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Sahg - Star Crossed Norsemen

Discussion in 'Metal Interviews' started by TheTechnogoat, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. TheTechnogoat

    TheTechnogoat Protean

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    [imgleft]http://www.russell.ultimatemetal.com/Interview/sahg.jpg[/imgleft]By Jack Deming

    With their aptly named sophomore effort Sahg II hot off the press and a European tour with American Doom icons Trouble imminent, Norway's Sahg are currently reaping the rewards of what has been a long and seemingly sadistic creation process. I hit up frontman Olav Iversen for an engaging discussion of innovation, the 1970s, and Nepalese Pang-Tha Mythology (take that, Paganfest!).

    So Sahg II has just been released, how has the response been so far?

    It has been excellent so far. Everyone seems to agree that we have taken a big step further, and made a more confident second album. Of course, there are always those few critics who want to tread down any band that gets too much good attention, but we can deal with that.

    I understand you guys ran into some problems with the recording of the new album?

    Yes, it started already shortly after we first started recording, when the landlord came in and commanded us to leave the studio, because he was going to tear the whole eight floor building down, with immediate effect. So, we had to pack up and leave the studio where we had planned to record the entire album. It was pretty frustrating, because we had already spent more time than we had intended, due to technical mishaps in the studio. It took us quite a few weeks to book a new studio and continue recording. But we were still pursued by technical problems, which delayed us even more, and kept causing trouble all the way through the mixing of the album. Looking back at it, and listening back to the album now, I think all the hardship eventually came to something good. It has added a dimension of untamed energy that has made the album more powerful and furious than it would have been without it. So it was a blessing in a very convincing disguise, I guess.

    How did jumping between studios and festivals affect the creative process?

    Well, there and then it didn't seem like all that was going to lead to anything good. But in hindsight, I think all the strife made us try even harder and focus even more on making this album as good as our ambitions required.

    [​IMG]

    Sahg are self described as influenced mainly by acts such as Black Sabbath and 70s rock like Led Zeppelin. Have any other influences entered the fold in Sahg II?


    We have expanded our range of influences on this album. Having matured more as a band, we have had the time and courage to experiment with different musical directions and be more open-minded toward our influences. Amongst other things, we have listened to some old prog and psychedelia, such as Pink Floyd's old stuff. It has been an eye-opener, which I think has left its trace on the album.

    Sahg is somewhat of a minority in Norway, being a Doom metal band. Do you feel this sets you apart from other Doom bands, soundwise or otherwise?

    I think it is only natural that we have a different approach. There is no tradition for this specific kind of music in Norway, so I guess we take our influences from other parts of the world, interpret them our way, and even mix in a tiny bit of Norwegian black metal in there somewhere. I think that is noticable, especially on Sahg I.

    Do you feel that innovation and originality are paramount or viable factors in a genre like Doom that has been around for so long and is built around such a retro sound?

    Absolutely. There are enough of those bands who write the same songs and make the same album over and over again. It is crucial to Sahg's existence that we are in constant musical development. That is a principal motivation for us, and the day that development stops will be the end of the band, I think.

    [​IMG]

    'From Conscious Sleep' is such a fantastic instrumental, and is only one of the many examples of how much Sahg's sound has expanded and branched out from Sahg I. In what ways do you feel Sahg has grown from I, musically and otherwise?

    Most of all, we are more confident when it comes to musical direction and limits, or more precisely, the lack there of. The rule is rather "no musical direction and limits", because a good band needs to have enough self-confidence to trust that it will sound like itself, no matter what kind of songs it composes or plays. That is when you get full effect of your creativity. Led Zeppelin is probably the best proof of that. I think too many bands put too tight restrictions on themselves, and it compromises the quality of their music.

    You guys are getting ready for a European tour with Trouble, anticipating a good time?

    Oh yes, it's gonna be amazing! That line-up is gonna make Europe rumble, for sure. Trouble are big heroes for us, and playing with them will push to do our best every night. I bet they are good fun and up for a drink as well!

    In closing, can you explain the irony behind the name Sahg for the non Norwegian speakers?

    Sahg is the name of the evil Ice Emperor from the ancient Nepalese Pang-Tha mythology.

    A fine note to end on I say.

    Official Sahg Website
    Official Sahg Myspace
    Official Regain Records Website
    Ultimate Metal Review of Sahg II
     
  2. Alteredmindeath

    Alteredmindeath Pathfinder Chronicler

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    this band is fucking amazing.
     
  3. voodoo

    voodoo A little left of heaven

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    Complete understatement
     
  4. Alteredmindeath

    Alteredmindeath Pathfinder Chronicler

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    I dig em, others of course may not like them but for me they hit the right notes.
     

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