Twilight III

"Nordland II" is about to be released, so with that in mind, it's time to ask Quorthon a few questions about the "Nordland" albums...

How was the response to Nordland I? Has it sold good so far?

The last figure I heard for NORDLAND I was around 50 000, which is good considering it's been Christmas and New Year holidays and all. If NORDLAND II will hit the same pace, it'll have reached a figure of 100 000 for the entire NORDLAND saga before midsummer. The response has been very good from the people who's opinions I bother about, that is to say, the fans. But even 95% of the reviews has been over the top, as if that mattered even one bit. Some even made NORDLAND I out to be the release of the year ( 2002 ) which is worrying. Something has got to be wrong terribly wrong if a BATHORY album enters the fashion zone of the media.

What can we expect from Nordland II? Same stuff musically and lyrically or will there be different stuff there?

Well, NORDLAND is a Nordic saga from begining to the end. NORDLAND II is the second part of this saga, so of course it is the same thing in every way. Just the second half of it. Not chronologicaly, just the rest of the saga. We had to put one half of the material to the side in order to be able to have time to complete something before release date in November 2002. During the winter we have been able to mix NORDLAND II. So there might be a very slight difference in sound and feel. But everything was written and recorded during the same period.

And what about the future plans of Bathory? Time to take a break after three albums in two years or do you have new ideas already?

Of course after these past fourteen months that I have been working on the NORDLAND I and NORDLAND II material, and the recording and mixing of both volumes (plus the re-mastering of the re-release vinyl among other things), I am virtually drained in every way. I have said I am going to do just about nothing for a while, just recharge the batteries. But of course I have a couple of ideas for the future. When the next album will be out, or when we'll start to record anything, I don't know. And I can not make any promises as far as its content in terms of style and sound is concerned.

Bathory turns 20 years this month and the six first albums have just been re-released on vinyl. Why did you choose to do that? Can we expect more celebrations?

We have received at least a letter, a telephone call or an email every day for the past five years, asking for re-releases of BATHORY vinyl. The vinyl boom in recent years was also a very big deciding factor, as well as the fact we are celebrating 20 years this month.

But to re-release an entire back catalogue is no small affair, particularly when you have to face the fact both films and matrix for each Lp hasn't really survived in top quality during storage for all these years. We had to produce new films on every cover, every inner sleeve and every label. We also decided to re-master the material now that we had a very good reason. Both the covers, innersleeves, labels and music has received a touch-up and face-lift to last a hundred years. But all this took a lot of time to do and at a great cost.

Right in between the release of NORDLAND I and the finishing stage of NORDLAND II, there was a gap for a couple of weeks which we could spend taking care of the re-mastered re-releases.

We have to run the celebration re-mastering and re-release phase in stages: first the albums released in 1984-1991. We can then turn our attention to the rest of the albums. We are going to re-master and re-release these during the year. Release dates etc not yet confirmed.

You play a medieval instrument on "Foreverdark Woods" and it sounds just great. Is that something we will see more of in the future? Do you practise playing medieval instruments or was this something you just picked up for the recordings of Nordland?

I just picked an instrument up that was hanging on the wall in the studio. I have no idea what sort of instrument it was. But it sure looked like a medieval lute of some sort, and it sounded great.

I do not practise medieval music in any sence, but I have been listening to alot of medieval music in recent years. "Pestilence" ended up with a clear medieval touch, and a few notes was incorporated in some tracks on both NORDLAND volumes.

Finally; I know you don't like bootlegs and downloading music from the internet. Could you let us know your opinion on this matter?

One really shouldn't have to say too much about that at all, really. It's so obvious; if a great portion of the audience out there continues to download music, exchange MP3's or copy CD's using their PC's, we'll end up with a scene and an industry containing nothing other than Britney Spears. And the CD's will be around $50 each. It's a fact. If anybody calls himself or herself a fan, he or she wouldn't even consider downloading, exchange MP3's or copy CD's using their PC's.

I know CD's aren't cheap these days, and I know there are so many CD's one might want to have, but it's not exactly very cheap to make an album either. At a rate of $25-40 per hour, studios aren't exactly inexspensive. Just the films for a CD will cost a company several hundred bucks. A BATHORY album can cost up to half a million Swedish Kronor in recording and production costs before it even hit the streets.

