mercoledì 17 ottobre 2012

A LEGEND THAT WILL NEVER DIE: AN OLD QUORTHON INTERVIEW RELOADED


































In 2002 Francesco Palumbo, editor of the glorious italian zine Vampiria (ex Demo-nizzati) and My Kingdom Music label manager, was able to contact Quorthon from Bathory. Although the legend for many black metal listeners has always been a shy and reserved character, an indeep interview was managed successfully. At that time Bathory had just published "Destroyer Of All Worlds" abum: a comeback to epic and viking sonorities. Qurthon will be found dead in his home just two years later. 
I sincerely thank Francesco Palumbo for agreeing to publish this historic interview. 

THE RETURN OF THE LEGEND 
(Francesco Palumbo)

He has inspired, influenced and enriched the entire scene fora couple of decades… But it is still too reductive to describe the myth of the only living legend of the extreme scene. There is not too much to say and write here. Quorthon is the true LEGEND of the Extreme Metal. Without him and his creature, Metal wouldn't be the same. During this interview, maybe the best one I have received during my years editing this magazine, Quorthon goes through his fantastic last album, but also through his career, since his early days at Heavenshore Studios, passing throughout the main steps of his long voyage through the meanders of the epic, obscure and extreme music. He has written unforgettable pages of the extreme music, memorable acts of pure and incomparable art that are example of great music for a lot of new coming great bands. It is not a mystery that bands like Satyricon, Mayhem, Marduk, Dissection, Emperor, have more than one time declared their devotion to the true lord of the Extreme Metal. At the end of this interview he says that if BATHORY hadn't been so unique, original, yet innovative and ever changing, then BATHORY would never have been able to exist for two decades and sell more records for every year and have young acts come up and say “You made me wanting to play music!”. Well this is the reason why BATHORY is still present now and still makes many guys think that this man is for them expression of freedom, independence and strength. So with devotion and honour I offer my welcome to the LEGEND, my welcome to Quorthon and his BATHORY. 

Greetings Quorthon, I hope everything is fine to you during these days. How do you feel now that finally a new album of yours has been released?
“Thank you. Well, first of all I am still surprised how fast everything went by. The recording of Destroyer of Worlds took only 112 hours. I just checked the studio report and it is accurate. 112 hours, that is only five f***ing days when compressed Destroyer of Worlds to effective time. That makes Destroyer of Worlds the second fastest recording in the history of BATHORY. I am also a little puzzled as to the response so far. 99% of the response has been overwhelming. Most radio stations, magazines, fanzines and e-zines with which I have done interviews over the past five weeks (124 in all) have titled Destroyer of Worlds “the release of the year”. I don't know whether that is because Destroyer of Worlds is such a great album or whether it is a BATHORY album and everybody has been waiting for so long for a new one…”.


