Lord Ahriman (DARK FUNERAL), speaks about “Where Shadows Forever Reign”, his gear and about his 2016 plans.
Hi Lord Ahriman, thanks for having accepted the interview. We will divide it in two different parts, the first is about you, as a musician, and the second is about your band, DARK FUNERAL
So tell us, how did you fall into music ?
I always have been interested by music since I was a child and it’s an important part of my life. My parents listened to music as well so I can say that music was all around me since I was a boy.
And so when did you start playing the guitar and do you remember what your guitar rig was at that time ?
The first time I think it was when I was 13 years old…I try to keep it simple. I’ve never been a guitar geek.
For sure there are every time people telling that there is a new amp / pedal / whatever which has a killer sound but like I said, I like to keep it simple
Ok and which equipement are you using nowadays ?
I’m using the EVH 5150, it’s really a killer amplifier and I’m using BC Rich guitars, the warlock model ( most pictures show his Deluxe model)
Let’s jump to DARK FUNERAL. Where Shadows Forever Reign, the sixth album, has been released.
How did you compose this new album? Alone or with the other members (new vocalist)
I compose the album by myself I will say. I wrote both guitars arrangements and I programmed as well the drums. For this album I also take a look at the vocals and the lyrics, which were written, arranged and recorded by Heljarmadr. I even worked on the bass arrangement for this album.
The records sounds dark and brutal.
This album is more, let’s say, melodic, groovy and hypnotic as before.
Well, you know, when I write music, whatever comes out comes out. I have ideas for sure about how I want the riff to sound like. I really work on the rhythm guitar. Now if compared to the older albums, the melody are mainly ; not every time, very straight forward . This is what I wanted to improve with this record and as I said I did what I wanted to do. It surprised me sometimes but it went in the right direction
And speaking about the artwork, it has been created by Necrolord, as before. Did you provide him with some instructions, how did you manage that ?
He’s been working by himself, you know. When we decided to work together on this record he said “As soon as you have the songs ready I want to listen to it and I want to read the lyrics, I want to be influenced by the music while I work on this artwork”.
He kept us all in the dark until the deadline for the artwork. We had no idea what he was up to. I was really impressed when I saw it, because it was a perfect match. It symbolized the atmosphear, the feeling, and everything the album carried. I could not be more satisified with the artwork. He really saw and felt what I did when I was writing the music. I was really impressed that he understood the music in that way.
Yeah the artwork is really nice. We would like to know, could you please share some words about the previous albums ?
Every album reflects its time, when they were created. They reflect where I was in my life, what was going on in my life at that time. Every record is like a journal of my life in a way. They are reflections of different things.
As the newest album was released, have you already received some feedback ?
Oh yeah, I’m updated by the label records and it’s just amazing. The other day I’ve got an email from the US Office and they tell me that the record is the most played metal record in the U.S at the moment; it’s the number 1 hit on the metal radio. We entered the German album charts as number 38, so there is some crazy stuff going on. I mean it’s an extreme record but it seems like that the metal scene has been waiting for this kind of record because the response is just amazing and it’s way over my expectation.
It’s great to hear that. You already released some video clips, do you plan to create some others ?
Yeah, we are talking about doing another video clip, a little more brutal too.
We will start touring in October, we are working on tours and we have decided to divide Europe into two parts. We are doing one part in October, and I do not know when the next part will be. But we are working on it. Hopefully we can hit the US, Australia and Asia. I guess there is going to be touring for the next two or three years. That’s the plan.
Do you plan as well to record a live album during the tour ?
Maybe. If there is an interest for it, why not. I like live stuff. This is why I like the live record, it’s a really cool thing because it’s authentic. It’s the same when the DVDs were released. I like this kind of stuff. So if there is a demand for it and if the label is up for it, I am up for it. We will see.
Speaking about live, do you prefer to play some particulars songs when you are on stage ?
Yes, especially the new records. It’s always nice to play the new songs, because the new songs we are playing now are really energetic and I have a great feeling when I play them. Of course every song we play, I have a good feeling for all of them. They mean different things to me. When you see the crowd really into it, that gives another kind of energy that makes it the all worth it, to keep us going and to play these songs.
Of courses some songs are not really interesting to play, they are boring to play, good to listen to. But very boring to play. Those songs I’d rather not play, if I can make that decision myself. I like to keep challenging myself, that’s what I do when I write music. I try to challenge myself, it’s a cool things about playing live too. First you’ve been writing a lot of crazy stuff then you got to be able to pull it off live, too. I always feel like I am on the edge, like “am I going to make it, or not?”. And I like that feeling. I just want to work on it, it gives me a good feeling.
Speaking about live DARK FUNERAL will play tonight as the headline band at the Altar stage…
Yeah we are always excited to play, we like to play live and meet the crowd. We played yesterday at the Graspop, it was a great show, and we had some good time on stage. So we are looking forward to the show tonight, also.
Yeah, we are waiting for your gig as well. May we know to which albums by other bands do you like to listen ?
At the moment I am not really listening to so many black metal albums. I like to create things by myself. The metal scene in the 80’s, when I grew up, was great. That’s where I come from and that’s when discovered a lot of bands. Many of those bands are still around and I still like to listen to them as it just gives me a good feeling. But of course I like to experiment new bands, to listen to new stuff too. But, eh, lately, I just play the safe course, so to speak.
Thanks for your words
It’s just great to be back with a new record and finally we are fucking back on tour again. It’s great to meet all this people and see the reaction from everybody. It’s a good feeling to be back. We enjoy it!
Thank to Arnaud, Léo and Joffrey !