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King Ov Hell (Ov Hell)

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Interview with King Ov Hell from Ov Hell
by Yiannis Mitsakos at 01 November 2009, 8:50 PM

The minute I found out about King Ov Hell's new project with Shagrath, Frost, Ice Dale and Teloch, I knew I had to find  out more about this unholy alliance. King was kind enough to give a full interview where he explains what facts drove to the birth of this band, what we should expect from them in the near future, his views on people who have already started the badmouthing and more. What can I say, knowing who's in this band, I'm expecting to listen to something that's really out OV HELL.

OV HELL is a band that will make a lot of Black Metal fans insanely excited. How did this idea came up?

Well, it's a complicated story. This album contains music from 2004, so a few of these songs were originally created for GORGOROTH and some of them were created to be released for the GOD SEED album, but me and Shagrath talked, we've talked for a couple of years actually, about doing a project or a band together. When Gaahl decided to retire from metal, I called Shagrath and we decided to use the music that was already recorded for GOD SEED. That's what actually happened.

So, OV HELL was created from something that was intended to be material for GOD SEED.

It's basically my compositions and Shagrath has donned the vocals, so we put all this together.

Yeah, it sounds like and amazing project. The timing is also very good, could it be a result of you and Shagrath being fed up with all the bad situation that was going on with both of your main bands?

I don't know, it's many of things that lead to this. It's of course coincidence. When we talked about this, we cleared up that we were both very motivated and both musicians have lots of goals and we're both hard working. That was very important to find musicians that could handle the pressure because both of us are very occupied with our own projects, we don't have the time on our side so we need to be effective when we work and focused. So Shagrath was an excellent choice he was really quick. I sent the first song to him and it was 11 o'clock in the evening and four hours later I had the rough demo for the first song. He thinks fast and it's a good thing to work with him.

I was really glad to see that apart from Ice Dale and Teloch, Frost joined in. Killer combination!

Yes, it's a killer combination. Since some of the music, or all of the music is old when Frost played the drums for the album, it was actually thought of as a GORGOROTH album.  And when Teloch played the guitar I said it was a GOD SEED project and the end the musicians took part at the recordings basically, but right now they more or less play what they are told to play, you know what I mean? OV HELL right now is me and Shagrath, we're like the members of the band, with session musicians.

It's pretty much close to being called a Black Metal super-band.

I don't consider it like that, I've chosen the people involved carefully and they happen to be more or less prominent members of known bands, but it does not make it a supergroup or anything like that, I don't relate to that word myself at all, so…

So now you are working on the upcoming album right? It sounds very promising from the two songs you have on myspace. Are they on their final version?

No, these are not the final versions, of course when people will hear them, they will recognize them, it's not going to change that much but the sound quality will change of course.  It was not properly mixed and it needs to be mastered, have the quality that is necessary for a new album. Right now we are actually done with the mixing part, the album is actually done… Today actually…

My timing was great!

The final mix was done today, so yeah, great timing, the album will be released on February 2010.

I wish the best of success on that.

Thank you.

What is the main idea musicwise? Should we expect any surprises?

For sure, because when we have so many strong personalities involved, they always color the music differently so of course the album will sound very different with Shagrath doing the vocals than if Gaahl did the vocals on the album, it would be two different bands. So the production and everything has turned, we could say more clear, it's hard to describe our own music I think, but it's probably what people would say a better production basically. It sounds heavier, bigger and stuff like that.

Everyone is a very well respected member of the Black Metal community and a very well known professional , so everyone has contributed his ideas in this album?

Not really, it's more the way we performed together.  Frost has a very unique playing style so he set his trademark on the album. Also Ice Dale, that's a big difference, because if we had to record this album with Infernus in guitar, it would be more sloppy… Dale is one of the best guitarist and of course we considered that to the final result that it's going to sound more aggressive, heavier and bigger, you know what I mean?

So is this the full line up or it's the two of you and the others are session musicians for this album?

Well, this is Frost and Dale, basically, and Teloch's partaking on two tracks in the album, for a live situation I think we need to find replacements for live situation because Frost is a very busy man, he's involved in SATYRICON, 1349, he might not be able to tour with us for example but then we will just find another drummer to fill in for him, you know what I mean?

Yeah, I understand. So what is your vision for this band? How do you see it evolving in the future?

Right now for me it's very important to actually close this chapter because this music has been a part of my life for such a long period and for me it's just important to move forward and make new music so my head is every time like that, always look ahead to what's next. So this album has made it some sort of harder to make another GOD SEED album for example, because I need to be on this one before I start something new. So it's very important that this is done by me in person.

You said earlier about live situations, so are there any tour plans yet or is it too early to say?

Well, we have agreed on that we will be playing live, but it also needs to be planned carefully, we will not be a band that tours as much as DIMMU BORGIR for example but we will play live and right now we are focusing on trying to get some summer festivals, this upcoming summer. If we can get on that, if time allows us we can probably get on a European tour in fall of 2010, it's a tour we want to do.

If it was a full tour, I think it would be a huge success considering the members in it. So what do you believe will be the Black Metal fans' reaction about this new project? What do you expect from them.

I think we have all opinions in this matter. First of all, there are lots of people who will be excited about it and also there are a lot of haters.  It's like Aristotle said, you have three kinds of heroes. You have the anti-hero, the one that people usually don't look, because he's clumsy and he's something that you look down on. Then you have the people, the common guys on the streets, who do heroic acts and people feel equal to them. Or you have people that are above them and that we have lots of people who badmouth them because they're members from bigger bands. But that's only because they have low self-esteem and want to drag them down to their level. So they're just mirroring their bad self-esteem and I couldn't care less, I'm prepared to get lots of badmouthing, it's also because DIMMU BORGIR has met commercial success and people have a hard time to accept that others are actually having success. And there are people that we know that will be excited about this, because it's actually talented musicians brought together to try something unique. There all kinds of reactions to this and frankly I don't care, the important thing is to satisfy myself.

I totally agree because I've seen people who like to badmouth and consider that they know what's true and what's good and judging from that kind of people you shouldn't care about what they have to say.

The thing is that some people are so occupied that Black Metal should be underground, meaning not selling albums and not being able to reach out to a larger audience basically, and that's a reason for them to bring other people down to their own level, they don't want to be their heroes to be something different from themselves, they want them to be losers, morons.

I know, I see that every day on more things.

Exactly, so they are leaving out stereotypes, like what Black Metal means, like what you need to be a Black Metal person and they just get to be mirrors of something, they're like sheep, for me that's as stupid as being a Christian. They are mirrors reflecting other people's beliefs not searching for their own Chaos, they don't walk in their own path, you talk about will of power, people have their own will of power if only they stop to complain.

I feel like this because it extremely attracts lots of morons and lowlifes and we just have to accept that fact and for me it's a lot to think about, I just acknowledge it's there as a phenomenon.

I know what you mean. So since we are a magazine based in Greece, are you planning on visiting us soon?

Hopefully, I haven't actually played in Greece since 2004, just before we went to Poland. Of course I would like to go back.

So, thanks a lot for the interview and I hope to see you around Greece soon.

Ok, cool, thanks a lot as well and take care.



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