% of all the Bathory fans just love that album, I just fucking hate it!

CROMCarl: What is it about it that you hate, I don’t understand?

Quorthon: Everything, everything, just fucking everything. It’s lousiest piece of shit metal album that ever been recorded and released. I just hate it, I mean, maybe it’s an emotional thing, but I don’t know where that’d come from, but it’s just crap! I mean, listen to my guitars, listen to the guy who is playing the drums, Per at the time, listen to my vocals, for Christ sake—it’s just silly! I mean, even the first album has a lot more sincere about it, than the third one. It was, like, you know, we had said “hello” with the first one, then with the second one, we were, like, the cocksuckers of Satan, and with the third one, all of a sudden, it was: “Wow, we’re a band, we’re actually making albums!” It didn’t sorta like, the coin didn’t go down the slot until about the third time, or the third album, and by that time we sorta like, you remember the way it was in the mid 80s, Motley Crue and W.A.S.P., and everything, you were supposed to drink pink champagne fuck all the old ladies in the ladies room, and all of that stuff, it was the party days. So we lost track; personally I think, nothing of that album is worthwhile.

CROMCarl: Okay… How long was it before you got the record deal with Bathory? How long was the band around before that?

Quorthon: Well, like I said before, we didn’t have a proper record deal: we signed a piece of paper, and had a handshake, and that was it, but it wasn’t a proper record contract: it was more or less just a paper that said: “We will record some material; you’ll give us money, we’ll record some material, we hand you the tapes, you press the fucking vinyl, and you put it out”, and that was it. There was, like, no royalty percent talks, or anything like that, we didn’t have a clue as of how those things work, and we weren’t interested, we didn’t have any ambition, we were just happy to be in a studio, or, you know, having our own stuff on record. So it wasn’t actually till about Music For Nations, around ‘85-’86 or something like that, when we had a very heavy distribution deal with those guys, supposedly covering the entire world, but they sort of like never managed to get our albums out in United States on any other big label except for Combat records. They schemed us, and so did Banzai in Canada. They stole the films, and produced a lot of bootleg albums, and bootleg cassettes, and bootleg T-shits, and stuff like that, which annoyed you at the time when you find out, but now you realize that that was just good promotion, cause we weren’t making money anywhere else anyway, because we didn’t know how to, you know, list our songs in order to receive money. There’s a big organization, so now they know where to send the money.

CROMCarl: Well, I have to say that it took me so long to find the first album, and I found an original on Combat, on cassette, which is almost entirely gone in this country; as a matter of fact, I only know of two people—and I have a lot of contacts—that actually own the original cassette, but when I found it, it was like, on of the…I couldn’t believe it, you know, cause I wanted it for so long, and finally I found, you know, on original cassette—cause I used to collect cassettes at the time--so it was quite a, quite a find.

Quorthon: Well, I can’t believe it. I heard the first album, I listened to it probably a couple of month after it was released, back in whatever it was, ’83, oh, August of ’84, and then I listen to it throughout ’84, and then I didn’t listen to it until 1992. Uhm, none of the albums I ever listened to after the stuff was put out, up until 1992, the summer of ’92, when we put together those “Jubelium” albums, when we celebrated 10 years on record. And then I had to sit down and listen to the old tapes again, and I said: “My God! Did we reach legendary status, you know, from this shit?” It was like, if someone would have almost showing you all the text you did at school, or the painting you did when you were a kid, or something like that. It was such a…you know, wow, you had a…it was a flashback; you were more or less embarrassed.

CROMCarl: Yeah, but, I mean, that was a classic; I don’t care, all the kidding aside, that really was one of the most classic albums that I own. I don’t know, if you know, there’s, like, an issue of Kerrang! from way back, when Don Kaye did the Top 20 thrash albums of all time, and you were in it, and that, to me, was great, cause I had to get every one of those albums, and obviously, yours is in there. It meant a lot to me, that album, whatever you may think of it, you know.

Quorthon: You know, I mean, if you listen to the first and the second albums, they’re crap albums, I mean, if you’re really objective about it, purely musically and everything. But, okay, you realize, those songs were written in 1983-’84-‘85, or ’84, cause the first one was recorded in January in 1985, uhm, but they are still somehow among the at least Top 20 of these sorta like baddest, or most influential albums as far as black and death is concerned, and I think that it’s very strange.

CROMCarl: (Laughs)

Quorthon: I, I mean, I’m not objective about it. It’s a lot easier for someone to sit down and, you know, judge that album from that point, because they’ve heard all the other stuff, you know. Back in Sweden, there was no such thing as the underground scene going on, but somehow Bathory has been able to maintain that underground feeling about it: you can’t get the albums everywhere, we’ve never produced any big line merchandise stuff, we never talk to press, unless there’s an album out-- like a lot of bands, you can see them every week in every magazine, even though they don’t have anything to say. There’s this fashion thing going on, when one 6 month period, you have Sepultura, and everyone’s trying to sound like them, and they are number one; in another six month time, you’ll have Marilyn Manson, and all of a sudden, they’re called “metal”, you know, and so, it’s just a lot of fashion going on all the time.

