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RAGNAROK (JONTHO)

HI! HOW ARE YOU? WHERE ARE YOU? I am fine at the moment, thank you. And I am in my appartment in Sarpsborg here in norway answering this interview. „BLACKDOOR MIRACLE“ IS OUT AND VERY IMPRESSIVE. ARE YOU CONTENT WITH EVERYTHING? HOW ARE YOUR FEELINGS NOW AFTER WORK IS DONE? Yes finally the album is out after a lot of delays. But it has been worth waiting for since this is the best album we have ever made.We are very satisfied with this album and so is the press it seems. We have got very great response and I think almost every review have been with high points.I think we finally have managed to create an album that is great in all ways. Musically speaking I believe that this album is one of the best albums created from a band in a very long time as we have managed to have a great amount of variety in the songs and every song has something you will remember after listening to it. THERE HAS BEEN AN IMPORTANT CHANGE IN YOUR LINE UP (HOEST/ TAAKE IS YOUR NEW SHOUTER): CAN YOU TELL ME THE STORY BEHIND IT? DOES HOEST BRING YOU TO A NEW LEVEL OF INTENSITY? Yes, we had to get a new vocalist into the stab since Lord Arcamous left after the previous album “In nomine Satanas”. I was on the Under The Black Sun festival in 2002 where I played with Tsjuder as the drummer and there I got the chance to meet Hoest.Taake did also play there and after the gig we got together for some booze and started talking about if he maybe wanted to put some vocals on a cover song of Celtic Frost that we were going to do later.He agreed in that and when we got home from Germany we went to the studio to do it. When we were in the studio I also asked him if he wanted to do the X-Mass festivals tour with us in the end of 2002 and he again agreed.The tour was a big success and after that he became a permanent member of the band. I think his vocals have brought a much more aggressive sound into Ragnarok as even if we have some “kind” melodies he makes it more aggressive.We are very satisfied with his work in the band. THE COVER IS VERY INTERESTING AND A LITTLE BIT STRANGE… WHICH IS THE MESSAGE? DID YOU HAVE ANY INFLUENCE ON THE DESIGN? DON’T YOU THINK IT IS TOO MUCH OF A STEREOTYPE? The cover in itself does show exactly what we mean is black metal.You can find all the symbols of true black metal in that cover… It is also a symbol to show what kind of music is inside the album. The pentagram shows the satanic essence, the naked woman and the candles are symbols for black magic, me with the gun stamds for the unleashed demon and total destruction of the weak and the flames symbol the kaos forces of hell. All in all the cover explains the theme of the lyrics but still it is more to find when you read and understand them. The influences is from the lyric Blackdoor Miracle that is about releasing your inner demon. CAN YOU GIVE ME THE PHONE NUMBER OF THE FEMALE MODEL? J heheh I don’t have it. WHICH LYRICAL CONCEPT STANDS BEHIND “BLACKDOOR MIRACLE”? WHAT DOES THE TERM “BLACKDOOR MIRACLE” MEAN ANYWAY? WHERE IS THE BLACKDOOR? SOUNDS TO ME LIKE A DAVID LYNCH MOVIE… Shortly explained I can tell that the main theme in the lyrics is about releasing your inner demon and to worship the powers it brings. Since the demon is a big part of man it is a way of worshipping yourself. We are very serious about total destruction and hate against all religions that follow a so called God/ Leader and that does come out in the lyrics but not as clear as earlier lyrics .It is also a main theme that we hail the Khaos forces from hell through the lyrics. The inner demon is hidden behind your blackdoor in your soul and you can say that it is a miracle in itself to release the demon. And if a person or something does release that demon they have to take the concequences of it. COULD YOU TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT THE PRODUCTION PROCESS? HOW WAS WORK WITH TOMMY TÄGTGREN LIKE? DOES THE SOUND FIT YOUR EXPECTATIONS? IT REMINDS ME A LITTLE BIT OF THE IMMORTAL ALBUM „AT THE HEART OF WINTER“ WITH ICE COLD GUITAR SOUND… We stayed in the studio for 14 days and worked about 10 hours a day. The bass and the drums have been done in just 4 or 5 days so the rest of the time was guitars, vocals and the mixing. When we are in the studio we just concentrate 100% on the music and in this case we also made two songs in the studio. The song Blackdoor Miracle and The Rites of Geburah. We had enough songs when we entered the studio but we were not satisfied with one or two of them so then we felt that we had do throw them out of the window and make something new. I believe that it was the