BELPHEGOR – Blastfest Special
Bergen is known for its metal history, with several of the most popular black metal bands in Norway coming from there. In addition, Bergen has been the home of Hole in the Sky – one of the most popular underground festivals in Europe – for several years. Hole in the Sky ended its activities a few years ago, with the much smaller Beyond the Gates festival taking over. Blastfest is a brand new festival that has the intention of putting Bergen back on the metal map.
Do you have any memories about bands, gigs or festivals from Bergen that you want to share with our readers?
Ave! Unfortunately a lot of great festivals have had to quit, while alot of the huge ones get bigger and mainstream. Well, i remember we did a Headliner run through Mexico before the Hole In The Sky festival, with Inquisition and Enthroned. I guess you can imagine, the Mexicans turned out to be insane as fukk. After the tour the plan was to return to Austria, pack everything and fly over, if i remember correctly. But we were stuck two days longer at the airport in Mexico, because of a heavy Tornado, ( btw – „Walker Upon The Wind" – great track from Satyricon´s new album ), flights got cancelled. So we flew directly from Mexico to London, then Bergen. Tough schedule, but we did it. Good memories have remained in my head and we met alot of maniakks over there. Magnificient nature, almost the same as we have here in Austria with the high mountain landscapes, etc. Anyways, im absolutely sure Blastfest will be a great experience, great line up and it is a real pleasure to be part of it in 2014!
How important is it for a cultural city like Bergen to have at least two decent-sized metal festivals.
I dont live in Bergen, so I can’t say specifically for that city, but one thing i can say, the more Metal musick, the better, doesn’t matter were the fukk on this planet it is.
The festival season used to be in the summer and bands could spend the rest of the year writing new songs and recording a new album and maybe go on a tour. In recent years, the season is extended and more or less takes place throughout the year. Much of the reason for this is the declining CD sales and the need for bands to play gigs and selling merch, trying to cover some of their expenses. How disturbing is this extension for the bands creative period?
It doesn’t affect me, nor the band. We aren’t mainstream – nor marketing whores. We do what we wanna do, and when we are ready to do it. We do it. Simple! So to speak, no real pressure from outside. Dont get me wrong, we rehearse/ practise alot, force ourself to get better, develop as musicians, as a band, for this we sweat blood. Maniakks which support us, attend our shows, wear our merchandise and listen to our sound, deserve only the best.
BELPHEGOR are a live troup. No remorse, we go on stage and crush all with our sound. We had the honor to travel the world a few times, played in some real shitholes and fought hard for our status.We never changed our Musick/ Attitude drastically in +20 Years. We are still here, louder than ever before. I guess that says it all.
(Photo: Tina Burgstaller)
How do you think it will be like doing a festival in the north in February?
Actually, its a great idea. I really dig indoor Festivals and open airs. You reach a lot of demons. Expect machine gun blasting death commando. Six days after Blastfest in Bergen we nuke the House Of Metal Festival, in Umea/ Sweden.
For years, black metal has been the pride of the Norwegian metal scene, but things have changed and bands like Leprous, Devil, Vulture Industries, Kvelertak and Obliteration are more popular outside the Norwegian border than the black metal bands. Do you have any thoughts on why this is happening?
Never cared that much on scenes man. We always took our own decisions, followed our own path, in a hermetical way. Scandinavia has an important impact worldwide, when it comes to extreme attitudes/ musick. I dig bands that practise what they preach. It still is relevant! Mayhem, Unleashed, Carpathian Forest, Dark Throne, Hypocrisy, Marduk, Aeon, Shining, Watain, Gorgoroth, to name just a few, those elite-bands keep the hellfire burning.
A new Belphegor album will be released this coming spring. What can you tell us about that?
Release date is June 2014 via Nuclear Blast records. The digipak edition comes along with a bonus Dvd with live-studio making of- video footage. We recorded in the Mana studios in St. Petersburg, Florida with Erik Rutan at the helm as producer. Erik motivated, sometimes forced us to record the utmost tight performances. Amazing to work with a guy that is so on top of it and really pays attention to the tone,..to each detail. The soundwall is a new level for BELPHEGOR.
Lets talk about the tracks. First off, BELPHEGOR do not slow down. Contrary! The tracks are absolutely direct, fast and intense. This time we put the epic melodies aside, and concentrated on Death Musick. Melded with uttermost offensive blasphemic-perverse lyrical content, in the usual BELPHEGOR style. Death/ Black Metal Musick from freaks, for freaks.
Those unlucky bastards that haven’t had the pleasure of seeing Belphegor live yet (or all of us attending the festival), what can they/we expect at Garage in Bergen in February next year?
Bones – Chaos – Death!
Anything else worth mentioning from the Belphegor camp?
Cheers for the space Rune. See you all in February. An honor – this horror!