1. In 2013, your book, entitled: „Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult” was published. Could you tell us, what coaxed you to write this book?
It was really a case of feeling that somebody needed to finally cover the story of black metal properly, rather than a situation where various outsider writers and film makers would keep retelling the best known parts again and again with diminishing returns. I had waited a fair few years for someone to make a definitive go at it and by 2009 it was clear that that wasn’t going to happen so I took the plunge and began formulating what the book would be.
2. This year, your second book, entitled: „Black Metal: The Cult Never Dies Vol. One” will be released. Is this book will be a continuation of your previous book – „Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult”? What will we find in your book?
The Black Metal: The Cult Never Dies series is an attempt to go deeper into the story that began in Evolution. That book was primarily about how black metal came to be born and how it developed during the eighties and nineties, but despite its size there were a lot of bands and scenes that could only be mentioned in brief that I felt really deserved a proper interview or chapter. So the new books talk to those bands and highlights specific scenes – Volume One for example looks at Norway, Poland and depressive black metal and features very in-depth chapters about, and interviews with, Satyricon, Manes, Kampfar, Solefald, Wardruna/Jotunspur/Gorgoroth, Xantotol, Arkona, Mastiphal, Evilfeast, Mgła/Kriegsmaschine, Strid, Shining, Bethlehem, Forgotten Tomb and Total Negation.
3. Do you think that „Black Metal: The Cult Never Dies Vol. One”, will be equally well received by fans of black metal as your previous book?
I think that it ought to because it’s a better written work (which makes sense given that a few years have passed now and that I was also less hindered by space restrictions. I would predict that the first book will sell a bit more – it’s had a head-start after all and has wider distribution- but this book is perhaps aimed more at dedicated black metal devotees, so I think people with a burning interest in black metal will lose themselves in this work to an even greater degree than the first one.
4. You write about black metal, a genre, which I have a sensation, is dying. More and more bands abandon this genre on behalf symphonist/power metal and call this black metal. How do you perceive this? Have you noticed that, too?
I know what you mean but if anything I think the black metal scene is still growing. For all those bands who abandon black metal for a more commercial expression another ten spring up who are dedicated to the old values. The amount of new bands is insane, and many of these are dedicated to the early templates of the eighties and nineties bands – actually, if anything, I think bands should feel less restricted in their stylistic options and attempt to recapture the wildness, unpredictability and freedom of expression that characterised the genre in the early-mid nineties before people started to think that the Darkthrone/Burzum template was the only way to go.
5. Your book, entitled „Black Metal: Evolution of the Cult” is now available in Poland. Will „Black Metal: The Cult Never Dies Vol. One”, be also available in our country?
Not directly, no – at least not for now. The book can be sent to Poland from the mail order at http://cultneverdies.myshopify.com/. But for now it won’t be available in stores (although if any Polish stores want to stock it and perhaps have links to the UK they are welcome to get in touch).
6. I know, that your book will be released soon, but do you think about writing another one?
Volume Two is partly written, but won’t be available until 2016. This project is sort of a long-term thing and I have even done interviews for Volume Three. But it’s more about building everything up gradually and releasing things when they are ready – quality rather than quantity is the goal, both for me and for Cult Never Dies as a company.
7. What kinds of music you listen to, in addition to black metal?
I listen to most forms of music to some extent or another. Of course black metal is the big one, but I also listen to most other forms of metal (doom, thrash, classic) as well as other genres of music entirely. In recent years I have been listening to a lot of contemporary Jamaican music for example, as well as death rock bands such as early Christian Death. I am constantly curious about music forms and about subcultures and these two subjects often go hand-in-hand, which makes it even more interesting. I’m also lucky that I can listen to whatever music I want to during my working hours, so I can constantly be listening to new (and old) sounds.