(On June 9th Agonia Records released In Death, the latest album by the Swedish black metal band Svartsyn. As always, it was all the work of Ornias, this time aided again by the drummer Hammerman. Norway-based Karina Noctum was able to put questions to Svartsyn, and she brings us the results of the dialogue here today.)
Svartsyn is a Swedish one-man band that started in 1991 under the name Chalice, renamed Svartsyn three years later, and ever since it has stayed true to the cold and dark Black Metal sound. Svartsyn is at the lifeless heart of Black Metal.
I think Svartsyn style is kind of trance-inducing, pretty dense. How do you achieve this sound?
I follow my instinct of how I want my sound. I work very hard to achieve this sound.
The cold Mayhem influence is totally present in the album. Besides the eerie coldness what other feelings do you want to convey through your music?
Alienation from this world is the main feeling I guess.
I think one-man bands are of a different nature, it becomes kind of a extension of the artist’s inner world. Do you agree?
Yes. I try translate my spiritual experiences into music also through my lyrics.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of working alone?
It is my ideas all the way and I don’t have to bend or compromise in case someone disagree with my ideas. Sometimes you need someone to work the ideas with to have a kind of outside or neutral opinion on the work you are presenting.
Have you sought collaboration for this album? Do you ask others to listen and give you some feedback as you write, for example?
Yes. My drummer Hammerman. And I also have another person that I play my work to, to give m e and feedback.
I have seen Svartsyn called underrated by some reviewers, but I think the band has gotten its rightful place in the underground scene and that’s what counts. I think that fewer and fewer people link fame and a huge fan base with quality nowadays. What do you think of this?
The best promotion you can do for yourself is to play live and be in magazines and be active on social medias or whatever. I really don’t care about any of those things. I don’t do this for fame or as a hobby or for money. I am totally fine with it. I just make interviews ’cause the labels asks me to, I couldn’t care less about them.
How long did it take to get the album done?
We began recording the drums in March 2016. Then we took a break and recorded the guitars and bass during the summer. And by the end of the year we recorded vocals and some additional drums. Mixing and mastering took place during February 2017. The writing process took about a year before that I think.
Where do you draw your inspiration from when you compose or write lyrics?
From the Out-of-body kind of feeling that you sometimes have after waking up from a nightmare or spiritual revelations.
What makes Svartsyn distinct from other bands in the Swedish BM scene in your opinion?
Svartsyn doesn’t rehearse 2 or 3 times a week. We don’t play live. Svartsyn doesn’t care for fame or attention. Svartsyn doesn’t work as a group composing and writing music together.
You have chosen to dwell in the original BM sound without bringing in other elements, unlike many other bands. Why is it important to maintain this orthodoxy?
This is what I do. This is the way it turns out. This is Black Metal.
How have you developed your own style without straining far from a pure BM sound?
When we started out we were inspired by bands like Burzum, Immortal, Thorns, Darkthrone, Emperor, Tormentor. And of course Mayhem. But by that time we were more inspired by the myth of Mayhem. De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas didn’t arrive until 1994 or so. The two tracks with Dead on vocals (“Freezing Moon” and “Carnage”) and Live in Leipzig were also inspirations. We have been holding on to that old feeling. Our musical inspirational direction was set early. And we still are influenced by the early wave of Norwegian black metal.
Any plans of playing live?
There are no plans of playing live. For a short period I did have plans to play live. A few selected shows here and there. but it seems it’s hard to get members.
Thank you for your time. Anything you would like to add?
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