It is the first time in six years we hear about something really new from BATHORY's world and you do it in a very impressive way, with a various and solid album that surely will be an essential listening for each single BATHORY addicted guy. My first question is why a so long time between this and your last studio album and above all do you think it has permitted you to create more various songs in style than the previous ones?
“Well, it's true that we haven't had anything released since “Jubileum Volume III” (1998). And “Blood On Ice” came out in 1996. My second solo project release was out in 1997. If one looks to the history of BATHORY, we have a somewhat schizo back catalogue. The first couple of albums were satanic Death Metal. During the 80's we evolved doing a mix of Epic and Death Metal. There was Viking Metal album out in 1989 (“Hammerheart”). We then ended up at the end of the 80's doing something people called Epic Metal. Then came two Hardcore albums (“Requiem” and “Octagon”). Just after that there was a concept album based on a saga (“Blood On Ice” in 1996). If musically you have that kind of diverse past, you need to ask yourself what the hell really is your sound. So what we did in 1997 when I had completed that second solo release (“Purity of Essence”), was to take a two-year break. I didn't even touch my guitar until the end of 1999. I then began to write the material for what was supposed to be the album to take BATHORY into the 21st century. This material was rather progressive; it incorporated both medieval and classical instruments and reminded of film music in a sense. So we entered the studio to begin pre-recording and told our record company Black Mark that they could let everybody know that there were a new BATHORY album on the way. When the release date was made official, we began to receive so much fan mail from all over the world. The fans were first of course very happy for a new BATHORY album, some even thought that BATHORY had split up. Then they expressed a wish for the new BATHORY album to sound like a mixture of the 1987-1991 albums, that is the so-called golden age and sort of classical BATHORY sound. The problem was that the material we were working was nothing like. We then had a meeting with Black Mark during which it was decided that is was probably best if we scrapped this new rather progressive material for the future and begin to write material which reminded of this 1987-1991 period. I didn't have any BATHORY albums myself, so I asked Black mark to send me some BATHORY albums. I listened to them and tried to remember how I wrote material in those days. I began to write the material for Destroyer of Worlds on June the 10th. We entered the studio on August 24th. I hope that people will not get the idea that we have been working forever on this album. It was a very rushed compromise. Apparently it was a good move, for everybody says that this is a very good album. Somebody told me that the pre-sales figures reached close to 40.000 copies in Europe. But there are some fans that miss the “Viking” topics. Some imagined that because there has been a Black Metal boom in the past years, BATHORY was going to come up with an album reminding of Black Metal to get a free ride. But to fully answer your question did all this time allow me to write tracks more varying in style? Well, all the material was very quickly written in only a matter of weeks in the middle of this summer. I didn't have the time to dig deep into any specific topics. I fought a battle against the almanac. The cancelled project in late 1999 to mid 2000 and our subsequent change of heart regarding the style of material had made time very precious indeed. We knew we had to put out an album as fast as possible”.

It has been enough the first sound of the acoustic guitar in 'Lake Of Fire' to make me forget your absence from the scene and go inside a magic world again like only you are able to create. With which premises did you started to realise this new creature and now that everything is ended and so realised, is there anything that “Destroyer Of Worlds” has more than the previous albums? 
“Well, given the story how Destroyer of Worlds came about, I guess it was a case of routine and the experience of the past 18 years that made Destroyer of Worlds happen at all. Actually the most important thing about making a BATHORY album is that it must have that unique BATHORY atmosphere. It may be a heavy, brutal, slow, fast, short or long track, it may be a demonic satanic lyric or any other subject, but it must have that genuine BATHORY atmosphere to it. The people that has emailed me in response to the album and the media people with, which I have made interviews during the past five weeks, says that it has that original BATHORY atmosphere. Whether Destroyer of Worlds has anything any other BATHORY album does not have, is really up to the fans to say. Like I just said, Destroyer of Worlds was a compromise. Some fans wanted a new BATHORY album to be “Hammerheart” part II, so I had to write a couple of tracks that sounded just like that. Others asked for a mix of styles to be found on “Blood Fire Death”, so I had to take that into consideration as well. There were a lot of fans expressing expectations of a new “Twilight…” album, which forced me to come up with a couple of tracks that would match that style and sound. Finally we have the 20-25% of the BATHORY fan base which does not accept any other style than Black/Death Metal. We had to please them as well by doing at least two or three tracks in that style. So Destroyer of Worlds is more than anything else a compromise to try to please as many of our fans as possible”.