CROMCarl: Yeah.

Quorthon: Somehow, a lot of people come back to those classical albums: you know, “Black Metal,” “Reign in Blood,” “Ride the Lightning” or “Kill ‘Em All” furor and stuff.

CROMCarl: Right. Now, who is…I know you probably get this, like, a million times, but I just gotta know…

Quorthon: Every interview for 14 years I got this question…

CROMCarl: You do, don’t you? Who is Boss? (laughs) (2012 Note: Boss is Borje Forsberg, Quorthon’s dad, record executive, co-producer of all his albums.)

Quorthon: Boss is a person of the Black Mark Productions; he had a record company back in 1983, or he was a co-…he was working at the record company in 1983. I quit school, or, more or less, I was thrown out of school back in ’82, uhm, I don’t know the way you have it over there, but here in Sweden, at the time anyway, we had something called, whatever you could translate...uhm…you would do to school 2 days a week, and you would work s regular job…

CROMCarl: It’s like an internship thing?


Quorthon: Sure. And they asked me: “So, what do you wanna do?”-- cause I haven’t been doing shit, you know, for 5 years in school; I never carried a book, or anything like that. I said; “Well, there are only two things in life that I’m good at: painting, and playing guitar or writing music. So I said: “That’s what I wanna do,” and they sort sorta like got me this 2 days, or 3 days a week kinda job at the record company, where I did everything from making coffee to making, you know, Xerox copies, cleaning the place up, and I would spend every night in the studio, watching when they recorded other bands. It was everything, from, you know, sleazy pop to whatever, and at the time, there was no such thing as Swedish metal movement going on, ‘til at the end of that year, when Europe won the Swedish national rock contest, so to speak, and they recorded an album which was first prize. And all of a sudden, there was this “metal boom”, and Boss was working at this record company, he suggested, that maybe we should put together a compilation album: there must be a lot of unsigned metal bands around in Sweden and Scandinavia, and so they got in touch with 5, or 6, or 7 different bands, and one the bands was a Finnish band: several of those guys were in the army, so they couldn’t make it to Sweden to record those two songs for that compilation album, so he was one band short. And so I said : “Well, I have a band”—which, of course, was a lie, cause I formed some kids stuff with two pals of mine, and we didn’t have, you know, a stable name. We called ourselves everything from Countess Bathory to Bathory, Nostradamus, Necrophobic, or, you know, all those strange names, and we had probably 4 or 5 songs. And so he said: “Well, bring your stuff over, and come down the studio next week, and we’ll record you guys.” And we played “The Return of the Darkness and Evil,” cause it had double bass drums: it was, you know, it was so different from anything they had recorded before for that album, so they made us record another song, “Sacrifice”, and we were the only band that received fan mail. And from then on...

CROMCarl: Yeah, you’re talking about the Scandinavian Metal Attacks?

Quorthon: Sure.

CROMCarl: They were great. I just got the re-issues, actually, Black Mark reissued those two on CD.

Quorthon: On CD?

CROMCarl: Yeah.

Quorthon: Oh, why?

CROMCarl: Well, they’re great albums, I mean, I love’em; you know, one of the other band on that like very much is Oz.

Quorthon: They recorded, I believe, 5 albums.

CROMCarl: Right.

Quorthon: Half of those guys still live in Stockholm, I believe.

CROMCarl: Well, I’m gonna ask you some questions about some rumors that I’ve heard, just cause I need to know if they’re true. How old were you, when the first Bathory came out?

Quorthon: Uuuhh, I was…when was that, in 1984?

CROMCarl: Yeah.

Quorthon: I was…I had just turned 18, when the first album came out.

CROMCarl: Wow, yeah, cause I heard a rumor, that you were 15. (laughs)

Quorthon: What? That I was 15? I believe I was… I just turned 18.

CROMCarl: Okay. Where is Heavenshore studio located?

Quorthon: It’s located in a place, called Stuvsta: it’s spelled S-T-U-V-S-T-A, and it’s in a suburb in a southern part of Stockholm. It was a basement of a guy, who had a big house, and he had some recording equipment from the late 60’s. And you couldn’t record proper albums down there, but somehow we managed to record the first, the third, the fourth, and the fifth album in that fucking basement with that equipment, you know.

CROMCarl: I heard a rumor that Chris Witchhuner of Sodom played on one of the Bathory albums, is that true?

Quorthon: Chris came up to Stockholm early ’86: the reason was, we have been offered by Combat Records to join a tour across United States together with Destruction, Possessed, and Celtic Frost, during the summer of 86, or something like that, and all of a sudden, I realized that the guy who was playing drums in Bathory at the time, I wasn’t sure he was gonna be in it or not: also he did the army, which is in Sweden voluntary, but he was in the army. And the guy who was playing the bass was out of the picture even a year before that: I was playing the bass on the last album. So I said: “I need a good drummer, I bass player I can always find,” so I got in touch with the drummer from Artillery, a Danish band, you ever heard of …?

