Thursday, September 4, 2008

Defenders Ov The Faith: Celestial Bloodshed

*to be published in Hails & Horns Magazine
Kim Kelly 2008

“They will drown in the blood from their own....” – W.

Black metal is in a state of constant flux nowadays. You can scarcely turn around without tripping over yet another bunch of longhaired upstarts that Pitchfork is touting as the “next big thing” in BM. The evolutions and trends have come, gone, and mutated into even newer sounds; psychedelia, punk rock, folk, rock’n’roll, ambient, classical, noise and hardcore have all crept into the once-hallowed halls of grimness and left their indelible marks on the genre. What would Euronymous think of “black metalcore”? Would Quorthon be down with Nachtmystium’s acid-trip aesthetics? What (if anything coherent) could Varg possibly think of all this?
For those of us still stubbornly clinging to the traditions laid down by those immortal names above, there is some hope. There are a number of black metal bands out there who have managed to more or less ignore the past decade (and the musical/technical progressions that have come with it) and continue to create pure, raw, unadulterated BM with no frills, no experimentation, and for the love of Lucifer, no ProTools!
So what can you expect to find on such an album? Chainsaw guitars, sepulchral rasps, grating shrieks, pummeling blastbeats, and more visceral hatred than you can shake a stick at. Keyboards? None. Emperor got away with it, but half the band was wanted for murder and arson at one point – I think we can let them slide. Orchestral arrangements? No fucking way. Dimmu Borgir uses them, but drop that name in front of any true black metal warrior and see how fast it takes ‘em to split your poser skull. Breakdowns? Get the fuck outta here.
As might be expected, those bands take themselves and their mission very, very seriously. Just how seriously, you might ask? Read the following conversation I had with elite black metal horde Celestian Bloodshed’s W. and see for yourself.

-Can you give some band history for those who haven't yet heard of Celestial
Bloodshsed - when and where was the band formed, who are the members, and why
was this band brought into being?

W:The shadows called out and Celestial Bloodshed was spawned at the dawn of
the new millennium with the aim to perform the dark arts of Black Metal. After
the recording of the demo in 01' we went through different problems such as
dealing with undedicated people, imprisonment, finding a steady vocalist/
rehearsal place, etc. The usual shit.
In year four, we found a worthy throat to handle the vocals and around the
same time a founding member decided to escape into the world of humanity as we
continued to go deeper into darkness. That darkness that manifested itself in the
form of a 7" EP in year six, and now in the form of a full-length album on
Debemur-Morti Productions.
The cursed are: S.v.F: Serpent's tongue, W: Strings, T: Hellhammers and K:

-You hail from Norway, black metal's storied homeland. What is it about the
place that conjures up so many black metal, and extreme metal in general,
bands? Is it the society, the natural world, or some unknown factor?

W: I have no idea. Bad taste maybe, because 98% of the bands from Norway are
shit nowadays.

-How did you first come upon the perfect musical formula for this band - the
one that made you say, "Yes, THIS is Celestial Bloodshed"?

W: It was a feeling, the surroundings got darker and we just knew...

-How did your recent partnership with Moribund come about?

W: Debemur Morti Productions who released our album here in Europe set it up.

-Tell me about Cursed, Scarred, and Forever Possessed, your new album.

W: Cursed, Scarred and Forever Possessed contains 7 hymns that deals with
Darkness, Death, Hate, Blasphemy, depression, madness, pain and worship. This
is presented in the form of mostly cold and aggressive songs, but with some
slower parts to bring forth the madness and frustration that surrounds us at

-What is your writing/recording process like? Who handled production duties
on the record?

W: Ideas are born through experiences and thoughts and brought forth before
the band and then we work from that in different ways, not very interesting to
read about anyway. Same goes for the recording process. H.Dalen from Brygga
studios helped us with the recording and Tore Stjerna mastered it.

-Production on Cursed... is definitely very raw and "orthodox"-sounding, by
black metal standards at least. Why do you choose to record your music in such
a manner when there are a variety of modern techniques available that some say
render low-fi recording more or less obsolete? I personally prefer the more DIY
approach, as do many fans of this style, but I'm curious as to your reasoning
behind using it.

