God Seed Interview
with King ov Hell
@ Damnation Festival, Leeds UK
2nd November 2013
Interview by Caitlin Smith
The old giants of black metal still stand tall. They may not be as young or as angry as they were back in the beginning but one thing we can say for certain they held onto was their talent. With cries that black metal is dead, and that all remaining bands are simply copies of older work, but some still remain to prove to doubters and elitists alike that there are still doors that have been left closed, pathways that remain untrodden. We catch up with King Ov Hell to chat about the life as bassist in his new band, GOD SEED.
Tell us about the name GOD SEED. Is there any meaning behind it?
You are your own God. There is less of the religious aspect to it, more of a personal twist. You are the center of the world. The world ends and starts with you, you have the qualities of being a god. You define what is good and what is bad. You are the center of the universe basically and so GOD SEED is to take the seed of God in yourself and rise up from that, to realize potential
Your imagery and themes are more focused on the self and nature rather than Satan. Did the break from GORGOROTH allow you to move off in a different direction or did you think it was always going to be a natural progression?
The thing is I don’t see any contradiction between using the word Satan and using symbolism from nature, its more using metaphors and symbolism to express yourself. It’s like language, you have a certain amount of words and you use those words to express yourself. Same thing with the word Satan, it’s not representing a physical force or a spiritual force necessarily to me, it just has symbolic value.
I Begin contains a lot of electronic sounds, why did you decide to move in that musical direction?
I listened to a lot of Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple. The organ is very central in that music, right, so with the GORGOROTH stuff we didn’t use any keyboards or keyboard sounds integrated in the music so I wanted to incorporate that into a black metal sound.
I’ve never heard any band do it before so I thought that would be interesting to use because its soundscapes, you know. Music is just sound you create. There is no sound being satanic.
Guitars are not a satanic, there is no core being satanic or black metal necessarily, we just try to make atmospheres and soundscapes. So it was a good thing that no one had used it, that means it’s an open field of things you can use and no one had touched it, so its open for discovery.
Would you say then that the atmosphere that is important about your music rather than the melodies?
Yes. I don’t see any difference between the melody and the atmosphere; there is no contradiction there but I’m creating sound and soundscapes.
You switch between Norwegian and English in your album. Why did you decide to incorporate both languages?
Its actually Gaahl that writes the lyrics, but of course the themes we are touching is based on Nordic heritage so it is more natural to use Nordic tongue on some topics linked to that. Some topics are more universal, and it also creates some variety in the music. We will probably use that in the future, some in English, some in our native tongue.
‘Bloodlines’ is a very interesting change from the rest of the album. What inspired you to create such a different sound?
The kid is actually my son, so the ‘Bloodline’ stuff is basically my bloodline. That is actually my bloodline. He was the first one in the studio so I took all the sounds and created ‘Bloodline’. It’s a sacred album for me so I wanted him to take part in it, have that symbolism in it, it ends in my blood.
That’s interesting, so it starts with GOD SEED and the self and you end with the son.
Yeah, exactly. You have it breathing underneath, it’s also in the music, its breathing. It’s like the touch of life.
It’s great music. When I’m done with it, I separate from it so I don’t relate to it anymore. It’s like ‘Carving and Giant’ and all those songs I made in the past, I know it’s out there but I don’t feel personally attached to it anymore.
The same thing has happened with I Begin, when I’m done with the process I’m releasing it, you know, so it’s not part of me anymore. How it’s been received, I don’t know. Some people like it; some people dislike it. It’s always been like that.
For me it’s an important album to make, like a crossroad album. On this I think we opened up new doors to further investigate musically so, you know, it’s an important album for me personally.
You seem quite comfortable with the line up now, will the other members be contributing to the next album or will it remain you and Gaahl writing most of the material?
No, we are trying to make it into a band. We will probably do the majority of music on the next album but its of course open to other members’ contributions. Right now we are in the writing and we’ll see what people come up with. We’ll see what happens.
What can we expect next from GOD SEED?
We’re going to start off some tours. There’s going to be a small Norwegian tour in January and hopefully a European tour in May and Japan, New Zealand, Australia in August. South American tour in September and releasing a new album in October, so its going to be very packed!