In occasion of the end of the tour in the north of Europe, done by Khold in support of Satyricon, I get in touch with Sarke, drummer of this Norwegian band. Thanks to him, I could get the interview in the free time he had between the tours, so he could answer some questions about his band, their music, the big label that publishes their works (Moonfog), and so on. This band has received many stupid comments saying it's a copycat of Dark Throne, it hasn't its own style and so on, but personally I'm not of that idea. Anyway, this is what I asked to Sarke...
Hail! The comeback of Khold, "Phantom", is out. This is your second album, are you satisfied of the final result of it?
Yes the album turned out great! We got the dark cold album we wanted.
Talking with many people in this musical genre, reading interviews and so on, I've found two different categories of persons: those who think you are just a copycat of Dark Throne with a good recording, and those who consider your musical style personal and very particular. It's strange how these two opinions can be completely different. Personally, I don't consider you as an "innovative" band, but a group with personality and ideas that makes good BM music with a touch of "Rock 'n Roll" style, being it very groovy sometimes. What do you think about these different points of view? Do you agree with someone or do you simply think we can go fuck ourselves, ehehehe .?
I've notice that some people think we are just trying to copy old school Black Metal and connect us with Darkthrone. I cannot understand that. My guess is that they haven't even listened to our album or they think all metal bands sounds the same. We are more inspired by the old bands like Mayhem, Darkthrone, Slayer, Celtic Frost and so on than the new black metal bands. I think Khold has an own style and sound!
The particularity of your music, has I have already said, is the groovy touch is some parts of it; I've read somewhere the phrase "stoner BM" or some bestiality like this. Without being so much professional with strange words and so on, how could you describe to one of the many guys that, haven't heard you yet, read in many magazines different reviews of the Khold sound?
We have a very heavy dark cold sound and we play mid tempo Black Metal with, as you say, a good groove to our songs.
A thing that has always struck me about Khold, are the lyrics in Norwegian language: I think they mix perfectly with the music, and, in spite of the fact I don't understand them at all, they make the song mood very particular and obscure. Can you tell us, in few words, what they talk about? I even know you don't write your lyrics, but a person outside the band writes them: is it true? Don't you feel strange to sing and interpret a text that hasn't been written by you?
play drums but our vocalist Gard he likes it! Hildr writes very good
lyrics. Her lyric gives us inspiration to make our music. Sick stories
of people in ancient Norway that mostly leads to death and suffering.
Talking deeply about "Phantom", I can see a relation between its title and the photos inside of the booklet (in my opinion): they are like a sort of "concept artwork" that, in one way, refers to the tile of the album, presenting (I think) Gard in different places, always like a sort of obscure presence in the contest of the image. Is it an intentional thing?
Yes! The pictures are 4 small stories connected to 4 lyrics. "Dødens grøde", "Phantom", "Slaktereika" and "Vandring". We did a lot of work on the layout. Hope people take their time to look at it as you did!
What relation is there between the different songs of the album? Are them bounded by a sort of logical sequence or they are different "stories" inside the album's title?
Yes it's different stories for each song!
Ok, we have talked about your last release, but nobody knows well the history of the band: can you give us a short biography of Khold, and tell us who are its members and how did you get a deal with a big label like Moonfog? I've heard names such as Tulus, Old Man's Child and so on about you
(Sarke) and Gard were Tulus! We also played live for Old Man's Child
for a couple of years together with our guitarist Rinn! But Tulus was
more a project and we wanted a band so we formed Khold in 2000.
Moonfog is a big label in a genre that, in theory, should be underground, and it has quite a big distribution all over the world: now, what do you think of this condition for your band? If in one hand is a big occasion for a group to spread its message around, in the other can be a sort of losing of the original spirit of BM music, that's meant to be for the "elite" (once upon a time ) and not for the masses. Your opinion?
I don't think Black Metal is for the masses. For us it's good that the album is available all over. If we sell many albums we can go on tour to play for the people that like our music. If we don't sell we have to stay at home. I'm sure you understand.
We really like to play live. I also think we are a good live band. We often get very goods reviews on our live shows. We just come back now from a 3 weeks tour with Satyricon and that tour went very well!
Is it true that you will be in Italy this November, supporting Satyricon?
We will know that tomorrow I hope. I think they are setting up a new tour for Nov./Dec. Lets just hope we can join them on tour again.
I'd like to know you opinion about two great bands that are in the same label as you are: Dark Throne and Satyricon. What do you think about them, their past and present?
I've been listening to Darkthrone since the demo days in 1988-89. I also watch them live 4-5 times. I also know all the guys in Darkthrone since that time. When it comes to Satyricon its much later. First time I talk to Satyr was when I deliver our demo year 2000. I bought the "Nemesis Divina" album when it came out. I like both bands for their music and raw and primitive sound! "Transylvanian hunger" is one of my favourite albums (me too!!).
The last question: we haven't talked about your believes. Is a thing I usually ask to my interlocutors, 'cause I consider a musician's way of thinking or philosophy so much important to understand his message; so, what's yours? In what do you believe?
Things that I can see!
Well, thank you very much Sarke!! I let you free to end as you want or to ask me a question if you like
seems like you have put some time into Khold and also come up with a
good interview, thanks for that!
Hail Sarke! Se you, maybe on tour.