You have always divided BATHORY's audience in two categories: the first one closer to the epic stuff and the other one closer to the hellish side of your creature. I think that “Destroyer Of Worlds” is maybe the album that more than others creates a bridge between these two sides. Do you agree and if yes, can be it considered like a real summa of all the facets of your music? 
“The dividing of our fan base is something that has happened constantly over these 18 years, so it hasn't exactly been news to anyone that BATHORY is a diverse act. If “Enter the Eternal Fire” and “Call from the Grave” on the “Under the Sign…” album hadn't received such an amazing response, then we would not have evolved into what would come. This evolution and experimentation resulted in a 50/50 album (“Blood Fire Death”). We then more than doubled our sales figures and just took it a step further by making “Hammerheart”. By the early 90's we realised that a lot of our Black/Death Metal fans had been begging for a while for some brutality, and so we did “Requiem” and “Octagon”. Neither one of these two albums were appreciated by the majority of our fans. It is impossible to please 100% of our fan base with just one album. This has been a never-ending problem for the past 12-13 years or so. It is true that Destroyer of Worlds sort of bridges several styles, but then the whole idea of Destroyer of Worlds was to cover all the sides of BATHORY in an effort to please as many of our fans as possible. If Destroyer of Worlds to succeeds in bridging the most important styles of BATHORY's past, that is good. But is no guarantee that the majority of our fans will accept the album. Most albums you see out there are either 1000% Epic or 1000% Black. I wonder if even the BATHORY fans will accept a blend of styles”.

Is there a particular song of “Destroyer Of Worlds” that could summarise your essence in this moment? 
“No. I wasn't thinking much when I wrote the material for Destroyer of Worlds. Like I said, it was battle against the almanac. There are so many different topics on the album and, given the unbelievably short time I spent writing this material, it is impossible to achieve any bit deeper meaning behind what you're doing when just trying to finish things off asap”.

Also lyrics seem to go in different directions. It has impressed me a lot this point above all for the fact that we have now also not-typical topics for BATHORY like a song about ice hockey like 'Sudden Death'. Was it just a new experience or simply another aspect of Quorthon's world?
“I was actually asked by this Canadian (what else) journalist how come that I, being Swedish and an outspoken Hockey-fan, had never done a Hockey track. He was of course making a joke but I took it for real and decided that I should write a Hockey track just for the fun of it”.

What do you like of Ice hockey? 
“It's my favourite game. The Hockey described in “Sudden Death” may not be the style of Hockey that I enjoy. I guess the Hockey in “Sudden Death” best can be described as BATHORY Hockey”.

Remaining on lyrical affair you said that you wouldn't use anymore Satanic lyrics due to a question of credibility. Can you explain me better this point and above all what did it push you to write about Evil topics during the first years of your musical career? Was it just a youth's charm or something more? 
“Of course there was certainly an interest in the dark side of life (and death) as well as the whole black magic thing in the early days of BATHORY. I remember collecting books and paraphernalia on the subject around the time 1980-1984. I believe that too many bad horror movies on the subject and the very intended satanic hints to be found in Black Sabbath imagery and lyrics were the main reasons for our interest in these things. It was all though really totally innocent and shallow. In 1984-1985 I came to the conclusion that Satan and Satanism was created by the Christian church itself, so here we had a hoax made up by another hoax to terrify people into the arms of the Christian faith. It's all religious bullshit anyway. Totalitarian people into controlling and directing other people's lives. As much as I still find it satisfying spitting at the church and religion as subjects on a whole every now and then in my lyrics, I realise that it makes little sense wasting your time and effort striking blows in the air which is exactly what you're then doing. But no,BATHORY was never a satanic act. BATHORY however used the satanic, demonic and dark imagery and symbolism, for no other apparent reason than to create a clearly definable atmosphere. Also, one must remember that we were three kids aged 16-17 when forming BATHORY in March 1983. We knew nothing of the life and deeds that our personal gods i.e. Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy would air in their lyrics. Blasting through the night Destroyer of Worlds the highway, swigging Jack straight from the bottle and f***ing all these loose women was a life we nothing of. But we knew a great horror movie when we saw one and we could tell a great story in a horror comic magazine from a less good one. But we couldn't tell you Satan's birthday had you asked us. I tried to come across as much information on the subject as I possibly could get my hands on around the time of forming BATHORY. But I couldn't make anything out of it. Once I had read enough, of both the satanic gibber and the Christian bible. I came to the conclusion that it was all very silly and bullshit really, at least trying to be serious about it. We'd still use the satanic topics and demonic imagery for a couple of more years but in a slightly different form. I was only too happy to find that the majority of our fan mail around the time we did “Under the Sign…” and “Blood Fire Death” mentioned the more elaborated and arranged stuff as so much more interesting than the purely satanic stuff on the two first albums”.



































