This page was originally found under http://www.sonofmanrecords.com/hordeinterview.html. For now, Son Of Man Records no longer exists. Therefor this site offers a backup of the interview with Horde taken by SoM.
As most of you know, I have never been a fan of Horde. A lot of my distaste for him came from the countless Christian copy-cat artists that came along behind him. Despite this, I felt that as the first unblack project, his voice was one to be respected and taken into consideration above the countless teenagers on internet forums. After having conducted this interview with the Anonymous figure behind Horde, I have gained a great deal of respect for both Horde as a project, and Anonymous as an unblack soldier. We're both fairly busy people, so we kept this interview short and focused. Enjoy.
Erasmus: There seems to be a great deal of confusion surrounding 'Hellig Usvart' and its original intention. Some are saying that Hellig Usvart was never intended to be a sincere release, but is rather a parody which pokes fun at the black metal scene. Care to shed some light on the subject? Did you ever intend to mock black metal?
Anonymous: Within the black metal scene, watching all the way across the world, all I could see was a bleak, dark, hopeless, lifeless and negative void. All I wanted to do was to shine a light into that darkness. Give an alternative that was comparable in sound to the scene I was trying to infiltrate, to provide some hope, some light. That was all. No mockery, no parody, no jokes. I would never mock any style of music, nor would I mock the musicians themselves. I have great respect for them. The music of Immortal, Emperor, Dimmu Borgir, Satyricon, etc. is incredible, masterful. One can still show respect, while disagreeing with certain lyrical content. I wanted to remain unknown for as long as I could, to sustain the mystery. I could not resist the similarity of Anonymous to Euronymous, so, regardless of the existence of Euronymous, I was still going to be known as Anonymous. Just a coincidence that both the words were so similar. Also the reference to 'Unblack Mark' was a play on 'Black Mark Records' which is Bathory's label. This was the ONLY light hearted element of the entire project.
E: With Hellig Usvart being released to shine a light in the darkness of the black metal scene, how do you feel about the majority of the discs currently being bought by Christians?
A: I guess it was bound to happen, although it was not really my original intention for the album, however I'm just glad that people are being blessed by it, so it's cool. I just wanted to go as far into the darkness as I could with it. I knew that 'Hellig' was not going to change the world, or that every person who bought a copy was going to experience a radical life transforming conversion. That was never the intention. The intention was to give hope and a Godly alternative to those people that needed it. To give them truth, and then they can decide how they wanted to proceed. That's why God gave us free will, He NEVER pushes. Christians seem to push a lot, but He never does, we can learn from that.
E: Have you heard any positive feed back from black metal kids, or heard of your disc influencing anyone in a positive way?
A: I've heard a few stories, one story, of a person who was right into dark things, black metal, witchcraft, etc... Heard 'Hellig' turned their life around started going to church etc... that was pretty cool. I've not really had a lot of correspondence with kids who have bought the disc. Although I guess I'll find out when I leave this world.
E: Did you ever take the death threats in response to Hellig Usvart seriously?
A: I only ever heard about them second hand. I never personally received ANY death threats at all, not one. I kept hearing but that was all. I never feared for my life, and still don't. I mean, how many unblack bands are in Norway?? Quite a few I would think. One Norwegian band even got a black metal legend to play on an album BEFORE he found out they were Christians. I mean if they got away with that, I've got nothing to worry about.
E: What specifically inspired the title 'Hellig Usvart'?
A: I read on the back of an early Dark Throne album, 'Dark Throne play Unholy Black Metal'. Horde was always going to be lyrically the opposite of this, hence: 'Holy Unblack Metal'. I guess this is how the 'unblack' name or title came about. The music sounded like BM, but because of the lyrics and the spirit behind it, it is not BM.
E: You chose "Holy Unblack" rather than "Holy Black". Do you feel that anti-Christian ideology was, at least originally, a fundamental element of black metal? Do you think it is possible for Christian metal to be truly 'black'?
