Everyone certainly remembers the time when the Black
Metal scene started to bring forth countless bands which flooded the market with more or less worthless releases. Every week new bands
appeared and after a short while it was impossible to pay attention to all of them and I also started getting weary of browsing through heaps
of shit. I heard hundreds of names but stopped caring about listening to their albums...
Unfortunately this also means that sometimes you overlook bands who've been existing for years and would've been worth your attention
right from the start. To me URGEHAL from Norway are such a band. Also thanx to Folter Records and Triple Six Concerts they finally played
outside of Norway after almost ten years of existence so I was able to experience their music and
performance in Berlin (Knaack Club, February 15). With Lugubre from the Netherlands - who played as a support act - I went to Bitterfeld the
next day and was glad to meet Urgehal for a short interview before their show.
As Urgehal only played a few shows within Norway so far I was curious about their experiences of their first live show in Germany the night
before. "The show last night was okay I think although the audience was a bit boring but what could you expect...
I liked it but I expect more tonight as I've heard it's a more dedicated audience here in Bitterfeld. So I'm looking forward to it." Trondr
Nefas and Ensifer, now called Mr. Triggerhappy Leppermessiah, started playing together around 1990 and formed Urgehal at the end of 1992.
As Trondr Nefas states all releases have been very important to them, as a whole band, including the two demos "Ferd" (meaning "journey"
in English) and "Rise Of The Monument" which were released before the recording of the debut album. But they're most satisfied with their
last album "Atomkinder". Concerning line-up changes there were "no problems but we had several line-ups. In the
beginning it was only Mr. Triggerhappy and me as well as some other guys who were in school but no longer exist in the metal scene. The
first true Urgehal line-up was my girlfriend Aradia, Mr. Triggerhappy, a member called Chiron and me - Trondr Nefas. Then Aradia left the band
because there were no more synth jobs in Urgehal. We used synthesizers before but quit using that which was something that simply
happened. So afterwards the band consisted of Mr. Triggerhappy, Chiron and me. Then Chiron was out of the band so Mr. Triggerhappy and
me played the drums on our debut album "Arma Christi". For the second album "Massive Terrestrial Attack" our new drummer Jarl E., now
called Uruz, joined us. On our new album "Atomkinder" we continued as a three piece band with the line-up Mr. Triggerhappy, Uruz and
Trondr Nefas. And now we got a new bass player whose name is Tomas, and he will hopefully stay and record the fourth Urgehal album with
"Arma Christi" and "Massive Terrestrial Attack"
were released on the German label No Colours Records while "Atomkinder" was unleashed by a new Norwegian label called Flesh For
Beast Records. "There were a lot of disagreements and bad communication with No Colours Records. And as they
said it was okay for us to leave them or to stay so we chose to quit." Hearing this Morten from Flesh For Beast Records points out
that "No Colours is a German label but you've never seen Urgehal in Germany so far..." and Trondr Nefas
replies that there once was the opportunity to play in Germany some years ago but then the band wasn't able to realize such plans. And he
agrees that it's easier to work with a label in Norway as "Morten is also an old metal friend of the band so we know
he's no rip off man. And we have the best communication ever."
As expected musical inspirations can be found among well-known Metal bands. "Mr. Triggerhappy and me have
always been big fans of Metal. It started with bands like Sepultura, Iron Maiden and all the old Metal bands like Metallica, Sodom, Kreator
and all those bands who have been a very big influence for us. And we always fancied more and more extreme Metal music over the years.
First we started with Heavy Metal, then Thrash, Death, Black and what's next... we probably make up a new kind of Metal, Hell Metal or
something, I don't know." As far as the literal inspirations are concerned the lyrics "are mostly based on
fantasy, fiction and stuff like that. Also we always try to keep an Antichristian feeling to it. Black Metal is about Antichristianity, it's about
Satanism. We keep it to the roots and will always stay Antichristian, playing pure fucking Black Metal. So this is what it's all about. Both the
music and the lyrics are important but the music always comes first. We write the tunes and then add the lyrics. Or the other way. But... You
have to excuse me, I'm a bit drunk now... Another important thing for Urgehal is strictly staying underground, I think. As for the whole band,
we never want to be on top like Dimmu Borgir or such. We don't care about that and we don't sell our souls as that's the way we want to say
but... I don't care about money, it's the music, the scene and that's all."
Great attitude, I can totally agree on that! As Urgehal
are living in Norway and playing Black Metal I wondered how much the heritage of the Viking Ages affects their daily life. As you can well
imagine everybody started laughing as they have to answer this question quite often... "We run around with hellebards
on our belts all day long, we wear Viking helmets and eat mushrooms, hehe. No, seriously, not much. We don't mix that with Black Metal
because it has nothing to do with Black Metal at all. Black Metal is strictly Antichristian and Satanic in my eyes. But actually I'm proud to be
Norwegian as the Vikings were a hell of a people. I love to be Norwegian. I'm a nationalist, I would say that because I'm proud to be Norwegian
but I don't mix that with Black Metal because it has nothing to do with it."
The scene sees many people come and vanish again. As especially Norway was continiously in the news about ten years ago I wanted to
know what the main differences are between the scene as it is now and as it was back then. "It's totally different now.
You see, it's more about music these days, and maybe money for some bands, and ten years ago it was about Satanism and totally extreme
things. People were fucking maniacs. They killed each other and raped each other and now I think it's more about music these days than a
true scene." I guess the philosophy of Urgehal is more or less plainly Satanic. Talking about Witchcraft, Heathenism or Ancient
Mythologies Trondr Nefas "was more into that in the early days. Over the years I just developped my own opinion
about things. And now it's more in general than in books and all the writings other people have put to paper. I have my own strong opinions
about things and I don't follow what other people say. But I think the main statement of the Church of Satan is a good way to live and that is
to do whatever you think. Do what thou wilt is a great way of living. That shall be the law!"
If Trondr Nefas could have lived in another time
"there'd actually be two times I would like to live in. One is way back around the time of the Viking Ages. I think,
back then would be real great. And perhaps life would be great in about a hundred years when I'm buried six feet below. I think that would
be great, too." And where does he see the human race in Nature's creation as we are the only species affecting our environments in
a very bad way? Does he respect Nature or does he just not care because men can go to hell, anyway, and Nature shall recover afterwards?
"My opinion about that... I'm pretty much schizophrenic about that subject, I think, because I totally love the nature.
Beautiful nature almost brings me to my knees and makes me cry. I'm a nature person, I can say that. At the same time I have this immense
hate towards mankind. I would just like to see them all killed and fucking go to hell. So... Call me a schizophrenic but that's my opinion. I see
mankind as a virus. They're not worth life or anything. And you know, the title of our album - "Atomkinder" - it's all about the human race
In the future we can expect "more hell" from Urgehal. And Mr. Triggerhappy adds that
"our music is going to be more extreme. The new material is really hard, faster and it's gonna be a fucking hell, I think. I look forward to
beginning to practise our new stuff and go to the studio." This summer, on July 5 and 6, Urgehal will play at the Under The Black Sun
2002 which will be their first big festival. "Yes, we have never played any festivals before, just smaller concerts in
Norway. So that will be something totally new for us."
Any last words?
"Thank you for the interview, and we're gonna make it fucking hell here tonight. HAIL SATAN and EINSMAL,
that's all I got to say!!!"