CROMCarl: Right, yes, I’m very familiar with Artillery…

Quorthon: Carsten Nielson was playing drums. I figured, he was the best drummer I’ve ever heard. I still think that at the time he was better than Dave Lombardo. Unfortunately, the band was crap, and he didn’t want to leave Denmark, and he prophesized Artillery to be ten times bigger than Bathory. (Laughs) So, he didn’t come to Stockholm, so I called Chris, and I said: “Why don’t you come up, and we’ll see what we can come up with. If things turn out well, could you, would you consider, you know, helping us out on this tour?,” cause, you know, it was a big thing. And, “Sure”—he said, cause they have just recorded an album, I can’t remember the name of it…

CROMCarl: “Obsessed by Cruelty.”

Quorthon: …I don’t remember…Uh, but anyway, when he was in Stockholm, he stayed for two weeks, or something, this was exactly when Chernobyl nuclear pant in Russia accident. And I told him: “Hey, you better go to the German embassy to get your pills,” and he said: “Whaat?” “Well, you’re gonna die from cancer: I got my pills this morning,” you know, and he was so damn… (laughs), he was so scared that he took a fucking train to Germany immediately the next day. We realized somehow, that some of the Bathory fans were gonna get really confused about this; so, it never happened. No, he’s not playing on any Bathory album. But we had a lot of fun for two weeks anyway. He snores like, you know, pig.

CROMCarl: (Laughs) Now, so the rumor that Bathory was a one-man band is absolutely untrue, correct?

Quorthon: It depends how you look at it. I mean, whenever there was an interview in a major magazine, or whenever there’s a picture taken, I mean, I had to go around to London, Berlin, and all these places, and talk about the album. When Bathory started, there was no such thing as a metal scene going on. Either if they were a metal band, or a hard rock band, they were influenced by Led Zeppelin, Motorhead, Van Halen, Whitesnake, and those kind of bands, Motley Crue. So a bass player coming down to rehearsal place when I had an ad out in a music paper, he would have eyeliner and smell of perfume, and they had this, you know, poodle hair. And he would never want to sweat onstage, and he didn’t like the spiked leather underwear, and, you know, the Satanic thing…And it was very, very difficult: I mean, today, it’s a completely different thing. Today, you don’t have a drummer, a bass player, or a guitar player adjust to whatever, you know, style of the band, uhm, is leading. But in those days that was, you know, completely outrageous, you just couldn’t… they said, like : “You never gonna get laid after a concert, if you look like that.” That was a comment from a lot of guys that came down the studio, and I said, like: “This is what we look like,” and we showed our stage costumes, and played some of the songs for them on tape, and they said, like: “Man, you’re crazy, you’re never gonna get a gig, or a concert, or anything.” And I still, still, to this day, when I go to rock clubs in Stockholm, I see those guys: I mean, they’re my age now, they’re like, father of two and stuff, and they’re still talking about, you know, putting the band together and go to Japan, make a million bucks. And it’s like, that what the Swedish scene was in those days, so we never had a proper line-up together that stayed long enough. We might have written a lot of material, and rehearse, and sometimes record, but always whenever I found out that the bass player was on drugs, or he didn’t show up one day, or drummer was spending a lot more time with his girlfriend, than with the band—and I was, I’ve been playing drums since I’m 9 years old, I’ve been playing guitar and bass from the age of, like, 13-14, so there was never any problem: I could finish off playing the drums or the bass on a couple of tracks in the studio, whenever I had to. And from the third album and on, I’ve been playing bass on all the albums, except for one.

CROMCarl: Right.

Quorthon: So, in one, looking on it from that point of view, sure, Bathory is a one-man band, if you wanna call it like that, but I’d like to refer to Bathory as a studio project, rather than a one-man band.

CROMCarl: And so, Bathory’s never played…have you guys ever played out?

Quorthon: Yeah, we had club concerts before friends; 3 or 4 in 1983, another 3 or 4 or 5 in 1984, and only one concert in January 1985, the week before we recorded the second album. But that was the last time, because we didn’t have any money, we didn’t have an organization, and there were no places to play; you couldn’t get a club gig, if you looked the way we did, because the clubs at Stockholm at that time still meant “dating disco”, or new wave, or something like that.

CROMCarl: So, do you ever plan to tour with Bathory at all?

Quorthon: Not a tour, we’ve played concerts before friends at clubs, that was it.

CROMCarl: No, I mean, are you ever going to plan a tour for Bathory?

Quorthon: In the future? I can only answer you the same thing as I ever telling people, asking: ‘When are you guys gonna play?” I say, “I play with myself every night.”

CROMCarl: (Laughs)

Quorthon: …so, like, not probably not what you have in you mind, so, I mean…

CROMCarl: (Laughs)

Quorthon: Bathory…If Bathory would go on stage today, it would be, like, people would come to the show to see, I don’t know, I don’t wanna use the word “legends”, but that’s probably what they would, you know.

CROMCarl: That’s true.

