The best part of working in the music industry is getting tons of inspiration on a daily bases. People send recommendations, bands send demos, and readers tag me with songs they think I will like. This is how I first heard about Eternity, and for me, it was a one-way ticket. There is no going back after listening to this. We at MHF magazine take pride in being super impartial to the bands we work with so I was contacted by an MHF friend and colleague who really wanted to do this interview but is very close to the band, to the point where it would be impossible for him to promote their work in an unbiased way. So I took over and I am more than happy to take you on this journey with me.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Evighet and here is what happened:
When it comes to Norwegian black metal what does it mean to be a traditionalist?
Black Metal is inherently ugly and hateful but it is made beautiful by love for nature and Lord Satan. Without these two factors, there can be no true Norwegian black metal. And I’m talking about the actual worship of a god, not the convoluted self-love some label Satanism.
“The genre that arose in Norway in the 90s was something special and unique and I see no reason to evolve it, only refine it.”
With this album, To Become the Great Beast, we have tried to make an album that feels like it could have released in the 90s. It couldn’t, not musically and certainly not in terms of production, but we wanted it to feel that way, to feel right. So when people label me a traditionalist for doing black metal in the only way, in my opinion, that it should be done, I’m perfectly fine with that. After all, most things were better before.
Complete the sentence: If I just had _____________ my life would be so much easier.
Difficult question. I have in my life everything I need to be content. Of course, you can always have more of everything, but learning to be grateful for what you have is the most important path to peace inside. So I choose to go with a more practical example:
“If I just had a smaller dog that didn’t want to eat everyone and everything we meet, my life would be so much easier”…
Now while this statement is undoubtedly true, I love my 60kg angry South African Boerboel and I wouldn’t give him up for anything. I’ve always had great beast monster guard dogs and who said life was supposed to be easy anyway. I appreciate a challenge!
Eternity used to be a solo project but channelling satanic forces took its toll on you and you decided to transform this solo endeavour to a band. On a scale of one to ten, how hard was it to give up the creative control and trust other people with your vision?
It was hard. Having taken a long break from Eternity made it much easier to deal with, as I had gained some distance from my work, but doing things as a band and with other people is a completely different mind-set. You have to let go sometimes and just let things happen the way they want. Things will never be quite as you envision them in your head, but working with other people, not to mention having a band, opens up for new energies and synergic effects that may lead to something greater than you can achieve on your own. I was conscious from the very beginning of starting work on To Become the Great Beast that I wanted to do things differently this time around, that I would let the other guys do things their way. I think that loss of control led to me doubling down on my own parts so I spent a really long time in the studio on my guitar and vocal tracks. But I did find it very hard to let things fall as they’d want and I did try to remain tight overarching control of everything. There were some rough times during the productions with disagreements on how things should be, whether or not we should give up the first mix and change producer and so on. There was some bad blood. I’d say in terms of difficulty a strong 8/10. But that is all water under the bridge now and has only made the album better and stronger. And with the foundation now firmly in place for the band, I feel very much blessed to have these guys with me and the next album should be easy.
Do you think that a man alone can work hard to become a great unbeatable beast or no man is an island?
Both. In Nietzsche’s “Also Sprach Zarathustra”, a book of massive importance to both me and Eternity, Zarathustra goes up into the mountains to drink of the sun in solitude and gain enlightenment. Having achieved his goal, he then realizes he must descend and return to humanity, to shine for them like the sun. He has become the Great Beast and he needs to share his wisdom and open the pathway for others to ascend.
“We are all entwined in the All.”
What does a Norwegian metalhead have for breakfast on a Sunday morning?
Milk. Bread with cheese and ham or whatever slice of meat. Coffee.
“Sometimes I go crazy and have an egg too”.
On normal days we have the same breakfast (sans the egg) but make extra slices of bread, wrap them in a white paper we call “food paper” and eat them for lunch.
“Norwegian food culture is very black metal.”
Give us a song that reminds you of someone you want to forget.
We do not forgive we do not forget! No, I do forgive because grudges cause cancer, but I honestly haven’t had anyone in my life I’ve wanted to forget. I believe we incarnate in groups with shared or intertwining destinies. Everyone important has been in my life for a good reason, and the unimportant ones we tend to forget easily and without wanting to.
