Interview with Euronymous, done by Faust from Emperor for his zine Orcustus.
Well how in hell shall one be able
to come up with an intro worthy enough for this band? The words I want to
describe Mayhem's music with, are not yet created and they won't be created
either, because no one has really experienced the real darkness and pure brutality
which lies behind Mayhem's hellish sound. But I suppose you all are familiar
with this band anyway.
Well, in the first place, I hadn't really thought to enclose this band in this issue, because if we look away from re-releases of old demos ("Pure Fucking Armageddon") and livetapes, it's a pretty long time since their last release (in '87 that was).
I thought I rather should interview them when they had released the forthcoming album "De Mysteriis dom Sathanas" - but due to the circumstances, I realized the time was right for an interview now.
I won't bother you with any history shit, but I could tell a bit about what has happened the last year. You all know that their vocalist Dead committed suicide in april '91. That was a big loss for the underground, and I suppose I don't need to say that this mag is dedicated to the memory of that infernal man.
Anyway Dead was replaced by Cultócúlus (back then called Occultus), but due to different problems within the band, he left the band in january '92. Let's not say more about that as Euronymous didn't want me to say anything about it at all (but Euronymous, you must admit that it had sounded pretty artificial if I hadn't mentioned it at all).
So now, the band consists of Hellhammer (drums) and Euronymous (guitar (and probably bass too)). I know the singer of Tormentor (rip) from Hungary (Esihar Attila) is interested in singing on the album, and also even moving to Norway, so it seems like Mayhem got some sort of predilection to foreign vocalists, but this Hungarian guy happened to be a good one as well, so never mind that. But I don't think this is official, so don't tell anyone you read it here, ok?
Well then, it's an honor for me to dedicate the following pages to one of today's most legendary and infamous bands ... THE TRUE MAYHEM!!!
--First of all Euronymous, I know you and Dead live/lived totally for the old black metal attitude. Is your hate now total to young and trendy bands after Dead's suicide?
EURO: YES, we have declared WAR. Dead died because the trend people have destroyed everything from the old black metal/death metal scene, today "death" metal is something normal, accepted and FUNNY (argh) and we HATE it. It used to be spikes, nites, chains, leather and black clothes, and this was the only thing Dead lived for as he hated this world and everything which lives on it. If we had the economic possibility to do it, we should meet up at concerts and beat up ALL trend people ALL the time until they would be too scared to go to concerts at all, now we need to suck their money instead. It's impossible to stop the trend no matter how much we want, we have to do the best out of it and sell lots of trend shit to them.
--ln the spring of '91 you started up a shop in Oslo which sells all sorts of music within metal. Is there anything you can tell us about the shop (ideas ? plans)?
EURO: Well, the original idea was to make a specialist shop for metal in general, but that's a long time ago. Normal metal isn't very popular any more, all the children are listening to "death" metal now. I`d rather be selling Judas Priest than Napalm Death, but at least now we can be specialized within "death" metal and make a shop where all the trend people know that they will find all the trend music. This will help us earning money so that we can order more EVIL records to the evil people. But no matter how shitty music we have to sell, we'll make a BLACK METAL look on the shop, we've had a couple of "actions" in churches lately, and the shop is going to look like a black church in the future. We`ve also thought about having total darkness inside, so that people would have to carry torches to be able to see the records.
--Well, how is the situation all in all in the Mayhem camp right now ?
EURO: Difficult as usual, but we're closer than ever record the Mayhem lp. Almost all the material is completed, then I and Hellhammer will record the whole thing with 3 guitars, 2 basses and so on. It will be very massive. Who's to sing on the Ip is not yet decided, we'll wait and see what happens. We have several people who can do the job very well.
--As Metalion of Slayer mag said: "it seems like you at certain times lives on the edge of starvation" Have you ever been on the thought to just give up the whole band and become a normal 9 to 5 person, or is this a completely stupid question to ask?
