Frost – Satyricon ‘Innovation, Passion and Sacraficing Standards to Stay Relevant’

The name Satyricon is synonymous with black metal. Hailing from Oslo, Norway, the band has remained unmatched in their musical ingenuity over the past 25 years and continue to be one among some of the best and most respected black metal bands in the world. Highly regarded not only in their home country and in Scandinavia but all over the world, the band’s success as drummer Frost says has never been compromised on; they remain true to their art form and music.

Frost and his long-time friend and bandmate Satyr, the two members who began Satyricon have somehow managed to forge through two amazing decades of music as a band, exhibiting at every point their ability to create such unorthodox music and to incorporate all sorts of elements into a more traditional style of metal and this is the case with their latest masterpiece of an album ‘Deep Calleth Upon Deep’, one that undeniably brings together every aspect of Satyricon’s music that makes them stand out. Wall of Sound caught up with Frost to discuss their upcoming tour as well as everything about their latest record, the band’s evolution and more.

Following a friendly greeting, it was great to hear from Frost, how well things have been going for the band post the release of their latest album and how excited they were about their upcoming Australian tour.Things have been really great before and after the release of our latest album. We’ve worked very hard everyday and it’s been good so far, and also great to see that people are enjoying our new music. This has definitely been some of the most important years in our career and for our music. We’re definitely excited to be finally coming back to Australia again. The last time we were there was for the Soundwave Festival; we have only good memories of the place and we can’t wait to come back there with our new material and perform for all our fans. It’s something we have been looking forward to for a very long time!”

 

Following the release of their self-titled album in 2013, the Norwegian metal titans released their latest record last year after quite a long gap.Well, the time period was a little bit of both; intentional and not intentional. It takes time to create and enhance our sound before we are ready to go and record an album. We will never compromise on quality whether it takes two or five years. That’s how it will always be. I guess it has to be taken into consideration that we were touring for quite a while after the previous album was released and that takes time as well. We don’t really write for the next album while we’re on tour. We need the distance between one album and the next partly to get inspired and to be able to work in an inspired environment when we are not marked by routine. Also, it’s about not doing all the other Satyricon material, and writing something new.

Having been a fan of the band since I listened to their sixth studio album Now, Diabolical, there was something very unique and majestic about this particular album, something that seemed to be the culmination of all my favourite elements of Satyricon’s music. However, before delving deeper into the album itself, one aspect I was curious about was the album title, which had me very intrigued from the day it was announced. “Ah that was the idea! Well, the title simply describes the process going on between the album and the listener of the album. We were digging very deep in order to create and perform the material on this record; it has a profound darkness in a way and a very severe seriousness in every layer. The material has the ability to touch and move the listener is what I feel; it speaks to the depth of the listener.” As ominous as that was at the time, when Frost continued, I understood more of what exactly he meant when I asked him about the artwork as well, expressing how much I loved the power and simplicity behind it.Exactly! That’s it right there. I was just about to say something along those lines because that’s how I feel about it as well. I think that it’s a wonderful piece of art by itself, parallel to the music and the feeling on the album. Direct and simple in a way. There is something very elegant about it and it is definitely very expressive – it has that potential of a really touching something deep inside of you. Also, I think that there is something of a connection between life and death depicted in the artwork.”

A force to be reckoned with, Satyricon has released album after album of music that is a class apart and quite frankly unlike anything you’ll hear anywhere else. The same can be said of their latest record, which personally, I felt was a much darker and much more spiritual experience in a way. Frost shared his thoughts on the writing process and how the band went about recording this album. “I’m glad you think so! I guess that we did everything differently compared to how we did it before but that’s just part of the evolution that takes place. Satyricon is never and has never been about a particular type of expression; we’re not made that way. We try to learn, improve, be open and dynamic. That’s what comes naturally. That’s how we work. We did jam a lot this time around with no specific plans or goals. We would just sit and jam and come up with things. We would go to some kind of camp, a secluded place where we could work undisturbed and work day and night if we wanted to and we could record our sessions. We didn’t need to worry about any external disturbances; it was really about giving a lot of room for creativity and keeping the whole process very dynamic and it’s led to something that represents our spirit now; very expressive and passionate; that is who we are.”

 

Talking more about the band’s evolution, Frost enthused, “There has been a significant change in terms of this for the band over the past few years. It is something that keeps happening in the band. There was never any set pattern or formula. So, between the last two albums that we’ve released, a lot has gone on, and that in turn led into the creation of Deep Calleth Upon Deep. It gave us ideas and we felt that we needed to bring in a lot of elements that we hadn’t included in our music before. If you are familiar with our music, those changes and the way we have taken the band forward in a few directions will definitely seem clear.”

This was something that I felt definitely reflected in the music on the album as there are quite a few different elements on it, things that exhibit Satyricon’s forward movement musically. But the question for me was whether this was unintentional or something that they had in mind from the start. “You might say it was intended, I also pretty much agree here with your thoughts. We always want to move ahead with our material. We want our development to be very clear, and that should be manifested in the music. And the albums that we make should be different from each other. But there’s also a lot happening especially on a subconscious level and we realise that the great change did take place in the band as I mentioned. Also, we did feel it was necessary for there to be a significant change in the way we work, function and sound. Perhaps because we have been around for a very long while and things happening both on a personal and professional level that dictated it. But our objective was to move on, go further and to continue what we have been doing for so long.”

Something that I’ve always admired about Satyricon is the fact that through all these years that they’ve maintained a certain class and of course, managed to keep the band together which isn’t easy in this day and age.Creativity, innovation and passion has always been the leading star for the band. We are always focused on finding our methods, our own sound and creating music that stands out on its own. So of course, it will never be satisfying to us to repeat what others have been doing before us. Finding one’s own way and to give 100% making it the best it can possibly be is what is important to us. So, we have done that all along and we aren’t afraid to sacrifice a lot and putting a lot of effort into meeting our own standards, standards which are raised a lot for each album. Those would be some of the mantras that we need to have, to stay relevant. “

Frost had one last message to all the Satyricon fans in Australia ahead of their tour here in September.We are very lucky and fortunate to be able to come back to your beautiful country; and we are very much looking forward to it. We do hope to see a lot of you there, especially since we will be playing our new album; we’ll just let our music do the talking. See you there!”

Interview by Prarthana Venunathan (@MetalMaami)

satyricon tour sept

SatyriconAustralian Tour
with Deadspace

Tuesday 4 September: Capitol, Perth

Thursday 6 September: Max Watts, Melbourne

Friday 7 September: Metro Theatre, Sydney

Saturday 8 September: The Basement, Canberra

Sunday 9 September: The Triffid, Brisbane

Tickets Here

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  1. Satyricon – Gig Review & Photo Gallery 4th September @ Capitol, Perth WA – Wall Of Sound

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