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Interview - Seidemann (1349)

Interview with Seidemann from 1349
by Mike Coyle / Danny Sanderson at 25 September 2014, 2:31 AM

1349 are a band that have become synonymous with extremity. Their brand of harsh Black Metal has been winning people over for close to 20 years. Barely able to contain their excitement, Mike Coyle and Danny Sanderson talked to the band's bassist Seidemann about the new album, "Massive Cauldron of Chaos", "True" Black Metal, and 1349's own Beer..

Hi, this Mike and Danny for Metal Temple, and today we have the pleasure of interviewing Seidemann of 1349. How are you doing sir?

I'm fine, how about yourselves?

We're doing fine. We're enjoying the sun and the heat and getting burned \[laughs]. What do you think of Bloodstock now that you've come back after 1349 last played here?

Well, the last time that I was here, I was playing with 1349, and I don't remember much about it, other than playing the show and then having to set off to another festival. That's one of the problems with playing festivals really. But this time around, I'm here on my own and I'm only here to talk to people and promote the new 1349 album, so I've actually had time to check out band's and enjoy the festival. So this time around it's been nicer for me, yes. However, i hope that we can come back and play a festival soon. So the new album, "Massive Cauldron of Chaos" is out on the 29th September on Indie Recordings in Europe, and 30th September on Seasons of Mist in the US.

What was the writing and recording process like for that album. You guys have a very analogue sound which is synonymous with Black Metal. Have you deviated from that in any way with this release?

Well, the writing was as always. We have the guitarist who makes most of the riffs, and works on most of the songs, and once he's shown us what he's got, we jam as a band in a room, and of course we all contribute with really good riffs and ideas as well. So, you know, we jam them out and make them happen. So this time around we basically rehearsed everything we had until we knew we were ready, entered the studio and recorded the album. And it's of course a 1349 album; you'll have blast-beats and riffs, but… we haven't consciously done it, but throughout the years, we've had a lot of influences that inspire us, and when I listen to this album, I think it's clear that we were influenced a lot by lots of 70's stuff, especially stuff like Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath, etc, so the 70's vibe can definitely be heard now, as well as our influences from the Bay Area Thrash, as well as the German Thrash bands, of course, like Sodom, Kreator, and Exodus. So this time around we've got this strong, thrashy vibe that we haven't really had since "Beyond the Apocalypse", which obviously has some strong Thrash influences. But obviously that was a long time ago. \[laughs] So we've connected quite a lot with all of the elements that make 1349 the band that it is, and we've mashed them all up into this massive cauldron of chaos. I know it might sound strange to hear me saying this, but the new album is actually quite groovy! That does not mean that we are now a Blackened Thrash or Black 'n' Roll band, but there's definitely a groove to it, it has a looser vibe to the music which hasn't been there before. I'm EXTREMELY satisfied with this album, and I can say, with my hand on my heart, that it's the best album that we've done. Thus far at least.

Yeah, a lot of people are looking forward to it coming out, including me and Mike! So, you've just mentioned that you've incorporated a lot of your influences and the like on this new record; so how has the band evolved over the years?

Well, I think that we started out when most of us were…kids, you know; early 20's maybe, and now we're obviously not in our early 20's anymore. So we have matured as people, songwriters and musicians. But the essence of 1349 has always been extremely clear; it's always been about us making Black Metal, the way we want Black Metal to be. It's always been to make our own edition of Black Metal. But along the way, we've also started to go "THIS is Black Metal!" or "This can be used in a Black Metal context". We can go to many strange, dark places, and still the feeling of what is Black Metal is present, and it is there. I think, to a certain extent, we have grown bolder as we grow older, because of course when you're 15 you just want to go "Fuck Off!" to the world, and play faster and harder than anybody else, and after a while, you stop comparing, because to do that makes you lose focus on what you're doing, and you stop making your own thing anymore.

It's interesting that you said that you write Black Metal the way that you intend it and want it to be, because, obviously, there are some people who categorise stuff as "True" Black Metal and stuff like that, and a lot of people who use that phrase might very well lump you guys into a list of bands that they feel sums up what they believe to be "True", in terms of sound and aesthetics. So do you guys accept this idea of "Kvlt" or "True" Black Metal?

Here's the thing about the word "True": it's that except for Manowar, I don't know any bands that use that term. I don't know anyone who uses that word, seriously, because a lot of people seem to have this misconception that to be "True" Black Metal you must sound like a certain artist on all your albums, like, let's say "A Blaze in the Northern Sky" or Transylvanian Hunger", and all that stuff is true Black Metal and everything else isn't. But if you look at the early Black metal bands, you'll notice how Darkthrone doesn't sound like Emperor, does not sound like Mayhem, does not sound like any other bands; they all had their own unique expressions, but they were all Black Metal, right! So, I don't use the word "True", because it really doesn't have any real meaning to it. As long as I'm doing the music that I want to do, then I'm being true to myself, and that's the only thing that really fucking matters. If I wanted to sit on the internet and complain and all that shit, then I could do that, but that wouldn't really be "True" or "Kvlt" or anything like that.

