lunes, 7 de julio de 2014


Blodsgard was born in 2006; what were the beginnings of the band? Why did you decide to create Blodsgard and what does the band’s name reference? 
- I ( Fredrik Rex) decided to create Blodsgard out of pure necessity while serving in the Norwegian army. I was sick and tired of hearing the same old boring music and knew that if I would ever get the music I needed I would have to create it myself. The army was a perfect stopping point in my life to realize what needed to be done. It was tough, cold, dreary, boring, action packed, heavy, philosophical. It was like I had an itch that wouldnt be scratched. The name "Blodsgard" (bloody farm feud) references some of my ancestral heritage history. My bloodline has always known to be morally just and ruthless about it. We were present during the fight against the nazis in Norway during WWII, and earlier on also against Denmark and Sweden. Blodsgard is continuing the fight against oppression, this time against religious institutions influences on society. We view this fight as an intellectually and morally just cause in our time.

After all these years having released three demos, "Monument" is your first full-length album. What was the process of writing and recording the album? What is your way of working on the themes?
- It has been a long and tough process. It took us five years(!) to reach our high standards. We view Blodsgard's music as art and treat the process accordingly. It is always about the art, never about it making popular music. We write music to be great, no matter who will listen to it. We have a strickt way of writing themes. We root out a small melody-theme that we evolve into a song naturally over time. Each track takes months to finish. 

The sound of "Monument" has an important component of the sound of traditional black metal, but on the other hand doesn't shy away from a more current sound. What defines the music of the band? What bands are the principal influences on the group's sound?
- Of course, like any other metal head, we are fans of other bands too. Like Burzum, Mayhem, Gorgoroth, to name a few obvious bands. The difference between Blodsgard and other bands is that we are adamant about creating our own music. We have made our own sound by creating everything from scratch. Nothing is stolen, nothing is copied. When your process of making music is that basic and down to your roots, the sound you end up with is different from everything else. That is why people have a really hard time putting us into a box. We dont "sound" exacly alike anything else simply beacuse we have made everything ourself. Lyrically, musically, mentally. Our music-making process is the definition of originality. We take pride in that fact.

How has the sound of the band evolved since your first demo, “Nuclear Extinction” in 2008 to your album “Monument”?
- I (Rex) have personally always been interested in modernizing blackmetal music. Evolution is inevitable, but it needs to be directed in a positive way. How can we change old school True Norwegian Black Metal into a modern sound without losing the edge it had in the 90's? A part of that is being concious about what exactly it was that was so great about the original sound, and what can be modernized in a positive way. The first demo Nuclear Extinction was an attempt at bringing in clear solo guitar sections. A sort of half-futuristic sound. We moved away from this pretty fast. Finding our own sound means pushing the boundaries. Nuclear Extinction was an unserious experiment at a very early stage (I had only played guitar for one year at the time). Monument is something completely different. It is a beast that has so much work cut into it that Nuclear Ex. by comparison looks like an aborted fetus.

What lyrical aspects are used in the songs and why do you consider them interesting to write about?
- Stein Akslen: The lyrics I (Akslen) created for Monument deals with the individuals relation to his/her own conscioussness, and the world, or worlds, you are able to create for yourself. The necessity for destruction, to burn bridges, and the ambitions needed to recreate yourself and your world in your own image. Of course, it relates directly to myself, as all great art should – but I try to use a language visual and poetic enough to make others be able to connect to it. There is a certain pagan esoteric aspect of the lyrics, using elements and emotions to express something I believe many are able to relate too. The forces of nature all exist in yourself, and it is your job – your duty – to use these forces for the benefit of yourself. You should know when to conjure a storm, and when to let the ice melt. 

Although you preserve the sound and the scene of traditional black metal, it's also true that your music has a more current component and has evolved to achieve a very recognizable sound. What classic bands are your favorites and which current bands deserve your attention currently?
- I often get this question in interviews, "what bands do I reccomend". The fact that I can not reccomend any new band out there is a sad fact. But it is never the less painfully true. There are OK bands out there, but great bands that I would personally reccomend listening to? Nothing. The copy-paste thoughtless 'I-want-to-be-a-rockstar' golddigging fanboy tendencies of new bands that have exactly zero artistical ingenuity makes me want to pull my hair out. They make nothing new. What is the point of creating music if you are badly copying and repeating what (better) bands have done before you? Art is not simple consumption. Quality over quantity is the key to the survival of our genre of music. I hope that Blodsgard will be the changing factor in this musical stagnation.

Furthermore, your music also has a strong anti-religious weight; what is your opinion on organized religion as a method for subduing the human being?
- Stein Akslen: In my opinion, there is never a valid excuse to let yourself go and submit. I (Akslen) believe that freedom and mental autonomy is threatened by any religious system that has dogmatics, a defined morality or a hierarchy. Religiousity is often too ignorant and too connected to escapism, to ever be a healthy characteristic of a human being. As I have said in numerious other interviews, I do not consider religion per se the problem; the problem lies in the individual who actively and openly embraces these practices. You should never turn the other cheek.

