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Dimmu Borgir
Interview mit Silenoz [Dimmu Borgir], März 2017, mailer



Das lange Warten hat endlich ein Ende! Im April veröffentlichen die norwegischen Symphonic-Black-Metaller Dimmu Borgir ihre DVD „Forces Of The Northern Night“ mit zwei großartigen Live-Auftritten inklusive Orchester. Doch das ist längst nicht alles: Aktuell befinden sich die Musiker mit Produzent Jens Bogren im Studio, um ein neues Album aufzunehmen, das ebenso 2017 veröffentlicht werden soll. Gitarrist und Songwriter Silenoz verriet mir die ersten Details.

Hello Silenoz, in the end of April Dimmu Borgir will release “Forces Of The Northern Night”. How much time did you spend with the realization of this DVD?

Silenoz: This DVD should have been out earlier, but due to several reasons it took this long and I guess it’s for the best now, as we have an album coming out at the end of this year and it’s good to introduce the band back into the scene now with this upcoming DVD. For many fans it has been difficult to wait so long, but it will have been worth the wait!

The DVD contains your sold out show in Oslo with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra & Choir as well as your Wacken performance in 2012 with the National Czech Symphonic Orchestra. How did both collaborations come about? Who got the balls rolling?

Silenoz: For the Oslo show we were approached by the Norwegian Radio Orchestra / KORK prior to recording the previous album, because we were planning to use a real orchestra – but it was a pure coincidence that they got in touch and wanted to do a show with us. So we said: “Okay, let’s just do a deal here – you play on our album and then we do a show together later on.” That’s basically how it came about. It could have been an expensive thing if we had approached them, but since they contacted us, it was a quite easier.

How did you “transfer” your songs into those lines and notes for the orchestras? Who took care of the arrangements?

Silenoz: The musician who transcribed the music for the orchestra was assisted by Gaute Storaas who had worked with us before on the last records and that turned out really well. So he was responsible for that “mystical” part.

During the two shows you shared the stage with about 100 musicians. How often and especially where did you rehearse with all those people?

Silenoz: For the Oslo show we rehearsed at the NRK studios, an old building that the Germans actually occupied during the war, so there has been lots of old equipment like microphones from the 50s and such things – of course this was ultracool for technical nerds like me. It was pretty much the same in Prague, we all met in a sort of city hall – it looked like from the communist era, haha…

What have been the challenges during the realization of this big project? Which problems did you have to struggle with?

Silenoz: Actually we faced hardly any problems on both shows. Of course it needed a lot of preparation, which helped avoid many problems. But I was positively surprised that it all went so well, because there are so many details that you have to gamble with. At Wacken for example you are not able to do a soundcheck! On tour, just the band itself normally needs one hour for the soundcheck, so imagine not even getting five minutes with an entire orchestra! So many things could go wrong, but in the end it went pretty smooth.

Which reactions did you get from the orchestra people/musicians? I guess that lots of them found themselves in uncharted waters, that Symphonic Black Metal was a total new experience for them…!?

Silenoz: Some were really looking forward to it, as they knew us from the beginning on, but others were of course skeptical. But once we went through the songs and people knew their parts, they seemed to be pretty into it. Several people from both orchestras later came to us and thanked us that they got the opportunity to do something different and challenging, so that was a big honor for us, too. And I guess the rocking trombone guy from Wacken has his own fanclub by now, haha…

Who has been mainly responsible for those big stage productions? Who pulled all the different strings?

Silenoz: As said, it was basically the orchestra who came up with the idea and therefore they also pulled most of the strings. KORK has his own team and so does the Czech orchestra and of course they are very organized. Actually, I remember a funny thing during the last rehearsal. There was a guy playing the tuba, but suddenly in the middle of rehearsal he just sat there, sleeping next to his instrument. Later on I asked someone: “What’s up with this guy, is something wrong?” And they told me he had just been to the dentist and therefore put out by the anesthetic. The whole orchestra made a hell of a noise, but he just sat there, leaning over his tuba, in full sleep. That was really funny – and impressive that he still showed up nevertheless!!

The DVD is not the only thing your fans can be looking forward to. I have heard that a new studio album will be released as well in near future. What’s the state of affairs? Are you still in the conception phase or did you already enter the studio?

Silenoz: We entered the studio at the beginning of February and are still in full progress until the end of March. I finished my guitar recording and we laid down the drums, so next week it’s Shagrath’s turn to record the vocals. So step by step it’s all shaping up.

Which studio and producer do you trust in this time and why?


Silenoz: We chose famous Jens Bogren and his Fascination Street Studios. It was my suggestion, as both Stian and me love his work and have always been big Katatonia and Bloodbath fans, so we thought: “Why not try something completely different?” – and once we contacted him he said that he was surprised how long it took us to actually reach out to him. But he knew immediately what we were looking for. We wanted to recapture the old school, analogue sound that isn’t too modern or superficial. You can hear that it’s us playing. You can hear that it’s human beings playing and this is the only thing that we agreed prior to recording that we wanted the album to sound like.

It’s been around 7 years since you released your latest album “Abrahadabra”. How will Dimmu Borgir sound in 2017?


Silenoz: Just like Dimmu Borgir in 2017, haha. I think it’s safe to say that the new material has known aspects from our past albums. The stuff that is symphonic and epic is REALLY symphonic and epic, but also the primitive black metal side will be even more black metal this time around. But it’s well camouflaged and it will just sound like a normal, natural progression from the past. I suppose some fans will even be able to see links to the Stormblåst or Enthroned era, there are several similarities.

What have been/what are your inspiration sources for the new songs – music and lyric wise? Can you already give us some working titles?

Silenoz: We’ve been working on them for the past seven years, but the last few years have been more methodical. But we collected material for quite a while and even before we had the first song finished, I had already all the lyrics done – they were finished by last year. But we had too many lyrics – for 13 or 14 tracks – and only ended up with ten final songs for the album, so we took the very best of the lyrics and melted it all together.

Which role do the Schola Cantorum choir, Jock Loveband and Gaute Storaas play at this point? You recently posted a photo on Facebook…

Silenoz: They have a significant role in all of this and although we don’t use a real orchestra on this album, we still use real orchestra samples and therefore it sounds like a real one playing. But we wanted to have a real choir, because it adds a whole new dynamic to the sound and as soon as they start to sing more than just the “aah aaaah ahhhh”-thing, you NEED to have some real people to make it sound human. And at this point I’m really happy with the result.

How does a Dimmu Borgir song usually come into being?

Silenoz: We don’t have a specific formula, but we usually meet up and each member comes up with his own ideas and then we throw it in the mixer. There’s no hokus pokus about it, we just keep what we think sounds cool and scrap what we can’t work out. But it’s all pretty basic and normal.

When will the new Dimmu Borgir album be released?


Silenoz: We can’t unveil the official release date yet, but it will be unleashed in summer.



Interview: Lea S.
Fotos: Promo taken from NB Media Lounge
Website Band: https://www.facebook.com/dimmuborgir


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