Carpathian Forest Interview
at Camden Underworld, London
14th December 2013
Interview by Ben Spencer
Photography by Jo Blackened
Having arrived at Camden Underworld early to witness the bands on tonight’s bill sounding checking, it was time to meet Black Metal veterans Carpathian Forest and learn more about their story and what’s to come from their eagerly awaited return to the UK shores. After pulling up a table and setting up our equipment towards the front entrance we were joined by front man Roger Rasmussen, better known to the masses as Nattefrost.
So tell us, how has the tour been so far?
Nattefrost: (get’s comfortable in chair) This isn’t so much a tour but more a series of 3 shows. Yesterday we played Eindhoven Metal Meeting in the Netherlands, London tonight and tomorrow we head off to Italy to play on stage at Black Winter Festival. So far it has been great to play to the fans who have received us well and it feels good to be back on the road.
In that light, are you looking forward to headlining London tonight?
Nattefrost: (enthusiastically) Yes very much, its been quite a few years since we played. I think it was 2005 or 2006 when we last played over here. So it is great to know that the fans are still here and looking forward to seeing us again after so long.
Since the band’s formation you guys have undergone various line up and label changes. Having been around for the best part of 20 years how far do you guys feel you have come?
Nattefrost: (Leans back and ponders) I think we’ve come really far since the early days. Back then we had a different line up and our sound has definitely progressed in a positive way. At this point in time we feel that we have made a name for ourselves and we are unique when it comes to our peers who also play in that genre. Musically we have released a series of albums that are all different from each other in style but still distinctively a sound that is without question our own.
On that note You have also undergone a vast terrain of music from Blackened thrash to symphonic Black Metal, have thesechanges been part of a natural progression or has there always been a clear cut direction as to where you want to take your music too?
Nattefrost: I think it has always been part of our natural growth and a desire to never repeat ourselves. Some of the themes in our music carried themselves into certain genres that felt more appropriate for these particular subjects. Whether they are lyrics relating to suicide such as ’Shut Up. There Is No Excuse to Live’ or to literature such as Poe I think the music compliments the stories they tell.
Nattefrost: (Leans forward in he’s chair) Also musically everything feels different such as Black Shining Leather you had Black Metal combined with a more Rock approach. Then with albums such as Defending the Throne of Evil you had a more epic sound going on with symphonies, Saxophones and Synths that was matched with a big sounding production. This is good because it’s a testament to how far we have come over the years.
Since undergoing a hiatus back in 2009, do you feel that the time away from the music scene has made you stronger?
Nattefrost: Definitely! There was a point where I went into rehab (Pauses) and after that time I feel that coming back has definitely strengthened us and made us more of a solid unit as a band.
Out of all the records released so far, is there one that you feel most proud of? If so why?
Nattefrost: For me personally I feel that Black Shining Leather was an important release for us as it was where the band took root and begun taking shape. A lot has changed since then but this is an album I’m proud of as it saw us making a name for ourselves back in our early days.
It was also hinted a few years back that a new album was half written and somewhere on the horizon, could you shed any light towards what it may be like in terms of style and themes?
Nattefrost: I think for our next album we want to drive forward many of the same qualities of the most recent album. On that record the songs had a raw and direct sound that is similar to our live shows. So for the new album I think will be similar to this but we’d like to include some synth parts to keep things more interesting and sound different from what we’ve already done.
From the point of view of a well established band such as yourselves are there Black Metal bands that you particularly admire?
Nattefrost: For me Burzum have always been a band who I have a lot of respect for. They have a unique sound and are a band whose music is very layered and you continually find yourself coming back too. In my opinion I don’t think that any band has really sounded similar to them or been able to surpass them in what they do.
What are your plans for the future?
Nattefrost: For now just carry with Carpathian Forest as a band. It’s true we all have our own projects going on but I feel that we want to carry on making and playing music and driving ourselves forward as we currently are at the moment in terms of our line up and style.
Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Nattefrost: Check out our music and carry on listening to us. It means a lot to us to know that we have your support along the way when it comes to appreciating our music. For that we are all very grateful to have you with us.