ICS VORTEX – The loud speaker
With new album Storm Seeker already on the shelves, Eternal Terror’s Peter Loftus caught up with taciturn titan ICS Vortex to talk business…
How is life for ICS Vortex (the man not the band) at the moment?
Busy:) We are working on the website: www.icsvortex.com. It will be launching very soon and a LOT of stuff still missing. Then I’m rehearsing with Arcturus and ICS Vortex plus producing bass lines for the new Borknagar album.
And then there is also the pre-production vocals for God of Atheist and preproduction for Lamented Souls.. Argh argh:)
What made you decide to put out a solo album?
The loud speaker in my head told me to.
How did the writing work? Were you responsible for all of the compositions and arrangements?
I am guilty for all of it. Asgeir came into the process after the pre-production, and he improved the drums a lot. Cyrus’s lead contributions did the same.
I hope the guys can be more involved on the next album. In my experience compromising with like minded will improve the result.
In terms of music, ‘Storm Seeker’ is a varied offering. Did you have a single concept or idea behind the new album or was the plan to just see where the songs took you?
Yes, it is a very diverse album I know. I have sewn the material together by using maritime related metaphors lyrically. This gave me the freedom to cover many topics, while uniting the overall feel.
Are you happy with the way the album turned out?
There are flaws, but that is part of the metal charm in my opinion.
What is next for ICS Vortex (the band)? Are you planning to play ‘Storm Seeker’ live? Does the future hold more recordings from this line-up?
We will be performing live. The first show is booked in Spain, and there are more in the pipeline. I cannot predict what the future will hold, but I have a very good feeling about the line-up.
I’ve read that you are back with Borknagar and that we might be hearing more from Arcturus in the future… what can you tell us about that?
That is right. Borknagar will release a new album in the beginning of 2012 and Arcturus has several shows booked.
Are there any other projects in the pipeline?
Artisan is not my baby, but I hope to see more action with Jens Ryland and the boys. I’d also like to start composing with Mustis soon.
You’ve had the opportunity to travel, work with excellent musicians, tour with top acts and meet fans from all over the world – what would you say has been the greatest thing for you personally in your career to date?
I think meeting a lot of different people on tour over the years has made me understand more about the scene, different cultures and ways of life.
This combined with the unity metal creates and the feedback from many who say that my music has helped them overcome personal difficulties etc, is a fortunate side effect I never expected.
But the satisfaction of nailing a riff and then shaping it into a song will always be my Alpha and Omega.
Who would you count as your top three musical influences and why?
Early Black Sabbath: Pioneers, Killer riffs, groovy drums, Geezer’s bass lines plus Ozzy’s feel. My uncle gave me Paranoid when I was a kid. After I got over the silliness of the Iron Man intro, they have influenced everything.
Bathory: First I was blown away by the early stuff, but albums like "Twilight of the Gods" and "Hammerheart" have inspired me even more. It’s all about Quarthon’s drunken sailor vocals and the Epic atmosphere.
Layne Staley, and Blackie Lawless split third position for being Giants.
What are you listening to at the moment?
Autopsy, Mental Funeral, Dead