Interview: 1349
Title: Bludgeoning until the tilting over

Probably one of the most extreme Norwegian Black Metal-hordes are 1349 with security – and one of the most capable and best, too, without any doubt.

In such a way uncompromising, dogged and full in the thing raging only the less ones within this hard fought musical area. Emerged 1997 out of the remains of the band Alvheim, the gloating flame-servants around very fast rhythm-beating exception-drummer Frost now unchain its new and third studio album „Hellfire“.

And the contained black-metallic hellfire flares just as be named like loudly. So these new songs of the quintet easily let one surmise, which high goals the five badly corpse-painted Norwegian rascals stuck themselves in the acquiring of this rich disk. I got in touch with fur-beater Frost.

Hey Frost, how are you doing at the moment?

„I’m fine thank you – though I must admit I’ve been through a rather challenging time. I’ve experienced the hard way that the physical body has certain limits it really pays to cross. After a long period of time characterized by exhaustion and disease, I’ve started to catch up again – which truly feels great.”

How is the chemistry between the musicians in the band, currently?

„Good; however do we have a period of musical inactivity in 1349 just now. I’m working full time with preparations for the next Satyricon album due to be recorded in October, so it means a short break in the routine. Anyway we’ll find time this week to rehearse a little for the autumn tour in Europe, so I believe it’ll be a bloodthirsty gang meeting in the rehearsal place in a few days! I see that we tend to function as catalysts for each other with regard to creativity and intense musical expressionism. There is definitely a band spirit that we all share.”

Where exactly do you come from? Please describe your hometown and area!

„I grew up in a valley just north of Lillehammer; a really beautiful and quiet place actually. The municipal where I lived, and where my parents still live, is a large one but it consists mainly of mountain landscape and hence there are probably more elks and reindeer than people living there. Anyway the small municipal centre in the bottom of the valley tends to get rather crowded during the winter holidays, as hordes of skiers come to spend their vacations in the local cottages.”

Please describe your development as a musician – did you already begun to love music as a child?

„I didn’t develop any real interest in music before reaching the age of nine, and I believe it started with hearing „Iron Fist” (Motörhead) on the radio. It must have been somewhat of a turning point, because I had heard Kiss and other hardrock bands before that, but I needed to hear the Motörhead song before really starting to like it. I enjoyed listening to various hardrock and heavy metal bands for a while after having gotten into it, but as I always searched for the hardest music possible, it had to be a matter of time before I discovered that there existed even harder music. Getting my own turntable was something of a breakthrough; and I remember it was such a thrill going all the way to town, or even take the trip all the way to Oslo, just to buy records. Listening to albums like „Obsessed By Cruelty”, „Bathory” or „Killing Technology” for the first time are experiences I can only dream of having today. Hmm... after having discovered albums like the ones mentioned I got myself a drum kit, and I guess I was rather eager starting to play extreme metal all at once. I bit too eager, perhaps, for I just didn’t get anywhere with my playing as I didn’t take the necessary steps to really learn anything properly. I just wanted to be fucking fast and intense and I was in reality very far from being a musician. Actually I played with some mates in Lillehammer for a couple of years that eventually ended up in pretty prominent bands themselves, but I hadn’t acquired the right attitude to my playing (I dont’t know if they had either, at that time) and when I moved to Oslo at the age of 19 I left all of it behind and forgot about the drums. I felt more like simply being an avid fan of Black Metal anyway... So it happened that Faust contacted me, saying that this band Satyricon was in need of a drummer, and he had mentioned my name to Satyr since he himself had recently joined Emperor. You see, Faust and I knew each other as we had both been living in the Lillehammer-area, and he actually did the vocals for a while in this group where I was drumming up there (such are the circumstances in a small country like Norway)... Blabla, it’s a long story, this, but anyhow I ended up in Satyricon, and started to get into serious business. In the early days of my career in Satyricon I was so lousy I can hardly believe it myself, but I kinda understood that I needed to rehearse like a madman if anything were to happen, and so I did. Looking back, I think I did mostly everything wrong, but at least I WENT FOR IT, so I gradually became better. But there was more spirit than talent, that’s for sure! Around 2000 I started to understand the ART of drumming, it was even around that time I joined 1349, which I discovered was a true force in the Black Metal world. I’ve taken on a more respectful attitude and approach to drumming over the later years, and started to apply mental techniques in order to reach further, which is one of the more important steps I’ve taken in my history as a drummer. True enough, I have been doing this for a little while now, but it feels like I’ve just gotten started, and I am eager to learn!”

