(Answered by: Kjetil Ytterhus)
- Hi! Tell me about Profane Burial. Why did you decide to name the band with such title? What kind of ideas do you explore?
Profane Burial was founded in 2013 by me (Kjetil Ytterhus) and André Aaslie (Images at Twilight, Abyssic, Funeral, Gromth, Omnia Moritur).
After a lot of changes in the line-up due to either lack of dedication or skills, André got in touch with the highly skilled drummer Bjørn Dugstad Rønnow (Viper Solfa, Trollfest) and the guitarist Jostein Thomassen (Viper Solfa, Fracture, ex Source Of Tide) at Blastfest in Bergen in February 2016. Images At Twilight shared stage with Viper Solfa. Bjørn was originally asked to join Omnia Moritur, at that time a funeral doom band me and André founded in 2015. Just after Blastfest Profane Burial lost both the drummer and the guitarist and we were at that point more in need of a drummer in Profane Burial. Bjørn liked the Profane Burial material even better than the Omnia Moritur stuff, and with the result in hand, his skills are a perfect match with the Profane Burial material for sure! Bjørn invited Jostein to listen to some of the songs and he liked the material very good as well. Then they started a unique collaboration and worked hard with the music the hole summer of 2016. Later the highly experienced vocalist Ronny Thorsen (Viper Solfa, ex. Trail Of Tears, ex. Blood Red Throne) joined, and did a hell of a beating in the oral department. The puzzle was complete!
The band name is inspired from both lyrics and titles from albums I enjoy very much. Actually, I was quite surprised when I checked metal-archives.com that the band name was not taken by any others. There is no deeper meaning to be explained behind the name; a bit personal influenced touch with words that I really found suited our music and style well.
The lyrics were written by Bjørn Nørsterud, and on this album witch-hunt and religion is the main focus.
I will describe more on an upcoming question.
- “The Rosewater Park Legend” album was released on March by Apathia records. How does that make you feel? Do you feel you have put album into masses without any wishes to change something now?
The feeling I got when I first heard one of the songs with drums, guitar, bass and vocals cannot be described with words! It was a very long process from start to finish with some obstacles / challenges, but luckily, we did not give up. It’s now unreal to think back when I sat and worked with the songs only as orchestra editions – before André began with his magic. We (André and I) had a vision of the final result of what we wanted, but ultimately thanks to the other band members, Bjørn’s lyrics and Dalila Belazi’s cover art we are left with a product that I am at least inconveniently proud of!
That the music “is good” is a minimum for me … The music has to be exciting and it’s important that you “do not remember it 100%” after the first listen. When you discover new details as you spend time on the disc, I think that the band / artist has succeeded and the listener is rewarded if patient!
The album is still very fresh on the marked, but I have lived with it for quite some time now, and still 100% satisfied!
- Tell me more about “The Rosewater Park Legend”? Album ideas etc… Such unusual album title, park’s legend, sounds mysterious, haha!
If you read the story (by Bjørn Nørsterud), you will understand the meaning of the album title, he he.
It is indeed a detailed story, as is every song. And together they make up an entire story, so yes, this is a concept album. That particular song takes place after the witch is dead, and there is peace in the village. The children mock the witch in their little nursery rhyme, and everything is fine. Until …
The story itself is mainly about a witch and her revenge on those who killed her (through her granddaughter) and it follows different persons through the ages. It has it’s twists and turns, and things may not be as straight forward as one may think. Yes, it has elements of a ghost story, witch-hunt and religion, and the last song is written in Norwegian.
Why, you might say? Well, Profane Burial is a Norwegian band, and we felt it suited the album. This song deals with a letter that was written by an old Norwegian Witch, and it was a nice way to end the story.
- Where do you take all inspiration from?
When it comes to writing music, I can be inspired from almost everything. It does not necessarily have to be directly music related to come up with an idea; experiences and sensations are quite as important. When I lack words, music is a great way to express feelings.
As an example, the music on track #2 “The Stench Of Dying Roses” was inspired as a result of a great hiking trip in the forest with my family… not the lyrics, he he.
I guess the music I compose really reflects my present state of mind at that precise moment(s).
…but of course, I am also very influenced by music. Since I started quite late composing music, I had the advantage of being a fan/listener for many years and have discovered tremendous fantastic bands which must have inspired me one way or the other!
- In your opinion, what is the best way to define Profane Burial’s sound?
Profane Burial is an atmospheric, dismal and grim journey through unsanctified cinematic black metal, or as the masses perhaps would like to state it short: “Symphonic Black Metal”.
We have also got this comment which I am quite proud of:
“The Rosewater Park Legend delivers a sumptuous and classy result, rarely seen in the genre.
