jueves, 15 de octubre de 2020



1. Cloth was born in 2012, why did you decide to create the band? Why do they choose the name Cloth?

C: Cloth is a vague nod towards the term «men of the cloth», which is sometimes used to refer to monks having vowed a life in dedication to what they considered the truth. To me, naming the band Cloth, relates in part to this in terms of our dedication to music. In addition, the expression «sackcloth [and ashes]» involves the kind of severity one can expect thematically from our lyrics as well as musical expression. 

2. Although they have been active since 2012, they did release a demo and an EP at the beginning, however they had not released new material since 2012; What is this period of silence for the band due to?

C: It is because Cloth up until now has always been an «in-between-band», that is a way of stimulating creativity while our other bands were on a hiatus for different reasons. 

3. The members of Cloth are active in projects like Aspiration or Dalit, more focused on the sound of doom, death. What does Cloth offer you compared to these other bands? Is it very difficult for them to separate the compositions of the different projects?

C: No, not really. Those bands have a very defined sound. When we started up Cloth, it was to pursue musical directions these bands would not tread. 

JI: In my time in Cloth there has always been room for experimenting and doing unorthodox things, which really motivates and interest me. Writing and playing material with a higher intensity and aggression is a welcome contrast to DALIT for instance. I don't think it's that hard to separate the compositions between our projects. Sometimes it becomes apparent that a song is not a good fit for Cloth, and should be used elsewere. And vice versa.

4. How has the writing and recording process for your new EP “Axis Mundi” been? After almost six years between the last two EPs, what do you think has changed in the sound of Cloth in this time?

C: It was pure joy to start the writing process for Axis Mundi. When you start up such a process, everything is possible and nothing is decided. I love that feeling of endless possibilities. After a while, we have a pile of songs that we divide into «good», «needs some development», and «downright awful». This time we ended up with the four songs on Axis Mundi. Last time, only three songs made it to the end. I consider the two EP’s as pretty similar in terms of the dynamic of the songs, but perhaps the musical expression (genre wise) of Axis Mundi is somewhat wider than the last one.

5. The sound that you offer in “Axis Mundi” is a mixture of different styles, the themes flow and at times the listener can feel identified with Scandinavian black, but we can also find doom, progressive, rock, gothic elements. would you define the sound of “Axis Mundi”? And what bands have influenced the sound of this new EP?

C: The sound is controlled, stringent and aggressive. Signifiant is perhaps the odd one out, as it is more simple in its structure and instrumentation – more «in your face» – than the others. The other three I would define as a playful weave of dark music. 

In terms of influences, I would probably deliver different answers from day to day, as my listening habits vary with my daily mood. This would also be the case for potential influences when working with the the Axis Mundi songs. That being said, I personally cannot deliver anything musically without revealing my long time admiration and inspiration from bands such as Anathema, My Dying Bride, The Ocean, DHG, Khold, Red Harvest, Virgin Black, Extol, Code, Abigor, Gorefest, Entombed, Alcest, She Said Destroy etc. The list goes on. 

6. It is striking how careful the sound of the EP is, that although it works as a whole, it is also true that each song has its own personality, are you very perfectionists when it comes to working on every detail of your songs when composing them? What brands of instruments do you use to record and compose?

JI: Thank you! We take great care in our songwriting and don't shy away for using a lot of time making it just right. In some aspects I may call myself a perfectionist, or at least that I strive to do better each time. It can be a painful process, but an important one. 

Most of the songwriting stems from drafts or outlines that I get from Cato. Then from my studio, I further enhance or add my personal touches to the material. We've been working together for so many years now, and are able to communicate pretty well around ideas/visions and emotions.

I mainly use my Gibson Les Paul Studio PP for both recording and songwriting. I've also used a few other guitars (Telecasters, hollowbodies etc.) when the material demand it. My ENGL Powerball has been my go-to amp, with a Marshall 1960A-cab. All the recordings (with the exception of drums) took place in my own studio.

7. Your lyrics deal with subjects somewhat far from the standards of black such as Christianity, philosophy or consumerism; Why do you consider these themes that you deal with in the lyrics interesting? Do you feel somewhat displaced from the scene when you are labeled as a no black band/unblack? Because of your lyrics?

C: I guess we are a bit philosophical  in this band. It probably stems from becoming older and thus viewing life in general from different perspective than 20 years ago. Moreover, it is also a result of several of us being interested in human history. I find comparing my own life and experiences with that of others a meaningful enterprise – the older the better. 