Quorthon: So, and they would expect all these, you know, blood, and high-heeled boots, and spiked leather underwear, and, you know, levitating drum kits and bombs, and everything, and, uhm, that’s not what music is all about. And around 1983, that’s, or around 1986, I realized, that: “Aw, man, I don’t want to be a part of this image stuff anymore! It became the fad by then, everybody was Satanists, or doing the black metal or death metal thing, and they were more Satanic and more faster then anybody else anyway. So I said: ‘Let’s skip the whole idea. Just, fuck the pictures, fuck the stage costumes, fuck any planning on playing live, fuck videos and all that shit, let’s just make one album every year, and, you know, lead a normal, you know, private life in between. Uhm, and it’s been like that ever since now, for 11 years, since 1986.

CROMCarl: Wow. Now, I’ve heard a lot of versions of the story, regarding Deicide and Gorefest show, where a bomb exploded.

Quorthon: Oh, that, oh yeah, I remember that night.

CROMCarl: (Laughs) Were you there? I heard you were part of security. Is that true?

Quorthon: I was head of security, and I was doing my very best to sorta like, sneak around in the shadows, cause, I mean, 80% of everybody there had my picture on their walls back home.

CROMCarl: Right (laughs)

Quorthon: So, it was like, it’s not very easy, I mean, if you’re a head of security, walking around with these walkie-talkies, and, you know, all these tees and stuff: anyway, I was backstage, when Gorefest as on stage, and they played so loud, that nobody could hear the bomb, when it went off. I mean, it was a big, big fucking bomb, about…let’s see, feet…about 25 feet from the stage, and it as an open area—I mean, it was indoors, but it was an empty space between where the bomb went off, and the stage, but still, nobody could hear it. It was just this enormous, uh, you know, impact, you know, the pressure from the bomb. And I was standing probably 5 feet away from where the bomb went off, and I still didn’t hear it: cause, you know, they were playing so loud. All of a sudden, I could smell my hair burn, and, uh, there was, you know, all this dust, concrete dust flying around, and I turned around and I saw a huge, you know, burning hole in the wall…uh…So, yeah, I was there.


[Deicide – “Lunatic Of God’s Creation” – filmed during the show at Fryshuset in Stockholm after the bomb exploded. The band was allowed to play a couple of songs by the police with the house lights on]

CROMCarl: Wow! Did you ever find out, who did it, who actually ignited it?

Quorthon: 20 feet away from there you have the militant Stockholm neo-Nazi organization have their headquarters, 20 feet away…

CROMCarl: Ooh, geez…

Quorthon: …from the concert, and they have been placing bombs just about everywhere, 2 times a week for the past 12 months or so, but, I mean, you couldn’t say it straight out.

CROMCarl: Right, wow…Now, is there any tension between yourself and members of Celtic Frost, Destruction, Kreator?

Quorthon: (Uproarious laughter)

CROMCarl: (Laughs)

Quorthon: Oh, shit…Oh, man…You remember those old days, you know, when, like I said, when everybody was trying to be faster, or more cruel, and, you know, sucking the cock of Satan more better than everybody else, you know, ’84-’85-’86. Uh, I was one of those guys as well. I mean, I’ve said: “Bathory’s gonna rule the world; I’m the fastest guitar player, you know, I’m the, you know, I have the biggest fucking cock you’ve ever seen”, and stuff like that. That was what it was like in those days. And there were so many bands, and we figured: “This is only gonna be for, this thing is only gonna be around for 2 or 3 years, so we were fighting like, you know, bitches, hanging on by our claws, in order to, you know, appear on fanzines—I mean, we’re not even talking about magazines here. And we figured: “If there are some fans out there, there might be only 2 or 3 thousand.” Why the hell would, you know, realize, that this is gonna be continued for years? Sitting here now--14 years later! So everybody was, you know, mocking each other, you know, all the other bands down. I mean, I was talking a lot of bullshit about a lot of bands that I didn’t even know shit about: I only knew their name. Like, I’ve said a lot of things about Voivod—and I can’t figure out today why, cause I’d never heard one complete song from Voivod. And only couple of years later, by, you know, late 1980s, I heard Voivod for the first time, and I realized—Voivod, they were, uhm, geniuses! I mean, they were so good! And I was so ashamed of the stuff that I’ve said. I still hate Celtic Frost and Hellhammer, but, I mean, that just doesn’t give me the right to, you know, piss on those guys, cause it only, you know, shows I’m a very ignorant bastard, you know…I’ve apologized two million times; I still hate them, but I still respect them, and wish them the best of success. But that was, you know, what the interviews was like in those days.

CROMCarl: Right. You know, there’s a lot of people that accuse you of --well, this is not me, or anything-- accuse you of being a fraud. What would you say to these people that say things like that?

Quorthon: Well, I’ll answer that when anybody that says something like that comes up with any original thing, you know, the authentic stuff, so…So, tell me, what’s a fraud? I mean, I heard something about in American skinhead-Satanic metal magazine, or whatever you wanna call it—they have all this combinations, before you sit down and say: “This is me.” What happened to “musician”, or just “metal?” Today you have to be political and religious, or, you know, lesbian skinheads, or something, you know, vegetarian Satanists. Strange…But anyway, one of those magazines had this article about me, saying: “Who the hell Quorthon thinks he is? One of those days, many years ago, he was God—and now he’s standing the in ordinary jeans and sneakers, and wearing this jewelry, now having blonded his hair, and stuff like that.” My hair is the way it is; I colored my hair black in the old days, but the picture that was next to the article, it was my natural hair, so I didn’t make my hair in a blonde. Sure, I’m wearing rings and stuff like that, but it’s not, you know, girlie stuff, like Paul Stanley or Gene Simmons, or, you know, eh?

