USBMS interview with Norway's Avstand
Done by Noose.
(NOOSE) First off , Hailz! and thank you for the time. I have been following your works and im honored for the interview.
(ANTI) Thank you. This is my first interview so far of my about one year long career. I am exited to see what you can throw at me
(N) Lets start by introducing your self to readers who might not have heard of AVSTAND. Also What are your duty's in the band?
(A) My goals in Avstand has always been to make music, I want to make, creating a child of my own and get out the artist in me. I went to a art school for 3 years but found out that I could not get all my expressions and points of view out that way. so i went to another school for about 6 months to learn how to play bass. The lyrics and the "image" of Avstand is pure negativity in many ways. Hate against religions and human kind are some of them. I use many metaphors in my lyrics too so the reader/listener can interpret it the way they want. My goal is not to make the most extreme music. But MY music
(N) At what age did you attend these schools? What did you major in Art? Did these experiences transfer into the music of Avstand?
(A) I went to the art school when I was 15-16 years old. Is a kind of high school in Norway. after 2 years I took a year off and learned to play bass and came back to the art school to finish the 3 years education. The inspiration I had when I painted did move over to my music in many ways yes. Music has always inspired me. It was just a matter of time before I started making my own music I was 18 when I went to the other school to learn how to play bass guitar.
(N) I would like to ask how and where you grew up at? What type of environment do you come from? and did any of this impact how you think today?
(A) I grew up in 3 places you can say. First in a small city called sandefjord where I lived to I was 8. Then I lived some years on the countryside of the oldest city in Norway, Tønsberg where I spent much time playing in the woods there. Finally, when I was around 12-13 years old I moved to the place I live now. Between tønsberg and sandefjord. A little town with farms all around. I do not think how and where I grew up has so much to do with me making this kind of music. I actually did not know what Black Metal where before I was 15, and then it hit me like a fucking bolt of lightening and I knew that this was my kind of music at that very moment I heard it the first time.
(N) Give us the quick history of Avstand, the creation of the band and How you started up?
(A) Avstand started with me simply wanting to play guitar and the urge for making music. And one day I bought my guitar and sat down and played. And here I am today, making the music I want. I started up with a one track cassette player just to make some riffs. And now I have a whole home studio with a band recording from next week
(N) Well you have some excellent promo pictures. who came up with the concept. who was the photographer? Were they taken at one of thee farm houses?
(A) Funny story. I wanted to have some new pics on myspace as the old ones where not very good, and called a good friend of mine, NidGrim of svartahrid, Lucid fear and Thermal pulse, and we went to the woods of sandefjord nearby where he lived on the countryside and had a good time doing the makeup and taking the pictures. We spent the whole day and to be one of the best days in my life. Had a good time stopping by the supermarket buying a coke after the session with all the makeup and blood all over me,
he he he... people did look you can say.
(N) Your Myspace profile quote reads "A world without jews, Christians and Muslims" Elaborate on how this message reflects the music of avstand?
(A) I Don..t like them. I hate it all. Fuck them. I hope someone soon takes up a torch and lit them all on fire. They are all living in a lie and force others to live by the same rules as they do. We are not supposed to live by a book. Its just a fairy-tail like Harry Potter and Lord of the rings. Bedtime stories are what they are.
(N) HaHa, so i take it, shock is the usual look that bands get from the people in your town? How do people react to shows at venues? Does Avstand play live?
(A) Well. I don't do any live shows, and I have no plans for it in the future either. I don't know to many people in this town anymore really. Many of my old friend ditched me after growing long hair and started listen to metal. I was no longer good enough for them you know. But I don't give a fuck. I have the friends and contacts I need to be satisfied. I was actually denied coming to a party on this Saturday when the only friend I have left here asked if I could come. It just says everything about them. I just grabbed my guitar and worked on my latest song.
(N) Online it Seems Avstand is known for the song Muhammad. When you created this song im sure you were aware of the backlash it might cause by followers of ISLAM, How have you taken the criticism thus far? Did the bashing on the blog comments even slightly affect Avstand?
(A) When I wrote that song some newspapers in Denmark and Norway printed pictures of muhammed and in the middle east they burned embassies and the flags of Norway and Denmark. I was aware of the consequences and that is the reason I wrote it actually. I wanted to see how long time it took before some Muslim reacted, it took a few days. I was pissed and it still inspires me of writing lyrics. All the shit I have gotten on the blog has only been positive for me. it all went just the way I wanted it to go. unless the racism I have been charged for. Its not a song abut race, but religion. Why should the Christians have all the fun?
(N) Let me here your views on these religion matters? what affects do you feel they have towards you as an individual?
(A) The school I learned to play bass was a Christian school and they where more concerned about learning us about jesus than play guitar. I feel sorry for them in some ways. I think Christianity, jews and Muslims are poor and sad creatures to believe in bedtime stories. I think that the Christians have got plenty of shit thrown at them trough Black Metal, and that is great, they forced our ancestors to believe in their god or else they where killed. So when we get back on them with music and church burning its only fair. What comes around goes around. But its about time someone take the time and effort to tell the scene that the jews and Muslims are just as fucked up religions as Christianity. I did not know it was a christian school until I came up there so I decided to stay.I quit the Christian school after 6 months. I could not take it anymore. They made me sick.
they could not see anything, they where all blind.
(N) Are there any specific aspects in life that inspired the music of Avstand? What special practices do you take before creating music?
