Mayhem's interviewsInterview with group for the period 1986-1993
Interview with Euronymous By Esa Lahdenpera taken from KILL YOURSELF! MAGAZINE. Typed/Edited by Thorns.
Northern Black Metal Legends
Next interview is taken from our issue #2 and it is the freshest possible ever answered by Euronymous, as he was murdered a week after he answered my questions. The reason for re-releasing this is because issue #2, where it was originally printed, has spread only in about 80 copies in FINNISH, so this is new stuff for most of the readers now. Also a couple of foreign penpals of mine have asked me to translate this interview for them, so here it is available for everybody. If someone who has read this before thinks its a rip off I can say that there's still a lot of other interesting reading for them, so this shouldn't bother anyone. And if it does, why should I care? They can fuck off and I dont give a shit! I hope you enjoy this story as this is one the last interviews Euronymous ever answered before he was stabbed to death by Count Grishnackh... He did great work by giving me long answers, so why don't we let him talk...
You have just started a black metal shop, Helvete, so could you please inform us how things are working with it? How your records has sold, and what was the reason you decided to form a shop which is dedicated to extreme black metal music...
We started Helvete because it's exactly the kind of shop I should like to buy records myself, and we only had a couple of bad shops selling trendy Death Metal and Disco. A few months ago we had to close it down because of all the journalists after the arrest of Count Grishnackh (BURZUM). But we will open again soon at another place. The records sold ok, but it was going better all the time.
Euronymous was also working with Deathlike Silence Productions, so now I'm forced to ask what kind of music the band has to offer before he signs them, does it necessarily have to be Black Metal? And what about the rumours which tell he is going to work with Darkthrone in near future...
I sign only the best bands in the world, in my opinion. I WILL NEVER sign a band which exists because of a trend. All the DSP bands will be something special. Most of the labels just spread around a lot of mass produced shit, but we will stand above all that. When people buy a DSP release they will know they buy a ultimate in blackness and quality, with only bands who believe 100% in what they write, I dont sign a band if I like the only, I must think they are best in the world before i sign them. As for DARKTHRONE, they had a four album deal with PEACEVILLE, and they would get a lot of shit if they would break the deal. We will see what happens in the future, nobody knows what DARKTHRONE will do, or if they will even exist.
It's weird the Tormentor- album never saw the light of day so I'm just wondering what went wrong... But now to the next subject... You, Euronymous, were the person who found the dead body of DEAD (Vocals), so let's talk about it, if you dont mind... How did you feel when you saw the corpse of your friend, and what about the rumours which say that you have taken photo's of DEAD's dead body...
I'm not into this business for FUN, so of course I wasnt scared. It's not every day you get the chance to see and touch the real corpse. And it's important to learn one thing when you are dealing with the darkside: There is NOTHING which is too sick, evil or perverted.
Euronymous said that Dead was bored with all the wimps, trendies and false Black Metallists in the world so he decided to end his earthly life, so now I would like to you to tell us a bit more about this.
Dead wanted to make evil music for evil people, but the only people he saw were walking around in jogging suits, caps, baseball shoes and being into peace and love. He hated them so much, and saw no longer any reason to waste his time on them.
Mayhem has got a status of a cult band and people in the underground have respected them, but lately there has been talking that Mayhem is only riding with the reputation of their MLP and hasn't release anything new in these years, so let's see what Euronymous has to say about all this...
I like that you asked this, because it's going to be VERY embarassing for those people in a month's time soon when i'm writing this. Because when this magazine is printed, the new MAYHEM album is finally out! We have finished the recordings of "De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas" now, and we only have to mix it, and that will happen in a couple of days. We have worked on this album for six years, and it's full of brand new ideas. We could have put out a lot of shit like for example CANNIBAL CORPSE are doing, but we have taken our time because we want this album to be the BEST! People dont know what they are talking about, but they will see. And if we need five years to make the next album, we'll take the time we need. Listen to the album and will understand what I mean. This is NOT a typical mass release, we have worked HARD on it and have thrown away most of the riffs, and only the perfect are saved.
It's true that this album is one of the best I've heard. But it's a shame that Dead wasn't on vocals as the new vocalist doesnt use his voice as diabolical and evil way as Dead did... Euronymous has also re-relesed their classic M- LP "Deathcrush", through his own label.. So what was the main reason to release it again!?
We decided to put it out to give people something to feed on while they are waiting for the album, and because there still were a lot of people who had the original. I thought why shouldn't it be available for those who still wanted it. Some have said that it's bad, that we released it because before only the true old fans had it, and now the trendies will ge it. But the fact is that there were maybe 40 people who had the original and who deserved to have it, and the rest were jerks. There were a lot more "true" people (how I hate that word) who didn't have it, and I just thought it was only the right thing to do. I still like this album a lot, but our new stuff is so different. I could never make a new "Deathcrush" even if I tried.
Before "Deathcrush" M- LP Mayhem released two demos, so let's discuss some more about them.
