Morbid Mag

Blood In The Snow

Here is a man that actually needs no introduction. He has many times been criticized for being egotistic, but that is a great way to get things the way you want, right? And as long as he and people enjoy it - so what??? I spoke to Quorthon over the phone while he was in London after his new album had been released - find out what happened...

Why don't you start by telling us a bit about your new album "Blood on Ice"?

Well, we laid down tracks for 2 albums, because we wanted to do a double album. We recorded 25 tracks and picked out the best ones we wanted to put on the record. We have progressed our sound since "The Sign Of The Black Mark" - and came up with a better sound as well. The album was recorded in a small studio with hardly no gear at all, and then we took the master tape into a studio with computers and all kinds of shit and mixed it and it turned out really well. I did have some problems with my voice but apart from that it went extremely well.

MFN released both your two first albums when you signed them. What was actually the purpose of doing so? Didn't the Bathory fans already have them?

When we signed to Music For Nations, they had a much better distribution than before, and our records was placed in stores where they hadn't been sold before.

How was the sales figures then?

Counting all the labels, worldwide, we have sold about a quarter of a million albums. That is altogether.

Now, that New Renaissance Records is currently out of business - how does that effect Bathory?

Well, we are seeking a US label right now. So far people in the US can only buy the album on import. The contract we had with them is no longer valid as they can't do anything for Bathory at the moment. They have had alot of shit with record distributors and bands I was told, who owes them a great deal of money. It is very sad because the girls that works there are sooo nice.

Now, let us hear the true story about your promotion trip in The States when you were supposed to have been put in jail for blowing fire on top of a building in Los Angeles?

I wasn't actually put in jail. It was our camera man that wanted me to blow fire on top of this building.When we got up there I started up the fireworks and someone of the 16th floor called the police department and the fire department. Luckily enough for us we managed to get away before they showed up. I did have some problems with the police afterwards but I wasn't put in jail.

What about the one-man-band status you have got from the press?

It is strange because journalists and people that write to me and never get any answer, makes up stories about that. Or, if I am being interviewed they change my statements. The reason I did "The Sign Of The Black Mark" on my own was that I couldn't find musicians that were dedicated enough to go ahead with Bathory, people who were 100% into the band. Now however, I have found people that are into it and we will take it from there. People that get the one man band status are often the mind behind the music, and everything. They don't even have to be a one man band. They compose, arrange, play various instruments and produce their music in many cases. Therefore, I don't why this should be something negative - the press makes a negative thing about it.

How come Bathory has never toured Scandinavia? I mean you had a full line up a couple of years ago so...?

We couldn't bring our stage with us here in Scandinavia and still can't. For Bathory it is important to have a impressing stage show so that the audience get something in return for the ticket they have paid for. I think it is boring just standing there with no effects or pyro-technics. We will be doing shows in the US as soon as we get a tour lined up as there are quite a few Bathory followers over there, and then some big places in Europe. Then we will bring our stage show with us and that will cost a lot of money.

What is your opinion on the way big selling magazines treat the satanic bands nowadays? I mean, a couple of years ago it was trendy singing about Satan and things like that, while now it seems like it is trendy NOT to sing about that, and to make those who do, look like shit. Many 'zines have actually started doing it too now.

First of all, I am not personally into satanism. I have just been interested in the subject for a long, long time and I know a lot about it. To me it is like a protest against God. What makes God and Christianity any better? I mean, the Christians has killed more people in the history than all the world wars together. That is what the title on the new album is about too. I am not against satanic lyrics but I am against satanic worshipping. People that barbecue animals and things like that. I do see he trendiness among the magazines and it isn't right at all.

I heard a Swedish interview with you on the radio where you said you actually screamed into a microphone for half an hour before you do your raw vocals. Do you still do that?

Yeah, the last time I did that was on the album. It is hard and sometimes I lose my voice if I keep singing for a long period of time.

It has become quite popular making promotion videos now. Where does Bathory stand on that issue?

Well, we will be making 2 videos. The first one will be a promotion video which will be shout outdoor in a deserted place here in Sweden that looks very Scandinavian. Next up we will do another video that will last about an hour or so, with loads of unreleased material on it - rare stuff. There will also be some live songs with our stage show for people that haven't seen us live. (I guess many people will buy that one as few has seen them live - ed) We want to put out something really special.

I understand you know Pelle Dead of Mayhem?


(Then I explain about a little guinea pig affair in Stockholm - and he starts raising his voice. Aha, it looks like he knows him very well I think, but since the answer was very negative that part will be cankered. Rather ask Pelle or Quorthon yourself).

You have been accused by Onslaught to have ripped off their idea about a double album, as well as the title. What is your comment?

Oh, well, we used to be on the same record company, unless now they are too big - ha ha!! They didn't sell records, we did. The record company said, here we have 2 bands, one from Sweden that sells records and another band from England that don't sell records and they want to call their album "Blood Upon The Ice" or something like that, what do we do? Onslaught wanted us to change the title, but with the support from the record company we didn't have to do that. Both of us wanted to do a double album, but we didn't and they changed label so.... Now they are giving us and the record company a lot of shit.

Then I got to know all their plans about taking promotion photos up in the cold mountains of Norway with snow and everything and jokes about Norwegians which I dislike very much because they are stupid (We have just as many if not more (he he) about the Swedish people, but I don't think they are funny either) and some news about the Swedish scene. Me and Quorthon agreed upon that there should be a better relationship between Norway and Sweden when it comes to the underground (at least) - we should help each other out a lot more often. That goes for Denmark and Finland too.

Interview From Morbid Mag Vol. 3 #4, 1988
Provided by Emmett Rees.
Taken from Twilight web-site.

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