sábado, 22 de junio de 2024


 1. Vestindien began its journey around 2009, the name of the band refers to the last brothel in Bergen, why did you decide to create the band and use the name Vestindien?

 The band was started when Slettsnok and Fader War met around the legendary bar Vamoose in Bergen. The bar was a hangout for the indie-scene in Bergen, but we found out we had similar references that other people around there didn't have. How that later manifested into a band is rather blurry, as the rest of that period. But at some point we had summoned a childhood friend each and started rehearsing.  The Vestindien-building is situated not far from our first practice space, the building is known to be the last public brothel in Bergen.  Bergen has a long history of being a sinful city, with brothels and heavy drinking-culture.  We chose the name to play homage to the dark history of our home town.  Absalon Pedersson Beyer said it best:  «Væ dig Bergen du fule Sodoma oc Gomorrhæ søster»

 Fun fact: The cover photo of NULL is shot a couple of meters from Absalon`s grave. 

2. You began your journey with the release of your first EP in 2012 “We Are the Lords of Hellfire, and We Bring You...Fire.” where you showed a sound moreinfluenced by  hardcore, however after this almost nine years passed until the release of “Null”, your first album, what can you tell us about the musical style of this first EP and the composition and recording process of the same? Why this long period of Downtime?

 Back in 2012 we did not own computers or any studio equipment, so the writing process would happen in our heads and in the rehearsal space. Making the process more tedious but also made us connect as musicians.  Sometimes we miss the days when we struggled for hours just to make a little section of a song stick.  Something we still do, but now we can listen to the demos and figure out what's correct.  When we recorded the EP both we and our producer, Matias Tellez was in a part of our careers where we were figuring out how to The downtime was very important to us. The start of the band was really hectic with a lot of gigs, rehearsals and generally spending a lot of time on the band.  We needed to take a few steps back and figure out where, when and how to move forward.

3. With the release of “Null'' in 2021, the band's style was influenced by a more black and classic rock sound. At what point were you aware of the change in musical direction that you were going to face?  Were you surprised by the good reception the album had, despite not having a completely accessible style?

 We continued making music together the whole down period, so for us the change in musical direction happened gradually. We understand it might seem as a drastic twist but that's just because we didn't release what we were working on.  When we were ready to release the music into the public, we were confident that it had the quality we wanted to present. It makes us happy that other people seem to like what we do, and maybe a little surprised that we have gotten coverage in the more mainstream parts of the media.

 4. You have just released your second album “Verdande”, an album that seems to have started working on it practically once you had just released “Null”, how has this long process of composing and recording the new album been? What marks? What instruments have you used in the process?

 We actually started composing this record in the middle of recording NULL. This was in the middle of the strictest lockdown during the pandemic, so we had a lot of time to focus and tune in on our creativeness. The start of writing an album is always exciting and a lot of the riffs and demos were created in that period. Since we were unable to play live in the way that we wanted, we could just as well make another record.  Slettsnok went to Bjørnøya for seven months in 2021 and continued to write some material there.  When he came back in the start of 2022 we started recording Verdande.  These recordings were eventually scrapped.  After that we needed a couple of months to get an overview on what was wrong and how to fix it.  It feels like these months almost cost us the whole record, but we felt the ideas and songs were too strong to leave behind.  So once again we picked up the scraps from the first demos and started working.  This time in Undershön Studio with Robert Jønnum.  With the deadlines closing in, we managed to finally make the record we wanted.

 5. I mentioned previously that styles such as hardcore, black or the most classic rock coexist in your sound, all passed through a filter of darkness and rawness. How would you describe the sound of the new album for those who have not heard it yet? What bands and styles are influences for you when composing music?

Picture yourself laying on your side in bed, soft focus through a deep purple lava lamp, a cauldron of Hard Rock simmering in the middle of the room.  It is an impossible task to mention any bands or genres that have influenced us more than others.  We have consumed an immense amount of music in our lives. Everything we have made a connection has somehow been internalized and we have now reached a point where we don't really look to other bands for inspiration.  But of course, nothing is new, and for those who want to find references; they are yours to figure out.

 6. The lyrics of your songs do not cover specific topics, rather they focus on everyday topics and your experiences. How do you approach the themes of the songs? Do the lyrics adapt to the songs or vice Versa?

 Slettsnok:  Though an everyday situation or impression can trigger what I write, I feel I have developed a lens or a filter that I run everything through to fit into the Vestindien universe.  That lens is made up of all kinds of references to mythology and magic literature that I have submerged myself in throughout the years. It has in some way become how I see the world.

 7. You have worked with Robert Jønnum for the mixing and recording process of the album, on the other hand the recording of it has been carried out in Bergen and on a remote island in the Barents Sea, why is this idea of looking for a solitary place to Record the album? Why did you decide to work with Robert Jønnum?

