E (Fortid) – Islandur
E. Thorberg er vokalist i det islandske black metal bandet Fortid. De spilte under årets Inferno Festival og således fikk store deler av den norske fansen mulighet til å oppleve hva vulkanøya har å by på av black metal. E. flyttet til Norge i 2008 og har siden da bodd her. Han begynte som vokalist i det islandske bandet Thule tilbake i 1996 og 6 år senere startet han opp Fortid. E. innrømmer gjerne at Attila Csihar er den extreme metal vokalisten som har influert ham mest opp gjennom årene. Her er The Deepthroat Series og E. Thorberg fra Fortid.
When did you start doing extreme vocals (What year and at what age)?
I started in 1996 with Thule. I was 17 at the time.
What made you start to do extreme vocals?
Our vocalist chickened out with doing a live show with us, so we dropped him and I took his place basically because there was none else to do it.
Can you describe the technique or the techniques you are using?
Not in details really. I don’t think too much about it, I just do it. It is basically about using your stomach. If you use it right, you can go on forever without too much effort.
Has your technique changed during your career?
I wouldn’t say it has changed, but I’ve developed new techniques through the years with different kinds of experimenting. What I have noticed though (and this you can hear from my earlier albums) is that my voice seems to have gotten deeper by the years. I can only possibly tie that to a nasty lung decease I got in 2005.
Have you ever hurt yourself by using a "wrong technique"?
Yes, especially when I haven’t rehearsed for a long while. It takes few rehearsals to get back on track and at first there is often a taste of blood in my mouth from this. Sore throat has been a common thing for me when I’m not in practise. It can also hurt when the microphone level is not consistent with the music. If the mic level is too low live, then I strain my vocal cords too much to be able to hear myself. In studio, if it’s too high in the headphones, I will have to restrict/lower my voice to hear the music properly. That can also hurt and the bad results from that can be heard on the recording. I can spot it when I hear recordings like that from other bands.
Is there something you do on a regular basis to keep your voice in shape? Any routines?
No, only like I said before, to do it on regular basis.
Do you think it can be dangerous to do extreme vocals?
I would like to believe it was actually healthy. There’s a lot of energy you get to release when doing that. What it does to your vocal cords is another matter which I haven’t sought information on.
What is most important for you – to make cool sounds and interesting rhythms, or to have a clear diction/pronunciation?
Clear pronunciation definitely. I hate trying to follow lyrics to a voice that doesn’t seem to be saying those words at all.
Do you think that extreme vocals can be made into a science, like "this is how it works for everyone, to make this sound you have to do this etc"? Or is it more intuitive and individual how to do it?
Why the hell not. There’s a big science around singing. Screaming is underrated. People think anyone can do it, but many start coughing out their lounges after few seconds because they’re not doing it right. I do however think it is individual as well, but that goes for singing also.
Do you have any advice to people who wants to start doing extreme vocals?
Don’t do it unless you have the attitude and fire for it. If it feels somehow strange or wrong, then others will hear it as such. You need confidence to pull it off properly, especially live.
Mention three extreme vocalists whose style you admire, and explain your choice. What specifically do you like about the styles of those three? Also mention three vocalists (not necessarily extreme vocalists) which you have been influence by, and explain in which way you have been influenced by each of them.
Attila from Mayhem falls into both categories. I have been very influenced by him through the years. As far as I know, he (and maybe Quorthon from Bathory) started out with the growling/singing mixture. Attila is also unafraid to experiment with his vocals and I am all for that myself. I was fascinated with Ishahn’s voice on the earlier Emperor albums. I kind of think it went less and less interesting through the years, but on the Emperor/Enslaved split and In the Nightside… his high pitch voice just sounds inhuman, more like an animal than man. Tom Araya from Slayer has always been one of my favourites. He just has that attitude I talked about earlier, and his voice always fits perfectly into their music. I’ve been very influenced by Carl Michael from Ved Buens Ende and today’s Virus. He has a certain gloomy feeling in his voice, especially when doing the darker melodies. His vocal range is also conveniently at the same place as mine so he’s great to practise on. Last but not least would be Axl Rose. His voice is just some kind of phenomenon that I have never really grasped. Come to mention it, that guy actually had a teacher who thought him how to scream. I am sure that if he would have been into Black Metal, he would have been one of the, if not THE all time greatest. There are some others on this list that might have made it some other day than today, but you restrict me, and this answer has become long enough anyway.
Who do you want to challenge in this series? (Who should be the next extreme vocalist to answer these questions?) Give a brief explanation for your choice.
I would be very interested to hear what Attila Csihar has to say about this and who influenced him.