What is to tell in general about the new album?

„The following: „Hellfire” sounds intense, fiery, powerful and dark like nothing else. I seriously think it is Black Metal of elite brand.”

Your playing has developed faster and faster, what is your main inner driving force as an artist?

„Passion. Passion for Black Metal, passion for performing music, passion for the art of drumming.”

So we can say without any doubt, that 1349 is the fastest Black Metal horde on this earth; or?

„That would be nonsense. But we can say without any doubt that 1349 are among the most INTENSE Black Metal acts around, and nobody in their right mind can deny that we are masters of our game.”

How much a week do you rehearse?

„Almost every day at least. For a period I rehearsed two or three times each day, but evidently my body couldn’t handle that, so I just got terribly sick and exhausted and for quite a long time I’ve hardly been able to rehearse at all. But as I said earlier I am catching up these days, so at least I’ll be going back to rehearse five to six times a week.”

Were do 1349 take all those harsh devilish melodies and hyperfast playing ideas?

„One might wonder. I am convinced that there is this band spirit that really has a driving/motivating effect on all of us, bringing to light our most extreme musical selves.”

In which mood do you feel the best creativeness?

„When my head is cleared of mental fog – most often during night time, or when I feel an overwhelming enthusiasm for music and what I do.”

What contains a really good song in your opinion?

„A lot of energy, a kind of atmosphere that I like or find interesting or feel at home with (nearly always some kind of darkness) and uniqueness. Anyway, if a song really moves me I don’t really question why but rather observe the fact.”

Please tell me some musical influences for the compositions of 1349!

„I guess it’s not hard finding certain musical references in 1349’s music, but other bands’ music function as inspiration rather than direct influence to us. I would say that our interest in certain bands and albums is symptomatic of our passion for the kind of music they play, the very same passion that motivates us to involve ourselves in music on our own. There is, however, one direct musical influence that have made it’s mark on the „Hellfire“ album, which is this unique atmosphere that the Norwegian bands of the early 90’s shared and that we deliberately wanted to be present in some form on „Hellfire“. Mayhem had it in the De Mysteriis-era, Burzum had it, Thorns had it... It is really difficult to find a good term for that specific atmosphere, but I refer to it as „strict melancholy”. Just this atmosphere gives the music a very HAUNTED feeling, it’s as if strange spirits from dark realms are floating out of the speakers and filling the room. Melancholy is generally a term that makes the warning signs start to flash in most of us when connected to present-day Black Metal, and rightly so, but we wanted a different kind of melancholy altogether; we wanted the good ol’ ’91-melancholy and we managed to capture it in a descent way I think.”

The current label-contract: are you guys satisfied with Candlelight´s work so far?

„We are pretty satisfied, but still we have told them that we expect them to get the vehicle into a higher gear now. Luckily, we have developed a good relationship with the people at Candelight, and they seem to share our enthusiasm about the new record. So I think things will turn out to be fine indeed.”

Do you like the other bands on Candlelight? Which ones?

„I like the old Emperor releases (the MLP + „In the Nightside Eclipse”), and I think Zyklon is OK, even if they’re a bit too death metallish for my taste. Another band on the Death Metal edge that I like is Cadaver, but I can hardly bear with their production on „Necrosis”. Myrkskog’s „Deathmachine” is a fine Black/Death Metal hybrid, while „Superior Massacre” sounds more like run-of-the-mill fast Death Metal to me. But I need to mention an old release, the „Hordanes Land” EP from ’93.”

