The name Satyricon is practically synonymous with Black Metal. Part of the burgeoning Norwegian scene in the early 90s, Satyricon have spent 25 years developing their sound into something truly unique in the Black Metal landscape. More refined than ever with their latest offering ‘Deep Calleth Upon Deep,’ Satyricon bring deeply thoughtful and spiritual lyrics to the harsh and frostbitten world of their infernally heavy music. Frontman and multi-instrumentalist Satyr, and drummer Frost share their cerebral outlook on the upcoming Australian tour and more.
Thinking back to the previous Australian tour with the now-defunct Soundwave Festival, Satyr comments, “In general I can say that Australia is one of my favourite places to go to on Earth. I mean, I absolutely love Australia, and I wish it wasn’t so far away, because if it wasn’t I would come travelling there, just with my family and things like that.
“For me, if I am to enjoy something fully, I have to like being at the place, it can’t just be a good crowd alone. I have to enjoy the entire vibe about going somewhere, and I like the people, I like how exotic and different it is compared to my country. And also, because a little bit of the connection we have with Australia in the early 90s, I feel that it is one of those, let’s call it ‘far away’ countries, where we’ve had a connection. You know, back in the early 90s, Danielle and these people from Modern Invasion came over and listened to us in Norway, and through my own record label Moonfog that I had back at the time, I had distribution in Australia when I put out records with bands like Darkthrone and Thorns and Gehenna, and whatnot. So we did a tour there in ’06 or ’07 for the first time with the ‘Now, Diabolical’ record, and we came back with ‘The Age of Nero’ and then with the self-titled record, we did Soundwave. So it took a while for us to get there the first time, but ever since I would suggest that we’ve been there pretty frequently. I mean, every record since we were there the first time. So for me, this is going to be one of the highlights. Australia and Japan is going to be the last thing that we do on this world tour, unless something comes up that is not in the making right now. So the group of people who come to Australia are prepared, to put it like that! We’ve done this before,” he chuckles.
Moving on to discuss ‘Deep Calleth Upon Deep,’ Satyr offers a personal reflection. “As I was driving to the gym today – it’s about a 20 minute drive – for some reason I decided that I wanted to just scroll through the album and listen to about 20 seconds of each of the songs to just see what it sounds like. I haven’t done that in a while. And then as I did that, I just kept smiling in the car by myself thinking that this sound, this atmosphere, this vibe, this is really who we are these days. This is Satyricon 2018. That’s what I’ve felt.”
Frost muses, “It sounds like what Satyricon is about at the moment. It displays our spirit until now, or perhaps more correctly at the time of recording. It is still the spirit of the band. It’s a very expressive, dynamic album. It’s very vocal, it’s very, very dynamic. It’s full of spirit and passion, it’s full of emotion. There are very, very profound depths, there are high peaks. It’s very happening, but also it’s very musical, I feel. Most of all, there’s something very spiritual and personal about the album, and I feel that we have managed to express ourselves, our innermost feelings, to a much deeper extent than what we have managed to do on any other album. So that’s probably tells you a little about the evolution that has happened in Satyricon up to this album, in a musical, technical and spiritual sense.”
One of the standout tracks on the album is To Your Brethren in the Dark, and Frost offers his commentary on the curious video, almost a short film, developed to go with it. “We have done a lot of different types of music videos over the years. I think we were pretty much pioneers in the genre when we made the Mother North video. There were a few Black Metal videos that had been done up to that point, but they were really on an amateur level, and we tried to do something that at least had a little more of a professional feel to it. And after that we got to look further, doing it properly with the Fuel for Hatred video, which we had directed by one of the most high-profile video directors of the time, so we had a really high star in that scene. We’ve done several other music videos, but most of them have been videos displaying the band performing the songs to some degree. When we did the new album, we needed something else, we needed a different approach, a new, different kind of energy and a different kind of atmosphere. It’s not going to be about the band performing the song, it’s not going to be a live energy, it’s going to be something else. We really wanted something that was more like a short movie, and we presented our ideas to several directors, and there was one team that pretty much came up with the idea that fit our vision the most, and helped us create that kind of video that we wanted to make for this album. And also the song To Your Brethren in the Dark really requires something that is more of a spiritual and artistic nature than something that is full of live band energy.”
Prior to releasing ‘Deep Calleth Upon Deep,’ Satyricon released a 20th anniversary remaster of ‘Nemesis Divina.’ Satyr offers his thoughts on the classic album. “I think as an artist it is something that, you know, you look to achieve with your music, to have it make an impact. So the sequence of things to me is that I try and make music that I would like to hear myself. That’s where I start, and once I’m there I’m hoping that what I do fills people’s musical lives with meaning and purpose, that it can inspire them whether they are just listeners or performers, or performers and listeners, and to me it’s important to do something that is important further down the road, not just now. I always thought that was so strange, let’s say in pop music, you have something that is a big hit for a very short period of time, and then that’s it. Which is really different. I was listening to Rainbow in the car going back home, and that’s a highly relevant band and all the musicians and the things that they’d done to get there, it’s made a huge impact on people’s lives, both performing artists and listeners, and that’s an example of the complete opposite, and it has withstood the test of time.”
From his own perspective, Frost puts forward, “There was something quite youthful and wild and untamed about this one. And we certainly wouldn’t make music in the same way today, and there are also parts of the album that almost feel a bit alienating, but still it carries the spirit of Satyricon as Satyricon was in 1995, going into ’96, and we were in a very timely and happening space. And that kind of spirit is something that will never fade or become irrelevant.”
Coming back to the Australian tour, Satyr has a final, poignant message for Australian fans. “I hope that you think about this the way I do. Under no circumstances do I consider it something that I can take for granted. I am a very lucky man who gets to go all the way from Norway to Australia to play rock concerts. That makes me a very privileged person. And I will cherish each and every moment, and I’m very fortunate that I get to play these shows, and I hope that whoever considers going to any of these shows understand and do not take it for granted that Satyricon will be coming back. We will be there now, and maybe we will come back some other time, maybe we’ll not. The future is uncertain. So I hope to see all of you there in September. I will be there, that’s for sure.”
GET TICKETS FOR SATYRICON’S UPCOMING AUSTRALIAN TOUR HERE!