W: We wanted a sound that suited the songs and feelings behind them, to
create a atmosphere of....darkness.

-What sort of topics do you discuss in your lyrics? What is the underlying
shared philosophy of the band, be it Satanic, pagan, atheistic, or something

W: The lyrics deals with subjects as: Death, Hate, Blasphemy, depression,
madness, pain and worship. We have chosen the left hand path and struggle
Vi är en manifestasjon mot det kristna samhället och männskligheten i sin

-With a name like 'Celestial Bloodshed,' one would not be hesitant to assume
that the band is anti-Christian. What turned you against Christianity and
organized religion? If you could send one message to the "believers" of the
world, what would it be?

W: Where to start…their lies and false morals? They make weak sheep out of
proud lions? Slaves out of kings? They are blind people who refuse to seek
further than to their "god", refuse to look into the abyss. They hide behind
their "god", book and holiness! And I can see traces of them everywhere and it
disgusts me!
The message? "No matter how your paradise is shaped, there will always be a
certain snake" (not my words but the best I could think of right now that
didn't involve Fuck, Kill, Die, Perish, Flames, Hate or off.)

-Without whom would Celestial Bloodshed not exist i.e. which bands,
artists, and elements have influenced you in terms of this project

W: Us and the call to do this.

-Who would you consider to be your musical peers? Do you follow the modern
black metal scene at all? If so, what are your thoughts on its progression and
adaptation of other musical styles over the past few years?

W: I don't spend my time thinking about such things. The only scene I
follow closely is within our own Nidrosian circle, as there are too many bands
and releases nowadays and very few good ones.

-What's next for the band after the release of Cursed...?

W: We will release a 7"ep called The Serpent's Kiss through Apocalyptic
Empire Records and Terratur Possessions in near future and we are now working
on a mini lp that will be out when the time is right. Also we hope to do more
live rituals in the future.

Malum Ex Archicathedra Nigra Nidrosiensis

"Dude, They Sharpied My Dick Black" : Keepin’ It Real With THE FACELESS

*to be published in Hails & Horns Magazine
Kim Kelly 2008

Doing interviews with great bands is awesome. Preparing for interviews, however, sucks. Unless you’re an insane superfan who knows everything possible about your favorite band – including sisters’ names and shoe sizes – there’s bound to be a fair amount of research put into preparing your questions. Interviewing your heroes is hard; not only do you usually have an immense back catalog and tour history to wade through, it’s really fucking scary to talk to people who have changed your life – for example, I was literally shaking when I first spoke to Jimmy Bower and Brian Patton from Eyehategod, only to discover that they’re two of the nicest Southern gentleman you could ever hope to meet.
It’s even harder when you’re due to chat up that hot new band that everybody and their mother is covering and you can’t for the life of you think of anything remotely interesting to ask that they haven’t already rattled off an answer to earlier that week. On top of that, think of the poor band themselves! They don’t want to talk about their writing process, they don’t want to fend off questions about why their last drummer left, and they really don’t want to talk about genre tags. Really, all band dudes want to do is to go play the rad new songs they just recorded and hang out with their fans.
Keeping that in mind, I decided to take it easy on The Faceless, and show some mercy to one of the most uncompromising and bright new stars in the death metal galaxy. Instead of asking them the same boring questions that they get in every interview about their influences and gear and whatnot, I figured I’d branch out a bit and try to have some fun...then, you know, ask about their influences…

So, you guys are from LA. And DON’T play thrash metal? How does that work? Nowadays it seems like every kid in the state is issued a Flying V, a denim vest, and Bonded by Blood upon his graduation from sixth grade, then promptly offered a record deal. How does a band like The Faceless fit into the L.A. scene?

A: Well quite frankly we don't fit into the L.A scene, I suppose. Although there is a big fan base for death metal here, there's not really any successful death metal bands that I can think of from LA. In regards to the whole sudden uprising of bands composed of 18 year old kids pretending to be 80's thrashers, I find it rather strange. Maybe the next thing will be dressing up in bell bottoms and playing disco. We'll see.

