Nella stesura di Horror Rock – La Musica delle Tenebre, parecchio materiale ( invero totalmente inedito) è rimasto fuori per problemi di spazio. Tra questi un’ interessantissima intervista a Ingar Amlien ( leader e principale compositore della black metal band norvegese Crest of Darkeness), sull’archetipo del Vamipiro tout court. Una testimonianza avvincente e completa su come certi temi siano studiati e decodificati dagli artisti dell’Horror Rock.
L’intervista è in lingua originale.
What does it attract you more about the archetype of the vampire in the modern culture? What does it make its timeless charm?
For me the Vampire is representing a lot of what lies in the human nature. I don’t believe most people would say the same, but for me as a so-called Modern Satanist, I feel that I have close connection to the vampire, and through my artistic life I’m actually living out a lot of myself be “being a vampire”.
The vampire is very often associated be “the evil side”, but quite often the vampire is also showing other sides of themselves, -sides which are not as much associated by the something evil. Vampires are often hated by the world they are living in, -people are scared of them, and people look a pone them as an alien race. Whatever, -the vampires are just doing what they have to do to survive. In many movies and books, we’re meeting vampires who have big problems with handling their lives. These vampires don’t want to kill people to feed, and they don’t want to turn human beings into vampires, but drinking blood is the only way they can survive, and they have no choice if they want to survive.
We’re also meeting a lot of vampires who’re falling in love with human beings, and in many of these stories the vampires are standing in a very difficult situation. Often we can see that these vampires don’t want to turn their “big love” into a vampire, and this situations opens up for the really big questions about life. -Living forever in a world where everybody hates you, -always hungry for blood (as a drug addict), -always hiding for the sun….. What kind of life is this?!! Of course you have to be charmed by these vampire creatures!! –Being so strong and mighty, but also so weak, …. It’s really fascinating me, and it’s reflecting many sides of myself I think.
Could we speak about an independent genre called "Vampire Rock" as an emanation of a more general "Horror Rock"?
I believe you’re might right about this, but sometimes I feel it’s difficult and might wrong, to talk about very specific genres. Whatever, it’s many bands playing vampire-related songs. “Bela Lugosi's Dead” by Bauhaus, “Lullabye” by The Cure, “Cat People” by David Bowie, “Blood Bath” by Crystal Method, “Nosferatu” by Blue Oyster Cult, and “Black #1” by Type O Negative are examples of this.
If we’re talking about “Vampire Bands” some people would might say that bands like Nosferatu, The 69 Eyes, Christian Death, and Alien Sex Fiend are good examples of this. -To be honest I believe others know this much better than me, but I’ll for sure say that “Horror Rock” and “Vampire Rock” isn’t necessary the same. When it comes to this I’ll agree when you say that “Vampire Rock” is an emanation of “Horror Rock”. Musically I’m personally much more into different styles of heavy metal, and I have more knowledge about these bands. It must be mentioned that you’ll find many bands in metal also who are “playing” with the vampire myths, but personally I feel that many of the more gothic bands are doing this better, or I should might say that they’re doing it more convincing.
Which is the novel (or movie) that has influenced more of your musical imagery?
I'll never forget the first time I read Bram Stokers "Dracula". It might sound like a cliché, but as many others I was deeply fascinated by this novel. Through the years I’ve of course seen a lot of movies based on this novel, but Francis Ford Coppola’s movie from 1992 is my favourite. I’m not sure what’s fascinating me so much with this story, but it might shows the sides of the vampire I like the most. Dracula – a strong and frightening character , trying to do the best out of his life. He’s both a gentlemen and a monster, -his showing strong emotions for his love, but he’s also a brutal and fearless creature.
Here I do also have to mention Anne Rice and her novels. –I love her dark universe populated by so many strong characters. In her books you’re also meetings some of the same questions as I’ve mentioned several times now. In “The Interview With a Vampire” we’re learning to know Louis, as told in his own words, of his journey through mortal and immortal life. Louis recounts how he became a vampire at the hands of the radiant and sinister Lestat and how he became indoctrinated, unwillingly, into the vampire way of life.
I’d also like to mention a pretty new movie from Sweden: “Let The Right One Come In” (2008). This is one of the best Vampire-movies I’ve seen for a long, long time. The story is about a young boy who falls in love with a little girl. This girl isn’t like others, -she’s a vampire. This movie have a strange atmosphere… It’s definitely not an action-movie. Well, it’s a few quite dramatic scenes, but first of all the movie is painting a great picture of the connection-ship between these two children.
If I shall go back in time I think that Nosferatu (silent movie from 1922) is one of the best vampire movies ever made. This movie has also become a classic, and I’m pretty sure you’ll remember Max Schreck (as Graf Orlok) forever.
At last I do also want to mention “The Underworld”-movies.- A pretty good story, but first of all I like the gothic atmosphere in these films. I’m with no doubt adopting some of the scenes in these movie into my own imaginary “vampire-world”.
I’ll try to stop here. I could perhaps have made myself much more interesting by mentioning some very obscure and unknown movies. I’ve collected vampire-movies in many years now, and I’ve probably seen hundreds of them. Whatever, -when I’m writing this words it is Bram Stoker and Ann Rice I’m thinking about first….
Which meaning has the symbolism of blood-related vampirism through your records / texts?
