Loud TV recently conducted an interview with frontman Erik Danielsson of Swedish black metallers WATAIN. You can watch the entire chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On WATAIN celebrating 20 years as a band:
Erik: “It feels quite fantastic to finally, after such a long time, after the last one to arrive at the point where you feel totally ready for a new chapter, so to say. The fact that it’s also our 20-year anniversary is important, to a certain extent. The number 20 doesn’t really have any special significance to me as such, but yeah, sure, it’s a long time. At the same time, you can look back to the beginning and think that it seems like a really long time ago that we were 16 years old and starting to play with fire. It still also seems like a very short period of time. I always considered WATAIN a young band somehow. I think it’s because we always like the older bands a lot. We’re into DESTRUCTION and MAYHEM and BATHORY and bands like that, so, for us, it was always, I think we will always feel like quite a young band in comparison to our masters.”
On the band’s overall motivation and purpose:
Erik: “First of all, we’ve established quite a long time ago that we’re going to do this and we’re going to do it all the way. The main motivation, I would say, is to uphold our legacy and to fuel it with even more force, to give it more power and to devour it to the very last breath to make sure that it’s maintained with dignity, really. That, I would say is our main motivation in terms of why we keep on doing tours or be the way we are active in WATAIN. As an artist, do I feel free? Yeah. It’s a very central concept in why we’ve come this far with WATAIN in the first place. The idea of freedom and the idea of liberation is very dear to us. We fight for it to the death. It’s the most important feeling that I know, to be free.”
On the songwriting process for the band’s forthcoming new “Trident Wolf Eclipse” studio album:
Erik: “I think it’s different. The creative process looks quite different every time. We have always approached it differently from album to album and this case was no different. It really depends on where you desire to put your focus for this specific process, so to say. For example, on the last album, ‘The Wild Hunt’, we were focused on quite specific emotions and experiences that we had in the past. That in turn, led into a creative process that was quite based on retrospective and introspective work, while this time, for ‘Trident Wolf Eclipse’, it’s been more of explosive kind of creative [process]. It’s more about predatory instinct rather than silent contemplations. It’s more direct and more to the point. [It’s] not as focused, perhaps, on detail, more focused on an overall atmosphere which was quite difficult, actually. Because when you work with details, you have the advantage of really steering your work in the direction you want by adding more and more detail, but if you’re going more for a ‘gut’ feeling, you’ll find that you have to be much more aware from the beginning where you want the process to go. You cannot control it so much along the way. It’s a bit like standing at the top of the hill and rolling a big rock so that it tumbles down.”
On where “Trident Wolf Eclipse” was recorded:
Erik: “We recorded in Necromorbus Studio, which is the same studio we have recorded all of our albums for 20 years, with the same guy. For us, it just makes it very easy to get into the mood and to not have any unpredictable elements in terms of like what it would mean working with a new producer, for example, or in a new studio. We’re not really interested in experimenting with that. I think the experimenting should be in WATAIN, at least, in the rehearsal room and not really in the studio environment. But yeah, that was the place we recorded and I think it sounds perhaps a bit different than what people are used to, but yeah, it’s recorded in the same studio.”
On staying true to their black metal roots:
Erik: “Yeah, it was definitely an important part on this album to allow for say, the late ’80s, early ’90s black and death metal tradition to shine through. For me, it’s the most natural thing in the world, really. It’s the kind of music we’ve been listening to since forever. I’m very pleased that we could really have that as a part of WATAIN‘s legacy. Because you realize also that after the album is done, you start to think about, ‘Okay, so who is going to hear this album?’ It’s going to be a lot of people, of course, who are black and death metal fans. But also, the way things have gone with WATAIN, it also means there’s a lot of people outside of the death and black metal scene that are going to hear it. That makes it kind of interesting to me, like what those people would make of an album like that. What it really is, is eight tracks of relentless black and death metal. That’s up to them how they relate to that kind of material, but it’s good they at least get a glimpse into what proper black metal sounds like.”
“Trident Wolf Eclipse” is due January 5, 2018 via Century Media. The effort will be made available as an LP, standard CD, limited CD digipak, digitally as well as in a limited deluxe box set of three thousand copies. The album will also be available in a variation of different vinyl colors from selected mailorder/retail stores.