Another great topic used for your lyrics is the Nordic / Viking argument. It represents maybe your most amazing aspect almost in my opinion. When did it born your great interest in the epic subject and do you think that it was simply due to your Scandinavian origins or is there anything more behind it? 
“We wanted to write other things than flying up to heaven on black leathery wings, raping all them vestal angels, masturbating on the golden throne and wipe our asses with the scalp of God. And so on. Once I came to the conclusion that Satan and Satanism was a product of Christianity, it made little sense in continuing to deal with that shit, at least from a semi-serious point of view. I went further back in time to see what was there before Christianity came around to become the dictatorial way of life and death. I didn't need to go too far from my front door, to be reminded of the rich culture and history in Scandinavia before the Christian church came around. It all felt very close in more than one sense, and it presented a fresh well from which to draw inspiration when writing lyrics. The music of BATHORY had already started to change by then, incorporating acoustic guitars and multi-track backing harmony vocals. The tempo of the songs had changed and the songs had become longer. We wanted more and more to tell a story and be more elaborate doing it. It worked out pretty well and clearly opened doors to new sounds and styles not just for BATHORY but also for an entire generation of bands out there. We didn't call it Viking Metal ourselves. We didn't even mention the word Viking anywhere on record, but the connection was obvious. BATHORY was a Swedish thing, and we'd wield swords on mountains and in the woods on pictures. That period in Swedish history has been immortalised through countless of Hollywood productions and no matter where you're from you'll have at least a superficial image of the Vikings. Thankfully, there are things other than Volvo cars, tennis players, absurd taxes and blond long-legged women, that Sweden is famous for. The sound effects on record clearly helped creating a pre-Christian Swedish atmosphere. When you heard those oars work the water, when several minutes of ice cold waves had washed up on a pebbled shore and we'd sing about dragon ships and ravens, then you were in “Viking”-land. Though, the sound effects didn't do it for all. The ancient Swedish bronze horn, used on the “Hammerheart” album, was misinterpreted by English Metal Hammer as a moose farting in the distance…clearly indicating how ignorant and non-interesting they were in anything that wasn't the militant veggie flavour of the week or save-the-planet kind of bullshit. The fans loved the atmosphere on the records, the albums doubled in sales figures and the period 1987-1990 itself was a very happy and creative time of which I have very fond memories”.

Just a curiosity of mine: do you imagine yourself as not a Swedish man? Is there another place in the world where did you like to live in or in your heart there is space only for your beloved Sweden?
“Well, apart from the unbelievably high taxes, Sweden is a pretty good place to live. But I wouldn't mind living in the US. I speak no Italian so Italy would not be an option. I don't know if I am considering myself to be a typical Swedish person. Lastly, I have no “love” for Sweden. I just happened to be born here and here is where I live”.

Once I read that BEATLES is your favourite band. Is it true? And what do you adore about the band of Liverpool? “I guess it wouldn't need too much explaining. The Beatles is simply the greatest thing ever to happen to the music scene. I am the first one to admit that even The Beatles wasn't always perfect and they didn't always produce great stuff, but overall they were unique. It has sort of become this “thing” in the extreme metal scene that I like The Beatles. But I am not saying it to be hip or eccentric”.