The "Deathcrush" demo is generally the same as the Mini-Album. The "Pure Fucking Armageddon" tape is abit different though. We don't spread much demos anymore, but I guess we can still sell them if someone really needs them.
Mayhem, Emperor, Burzum and some other Norwegian black metal bands have got some problems with Finnish black bands, and even death threats have been sent. So now I would like to hear Euronymous's opinion about all this. Are they really ready to kill because of some stupid fight "Who is true and who's not?"
I have never sent any death threats to Impaled nazarene like rumors tell, but someone has done so in my name. I have sorted things out with them, and I have nothing against that band, or any other Finnish band. I'm not too much into music of Finnish bands, and I think there's too much grind and chaos in it. i prefer athmospheres and melodies. But as concers to your last questions, I have no problem with killing some one in cold blood. Especially if I can get away with it. There are other people which are able to kill too. It has already happened, but I'm not going to say more about that, for obvious reasons.
Count Grishnackh blame's that we here, in Finland, are nothing but stupid clowns, no so called "true bands" exist here. I hope Euronymous will tell his personal opinion about this?
What Grishnackh says will stand for himself. And I don't like talking too much about "being true" or not, that word is over used now. I find most of the bands in the world shit, and I think most of the bands who call themselves "true Black metal" were ordinary Entombed clones a year ago. But people can change, of course. I'm not going to give a list of true and false bands, people will have to judge for themselves and will probably get fooled a lot of times before discovering what's real and what's not. But know that it's not enough to put on some corpse paint to make a band. they must have the right spirit, and my way of seeing that is to listen to the music. Generally, if the band is so great that I almost start freezing on my back, I know thy have the necessary feeling for this. i accept nothing less than the greatest. I can also say that I will NEVER accept any band which preaches CHURCH OF SATAN ideas, as they are just a bunch of freedom, and life-loving atheists, and they stand exactly the opposite of me.
In issue #2 of ours, Count Grishnackh said that the "Only true bands from Norway" are Mayhem, Darkthrone and Burzum, the others are just stupid fucking children playing with things they don't snow shit about. But if these three are the "only true ones" why does Immortal and Emperor belong in the "Norwegian Black Circle?" And what about other Norwegian bands such as Thorns, Thou Shalt Suffer, and Satyricon?
Again, Count will have to answer in his own words, I have always supported Emperor and Immortal. But we do have some fake bands here, but I'm not going to give you any names. you will eventually find out.
The next subject will be the belief of Eurononymous, so why don't we let the man talk.
I believe in a horned devil, a personified Satan. In my opinion all the other forms of Satanism are bullshit. I hate that some peoople think up idiotic ways of making eternal peace in the world and dare to call it Satanism, like so many do. Satanism comes from religious Christianity, and there it shall stay. I'm a religious person and I will fight those who misuse His name. People are not supposed to believe in themselves and be individualists. They are supposed to OBEY, to be the SLAVES of religion.
I know it's stupid to talk shit about dead men, but I must say I will not agree with Euronymous about this. Who could be so stupid to want to be someone's slave, to obey???! There is no fucking devil and there's no fucking god, and everybody should understand it! But that's all about his case... Many people don't respect the Norwegian scene anymore because of their large scene with tons of bands. But now we should let Euronymous defend the members of their black metal mafia, which have been blamed trendies. So what does the "boss of the organization" have to say about all this?
I can't understand how some people can talk that way about Norway. Firstly Immortal is NOT a black metal band, as they are not satanists. And this is something they say themselves. They are into the athmosperes and moods concerning Satanism. Their new look is just a way for them to go deeper into what they have always been into. And even if Count Grishnackh played in OLD FUNERAL, he was exactly the same person then, and he was even making music for Burzum all the time he played in Old Funeral. This is a typical example that people don't know shit what they are talking about... And further, those who have cared to read the lyrics of Darkthrone's "Soulside Journey" will know that they aare the same Satanic lyrics, which means that "Soulside Journey" IS a black metal album. They changed the style when they realized that all the other members in the band, except for the bass player, wanted to. Darkthrone hasn't ever been a band where members know each other very well. It sounds a bit weird, but it is true. They discovered that they all wanted to go musically in other directions, and changed everything. And this was a long time before Black metal started to get popular. As a matter of fact black metal was hated when they changed. And it's bullshit that they do it for big money, because they have got very little money from Peaceville. Maybe $10.000 in all these years together, and that in NOTHING! I would nerver support Darkthrone if they weren't worth it. If they were trendy, the would have toured the world and made videos for MTV. Instead of the two of them have moved far away to the forest and they have seen eaach other maybe twice in the year. And I have to say that those who talk about a big black metal trend here should keep silent if the don't have eyes to see with. We have four Black metal bands with albums out, and a couple of smaller garage bands. And we have maybe 30 die hard black metal fans and 700-1000 of those bastards who listen to commericial black metal such as Deicide. I think Darkthrone sells around 5000 in this country. How can peple compare it to Sweden for example, where Entombed sells 30,000?! The day Mayhem sells 20,000 records in Norway, Burzum is on MTV every day and Nuclear Blast signed eitht Norwegian Black metal bands, THEN you can start talking about a trend. Some people are so stupid that they call everything a trend, even if you only sell ten copies of your product. According to them it's a trend to eat.