It's a good way of looking at it. Just do your own thing and do what you want, and don't let what others are doing get in the way of that.

Yeah, why be a copy artist when you can do your own thing. You see, the way I see it, I don't want people going around and saying "Oh yeah, these guys sound exactly like these guys", if that's the case, then you've failed, and I don't want to be like that. I want people to say "This sounds like 1349" when they hear a]our stuff, and if we do that, then we've done well, because we've achieved our own expression. After all, music is all about expressing yourself and if you are expressing someone else, then you have failed, I'm sorry!

Well, in terms of promoting this new album, what are you planning on doing?

Well, I'm doing stuff like being hear, talking to guys like you right now.

Well I was talking more shows and stuff like that?

Yes, of course! We have been planning and working on tours. It'd be really good to be back in Europe, because we haven't played here in a while, since 2005 I think, when we were with Gorgoroth, and we definitely haven't played the UK since…

I think it was about 3 years ago…

Yes, but that was a very small tour. We haven't done a major one over there in many, many ,many, many years. So we need to go out and tour, and we will! We're heading to the US, booking a lot of festivals, maybe we could come back here and kick some ass. We'll also of course do lots of interviews, and we even have two 1349 beers coming out.

Ooooh, really? Tell us some more about that then…

The thing is, four years ago when we were touring the states, we met a guy called Tom Hoke \[I hope this is spelt right, if not, apologies]and he is the head brewer at Surly Brewing, and we are all big beer geeks, of course, and we were talking about it a lot with him. He was very positive to us doing a beer together, and as things progressed, we kind of decided that we needed to do two beers, one dark, strong, 13.49% beer, and a lighter 6.66% beer. So now, after 4 years of intense work, the beers are finally ready for people, and I guess they'll be out in October or so. So it's a collaboration between 1349, Surly Brewery in the states. So keep your eyes out for that.

I'm definitely looking forward to drinking that. \[laughs] So, before you play a show, what do you do to prepare?

Well, here's the thing, before a show, Frost sits down and does his warm up routine, as we all do. I do warm up exercises for my fingers and hands. So once we're all warmed up, one hour before it's time to go on stage, I begin putting on my corpse paint and my stage costume. And it's in this time that I \[fakes a really "True" Black Metaller] "transform from the rather mundane being that I am now" into monster I am on stage with 1349. Onstage, I leave my normal self behind and I turn into my alter ego so completely. Because I'm not the sort of person that would be jumping around on the stage, and being this extreme, aggressive guy, so I have to transform into Seidemann in order to do these things. So that's the main thing for me, putting on the corpse paint, which takes a long time, and preparing myself mentally and physically to go out there and make war.

So, for fans that haven't heard of 1349, what would you describe your live shows as being like to them?

Well, imagine that you're on a road, and there's this good old fashioned steam roller, right, and it runs over you, reverses, hitting you again, and it just repeats that process for one hour.

That's beautiful man. Poetic, even. So what do you think of Bloodstock, have you had a chance to go around the sight and watch some bands?

I saw Shining earlier, and they were great. It's a beautiful thing, to be at a Metal festival and see a guy playing a Saxophone. It was crazy, crazy shit to watch! And you like it. That shows us that Metal has come a long way, and we have learned to accept more and grow, and I'm happy to have experienced that, I love Shining! I'm also planning on seeing Crowbar, because there's not many people heavier than that. And of course Carcass, Emperor…. apart from that I'm not entirely sure what bands are on this weekend, I'm sorry. \[laughs] I'm basically here to do promotion, so I'm not too clued up on what's on. But yeah, I'd love to see Emperor again, Carcass, Crowbar and Shining. I'm just catching what I can in between interviews.

So have you caught Emperor on their recent shows then?

Yeah, we played Hellfest together, of course, and they were amazing as always.

It's our first time seeing them.

Well, you're in for a treat! The guy who is playing Bass for them on this tour usually does session guitars live for 1349. He's called Secthdamon, he's the guy who's kind of going crazy, headbanging all the time. But we know all those guys from way back, Norway is a small country with a small Metal scene, and so you meet up with people at festivals.

So I guess to actually roll things up here, do you have any final words for your fans?

Well, I have two things to say; one is the asshole thing; because we're promoting, I'm going to repeat, "Massive Cauldron of Chaos" is out on 29th Septemeber, buy it on CD and Vinyl. Sorry that's the promotion asshole, I had to say that, but the other part of me genuinely wants to say stay Metal and see you on tour!

Thank you so much for your time! Enjoy Crowbar



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Edited 01 February 2023

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