What are your thoughts on NorCal? From what I observed during my time out in Cali, it seems like two different worlds – the south digs thrash and death, the north is all about black metal and depressive shit, and the middle – is there one, even? I’m an East Coast gal, so your great state is a damn near mystery to me.

A: I love NorCal. There's an amazing tech-death scene developing there with bands like Anamolous, Vile, Decrepit Birth, Odious Mortem, Severed Savior, etc. You're certainly right about the popularity of black metal and darker shit as well though. As for Central California, our singer Derek actually reps that region. He's from Santa Cruz.

How’s life under the Governator? On a more serious note, are you guys politically active at all, or has the American legal system beat you into apathy yet? And the ever-present question: who’s getting your vote for President?

A: You know, I think Arnie has done a lot of good for our state, even though Californians aren't too happy with him these days. We're a very politically opinionated group of people. We are all scared as hell of the insane people running our country and world for insane reasons. I voted for Ron Paul in the primaries, but I plan to vote for Obama.

You’ve toured extensively over the past few years, and I’m sure you’ve collected plenty of battle scars and epic tales by now. What’s the hands-down creepiest (or coolest) thing you’ve ever encountered on the road? Did you ever get a trucker to honk his horn for you or pick up any hitchhikers? I’ve never been on tour, myself, so I like to imagine that it’s just like all the road trip/horror flicks I’ve ever seen (except with blastbeats).

A: Okay, I've got a great one. Last tour our merch guy got wasted on Black Dahlia Murder's bus and ended up blacking out in their lounge. They drew all over his entire body and filmed the whole thing. He calls me in the morning to tell me this and we all had a laugh about it, but then the best part hits. 2 hours later I get a text message from him while we're all eating at a pizza hut buffet somewhere in South Carolina. "Dude. They sharpied my dick black" Apparently he didn't realize that part until he went to take a piss. When he finally met back up with us a few hours later we had to take pictures of the ridiculous spectacle.

Best story ever. I wonder how long it took him to get the Sharpie off? That's a brutal mental picture right there. Oh, and speaking of horror flicks… a few moments spent reading your lyrics conjure up some pretty frightening fare. They’re less of the zombie-gore-naked chicks variety than of the psychologically brutal, with hints of an almost classical (mythologically-speaking) epicness. Who writes the lyrics? From whence does he draw his inspiration? They’re very poetic, in a dark sort of way. “Its white skin is illuminated under pale moonlight Reminiscent of fresh snowfall The patterns formed by shadows and its hair make each square inch unique My lips still burn from the last time that I uttered its proper name Those thin wrists seem to melt in my hands My flesh on its flesh with gravity on my side I should, but won't, tread lightly on it…” (Chris Barnes, eat your heart out.)

A: There were 3 lyrical contributors to our album. Myself, Derek and our former drummer Nick Pierce. I think sometimes it's good to get your sick side out in something relatively healthy like song lyrics, so that you can function as a normal human being. The lyrics on Akeldama cover everything from the sick psychotic things you keep hidden in your head, to religion and it's horrible affects on society.

Right on. So, according to the all-knowing internet overlord that is Wikipedia, you guys are associated with Animosity, As Blood Runs Black, Brain Drill, Job for a Cowboy, Vile, and Vital Remains. Assuming that Wiki’s correct (which is a fifty-fifty chance), how does it happen that The Faceless has enlisted such a veritable who’s who of modern technical death metal/deathcore drummers over the past three years? Would you say that the current lineup is stable/permanent?

A: Well, I don't think we had any connection to As Blood Runs Black, but all the others are correct. Since the recording of our album, we've been searching for a permanent drummer. Which turned out to be quite the undertaking. We had fill ins on several tours, but I think we've finally found the drummer that we're happy with and want to keep around. Our new drummer Lyle Cooper is working out very well for us. I think at last, The Faceless can finally say that we have a stable line up.

If you had to pick a genre tag (and I know bands HATE doing this) what would you label yourselves? Now, how do you feel you transcend that label? A: Progressive death metal. Progressive can leave a lot of room for experimentation and diversity, which is something that I feel we explore. Even more so on our new material. Part of the objective of our band is to be a band that is remembered for having a unique sound that didn't fit in to this or that. Maybe they'll create some micro-sub-genre of metal for what we do some day. Haha! So, uh…what are your influences? (Told ya it was comin’!)