But perhaps, to answer your question, there was a certain someone in my life that I found very hard to let go of, whose echoes remain in Horror Vacui.
If we were all forced to wear warning labels, what would yours say?
Hah! This one is easy. Before meeting my girlfriend for the first time I thought it only fair to let her know upfront what she was getting into, so I wrote her an email with the header
“Warning! Evighet may be hazardous to your spiritual health!”
Let’s talk about philosophy. What’s the best way to find the gateway to enlightenment?
Become a Seeker. Read. Study religion and philosophy. Learn a magic system – for me, Kabbalah has been the most beneficial, but find something that resonates with you. Practice ludic dreaming. Realize that the lies, commercials, propaganda and fake news are tapestries on the prison walls that confine us. Expand your mind, open mycoplasmic portals, go out into nature and communicate with plants and trees and whole ecosystems. Praise the sun, it conveys all the knowledge of the galaxy.
“Meditate and keep seeking”.
Pray. And one day the universe opens its eye to you and lets you knowingly swim in the glorious All-encompassing consciousness that is the mind of God.
Do you think that having an ex-Mayhem (Blasphemer) laying down a killer bass track for the album played a crucial role in the band’s popularity?
It certainly didn’t hurt! I think it meant we got some extra reviews and press and got some more people interested, but I think actually we expected it to make more of a splash. But that’s fine too, as it means the album is judged more for what it is rather than for who’s involved. Anyways, this album is one for the ages and I expect more people to discover what we’ve made here as time goes on. For me though, the most important reason for bringing in Blasphemer and Brynjard Tristan on the album was that first of all they’re great musicians but most importantly, they’re old friends of mine and I wanted to bring together as much as possible of the “old” energy that has been part of my life and has shaped me as a person and musician. I wanted to take all of that into the studio and try to capture the essence of our joint energy on the album. I think we managed to do that quite well and that makes me very proud.
Do you think that the area that you live in, influences a musician’s work? Does it help to live in a gloomy dark country to be able to write a gloomy masterpiece?
Yes, I really think it does. Winter in Norway ain’t so bad as long as we have snow and everything turns cold, white and pure.
“But November is always incredibly bleak and horrible.”
And the winters without snow are completely dreadful. Darkness, cold and rain. It’s like nature and all the people just lie in wait, hating, surviving. Biding our time until we can live again. It’s a climate perfect for writing good Black Metal songs!
I need Netflix recommendations. Pick a fave, please.
“I just finished watching S5 of Peaky Blinders”.
Thought it was quite so-so but the first three seasons are really great and have killer soundtracks with Nick Cave and P.J. Harvey. I also rather enjoyed the Dark Crystal series, mostly for its beauty and the obvious love, effort, and craftsmanship that went into its making. But I think what I’ve enjoyed watching most this year has been “The Boys” (on Prime though, not Netflix). The Homelander is such an awesome bad guy! Really put a smile on my face that series and made me reread the comics which are just as great.
“I can’t possibly answer this question without adding some of my timeless favourite movies like the Omen, A Clockwork Orange and John Carpenter” stuff like They Live and In the Mouth of Madness, they’re not on Netflix here in Norway at the moment but this can only be better elsewhere.
I know you probably can’t expose all details but can you tell us a bit about Eternity’s future plans? Give us something to look forward to!
We are currently working on the next two releases actually. I can’t say anything too specific since I haven’t discussed this in detail with our record label yet, but we have three new songs already recorded and we’re going into the studio again sometime after Christmas to record some more. If all goes as I want and hope, there will be a new Eternity record out next summer/fall and another one a year after that. And we definitely have plans to get Eternity on the road and do some gigs around Europe next year. Hopefully, we see you then!
I will definitely catch you on the road and we can talk about philosophy and Nietzsche while sipping black metal coffee and go crazy on the eggs. I’ll tell you all about the real peaky blinders, the ones who lived in Birmingham, which happens to be my fave place in the entire world and if the night is still young we might summon a demon or two.