QUADRIVIUM is another Norwegian metal band that operates outside of the frame. Call it progressive. Call it avant-garde. Whatever you call it you still end up with your nose forward. Interview answered by Erlend. Anders Ekdahl ©2012
I have had to struggle to get your name memorized? Why choosing a name that starts with Q and what does it mean?
-Well I don’t know really. Quadrivium was the name for an earlier project I worked on with a friend that didn’t amount to anything but a couple of demo songs. Back then I was into symphonic black metal and I liked the name. The name itself implies all kinds of fancy stuff but I won’t profess our music to be as fancy. More appropriate for the music of the original project but this is now our band name and we are kinda stuck with it. Also not many band names start with Q so that was an added bonus I guess.
To me the typical Norwegian is a happy-go-lucky kind of person but then you have bands like Arcturus, Dödheimsgard, In The Woods, Winds, latter day Mayhem etc. that are anything but happy-go-lucky. Where does that side of Norway come from?
-That is a very interesting question. Some say that the cold and dark weather is to blame, but Sweden suffers from the same shitty weather and yet there seems to be some big differences between Norwegian and Swedish metal. Swedish bands are masters of melody and always seems to get a great sound. Norwegian music is more about atmosphere. It’s not a perfect comparison and I’m sure there are quite a lot of counterexamples but that is my general feeling. I like both styles and I chose to have the Methocha album mastered in Sweden because there is a tradition for making great sounding albums. So how to explain it? Well maybe it has something to do with our national soul. Like 50 years ago, Norway was one of the poorest countries in Europe and had been so for quite some time to say the least. Maybe there is a lingering sense that at any moment our recent wealth might be taken away from us. Best not to get our hopes up, right?
From what I understand this is sort of a comeback album for you guys? Why is now the right time to come back?
-It is our second album but you can kinda call it a comeback in that the music is pretty different this time around and because it has taken so long for us to finish it. We really wanted to finish it earlier but of course we ran into the usual trouble with injured musicians, finances etc. I would say that half the time since the release of the first album has been spent recording the second one. This is one of the disadvantages in being a pure studio band that does not get together to rehearse. Everyone has to record separately and that takes alot more time than one would think.
What kind of expectations do you have this time around?
-Our goal was to take some big steps up from the first album and hope that people will recognize that. This is definately the album we are most satisfied with to date and it is very nice to read that other people
seems to like it too.
How serious do you take the band these days? How has that changed with time?
-Even though I have less time for music these days I take the band even more seriously than I did a couple of years ago. I was involved in a couple of other projects for a while and that made me realize that Quadrivium was really the project that I wanted to do. So I quit all other projects to focus on Quadrivium as my only full-time band. I still do some session work here and there but not much songwriting.
How much have you learned in the years between? How do you best utilize the knowledge to not make the same kind of mistakes?
-Where to begin? When I think back on what my level of knowledge of music and recording was at the time we made the first album.. It was laughable. Like most musicians I had to make 100 shitty songs before I could make something good. It is hard to say exactly what you are learning during this but at some point the songs just gets better. You also learn alot about music production when you record your albums and you learn to appreciate good gear. You can only do so much on a shoestring budget. I guess that is one of the most important lessons.
When I read the titles and look the cover I get a science concept feeling. What are the lyrics about?
-There is a certain kind of spirituality inherent in science I believe. You can appreciate nature on an even deeper level if you know a little science and that is something that inspires me a great deal. Astronomy is one of my big interests and blended with some sci-fi-quasi-science it really does inspire alot of my lyrics and music. The song Destroyer on the new album is a good example of these influences.
How important is the way you present the band? How conscious are you of the image that the band portrays?
-To be honest, that isn’t something we concern ourselves with. I guess that if we were a proper band who rehearsed and played live and all that stuff we would put some more effort into it. The music is what matters to us and we want the band to stand and fall on the music.
Where does Quadrivium fit into the Norwegian metal scene?
-That is for the scene to decide I guess. Frankly I don’t know because where I live there is no metal scene to speak about. I do recognize that some of the great metal bands come from the Norwegian scene and everyone who comes after will always live in their shadows. Still though I hope we can make our own little contribution to the void of music.
What would you like the future to bring to the band?
-More albums. There are still more aspects of music we want to explore.