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Sarke (Khold)

Interview with Sarke from Khold
by Daniel Fox at 25 December 2014, 5:27 AM

KHOLD is a Black Metal band that is impossible to forget, standing within their own echelon, carving out a niche in the proverbial mountain with their groove-based, bass-heavy, almost rock-vibe Black Metal; hailing from Norway, it's not quite the kind of musical arrangement you'd expect, but goddamn it works. Daniel Fox shared some punctual words with Sarke, the drummer of KHOLD, about the album's themes, and how 70's and 80's classics influence their sound.

Greetings and brutal hails from Metal Temple and New Zealand. How is the year shaping up for Khold?

Things are happening. New album out and that is not every year. Very good feedback on the album. Booking some gigs as well. Hope everything is ok in New Zealand.

For the unfortunately unaware of the metal community, can you give a bit of an introduction to the band? Who are you, and what are you about?

Khold was formed in 2000. Got signed to Moonfog. Has released 6 albums. Latest album released by Peaceville. I am Sarke, the drummer in Khold.

Khold’s music is very bass-heavy and full of incredibly chunky grooves, though we still have trademark tremolos and blast beats here and there. What inspired you guys to make music that completely set you apart from other bands? Is the answer in the question?

We know how we want our music to sound. We don’t copy other bands. It’s not like we want to be and sound like them. We are not into trends when it comes to music. Most black metal bands play fast. We play heavy mid tempo black metal. We go our own way when it comes to sound. We also listen to 70`and 80`music, which maybe influences us to be a bit different in today’s black metal music.

 September saw the release of “Til Endes”. Personally, I loved it, regardless of me not speaking Norwegian. Of course, it’s the perfect language for your style of metal. What is “Til Endes” about?

Thanks. We have always used Norwegian lyrics and will always do that. “Til Endes” is about nature, darkness and the theme of dying.

Quite a gap between albums, with “Hundre år Gammal” released in 2008. Do you feel this had an impact on the finished product of “Til Endes”? Perhaps allowing you time to perfect it, in a way that sets it apart from previous albums?

I would have to say no. Because we haven’t used more time to make the songs for this record than the others. Maybe we have matured in how to make songs. This time we wanted a bit more aggressive and up tempo album and it seems that is worked out great.

I’m curious about the writing. I hear of a lot of Black Metal bands’ material written and composed by solely one person; Emperor or Mayhem for example. Is this the case for Khold, or are writing duties shared?

I will not say it’s shared. But we all can make songs in Khold. I write most of the music and ideas. Then we try it out at rehearsal. Then we add some parts or take away some parts. We make the tracks and work together as a full band.

 I think a reason that you’re that well-received by the people aware of the band, is that no one can really compare you to anyone; at least, I can’t. Can you name any influences from other bands from the proverbial scene?

We are influenced by the bands we grew up listen to. Bands like Kiss, Black Sabbath, Celtic Frost, King Diamond, Kreator, Obituary, Death, Darkthrone, Mayhem, Motorhead, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and many more.

 Do you actually consider yourselves part of any colloquial ‘Black Metal scene’?

Yes and No. We know a lot of the people in the black metal scene and we meet up with people now and then. But we didn’t hang around so much at Elm Street in the hype period of black metal. We have been in the scene since 1987, so we are well known around here.

 Only using the bare basics of instruments and vocals, you’ve achieved a very raw sound.  On “Til Endes”, you’re as abrasive and  raw as ever, but at the same time, the end result of the production is crystal clear; I can hear everything. How did you achieve that?

We are very aware of how we want our music to sound. We work to get it that way. Our music is very basic and raw. We want the listener to hear every instrument, at the same time be very heavy and dark.

 The way the bass cuts through on this album was definitely my favourite talking point. Many other bands, you can’t even hear it. Do you consider a strong bass presence at the core of KHOLD’s riffs?

I’m not sure about the core of the riffs, but it is very important in Khold. The bass player fills out the music very much and also makes it more interesting. As you say many bands don’t let the bass player through too much. We are very much fans of cool bass playing, so for us it’s great that Khold has always have very good and creative bass players.

A new album out, I would imagine you have some kind of promotion planned tour-wise. Where is the band looking to play at this year?

We have booked some festivals and we are working on booking some more gigs.

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these, I wish you well and good luck. Do you have anything you’d like to add?

Thank you. Hope people check out “Til Endes”.


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Edited 07 July 2022

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