Pointing to the question before: Maybe at the time when this interview was made there were only four bm bands with cd's out in Norway. But now things have changed. Just look at it: Gorgoroth (one album), Satyricon (two albums), Forgotten Woods (one album), Isengard (two albums), Hades (one album), Ancient (one album), Burzum (five albums), Darkthrone (five albums), Carpathian Forest (one album), Emperor (two albums). And there's also a bunch of bands which aren't strickly satanic, but which deal with paganism, dark and deep forest, smowy mountains and Viking mythology, like In the Woods, Immortal, Storm, Ildfrost, Ulver, Gehenna, Enslaved, etc, which have released albums too... When I listen to all these bands I can hear clear infulences from such bands as Bathory (!!!) and Hellhammer, so how much have these kinds of bands influenced Mayhem? Could it be possible that Mayhem woudn't even exist without these "old gods?"
It is very hard to say. I'd like to think that we would have been the first evil band if the older bands wouldn't have existed, but I don't know. Venom was our first and major influence, later Bathory, Hellhammer, Sodom and Destruction, they have inspired us to wheere we stand today. I'm sure we would sound very different. It's about Venom, Bathory and Hellhammer ad the old evil bands, but nobody mentioned Sodom and Destruction. They came at the same time as Bathory and Hellhammer and their first albums are masterpieces of black stinking metal! Nobody manages to make music like that now. So many copy Bathory but I have never heard any copying Destruction, exept for Necronomicon. Some of these old gods have wimped out, but as long as I live Mayhem will not be a wimp band. We may change some things but the darkness will always be there...
Mayhem had released a live LP in the memory of Dead through Obscure Plasma Records (Italy), so why did the band decide to release a live LP before the studio LP, and what did Euronymous think about this record in general? And what aabout those two studio songs whichare included in the limited album version?
The live album hasn't been out for a very long time, so I haven't heard much responce about it, but I, myself, like it a lot. The studio album is coming, but it was important to put this album as half official release before some one put it out as a bootleg totally beyond our control. The studio songs in it are from 1990, we didn't have more than one finished song them. The other song, "Carnage" is from "PFA" demo, and it was made already in the year 1985.
Then what about the deal with Obscure Plasma? Was the deal only for this one album, and is Obscure Plasma a label which deserves Mayhem itself? How has things worked?
It is just a deal for the one album. Obscure Plasma sells this album and they will get all the money, in return Roberto (the boss) will send mea a free master tape for his band Monumentum to put out on DSP. It's a cool deal, I think I'm very satisfied with the work Roberto did for it. The artwork is just incredible. We decided to do it with Obscure Plasma jusst because I trust in them and because of the Monumentum deal. I like the label itself, although I think most of the releases there are shit. The Sadist EP is great and the Monumentum/Rotting Christ EP is one of teh best releases ever, it's ingenious. Obscure Plasma is one of the few labels whcih deserve to do something with Mayhem. We have got several offers from other labels. Boththe more common labels like Osmose, Decapitated and others and bigger labels like Earache. But we have always said no.
And what does Euronymous think about "G- Principle": "Black metal is only for underground, you aren't allowed to earn some money with black metal bands and it definitely shouldn't be spreaded through big labels"? Does Euronymous agree with this, or is all this just bullshit of jealous bastards?
I disagree about black metal staying underground only. I thought so before, but iI have changed my mind. The idea about underground, selling little and only to "true" people, not earning money, not thinking that you adre bigger than your fans and so on, everything comes from Hardcore. And how the hell we can know who are "true" and who are not, as most of the people who call themselves true are just normal idiots. original black metal bands such as Venom never had to be in underground to be accepted! Then why should we? The underground is both a means for the hardcore people to put us down and control us (at least it was before, they have mostly disappeared now but their ideas still linger on), and a bad exuse for bad bands to be eequal with great bands. Those who scream most about being in "underground" is also often those who make so bad music that they don't have a chance to get big themselves. I think that if we could make black metal bigger than it is now, we could have a great movement growing with hundreds of brutal soldiers spreading sorrow, death and evil in the world. Just look at the punks and the MC-people, they don't have to think about this, and they have came to a point that they have their own worlds with their own womrn, their own pubs, their own concert places, and so on. We will never be able to do the same if we work hard to earn as little money as possible in order not to be commercial. We must get rid of the "underground" ideas. The real underground have nothing to do with this. It's of course not right if people start playing blaack metal in order to become rich and nothing more (then they should choose some other music style anyway!), but there is something in between. I wouldn't mind making DSP big and earn a million, as long as I don't change my ways of thinking and being, which is the real important being here. If there were one million black metal fans in the world, most of them would be jerks, but there would be really many true and brutal people as well. The bigger we get, the more we can manipulate people into thinking like us.
That was all my friend, but there's still time for last comments... And thanks for your time!
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