a formation norvégienne God Seed a connu une genèse difficile. Fondé au lendemain de la dispute légale qui déchirait les anciens membres de Gorgoroth, le groupe mené par King Ov Hell et Gaahl a donné des concerts, lancé un CD live, puis s’est tu. C’est donc avec étonnement que nous apprenions son retour dans l’actualité, avec un line-up complet et un premier album, appelé I Begin (2012), qui paraîtra plus tard au mois d’octobre. Afin d’en savoir un peu plus, j’ai eu la chance de poser quelques questions à Tom Visnes, mieux connu sous son pseudonyme de King Ov Hell.
Métal Obscur. You took everyone by surprise earlier this year when you announced the resurrection of God Seed, with Gaahl back at vocals. What’s the story behind this event, after all that was said and written about this project since 2009?
King Ov Hell. I dont view it like this. I have worked with Gaahl since 1999. This album is what we want to make in 2012. There have been lots of things happening in the outside world which has been sort of disturbing, but our musical work has never stopped or been affected by this. Gaahl had a little break with his retirement from metal, but we just put it on ice for a while.
MO. Gaahl stated in a 2009 Terrorizer Mag interview that he was done with Metal and its imagery. Why did he change his mind about it? Did you have to convince him?
King Ov Hell. Well, you have to adress this question to Gaahl. We never stopped working musically, but I guess neither of us would classify our new record as a metal record in sense of lifestyle or metal brotherhood. I have never viewed myself as part of any metal culture and we use metal music as a platform to express our art.
MO. Maybe I should ask Gaahl about this, but was he affected by all this mockery nonsense about its declared sexual orientation?
King Ov Hell. I wouldn`t believe he is, but you have to adress this question to Gaahl.
MO. What can we expect with the first God Seed album? Will it sounds like Gorgoroth’s late albums, or did you take a different path? If you had to describe this first record, what would you say?
King Ov Hell. Well, it`s hard to describe your own music, but I wanted a different sound on this record than we had done before. It is always import to change. You can not grow if you stagnate in common patterns. I have therefore incorporated some of my 70s influences into « I Begin ». We also got new members in the band. These members have been important creating the sound which is God Seed. They all have a unique way of playing and able to go into musical territories without limits and narrow minded stupidity.
MO. Musicians were recruited to complete the line-up: Sir (Trelldom, Djerv) – Guitar ; Kenneth Kapstad (Motorpschyco) – Drums ; Geir Bratland (Dimmu Borgir) – Keys & Noise ; Lust Kilman (The Batallion, Grimfist) – Guitar. How were they selected and on what criteria?
King Ov Hell. They needed to function with us both socially and musically. Besides of that we wanted members in the band with strong personality in their playing. It is an honor working with musicians on such a level. God Seed is a band with 6 members now and not a duo.
MO. Did you compose I Begin alone, or did other members help you in the process? If so, how did they contribute?
King Ov Hell. I wrote most of the material for this record prior anyone else got involved in the process. Since the other members joined we have functioned as a band resulting Lust Kilman writing a song on the album and Geir Bratland doing a track. I have also worked closely with Geir on making the key arrangements on the record. Kenneth Kapstad is originally a jazz drummer and has a unique playing style. « I Begin » is the first chapter for the band. I am looking forward to work as a tight unite on the next record. I believe this to be the strongest line up I have taken part of so far.
MO. It’s been three years now since the end of the judiciary saga surrounding Gorgoroth’s name and imagery ownership. Looking back at it now, do you have any regrets, things you would have done differently, or do you still think it was the right battle to wage?
King Ov Hell. I don’t think too much about this. Its part of the past.
MO. Is OV Hell still an active project?
King Ov Hell. It’s not an active project. I am too busy with my other activities right now, but you never know what the future brings.
MO. You also play with the band Sahg, which plays a completely different kind of metal. Is it important for you to perform in different music style?
King Ov Hell. I do not think like that. I make music as I like it myself, whether it being pop, jazz or metal. In Sahg, which I have left now, I was interested in playing the bass, but God Seed represents something more to me than just music.
MO. I always ask veterans musicians about their opinion on current Black Metal scene, in Scandinavia and abroad. Are you listening to newer bands? What do you think of actual Black Metal, as opposed to the 1990s?
King Ov Hell. I m not listening much to metal music these days. I focus on my own art and I do not want to be a commentator on other artists’ music in public.
MO. You have a pretty fructuous career so far. What achievements are you the most proud of? In the opposite, anything you would wipe from your resume?
King Ov Hell. I think whatever I have done in my past is what makes my future. I do not see any point regretting anything in life. It is all something one can draw some knowledge from. I am the moment closest attached to my latest work, « I Begin« . If it that makes me prouder of it than previous releases I do not know.
MO. It’s an open secret that you are not unanimously liked by some other Norwegian Black Metal musicians. Very strong statements have been made against you, both on your music and beliefs. Your thoughts on that? Is this situation affects you in any way?
King Ov Hell. I do not care what others might say or think of me or my music. As long as it is true and honest to me I do not have to answer to anyone else.
MO. Have you ever listened to Quantos Possunt ad Satanitatem Trahunt (ie. Gorgoroth’s last full-length)? If so, what did you think of it? If not, why?
King Ov Hell. It’s a good album.
MO. Thank you very much for your time