A: We listen to a wide variety of music. Our biggest influences would be Cynic, Spawn of Possession, Allan Holdsworth, Extol and Nile. Anything with a lot of thought put into it. However, on any given day you might find me listening to anything from Akercocke or Emperor to Steely Dan or Billy Joel.

How did you first get into heavy music? What is it that you love about it?

A: When I was a kid my older brothers and cousin listened to stuff like Sepultura, Slayer, and Deicide. I remember getting into Cannibal Corpse at a really young age and just thinking it was the most bad ass thing I'd ever heard. Now-a-days, the thing I love about metal is the freedom. You can explore any musical concept or lyrical topic for that matter.

How has your music progressed since the band’s inception? How has your sound grown, changed, and evolved since then?

A: When we formed the band, we were all in high school. I think back then we just wanted to play metal that seemed impressive and memorable to people. I think we focus a lot more on making thought provoking music now. We have much more of a focused goal for our music these days and we drop every ounce of effort and musical integrity into it we can.

What was the writing process like for your next upcoming LP, Planetary Duality? How does it differ from your last release, Akeldama?

A: Akeldama was written over the course of 3 years. Some songs being from when we were in high school and others being written right before the cd was recorded. So the new material is much more focused and matured. It involved a lot of nights in my studio just experimenting with riffs and licks. I wanted to make a record that I've always wanted to hear, but never have. I think we did a pretty good job of that. I'm really happy with it.

What’s next for you dudes? You just got back from Summer Slaughter, right?

A: We'll be doing a headline tour this October and November in which we'll be taking out Neuraxis, Veil of Maya, Decrepit Birth and Abigail Williams. From there, we're hitting the rest of the world and supporting our new record across the globe for a bit.

Any parting shots, messages, advice or threats?

A: Everything is only what your evolving consciousness allows to create as your reality. Therefore, my only advice is to not listen to anything anyone ever tells you....ever...including me. Oh, and buy our new CD. Thanks for a cool interview!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Beyond the Black: The Fall and Rise of Metal Church

*to be published in Hails & Horns Magazine
Kim Kelly 2008

So, here’s a brand-new interview with a dude named Kurdt from Aberdeen, Washington.

Now that all the closet Nirvana fans reading this have collectively shat themselves, allow me to thoroughly rain on their parade and introduce Metal Church’s Kurdt Vanderhoof, the OTHER super-influential musician to surface from beneath Washington State’s nigh impenetrable stormclouds. Metal Church were one of the first American thrash bands; their tried’n’true balls-out heavy metal thunder was a definite precursor to the hellish cacophony that was to come shredding through several years later.
In 1981, Kurdt, Mike Murphy, Kirk Arrington, Craig Wells, and Kirk Arrington started a band that they dubbed Shrapnel. Along the way, Shrapnel shed their moniker for the way-cooler tag of METAL CHURCH, covered a Deep Purple song that wasn’t “Smoke on the Water,” toured with Metallica, went through a score of lineup changes, broke up, reformed, and through it all, stayed true to themselves and the thrashy heavy metal that made them every 80’s-era hesher’s favorite band. Now it’s 2008, and the band they created is still alive and kicking ass. It’s been a long hard road, but as they say, heavy metal never dies. With a highly-anticipated new album due out any day now and the most solid lineup they’ve had in years, Metal Church are poised to reclaim their past glories and show the new generation how it’s done!
Kurdt Vanderhoof was kind enough to spare a few minutes to answer some questions and share the remarkable story of Metal Church. He’s a man of few words, but really, his music speaks for itself.

Can you shed some light on the band’s history and briefly summarize the saga of Metal Church for those who are not yet familiar with the band?

25 yrs and counting A few line-up changes and one death.

Who is currently part of the Metal Church lineup?

Ronny Munroe Vocals
Steve Unger bass
Jeff Plate Drums
Rick Van Zandt guitars
Kurdt Vanderhoof guitars

You have a brand-new record, This Present Wasteland, coming out next month. What can you tell me about its creation – writing, recording, and how you managed to capture that old-school Metal Church vibe in 2008?

