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Simen Hestnaes (ICS Vortex) (Dimmu Borgir)

Interview with Simen Hestnaes (ICS Vortex) from Dimmu Borgir
by Aris Stremmenos at 27 April 2001, 1:00 AM

Dimmu Borgir, the world famous Black-Metal Band from Norway, released their new Album called PURITANICAL EUPHORIC MISANTHROPIA. We spoke with Bass player Simen Hestnaes on the phone and he told us all about the new Album. Here's what the Norwegian Leaders in Black-Metal these days have to say…

First of all congratulations for your new album PURITANICAL EUPHORIC MISANTHROPIA


After the time consuming and exhausting line up changes how do you feel about your new album?

I think it’s a real killer, with all the good sound and everything and also all the things we did in the studio. Despite the fact of the many line-up changes generally very happy about it. Galder has contributed a lot in this album a lot by writing riffs and stuff.

Having heard the album, it seems to be the most aggressive, raw and least melodic album since ENTHRONED DARKNESS TRIUMPHANT why has there been such a tremendous change in the sound?

Well most of all because of the studio I guess. Now you can hear everything crystal clear and the material was harder this time as well so those two elements combined make the album what it is.

I noticed fewer keyboards in the foreground and more in the background why’s that?

Yeah…the thing about the keyboards this time was that we worked together with a composer and Mustis and him had to lower down a bit the keys so that they could be re-arranged for the orchestra to fit-in and that’s why the keyboards are not that much present and because symphonic parts have kind of taken over.

Mentioning now the thing about the symphonic orchestra…how did this corporation occurred between you and the Gothenburg Opera Orchestra?

The thing is that we worked together with this composer that used a couple of years ago so we got in touch with him again, told him the idea and he felt like really keen on doing it. He already knew about the Gothenburg Orchestra so he suggested us in hiring them since they were already were we were (in Gothenburg) therefore easy to reach without having to fly anybody over. So we hooked up with them and as we saw they were very much into it as well.

Are you thinking of doing this again sometime in the future?

Definitely yes! I think that next time we’ll even make it bigger! I mean more strings and even have a complete full orchestra, we might hire musicians for Russia or even record the album there since it is cheaper for us to get really good musicians over there, so it might be a solution for our next album.

Ok now, would you mind telling us a few words about the recording process of PURITANICAL EUPHORIC MISANTHROPIA»?

Well…we basically were supposed to stay in the studio for five weeks but then we had to add an extra week cause we never get satisfied with anything we do, so we just took our time, finished what we had to do and the result turned out to be pretty good I think.

Could you say that Galder is now a permanent member of DIMMU BORGIR?

Yeah I could cause he is!

What about Old Man’s Child? Will they continue to exist?

Oh yeah I think so very much! Galder is a very productive person so I think it should be no problem for him to write material for both bands. He composes all of the music for Old Man’s Child but he is also considered with DIMMU BORGIR’s music as well and when we go on tour he will of course come with us and make it its main priority at that time.

Did Galder contribute much in this album?

Of course, he helped a lot in at least three songs. He composed some killer riffs and also made some guitar arrangements as well in a couple of other songs. Before he joined the band we used to have a down period and what he basically did was to get us all up together in finishing what we have started sometime ago. He kinda made everything much easier.

Are there any touring plans in order to promote your new album?

Yes, there is a tour coming up in the end of March starting from Gothenburg and then out to parts of Europe. Afterwards we’ll go directly from Amsterdam to the States with Cannibal Corpse with which we’re gonna tour for about four weeks. After that we’re gonna come back to Europe for a second tour - part.

Are there gonna be any bands supporting you during your tours?

In the first part of the tour we’ll be touring with Inflames, Lacuna Coil and Susperia which is a new band featuring Tjodalv on the drums (left Dimmu Borgir shortly after Spiritual Black Dimensions).

Can you tell us a few words about the lyrics of PURITANICAL EUPHORIC MISANTHROPIA»?

Well Silenoz has been writing most of the lyrics and I think you can define under the tide that its very much of a misanthropic material, basically the title sums it up and Definitely it an aggressive and full of hatred album. You get also a lot of symbolism and metaphors and this makes the listener receive the lyrics in many different ways.

Now, SPIRITUAL BLACK DIMENSIONS has closed it’s circle two years afterwards did you live up to the band’s expectations?

Yeah well, time will tell…I think so (laughs). I’m hearing a lot of people saying that this is the best album yet, I don’t really know if they are kissing by ass or whatever (lots of laughs) but I’m very satisfied with it.

With two major albums ENTHRONED DARKNESS TRIUMPHANT and SPIRITUAL BLACK DIMENSIONS DIMMU BORGIR were declared as one of the leading bands in the black metal scene. How do you feel about it?

Its something cool to hear, we dedicated our lives totally to the music we play and when we get to hear stuff like that we feel really good, of course this is what we’ve always been doing so we’ll just continue what we do.

And now, since we are from an Internet zine a natural question would be about your relationship with the Internet both as a person and as a band.

Well…we got our site of course and we are a lot in contact with our webmaster who’s been doing a great job so far and we always check in. Many bands have their own web-sites on the net. Now as for me as a person? (Laughs) I’m not so good in that sport but as a band yeah of course.

Do you think that your web-site promotes you as a band?

Definitely, a lots of hits from that site, its a real killer, extremely good promotion.

What is your opinion about the mp3 files?

Hah! Well its like mixed emotions, I think they’re really cool that everyone gets to hear the music he likes. For me as a person I always wanted to own the original CDs cause I wanted to have the artwork and to be able to sit down and read the lyrics and shit like that. With all the old Iron Maiden albums for example, I couldn’t imagine them on mp3, you really need to have the whole package, but mp3 files in general is a cool way to get in touch with the music of new bands.

What are your plans for the future as a band?

We have the tour coming up so in a couple of weeks we’ll start rehearsing, so this is going to be our main issue for now.

And after that a live album maybe?

Maybe! (Laughs) We’ve been thinking about it, if you get a really good gig going and some very good equipment this will work out perfectly. What’s for sure is that we’ll have a video I think, we do some home recordings, we have a video camera present during our rehearsals and on tour, and so it might come out as a video - as a sentient of this here.

How do you look up on the future of the metal scene in the new millenium?

I think that heavy metal is growing everywhere. There are many new bands popping up all the time so I think we will go strong. I mean there is so much feeling in this music.

And a message to your fans on the Internet?

Go and check out the Susperia site! They’ll be coming with us on tour and I think you might find them interesting.

Thank you very much!

No problem man, take care, bye.


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