(We present Karina Noctum’s interview of DzeptiCunt (ex-Ragnarok), bassist for the Norwegian black metal band Nordjevel, who are working on a new album named Necrogenesis which will be released by Osmose Productions and who will be embarking on a European tour with Hate in July, following appearances at Hellfest (France) and Garasjefestivalen (Norway). The interview took place during Inferno Festival 2018.)
You released an EP last year. Are you in the process of writing a new album?
Yes indeed, we are close to finishing our second album! We are very excited to see how it will turn out altogether; the songs that are already written are killer!
What stage is the album’s creation at now?
The album is in the making as we speak, we have written 6 songs and another 4-5 coming up soon. We haven’t decided which songs will be on the album yet — we’ll see when all songs are recorded. Our designer will be starting on the artwork for the upcoming album these days as well.
Who is going to produce it?
We will produce the album ourselves, like last time. We don’t feel the need to bring in others to produce our songs or sound. The lyrical theme is already set, so we will make songs and see where it takes us. What we do know, is that this album will be somewhat darker than before. Still fast, groovy and heavy…only darker!
After the recording the album will be mixed and mastered by Patric at WSL Studio like last time, as we are satisfied with his dedicated work.
The first time I saw you here at Inferno you were on the smaller stage. How were those two shows different for you if you compare them?
Our very first performance with Nordjevel was at Inferno 2016, after rehearsing with session members on both vocals and drums. Two years later we have a steady lineup and have played lots of gigs together. Playing at the small John Dee stage is always cool but being bumped up to the mighty Rockefeller was a big step up for us; the Inferno Festival obviously felt we deserved a bigger venue. In retrospect, playing at the Inferno Festival twice during our 3 years of existence is pretty good. So the difference between those two gigs was quite huge as we have more experience as a band now, and also with a steady lineup.
It seems the band has gone steadily onwards since its inception. You have got a good label. You have played at some good festivals here in Scandinavia and Europe, and this summer you will be playing at Hellfest. How has been the process of establishing a name in the scene? What kind of advice would you give to underground bands still struggling to get recognition?
Hellfest will be our biggest accomplishment up until now, but having done Inferno Festival twice, Bloodstock, and also Maryland Deathfest, you can for sure say we’re on our way to something greater. It takes a lot of hard work to get anywhere at all and we started out on our own, without any booking agents to take care of us. It has been hard work even though we are signed on a good label like Osmose Productions, and promoters obviously believe in us and like our music. We did a headlining tour in the US last year as well. No matter how hard it is to travel around in a van, that’s what you have to do in order to promote the band.
My advice to other bands out there trying to make their way through kosmos is to make good music, promote the hell out of it, work hard, and play a lot. No one knows who you are, until you throw it in their faces.
How will the composition process be for the new album, considering you guys live apart from each other?
The songs will be written with different techniques; some of them will be written by one guitarist and then sent to the others for review. Others will be be recorded with drums before anything else, then later on Nord or Valla will make their magic on top of the drums without planning or making any riffs. Our debut album was written that way, where Doedsadmiral made the lyrics first, then Widigs used them as inspiration and made the drum tracks, then Nord created the riffs, and finally Doedsadmiral added the vocals. It’s quite unusual to record this way but we wanted to try to do the same for some of the new song also, since we have a new drummer and guitarist. So far things are very promising for the new album.
I know Widigs had to leave Nordjevel because he had to focus solely on Marduk’s next album, but are you waiting for him?
No. we are not waiting for Widigs to return; we found a new drummer in order to move on. We cannot wait until another band is taking time off — Nordjevel has places to be, music to be made, and fans to please. Our new drummer Kai Speidel is doing a great job, both live and in the making of new songs. Even though he’s young we can see that he will be amongst the greatest drummers out there.
Since you didn’t wait for Widigs, will it be difficult to make the drumming sound stay in line with what he has done? In other words, will Nordjevel keep the tinge of Swedish BM sound in the future?
We don’t have any preferences for how the drumming will turn out for the new songs. Part of the magic will be inspired from the lyrics, the rest will come from other inspirational sources. The same goes for the guitars and making of the songs, inspiration will take us on the right path.
Where do you think Norwegian BM sound is heading? Has it stagnated?
I don’t know where the sound is heading, to be honest. I haven’t paid much attention the past years. In general the whole scene has somewhat stagnated for different reasons. The old bands are developing into their own thing but I rarely hear any new bands come with something interesting. Seems like the lack of inspiration is holding back the natural development of new bands; repeating what older bands have already done just doesn’t cut it anymore.
What do you think of efforts by bands to create something out of the box when it comes to BM, like Dimmu Borgir’s new stuff?
Dimmu Borgir is one of those bands that went their own way and I totally respect that. They have been out of the box all the way and were rewarded with success. They deserve the position they have because they worked hard for it, stood their ground, and kept going no matter what.
What a cool show with lots of pyro! I got dazzled. I wonder if you set this up by yourselves or the festival helped you with it? Is it expensive?
We organized the whole thing with pyro and cameras on our own, we wanted to make an impact since this was our first show at Rockefeller. Pyro is expensive indeed but a very cool effect, together with smoke and the right lighting on stage.
What other ambitions do you have after what will probably be one of your biggest gigs at Hellfest? How are you going to achieve these ambitions?
Our ambition is to keep on going, playing gigs and making albums. We will have a busy summer with both touring, festivals, and recording the new album. Our next goal is to tour on other continents — South America, Asia, and Australia are within reach, stay tuned!
Anything further you’d like to add?
I would like to take the opportunity to thank our friends and fans for all the support. We are nothing without you, see you out there!
Nordjevel will be appearing at Hellfest and Garasjefestivalen later this month and will then join Hate for the European Summer Invasion 2018 tour. The current schedule of dates is below.
Nordjevel on Facebook:
22.06: Hellfest, Clisson (FR)
29.06: Garasjefestivalen, Toten (NO)
13.07: In Flammen Open Air, Torgau (DE)
14.07: Turock , Essen (DE)
15.07: Le Cercle, Chapelle-Lez-Herlaimont (BE)
16.07: Musicon , Den Haag (NL)
17.07: Gibus Live, Paris (FR)
18.07: Le Ferrailleur, Nantes (FR)
20.07: Secret Place, Montpellier (FR)
21.07: Boarstream Open Air (DE) (Nordjevel only)
22.07: Altherax Music, Nice (FR)
24.07: Metaldays, Tolmin (SL)