The approach was pretty much the same and steering away from trends keeps us consistent in what Metal Church is known for.

What kind of expectations did you have for the album when you first started writing new material? How do you feel about the record now that it’s done, pressed, and soon to be unleashed upon the masses?

No real expectations, I have learned that it’s not a good idea these days to have to many of those. I’m quite proud of it actually , I think it has some good Metal tunes on it and I think it will please the Metal Church fans.

How do you feel it fits in with the rest of your catalogue?

I do think it’s one of the better records of the last few years. I think it will be a good statement to where Metal Church is now.

Metal Church has always been a very positive sort of band – no Satan, no gore, no inverted crosses, just pure heavy metal. What sort of lyrical subjects come up on the new record?
The lyrics have a slight theme running through it this time. It deals with the state of the music industry and the current state of people in America.

Will you be touring to promote This Present Wasteland?

We are going to try.

Metal Church has long been hailed as one of the forefathers of thrash metal, and a knowledgeable ear can pick out traces of the MC sound stamped all over the genre. What do you think of the current thrash metal revival?

I like it - as long as they have a good singer, who actually can sing!

You’ve been involved in heavy metal for over two decades now, if not more. How have you personally seen it change and grow over the years? The ‘80s put metal on the map, the ‘90s tried to kill it off, and nowadays it seems as though heavy metal is finally coming back into the limelight and getting some of the respect it deserves.

I think it is too, I don’t think it can ever truly die.

How did you get into heavy metal in the first place? What drew you to it, and why do you still love it so much?

It first appealed to the aggression of the typical teenager. And unlike the Punk movement it had a lot more musicality and skill.

How does it feel to be the only other famous band to come out of Aberdeen, Washington? I can imagine how sick of hearing about Kurt Cobain and grunge you must be by now!

Well, if you knew what type of town Aberdeen is then its quite remarkable that it had any musicians that went national to come out of it. In that respect, I’m quite proud.
And yeah, to a point I guess I am, but, Nirvana really changed things and I have to respect them for that.

Can you tell me a bit about Vanderhood and Presto Ballet? What’s going on with those projects now that Metal Church is keeping you so busy?

Vanderhoof morphed into Presto Ballet. I just released the 2nd Presto Ballet album called “The Lost Art Of Time Travel” and we are playing the Calprog festival this October.
Presto is a labor of love for me.

It’s been quite a wild ride for you guys, but through all the lineup changes, solo projects, and heartbreaks, you’ve stayed strong and true to your roots. What is it that has kept this band going? What has caused you to continue the fight and not give up on Metal Church? What inspires you to continue?

I think it’s the fact that there is nothing more important to me than music. And as long as somebody is enjoying what I’m doing then that in itself is its own reward.

What is next for Metal Church?
Well, after the 1st of the year we hope to do some shows but it’s really hard to say at this point. I hope we can get out and play a bit. I will be working in the studio and trying to put together a Live album and hopefully release the Metal Church remasters next year.

Any parting words or thoughts you’d like to share?

Thanks to everybody for all the long years of support. It means a lot to us!

Sex, Drugs, & Rock'n'Roll Blasphemy: CHROME DIVISION

*to be published in Hails & Horns Magazine
Kim Kelly 2008

Rock’n’roll was never meant to be serious. Sure, its bastard offspring in metal, punk, and hardcore have been known to take their music very seriously indeed (deadly serious, as any extreme metal historian will tell you) but the spring from which those myriad rivers flow is another story entirely. Rock music wants to stay out all night, slug down its weight in whiskey, and maybe pick up a hooker or two, not stay home and mope about the human condition! Sure, it takes its music seriously, and it always there to lend a hand to a buddy in need, but as Bjorn Luna of unholy rollers Chrome Division will tell you, when it comes down to it, rock’n’roll really is all about the booze, the broads, and Ol’ Nick himself…

Cheers! The new record’s a killer; what can you tell me about the rock’n’roll behemoth that is Booze, Broads, and Beezlebub?
- Cheers. It’s our second album. We’re very proud of it right now. It’s like your new born baby, only this is a hell of a lot cooler!! With this album I think the band has established a style and a sound that is ours. We have grown stronger as a unit and conjured up some classic Rock songs.