right choice because those two songs are among the best.To work with Tommy is only positive. He is a man who really understands our music and what we want in our sound. I can say that we have never worked with such a great sound engineer before. The sound is exactly what we wanted on our album and we have managed to get a very cold and aggressive sound on Blackdoor Miracle. It is pretty weird that the sound reminds you of Immortal because we used two different studios. Immortal recorded in Peters studio and we in Tommys. But Tommy has learned his work from Peter so maybe it is something in it. Immortal is good so I do not see it as a negative thing to have some similarities in the sound. „RITES OF GEBURAH“ AND „MURDER“ ARE TWO OF MY FAVOURITE TRACKS AS THEY ARE SIMPLE, PRECISE AND QUITE HYPNOTIC… ANY COMMENTS ON THESE? DO YOU BUILD YOUR SONGS AROUND SIMPLE BASIC RIFFS? I really like the songs very much and the atmosphere in RITES….is breathtaking .The melody lines in that song gives you a very special feeling.The lyrics is a explanation about the Pentagram so it is very intersting lyrically and musically. The murder song is very interesting because I do not think we have made any song in that way of playing a guitar riff. One of the riffs does remind me a little bit of Slayer because of the way the riff is played. But all in all it sounds a lot more aggressive.The lyrics are plain & simple, about unleashing your killer instinct on worthless life. Not much more I can say about the songs beside that it will give the listeners something to remember. Rym build the songs in his head as a finished result. But when I put on drums and so on we do that out from the basic riff in the songs.In the studio Rym put on the second guitar also and sometimes I have to do different stuff with the drum beats to make it sound even better than in the rehearsel place. WILL YOU BE ABLE TO DO A VIDEO? AND IF YOU COULD WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO VISUALIZE? Sometime in the future we will do a video. And we want to visualize pure hate and aggression in it. I think we will make a video for Blackdoor Miracle in the first place and that will be a pretty interesting story line. We’ll see what we come up with . WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE CURRENT BLACK METAL SCENE? TOO MANY BANDS? TOO MANY COPYCATS? ANY INTERESTING NEW INFLUENCES OR UNDERGROUND BANDS WHICH HAVE TO BE DISCOVERED? DO YOU FEEL BLACK METAL IS BECOMING RAW AND OLD SCHOOL AGAIN? I think the black metal scene is great and still strong but it is not the biggest bands that keep it that way. That is because bands such as Gorgoroth, Taake, Tsjuder, Urgehal, Ragnarok, Belphegor, Marduk and of course Ragnarok. It is those bands that really keep the flame burning these days. It is always too many bands but as always it is the strongest that will survive. I really think everyone should check out Tsjuder and Urgehal because they have a bunch of great songs and really understand the term “black metal”. And yes I think that the raw and more old school style is back pretty soon. YOU OBVIOUSLY LIKE HORROR MOVIES (REGARDING THE COVER). COULD YOU TELL ME YOUR FAVOURITE TITLES? Well the cover does not have a lot to do with horror movies but yes I like a good horror movie. Some of my faves are The first Evil Dead movie,13 Ghosts, The Blair Witch Project but I also really like more psychological movies like Seven, Copycat and so on…. WHAT ARE YOUR OTHER INTERESTS BESIDES MUSIC? My main interest is to be with my girlfriend in sweden, but also reading books, watching a great movie and hanging out with my friends. WHEN WILL WE SEE YOU LIVE IN GERMANY AND WHAT CAN WE EXPECT? As it looks now it will be in October when we will tour Europe with Behemoth, Krisiun and Incantation.dates will be promoted when everything is settled. YOU HAVE BEEN PLAYING IN ROTTERDAM. I SUPPOSE IT HAS BEEN AN INTERESTING EXPERIENCE. ANY FUNNY STORIES, ANY CATATROPHES, ANY MISUSE OF DRUGS? J We have played in Rotterdam a few times but there have not been any catastrophes that I can remember. And we do not use drugs so no misuse have been done either. AND WHAT DO YOU EXPECT OF THE INFERNO 2004? DEVASTATION AND CHAOS? The inferno festival was great this year: a lot of alcohol and chaos as always heheh – But I lived through it so no harm done….. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR TIME AND GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR STRONG EFFORT. Thank you alot for your support and check out the www.ragnarokhorde.com for updates. Check out the new album and be aware of RAGNAROK.

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