For me the blood is first of all symbolising life, -without blood you’re dead!! If you’re also looking at the Christians ritual, The Holy Communion, where the Christians are drinking the blood of Jesus, it gives a strong picture of what big parts of our world is lying into this kind of belief, but according to the Christian belief we’ll only be given eternal life by believing in Jesus. This is totally absurd if you’re asking me, but it gives me a lot of artistic inspiration. Blasphemy is an important key-word here!! By drinking the blood of my enemies I’m becoming a God myself, and my victims are loosing their life force!! –Hail Satan!!
What is the meaning of the figure of the vampire in the twentieth century? Is it still in the tradition of Gothic Literature, or has been converted into new forms of expression?
My impression is that the figure of the vampire hasn’t changed very much compared to what we saw in the Gothic Literature. It’s perhaps a tendency in some of the later movies (for example in the “Twilight”-movies) that the vampire are more harmless, and acting more kindly than they did before, but in these new movies we’re also meeting the more “evil” vampires, so the more scary vampire monsters do still exist.
In general the vampires of today seems to prefer living in a kind of Gothic world also today. In the movies and in the new novels it seems like the vampires feels familiar with the Gothic Rock scene and that they’re very much taking a part of this scene. I like this idea, but in my fantasy-world it’s not always like this. I believe that the greatest and most powerful vampires are hiding on places no-one could imagine, -perhaps one of them are living next door to you?!
Which album of yours is mainly linked to the vampiric theme?
I’m touching vampiric themes on almost all of our releases, but it’s a few songs I’ll mention in particular. On the album “Evil Knows Evil” (2004) the songs “Inexplicable Bloodthirstiness” and “The Lust” are both describing the creatures of the night, -the vampires! “Inexplicable B.” is regular metal-song, but with the “Lust” we made a kind of experiment. All the music is programmed, and it’s added a lot of different effects to make a special sound. When I did the vocals I also tried to create a special atmosphere… It’s dark, and ritualistic, and it might gives some associations to a vampire-movie.
From our latest album “Give Us The Power To Do Your Evil” I’ll say that the song “Death And Pleasure” has the closest connection to the vampire myths, but it’s also other songs that gives me this associations, -for example “Druj Nasu”.
If I shall go many years back in time I have to mention “Quench My Thirst”(1996) from the mini-CD with the same name.
On the first full-length album “Sinister Scenario”(1997) the songs “Desire” and “Lunary Souls” (instrumental) are dedicated to the vampires.
Beside of this it’s many other songs I could have mentioned. I guess the vampires/the vampire myths have taken such a big place in my head that they’re always following me, and you can see that in my art.
Why is so strong, in your opinion, the influence of the vampire myth in arts and music in particular? What really fascinates artists and people?
In the folklore the vampire was a kind of scapegoat for many of the evil and bad things that happened, -especially when someone died without a reason. It was nothing glamorous about this vampire. It was rather the opposite way around. -In the eastern parts of Europe people had an idea about the vampire as a ugly creature….
When Dracula was introduced by Bram Stoker we got another picture of the vampire, -certainly the vampire turned into a gentleman. Later on we’ve seen many different presentations of the vampire. Many of the stories we’ve been told have similarities, but more and more often it also comes up new and refreshing ideas. “True Blood” is a good example of this I think. In this series the vampires are openly living together with humans. It’s many interesting questions coming up because of this. Some humans are accepting this night-people, but others are looking at them as aliens, -someone who should be destroyed. The big question is: -can the vampires and the human race live together?
Today I believe many artists are finding inspiration in many of the different sides of the vampire mythology. It’s a fantastic universe full of life, death, and passion. –If you want to find inspiration this is an Eldorado for artists I think!
What is your main source of inspiration in music and stage level?
As you understand my great passion for vampirism is probably my biggest source of inspiration. This together with my Satanic belief is probably influencing everything I’m doing, -both on and off the stage. Here I’d like to say that my connection to the Satanism is what many people like to call Modern Satanism. I’m personally following in the steps of Anton LaVey. You have other directions in the Satanism which I don’t have very much in common with. I certainly don’t go around wishing that everybody shall die, -that’s not my kind of thinking.
I believe that my way of living, -my way of thinking is reflecting what I’m doing on the stage, and I believe that Crest of Darkness are quite different from many other bands. Several times I’ve experienced that people met me after a gig, and they are thanking me for that “I have saved they’re life”, -“they feel so much better”, -“you’ve given me a reason to live” and such things. I’m happy when I hear things like this! That’s my kind of Satanism, -if people are open for my kind of thoughts, I believe that many people could get a much better life!! It has to do with people’s ego. –You have to believe in yourself, you have to take responsibility for you own life, but it’s also important to know that there are other people out there like yourself… We are many “lonesome wolfs” around, and many of us want to spend most of our time alone, but it does for sure feel good that it’s many of us!
Do you see a glut in the market and the entertainment world in general about this argument?
I do believe that I have something extra to give, and that’s also the reason why I find motivation to continue with my musical career in my age. Well, I don’t feel old of course, -I’m a vampire you know!! ….
Whatever, I’ll try to answer your question…. Yes, I do see a glut in the market! I do really believe that Crest of Darkness could reach a much bigger market if we were able to present our music in the right way. –I do believe this because I’ve always felt that we’re having something special, but that has to do with everything with this band. We have to present this totality in some kind of way. But it’s difficult… You have to have a lot of luck to succeed! Whatever happens, I love making music and art, and I’ll probably continuing doing this as long as a live!