|I guess the music inspired me to use the poems and thoughts I had written down years before, after the death of my daughter.|
| Hello Tchort and thank you for doing this interview with doom-metal.com. Do you consider Green Carnation to be a doom band, as your music most certainly isn't that easy to categorize?|
"I guess that is a fair description of the band because of the first album, but on the new album, I think Doom-metal is just one out of many elements that are used. I would maybe even use the term Dark Rock; even though I can not imagine myself playing anything else than metal, I have to admit that a lot of the parts on the new album are closer to rock than metal, but still in a dark and moody way."
I have read that the new material is on its way now. There's been some talk about a cover of a Candlemass song; can you tell us more about that one?
"I came up with the idea of doing cover songs for the second album, since the Botteri twins left the band, and I didn't think I was prepared to write the new album alone. I eventually decided that the best thing to do, was to keep writing and believing in my own composing abilities. This was also the best way to overcome the loss of them as members of the band."
Why did the Botteri brothers actually quit? Are they in another band now?
"They quit mainly due to personal problems, but as far as I know, they didn't want to play metal music any more. I am actually not certain why they left, as they never told me that they were leaving, they just stopped showing up at rehearsals and answering the phone, etc. They faced the options of getting kicked out, or tell me directly that they didn't want to be a part of the band anymore. They told me through a mutual friend. I believe they are doing some solo projects, but what kind and how it's doing, I have no idea."
The next album should consist of only one long, epic song. Doom fans - including myself - are quite fond of lengthy songs. Why did you decide to make a single song?
"On the first album, X-Botteri told me about his composing challenges, and the one thing he enjoyed the most, was to compose good, long songs. It takes more to write a 20 minute song that keeps the listener interested and fascinated, than a 3 minute song. He asked me to write a long song, and I wrote the track 'My dark reflections of life and death' on the first album. It was a new way of thinking music for me, so I decided to stretch the limits and write a whole album into one song. The result of my efforts is 'Light of Day, Day of Darkness'."
When is the new material due to come out?
"The promos are out in the middle of October, and the album is supposed to be released in November 2001. I don't have a date yet, but I believe it will be half or end of November."
Let's talk about the line-up changes. You started back in 1990 if I'm not mistaken. Can you explain a bit the way things have changed from the early days when you had made a Death Metal demo, to today?
"The biggest change came around 1992, when I left the band with the vocalist. I joined Emperor, and the rest of the band wanted to continue, but together with their new vocalist, they changed their style into black metal in Bathory style. They changed their name into In The Woods... and I think most doom freaks know what style they ended up in. When we decided a few years back, to re-form the band, they had almost lost interest in metal music, but I could never play anything far away from metal, at least not yet, so we compromised and ended up with a style both parties could accept. We all enjoyed Candlemass for many years, and I think it's fair to say, that the first Green Carnation album, sounds like a more metal version of newer In The Woods."
You said you couldn't play anything other than metal YET. Do you think there will come a day when you'll say: OK, that's it, I've had it with metal. Let's try something else?
"I hope so! Not because I don't want to play metal forever, but if I'll never reach this point, it means that I have not developed as a musician and that I am not ready for new challenges. I have already tried to be in many different types of metal bands, because then I can grow as a musician and composer, incorporating many different elements when it comes to playing style and composing. This has been important to me throughout the years I have been playing music."
Is it true that the demo, Hallucinations of Despair, will be re-recorded?
"Yes, I believe so. At least that is my aim and I have already re-arranged some of the demo songs, and I believe it will be the third GC album, even though it means a drastic style change. I am flirting with the thought of making every new album in a new style, so I might release it, as the third album. Time will tell."
Does Green Carnation have any plans for touring any time soon? How much do you think touring will be different from the tours with, for instance, Emperor?
"I have been giving this a lot of thought, if we are going to play live, and I believe we will. It would have to be on a tour, because with the situation of the band, where only the drummer and I are the ones who rehearse, it would take too much effort to rehearse the album for just one or two live shows. So until we have some plans for a tour, there won't be a live show, at least not yet.
When going on tour, I believe it will be more different for the audience than for us on stage. I always take any gig seriously, whether it's with Emperor or Green Carnation. I think with GC we would focus more on mood and atmosphere, you know, with lights and visual effects. I haven't really given it much thought yet, but I am sure I would come up with some ideas when and if, it's closing in on a tour."
'Journey to the End of the Night' is an epic that reminds me a lot of In the Woods. Of course, former members of ITW are involved in the band. Were you a big fan of theirs before they unfortunately called it a day?
"X-Botteri, who writes everything for ITW, wrote 60-70% of the first album, so I think it's impossible to not hear the similarity, but like I said earlier, I think GC is on the first album, a more metal version of ITW, which suited me fine. I enjoyed their 3 last albums a lot, yes."
Which other bands are you into and what do other band members listen to?
"Personally I listen to music that fits my mood, which changes a lot. I have some favorite bands like Cannibal Corpse, Slayer, Suffocation, etc. but I also listen to bands like Devil Doll, In the Woods, Diamanda Galas, Old Kiss, Black Sabbath, Portishead, etc. I have a lot of different stuff and I put on what fits my mood at the moment.
What the other members listen to? I have no idea, as we don't hang out together on our spare time. I guess they like a lot of different things, and some listen to metal, while others never listen to metal. I know all of us, listened to Candlemass and enjoyed them a lot, when we were younger."
Are you familiar with the doom-metal scene, and bands like My Dying Bride, Skepticism and other?
"I know My Dying Bride of course, but I have to admit, I don't listen much to this music style with a few exceptions. My heart lays in Death Metal, but I enjoy composing and arranging music close to Doom Metal, since I grew up with Candlemass as well. I find it more challenging to write Doom, than Death."
'Journey...' had many vocalists. Is it true that many vocal parts were improvised? Tell us a bit about that.
"On the first album, yes, all vocals are improvised in studio. The two original vocalists we wanted to use, who had received demo tapes, had to back out, while we were in studio and recorded the album, so we had to ask friends to sing on the album. That's why there are so many different vocalists, it was impossible for only one or two to handle the vocals alone, on the 72 minutes long album within the time limit. We were afraid it would sound too much the same then, so we asked different people to do different parts. The results are very good though I think."
'Journey...' is an album of melancholy and sadness. The lyrics on that CD deal with a very delicate subject, the loss of your daughter. How hard was it to write those lyrics? The music certainly reflects the sorrow.
"I guess the music inspired me to use the poems and thoughts I had written down years before, after the death of my daughter. It had the mood and atmosphere that would fit with the words perfectly, so I changed some of the poems and finished some of the sentences I had been writing down on papers all over, and I arranged them into song lyrics. One of the lyrics, is part of the actual poem that was read in her funeral. It was called 'Journey to the end of the Night' (Norwegian: Reisen til nattens ende.)"
I think that's it. Thank you for doing this interview and good luck with your bands in the future. Cheers!
Visit the Green Carnation bandpage.