The idea of the concerts (playing live) is secondary for the band? 
- Blodsgard does not play live. It is not for some strange philosphical reason, it has to do with timing and resources. Both Stein Akslen and I (Rex) have ambitious career plans to maintain. That takes up so much of our day-to-day resources that it would be impossible to rehearse and travel for live shows. But maybe, one day, we will push together and do one or two live concerts. That too will be something completely different. I can say this much: If you are into elitist blackmetal and come across Blodsgard playing live, you better start packing. The chances of that happening are slim, but if Blodsgard has proved anything it is that we have the ability to make the impossible happen and make greatness come alive. 

How did you get started in music; what were the first CDs you bought; the first concert you attended? Why did you decide to be a musician? 
Five key CDs for you. 
- I (Rex) decided to make music when I was very young. I think I was about 11 years old when I first started making epic techno music. I was always far better then anyone else I knew at it, so I think that was the first time I understood that I had a rare gift. Musicians come in many shapes and sizes; you have the guitarists that are good at repeating that other people have written, and then you have songwriters. Really good songwriters are maybe 3-4% of musicians in total. Songwriters are a rare specimen. I am one of those oddities of musicians.

I cant remember The first metal concert I attended, but I remember seeing Shining at a very early stage and Satyricon on several occations. They both made a lasting impression. I can't remember the first metal CD I bought, but the first CD ever was a really bad techno compilation album in 1994. One of the first metal albums that really changed me and made a lasting impression was Fear Factory - Archetype (2004). If you listen closely, you can hear technical references from that album on Monument (or at least I can). Apart from that, my "Blackmetal awakening" was through the classic albums of Dimmu Borgir, Emperor, Satyricon, Burzum, Mayhem, Gorgoroth, Troll, Ved Buens Ende, Kvist, etc.

How did you  to release the album through the Italian label The Oath? Are you satisfied with the work done by the label and by the response of fans to "Monument"? 
- The response Monument was above anything anyone could hope for. Several "album of the year" awards, many 10/10 top scores. I can't think of many bands out there that have gotten the same praise on their debut album. Of course that makes up happy. We hoped to be recognized for our art. Being named maybe one of the best bands of the century is of course above what we expected, but it is also a goal we set for ourselves too. We are not satisfied with being one of many OK bands. We want to make the best black metal art of today. Being recognized for our hard work feels good. The fans have been fantastic to us over many years. We have very loyal fans and hope to gather many more. We work for our fans, trying to give them the very best dark art that we can.

We did not decide on The Oath lightly. We were promised hard work and an easy sales platform for our fans to get hold of the album. This was extremely important to us. Surprisingly this was not in any way fulfilled by The Oath. We are not happy with the work that has been done by the label. We set high standards for our music, so there is no reason why that high standard shouldnt apply to the business aspect as well. We will not work with The Oath on our next album. Our fans deserve better. I would like to give my personal apologies to all the fans that had to go through a shady label to get hold of Monument physically. We will make sure this does not happen again.

Who designed the album cover? What does it represent and how it does it relate to the content? 
- Stein Akslen: The idea for the album cover was conceived by us in Blodsgard ourselves, and later rendered by hand by Mark Cooper of Mindrape Art. The art itself obivously relates to the Monolith by Gustav Vigeland you can see in Oslo, but has been reworked to fit our message. I (Akslen) find it fitting that the pillar of humans now have roots stretching into the landscape, and souls breaking free to fly on their own. That’s a beautiful idea. Combined with the title «Monument» and the message of our music, I think it gives a good insight into the mentality of what we decided Blodsgard to be.  

Will we have a follow-up to “Monument” soon? Any upcoming release? 
- Stein Akslen: Definitely not soon, considering it took five years to create Monument. We have some ideas, but nothing is carved in stone. Both Rex and I (Akslen) take great pride in our art, and I can assure you that nothing will be rushed or released unless it is the absolute best we can do. Blodsgard is elitist music, it’s all about quality, not quantity. Monument is one of the best Black Metal albums of all time, and I expect no less from a follow-up.

Thank you very much for taking the time to (correspond with) Black Metal Spirit, if you want to add something for the followers of Blodsgard, this is the place. I hope the questions are to your liking.
- Thanks to Black Metal Spirit! To our fans: I hope you will take the time to 'like' our facebookpage ( and invite some friends as well. We post regulary interesting things abour Blodsgard, blackmetal, Norway and our lives. We like to have direct contact with our fans. 

Visit Blodsgard to buy merchandise! That is the Only place on earth to get hold of our merch. The stock is getting low, so grab it while you can. Monument-related merch will probably not be printed again.

 - Fredrik Rex and Stein Akslen 

Oslo, Norway 02.07.2014.

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