How did you split up the writing process between such a talented, larger-than-life group of musicians (they don’t call it a ‘supergroup’’ for nothing!)
- Well, it’s pretty much guitar-based music, so it’s natural that our guitarists are credited for the writing. The arrangements and the final compositions are made quite democratically at rehearsals. We’re jamming most of the riffs, and mold them into songs.

The idea of Chrome Division has been floating around since 1999, but you guys didn’t really start revving the engine ‘til 2004. What inspired you guys to start doing this project in earnest?
- Like most bands, it all starts with an idea with people with common interests. So this was something that Shagrath and I had talked about for a while, but Dimmu Borgir took all of his time. Fortunately Dimmu decided to take a year off, and then finally there were room for trying this out. What inspired this idea I believe comes from the old feeling of excitement over bands that we listened to growing up. You know, the classic Rock / Metal bands like Motörhead, Iron Maiden, Kiss etc. So I say we pay tribute to this classic Rock and we try to develop a modern touch to this kind of music, and finally release it to the kids of today who’s seemingly engrossed by boring happy post-punk music.

You and the other members of Chrome Division come from a more extreme metal background, and yet you’re seemingly having the time of your lives playing in this badass hard rock band. Do you think you will end up incorporating more of those extreme elements into Chrome Division’s sound over time, or are you happy with it as it is?
- No. I believe it’s important to cultivate the genre. I know we’ve incorporated some more stuff this time around, like a bit more Metal parts, some Punk stuff, but it never gets out of proportions. It’s all within the frames of what we think has a clear expression of Heavy Rock. It gets more focused and strong that way. If the expression gets too wide, it kinda falls between two chairs, if you get my drift…

That ZZ Top cover kicked some major ass. Why did you pick that song to cover, and how do you think that that Southern rock swagger fits into Chrome Division’s sound?
- I think it fits perfectly, even though the original song is 20+ years old! You know, the album “Eliminator” was in fact a bit cheesy soundwise, but the songs were great (and still are). Picking this song was my idea actually. I’ve been a fan of ZZ Top and a lot of Southern Rock bands since forever. In addition, Chrome Division has a strong biker Rock image which also fits to this kind of music. Not that we’re converting to this in the future or anything, but it’s cool to pick a cover that initially seems quite different then turn it into your own song.

As you mentioned, Chrome Division relies heavily on biker iconography and a hard partyin’ image to back up their sleazy balls-to-the-wall rock songs. What goes on behind the booze and the flame stencils - meaning, how seriously do you guy take this project? Is it a main priority for any of you or just a way to blow off steam between working with your other projects?
- It got serious pretty fast. It was just the first few weeks from we’d started that we were unsure of the outcome of the project. But as we soon found out that it worked out very well and the songwriting went swimmingly, we considered it as a real band. For me personally, I have Chrome Division as first priority. In fact, it’s just Shagrath who has to prioritize Dimmu, but you know, there’s a major difference in size here.

How did you first become interested in this type of music? How old were you when you first heard gritty raw rock’n’roll, and what is it about this style of music that you love so much?
- You know, it’s often that the music you hear when you’re, say twelve or thirteen years old ends up with the one you’ll cherish most the rest of your life. Music (and really, all kinds of stuff) has a huge impact on you when you’re at that age. To me, it all started with Kiss in the late seventies. Back then it was almost more important with the image rather than the music. But after a while I discovered that the world had a lot more to offer with great Rock bands. I think I was thirteen when I started to collect records. My first real hard Rock album was “Ace of Spades” by Motörhead. I loved it then and I love it now. It’s the energy and the strong rebellious expression that attracts me to this style of music.

Do you think the world really needs another hard rock band? What do you think Chrome Division has to offer that hasn’t been done before – something that really sets you apart from the pack?
- Well, I have to be honest here and say that we don’t really offer anything new, and that’s not the intention either. It’s more like taking a well-known style and trying to bring forth the strongest of it, and make the best music you can out of that. We’re working hard on making our songs memorable and interesting without necessarily doing anything really special.