(A) I guess its much of the locked up rage I build up inside of me. I am a pretty rough guitar player you might say in some ways, I play hard. the way I am warming up is some times I de-tune the guitar to a drop c (i usually tune mu guitar in d, g, c and so on) and when I jam for my self the music usually just pops up. And If I like what I hear I spend time on getting it together until I got a whole song. Difficult to say how I get inspired, there is a so large spectra when I create But the music of burzum, gorgoroth and endstille are great are one of my biggest sources of inspiration musically
(N) Many people scoff when they see bands list the BM bands of old such as (DARKTHRONE and BURZUM) as their influences. Explain how these bands impacted you as a person and as a musician? Also what other forms or genres of music inspire you?
Burzum is one of my largest inspiration sources and was one the first BM I heard. Burzum Had THE most impact on me in the beginning of making music. I don't get so much inspiration from darkthone actually. But Gorgoroth and Burzum is nowadays where I get inspiration when I listen to music. Under the sign of hell is not my absolute favorite from Gorgoroth. But it is the album where I get the most inspiration from that band When it comes to newer music I think Endstille from germany is a treasure people should lend their ears to. They have some songs that make me shiver down my spine and I get much inspiration from them as well.
But much of my inspiration comes from the thin air you could say.
(N) Tell me about the goals for the band? What message if any are you trying to convey to the world through the sounds of Avstand?
(A) My goal has always been to release a album as a signed band before I die. he he, a little cliché maybe. But I just want to make music and if people like it that is just a big bonus for me. I have gotten tremendous amount of support on myspace and if it wasn't for them I would not be anywhere now. Having actual fans liking my music inspires me to make more and more.
(N) Where do you practice and rehearse? Whats the typical creation process of Avstands music? Is there any specific reason that you have chosen to handle all of the musical duties for Avstand?
(A) I don..t like making music in the place we rehearse. All my music is created when I am alone and play guitar at night for the most. So I will probably be a studio guy for a long while. I also make much of mu music experimenting in Logic. I dont want anybody to interfere in my music, that is why I have chosen that I should be the only one making music.
(N) Explain the Avstand recording process. I see you list your own company, Grotta recordings. How did this come about and how has it work out so far? Do you use the latest recording technology's?
(A) Yes, it all started up with a one track cassette player as mentioned earlier and got more and more advanced gear as time passed on. I use a Mac with Logic Pro 8 and some sound cards and other stuff the readers don..t care about knowing I guess. I have a band booked now and we start recording the guitars in the next couple of weeks. I use a boss gt pro guitar processor for my sound to be at the Avstand album
(N) You spoke of Endstille's music giving you a shiver down your spine when you here it. The music of Avstand has a very dark and depressive aura to it as well which brings me the same feeling. What sort of mind set were you in when creating these songs?
(A) Yes, Avstand IS dark music. It has always been that way. It represents me in all ways. Its very different from song to song, but it all comes out naturally for me. I don't struggle to get dark music, When I first start on one song I have an Idea in my head on what the next riff will be. And dark, depressive and aggressive tunes lies in my fingers when I play,its just my style of playing guitar. I think many people struggle alot with them selves trying to hard making those "killer" riffs. But it all needs to come out natural, you cannot change who you are.
(N) How do you perceive Black Metal in your life, what are you ideals toward it, and does it affect you as a person?
(A) I don't sit down saying to my self, "hey, now I'm going to make a black metal song!" I don't think that I am going to make a BM song at all. I just do it you might say. Just pick up the guitar and play you know. The lyrics of each and every song is more a state of mind that the music in some ways. I consider my self some kind of a poet when I am writing my lyrics. They represent me at that time, and how I feel about the world today. It don't affect me as a person, I AM that person. I'm not avstand when playing guitar and someone else when I'm not. I am avstand and I am anti all the time. I'm not running in the streets and say fuck you to everyone. I am a nice and polite young man who don't need to tell everybody what I think all day. I respect people for their opinions, but I have my opinions of my own but don't have a urge to tell it in the face of everybody. I keep most of my opinions for my self from people who do not understand Black metal. Let them think and mean what the fuck they want. I wont bother most of them in person but take it out in my music.
(N) I commend you for you answer. Honesty about your real life outside of the Corpse paint is rare today. Every one is concerned with image and reputation. What percentage of BM bands these days do you feel are all hype?
(A) Black Metal has grown from a infant to a grown man you may say. I think its foolish to hate Dimmu Borgir because they have made it. Its a trend to hate them for being big and achieved their dream. I think black metal will only grow bigger and on the way we will always gain some posers who only listen to Darkthrone to be a rebel when their 16 and hate their parents. But they will not stay in the scene for a long while. Metal and rock is in your heart and will follow you to the grave if you really like it. Sure there will always be some hyped bands, but the underground with the ones with metal close to their heart will stay. So in that way it will only be bigger I think
(N) I then i must ask somewhat of the cliche question. what do you think of today's face of BM? Do you see it as a long lasting genre of music
(A) Yes, Definitely. It has only grown and I don't think it will loose any followers soon. People are realizing that we live in a fake world where most of its population still think in 2008 that the earth is only 6000 years old. Black metal is real and kick the quacks in the balls. How many priests haven't been busted on raping small children? No fuck me sideways, open your eyes. And more and more people do as the internet gives them the information to see the world we live in today. its disgusting. The world is disgusting
and that is the driving force of many BM artists me among them.
(N) Avstand is and will be a force to be reckoned with in the future of Black Metal. Are there any final words or announcements you would like to add before we finish?
(A) Stay tuned for the forthcoming Avstand album, Guess Whats Burning... To be recorded this summer.
(N) I want to thank Anti of Avstand for the interview. and wish him grimmest hailz on his upcoming campaigns
(A) thanks for the interview then.
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