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Erik Danielsson (Watain)

Interview with Erik Danielsson from Watain
by Yiannis Dafopoulos at 15 May 2007, 9:53 AM

After reviewing WATAIN's incredible Sworn To The Dark I decided it was time for an interview with the band. Unfortunately, an interview via mail is not as live as a face to face or a phone interview. Anyway, Erik Danielsson (vocals, bass) was kind enough to answer to my questions and help me with some issues I was wondering about regarding the Black Metal scene. Below you can read what a Black Metal musician has to say about matters like Satanism, trends in the Metal scene and the false Black Metal ideals.

 Hello there and thank you for taking the time for this interview! Congratulations on your new masterpiece Sworn To The Dark.

Hail Satan!

 First of all, I would like you to give a short bio of the band for all the people that are not aware of the band.

WATAIN has existed in flesh now for 9 cursed years, slithering like a raging serpent through the Black Metal scene with fire in the eyes and Death in the heart… Much can be said about our being and its different phases, but if one is truly curious, I suggest them to get our albums or attend one of our shows, which in the end are the only real reflections of what we are. Words are not enough to portray the boundless darkness and limitless malice and magic which is manifest in our work. Those who know us will understand what I mean.

 We all know that Black Metal is more than music; it is an ideology and some kind of philosophy. Could you explain the Black Metal ideology?

Black Metal is something more than music for those who make it something more than music. People should not think that they do anything special or are a part of something great when they play music that sounds like DARKTHRONE, put on corpse paint and spikes and talk about Satanism and other extreme things that they do not know anything about. They are just playing music, as sinister as THE BEATLES, or even less (at least they took drugs, got murdered etc), and they will be buried, forgotten and punished sooner then they can imagine. The Black Metal we want to inspire people to produce, if any, must be built upon the pillars of chaos, madness, lawlessness and boundless darkness! Fuck the world and its futile currents, and let’s make art that is timeless and world-less!

 You recently signed a contract with Season Of Mist records. Are you satisfied with your cooperation up to now?

Yes, thank you for asking.

 I always had this thing I was wondering about. Black Metal musicians always attack Christianity because as they say, it is a mean to handle people. Since all religions are made for this purpose, why don’t you criticize other religions like Buddhism for example?

What do you mean? I think the oppression of the Christian church is something wonderful, it makes people suffer and die in the name of a god and that is great, to put it simple. WATAIN have never been a part of the kindergarten mentality that the Black Metal scene pretends to have against the church. First of all, no one of them cares enough; otherwise Black Metal would be considered a threat to society, which it is not. So don’t come and talk to me about Black Metal musicians attacking Christianity, after all it has only happened on an extremely small scale, because of the simple fact that no one really has any background for statements like Support the war against Christianity or Burn your local church. No one of them cares. My 7-year-old cousin could say the same thing and it would be equally dangerous. This is also the reason why you only see the same kind of symbols being used over and over again by all those bands, because 99% of the Black Metal scene has no sincere interest in the sinister aspects of religious thinking, they have no correspondence whatsoever with the real Darkside. We are however here to change that.

 What does your name mean?

Total Death, panic, black magic, hysteria, infernally raging chaos!

 JUDAS ISCARIOT split up since they were starting to become a bit more famous than they wanted to. Would you do the same thing?

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha…………. No. Because we are not ashamed of who we are, and we do not pretend that there is any kind of circle of people who are more worthy to hear our music than others. I suppose a lot could be said about this matter, but in the end it comes down to one question; should the achievements of artistry such as ours be limited by the rules and ideals of a scene or subculture, or by the vastness of our own will and imagination? The latter surely aligns more with the transcendental satanic nature of WATAIN, always have, always will. We for sure honour the mysticism and obscurity of the Black/Death metal underground tradition, and WATAIN in essence will always correspond with it. But to uphold that tradition and to always abide in that state is not why we have come unto the earth. Our work has just began…

 What is your opinion on the current state of the Black Metal scene?


 Let’s suppose that one day you decide to stop playing Black Metal and Metal in general. Which other music genre would you decide to play?

One that sounds like planes crashing into big buildings, nations burning, oceans boiling and people being deformed by iron, followed by the deafening silence of Total Death.

 What are you listening to except from Black Metal?

Music is quite a big part of my life, and out of what I listen to Black/Death/Speed Metal takes up perhaps 50%. Other than that I am mostly into traditional metal and hard rock like RAINBOW, DEEP PURPLE, IRON MAIDEN, MERCYFUL FATE etc, as well as old 60/70s prog and psych stuff like MOUNTAIN, COVEN, PHANTOMS DIVINE COMEDY and many others… One of my favorite albums ever that holds as much magic to me as MAYHEM’s Mysteriis Dom Sathanas for example is Elizium by FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM.

 There are many trends like Metalcore and Nu Metal. What is your opinion on that?

I have too much respect for the real artists in the metal genre to even think about the kind of abominations mentioned in your question. It is of no interest to me or to WATAIN whatsoever. Luckily, I do not own either a TV or a radio, and I seldom read music related magazines, so nothing of that crap gets over my doorstep.

 If you could organize your own festival, which bands would you choose to have as support acts?


 What is your opinion on the internet regarding the music business?

I am not that deeply involved in internet vs. music business issue, it is not really of my concern. I care more about things like terrorism, violence, death, murder, Black Metal, bombs etc.

 You are considered to be the best underground Black Metal band. What do you think has made you climb so high?

Our Will to Power. The fact that we have not adapted ourselves one single millimeter in order to be where we are now. When the harmony between the art and the artist is 100% pure, something is destined to explode, and take many lives with it.

 In Sworn To The Dark, you decided to make a much cleaner production. Why?

Cleaner than what? It is not like we ever sounded like BEHERIT or VON, so I don’t really understand why people make a fuss about the production being clean. But then again, we all know the average level of intelligence and insight among people in general is not really sky high. Sworn To The Dark is blessed by a powerful and heavy as fuck production which is something that fits perfectly to our idea of the songs and the atmosphere they are bound to produce.

 Thank you for this interview. I leave the last words to you…

Hail to our brothers and sisters of the black flame, hope to see you soon on tour! The future of Black Metal belongs to those who can stand the storming darkness that will soon come upon it. We are here to dissolve its structure and replace its shy mediocrity and banality with wild fire, passion and a boundless love for Satan! You have seen nothing yet!


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