HI! HOW ARE YOU? WHERE ARE YOU? I’m good thank you, just relaxing at my home in England listening to „Life, Death and Other Morbid Tales“ by MEMENTO MORI, so I am happy. HELLO GUYS! „NOUVEAU GLOAMING“ IS OUT AND VERY IMPRESSIVE. ARE YOU CONTENT WITH EVERYTHING? HOW ARE YOUR FEELINGS NOW AFTER WORK IS DONE? Yes, we are all very happy with „Nouveau Gloaming“. The planning and writing process took a long time, as did the recording and mixing so it is good to sit back after all this time and appreciate the album for what it is. I personally am very proud of the album, I think it represents the band perfectly at this point in time and I have heard many good reactions to it, so it seems to be connecting with other people too. AS YOU ARE A QUITE NEW BAND IN THE METAL SCENE COULD YOU PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO OUR READERS?! SOME OF YOU OF COURSE HAVE SOME VERY EXCITING REFERENCES. Sure, I am Aort, guitarist and main song writer for < code >. The band was formed, I think in 2002 when Kvohst and I started writing music for the < code > demo, some of the songs from which ended up on „Nouveau Gloaming“. Kvohst previously was part of the weird and twisted experimentalists VOID whose album was released in Nocturnal Art Productions a few years back. Once we signed with Spikefarm we worked on creating a full line up in order that the first album should be as strong as possible. We were extremely lucky to get Viper, AiwarikiaR and Vyttra in the band. Viper is best known under his other guises (Vicotnik and Fixit) and his work with such monumental bands as DODHEIMSGARD and VED BUENS ENDE, whilst AiwarikiaR provided the pounding percussion on ULVER’s more metal orientated albums. WHAT CAN YOU EXPRESS MUSICALLY WITH < CODE > WHICH IS SOMEHOW NEW OR INTERESTING FOR YOU AS SKILLED MUSICIANS? < code > is essentially music with soul and music from the heart. It is not produced with the goal of being overly technical or fast or whatever the case may be. The idea was purely to create honest black metal with the emphasis on dark atmospheres and grimness rather than meldramatic atmospheres or superficial trappings. AND WHAT DOES THE BAND NAME MEAN ANYWAY? WHICH IS THE SECRET CODE? 42? 🙂 That is for the individual to work out. Listen to the music, read the lyrics… absorb the whole concept and you will find the true meaning for yourself. HAVE YOU ALREADY NOTICED THAT YOUR NAME CAN BRING SOME PROBLEMS COLLIDING WITH HTML BECAUSE OF THE „< >„? DID YOU CHOSE THIS ON PURPOSE TO TEASE WEBZINES? 😉 Ha, no that wasn’t the intention. I apologise to you and all the other webzines having problems. The brackets were designed to give the name/ word a more visual and balanced look and to inspire people to find out for themselves why we did this. AND HOW DID YOUR COLLABORATION WITH SPIKEFARM START? ARE YOU CONTENT WITH THEIR PROMOTIONAL WORK SO FAR? Spikefarm were one of the labels we sent the < code > promo CD to. We wanted to sign to label with the best distribution and promotional qualities. It was also really important to us that the label believed in our music and we found that with Spikefarm. Sami Tenetz has been really great to us and has invested in music that he believes in and that means a lot more to me than a some heartless label just trying to make some money. THE COVER IS VERY INTERESTING AND A LITTLE BIT MORBID. WHICH IS THE MESSAGE? IS IT RELATED WITH THE TEXT CONCEPT AND DID YOU HAVE ANY INFLUENCE ON THE DESIGN? The only goal we had with the artwork was that it should represent the feel of the album accurately. As I said before, this album is all about that honest dark feeling and I’m really pleased that the artwork manages to compliment this. We had complete artistic freedom from all aspects of the album from Spikefarm so everything there is a product of the people involved’s twisted imagination. The artwork was created by the hugely gifted Kim Solve who worked with his own photography and the lettering which was created by an old friend of mine called Timo Ketola. I just think the whole product from the visuals to the sound to the music is a really good meeting of imagination to create something unique and twisted. WHICH LYRICAL CONCEPT STANDS BEHIND „NOUVEAU GLOAMING“? (WHAT DOES THE TERM STAND FOR ANYWAY?) There is no overall concept behind the lyrics on the album. It is a collection of dark and twisted poetry the themes of which compliment the individual tracks they accompany. There are a range of themes tackled on the album including paranoia, claustrophobia, the individual’s