CROMCarl: Right.

Quorthon: What about jeans and sneakers? What’s wrong with that? Are they expecting me to wear leather-spiked underwear all my life, I mean…Am I sorta like, falling out of the picture? Uhhm, they may created some kind of a legend around me and my person, you know. People have more problems with my image, than I do. I can sit down and sing an unplugged acoustic love song on the second solo album, and get away with it, and still be me, uhhm, whereas a lot of people still consider me to be this baby-eating, blood-drinking, angel-raping son of bitch from Sweden: and I’m not the one having problems with my image. So, I mean, and these guys, there are only a few, just 1%, or something, and who the hell gives a fuck what they think anyway?

CROMCarl: Exactly.

Quorthon: Some of these guys are only, like, 18-19 years old, 20 years old—which means that they were, like, 3 or 4 years old, when I formed Bathory, so, hey, c’mon…

CROMCarl: Right, who started what… (laughs)

Quorthon: Yeah, I mean…First, they make you sorta like a big God, and they say: we collect everything from this guy, and, uhhm, okay, so what? But, I mean, 14 years has passed, and it only proves that they, they have been, you know, growing up for four—I mean, they have lacked, they’re lacking 14 years, as far as development and life experience is concerned. I am not the one who’s been sitting down my basement, you know, listening to only Venom records for 14 years.

CROMCarl: Right.

Quorthon: Obviously, a lot of people have, and they’re the ones, who are very extreme, and who are gonna lose in the end anyway, cause, you know, they’re obviously losing the picture, you know, anyway you look at it: life, music, image, Bathory, whatever.

CROMCarl: Right… Well, I think that’s…I’m looking over is there anything else I’ve missed here, I don’t think I did…(Laughs) Uhhhm, what do you think…let’s see, trying to think now…so when do plan on releasing a new Bathory album, do you have any idea at this point, or it’s just in the works, or you’re just gonna do the solo, let the solo album go for a little while?

Quorthon: Well, like I said, every 2 or 3 years, uuh, it will be nice to be able to sit down and actually make a solo album, to sorta like, show where you’re at as a person or musician at the time, you know, off Bathory. Cause every time when you write material for Bathory, you have to make sure it fits within, under a certain umbrella: it’s artificial, you have to be very honest about it, uuh, because you’re creating, uuhh, a second persona, or something. And you step inside the Bathory role, and you ask yourself: “So, where is that dark part of me at the moment? What is Bathory at the moment?” And I take another step aside, I find out where I’m at personally, and that’s where the albums, the solo albums, comes in. Like I said, I have 3 C-90 tapes full of demos that I’ve made, so we’re gonna start recording the new album in 2 month. What it’s gonna be like, I have no idea, cause, you know, that will change two million times before they’re complete anyway.

CROMCarl: Right. Actually, there is one that I forgot to ask you that I need to ask you. We were talking about Bathory being a one-man band, but I just wanna know: who were the original members, like, name-wise, and how many members would you say come and gone in the band?

Quorthon: Uh, when we started in February of 1983, it was me playing guitar; I wasn’t even singing in those days, I mean, we had lyrics to the songs, but we didn’t have any microphones, or, you know, vocal PA systems, so that we could sing in our rehearsal place. We had one guitar amplifier, one bass amplifier, one bass, a shitty drum kit, and a guitar—and that was it. It was me, and two guys —a drummer and a bass player--the bass players name was Fredrick, and the drummer’s name was Jonas, and then me, and we stayed together for just about exactly one year. I gave the guys the boot the week after we had recorded the compilation “Scandinavian Metal Attack” tracks, cause they wanted us to go, you know, more Judas Priest and Iron Maiden type of stuff, and I said: “No, we have this sound now. I mean, this is our thing. No one in Stockholm sounds like that”--which only proves how narrow our horizon was. You know, “nobody in Stockholm sounds like this.” And an the same time, all of those…{…several seconds of tape are lost due to auto reverse—ed.… } …There has been altogether 3 or 4 drummers, depending on what you mean by the drummer of the band: he might have been, you know, in the band during the rehearsal time...I know for a fact that since 1986 there’s only two people ever involved in Bathory for the past 11 years—two people only, and…

CROMCarl: That’s not including yourself, right?

Quorthon: …that is including myself.

CROMCarl: That is including yourself…

Quorthon: Uh-huh.

CROMCarl: Who is the other guy?

Quorthon: It’s a friend of mine, called Paul. He’s playing the drums, and he used to help me out, uhm…He’s not even considering himself a member of the band, not even me; cause, you know, I’m working with Bathory one month every year, and for the rest of the year, I mean, 11 month I’m doing a lot of different stuff, so… I just enter the studio, I’m calling him up, I’m sending him tapes of the songs, where I play bass and guitar and I have a drum machine, and, you know, how to play the songs to go into the studio, we record the stuff, and he goes back home. And don’t talk to each other for another 12 month, or something. And that’s what it’s been like for the past 11 years.