I think nobody in this band has any need for being labelled either black or unblack. Firstly, I would say that by including Ad baculum (doom) and Ghost Town (death’ish), we have disqualified ourselves from either label in terms of genres. Secondly, as we are philanthropists and not misanthropists lyric-wise, I guess black most certainly is off the table. Thirdly, I find our lyrics way too sinister and un-sermonlike, to qualify for the term. 

I guess this leaves us happily conductors of «metal» 

JI: Personally I can’t quite grasp the unblack thing. At least for my part, the lyrics don’t dictate what genre or category we belong to. It’s all about the musical expression and emotion.

8. Who designed the cover of the EP? And what is the relationship between the cover and the lyrical and musical content of “Axis Mundi”?

JI: I wanted a more minimalist approach to the cover this time around, and spent quite some time doing sketches and drafts for the cover. Finally we got the help of Rune Hansen (kreasjon.no) to tie everything together for printing.

The symbolism is mainly about humankind destroying itself in its endless consumerism. Between heaven and hell (light and darkness etc.) from the beginning of life until death.

9. How do you think Covid-19 has affected the sales of “Axis Mundi”? Are there chances that you will one day offer a concert?

C: I have no idea of how it might affect sales, but we are aiming for a concert in Oslo at the 14th of November. Due to Covid-restrictions the amount of seats are of course limited. The whole show will therefore be live-streamed. Cf. www.nordicfest.no 

10. “Axis Mundi” has been released on CD and digitally by Nordic Mission, how is contact made for the release through this record label? Are you satisfied with the editing and promotion work done by Nordic Mission?

C: We are very grateful for the NM-guys to promote and distribute the EP. So far they have done a great job! This provides us with the opportunity to focus on making songs for what eventually will be our debut. 

11. The town of Kristiansand you come from is not exactly a small town, is there an interesting local extreme metal scene in your area?

C: To call it a scene would be far-fetched/an exaggeration, but there are a couple of great and interesting bands that hail from this area of Norway: Flukt, In Vain, In the Woods, Blood Red Throne, and Green Carnation.

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

C: My musical journey started with prog. I still consider Genesis, King Crimson, Mars Volta, Jethro Tull, Camel, Yes, Rush etc. among my favorite bands. In my twenties I was exposed to and embraced the world of extreme metal (of any kind). Thus everything from «Star Ship Troopers» and «tied in bronze chains» still spins heavily in my headphones. 

How i picked up the drum sticks is something of a cliché, and can be summarized in one experience – the first time I heard the song «6:00» from Dream Theater’s album Awake. After that, there was no turning back. 

JI: My musical background is something else, hehe. I was quite into blues/delta in my early years before I found ‘computerized’ music in the old PC/Amiga demo-scene. In the late 90’s I discovered the more extreme music (Extol, Dimmu Borgir, Vintersorg, Diabolical Masquerade) and I must admit that the metal genre has been the main focus over the years. I guess Chuck Schuldiner and Death was a great influence for me picking the guitar up, though I’m by no means a shredder.

13. Which album represents the essence of black metal for you? What was the last album you bought? And what album can't you stop listening to?

C: Satyricon’s «Rebel Extravaganza» represents to me the bench mark for black metal. Cold, dark and extremely aggressive. As a consequence I cannot stop listening to it. My last bought album was Leonov’s beautiful Wake LP.

JI: I was just recently asked that question by an acquaintance, and I could not for the life of me just come up with one album. In no particular order I think I would have to go with Keep of Kalessin – Reclaim, Mayhem – Grand Declaration of War and Dimmu Borgir – Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia. I can’t remember what album I last bought. This is what the streaming-world has come to...

14. I suppose it took a bit of time to get Cloth back up and running after six years. Will we soon have the opportunity to see a complete Cloth album finally released? What future plans do you have for the band?

JI: Cloth is a side-project that we focus on from time to time. We have all been busy in our lives with other things, both connected to music and other things.

I do feel that the next time we are going to release something with Cloth, it has to be an album. So let's hope we're able to pull it of, and that the age of the album isn't over.

As mentioned previously, we have our first live show planned for November in Oslo. So we're busy rehearsing our material. We are all really looking forward to that one.

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

C: Thank you for the interview! For all your readers: Take Axis Mundi for a spin and feel free to leave us a comment on how you found it to your liking on our Facebook page

JI: Thanks a lot! Check us out on Spotify and subscribe, that would really help us get more spotlight!


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