frailty, all the way to the soul of an executed criminal who’s bones lay buried in the muddy banks of a forgotten river. The term „Nouveau Gloaming“ itself refers to the concept of the album in general, that of a new take on old ideas in black metal in particular. The „New Twilight“. DO YOU WANNA BE SOME KIND OF AN „INTELLECTUAL“ BLACK METAL BAND? IF YES: ON PURPOSE OR COINCIDENCE BECAUSE OF YOUR KNOWLEDGE/ BACKGROUND? No, it would be incredibly pretentious of us to have a goal of being an „intellectual band“ and we aren’t pretentious people. The album is a reflection of our personalities and experiences. We are not kids and we are all well educated people so it is inevitable that if we produce honest music that it will not be a lowbrow affair. COULD YOU TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT THE PRODUCTION PROCESS? HOW WAS WORK WITH TUOMO VALTONEN? DOES THE SOUND FIT YOUR EXPECTATIONS? IT’S SOMEHOW HAUNTING/ PRIMITIVE BUT ALSO BRUTAL IN MY OPINION. The recording process in general was a very long and difficult one. The chapter started in December 2003 when we went to Savonlinna, Finland for three weeks to record with Tuomo. It was a good location for us to record as there weren’t many distractions and the facilities were very good. Tuomo did an excellent job capturing our sound and although there were some differences of opinions, Tuomo always treated us with respect and gave us what we wanted. We then took the material away and looked for the right place to mix the album. We searched for many months until we settled on a studio in Oslo called Skrekkogskru which is operated by a very talented guy called Henning Bortne. We spent just over a week there in June 2004 mixing the album which went really well. We knew exactly what kind of a sound we wanted so it was crucial for us to work with someone who could get us the right sound and not throw their weight around too much and Henning was just the man for us. Finally Tom Kvalsvoll at Strype Audio was the wizard who pulled all the pieces together during the mastering stage. It was Viper’s vision and persistence which helped us get the sound we got so his part in this can’t be overstated enough. At the end of the day it makes me very pleased to hear your description of the sound as this is exactly what we were trying to achieve, haunting and primitive yet brutal, and that is a very difficult balance to achieve. WHY FINLAND ANYWAY, I ALWAYS THOUGHT A TRUE BLACK METAL PRODUCTION CAN ONLY BE DONE IN NORWAY?! A true black metal production can be achieved in any location, as long as the intent is there. As I said earlier, the location in Finland gave us the opportunity to get away from our own environments and all the distractions that go with them and concentrate on making the album. Plus, Finland in the winter is a pretty damn inspirational place to me when it comes to black metal! I WOULD CONSIDER YOUR SOUND A MIX OF BURZUM, DARKTHRONE, SATYRICON TO NAME BUT A FEW. DO YOU FEEL INFLUENCED BY THE „OLD DAYS“ OF BLACK METAL? People see elements of different bands in our music but there was never an intention to plunder any specific bands. It was the spirit of the old days of black metal that we wanted to recapture. We didn’t necessarily want to take the riffing or drumming styles of the old days, just the feel. I think „Nouveau Gloaming“ could only have been created with the help of ten years worth of hindsight. It doesn’t sound like an album stuck in a timewarp, it is an album that was created from the respect of the early nineties sound and mentality but with our individual experience and personalities added in. It is a very honest and personal album and is to people who want to emotionally connect with an album that it will work the best for. WHICH ACTS DO YOU PREFER PERSONALLY METAL AND NON METAL? I like most kinds of metal to be honest, black, death, doom, thrash..there are acts from most genres that I really like. If I had to be specific, some of the names that jump to my mind right now are, UNHOLY, WITCHCRAFT, KHANATE, GEHENNA, VED BUENS ENDE, KVIST, THERGOTHON, AUTOPSY, CYNIC, SPIRAL ACHITECT, PAIN OF SALVATION, DARKTHRONE, IRON MAIDEN, HIGH ON FIRE, BELIEVER, THE MARS VOLTA, ATROCITY, OBLIVEON. The list would go on and on. Outside of metal, I like other types of music but I have the most passion for older prog stuff like KING CRIMSON, CUVED AIR, RENNAISANCE, MAGNET, WISHBONE ASH, P.F.M, AMON DUUL II, TANGERINE DREAM, FOCUS, CAMEL.. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE CURRENT NORWEGIAN BLACK METAL SCENE? TOO MANY BANDS? TOO MANY COPYCATS? ANY INTERESTING NEW INFLUENCES OR UNDERGROUND BANDS WHICH HAVE TO BE DISCOVERED? I’m not too involved with things over there being English myself and I’m not really involved in the underground like I used to be say ten years ago. I do know however that the Norwegian scene is far better than the English scene could ever be. In Norway, you get to know how people interact with each other a lot more and are much more opne to new possibilities and the potential of new collaberations and ideas. That just doesn’t happen in England. You may meet a few people at gigs but afterwards everyone seems to scurry away to work on their own ideas and it breeds a very insular and inward looking scene. It is good to see now that thinsg may be changing a little but we will have to wait and see. APART FROM MUSIC: WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE EU, ITS PLANNED CONSTITUTION AND GLOBALISATION IN GENERAL? I have to be honest and say that politics is not something that I spend any of my time thinking about, it just doesn’t interest me. I will however say that the UK has never really felt like a part of Europe from this side of the channel. The attitude and outlook on life just differs so much between the UK and continental Europe, and perhaps Scandinavia have a similar outstretched view on Europe as a whole as well. I don’t think globalisation is very pratical and the individuality and independence of people over the world is something that I feel should be encouraged and maintained rather than quashed. I ASSUME YOU COULD LIKE DARK THRILLER MOVIES. COULD YOU TELL ME YOUR FAVOURITE TITLES? To be honest I really dislike dark thriller movies, they just don’t interest me. If I was wanting to watch something like that I would much rather watch something more theatrical rather than genuinely frightening. For example The Wicker Man, Witchfinder General, Dracula, Sleepy Hollow. I also like to bury myself in the works of writers like Edgar Allan Poe, Lovecraft (his non-Cthulhu based material anyway), Stoker, Coleridge, Henry James, Washington Irving.. WHAT ARE YOUR OTHER INTERESTS BESIDES MUSIC? Well music seems to be taking up more and more of my life as time goes on so it sometimes difficult to find the time for other interests. I am getting into music production and want to start working with other bands in the future in the form of an engineer/ producer. But that is still music isn’t it! I do enjoy climbing and going to the gym and also photogrpahy has been a passion of mine for many years now. The world is full of intrigueing images waiting to be captured. WILL WE SEE YOU LIVE IN GERMANY AND WHAT CAN WE EXPECT? HOW ARE YOUR LIVE EXPERIENCES SO FAR ANYWAY? We have been talking a little about playing live recently. It is not high on our list of priorities at the moment but it is not impossible that we will play a few shows and nowhere in Europe is completely out of the question. We will have to wait and see what time will reveal to us. HOW DO YOU SYNCHRONIZE WORK IN < CODE > WITH YOUR „OTHER“ PROJECTS/ BANDS? WILL < CODE > BE A PERMANENT ACT AND STAND THE TEST OF TIME? Personally speaking, < code > is the only real band I am involved in at the moment. It takes up too much of my time to work too hard on anything else. Timing wise things just seem to work themsleves out so there aren’t any conflicts with other bands the other memebrs are working on. Obviously DODHEIMSGARD is Viper’s main band and he is working really hard at the moment completing their next album. It has worked out well as have been using the down time to work really hard on writing new material so by the time the new DHG album is released I will be able to start working on new < code > material with the other members of the band. If you want thinggs to work and you believe in what you are doing, you will always find a way. Whether or not < code > will stand the test of time really depends on myself and Kvohst. As long as we continue to create music we believe in and are passionate about, < code > will still exist. One thing is for sure though, if we no longer believe in the band, it will finish. I refuse for us ever to become a parody of ourselves, there is too much of ourselves invested in < code > for that to happen. ANY LAST – CODED – WORDS? Thank you Karsten for your time and interest in < code >. Once again apologies for any trouble our band name may have caused you! Please find your way to www.codeblackmetal.com for more information and check out „Nouveau Gloaming“ for a dose of twisted grimness.