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Antares Predator (Oyvind)

Interview with Oyvind from Antares Predator
by Yiannis Dafopoulos at 11 April 2010, 5:04 PM

ANTARES PREDATOR came out of the blue with their interesting mixture of modern thrashing Black Metal. The band's mastermind Oyvind had a lot to say about his ex band KEEP OF KALESSIN and his future plans with ANTARES PREDATOR.

Hello Oyvind! Welcome to Metal Temple! Where does this mail find you? Are you home resting or have you started playing any live dates?
Hey! Well at the moment I'm stuck indoors in Oslo with a meter of snow outside my door and a mighty hangover. As far as the band goes there are no gigs going on currently, but that has more to do with my personal schedule than anything else.

Since many people probably won't be aware of you band do you mind giving us a short bio?
Giving a short bio is quite a challenge, as ANTARES PREDATOR has been through many phases during the past 16 years. It started out as my solo project WOLF327 that would stay in the shadows of my main band KEEP OF KALESSIN until I quit KALESSIN in 99 and WOLF327 got main priority. The project evolved to a 5 member lineup involving VYL (drums) and Ghash (Vocals) from the original KALESSIN lineup, changed the name to ANTARES PREDATOR, and started rehearsing for the release of our debut album. This lineup came to an end in 2003 when I and Mikal (Bass) moved from Trondheim to Oslo, before an album was recorded. In Oslo we had to start all over trying to establish a lineup but this took quite some time as other personal events took priority. It was not until 2008 the pieces started fall into place when Steffan (Vocals) and Jan Benkwitz (Drums) completed the band and we produced the "Twilight Of The Apocalypse" album.



Since this started as you personal project I guess you chose the name ANTARES PREDATOR. How and why did you come up with this specific name?
Antares is the chief blood red star in the constellation Scorpio. It was perceived as the rival of another red star like object in our night sky; Mars, also called Ares in ancient times. This gave birth to mythologies with the idea that Ares and Antares (anti-Ares) were in constant battle. It really shows how humans need to find explanations for anything we see, ideas some of us will reject as soon as we see the wonders of the universe for what we really are; Chemistry, energy waves and gravity dancing. Antares itself is a twin star system with a smaller companion star Antares B, something that is not uncommon in the universe, but certainly intriguing. It is also one of the brightest stars as seen from the earth, and one of the biggest ones we know. It will possibly soon collapse to a supernova and have the potential to become a neutron star or even a black hole. It really puzzles me a great deal that an event like this doesn't seem interesting to most people. I was writing on a sci-fi story some 10 years ago where the main focus point of the story was this living warship called "The Antares Predator" by the humans. It came close to wiping out the entire human race in the end, mostly because of the ridiculous choices the human race collectively took. I'm sure the idea for this warships name came from my interest in astronomy combined with a good portion of sci-fi. The name ANTARES PREDATOR is to me a personal symbol of all the things I hate about our race and it felt natural to adapt as the name of the band.

The line up was completed by talented musicians that have been members of known bands like BELPHEGOR and SCARIOT and still do pretty good stuff in music with their current acts. Did you know these guys before they join the band?
I knew about their bands and projects, but I didn't know them personally. This is the first time in the history of ANTARES PREDATOR that people I previously didn't know was involved.

The band is more than 10 years old now and despite the fact it has only released an EP and a full-length album it already has three past members. Why those line up changes?
First of all, the list of people being involved in ANTARES PREDATOR during the years is quite a lot longer than that. I think one of the problems in ANTARES PREDATOR was establishing a lineup that would work according to my musical vision. I never felt the lineup was quite as it should be until now regarding the sound, even if most people involved have been good friends and all. This doesn't mean I have to have everything my way, but I need a band with people that are on the same page both musically, technically and personally.

When you started ANTARES PREDATOR was it just a vehicle to express your inner feelings or was it more like a way to get away from KEEP OF KALESSIN?
ANTARES PREDATOR (WOLF327) was my personal playground for many years, starting before I joined ILDSKJAER (that later became KEEP OF KALESSIN). I would mix and explore any genre that came to mind with Metal in WOLF327, while KALESSIN was more the traditional 4 member Black Metal band where I played my part. I don't think ANTARES PREDATOR was ever about expressing feelings in particular (I would rather call it an atmosphere), nor an escape from KALESSIN. I keep "hearing" music mentally, and have an urge to recreate it on tape or on stage first of all. I am not too keen about rules in music. Black Metal occurs to me as being one of the most stuck forms of Metal in this regards, so I will always see us as an exploring band open for anything. I guess you could say ANTARES PREDATOR came to life because I enjoy exploring and creating music, especially in company with like minded people.




