For the name Dark Funeral everybody would rush to say that it’s a hateful metal band. You’ll soon be around for 30 years and you still didn’t collapse. From the founding members only Lord Ahriman stayed. What person do you this he is? What do you think what Dark Funeral means to him?
Well I know Lord Ahriman personally very well and he is a very stubborn man. I think that has made him gone all these years maybe. He is a great friend of mine actually. We went over to him to visit earlier today to talk about Funeral stuffs and I finally got my copies of the new record.
You joined the band in 2014 as a vocalist. How much of a challenge was it for you at the beginning?
Not so much I think, because I knew a lot of the songs because I liked Dark Funeral. I didn’t know all the words of course, so I had to study the lyrics for a while and the songs, but once I learned them it felt natural to me.
Could you tell us a few things about what you like the most about being the vocalist for Dark Funeral?
First of all I really like the music. If I didn’t I wouldn’t have joined. And then of course I do enjoy travelling the world. Seeing and meeting awesome people everywhere. The travelling is awesome and the music is awesome and we have a great companionship within the band also. Which I think has given me something in my life.
It’s obvious that you are anti-religious. How much do you think people opinions changed about religion in the past 20 years? Is it more positive or negative now?
Well, I think more and more countries are opening their eyes a lot. I think the internet has killed a lot of religion, because people can actually find facts about stuffs. And there is a variety of information available to you compared to living in a small town with the Bible on the table and everything else is burned, because it’s illegal to teach and to take part in that information. So I think it’s better it’s decreasing. Because people are actually thinking more for themselves, but then again you go online and you see weird people in comment fields. I don’t know. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe it’s the same shit but in a different agenda.
A few days ago your 7th album „We are the Apocalypse” came out. I must say you are still pretty good. What do you think? How are you guys doing in 2022? What is the biggest change that you would like to point out in your music?
I think we are as strong as ever, if not even stronger by our accumulated experiences. I wouldn’t say there are any changes by definition, we are still Dark Funeral and progress and improvement is a part of who we are.
It was not that long ago since you joined the band, but you have fresher members that took the drummer and the bass player roles. How did their appearance influence the outcome of this album?
Well, I have been in the band for 7 years. It’s not that short of a time I think. But I will always be the new guy of course. I understand that. But out bassist and drummer joined us like 3 or 4 years ago, so they aren’t really that new to the music. I mean they’ve been around doing shows, doing tours. So we played a lot as a band. Both in the rehearsal room and on stage. So when we did this album it felt natural that everyone is accustomed to the style and everyone is bringing their own details into it. So I think it was good that they joined. Not just before the album, but a couple of years before. And that way they had a bigger impact on the outcome.
You have 3 official videos out for your album. Which one do you like the most? Could you talk us through about them?
Well, we went down to Poland for a week. Or an extended I don’t know. We filmed with Grupa 13. We did all the 3 videos in a couple of days basically. So they had everything scheduled for us, which was awesome, because everything was on time for us. Very very professional crew. We were discussing before what do we want with the songs visually, and of course we are musicians, so these guys are perfect at what works visually. If we do the music they do the visual aspect of it. I think it worked out great. I like all of the videos. I think they are different in a good way, but still with a red thread that connects them. So you feel that they belong to the same album, to the same release schedule if you will.
For me when I read a review of a band it appeals to me if they didn’t really move away from their roots, and they stayed true to themselves in a way. How much do you think Dark Funeral fans think about this?
You mean how much our fans think about us sticking to the roots? I mean I was talking to a guy right before talking to you, and we talked about that the black metal scene is becoming old. It’s not weird having people in their 60’s coming to the concerts. I mean 20 years ago those guys were 40. It’s not weird in itself, but you have layers of fans because of this. You have the young guys coming into it, but then you have those guys that came into it like 20-30 years ago. And I think the old guys appreciate a factor of recognition, but I also think that the old guys enjoy development and evolution. Because back in the day black metal was more about evolution. It wasn’t traditional, because there was no tradition. Sometimes when you read comments and you see what these young people think, I think they are more traditional that the old people. I don’t know if this is good or bad, it’s just a thing that I’ve noticed. Young people say things like: „it doesn’t sound like it used to”, but when it used to sound like you referred to you weren’t even born. So I don’t know. It’s a really difficult subject, because there is no right or wrong.
You had 2 concerts in Sweden. How did they go? Did everything go according to plan?
We haven’t had concerts in Sweden. Actually this Saturday I have a concert with my other band Grá. On April 16 we have a concert in Sweden with Dark Funeral in Stockholm. What you’re thinking about might be the meet and greet signing sessions. We did one in Stockholm and one in Gothenburg, but those were not shows. They were meet and greets to celebrate the album. So we went to record stores in different cities to meet fans and sign albums basically. That’s it.
You will do more concerts over the summer at festivals. What can the fans expect for these days to come?
Well yes. We will finally be back to doing concerts again. It’s been a long time without and we are really hungry to get back out there. I mentioned April 16, we will have a release show here in Stockholm and that will be livestreamed and with a live audience. So people from all over the world can check out the livestream and then decide for themselves, but of course we will incorporate new songs as long as we still do the older songs. So we’re not gonna be playing only new songs. We have options from the whole catalog.
Can we expect a tour for this album at autumn?
We hope so. We hope to tour like crazy. I mean we are planning for touring, but things are as they are and you still see tours getting postponed and cancelled and shit, so… As soon as possible. That’s all I can say. We will get out there as soon as we can.
What do you think what do you need to have good black metal band?
That’s a good question. You have to be stubborn as fuck I think to be able to keep it growing, because… I don’t know. First of all you need a will to evolve and a will to grow as a musician and as a person. And you should practise your damn instrumental.
In what ways do you view people? How do you select who is interesting to you?
I think it’s instinct often. If someone is interesting. You feel it by instinct. At least that’s how it is to me. And of course as soon as someone opened them off you confirm or you realised you were wrong.
Thank you for your answers. If there is anything you’d wish to say, you are welcome to say it.
I am very happy that the album is out, and I hope as many as possible will take the chance to join our livestream and concert that we have on April 16. It’s gonna be awesome. We are just happy to be back. This fucking pandemic finally being more or less over. Thank you for your time.
The interview was taken with Heljarmadr on 24.03.2022.