Den Saakaldte are a band filled with experienced musicians that keep on impressing the fans with each release. Their second full-length “Kapittel II: Faen i helvete” is about to be released and, as they say, it is “Fucking Hell”.
Does the name of the band actually mean “The So-Called”? When translated into English it doesn’t sound as spectacular and cool as the original one!
Well, the name carries a whole meaning behind it really. Once you get the title you shouldn't just stop thinking but motivate yourself to think: "who is the so called one?" . "Why is he the so called one and who is naming him/her as such?". The name represents the outcast by choice man from the world we live in. It is a declaration of the one that stands against the common standards and morals and gets gladly the critisism for his/her choices in life. It is the person that doesn't want to be a member of the herd, thus; is the black sheep. All get a deeper meaning if one devotes time in what they read or listen to, and don't receive everything as a piece of shit coming out from mass production and for mass consumption.
The name of the band was inspired by a Ved Buens Ende song. What attracted you to that song in particular? Are Ved Buens Ende a reference for you?
Of course Ved Buens Ende has been a big part in my life. Their music made sense to me since day one, while others back in the day were considering it to be nonsense and boring. I grew up with the music, I became adult with its feeling. It is this special magic experience one can have through music. A band that one can identify themselves to. That is how it happened with me and I never really hid it from anyone. The particular song fits as being representative to what I am as a person so... it felt that the music I am making, should be under this band name.
This year seems to be the year of your comeback. What caused the 5 year long hiatus?
Yes, 2014 is quite an active year I would say. All the plans we had through this whole time, matched with our current energy so....here we are.
Many things kept us back really... after the release of "All Hail Pessimism" there was a complete void... especially for me. I have had bad times in my personal life and had to set music aside so as to rebuilt. It was not one of these situations that one can say "Yeah… use your feelings so that to write new music"… It was void… just emotional void. Apart from that, all members had a strange period in our lives due to various reasons that I would want to jump into... so... we let it rest a bit til the day we would feel that music could make sense once again and heal us. Better like that. Better to make music when you feel it, than making music because you are forced by a contract.
Care to ellaborate on your statement: “Den Saakaldte's music is based back in 1993-97”?
Have I said this? Well, in any case it is true. Our main influences in regards to Black Metal, come from that period. Add to that some old Bathory, Celtic Forst, Onslaught and a touch of thrash metal and we have the package ready.
I do not think we are interested in the new turn black metal took. It is indifferent to us. We were never into analyzing bpm and shitnor we think that certain costumes are adding anything to it... music is passion and feelings... I leave the math for others to deal with and we are fine with our simple boots and bulletbelts.
In 2009 you released your first full length titled “All Hail Pessimism” and 5 years later you are about to release your second album “Kapittel II: Faen i helvete…” why have you opted for a non-English title this time around considering that only 2 members of the band are Norwegian?
:: Well... none of the lyrics in "All Hail Pessimism" was in English..!? The only reason that the title was used as such is because as expression, it is used internationally. Nothing more-nothing less. We always wrote the lyrics in Norwegian (apart from some lyrics we agreed with Kvarforth to alternate in Swedish) and we will continue writing in Norwegian. It makes more sense to the feeling we want to create and we think that sound wise it fits better. The world is quite simplified nowadays. If one is really interested finding the meaning of the lyrics, they have quite many different options in order to make the translation.
What can metalheads expect from “Kapittel II: Faen i helvete”? If you could say one word to capture the whole idea and feeling of the album… which would it be?
Hate. This album is years of pain and sorrow transformed into hate.
I translated the title on google and the result was Chapter II: Fuck” is this really the title? Why?
Would be more like "Fucking Hell"... well, as said. We are angry and disgusted with many things around us. This is a declaration towards the things we are against.
The lyrics are written in Scandinavian… do you think the meaning and idea gets lost in translation? Don’t you think this might put off some people simply because they don’t understand your message?
No. I didn't see many complaining when Darkthrone's Transylvanian Hunger or Satyricon's Shadowthrone for example, came out. The same should apply now as well. It is not necessary to overanalyze things to everyone. Where is the magic? Where is the doubt that used to exist? Nowadays we have all served in a goddamn plate… there is no line between the creator and the listener… so… let's draw the line, shall we?
The lyrical concept of Den Saakaldte is based in the darkness and absurdity of the human mind in its dark, lonely and most often drunk moments. Even self-sarcasm or sarcasm in general is included. Is this the lyrical theme of the 2nd album as well?
Yes, that is what the band as entity represents. The main lyrical idea is based on that. This time though there is a bit more "outcome" in the whole sense. There is more result, following the thinking process. Thus; there is hate.
The lyrics reflect your point of view, personal experiences and hatred towards society. How do you view society nowadays?
