When you’re from one of the smaller scenes in your homeland, it must be amazing to be able to travel abroad and play gigs in other countries.
It certainly looked to be the case, for Iskald’s drummer and co-founder Aage André Krekling.
Right before the band got up to play the first act for Kampfar and Hate at the Underworld on April 3rd, I was lucky enough to snag a few minutes to sit down for a brief talk about touring, the Bodø scene and more.
Welcome to London!
Thank you! Thank you very much; it’s good to be back.
How would you personally compare what you’ve experienced before of the London metal audience, with other European crowds?
Well, there have always been a lot of different people who come to our shows. When we did the Underworld in 2009 with Kampfar, it was actually one of the best venues and dates on that tour. Many people came out to see us, and there were good merch sales. So we think that today is going to be another big success.
Unlike the UK or Germany, there’s a “mainstream integration” of black metal in Norway, where (as example) the likes of Satyricon will play fashion shows.
What are your thoughts on this?
I think it’s fine, since they’re actually trying to make money out of this, hehe. Though the main problem to me is that there are so many bands these days – while you do have the “pioneers” of black metal touring and playing big festival shows, the underground or “middle way” has too many bands, where if you don’t sell records, you have to tour. And it becomes more difficult, because for that to happen, you have to stand out as a unique band.
Of course, it is good to have a lot of bands, but at the same time it can be too much, also because some of the newcomers sound the same.
I believe that Iskald is lucky to have been around for almost a decade, as we can actually get around to do whatever we want to do. We also have fans around the world, so we can grow on that as a group.
I understand that while the Norwegian and English languages are used throughout the Norwegian metal scenes, for the most part it’s black metal scene that uses the former.
Norwegian lyrics have been around in black metal since the early 90’s. In my opinion, when you write in Norwegian and put it into black metal, you have a different mood to the music; it creates a unique atmosphere. Therefore, we decided to keep our native language intact and use it in our music to have more varied songs on the new album.
Speaking of which, it was mentioned that the new album ‘Nedom og Nord‘ is a step towards a new direction for Iskald…
It’s the first Norwegian album title that we have, and I think it was the right thing to do. We have been looking to do that before, but this time (around) it just suits the music and the whole package.
There’s also inspiration here from Nordland (in Northern Norway)?
Actually, we have three songs on this new album (inspired by Nordland); two of them were written by a good friend of ours. It’s a celebration of the North Norwegian nature and long winters, as we wanted to have this unique feeling for our heritage for ‘Nedom…‘
Most metalheads outside of your country are more familiar with Oslo and Bergen, than Nordland.
How would you personally compare the atmosphere of the big cities to that of your home region?
I’d say it’s totally different! Maybe not music-wise, since what we create sounds similar in one way (to that of those cities), yet there’s not actually a “real scene” where we come from.
We played a show in late 2012 with four black metal bands, which each had six members! It’s a small group of people, and not many are releasing records or touring, so we feel pretty alone.
But I reckon that there is also a rise in bands coming from Nordland, so hopefully we can create a much bigger scene with more (opportunities for) tours. Especially compared to Oslo and Bergen, where there are many more bands!
What can you tell me about Nordland’s culture?
Maybe that we are more into nature, as we don’t have this kind of “urban city” thing going on. We are used to the cold weather and winter storms, so we have a lot of time to practice. When the weather is bad, that’s when we create most of our music.
While we do have the same storms and shit (as the big cities), it’s a bit rougher and colder up north, like minus 30 degrees if you travel upwards.
Where we live in Bodø, however, it actually differs; it borders between a lot of snow and rain, with more intense storms.
What do you hope to bring to London tonight, as a band from Nordland?
Hopefully, we can bring the same unique atmosphere of our own music and give the people a great, short show! We would have liked to play forty or fifty minutes, but as we got thirty, we have to get out some new songs for the crowd.
K. Ann Sulaiman would like to thank Iskald and Indie Recordings for this interview.
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