A couple of hours after Enslaved brought their unique brand of metal to the main stage at Bloodstock, I had the opportunity to chat to the founding member and guitarist Ivar. We chatted about the response to the latest album and his opinion on the changes to the metal scene.
Thanks to Claire at Nuclear Blast for organising and Ivar for his time.
MT: You played on the Main stage a couple of hours ago, how do you think it went?
Ivar: I think it went pretty amazing. We were a bit scared because of the equipment situation but it just took a few seconds for us to realise that this is going the right way. It was a middle of day crowd and we really got them along. All in all, total success.
MT: Your most recent album, In Times, came out a few months ago. What’s the response been like when you play the new songs live?
Ivar: It’s overwhelming how good that is. We’re a band with a 25 year history and we have a lot of fans who got into the band with the old stuff. To see those guys coming along to the shows still along with new fans as well and really getting into the new stuff makes me really humble. I can’t imagine that many bands who can change as much as we have done and still have loyalty with their fans. I’m very grateful for that.
MT: Was the production of the new album any different to the previous?
Ivar: Yes. We’ve sort of been going backwards. What we’ve done is sort of going away from the idea of trying to create a sound in the studio. Instead we are trying to create the sound we have live in the recording. For us it requires a lot more preparation but it really gives a bigger payback. When you listen to In Times, it has a lot more of a live sound than the previous.
MT: As you said earlier, you guys have been going 25 years. How do you think the metal scene has changed and do you think the changes have been good?
Ivar: There have been so many changes. For us in the extreme metal scene, it’s been professionalized. It’s gone from where we snuck into our parent’s school and photocopy fliers for gigs, whereas now even most black metal bands have a publicist. So now you’ll send the detail of what sort of visual impact you want to have and they will use a graphic designer to make it. I’d like to think the part that we are part of has not changed much and that it’s still the same thing. The idea is to create and move forward. For me, it’s never been about being in a band to avoid having a normal job. I think that’s the worst motivation to have for making music. Now that we’re touring enough, we are fortunate enough to not have normal jobs but it’s down to a random result of what we are doing, rather than an ambition. I think that’s the change. Nowadays, metal is influenced too much by musicians, record companies and other workers who want to focus on having a full time job. I think that really make a lot of the artistic side go downwards. People make an album and release a song and they get nervous that people won’t react as positively as they did. They then can the song and allow loads of crappy shit on their album because they think it is going to sell. Which of course it doesn’t. All the big sellers never sit down and plan to make a big seller. They’re just idiots like you and me who write a song and it becomes big.
MT: Are there any bands that would advise checking out this weekend?
Ivar: I haven’t had a chance to really look at the programme. But I wanted to see Ne Obscivurasis who were unfortunately on at the same time. I recommend that band though. They are very good.
MT: Thank you for your time!