ISVIND were there when the Norwegian black metal scene exploded unto the world. Then nothing. Until now. Anders Ekdahl ©2014
The most obvious questions to start with would be why we see a new ISVIND album now but I won’t start with that one. ISVIND released its first album when the Norwegian black metal scene where at its height. What is Norwegian black metal to you guys? How do you define it?
.What Black Metal was back then, and what it is now is obviously two different things. Primarily, we are 20 years older and that means we have a somewhat more adult aproach to everything. I have been reading interviews from back in the days, and it becomes very clear to me what two completely different scences we are living in. But the s.oul of the Black Metal is something that has remained unchanged for my part: Black Metal still brings powerful emotions when listening to it, and that has always meant more to me rather than go lurking in the dark with gasoline and lighters
What was it that inspired you to form ISVIND and write the songs you did?
-For us, it was just us two meeting up and seeing that we both had some quite good riffs, and decided to team up to try and play music the way we saw fit. Back then, we were quite productive, so things kind of happened by themselves for a while, and suddenly we had a record deal and was planning a tour. What inspires me when I’m listening to our own music, is that it has a certain knack there that is hard for me to point out excactly what is, but it makes me want to try keep doing it, and that must have been the case all along.
Did you have any kind of ideology that you adhered to like Watain has today?
-Our lyrics have moved from more athmospherical themes over to more violence, very much like the world itself. You could in that sense say that our music is quite contemporary perhaps. I like that we are not stuck in any ideology, as it does not suit our expression. One thing you will never see in Isvind is political rants or deeply religious concepts. When I listen to music, I seldom listen to the lyrics. It makes me bad at singalongs, but for me lyrics are not that important. To have my lyrical fix and ideological inputs, I use and abuse a lot of books.
When you come back after a long hiatus, how hard is it to find a way back to a sound you had all those years ago?
-Not hard at all. We have been making Isvind-music all those years during our hiatus, and listening to Black Metal so we were never away for our own sake, just that nothing got recorded and released. I used to live two years in the woods, then two years in Bergen. During that period, I had some 150 songs and ideas going (Not all Isvind obviously). What actually has taken some getting used to is how much actually is needed to rehearse for shows and recording processes.
Why do we see a new ISVIND album in 2013? What is so great about releasing it now?
-If we have the album ready, there is no better time than the present to release it. You can be sure that when we have all the songs ready for the next album and recorded them, there will be another release in the backwash of that. The reviews has been so-so, and that is mostly due to us running out of time when recording it I think. There are some very good parts on that album, and we will use our experience from this when recording our next album. We are not as seasoned veterans as those that are in the studio every 1,5 years for 20 years or more.
I remember you guys from that first all white album. What was the idea behind keeping it all white?
-We wanted the music to stand for itself, hence no lyrics, artwork or other elaborations. For us it was no point in taking all that time making music and recording it just to have more work after that picking out cover and shit. It was the correct thing to do back then, just as us having a better cover these days is the correct thing to do now. We have talked a lot about what to do with the covers, and we think we have done good every time so far.
Nowadays when we read about ISVIND you are being hailed as some sort of Norwegian black metal innovators. How did you experience your place in the Norwegian black metal scene when you released your first album?
-I think that strongly depends on who you ask… One thing that is sure is that we were there in the scene when the greater bands took off and became something bigger. Back then, we felt we were just the two dudes that hung at Elm Street drinking coffee after school, and later beer. The monoliths of the scene gave us the evil eye from time to time. Looking back, we might have had Isvind in another position these days if we had kept on playing after the 1997 tour. Wether that would have been good or bad, I do not know. We were there and did our thing, for ourselves.
What is it that you expect to get from this new album? How many do remember that first album from way back?
-I expect that “Daumyra” will be a solid part of the Isvind-discography in the future. As for sales and distro, I am not too into that; If it sells, it sells. If not, that’s fine. I’m sure Folter Records pays more attention to that. We just want to keep making records for the time being, and being signed now really helps on that.
How different is it to release a record these days? Is it any different? What do you think about the digital V/S physical battle that rages on nowadays?
-I went through a digital-phase some years back, where I stacked all my albums in the closet and bought a huge collection through iTunes and sites like that. Now, I am just the opposite again, all the music is out of the boxes and into the shelves and I play records and CDs every day as often as I can. As far as music distro goes, I think it is important that the distributors meet the demands of the buyers and try and serve what is best there. There will always be people willing to buy and wait for physical copies, but I am not sure that our kids will be those people. I think a very direct consequence of the sales going down (for smaller bands) is that you see ticket prices for concerts going up, there is no money to go touring anymore, and bands have to rely on merch/ticketsales, and if they are lucky: Support from the government. I remeber some years ago, you could go to a club concert to see a band and pay maybe 10-15€ to get in. That ammount has now doublet, if not trippled. Of course, fees and venues are more expensive, but not double. We lost money releasing “Intet Lever” CDs and shirts. We lose money on almost every gig we do, but it’s not a bigger loss so far that we can’t keep on recording and playing.
Will there be a future?
-There is always a future. Even after the end of times, there will be future times. For Isvind, our future will be us making another record, and keep playing shows to get to meet the crazy Black Metal fans around the globe to hang out and have a few beers. Cheers! See you around