Isengard is the solo project put together by Darkthrone drummer Fenriz. Rob Clymo manages to track the man down for a rather controversial conversation and finds the sticksman up to his usual tricks. On calling Fenriz outspoken Darkthrone drummer and man behind the Isengard project, Whose "Vinterskugge" album has just come out on the Peaceville subsidiary Deaf Records, Iím speaking to someone who has rapidly gained notoriety as one of the black metalís sceneís most outspoken Characters. Peaceville has already distanced themselves from what Fenriz stands for, and Terrorizer Magazine would now like to do the same thing. Having said that, and whilst I donít agree with the points that follow, I think it is important to let people see what is going on in the mind of someone who has the ability to influence so many others. By all means read the following, but also take time to think about it too...Incidentally, Fenriz tells me he is sick of being misquoted, so the following interview is an exact reproduction of what was recorded on tape.
1. I would like to start by finding out more about the Isengard album? "Well I donít talk about that because thatís just for specially interested people. I have no comment to give on that. Itís just. no comment really. Itís not important, It doesnít give any important information or anything."
2. What, by talking about the album? "No, the album itself doesnít give any important information to our followers."
3. So what would you like to talk about? "Uh, nothing really. As I said, we donít give any interviews and we donít want to talk about anything, especially the Isengard album which is not an especially interesting piece of music."
4. Because some of it is old? "No, itís not old, weíve included an old demo, yeah. There are a lot of people who have written me and asked for the old Isengard demo and I never got around to sending it to them. Itís a mixed album, itís not especially black metal, there is a lot of different stuff on it."
5. So you are working on another album? "Iím not doing another album, Iím just putting some finishing touches to the fifth Darkthrone album."
6. I didnít think Darkthrone were going to be doing another album, the last time I spoke with the band said they werenít? "Ha ha, I donít think you have really spoken to Darkthrone, because we will never quit."
7. Well thatís what Ted (Darkthrone guitarist/vocalist) told when I spoke to him after the last album was released? "No, no, no, thatís just old gibberish, because we have some dry stuff to put on the fire, if you know what I mean."
8. Ted seemed so sure that three were going to be only three albums? "Darkthrone is built up like a three person dictatorship, so everyone can speak his own mind. Anyone can speak their own mind and nobody can complain or do anything about it."
9. So you believe in the freedom of speech then? "Not really, we could get in a war within the band, we could, but it seems like we wonít because it was harder for us a year and a half ago. Things have been sorted out now, and weíre like more productive than ever before."
10. Youíre actually doing two albums this year right? "Yeah, we have the ĎTransilvanian Hungerí album ready for June, and we have something else which will be half inspired by Celtic Frost, and that will be out in January. And Zephyrous will do most of the song writing on our sixth album called ĎKriegí and that will be out within two years. It means Ďwarí in German, you get the drift?"
11. Do you think people misunderstand what the band is about right now? "I donít know anything. Iím not given any information about what the outside thinks about us and I do not wish to receive any either. We are just doing our thing and we donít know what others think of us."
12. Yeah because.. "No!, I donít want to hear anything because it is important for us that we do not know anything about what other people say about us or anything."
13. Does it upset you, or affect you, or what? "No, itís important for a band to develop freely with itís own thoughts and directions because we do not want to have people analyzing our band our band and sending things to our band that we might have to confront. We donít want any outside influences at all. We donít want any information about what people write about us in the outside world."
14. But if thatís the case why bother releasing albums, why not just keep things secret? "Because we want to influence in destroying the holy. Thatís why we will never stop, because as long as we can influence people to destroying the holy. Itís that simple, really, itís very important."
15. By that you mean destroy religion? "Basically, but thereís different kind of religion. I mean we have to start one place."
16. But what if someone was to argue all religion was bad? "Ha, ha, that depends, but you canít really discuss it. If I was to discuss religion with you we would be sitting here around the clock, or at least I would, so Iím not really interested in giving information."
17. But itís going for people to understand you if you donít talk about your believes? "No, I mean we release albums, and thatís whatís important. What is on the album, the lyrics and the music, that is enough, we do not need to give any further information."
18. Did you do everything on the Isengard album yourself? "Yeah itís a total project."
19. Do you like doing promotional work? "No but of course, as you may have noticed, Darkthrone is misanthropic, we donít like doing interviews, at least recording stuff we get along, but that is the most social stuff we do."
20. Itís a same you donít like doing interviews- theyíre always interesting? "I know, of course the less we do interviews the more interesting it is when we do do one. Thatís the way it is. If we did one interview each day then it wouldnít be so interesting sitting here talking to me would it.? No, it wouldnít."