Really, what was the reason you left KEEP OF KALESSIN 10 years ago?
My involvement with KEEP OF KALESSIN started very early in the bands history. They needed a bass player for a gig, and I helped them out even if I'm originally a guitarist. This was before we changed the name to KEEP OF KALESSIN. I soon became a regular member and stayed with the band for the first demo and the 2 first albums. At one point we were offered a European tour, and as with most tours for a band like this, with minimal pay. I was in a situation where this was impossible for me economically. I moved away from my parents at age 17, had my bills to pay and a job to support this. The rest of the guys still lived with their parents (we were around 18-21years at the time), so of course they could go touring all year around if they wanted to as long as somebody provided beer for the ride. If I was to leave everything and go touring with a band, it would have to be a band with a better grip on things than KALESSIN at the time. We even had a hard time paying for our rehearsal room and we were kicked out because of lack of pay or for trashing the room/place during heavy partying. This was not the kind of team I would quit everything to depend my life on. The KALESSIN you see today is as professional as can be, but its also 11 years later… Anyway, I tried to help the guys find a replacement for me, but KALESSIN was put on ice for several reasons shortly after anyway. I never quit because they weren't my friends, that's for sure. Shortly after I quit KALESSIN, Ghash and VYL teamed up with ANTARES PREDATOR and the story continued. Only this time I was the driving force, with mostly my compositions as a basis for the band, and I switched back to the 6 string.

ANTARES PREDATOR is a band that features various different elements in its music. How would you describe your sound to someone who hasn't been able to listen to your music? Which bands have influenced you?
We are often referred to as being a blackened Thrash Metal band. We have a very guitar driven sound with a high focus on precision that give the felling of a Thrash foundation, topped with vocals more in the direction of your classical Black Metal bands. We use very little synthesizers, but tend to mix in orchestral elements and analogue samples into the mix. I think every member bring different influences into the game; myself grew up playing PANTERA riffs, so I guess Dimebag is to blame for some of my style anyway.

How did you manage to sign with Battlegod Productions? Did you send them your material or did they approach you?
I was trying to get my head around the business side of things planning to release the album myself for a while, but the frustration grew as it meant less focus on the music. I figured in the end this stuff was better left to the professionals and for some reason I stumbled over Battlegod Productions while checking out new bands on the web. I think I sent an email to them asking if they were interested in working with us for the release of this album, and soon got a very positive response. Battlegod has been very forthcoming and have delivered as promised by far.

Have you scheduled any live dates to promote "Twilight Of The Apocalypse"? Is there any chance you may visit Greece for a live show?
At the moment there are no gigs planed to promote the album unfortunately. This has a lot to do with my other occupations that leave little time to focus on touring at the moment. Festivals and single gigs on the other hand are certainly not out of the question, and in that case Greece would be among the first on the list.

By the way, who was responsible for the mixing and mastering of the album? The sound is crystal clear and pretty solid I must admit.
The album is mixed and mastered in Kohlekeller Studios near Frankfurt, Germany. They are specialized in extreme Metal doing bands like CREMATORY, AGATHODAIMON, SIX REASONS TO KILL, THE OATH, BENIGHTED and numerous more. I'm very happy about working with Kristian and Kai at Kohlekeller and certainly learned a great deal from doing the album there.

If you could go back in time, is there something that you would want to "fix" in this album or are you 100% satisfied with the result?
I think it is impossible to ever be 100% satisfied with the result. For me it is like a curse because I have a very clear idea about every detail going on in the music and it's hard to know when you should just let it go. I hate to compromise. Given the opportunity I would like to try a mix with tons of echo and reverb on the vocals like the 2nd wave of Black Metal bands used to back in the early 90s. Also bring the symphonic elements more in the foreground to really bring out the atmosphere. Tune down the guitars a few steps and give the bass more weight in the mix. I am very happy with the result anyway, and it's a good thing we completed the work at this point instead of working on it forever to be 100% satisfied. Anyway as I mentioned we really learned much from working at Kohlekeller and I look very much forward to try it all out in our next album.




Thank you for your time Oyvind! I wish you and your band all the best! Anything last you would like to add?
Thank you for your time! If anyone would like to contact ANTARES PREDATOR for any reason at all, please do so by leaving a note at 666@antarespredator.com. I also urge you to check out Steffan's band HARM at http://www.myspace.com/harmmetal for some heavy duty Thrash Metal.



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