DEN SAAKALDTE – Raw, brutal and uncompromising
DEN SAAKALDTE will release their second album entitled «Kapittel II – Faen i Helvete» later this month. They will also play a couple of festivals/events in Europe and celebrate they album with a releaseparty at Revolver on May 27th. Here’s guitarist Tjalve.
You are releasing «Kapittel II – Faen i Helvete» on the 27th of May. Can you please take us through the writing and recording process of the album?
The writing process was quite unique due to the fact that I and Sykelig wrote 50 % each of the album. Regarding the writing process I can only speak on the behalf of the songs I wrote for this album. The approach I had in writing the material was very similar to how I used to write songs in the old days with Pantheon I. As Theobald and I used to play in pantheon I together we share a musical bond that is extremely unique. This makes the writing process much smoother and extremely efficient. For the most part I bring the skeleton of a song and by the end of one rehearsal process with me and Theobald the main structure of the song is completed. Further more Sykelig, Seidemann and Eldur contribute with their input and flavours to make it a whole band effort and to complete the song. The writing process was very intense, in fact the song called "Du Selvproklamerte Misjonær" was written only one week before entering the studio.
The recording process was met with a lot of challenges, but we faced those challenges and I’m certain the frustration and despair have coloured the recording as a whole. One of these challenges was a time limit we set ourselves of two weeks of recording, and while recording we all pushed each other to a limit were each member maximised his potencial. This has been by far the most efficient recording I have ever been a part of and I can’t see that any band can justify being in a studio for months when you are recording a black metal album. Black metal is supposed to be raw, brutal and uncompromising.
Where did you record the album and who was in charge of the recording/mixing/mastering?
We decided to use Strand Studio as I personally only had good experiences in the studio from other recordings such as Pantheon I’s World I Create. The engineer Marius Strand is also a good friend of ours so its easier to work with him rather than a total stranger. The positive thing with recording at Strand Studio is that he do a lot of the mixing while we are in the recording process so when you for instance record the guitars the drums that were laid the day before already sounds killer. This helps us as musicians to gather the right spirits for the song and can give the extra power we need to take the song to the next level. The mastering is also done at Strand Studio.
The lyrics on "Forbanna Idioter" have a special meaning. Please tell.
The lyrics for "Forbanna Idioter" was written by Sykelig so it would be wrong for me to analyze his lyrics as I know they are very personal to Sykelig himself. As the other lyrics on this album we do not feel the need to analyze or explain the lyrics as they are written in the booklet and can be interpreted by the listener him or herself.
What about the rest of the lyrics? Where do they come from and what is your favorite topic or topics?
There is no one way of describing the lyrics for this album due to the fact that we have symbolism, personal experiences and other elements incorporated in the lyrics. I will indulge you in telling you the basis for writing the lyrics to "Som Et Endeløst Øde". There are many ways of explaining the lyrics, this is one of them. It is based on one mans vision right after an apocalyptic war has ended, where the world is left desolate, barren and cold. The lyrics basically depicts the end of everything. My favourite topic is death.
This might be a bit cliché, but how would you say the new album is compared to the debut?
More aggressive, much more guitar oriented due to the fact that there are no synthesisers on this album. On All Hail Pessimism Sykelig was the main composer of the album and since there are more composers in the band now the progression of the sound and music is natural. I myself has taken inspiration of All Hail Pessimism to get in the right mind frame to create music for Den Saakaldte. But still adding my unique way of writing music. I’ve noticed that people who are reviewing our new album is put off by the lack of avant garde elements. it would be pointless for us to add elements that we dont feel are necessary for the compositions on the new album. When we write music our main goal is to bring out a certain feeling or emotion that is personal to us. We don’t compromise that feeling just to add an element that are not supposed to be there.
The album will be released on CD and on black, red and blue vinyl. How important was it for you to release the album on vinyl?
It is no secret that the cd industry is declining rapidly and therefore we want to release on several formats so that people who still buy cd’s can get the digipack and the vinyl collectors will get their vinyls. There’s also a treat for those who collect vinyls that basically Den Saakaldte vinyls separately releases has other layouts. You will find that the vinyl version of Faen I Helvete is different from the layout of the cd digipack. I also think that the true black metals fan is also a true enthusiast when it comes to the vinyl format. There is something almost magical about sitting in a room listeing to a black metal vinyl all alone with all lights out on high volume. This is a feeling that is impossible to explain and must be experienced.
Streaming of music prior to the releases has become a very popular way to promote the albums. I would say it’s some sort of a cheaper alternative to music videos, but also very effective and very easy to use. You have streamed two (three) songs off "Kapittel II – Faen i Helvete" so far. How important do you think this is for the bands and labels?
Giving out teasers or even full songs prior to the release of an album is an important part of getting the audience hungry for the whole album. I remember back in the day when I could go to a record shop, pick out a cd and listen to it to see if it was something I would like to buy. Streaming a song is almost like enhancing that experience. now you can actually listen to some other songs even before the release is out.
Den Saakaldte will also be a part of a split 7 with Varathron. Please tell.
We got a request from Varathron to do a split 7 inch with them. And we saw it as an honour to be a part of this. During the writing process of Kapittel II we actually had written one more song that wasn’t quite right for the album, but could stand alone or with another song on a split. This was a perfect match for us to utilize the song on the split release with Varathron.
Norwegian Hellcamp in Germany is a pretty special thing; an evening in October with eight bands on stage and all eight being Norwegian. Den Saakaldte will be a part of that. What can you tell us about that happening?
All I can tell is that its going to be a special evening. Because the majority of the bands are friends of ours and all Norwegian. It will be a unique experience for the audience because we will be purely Norwegian black metal on stage and that is something that never happened before. There is something unique about Norwegian black metal that will make this a night to remember. And the obscurity of it is that the Norwegian hell camp is located in Germany.
Before this happens, you are playing a festival in Paris called Fall of Summer Open Air along with a few nice bands like Venom, Watain, Bölzer, Pentagram and Sodom. You’re also having a releaseparty at Revolver on May 27th.
Regarding the open air festival in Paris this is a dream come true for most metal bands to be sharing the stage with the likes of Venom, Sodom and Pentagram. Prior to this we will have the release concert in Oslo. We are currently finalizing the set list for this event and there will be a majority of new songs, but also a selected few old songs that are a necessity for the set. We have also been confirmed for other festivals that I can’t divulge right now, but we have made sure that Den Saakaldte will be on everyones lips in 2014-2015.
Do you have any other gigs scheduled? Any chance for more gigs in Norway?
Yes, we have other gigs in Norway confirmed, but as I said earlier I can’t divulge.
Anything else worth mentioned from the Den Saakaldte camp?
I think we have covered the most in this interview already. And there is practically no more information I can give about the future, but all I can say is that there will be much more coming Den Saakaldte camp now after our five year hiatus.