CROMCarl: Hmm…What other projects do you have going on, other than Bathory and Quorthon solo albums?

Quorthon: I have 2 other different, two other projects: one Beatles project, that I’m having with, I’m working on a project, doing a lot of Beatles stuff, early ‘60s pop music. You know, you would think of this as a, you know, “She Loves You”/ “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” kinda stuff.

CROMCarl: What is that, like a cover band, or something?

Quorthon: Not a cover band; it’s not a band, it’s a project, just like Bathory, only work in the studio, and we recorded probably 50 or 60 song, already by now! I mean, it’s really…I mean, if someone would hear it, they would never ever in their lifetime figure out that this is the blood--, you know, angels bloodsucking bastard of Bathory.

CROMCarl: (Laughs) What’s the other project you’re doing?

Quorthon: Uh, the other one is a classical thing, where I incorporated electronic music and heavy metal guitars with classical instruments. You have the sequencer, and you play keyboard, and you have these cellos and violins, and stuff, sorta like a heavy metal symphony stuff.

CROMCarl: No vocals, rights?

Quorthon: Right.

CROMCarl: Is that ever gonna get released?

Quorthon: (cackles) That’s just, as with everything else, it’s just personal pleasure. The only thing that happens to slip through is Bathory and Quorthon, cause they have a following.

CROMCarl: Cause I’ d love to hear that: that sound like it’s gonna be neat, the classical thing.

Quorthon: I don’t know if “neat” is the word… (laughs)

CROMCarl: It’s going to be great!

Quorthon: Well, it’s interesting, cause, you know, you get to work with different things, and it broadens your mind, and everything…

CROMCarl: Right.

Quorthon: …like having anal sex every second week, or something, what you’re doing…

CROMCarl: (Laughs) Well, Quorthon, I appreciate your time; it was great talking to you, you know, it was an honor, actually, and I appreciate everything that you’ve come forth with, so…

Quorthon: Well, as opposed to a lot of other people, you know; like , I had a lot of people calling me, or writing me, rather, when “Blood on Ice” came out, where I’d said that I added guitars to the original “Blood on Ice” material to sorta like, thicken the sound, and they said: “Who the hell do you think you are to play on Bathory material, you sucker!”

CROMCarl: What?

Quorthon: You know, all of a sudden, they regarded me a solo artist, as a teenage fucking bastard from Stockholm: you know, filthy, sticking my filthy finger in, you know, touching the Bathory material. Only goes to show how much people are losing concept, you know: all of a sudden, when there’s a solo album out—“Who the hell do you think you are playing stuff on Bathory album? Don’t touch Bathory stuff!,” you know…

CROMCarl: (Laughs) Well, you know, some people will never learn.

Quorthon: No; I mean, I only wrote the stuff and recorded it…

CROMCarl: I know, it’s like, you know—who do you have to ask permission from anybody?

Quorthon: Yeah, it’s like saying to Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley: “Who the hell do you guys are putting back the make-up on, you know, or using those clothes and playing those songs, you bi-sexual Jews in drag?”

CROMCarl: (Laughs) Well, I appreciate everything, and, you know, good luck with the album, and good luck with, you know everything, and, of course, I’ll be getting everything you put out, cause I love all the stuff you put out, and I appreciate your time.

Quorthon: Okay.

CROMCarl: Alright, take care.

Quorthon: Bye.


In Memory of Tomas Forsberg (02/17/1966—06/03/2004)
This interview is dedicated to the Forsberg Family


Interview conducted by “CromCarl” Carl Frederick, May 17, 1997
Transcribed and transferred by Boris “Von Faust” Zaidenberg

CROMCarl's avatar

Carl Frederick is a staff writer for Metal Underground.com. From the early to mid-90's, Carl published his own fanzine called C.R.O.M. In 1997, he released a compilation entitled "CROM: The Resurrection of True Metal," which featured songs from bands from around the world, including the first U.S. release of any kind for bands like Italy's Rhapsody (n/k/a Rhapsody of Fire) and Brazil's Angra. Follow Carl on Facebook and Twitter: @CROMCarl.

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28 Comments on "Call From The Grave: The Lost Quorthon Interview"

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Anonymous Reader
1. HMR writes:

Transcriber's note 2012:

Tomas Forsberg (1966—2004)

The above is a complete transcript of a never before aired or published interview with Quorthon, conducted via telephone during the promotion of his second solo album in May of 1997. Both the transcript and the accompanying streaming audio of the interview are released today, on what would have been his 46th birthday, for the very first time, as our respectful tribute. We hope that his family and friends, as well as admirers of his music and talent, would appreciate hearing him speak to us from 15 years ago, as much as we do.

Quorthon had often expressed frustration over being misquoted and misrepresented by the press, so, with that in mind, and in order to accurately preserve every nuisance and nuance of the interview, both the audio and the transcript are presented in their unabridged forms.