EURO: It has been very hard at times, but I am not a normal person anyway so it would just not be possible to do that. I've been thinking a lot lately about why things are as they are (this answer will be long) (that's ok for me/Ed). The reason why we don't have money, is because of hardcore. We have for too long been following the "underground" rules, which say that you must hate money, you must not think you are anything, you must be open minded, you must have a lot of attitudes and so on. Extremely stupid. But the situation has been that if you don't follow these rules which are made by hardcore pigs, you are not accepted as a death metal or black metal band! Then you MUST be signed by some big label to be able to get some money, and we've never wanted to do that. Then you would anyway be labeled as "commercial" by the HC pigs. This has caused that after 8 years, we are still as broke as ever, while the HC pigs themselves are controlling all labels, and they sign only the bands which fit into their own idiotic world, that means "death" metal bands with society lyrics and jogging suits, and this is what the people see when they grow up. They don't see any EVIL bands with spikes, as we did. Well, I'm tired about being broke, just to be "underground" I'm tired of not having money to eat for just because tons of people will call you a "rip-off" if you don't write 20 letters each day. It's time to say fuck off to the whole system, which is built to strangle the evil bands in the birth. We must start taking inspirations from the ancient ones, from Venom and their likes. They did their thing BIG, and they never had to think about any idiotic underground rules. They did it big and so must we, but it must never become a trend, it must become a CULT. This is why we have started on a brand new policy with the band and the record label. It's about time that someone makes a label for black metal and other grim music, and STRIKE BACK. There is NO reason why DSP shouldn't be as big as Peaceville or Nuclear Blast, if we can just get the business on its feet again and get good distribution. That's the only way to compete with the HC labels. It's about time we start taking control over our own scene. We must spread the EVIL bands and pervert people's souls.
--And what about the Norwegian scene then? Don't you think that something is terribly wrong when it have gone so far that we have a christian "death metal" band here (Crush Evil)? Any advice on how we should kill them?
EURO: First of all the Norwegian scene is the BEST. There are a lot of GREAT bands (yet with no album out) and of course some shitty trend bands, but nothing as in Sweden. There you have 2-3 good bands out of 100, while here we have a few shit bands who hardly have made even a demo, while all the great bands will make records in near future. Such as Darkthrone, Burzum, Immortal, Thorns (I'm flattered/Ed), Arcturus, Enslaved and newer bands like Malfeitor and others which I have not yet heard. BUT - when it comes to bands like Crush Evil, we must take serious action. It`s bad enough to have a couple of society bands, but a CHRISTIAN band is too much. But don't worry, we have plans. They will not continue for a very long time.
--And now over to something more humouristic...yes... snuff-movies. Who had been the perfect actor for a snuff-movie, and why the hell aren't they legalized? Don't you think that every video-store should have its own section with snuff-movies?
EURO: Actually I think it`s great that movies like that are forbidden. If they were legal and easily accessible, all the small trend children would be watching them, and then it would not be something extreme anymore (I'm not sure if I agree with you here Euronymous. Snuff-movies are usually too raw and brutal for the people with their "peace & love" infected minds. Remember the HC rules/Ed). It's just the same what happened to death metal it became something everyone could buy in every store, something normal and accessible for everyone. All the mystic and evil atmosphere is GONE. I do not think snuff-movies are funny, I think they are DARK. I've seen people laugh at them, but that's probably because they will not be themselves. That is the best way to watch such a movie to try to FEEL the actual pain of the victims. It becomes much more gruesome then, and that's great. One must be alone in the darkness and suffer with the victims. If you watch it with other people, they will often talk, laugh and so on, and then you get more distanced from it. It's not supposed to be funny (death to fun), it's much better when it's depressive.
--Through the years you have been talking about releasing bands like Samael, Rotting Christ, Master's Hammer, Tormentor, Matricide, Impeiator, Masacre etc. on Deathlike Silence Prod. but now some of these bands have released lp's on labels which only have money in their eyes and know that black metal sells. Doesn't that frustrate you, and don't you feel it like the time is running out for you?
EURO: It's a bit frustrating, but it is also a result of trying to be "underground" which is a suicide policy. Anyway, the main thing is that these evil records get released at all, and not who's releasing them. We will probably release a record with Tormentor, they're split up, but they want to make their Anno Domini demo on vinyl, and we'll try to fix it within the summer. The time is not running out, because there are a lot of really evil bands around. F.ex..most of the Norwegian bands, which other labels haven't even heard about. Burzum is ten times better than all the bands on Earache together, and so are Thorns and Arcturus. So there is no problem, really. As for bands like Rotting Christ and Master's Hammer, we might do something in the future instead. I've never been talking with Samael about any deal, but I wish I had as their album is FUCKING GREAT.