Please tell me your favourite bands, to which you listen to!

„Darkthrone, Bathory, Hellhammer/Celtic Frost, Sodom, Thorns, Klaus Schulze, Mayhem, Bohren & der Club of Gore, Diamanda Galás, Burzum, Possessed, Slayer, Venom...”

Please tell me some lyrical influences for the compositions of 1349!

„For my own part, the lyrics I’ve written are direct consequences of personal experiences and energized mental states. I believe some of Seidemann’s poetry is pretty inspired by Lovecraft and „lovecraftian magic” though some of his poems are projections of his inner world. Ravn and Archaon describe personal visions in their poetry, and Destroyer of Nocturnal Breed, who have contributed with three lyrics for Hellfire, is simply flowing over with beautiful destruction. There isn’t really any concept, just Kaos!”

What´s your favourite kind of beer?

„It’s not easy to choose just one, but dark (red or brown) strong beers are generally the best ones; my favourite is probably an extra strong bock beer that a Norwegian brewery make as a seasonal brew.”

Did you play live so far this year 2005? Where?

„We’ve played a few one-off shows – three here in Norway, and one in Germany, on the Party-San festival. We’ve been busy most of the year creating „Hellfire”.”

Which one was your best gig this year?

„I think it was a good thing that we played the Party-San, which was undoubtedly the most important of the shows so far this year, but we won’t do shows like that again. We arrived very late, and the change-over was way too short. In the end there was only time to play a 30-minute show, which felt a bit strange when we had travelled all the way from Norway... It was nobodys fault though, just the difficult working conditions one having to deal with at such festivals. Festivals freak me out; I hate having to be in a hurry and just go on stage, do my second best, get off, next band on...”

Do you like it to play live?

„I like to play live when the working conditions are good! That’s why I have a hard time with festivals that really makes it hard to perform one’s best. It takes a decent soundcheck and proper preparations to do a really good show, and you get neither on a festival. But I am looking forward to the upcoming tour with Gorgoroth; I am sure it’s gonna be a hell of a trip!”

What´s special in a show of 1349?


What was your first own bought album with Rock/Metal?


In which life-philosophy do you believe?

„Satanism sums it all up pretty well, but this has got nothing to do with any kind of rigid religious dogmas or stupidly following any set of rules (it’s too bad that I feel the need to point this out). I set out to take my life as far as I can on my own set of premises, and the keys for getting further which I cannot find in daylight I search for in Darkness.”

Which things you do mainly beside making music day by day?

„I work, restore myself, chill out, or try to enjoy life in some way. Most of my life is definitely devoted to my musical activities these days.”

What is your biggest dream as a musician?

„To be able to musically express myself fully and freely.”

What do you think about religions in general?

„I think that they serve a purpose of providing meaning to what the unenlightened can not understand, guidelines for the lost, hope for the hopeless. And probably a heap of other things. It used to be that whenever there was something that humans needed an explanation for, there were religions to give the answer. In more modern times the situation is that whenever there is need for a „Higher Cause“, there are religions to provide them. In an enlightened society like ours I feel that religions have gotten an almost infantile character, but still there are an astonishing number of people claiming to „believe” in a religion. I take the position of Christianity in the Western culture as a sign of stupidity being generally held high in value – but I am also convinced that Christianity will be forced to fall as a common denominator. I’ll more than happily contribute to that, even if I feel only loosely connected to the society in which Christianity has any influence. If I am to put anything at all on the plus-side, it is that religions are providing us with many well-established archetypes that many people after all put a considerable amount of mental energy into. The wise may be able to benefit from the fact even if they don’t accept the rules of the respective religious orders.”

Which are your plans for the future?

„To expand.“

© Markus Eck, 06.10.2005

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