Interview with Archaon (1349) by Dea 30.01.2012
Welcome. At the outset I would like to ask you about something that has certainly heard many times – it is about your beginnings. The year is 1997, meets a few friends – Ravn, Tjalve, Balfori and Seidemann, a band, formed in the ashes of Alvheim. Shortly afterwards Balfori left the band. In 1999 you joined the band, introducing music to new levels of intensity. As you recall this time after nearly thirteen years?
Archaon (guitars): To be correct, it was actually Tjalve and Ravn that both were in Alvheim at the time. There was a buzz about the band back then, but it seemed like people had heard about the band, not the music, including myself. A friend of mine was supposed to audition for drums (as Ravn wanted to concentrate fully on the vocal duties), and he lent me the demo Chaos Preferred, to which I listened. It was very rough and at the time not exactly my thing, but at the same time, it had some kind of magic to it that showed great potential and an interesting approach to the scene at the time. So, I was introduced, invited to audition and asked if I wanted to join them- to which I accepted. We immediately set to work, and shortly after we had some songs that became 1349s first official release, the EP named 1349. By that time, Frost had also found the interest for this extreme act, and expressed a will to join forces besides Satyricon.
The name of your group, 1349 This is the date when the „Black Death” came to Norway. Why did you decide to call a team like that?
The reason for the band name is that it gives the right associations to the musics extreme nature, besides the fact that it was somewhat a special name for a band, containing numbers instead of letters. Ravn was the one that came up with it, and this is what he told me was the background for the choice. I think its a brilliant one.
In 2003 the band released their first full length album, entitled „Liberation”, recognized as one of the most important for the species. This material was extremely fast and brutal. How do you perceive this album?
As I mentioned earlier, it was clear from the beginning that the band consisted of many strengths, both individually as the collective force that 1349 is. This naturally reflects in our music, which gradually became more refined besides the extremity that felt natural for us to persue. We give everything weve got when making a new album, in every step of the creation: Composition-wise, performing as well as all other parts of creating something special. This is an important, critical factor to maintain the urge for taking a new step down the path of our musical darkness.
The recordings of this material was involved Frost himself, who shortly thereafter became a permanent member of the group. Why the choice was just for him?
The fact that we at the time shared rehersal space with Satyricon, contributed to the fortunate happening of Frost checking out our new material- which he found to his liking. From our side, there was obviously a great pleasure that he liked it, and he was more than welcome to take part in the bands future steps, which he also did from the start.
After the release of „Liberation” have followed the blow and thus, year after year, have released two more albums – „Beyond the Apocalypse” and „Hellfire”. What gave you the proverbial kick in, allowing push ahead?
Again, its an undescribable urge of wanting to exceed what weve done before, that feels natural to do. A never-ending mission, so to speak- of musical and artistic evolution. For each time that we create something we feel kicks the ass of our previous efforts, new goals are created, awaiting in the horizon.
In 2006 you played at the Metalmania Festival in Poland. As you recall performance in our country?
I do clearly remember the show, as it was our 1st time ever on Polish soil. The show was overall very good, except for some minor technical problems towards the end- a great crowd makes up for the most! This one was fiery. Hopefully well get invited again.
Your last album, „Demonoir” was defined as a virulently aggressive and entering into a new and innovative dimension of black metal. Whether this was your intention – to show that you stand a much deeper descent into the depths of music?
Demonoir is definitely the peak of the band to date, both in terms of aggression and musicianship. We are very proud of the way the album turned out. As always, we enter the studio to do something new and to elevate from where weve been with our previous releases, which we felt more than confident in doing. When that is said: It was a most painful effort too, recording such extremity with the needed precision- one can only wonder how the next album of ours will be
You released a DVD entitled „Hellvetia Fire – The Official Bootleg 1349” which appears Tom Gabriel Warrior of Celtic Frost. How do you work with someone with such a rich output?
Tom has been a friend of the band for several years now, as we met the whole of Celtic Frost back in 2004. They enjoyed our music, in particular Tom- so the following year, he was invited to the stage to sing when we did a cover of The Usurper. As you might know, we did also tour with them in the US in 2006, and Ravn has got a close friendship to Tom. (No wonder, as Celtic Frost is his favourite band). All in all, weve had the fortune of touring with some of the best bands around, like the mentioned CF, Carcass, Cannibal Corpse + many others. Also good support bands like Goatwhore, Nachtmystium, Averse Sefira, Goat the Head and Gate to Khaos has been killer acts to share stage with. And it aint stopping there
Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to what 2012 will bring us in the execution of the 1349…
Thanks for the interview- see you on tour!