--Almost all bands in the underground today says that they think they got their own style and originality, but the fact is that 95% of the bands sounds totally the same. What is an original death metal band today?
EURO: There exist no death metal bands today. There are only a handful of (mostly great) bands (in case someone hasn't got it right - black metal has nothing to do with the music itself, both Blasphemy and Mercyful Fate are black metal, it's the LYRICS, and they must be SATANIC. If not, it is NOT black metal) and what we choose to call LIFE METAL bands. Take a band like Therion. Their music is quite ok, it's actually one of the best Swedish bands (even though that doesn't say much), but their lyrics STINK. They are about society and pollution, what the fuck has that got to do with DEATH? If a band cultivates and worships death, then it's death metal, no matter what KIND of metal it is. If a band cultivates and worships Satan, it's black metal. And by saying "cultivating death", I don't think about thinking it's funny, or being into gore. I'm thinking about being able to KILL just because they HATE LIFE. It's people who enjoy to see wars because a lot of people get killed. How many bands think that way? Not many. I can`t think of one.
--You're maybe not the most active band when it comes to gigs, but at least you've managed to tour Germany and Turkey. What can you tell us from the tour, and is there any new gigs planed?
EURO: The tour was a big mess, we'll NEVER take the train again! We lost quite some money, but still it was great to get to East-Germany and Turkey. The memories of the tour consist mostly of the starvation and idiotic custom officers, but still I wouldn't like to have missed the opportunity. We don't have any concrete plans, we'll see what happens in the future. We don't like to play for a lot of trendies in jogging suits, so we prefer to leave it be.
--What do you think of the fact that death metal has been on MTV?
EURO: It sucks. But it isn`t death metal anyway, so...
--I know that you will soon release the debut album of Abruptum on DSP, so, what can you tell us about it?
EURO: It`s EVIL. It`s PURE EVIL, they were torturing each other in studio DURING the recording and you can HEAR on the music how they SUFFER. It will be the most demented record EVER, and it's NOT for normal people. This is music which NEVER can become trendy, because normal people won't be able to understand it. And that's great. The price for the album will be the same as for the BURZUM Ip, which should be somewhere else in this 'zine. It's called "Obscuritatem Advoco Amplktere Me", and stay away from it if you don't like pure DARKNESS.
--Don't you think that people in the underground should respect others ideas and views more? I mean, it's not accepted to spread unpopular thoughts. It seems like there is some sort of guardians of morality and most people keep in mind not to say or do anything which is not accepted by the public.
EURO: I don't think people should respect each other. I don't want to see trend people respecting me, I want them to HATE and FEAR. If people don't accept our ideas as their own, they can fuck off because then they belong to a musical scene which has NOTHING to do with ours. They could just as well be Madonna fans. There is an ABYSS between us and the rest. Remember - one of the HC rules is that you must be open-minded (except for themselves), so we must be careful and avoid being open minded ourselves. The HC pigs have correctly made themselves guardians of morality, but we must kick them in the face and become guardians of anti-morality.
--You say you want your riffs to have a dark mood and really sound evil, but what if you came up with a riff which just sounded good, but not evil. Would you use it then?
EURO: Well, if a riff sounds good to me, it mostly means that it sounds evil too. At least when I make music myself. Haven't really thought about this before.
--Do you think you've been playing this sort of music today if it weren't for those old bands like Mercyful Fate, Venom & Hellhammer?
EURO: It's impossible to say. Venom and the other ancient ones have been fundamental influences on Mayhem, and also the direct reason of the band's existence. We like to think that if they hadn't started up this, we would have, but who knows? Doesn't really matter anyway, we hail ancient Venom as the CREATORS.
--Ok, no more questions at the moment. End the interview in what way you want...
EURO: Perhaps it should be mentioned that we'll re release the MAYHEM mini-lp "Deathcrush" VERY soon. We also have t-shirts available now. People should write for prices on things. Be EVIL, not open-minded.