A jump in the 80's: the Scandinavian scene was moving its first steps into a more extreme way to see Metal thanks to you. What do you remember about those years and above all what is changed about the attitude of the people in Sweden and not only who played and listened to extreme Metal during that period and the ones who do it today? 
“I have absolutely no contact with the scene of any sort. I never listen to the radio, I never buy records and I never go to concerts. I have absolutely no idea what is fashionable to listen to. I can't name any bands out there today. You could give me ten names on Swedish extreme metal acts and I wouldn't even know what they sound like or if they are Swedish at all or if you are bullshitting me. Nobody believes me when I tell them this. They have this idea of me as some sort of a spider in the centre of everything, knowing all and with at least one finger in every cavity. But I am totally oblivious to what is going on out there. So I couldn't give you any personal reflections on the present scene in Sweden or anywhere else. But as for the 80's, it has been made out to be his golden pioneering age. Sure it was a decade of pioneers but it wasn't golden in any sense. There were no places to play; there was just one shop in all of Stockholm where you could get a Motörhead vinyl. There were radio shows, no metal magazines and no scene at all”.

Now the people who listen to your music are composed by thirty-forty years old men like the one who writes here, and guys who are 14 15 years old. What is your sensation in front of a so various audience? “One thing that always puzzles me is when you receive a letter, like “Hi Quorthon! My name is George and I am 15 years old and I live in California. I just bought the “Blood Fire Death” album and it is the best album I have ever heard!” You sort of realise that he was born exactly the same we recorded that album. So you have an entire new generation of extreme metal fans picking old BATHORY up. They regard BATHORY as something you just have to have. That is the great thing. You have this link between the first generation of extreme metal acts like BATHORY, Venom, Hellhammer and Slayer, and the acts of today. They grew up listening to what we did back in the early 80's. You have a new generation picking up the torch making sure that there will be extreme metal in this century and millennium as well”.

Going back to first BATHORY's steps… give me just a memory of the old times in the Heavenshore studios. They were hard times, but I think it was also thanks to those moments that we can listen to a similar album now. Do you agree? “I didn't quite understand your question. But of course I have memories of Heavenshore and the year between 1983-1989 when we recorded there. The memory bank on the thousands of hours we spent at Heavenshore is too big to dig too deep into. But one memory I'll never forget is one day when we came to the studio to begin recording what was going to be the “Hammerheart” album. The whole place had been torn to pieces. It was originally a garage and the owner of the house was now turning the place into a workshop for all his old Porsche cars. So while we are working on “Hammerheart”, we have to find out new ways to record due to the fact that there was no studio left to record in. So we'd record the drums on top of this waving landscape of gravel, we had no electric light in the studio and I'd stand knee-deep in dirty laundry and boxes of washing powder in a bathroom/toilet doing most of the guitars and vocals. To air the fine dust out we'd have to open the garage doors at times or we'd suffocate. Then the neighbour's lawn-mover or a car or an aeroplane passing by would end up on tape. Also I will never forget the first time we came “Destroyer of Worlds” to Heavenshore to record the first album. There were car-parts all over the place. You couldn't move one step in any direction. When thinking back, I am amazed that we could even make one album at Heavenshore. The equipment was very primitive and old. We would sometime have to settle with using only 8 recording tracks. There could be up to 3 or 4 things on a number of tracks. One track could start of with an acoustic guitar. A few minutes into the song, the same track carried a sound effect or backing vocals. At the end of the song you could have an acoustic guitar or a sound effect again. And there could be up to 5 or 6 other tracks carrying all sorts of things. We had no computers but had to mix everything by ears every time. With every mix we had to change the filters and effects by hand while the tape was played back. If we fucked up we had to do it all over again. Sometimes we were so tired and exhausted, we couldn't care less for small mistakes”.

I know that Heavenshore are now a simple garage… If you could, would you like to transform it in a true studio? I know that the same atmosphere cannot be created, but don't you believe that it could be a great idea?
“I am not even sure if the garage is still there. I haven't been to Heavenshore since we ended the recording of “Hammerheart” in 1989. I don't know who owns the house now a day. But I would much rather spend the time and money to build a BATHORY studio of my own than trying to re-build Heavenshore”.