I am a big fan of The Beatles, but I wouldn't even consider buying even a very unique and rare Beatles album if it's a bootleg simply because it would be a bootleg. And this despite the fact the Beatles doesn't even exist anymore and they have made enough really from their music allready. It has to do with professional pride.

There are many Bathory bootlegs around now and they all contain all those "unreleased" songs from the Jubileum volumes and the SMA-tracks. Also, there are fake copies of the yellow goat around. Someone sent me a statement you made somewhere about the yellow goat, I include it here for everyone to read. Is there something you would like to add?

I received your request for authentication regarding a BATHORY "Bathory" yellow goat vinyl. It is of course very hard to authenticate anything via email. If it would be possible for you to scan the various printed details on the back cover, the vinyl mirror and label, and pass this onto me as JPEG's, it would of course be a lot easier for me to authenticate your yellow goat vinyl. However, since you write that it is still sealed, perhaps you would not be prepared to unwrap it for scanning.

I took the liberty to check your website out, and found so many BATHORY products on your vinyl list that were obvious bootlegs, my estimation can therefor only be that the yellow goat vinyl that you have, couldn't be anything other than a bootleg as well.

The reasons for my conclusion are several:

1) I find it very unlikely that anybody should have had a yellow goat vinyl in his or her possession for 18 years without ever having played it. The value of the yellow goat didn't climb until the late 80s early 90s when it first became obvious to people they should perhaps hold onto their first BATHORY album if it happened to be the first yellow goat cover. Before that, there were obviously no reason for anybody to hold onto this vinyl without ever having played it. In 1984 when the yellow goat was available (only 1 000 copies were ever produced and they sold out in a couple of weeks in the Autumn of 1984), for anybody to have bought it back then and to have been keeping it for all these years without ever having played it, is very unlikely.

2) If your yellow goat vinyl really is an original, then it wouldn't be wrapped in plastic at all. We never wrapped the first yellow goat in plastic. This is an American way of packing vinyls, in Sweden we still do not do that. This is a give away detail this is in fact a modern reproduction. However, it could of course also be a genuine original yellow goat vinyl cover but wrapped up in plastic by somebody to make it look like it has never been handled by a human hand to raise its value. That is why I ask of you to scan the printed details on the back, label and vinyl mirror.

There were, like I said, many BATHORY vinyl on your list that were bootlegs, products that has never been produced at all;

A) The "Bathory" white label for instance (no test pressing were ever done on "Bathory" first album).

B) The "Bathory" white picture disc is also a fake (no picture disc vinyl were ever produced by BATHORY or Black Mark on "Bathory" neither in black, clear, creem or in any other color).

C) The "Bathory" golden picture disc vinyl is also a bootleg (no picture disc were ever produced by BATHORY or Black Mark on "Bathory").

D) No "Under the Sign." picture disc vinyl were never produced by BATHORY or Black Mark (neither in black, clear, creem or in any other color).

E) No "The Return." picture disc vinyl were never produced by BATHORY or Black Mark (neither in black, clear, creem or in any other color).

F) Both of the BATHORY demo products on your list (cassette and lp) are fakes. No such products has ever been produced by BATHORY or Black Mark. BATHORY never did a demo. The demos out on the market, are taped first BATHORY album tracks or the very early tracks from our "Jubileum" Volumes CD's with live audience sound added to them passed on as live 1983-1984 consert tapes etc...

All the above products are fakes and bootlegs and are not authentic in any way. They are modern fakes produced in an attempt to fill a gap in the official BATHORY product line and sold off to fans as genuine products. We are aware of so many bootlegs and fakes on BATHORY. This is of course very sad, and we are having to make several fans disappointed every week when they send us info or pictures on BATHORY stuff they have bought for big money.

So, without having ever seen your copy, I am quite sure that the sealed BATHORY "Bathory" yellow goat vinyl that you have, is a 100% fake. I am sorry about that, but BATHORY is an act surrounded by tons of fakes and bootlegs.

I will never understand how some people will to be prepared to pay big bucks for something they don't even know if it was produced in a basement somewhere by Mr. Anus. I have said it a million times before and I'll say it again: anything by BATHORY ever caught on tape intended for release is available through Black Mark. Also, I will never understand how some people will be prepared to pay enormous ammounts of money for something they believe to be rare or unique. To me, what has allways been most important of all is the music.

OK, thanks a lot for answering these questions.

Hail the Hordes!

Interview taken from Twilight web-site.

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