Morals and values are gone. Common human communication is distorted, people are suffering, religion nowadays is taking societies back again towards the middle ages… what is it to rejoice with? We live the dawn of the fall.
What’s the major difference between this album and the first full-length?
Many things really. Musically the debut was made by just me. Now I and Tjalve work as a team and we cooperated throughout the whole album. This gave to the album more diversity in a way. The new album is more aggressive, more old fashioned and more rough in regards to the sound. Eldur's vocals have also given a more sharp and cold sound to the new material.
Care to ellaborate on the meaning behind the fractured face on the cover?
The figure on the front cover, represents "the so called" man, being disgusted, fed up and filled with hate towards everything he sees happening around him. The years of suffering and patience distorted his characteristics but still he is standing and declaring his position.
The band uses trompets and accordions which aren’t typical metal instruments. How did the idea of using them come up?
When I made the music for All Hail Pessimism, I was listening to quite a lot of jazz music. So… based on the emotional chas I was into, I thought that it fit well. Besides that, I find the sound of trompet and also the sound of accordion quite melancholic. Those were instruments I wanted to include at some point to some of my creations. So it happened. And I guess, eventually it will happen again when the feeling is right. We will not jump in the train of the avantgardists just because it is cool to be avantgardist and not "traditional"…
The band started as a one man project by Sykelig and now you’re a sextet… quite a huge change. The more the merrier?
Actually we are five. The band indeed began as my own personal project as, back in the day, I was quite fed up with human relations and didn't think that someone else would be able to conceive things in the same way I do. I guess time is passing by and ideas and new theories in regards to life emerge. One reconsiders and takes new decisions in life. Made sense to me after a while to share what I want to create with friends that were willing to receive and enrich.
A few years ago the band only rehearsed before shows… is it still like that? Why? Would you say then that the internet an useful tool?
Indeed. 5-6 years ago we were rehearsing only before a concert. The reasons were many actually. We were all living in different cities, Kvarforth was living in Sweden while the rest of us were in Norway....we all had busy schedules with different bands (1349, Pantheon I, Koldbrann, Urgehal.....)..it was difficult to just put things down and take decisions. Now things are better. Now I can say that we operate more as a band. The line up is steady and we all have more control. Nowadays we rehearse I would say, once or twice mimimum, every week.
Your vocalist is Einar Thorberg "Eldur" Guðmundsson, who also does the vocal job for Midnattsvrede and they also recently released a new album… how’s it dealing with all the bands?
All band members are/have been involved in other metal bands… why do you feel the need to join the ranks of another group? What makes Den Saakaldte so special?
Den Saakaldte is them. Simple as that. It is an entity that represents them. It is simple, down to the ground, silent and unique.
The band has had many cult names associated namely Niklas Kvarforth among others. You do realize you already achieved a cult status that won’t allow you to go back?
I don't think we have a cult status… Darkthrone has a cult status… Mayhem does. We as Den Saakaldte are a bunch of people that love black metal in its primitive essence and embrace melancholy... and that is why we are together as a band and that is why we make music. If others embrace our music, that is excellent and we are honored.
What’s your common reaction to the awesome reviews?
We like every kind of review good or bad, as long as it has a point and fact. It is essential to see if the reviewer actually devoted time to listen to the album at its whole, if he understood the patterns we use and the feelings we wanted to create at certain parts of the album… many do. And that is a great thing really. Reviewers that listened to the album once while taking a shit in the bathroom or eating spaghetti with their girlfriend, and will say "...they play grim Black metal" and give us a 9 or a 2, is not really going to give me anything… I think such "reviewers" have helped a lot in making fans getting sick of music publications and shouldn't really be in that position.
Everyone now knows that the band was formed in a night in which you were extremely intoxicated… do illegal substances have an impact on your songwriting?
I never used or will ever use illegal substances. I am way against it. As a matter of fact, I barely drink any booze... I am only into beer and wine... and yes, it does help me getting new dimensions in what I am working with.
Do you intend to play many gigs to promote the new album or, like you’ve said before, will you only play 2 or 3 shows per year?
Most likely It will continue being like that. We were never into doing many gigs... but then again now the line up is more concrete than ever before so... who knows? Maybe it will get to be a bit more action than before but none should expect any dramatic changes to this or anything...
What can fans expect from Den Saakaldte on the release gig on May 31st in Oslo? Any surprises prepared or anything special?
Darkness and frustration. The rest will come on their own.
Please share a final message with Pest readers! Cheers!
Thank you for the interesting and diverse questions and your interest towards Den Saakaldte. To all those that identify themselves in our music..Skåll! It is appreciated.
Questions by Sónia Fonseca