Interview conducted May 03 2007
Interview published May 24 2007
Few Metal bands have enough of a
loyal following to successfully tour the US. Even fewer are successful
enough, to actually play in my hometown of Cincinnati. So, when the opportunity
came to interview Dimmu Borgir's founding member Silenoz,
I could not pass it up. As I arrived for my interview, I noticed that
the Dimmu Borgir fans had already begun lining up; wearing make-up, costumes,
and all other attributes. So, I grabbed my pen, paper, camera, and Michael
and I wistfully approached the tour bus to speak with the man, whom these
devoted fans have come to see.
MettleMaiden: Hey, it is really cool to
finally meet you in person. We actually reviewed the debut show for the
Invaluable Darkness Tour Pt. 1, when you played in Cleveland, at the Agora
last year. It's hard to believe that already a year has transpired, and
now Dimmu Borgir is on the second leg of the tour. So, tell me how has
it been going so far?
Silenoz: Rather well, really, not as many people
are in attendance, the second time around; but still, a good response,
overall. With Behemoth on this bill, it really makes a difference.
This is their second time in the states with their album The Apostasy,
and we've always wanted to tour with a band like Behemoth, who are
more in our style, for quite some time. Normally, we like to bring
bands that have a different sound, but we decided, full on, to do
it the way Dimmu wanted, that's why we brought on Keep Of Kalessin,
MettleMaiden: That's cool! I know that when we last saw you, Hellhammer
was drumming, is he still with you?
Silenoz: No, we have Tony Laureano helping
out. He has played with several Death Metal bands like Nile, God Dethroned,
& Angelcorpse. Thankfully, Hellhammer is doing better, after having
suffered such a traumatic neck injury. Hopefully, he might not need
surgery. At least he's been able to play a few shows with his main
MettleMaiden: That is reassuring, now your
latest album - In Sorte Diaboli has been out for over a year, how well
has it been received in the US?
Silenoz: It has been getting a great response
all over the world. It's not selling as well as Death Cult Armaggedon,
which, of course, had that limited edition metal box, and other unique
versions; but our fans are loyal, and they always buy the CD.
MettleMaiden: That is good to hear, because
nowadays, people seem to be focusing more on digital music than the CDs.
MettleMaiden: This is why we bought the
digipack version with the bonus track and DVD. The first time we saw the
Invaluable Darkness tour, you had only added two new songs to the set
list. Have you added more for the second leg?
Silenoz: Yeah, we've added five songs into
the set. On the first leg, the album was too fresh, but now that the
album has been out more than a year, fans are ready to hear these
MettleMaiden: So far you have recorded two
videos from the album, both very high budget explaining the concept. Have
you been receiving favorable feedback for them?
Silenoz: Definitely, although those were edited
for content, leaving two versions. Thankfully, we've just completed
working on a third video for The Chosen Legacy.
MettleMaiden: I love the videos, they are like mini-movies, not
a typical performance video.
Silenoz: Well, those are always the easiest
kind, but we've had great people helping us to achieve this goal.
By the way, I must mention that I love your husband's shirt (points
to Michael's Sabbat Dreamweaver shirt). History Of A Time To Come
is my favorite album ever.
MettleMaiden: Martin is Michael's favorite
lyricist of all time.
MettleMaiden: Martin Walkyier has become
our good friend, and he expressed interest in working with you. He would
love to write some Dimmu lyrics, sing on some songs, or cover some Sabbat,
like he did with Dani Filth on 'For Those Who Died'.
- Silenoz: I would love to work with him too!
That would just be awesome!
MettleMaiden: Being from Norway, with all
the iconography, you tend to automatically be classified as Black Metal,
personal I disagree. Your music has more to it than that...
Silenoz: Norweigan Black Metal is so limited,
Dimmu Borgir's sound is so much more intense, pushing beyond the limits
of everyday Black Metal. I don't care for categories, that's for labels
and stores. If people look at us as Black Metal then that's fine,
you know; but if people don't then that's more than fine.
MettleMaiden: I agree. Lyrically, Dimmu
writes and expands on so much more than Black Metal themes.
MettleMaiden: So, then you are a true Satanist?
You see the essence of Satanism like King Diamond. Namely, that of the
Nietzche philosophy of the Ubermenschen or survival of the fittest.
MettleAngel: Like the cover of Metal Maniacs reads, "The power
of Christ repels them!" (MettleMaiden:)
Switching gears, I've always been a fan of Dimmu Borgir's cover songs;
especially the 'Metal Heart' & 'Burn In Hell' versions. Would you
like to do more traditional covers, even beyond the metal genre?
Silenoz: Actually, many of our young fans thought
'Burn In Hell' was an original. It surprises me that they did not
know about Twisted Sister, or even Accept; but given their age, this
makes sense. I personally would like to see King Diamond cover the
Bee Gees. But, if I can get the band to agree and we can create the
time, we'll probably aim for something in the vain of Pink Floyd.
MettleMaiden: You should hear Carol King
Diamond or Barry Manowar! I know everyone in Dimmu has other bands, for
instance I knew you had the band Nocturnal Breed, but tell me about your
new band Insidious.
Silenoz: Well, we got Shane from Napalm Death,
and the album is complete, but we haven't got a label, we are still
MettleMaiden: Is the music going to be like
Shagrath's Chrome Division?
MettleMaiden: Oh, so more like Dismember
Silenoz: Exactly, in fact we we're going to
call one song 'One Foot In The Grave', because it sounds exactly like
Grave. We all keep busy with our side projects: Galder already has
the Old Man's Child already written, and the new Chrome Division is
MettleMaiden: You mean the CD that has that
Kiss/Motörhead meets the Cult 80's vibe?
MettleMaiden: As a founding member, when you started this band
back in '93, did you ever think you would reach the level of success the
band has accomplished?
MettleMaiden: Well, what about the make-up
Dimmu Borgir still wears, while other bands have lost the facade?
- Silenoz: Make-up is very important to the ideal
and character of Dimmu. Even Sabbat, and before that Hell, wore make-up.
They were one of the first, along with Slayer & Celtic Frost.
MettleMaiden: Going back to everyone's side
projects, has it been difficult for Dimmu Borgir to do a tour as extensive
as this one?
Silenoz: No, not really. Dimmu is everyone's
priority, everything else just gets put on ice, for the time being.
MettleMaiden: Well, thank you for your time
and making my first official interview, easier! I have enjoyed speaking
with you, and look forward to seeing you live again!
of the album In Sorte Diaboli