Booze, Broads and Beelzebub might just be the most honest title I’ve ever come across; I mean, really, isn’t that what heavy metal’s all about? How did you guys decide that that was the perfect title?
- The title has in fact stayed with us almost from the beginning. It was intentional for the debut. However, we called that “Doomsday Rock ‘n Roll”, to in a way describe our style to the new audience. So when we made songs for this second album we made a song with that phrase and then it was obvious what we should call it. The idea came from the old phrase “Sex, drugs and Rock and Roll”. It’s our way of rephrasing it, and of course it suits our lyrics very well. We never really sing about anything else.

Who writes the lyrics? Are they as important as the music itself, or would you say they serve as more of a complement – the icing on the cake, so to speak.
- It’s our singer, Eddie Guz, who writes most of the lyrics. He writes for entertainment only. No politics and no moral preaching, so the importance is limited. When a song is made, it’s always the music first, then the lyrics are put in in the end. However, a cool song has to have cool lyrics. I think he succeeds in that.

How is this album different from Doomsday Rock’n’Roll?
- There’s no huge differences, but the variation is more evident. We’ve incorporated a little bit more Punk and good doze of Metal in addition to our Rock ‘n’ Roll basis. The songs are stronger and more instantly catchy. Also this time the production is better. It sounds more powerful due to a good and expensive studio. “Doomsday” was a very spontaneous album, “Booze” is more worked through.

How do you feel about the album, now that it’s been set loose into the world?
- You know, that’s a bit strange because we recorded this as early as January this year. So we’ve been living with the album for a long time now. Suddenly there are a lot of people showing interest. The cool thing is that, in spite of the time, the album still sounds really cool and I don’t get tired of it.

How did you guys end up on Nuclear Blast? Do you feel like the label is a good fit for you?
- We already had the connection through Dimmu, but it wasn’t until after we’ve recorded the debut the actual contract was written. It’s a really good label with a huge net of connections. The only thing is that Nuclear Blast is a pure Metal label, and I think we’re the only ones who play Rock ‘n’ Roll. But it seems that the Metal audience has no problems of accepting this.

What’s going on with your other project, Ashes to Ashes, while you’re away doing Chrome Division stuff? Is the band on hiatus or are you doing a juggling act between the two?
- Well, actually Ashes to Ashes is put on ice. So Chrome Division is my full time band now. The third album of Ashes to Ashes is recorded and it only missing some mixing and stuff, but the process is put on hold for indefinite time.

I’ve noticed that you’ve got some pretty sick Evil Dead tattoos; I guess it’d be safe to call you a horror fan, eh? What would you say has been the best and has been the most disappointing horror films of the last couple years? Do you take any inspiration for your musical endeavors from horror movies, or are they just an interest?
- Yeah, the Evil Dead piece is my last one. I’ve got tattoos with elements from “The Exorcist”, “The Omen”, “The Thing”, “Hellraiser”, “Alien” etc. My horror enthusiasm comes really across on my body now. To Chrome Division it wouldn’t fit with a strong horror image. But bands like Necrophagia succeeds in the combination of Metal and horror. When it comes to late flicks, I can’t think of any. I’m a fan of movies between the 60’s and the 80’s. After that it’s become rare to find some real scary ones. The J-Horror movement was a breath of fresh air, and then came all the American remakes which are shit.

What do you do when you’re not rocking out onstage or in the studio? Do you have a “day job”?
- Yeah. I work at a printing place, making T-shirts and stuff. It’s a really cool place were we can play loud Rock music and get rowdy. He he! I don’t think I would manage to work at a quiet place behind a desk.

Does Chrome Division have any plans to tour in support of the new record?
- Yeah, but little is confirmed. There have been some rumors about a small USA-tour in November, and we’re going to Germany in February, but first we’ll play some shows here in Norway.

What’s next for you guys?
- Just rehearsing a real killer live set, and putting it out to people whenever we have the chance. Soon we will continue writing for our third album.

Any parting shots or final words?
- Thank you for supporting Chrome Division. It’s nice to get so much attention during the release. I hope a lot of you guys will buy our album and have a blast with it. Invite friends, serve beer and crank it up!