Hello Rune, it’s a great chance for me to have an interview with you! Let’s talk about your discography. You have a very rich discography with bands,side projects and live shows. What was the first formal band you were associated with and how did it start?
Hello Miruna. Yes, I do have quite a few records released already, with a wide span in terms of genre too, which I consider fortunate. Well, the first “real” band I was associated with on a bigger scale was Mayhem of course. I mean, I joined Mayhem in 1994 at the age of 19 years old, so prior to this I only had more local/regional things going, a demo-band called Testimony amongst others. This demo-band started out as a project for me and a drummer in a local hard rock band called Fury. The drummer was a huge fan of old school Thrash, Doom and Death Metal so in between the rehearsals he had, we would team up to play cover-songs in their reheasal room. I remember we played old Obituary songs as well as Pestilence and Death covers. This eventually led to our first (and only) demo “Enter Obscurity”, and some occasional touring in Norway before I turned my nose towards what happened in Oslo with the BM scene. Anyways, this band we had ended in 1993 but by the time we threw in the towel we had already done support jobs for Kreator as well as touring with the best and biggest Thrash band from Norway throughout the years, namely Equinox. Check out their “Auf Wiedersehn” and “The Way To Go” albums if you want a piece of old Norwegian Metal history.
22 years by far since Aura Noir exists and 19 years since you are in the band. How it all began? What means Aura Noir for you? What will 2016 bring for this band?
It actually started with Carl Michael and myself meeting up in Elm Street one night after a Mayhem rehearsal. Not completely sure how or by whom we were introduced, but anyways, after a few beers we ended up in the Mayhem rehearsal space to jam. Both drunk as fuck but I still remember the night clearly. This was late 94 perhaps…or very early 95. So yeah, since then we kept going, doing our Black Thrash. Although there is a few albums I didnt get involved in (Deep tracts Of Hell etc) I still feel I have been a part of the band since the first meeting. It was a good “click” so to say, and thats the reason why I am still there. The band for me is my guilty pleasure of old Thrash nostalgia as well as homage to the glory days of proper extreme music, when stuff was exciting. I still prefer 80´s Thrash metal to most extreme things released after 1995, fact. For 2016 we will (finally) record the new album. It has been some years since Out To Die so we feel the time is right to step up and finalize the next chapter, so to speak. Apart from that we will continue doing some shows around, most notably Wacken Open Air in August as well as some other festivals in Scotland and Sweden + one-off shows around Europe. I believce the new album to be out by late autumn this year via Indie Records.
What can you tell me about your last album ( Out to die)? What made you decide on the album name? Are there any future projects for the band?
Well, Out To Die was mostly written by myself and Apollyon due to Aggressor´s accident. We wrote the album in Apollyons house in the mountains where he resided during that period. Was a cool period actually, a lot of skiing in between the sessions, hehe. But yeah, I guess the album is a bit more aggressive than the previous offering “Hades Rise”. It was also a bit more “jammed” as we ran out of time in the end, as the label forced us to record earlier than expected due to the release-schedule etc. But yeah, these things happen once in a while. Still feel this album as a massive offering, with some really cool tracks in “Priest Hellish Fiend”, “Trenches,” “Abaddon” and the title track. As for the album title, that we chose from one of the lyrics written for the album. The lyric was written by Dirge Rep (x-Gehenna) and we thought it to be fitting somehow. Very ugly, like the rest of the band´s music and style.
Is it hard for you living in Portugal and the bands you are part of are in Norway?
Not really. The world is a small place these days with the internet and all. Besides, there is always a flight. Good flight connections from Lisbon to Oslo actually, and the prices are fairly low so no real obstacle. I feel living in Portugal more as an advantage than anything else really. I mean, sure, the music scene around here is not so great perhaps, and to get things done requires a huge dose of patience, but the laid back lifestyle, accompanied by the sunny and pleasant weather is highly regarded in my book. It makes me more at easy, more relaxed and when I am more relaxed I perform better. The inspiration comes easy. Win/win.
What influenced you to take up music?
I guess it has something to do with the fact that I am a musical spirit, to put it a bit vague. I have always, since my earliest memories been kinda obsessed with music and the universe it brings along. I even clearly remember I told my grandmother before she passed away in the early 80´s that I wanted to be a musician. I was probably 7 years old, but still I knew what I wanted to be. Kinda cool actually. So yeah, from there it has been a long and complicated but somewhat fruitful journey, from attending my first big concert (Motorhead in 1985 with my older sister) to residing here in Portugal, doing music for a living since the mid 90´s. I believe by now I have composed/played on about 15 albums or so, and done guest appearances on 6-8, and many more to come, so yes..I feel blessed being able to do this. It is not only a dream, it is my whole life …the only thing I know how to do 110%. Well, at least I think I know how to do it, hehe. To put a bit more “meat” to the answer to your question: I also had somewhat musical parents, well my father was a guitarplayer anyways, as well as my grandparents. So, that too did help naturally.
A little bird told me that you and Carmen are working for a new project. Can you tell me some details or it will be a surprise?
Well, yes we are. It has been in the works for a long time actually, and I think it will surprise some people out there. Its quite the opposite of what we did with Ava Inferi and we have also used a long time to finalize the expression for the band, and now I feel we have our (secret) formula. Its more upbeat and “rock” orientated but with a great sense of hooks and melodies. Lots of (free-spirited) riffing and strange, ethereal ambiance. More to come in the next months. But rest assured it has nothing to do with our older efforts, this is a whole new start on a whole new level, with new and exciting musicians in place.
Having played for many bands over the years, what are some of the memorable moments ?
Oh, there are many. I have great memories from all the bands Ive played with, and they dont nesesarrily need to be of a huge show or anything like that. I mean, sure, playing Wacken in front of 70.000 people is kinda great, but also sometimes its the magic one creates in the rehearsal room or here in my little home studio which elevates me as a being and brings me to gratefulness. It can be a comment from somebody, a new deal we secured, a fun travel to a show where everybody rides the same current, can be anything….I feel blessed to be able to live this dream, and I try to be more and more present in every moment (when possible, hehe) in order to build on it and elevate it.
Thank you once again for taking the off to answer the questions! Hope to see u soon in Romania, again.
Thanks you for the interview. Much appreciated. Yes, hope to be back in Bucharest later on this year. It always feels like home away from home.