 When writing the rest of the record in Bjørnøya i feel like i really got to submerge myself in the Vestindien-universe. To me it's important to be present in the project over time, without interference. Being able to do so in such a solitary place has been a great privilege.  I play in another band with Robert and we had just finished an album with that, when the Verdande-recordings kind of hit a wall.  So we figured it would be a good idea to continue a collaboration we knew worked.  Robert has a really comfortable and intuitive way of working, and a deep understanding of where we are coming from artistically.

 8. The new album cover is more “luminous” than the previous one, but it has a more psychedelic touch, yes, who designed the album cover and how does it relate to the content of the album?

 The work for these two albums overlapped so we were already demoing Verdande while we were recording NULL, so we knew what direction we were taking. The original picture for the cover was meant to be used for NULL but the music and the visuals did not match. This time around we felt it was a perfect fit and we think it worked out well.  A good friend of ours, Sondre Krum Dahl, designed the cover with a We usually figure out the visual and the sonic part of the output simultaneously and will pull it towards each other.  The visuals for our art is as important as the sonic part, and we use a lot of time on giving a holistic output.

 9. You are still linked to Dark Essence Records for the publishing of your music, how did the possibility of publishing your music through this record label arise?

 When NULL was done we needed a record label to put it out. We sent it to Dark Essence as we felt they were the only good alternative to releasing it ourselves.  To us it was important to have a label that was based in Bergen and with people we trust.  

10. How would you describe the black metal scene today in a mythical city like Bergen in everything that has to do with black metal? What new bands would you recommend from your area?

 We are really not that involved in any scene here, but at the moment there are a lot of quality Hard Rock bands in Bergen. To mention some we have Gjenferd, Inculter, Deathcult, Bismarck, Morax, Slomosa and Heimland. Out of these bands Heimland and Deathcult are the only Black Metal bands, but they are really worth checking out.

 11. Have you already started the live presentation of the new album? What upcoming concerts do you  Have you planned? Which bands would you like to do a mini tour with?

 We have been playing some shows this spring and are going out on another round in Norway in late summer/early fall.  And hopefully some international touring next winter/spring.  It would be cool to tour with some bands that have good songs and a good guitar sound.  For example Maggot Heart or Final Gasp.  They are probably the most interesting bands right now.

 12. How were your beginnings in music: first concerts you attended, first albums you bought? What happened in your lives that pushed you to want to be musicians? 

 Slettsnok: The first concert I can remember attending is a Gitarkameratene-show in Grieghallen in Bergen. They were  a legendary “Supergroup” with the four biggest folk/singer-songwriters in Norway. It  was a really crazy experience for a 4-5 year old dude from a small island.  The first album I bought for my own money was a greatest hits CD of Bob Dylan. Insanely good.  I'm in the middle of a Bob Dylan period as we speak. Making music has always felt inevitable. We always had a lot of different instruments at home, and most of the people in my family play or played an instrument.  I played the Piano and drums as a child but I didn't have it in me to learn other people's songs so usually just made stuff up.  Later on I would continue making up stuff on different instruments, and here we are.

 Fader War: The first album I bought was a cassette with Roy Orbison. Mystery Girl. I found it in an empty ice cream tray at a flea market one summer. Think i was about 6. Definitely a lot of songs I couldn't comprehend at the time, but «you got it» was the first song on side A so it was easy to rewind and play on repeat over and over. That was a good summer. I'm blessed to come from a family with a lot of interest in music, and some of them played in bands as well. The first meeting with live music must have been joining my father on soundchecks or rehearsals when he played in a Psychobilly-band called The Tranceplants (not the American band) during the early 90’s.  I remember it being a lot of noise for a little kid and needing ear muffs to cope.  I started a band that rehearsed during recess in high school. I just liked the idea of being in a band, so it didn’t matter if I could play or anything. I eventually started learning the guitar.

 13. What album represents for you the essence of black metal? What latest albums have you bought?

 Slettsnok: To me it has to be Under A Funeral Moon. I had heard a lot of Black metal before that, and was already a huge fan of bands like Immortal, Bathory etc.  But UAFM overpowered me and made an already darkened heart pitch black.  The three latest albums i have bought is Gjenferd - ST , Morax - Rites and Curses, and Fader War: Since I was more of a thrasher in my youth and not into BM to the extent of my bandmate here, I listened to a lot of Bathory and Celtic Frost/Hellhammer early on. But If we're defining the epitome of BM I must agree with Slettsnok that Darkthrone captured it with the first records after they became a BM band. I could mention a local c(o)unt that has made quite an impression as well, but I rather not.

 14. Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions for Black Metal Spirit, if you want to add something for Vestindien followers this is the place. I hope the questions are to your liking.

 Thank you for the great questions!


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