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1349 - Commanding Hell's Legions

Discussion in 'Metal Interviews' started by Opeth17, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. Opeth17

    Opeth17 Bill Ward's Red Pants

    Oct 21, 2003
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    The Southland
    [IMGLEFT][/IMGLEFT]By Josh Phillips

    Norway's 1349 are riding high on top of today's black metal world. They play the music their way on their terms and this blisteringly fast, no nonsense music has won them much acclaim. I was able to speak with Ravn on their first ever headlining tour of the United States and get his thoughts on his band and the genre in which it plays.

    What do you think of today’s black metal scene and do you pay very much attention to new bands or current waves such as pagan black metal or the orthodox black metal movement in areas such as France?

    No, not at all. Only the old records. If it is really good enough, I will hear about it through people I know. I don’t feel the need to pay attention.

    Do you believe that Frost will be able to join the band for subsequent tours sometime in the future or will it continue to be an issue for a long time?

    He will definitely tour with us again. He will do all the festivals this summer and tour with us as much as possible. As long as Satyricon isn’t doing anything, because that is his main project.


    A lot of bands have interpreted the black metal style in a way that is minimalistic. What made you decide to take 1349 to the opposite extreme and make it as fast and brutal as possible?

    That’s just the feeling that I want the music to have. It’s kind of an expression of emotions, that’s what black metal is all about. This is what we felt like making, you know, as a rebellion act towards all of the lame acts that taint black metal. That’s why Liberation is like a wake up call to black metal bands out there to start over again. Too much bullshit is going on so we just set a standard that we’ll start like this and take it from there. We’ll play by our own rules and that’s what everyone should do is set the line and go from there and then walk by the line that there is no rules.

    You’ve been touring pretty extensively over the past couple of years after releasing three albums in three consecutive years through 2005. Are you going to continue focusing on the live environment and promote Hellfire, or have you also been working on some new material?

    New material is in progress and will hopefully be recorded this year. We have the festivals coming up this summer and maybe some short tours, we don’t know yet. We’re talking about some things. But first of all it’s the festivals and then working on the new material. That’s the main focus these days.

    This is your first headlining tour of the U.S. and you’ve played some pretty big festivals in Europe. Is there still a certain area you’d like to play in or any festival you feel you still need to conquer?

    I don’t like playing festivals. I think that other things have the right conditions, playing concerts and doing tours. Festivals are just a necessary evil so to speak. You get to reach many people that maybe wouldn’t hear what you do. But it’s gonna get out of hand with too many festivals and everybody wants to do their own thing and it becomes commercial. So we pick the ones we think it’s necessary to do. Out of the territories, we’d like to explore South America, Japan, Russia, territories that we haven’t been to where black metal is strong.

    You have relatively close ties with some other major Norwegian acts such as Emperor and Satyricon. Have you ever thought of collaborating with a band such as this on a split album or perhaps a tour with them?

    No, it would never happen.


    With the band name 1349 representing the year the plague came to Norway, have you ever thought about exploring historical concepts more in your lyrics?

    No, not at all. All the lyrics are just the visions that the music gives us to be a part of it so we don’t do any concepts at all. It’s all individual tracks, but they have to fit together as a whole album. A concept needs to be made for making the cover art and the promotion and all of that stuff, but as far as making songs go, I am not a fan of making a concept album.

    Your lyrics are much more philosophical and songs such as “Antichrist Warzone” go far beyond what you’d expect to explore a more profound take on life instead of the more basic satanic imagery many bands use. What most influences you to write this way?

    I will always write the lyrics when I listen to the songs. I get visions, which I transform into lyrics and later on make everything fit. It goes both ways, but most of the time the music is made first and then the lyrics.

    The production on your records has gotten clearer and left behind some of that buzzsaw sound from Liberation. What has been the thought process behind selecting the overall sound for each album?

    Well, each album needs to have it’s individual sound, just as each song needs to have an individual sound. As the material developed to be more technical and more demanding, the sound needed to follow so they can get all the details. To use the guitar sound on Liberation on Hellfire would have been fatal because a lot of the details and what you’re actually doing would have been lost


    1349’s music is very intense, fast and raw. How do you go about putting the pieces together when you start to write a song to turn in into such a maelstrom?

    It’s different. Sometimes we’ll have a theme for a song and record the guitar tracks, sometimes it’s just ideas we worked together in the rehearsal room that we turn into a song. Both systems work, so there’s no logic, whatever makes the song the best.

    What bands have had a major impact on you and have been a big influence as you started and who impresses you today?

    Celtic Frost and Hellhammer have been a major influence, they represent both an influence from the old days and now seventeen years later coming out with such a tremendous comeback album. They represent both to me. Their early tracks made me want to make black metal.

    1349’s Official Website
    Candlelight Record's Official Website
  2. deadspout

    deadspout I eat souls

    Jul 2, 2005
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    Tampa, FL
    great interview. I wish I could have seen them when they came to Florida I don't know when they'll ever be back.

    Either way, great interview! Thanks for posting it!

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