A: I do NOT believe it is possible for Christian metal music to be truly 'black', no. I think it certainly helps the black metal cause if you 'hold to a Satanic ideology'. Black metal has changed and developed in both sound and lyrically over the years. Moving away from the simple 'Satanic' subject matter of it's early years, to the more poetic and story-like lyrics of today. But still, the dark, grim, horrific 'anti-God' themes remain, and this, coupled with the higher pitched shrill raspy vocals, the blast beats, and the unmistakable chainsaw guitar sounds all merge to create the BM sound. But it is the sound and the 'dark feeling' that truly defines what BM is, and the lyrics contribute to this. True BM I believe, is without light, void of hope, therefore Horde can never be classified as 'Holy Black'. Horde contains lyrics in opposition to darkness. In my opinion, 'Holy Black' cannot exist. Darkness disappears when light is present, the two cannot coexist.
E: Is there any significance behind the name 'horde'?
A: I guess I wanted to use a name that signified like a 'horde' of angelic beings or something like this. A large amassing of strength and power surging toward an enemy, plus it was short and I was instantly able to design a logo pretty easily.
E: Do you feel that the emphasis that has been placed on 'goat violence' by those you have influenced fits with the original intention of your disc?
A: No, my thoughts did not include 'unblack formulas' during the writing and recording process of 'Hellig Usvart' furthermore, I did not expect the flood of bands that would go on to mimic what I was doing at the time.
Goat violence? That sounds pretty silly. If you refer to the song 'Crush the bloodied horns of the goat' the lines: 'goat of blasphemy, satanic symbology' and 'symbolic representation of Satan' are used to explain the so called 'goat violence'. This means to destroy the 'satanic symbolism' and the 'symbolic representation of Satan'. Images of goats are commonly used to represent our enemy. So this over-emphasis on 'goat violence' does not adhere to the lyrical themes of 'Hellig Usvart', this is only one thematic aspect among many.
E: Do you feel that unblack metal will be able to efficiently continue its response to black metal if it does not grow beyond 'horn crushing'?
A: No I do not. The lyrics on 'Hellig Usvart' were written 12 years ago. I'm sure that if another Horde album was written today, the themes would be quite different and much more mature, to counteract the poetic and intelligent (albeit misguided) lyrics of modern BM.
E: How connected do you think Christians should be to the black metal scene? A lot of projects are releasing discs now and calling that their 'ministry'. Do you feel that the responsibility ends there, or that they should be involved in local scenes, going to shows, investing time into local bm kids, etc? Or are there other things you think should be done?
A: RELATIONSHIP is what it's all about. If they believe they have a calling to the BM scene, yeah, go to shows, hang out in record stores, go to clubs, get in there and make friends with some pretty cool people. Just because a person likes BM does not make them a ogre. Unless God specifically says to someone 'go minster to BM kids' it could be best to stay away though, I'm talking about someone who has not had anything to do with metal at all in their life. However, if you are a strong believer, into metal, have been for a long time, and can relate, and if you have a heart to be a true friend and brother to these dudes, then do it. God will use you if you make yourself available, listen to Him and be obedient.
E: It has been said recently that there is a difference between Christian music and 'anti-Satan music'. Given the definition that's being used currently, the only 'Christian' song on Hellig Usvart is Drink from the Chalice of Blood. Do you feel that this is a fair assessment of your (and other unblack) music? Was your album created with a Christian mindset, or an 'anti-Satan' mindset?
A: No, that is not a fair assessment of 'Hellig Usvart' and I would disagree that 'Drink from the Chalice of Blood' is the only 'Christian' song on the album. There are many themes on the album including prophecy - (Behold the rising of the scarlet moon, Thine hour hast come, An abandoned grave, Total Armageddon Holocaust), freedom - (Release and clothe), submission - (Silence the blasphemous chanting), obedience, reverence - (Drink from the chalice, Invert the inverted cross). So the album was created with a - prophetic, free, submissive, obedient, reverent, anti-Satan and Christian mindset.
E: What are your feelings on the recent suicide of Dissection's Jon Nödtveidt?
A: Very sad. I guess if one REALLY loved life, would you really choose to end it? I don't understand the reasoning behind the decision he made. But that is the gift that was given to him, the gift of free will. You really can do whatever you want to do in life, but there will always be consequences for your actions. Only God and now Jon knows what exactly those consequences were. I'm sure he will be missed.
E: Any final thoughts or statements?
A: Make the most of every opportunity that comes your way. Don't miss out on the great things that God wants for you, He wants the BEST for you. Look for it, thank Him for it and take it. Live every day like it is your last. You never know, it could be.