Ultrakill

As somone regarded as one of the forefathers of Black Metal, do you take any responsibility for the current violence the movement has generated?

Look, when the first Bathory line-up got together 10 years ago, we were all in our mid-teens. We didn't see ourselves as founding a movement. It just happend around us. It was the media who began to lump together ourselves, Venom, Celtic Frost and Sodom, calling us Black Metal. All we were doing was picking up on the Satanic imagery as a way of rebelling against society, simple as that.

Wouldn't you admit, though, that whilst early Bathory was influential, the albums were also rubbish?

Oh yes. That's absolutely true! When we started the band we had no plans to do anything. We were happy just playing in a garage. Then we got the chance to make a demo, which was beyond our wildest expectations. And then in 1984 we had the opportunity to put out our first album, "Bathory". From there on, it seems things just exploded. But that first album was shit. I'd have to agree we were rubbish in the early days. Why then did people pick up on us? I don't honestly know.

OK, but you would surely have to admit that the "Bathory" album ripped off Venom...

Not true at all! It was coincidence. I never really listened to Venom before we recorded our debut record.
If you speak to true Black Metal fans, they'll cite ourselves and Venom as influences. They don't regard Bathory as having ripped off Venom at all. We are equally as important to the scene.

There are rumours circulating that you started your musical career in a Kiss covers band! Hardly Black Metal, is it?

That story is true. The band were called Kyss (Swedish for Kiss /Twilight). We wore make-up, platform boots, the lot. Kiss were the very first Metal band I got into. The song that did it was "Cold Gin". Hearing that track made me want to join a band. I gave up on Kiss at the end of the '70s, but I'll buy anything relating to them from the early days - whatever the cost.
Black Mark are planning to put out a compilation album later this year, featuring all all the bands on their roster doing covers. If that comes off, I'm definetely gonna do "Cold Gin". Anyone who says Kiss were never Metal doesn't know what they're talking about!

You have been accused of being a "musical fascist". Is that a fair comment?

That sort of accusations have been levelled at me by former members of Bathory, who claim I wouldn't let them contribute anything musicallyto any of the albums. That is true, but there are reasons. I have a stronger sense of what works and what doesn't in Bathory than anybody else. I act as a natural filter for the music we produce.
I'm also very aware that people wwant to retain certain myths about Bathory rather than knowing the truth. Would fans really like to know that 50 per cent of the drum sounds they hear on our albums are made with drum machines? Not exactly epic, is it? Would they like to know that you can hear the sound of a lawn-mower at the beginning of the song "Valhalla" (from the band's fifth album "Hammerbeat" (That would be "Hammerheart, right? /Twilight) )? Or that at the start of "Raise The Dead" (from "Bathory"), the reason I sound so evil is because I'd accidentally inhaled paint fumes? No, Bathory has to retain certain mystique, whatever the truth. And if I have to be a "musical fascist" to achieve this, then so be it.

So if Bathory is, to all intents and purposes, your band, why make a solo record?

Precisely because I know what should be on Bathory albums. There are occasions when we've done things and realised fans of the band weren't ready for such an approach. We actually recorded two complete albums which have never been released, "Blood On Ice" in '87 and "Requiem" a year later, for this very reason. Doing a solo album allows me to do things I wouldn't consider for Bathory.

But does the world really need a Quorthon solo album?

I don't care if it sells only one copy. I've made a record that appeals to me - and that's what counts. But this is only a one-off release. My next project is a Bathory record. If people like it, then great. If not, then they can fuck off!
As a person no, I'm a lot more mature than previously. I'm no longer making music to gratify my ego. I been through all that Rock star shit - screwing girls in the toilets, doing every drug going and drinking myself into oblivion. These days I'm quite happy to sit at home and do absolutely nothing for weeks for end. I don't need other people's seal of approval to make my life complete.

Malcom Dome interviews Quorthon. / Ultrakill #2, June/July 1994
Typed out by the Twilight Webmaster.
Taken from Twilight web-site.
www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Palladium/6646/


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