For fans of Limbonic Art, Emperor, Anorexia Nervosa, Carach Angren… “
- So, are you on hiatus now, just relaxed and looking for album feedbacks, or did you started to compose new stuff immediately?
We have already started on album # 2. I have not been lying on the lazy side, and actually have 4 songs ready, as well as 3 songs with only minor tasks left from my side to finish. Jostein has done some pretty nice guitar (ideas) for one track, and it is simply great modestly speaking, ha ha.
I reckon we will use the Autumn/Winter/Spring wisely and have a pre-prod finished hopefully sometime next year. It is a quite time-consuming process since the material is a bit complex and the other members has to create/compose based on my orchestra ideas which André rearranges and also composes upon.
- What are your main musical influences? How huge is their influence in your sound?
Some of my favorite bands are actually Burzum, Darkthrone, Slagmaur, Satyricon, Faustcoven, Kvist, Ulver and Tartaros where I find none references to Profane Burial. I have of course my fear share of listening to bands like Limbonic Art, Bal-Sagoth, Septic Flesh, Dimmu Borgir and Carach Angren where more inspiration and links might be natural to compare.
- Is there some well-known musician in particular (I mean real gods like Dio, Ozzy etc) that you would like to use in one of your upcoming albums?
Nope! I already work together with the best people in Profane Burial, no changes/interference needed. I am not a big fan of guest musicians, especially in a quite still unknown band such as Profane Burial, that would feel very strange and perhaps even awkward. I do believe they are often (or only) used as boost promotion/PR/bate value. Of course, in a solo/studio project I might look through your fingers, but for me it would had to be someone I knew personally, for a long time, that I would not just take advantage of to get a sticker on the album which said “Profane Burial and this famous artist”.
- What is your personal strategy for making your music heard by a larger audience?
First of all; Apathia and Jehan has done a tremendous job with Profane Burial! We are very impressed by their work, weekly contact and the result we have achieved together.
It is actually coincidences that brought us to Apathia. We all contacted several labels when the album was finished to try to get a deal. I contacted Apathia due to some bands they have in their roster I really enjoy. Luckily, they took the bate and we came to an agreement!
After the signing was done, we got a well detailed promo plan (very impressive!) which they have completed without any complaints from my side. On the contrary, we salute Apathia and really thank them for believing in us and made the release possible!
We promote on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Radio channels etc. which are free to a certain degree. I use quite a lot of time on that these days, but as long as I have fun I do not mind. I have of course paid quite a few ads on Facebook, and we have also just a couple of days ago started a collaboration with an external PR agency (Grand Sounds PR).
So far – so good!
- Do you have any other hobby beside music?
I guess we all live what might be characterized as quite normal lives. We all have work and/or studies, some of us kids as well, but speaking for myself “the unholy trinity” in my life is family, work and music! The only extra hobby I have time for these days is gaming on PS4. I have always loved computer games and find it to be a good relaxation from reality.
- Are you all supported by your relatives towards your devotion to music?
Speaking for myself I definitely have to say yes. My mother is Profane Burial fan #1!
This is 100% true story, he he. My mother and father are very fond of France. When I told them, I had been signed on a French label they became quite proud. Last time they went to France (Paris) they visited “Fnac” (Major retail chain selling cultural and electronic products) and she asked if they had the Profane Burial CD at one of their departments. It was only in their online store, but since my mother is chatty one thing led to another and the store clerk looked us up on the Internet. He saw we had got very good reviews, especially one in Telerama triggered him, so he ordered some copies to the shop!
- How’s the metal scene in COUNTRY right now? Is it easy to play gigs, to buy records etc there these days?
The metal scene in Norway is constant growing and evolving. New bands are born every year and great music being created from all age groups. Today there are too many bands, and I have lost tracks and are sadly not as updated as I would like to be like I was 10 years ago.
You have to have contacts, fame or money to be able to play, he he. We are actually very spoiled in Norway with continuously concerts in many cities, and also some very great festivals. The result of being spoiled could lead to laziness and sadly not many attendances/fans even if there are great bands playing.
Does anybody buy records anymore? Luckily the metal fans are still quite dedicated and do buy physical formats. I have actually been contacted by strangers who would love a Profane Burial CD because they have listened to it on Spotify but need the digipack in their collection. We have some shops in Norway offering quality music such as Katakomben and Neseblod (the old “Helvete”) in Oslo. But it seems like the majority and most of the business is unfortunately online.
- Thank you for answering my questions, see ya on the road! / Jacob
Next gig is September 8. on Southern Discomfort festival where we will play together with Carach Angren, Myrksog and Candlemass to name a few!
Thank you very much for this great interview, and your interest in Profane Burial!