In the world of extreme music, few bands are more well known, and more infamous, than Mayhem. One of the founding bands of the notorious Norwegian black metal scene, and one of the most influential, Mayhem has a long and storied history. At the center of this epic story is one of the most well known and highly regarded albums in extreme music: De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. Recorded during a tumultuous time for both the band and the scene, it is now considered a classic. In celebration of its legacy, Mayhems latest tour has featured the band playing the album in its entirety. The band recently announced they were bringing this highly anticipated tour to Australia, exciting fans across the country. We were recently give the chance to sit down with the band’s frontman Attila Csihar to discuss the upcoming tour.
The band have been touring with this show extensively and on of the biggest highlights for Attila has been the fan response. “It has been a lot of tours and we are back from a one month long United States tour, went there second time this year, and we pretty much go around the whole states. I must say it’s been amazing and even the second run is great. The fans have been great, good turn out, good vibe. Its great. Busy playing music, that’s what we are here for that’s my love and my life and my work too. It’s amazing. Tiring sometimes you know but I like challenges. We are not so young compared to the band itself, we are more than 30 years old! Its fucking great still doing this and being intense like this. It nothing I could imagine or forsee. My first job in ’86!.”
Mayhem have been around for 30 years, yet still regularly output new material of a high quality. We asked Attila why the band has decided now to tour their eponymous album in its entirety. “I tell you what, we just had an offer suddenly when playing in Sweden two years ago in a festival. ‘What if you guys play the whole Mysteriis album’, and we always say no but we were like you know what fuck it! Because we had two great guitar players finally after a couple of years of struggling (with the line up). And then we had to rehearse the whole thing and then we played the thing and it was incredibly good. We even managed to make a DVD of it, it’s a bit underground but we have a DVD of it so after that we were like fuck, maybe we should just do it now. We never thought it was right before because this album is very special you know. It’s not just Mayhems first full length but all the stuff that happened with the album, after all the stuff that happened, people passing away in our band and like for us it was really dark and emotional. With how much we love to play this whole album, somehow it required a higher level of unity and something more. You know something else. And we thought maybe this is the right time now that we have the right line up and it felt good. And then we had immediately felt of course we have to do this. Okay fuck it let’s do it! And then we just jumped into it. Now that we are doing this, let’s do it right! Let’s set up a tour.”
This tour announcement was one of the more anticipated and exciting tour announcements for next year. The band were very well received by fans on their last tour here, and with the announcement that they would be touring their most popular album fans have made their excitement known. So does Attila have an impression of Australian fans, and is he looking forward to coming back to our shores? “I’m really looking forward to it, I am always loving it, you know its like, so exotic. It amazing playing our music there, it’s fucking great! The fans, you know, really nice people . You people, you got a bit more cheer compared at least to our part of the world with all this fucking gloom. And the vibe you know it’s so relaxed, and it’s on the other fucking side of the world you know. If I have a day off, I would really love to see the details and the nature, the ocean even the inland; to travel a little bit around, and the vineyards so fucking nice! So many different things there and there is music to play and the fans.”
Mayhems back catalogue is one of the more well known and respected in the genre. But what about new material? Does the band have plans to record a new album in the future? “Sure, sure sure. We are already working on some ideas. Like I told you it’s not even planned what is going on. Definitely not the plan to stop so we are going to come up with a new album. Not sure what it’s going to be. Also it is really strange and weird , we just tour too much. It was at the right time and I could play more songs from that album. Who knows what’s going to happen but for sure when we have a few months off that is the plan. Who knows what’s for sure? But that is the fucking plan for sure.”
In light of the excellent news that a new album is most likely in the future, it brings to mind the question of influences. Many an interview has been done on what has influenced Attila and the band in the past, but what influences them now? “I mean for me when I am composing it is always, I totally lean myself into it. So many things inspire me. There is a lot of shit going on today, there is so much information can reach. But musically I have a lot of bands that have inspired me in the past you know. When I am doing my music sessions sometimes I go and checking out new bands. So music to be honest. I love futuristic stuff, stuff ahead of its time. I get the inspiration in so many different styles. Not even just music, books, I am upstairs studying the spiritual stuff . Mayhem is very into the dark aspect of nature, the dark side which is part of the nature. It’s a part of us and and I think it’s, for me personally and my lifes path, about finding balance because you can’t have light without dark. There can’t be good without pain or bad. I think if you embrace the duality and if you can find the meaning or the thought of nature somehow you can embrace it and it somehow feels liberating sometimes . Just trying to find out, I am 46-47 years old, why the fuck I am doing this.”
Mayhem will be touring Australia in January 2018.
Tickets available here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/o/soundworks-direct-14354693363 !