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Daniel "Dod" Olaisen - Blood Red Throne

Interview with Daniel "Dod" Oliasen from Blood Red Throne
by Christopher Hawkins at 22 September 2019, 7:32 AM

BLOOD RED THRONE is a Death Metal act that truly needs no introduction.  After now nine full-lengths being released, the band have fine tuned their sound into a lean, brutal, killing machine.  Their latest, "Fit to Kill," is the apex of hard work and dedication to providing as much slamming groove and crushing riffs into nine total songs as possible.  Metal-Temple Editor Christopher Hawkins had the pleasure of interviewing guitarist Død, recently who provides some deeper into the creation of the new album as well as both his personal history and the history of this crushingly killer Death Metal act.

Compared to "Union of Flesh and Machine," "Fit to Kill" sounds more open and expansive.  How did you go about making an already pristine yet brutal sound even more so?

"Fit To Kill" sounds more heavy and old-school for sure. We wanted this one to have a different production. Dirty, but massive. Drums are more organic and the bass is so fuckin’ heavy.

Who produced "Fit to Kill"?

My good friend Audun Grønnestad. He’s a local guy and he’s helped me with many projects and albums before. Drums and vocals on Brutalitarian Regime and self-titled was done in his studio.

What was the impetus for "Killing Machine Pt. 2"?

This is Meathook’s contribution to a straight forward heavy/thrash metal song, deathified by BRT, haha. The lyrics by Bolt is a continuation of "Primitive Killing Machine" from self-titled.

The bass sounds much more up front on "Fit to Kill".  Was that a goal for the album?

That sound is so bad-ass dude. I made a massive sound in studio, but Audun did some tweeking as well, and now it’s like a ten ton hammer. Power!

How did the eight-minute epic "Deal it or Die" come about?  Who did the solo?

I didn’t plan this song to be that long. I just started with this psychedelic intro riff followed up by the monster groovy part. Our good friend from Wyruz did the main solo. The rest is me(Død). The riffs just kept comin’ and all of a sudden the longest BRT song in history was made.

Are the leads split evenly between you and Ivan?

I play most of the leads. Meathook have some and he’s killer with the vibrato.

Did any of your gear change between the last album and this?  What does your main rig consist of (guitar(s), amp, effects)?

I still use my signature Halo guitar. The last few years I’ve been using PodFarm from Line 6. A lot of tweeking of course. Live, I’m actually back to basic with the Boss Metal Zone mt-2.

What is the songwriting process like for you?

I write all my songs in my home studio. Meathook comes to my studio when he has finished his songs. Sometimes I help re-arranging them. Then we put on bass and send it to Freddy and Bolt. Bolt adds vocals in his home studio and finally Freddy records real drums in whatever studio we book. This studio often mix the album as well.

From what do you draw influence to write music?

From all the shitty music being released. It drives me to write even more quality stuff.

Does the band jam?

We don’t even rehearse. Freddy and Bolt lives far away. I don’t think we’ve rehearsed more than a couple of times the last few years. Having said that, our step-in drummer lives around, so Meathook, Gunner and I sometimes meet up with him and play through the live set.

How do you approach writing solos?

That’s actually the most tricky part of composing I think. I don’t wanna just throw in something and I sometimes spend hours finishing the lead parts, finding the perfect notes and feeling. My leads are always melodic. Not cheesy, but I was never a fan of chromatic and speedy leads ala SLAYER and old DEICIDE. I want cool melodies highlighting the songs.

How do you overcome writer's block?

By staying away from the guitar for days and weeks. I don’t play every day for sure. Sometimes I don’t play in 2-3 weeks. This gives me inspiration I guess when first picking up the guitar and I don’t have any problems creating music. After all, I’ve released 21 albums since 2000!

What tuning did you use on "Fit to Kill"?

It’s still standard tuning in B, 7 string guitars.

One thing I've always liked about BLOOD RED THRONE is the shifts of momentum within the music and use of dynamics.  How important is it for a song to have a groove?

I’m a huge fan of groove. Next to my fave band DEATH, comes PANTERA. It’s just the way I write my music. I never use the same drum beat for a long time. The arrangements of songs is something I’ve focused a lot on the last few years. When it all comes down to it, it’s about the great riffs and how they’re put together. Add a little groove there and you have the recipe!

That groove is one of the main traits that sets the band apart from other Death Metal bands out there.  Who do you see as contemporaries?

Many bands of today focus on speed and technicality. Luckily, there are some bands into the groove too. Our friends in DAWN OF DEMISE and ILLDISPOSED for instance.

Over the years doing interviews, I've noticed many American bands have a strong admiration for European bands and vice versa.  What do you see as the difference between the two scenes?

I was always more fan of the US death metal. It’s just more catchy in my ears. I like European extreme metal too, it’s just something about the americans’ riffs that hit me.

Before starting BLOOD RED THRONE, you were playing in a very popular band, SATYRICON.  What caused you to change directions?

SATYRICON was actually the very first band I’ve played in. I was heavily into Black Metal in the 90’s. I still like Black Metal, but Death Metal was always my biggest thing and it was just a question of time before I would start a Death Metal band.

How were you first introduced to music and to Heavy Metal in general?

My mother listened to rock music and I stole some of her CD’s, haha. It was YNGWIE MALMSTEEN and JOE SATRIANI among others. She also had TNT’s "Tell No Tales" on cassette and in 1987 I was hooked. Then the obvious came with METALLICA and AC/DC etc. But, in 1991, I was introduced to heavier music like PESTILENCE, OBITUARY, GOREFEST and I totally liked it right away. A year later, Black Metal was my thing.

When and how did you first start playing guitar?

My best friend at that time played guitar and he was awesome. I tried to pick up the guitar and play with him, but he was way better than I. I kept playing for myself. This was in 1991 I think. Another friend of mine bought a drum kit and we jammed in my basement. We actually recorded three tracks through a cassette player and it sounded pretty decent. Then I moved to a different city. I practiced the guitar for hours every day. And it paid off, cause in 1996 I was offered the job as SATYRICON’s live guitarist. I stayed with them for 3 years.

Who are some of your guitar heroes?

Joe Satriani, Chuck Schuldiner, and Dimebag!

What was it like playing in the fabled Norwegian scene in the 1990s?

I never played in Norway with SATYRICON I think. But, I watched many of the legendary Black Metal shows here in Norway. I also played quite many local shows with my first band, SCARIOT, in the 90’s.

Do you ever see yourself revisiting Black Metal?

I still appreciate Black Metal. I think you will find some riffs in BRT that easily could be in a Black Metal band. In case you didn’t know, the original singer of BRT and I have had this very underground Black Metal project for 20 years. We’ve released two albums. COBOLT 60 that is.

How would you describe the scene in Norway now compared to when you started?

There are still many great bands here. The atmosphere was different before though. It was more magic playing in a band. Nowadays, everybody does. Bands hung together and supported each other. Now, it’s a solo race to make it out of the jungle. I still try to support my friends and bring their bands on tour whenever I can.

Do you have any touring plans?

We just got back home from our release party in Denmark. We also played a cool festival the next day. In October we have gigs in Belgium and Holland and then a mini tour in UK. Finally, coming back to Scotland. Must be 10 years since we played there. Damnation festival will be cool as well. There will new shows added to that list every week!

What are some of your favorite touring memories?

Of lately, definitely going to the 70k cruise. Can’t describe it. Insane! However, going to Mexico for the first time, when our label at that time told us it never would happen, was fuckin’ awesome. The 6 week US tour with DIMMU BORGIR is also one of our highlights.



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