Boris

# Feb 17, 2012 @ 10:04 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

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2. Blindgreed1 writes:

Mother... Fvcking... Awesome job guys \m/\m/

# Feb 17, 2012 @ 12:21 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
sonictherapy's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

3. sonictherapy writes:

It makes you feel like Quorthon is still alive...and in a way he is, since he lives on in his music and influence.

# Feb 17, 2012 @ 12:29 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

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4. Blindgreed1 writes:

It really did ST. I had to keep reminding myself thorought the read that he's gone. Amazing interview. Best I've ever read. Even better than mine with Mushroomhead. LMFAO!

# Feb 17, 2012 @ 12:52 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
CROMCarl's avatar

Writer / Reviewer

5. CROMCarl writes:

That means a hell of a lot BG.....

# Feb 17, 2012 @ 1:05 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
CROMCarl's avatar

Writer / Reviewer

6. CROMCarl writes:

...fist pumps on my heart and a tear in me eye!

# Feb 17, 2012 @ 1:05 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

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7. Blindgreed1 writes:

Major props buddy. I'm posting the link everywhere I frequent on the internet and even a few public park restrooms. :D

# Feb 17, 2012 @ 2:53 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

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8. hellrat writes:

Oh man, this is WAY too fvcking cool...no time to read/listen right now, but am majorly looking forward to cracking a cold one and enjoying this interview after I'm done with my afternoon lumberjacking project...I think I'll have Under the Sign blasting in my helmet when I fell that monster oak as well! \m/

eh Blind, you still trolling the public toilets for fresh prey brother??? nasty guy!! :) :)

# Feb 17, 2012 @ 3:05 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
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9. Blindgreed1 writes:

If I wasn't it would mean I didn't want it bad enough Lol.

# Feb 17, 2012 @ 3:34 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Diamond Oz's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

10. Diamond Oz writes:

I never knew there was bad blood between Bathory and Celtic Frost. Don't like Bathory at all but no denying that the band and Quorthon were very influential.

# Feb 17, 2012 @ 4:56 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Cynic's avatar

Senior Reviewer

11. Cynic writes:

Sonic Therapy - Amazing intro to this, one of the most heartfelt things I've read on MU.

I'm a huge Bathory fan but honestly shame on me for never hearing Quorthon's solo albums, listening to even more on youtube now and there's some great stuff - that classic huge riffing that no-one else seems to do. Like, holy crap, Quorthon may have been one of the few acts to actually do grunge/rock right in the 90s! You know, because why not add to the list of awesome achievements the guy made in his short life.

Such a down to earth, level headed guy - and so in touch with everything about metal and Bathory. Funny to hear his thought on UtSotBM knowing how legendary it is. Great read! Now, time for a Bathory marathon.

# Feb 17, 2012 @ 9:55 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
CROMCarl's avatar

Writer / Reviewer

12. CROMCarl writes:

And to think she did that into in the span of the five minutes I asked her to at the 11th Hour....this is why Vicky=journalistic idol. The woman who introduced me to metal, introduced me to MU!

# Feb 17, 2012 @ 10:22 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Jenny's avatar

Member

13. Jenny writes:

Wow. There's just so much in this, ha. My mind is pretty much blown. Quorthon's responses to bands sounding identical to Bathory and people calling him a fraud were personal highlights.

It's so strange, in other interviews, when Quorthon speaks about sticking to the Bathory sound, he described it as being sort of a slave to Bathory, giving the fans what they wanted. The way he described that saddened me. Here in this interview, I see he "progressed" (perhaps just embraced/or even changed having to be a "slave" to Bathory) and just turned it to express the dark part of him.
It makes me feel a tiny bit better knowing he continued Bathory that way, yet had an outlet from that half to do his own personal stuff.

Carl, you're a lucky Man to have spoken with him. Nice work; and many thanks for sharing this with all of us!

# Feb 17, 2012 @ 11:30 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
CROMCarl's avatar

Writer / Reviewer

14. CROMCarl writes:

It was an immense pleasure to finally see this looking as grand as it does. My old fanzine would never have done this justice. Thank the metal gods for MU!

# Feb 17, 2012 @ 11:53 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
R10's avatar

Member

15. R10 writes:

Im here at work and ive just finished up reading the interview. Incredible read,answered alot of questains i always had about Bathory. I always thought Bathory was a one man band. I was one of those mid 80's metal cassette collectors,every saturday went to Strawberries Records and Tapes in the city to buy hard to find metal albums. I do remember having Under the Sign of the Black Mark in about '86. I honestly wished id kept all my cassettes,because there was so much i could never find again on CD. Excellant interview Carl;thanks for sharing.

# Feb 18, 2012 @ 12:15 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
CROMCarl's avatar

Writer / Reviewer

16. CROMCarl writes:

Thanks R10 - this was exactly the reason I shared it. Incidentally, I still have all my Bathory cassettes - they will be buried with me and my entire record/tape collection when I finally hit the dirt!