You define yourself as an antichristian and not as a Satanist. Don't you think that nowadays the two things are very confused and related? And what does it mean to you to be against the Christianity?
“Christianity is a Jewish fairytale and I am not Jewish. Christianity is a fascist religion and I am not a fascist. I am not a Satanist and I never have been, but I am anti-Christian in the sense that I do not accept the Christian God or the Christian self-righteousness. Satanism is a product of Christianity and just as much a hoax and bullshit”.

 What is freedom for you? Do you consider Quorthon a free man? Do you remember a moment in your life in which you felt a sense of imprisonment?
“Freedom is to know who you are and not having to live your life in accordance with what other people say. Quorthon is not a person but just a name that I use when I do anything that has got even the slightest bit to do with BATHORY. I think we all feel a sense of imprisonment every now and then. But life is also about those moments in life when you know you are not imprisoned or constrained in such a way that it changes you against your will. Struggling can make a lion out of a mouse. The fight for survival will develop you as an individual. That what does not kill you will make you stronger”.

You have changed a lot not only musically but also as man. Is there inside of you anything of the young boy that almost 20 years ago started the LEGEND?
“I am the same person, and I have changed very little even though it has been nearly 20 years ago. When thinking about it, it amazes me how little I have changed. If BATHORY would have done only that first album 17 years ago and no more, I would probably have changed a lot more. Being connected to BATHORY for all these years, even though BATHORY has changed musically and all, sort of has preserved a piece of that young brat who formed BATHORY in March 1983”.

During all these years the scene has changed a lot, but you have always been a fixed point of reference in this. But has there ever been inside of you the fear that the actual scene didn't need BATHORY anymore?
“I have never seen it quite like that. Probably because I have always kept such an enormous distance to the scene itself; never listening to other acts, never reading the magazines and never visit any concerts. I have never felt to be a part of the scene in the first place. I know of the impact BATHORY has had on hundreds of thousands of fans and thousands of acts. And I am aware of the importance of the BATHORY albums for the evolution of all of the branches of extreme metal. If the present scene does not need BATHORY anymore is not for you or me to decide. Venom does not sell any albums anymore and the vast majority of people out there think that Venom hasn't been any good in over 15 years. But nobody can ignore the fact that without Venom not a single band out there today would sound and look the way they do. The same can be said about Slayer. Everything that Slayer will ever do, will always be compared to “Reign in Blood” even if they should come up with an album that was generally regarded as a far better album than “Reign in Blood”. And Slayer is reaching out to a bigger audience today than they ever did. BATHORY is such a diverse thing it is very hard to pin BATHORY to a specific style and sound. A Black Metal fan may regard BATHORY to be the pioneers of Black Metal that whimped out. A Viking Metal fan may regard BATHORY as the Gods of Viking Metal with a dark past. BATHORY is a lot of things to a lot of different people. I made an interview with this German Black Metal fanzine a couple of weeks ago, and they asked me only about the occult and Satanism. Then I made this interview with a Pagan oriented Norwegian fanzine, and they asked me only questions on the Viking culture and our epic stuff. If BATHORY had been exactly the same for all these 18 years, then BATHORY would have been easy to either discard or praise. As it is now, BATHORY is a multi-headed serpent. You can't cut the head of a beast if it carries a multitude of them. And for as long as all the young bands still claim BATHORY to be their main source of inspiration, I believe BATHORY has done some interesting and original stuff over these past 18 years that still inspires and lives on through the younger acts”.


































