Simon Larsen from chilly metallers (and former Band of the Day) Iskald took time out to answer a few of my inane questions…
Three years since the release of The Sun I Carried Alone. How much of that was spent on the writing/recording process?
We did some tours, and we used a lot of time on our other bands (Utbyrd, Skaur, To Wither) so it took quite a while before really started to focus on new songs. We started around the fall of 2012 I think, to put all of our ideas into songs. We focused on the songwriting for one year, and started the recording of Nedom og Nord September 2013.
The core of the band is just Simon (guitar/bass/vocals) and Aage (drums). How does this affect your songwriting? Do you think it’s easier than it would be in a band with more members or are you quite happy with the control this gives you? Do Ben and Kenneth have any input into the writing of the music?
I have always been writing the songs for Iskald, and that’s what we think is the best. Aage and me uses a lot of time together and separatly with the arrangments to get the best out of every song, and we both think that “Too many cooks spoil the broth”. We are four musicians with really different taste of music, so I don’t know if that would’ve worked at all. So actually both Ben and Kenneth learns the songs after the album is done recording.
With only six tracks, Nedom og Nord at first glance looks a little short… until you realise that the tracks are so long and complex. Was there a reason for moving towards a more “epic” sound, or did it just suit what you were trying to get across with the songs?
Our last album The Sun I Carried Alone is a very technical album, at least for us, so we decided to do something completely different this time, because we had no idea how to make a better album if we were to continue down that road.
Therefore, we wanted to focus on more epic and atmospheric songs, and it was a difficult task to do songs under 10 minutes actually. All of the songs were cut down, so that the album wouldn’t last too long, but I really think the result came out perfect based on what we wanted to achieve.
The Sun I Carried Alone was quite a success and landed you a main stage place at Inferno Festival. What are your hopes for Nedom og Nord?
We always hope for a tour with some great bands, and we actually have that one confirmed. We are currently rehearsing for a tour with Kampfar and Hate, and will be heading to Germany next Friday (March 28th) to kick off the tour. Hopefully we will be doing some festival jobs as well after the tour, but we usually takes things as they approach us, as we have been disappointed earlier.
Do you have any live dates planned as yet in support of the album?
As I answered on the previous question we have confirmed a 16 days European tour with Kampfar and Hate. But that’s all we got so far.
You sing in a variety of languages. What makes you decide which to use for a given song?
We have always been writing the lyrics first, which means that they shape the song. It makes the songs getting the atmosphere we want, and it also makes arranging of the songs more interesting.
You were after a “new” sound with this album – do you think you’ve achieved that? And could you describe it?
We wanted to start from scratch and try to find a sound that would be perfect for the new songs. We wanted a more atmospheric and majestic sound, and everything sound more dynamic as well. I really think we managed to make it stand out from our previous releases.
You also did all the recording “in-house”. Was this easier or more challenging than on previous albums?
It made everything easier, because we had all the time we wanted to make everything sound exactly how we wanted. Earlier we have been using around two weeks to record everything, but this time we used six weeks. It gave us the opportunity to work even harder on the arrangements, and we were able to squeeze the best out of every part of every song. Also I think that’s why the vocal came out so great (in my opinion, hehe), because if I had a bad day, I could just try next day.
The album’s been out for a while now. Any ideas on how well it’s doing?
It has been getting really great reviews, and that feels really good when you’ve been working this hard on an album. The most important is that we are satisfied ourselves, and there is actually still nothing I would’ve changed if I had the opportunity.
Best of luck with it! For a black metal album, it’s surprisingly accessible so with luck should gather a few new fans.
Thank you very much!
- New Band of the Day: Iskald (moshville.co.uk)
- Iskald release new album on Monday (moshville.co.uk)
- Kampfar announce European tour dates for 2014 (valkyrianmusic.com)