21. But if you donít talk much you tend to get misunderstood a lot more? "Ha, ha, ha,"
22. A lot of people might accuse you of being something youíre are not, for example. "Well who knows what we are? The main thing is like, destroying the holy, and that will be done, even if they say we are racist, Naziís, or whatever, it doesnít matter."
23. Does he believe in using violence to achieve that? "I donít want to comment on that."
24. So what else would he say about the other Darkthrone albums that are on the way? "There is a lot of atmosphere and although it is very, very hard itís not an album for the headbangers, itís for the people seriously into atmosphere. Thatís what I want to say."
25. Does it make you laugh to see the black metal scene turning into a trend? "I havenít seen a thing. I donít read newspapers, I donít watch the news on the telly, I donít read magazines, so I donít know."
26. What do you do with your time? "I make music."
27. Can you make a living from that? "That would be false. You know if someone comes up to me and says theyíre doing a doing a band full time then I just crap on him, because itís what you do in your spare time outside of a job that really matters because that is what you do in your own free will and that is what you believe in. Like Venom, they probably did the band full time and I donít believe in that. Venom really suck, they donít have any jobs when they were doing Venom full time and that is why you canít believe in them. They had to prostitute themselves just to make a living from the band."
28. So you have to do a day job then? "I donít have to do it, but I will do it because then what I do in my spare time - that is what is the most encouraging, and that is what true means, what you do in your spare time, and what you do for money doesnít, because that is prostitution and we donít do Darkthrone for money. If we were to quit our jobs and try to make a living from Darkthrone then we would have to go gigging, weíd have to do interviews all the time, just to make promotion to sell more records, and thatís false. So Iíd rather be stuck with a job and doing Darkthrone spare time because that is true."
29. So does that mean Darkthrone will still not be doing any gigs in the future? "We will never do any gigs. Itís almost three years since we did a gig and itís out of the question, totally out of the question."
30. Why not? "There is numerous reasons for that which I do not want to discuss."
31. Is the material to difficult to play live? "No. We donít want to do it. As I said earlier in this interview, we are a misanthropic band, so we donít want to see a lot of people looking at us if we should play a gig. We canít stand a lot of people around us. That is what misanthropic means. So we canít do a gig because misanthropy is our nature, so I sorry but we canít handle these stupid these stupid people."
32. Do you think the people that listen to your albums are stupid? "No."
33. Because they are the same people that would come and see your shows? "No theyíre not stupid if they listen to the albums. But I like a lot of bands but I would never go and see them in concert. Do you get the drift? A lot of bands I like have come to Norway, played live and I have not gone to see them, because I do not like being there with lots of other people. I want to enjoy them for myself. I will just have to say that the people that buy Darkthrone albums should be just like me and if they arenít then I wouldnít know."
34. So you donít want feedback, people writing to you and stuff either? "I enjoy it, and some people that write are extremely interesting but we just canít write back. We try but thereís no chance."
35. What would you say then if people want to join you in destroying the holy as you say? Would you openly encourage them? "They would have to do that on their own initiative."
36. Figure it out for themselves? "Yeah. It shouldnít be to difficult, ha. ha."
37. So what is it like living in Norway right now? "Itís an excellent winter over here. Cold. I will never leave Norway, that is why I will never do press meetings in England, or none of us will do them in any foreign country. We would not risk to die in any country other than Norway. We just want to stay here, the northern ground."
38. Do you fear reprisals because of your outspoken views? "Yeah, we will probably have a lot of anti-racism people going on about us."
39. And what do you think of that? "Here in Norway itís almost illegal to be a racist, but if youíre anti-racist itís very nice and we donít think thatís right. We think it should be legal to be racist and think it should be almost as illegal to be anti-racist."
40. Maybe you should become a politician? You could change things? "I donít think so."
41. You donít believe in them? "I donít comment to that. I donít want to discuss politics."
42. You donít like talking about politics or religion then? "No, not now, not today."
43. Anything else youíd like to add? "Iíd like to add that you may please inform people that our ĎTransilvanian Hunger" album will be out in June and the next album will be out in January 1995. If you can at least put that right."
44. Have people been getting it wrong? "No, but Iím used to being misquoted. I donít do any interviews but when I do I always get misquoted. So at least get the release dates right. And we have no intention of stopping. I would like to also add that the reason we have done at least three interviews this year is because we fight the rumors that weíre split up."
45.Thatís wrong? "Thatís very wrong! But people are slow, ha"