You are considered by many to be the creator of Black Metal, the grandfather of Death Metal, and the father of Viking Metal. Maybe we have no reasons to doubt about this, but in your opinion what does BATHORY represent for the extreme Musical scene and what does this creature still mean?
“I am not exactly the right person to ask and I am not exactly objective to the issue. BATHORY is too much just a work thing for me to be able to come up with a fair review of the stuff that I myself have written. If we are talking Black Metal, I know that there are tons of Black Metal bands out there, that are more influenced by BATHORY's Viking and Epic Metal than purely Black Metal. If you listen to Venom and compare that with today's Black Metal scene, Venom is Black Rock. So if Venom compared with today's Black Metal acts is regarded as Black Rock, then what really is Black Metal? Well, to me it is not a specific style of music, but the usage of Satanic topics and a Satanic image (either fakes or real). I think people confuse themselves by using all these labels too much and define people and acts by these labels. I too use these labels at times to make it clearer what style one may be referring to. What BATHORY represents for the extreme metal scene is really for each and every one out there to judge. But I believe that BATHORY is not about trying to connect with a certain fashion or scene. BATHORY is about creating an atmosphere on record and making the listener feel that a BATHORY album is different than any other album. If you feel that all you're getting from this or that act or album, if really it is just a lot of noise for 45 minutes without too much thought behind the arrangements or lyrics. If you are dead tired of the same topics and screams of Satan, facial make up and unreadable logo's. Well, then there are plenty of styles and sounds out there to enjoy. And hopefully BATHORY has been a major factor helping in making the scene interesting and diverse”.

A personal question now: who is Quorthon now and what does he still desire?
“Who is Quorthon? When we picked the names, it was intended as a joke. We never thought that anybody was ever going to get to know anything about BATHORY. But just the same, for us it was a joke more or less. I found the name Quorthon in a book on Satanism I read in 1982. Quorthon is supposed to be one of Satan's warriors. While Satan himself is going to fight God on the day of judgement, Quorthon is destined to fight the Nazarene. I thought it sounded cool and picked the name as an alias. The reason as to why we picked those stupid names in the first place was because we couldn't take it all these Swedish rock bands at the time had Americanised their names. We picked these demonic names knowing people were not going to have an easy time pronouncing them. That gave us sort of an edge. And then there was that phonetic "th"-sound which we don't have in the Swedish language, which went hand in hand with the "th" in Bathory. There are still one or two who writes Quarthon with an “a” and I have heard tons of pronunciations throughout the years. What do I desire right now? I would very much like to go back inside a studio and work on the next album. We hope to have the next album ready by the summer or same time next year”.

What is the thing you are most proud of musically as well as personally?
“I actually haven't thought about that. I don't reflect upon things that way. I guess I am never satisfied with anything”.

In which way do you consider music and what is in your opinion its most important aim? Can we consider it a sort of absolutely personal and egotistical need?
“I think music is a natural need for some. Not a lot of people know how to play an instrument or write a song. Few can sing and even less have sense of rhythm. I hear music all the time. I don't have to play a record. There's music playing in my head 24 hours a day. If I had a studio in my apartment I would probably never leave my home. I'd probably play and record all day long”.

A last question: in which way would you like that people remember you within 10-15 years?
“The one thing that would probably feel the best would be if people mentioned BATHORY as an interesting act which inspired, influenced and enriched the entire scene for a couple of decades. I think BATHORY broke many rules, made up it's own rules and crossed many boundaries. If BATHORY hadn't been so unique, original, yet innovative and ever changing, then BATHORY would never have been able to exist for two decades and sell more records for every year and have young acts come up and say “You made me wanting to play music!” I have had heroes myself, so when people write me and call me their hero and the sole guiding light out of misery and hell, that gives you perspective on things. I have had young people write me and say that BATHORY's unique music and lyrics about freedom, independence and the struggle for survival gave them the strength to carry on when things didn't look too good. I wonder how many acts get to read fan mail like that. We have the best fans in the world which is why “Destroyer of Worlds” is dedicated to the fans”.

We are at the end of the interview; I hope you have had a good time answering to my questions. I thank you a lot for the time dedicated to me. I wish you all the best… Any last words are from you?
“I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the BATHORY fans whoever you are, wherever you may live, regardless of how old or young you are and no matter if you only enjoy one side of BATHORY. You are as much a part of BATHORY and the legend as I am. BATHORY is because of you and for you all. Hail the Hordes!!”.












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