# Feb 18, 2012 @ 12:19 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

17. hellrat writes:

Very enjoyable! Thank you CROM. Most excellent work on your part as well Vicky \m/

I would love to have more of these types of informal/transparent presentations with regard to interviews on here in the future....but in this ADD world, such is a seemingly exponentially increasing rarity...a very regretable phenomenon

I listened to Bathory from the early days thru 'Black Mark' and then, for reasons I don't remember, lost track of them completely until very recently, when Cynic (thanks my Kiwi brother!) got me back on track....been REALLY enjoying my re-introduction to them, and some of the 'viking' era material has become very dear to me indeed; some of my all time favorite music in fact

I definitely identify very closely with Quorthon's philosophy on the making of music with respect to outside perceptions of such....music is very personal to me, and I write and record whatever the fvck I feel like doing: from the brutal extreme to the peaceful and sappy :) And quite a bit that falls somewhere in between. Early on, with my first 'real' band, a thrash-death type act called Dominion, I was disgusted with the dogsh!t offers labels were presenting us with, and decided that the pursuit of the 'golden rainbow' by eating sh!t for breakfast every morning was NOT what I was going to endeavor myself with...Had also just retired from racing bikes, several years of which were in Europe, so the whole 'travel and see the world' notion was rather played out for me by that point. Also don't much care for the 'rock&roll' lifestyle ;) Anyway, I play music for ME, and those of my collaborators whom are involved in the making of it, and I really don't give a flying fvck who hears it, or what the fvck they think about it :)

Anyway, sorry for the rambling...the interview just hit home in several regards...and hey! The big Oak was successfully felled and processed to the soundtrack of Bathory (though more as a faint background, as I still have to listen closely to my saw)....I guess its fitting that my Jonsered 670 Super is Swedish as well! :)

Again, excellent work here, much appreciated!! 'Underground rules the fvckin times \m/

NP---One Road to Asa Bay

# Feb 18, 2012 @ 12:43 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
GORECUNT's avatar

Member

18. GORECUNT writes:

Ave! Its a great interview. Shame he's no longer with us.

# Feb 18, 2012 @ 1:14 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
oneant56's avatar

Member

19. oneant56 writes:

this post just made my day! thank you CROM!!!

# Feb 18, 2012 @ 3:52 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
oneant56's avatar

Member

20. oneant56 writes:

BG1... How was the MACHINE HEAD???!!!!! EFFING RIALTO!!!!

# Feb 18, 2012 @ 4:05 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
21. Anon writes:

Yea, thank you Boris for actually caring enough to save your copy of the interview and transcribing it for us! Without you this would never even be here -I-

# Feb 18, 2012 @ 11:33 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
22. Attila Bakos writes:

It was a great pleasure to hear his voice again, I'll always remember him. Thanks a lot CROM!

# Feb 19, 2012 @ 4:07 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
RW666PL's avatar

Member

23. RW666PL writes:

This is really great. It is a pleasure to hear this guy again. I also like the way it all has been done with the audio clips and pictures in the interview. I have to say GREAT JOB to the person that made this happen. It looks like you really took your time, and it seems like it was alot of time, to make this happen. The only thing that doesn't fit, and I hope I don't upset anyone, is this Victoria person. She wrote the first intro, but it does not seem like she had anything to do with this interview. Can someone please clarify so it makes more sense to me? Thank you and again great job for all the work to make this happen!!!!!!

# Feb 21, 2012 @ 9:01 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
sonictherapy's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

24. sonictherapy writes:

Of course I had nothing to do with the interview. Carl did this interview back when he was doing his CROM fanzine in Connecticut in the 90's. He asked me to do the intro, possibly because he first heard Bathory on my radio show in 1985. Should I have said no?

# Feb 21, 2012 @ 9:27 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
CROMCarl's avatar

Writer / Reviewer

25. CROMCarl writes:

Vicky's intro was essential because she is a long time friend of mine who was actually the person who taught me about metal when I was a kid. She also wrote for CROM from the very beginning. If it wasn't for Vicky, I probably would have heard Bathory years after the fact. She is also one of my journalistic idols and I was looking for the best way to sum up the career of Quorthon and what he meant to us, and I could think of no one better to do this. I also was looking for a reason to collaborate with her, which I hope will be many more to come.

# Feb 22, 2012 @ 12:52 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

Member

26. Blindgreed1 writes:

I think all 3 of you did an outstanding job. \m/\m/

# Feb 22, 2012 @ 5:59 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
R10's avatar

Member

27. R10 writes:

Wished my small sh*t town radio station played Bathory back in '85. Total classic rock,zzzzzz! I had to discover all the good stuff the hard way;magazines,word of mouth,and tape trading. Anyways... Great article all around,and Vicky did a great job with the intro. One of the best interviews,articles ive read on MU,since ive been a member. Kudos to all that put it together!

# Feb 22, 2012 @ 7:11 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
hellrat's avatar

Member

28. hellrat writes:

Much agreed with above two brothers...one of the best things ever on the 'Underground, much appreciation for all the collaborators contributions \m/

And I hear ya Big R...we had a couple stations that would play Maiden and Priest, Sabbath, Ozzy, and Dio; but certainly nothing of the likes of Bathory, or any of the more extreme music....it was mostly rocker sh!t and cheese metal. Had to learn about sh!t the same way you did....PILES of melting, wobbly a$$ tapes!! :)

# Feb 22, 2012 @ 7:50 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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