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Tags: Iskald, Denim_And_Leather, Black_Metal, Nick_Malone, Indie_Recordings

Denim and Leather - Iskald Interview

We’ve got a lot planned for 2014 here at Denim and Leather; more articles shining light on unknown gems, bigger festival coverage, more album reviews, and especially more interviews from some of the best names in heavy metal. Starting things off with Black Metallers Iskald, we talk to vocalist Simon Larsen about the new album Nedom Og Nord.


First of all, congratulations on the new record. Now that you’ve had a lot of feedback and time to reflect, how do you feel about the album?

Thank you very much! I’m still very satisfied. There is nothing that I would have done differently, at least not yet. I guess things will change a little when we start playing these songs live, but that’s how it usually is. I wish I could have changed some things on both Revelations of Reckoning Day and The Sun I Carried Alone, but on Shades of Misery, I still cannot find anything I would have changed. It’s still perfect in my ears. But that’s not what you asked for. The new album feels really great, and I have no idea how we will be able to ever make something better than this.


This is the first time you’ve entitled an album in Norwegian, and the overall theme of the record is dedicated to the people and culture of your homeland. How important is this to the group?

It has always been important for us, so we finally decided to honor it by doing an album like this. It has been our inspiration for almost 10 years now, and hopefully it will continue to inspire us for the next 10 years as well.


Furthermore, the title track deals with Northern Norway in particular, does this hold some special significance to you?

It’s our own hymn to the North of Norway, and that’s why we needed it to be that majestic and epic. I really feel that we have got the right feeling on the song. It was a hard process for us to get the song to the be worthy of the title, but I think we managed to do it.


Following on from ‘Burning Bridges’ from your previous record The Sun I Carried Alone, the title track finishes the album in epic style clocking in at over 10 minutes. Is this a theme you hope to continue with future releases?

We have always included some long lasting songs on our previous albums. Pesten from Shades of Misery, Warriors of The Northern Twilight Pt.2 from Revelations of Reckoning Day and Burning Bridges as you mentioned. But it felt very natural this time for the songs to last for over 7 minutes. It was actually hard to keep them under 10 minutes. The songs had to be cut down several minutes so that they wouldn’t be too long. This may also happen on our future releases, for sure.



For my money the finest track of the album is ‘Iskald’ itself as it really stands out as having every ounce of the bands energy and spirit poured into it. Meaning simply ‘Glacial’ I believe, what made you decide to pay homage to the bands name at this point in your career?

Thank you very much. It’s great to hear you enjoy that one, because it’s a very special song for us obviously. It’s a usual thing when a band names a song after the name of the band, the song is crap. Iskald was meant to be a part of The Sun I Carried Alone, but was removed from the album because it didn’t fit the sound and atmosphere. But Iskald also had to be rearranged dramatically for this album because it wasn’t actually that good. We rearranged the guitars and added some new elements such as choir and acoustic guitars, and all this together brought the song to a whole new level. I think we really managed to melt together the songwriting from all our previous albums in to that song. The atmosphere from Shades of Misery, the black elements from Revelations of Reckoning Day, the technical aspect from The Sun I Carried Alone and the melancholy and epic sound from Nedom og Nord.


This is your fourth release with Indie Recordings now. Is it safe to say that you feel very at home there, and do they give you the creative freedom that you need to be able to make the sincere black metal you pride yourselves on?

Iskald was actually one of the first bands they signed, and they were the first label we ever signed for, so we definitely feel home there. They give us all the creative freedom we could ask for and they are doing a really good job for our band, so I guess we will continue our partnership for the years to come, hopefully. As long as people buy our music, I think we’re safe, hehe.


How do you make sure that you’re carving your own path in the Norwegian black metal scene when you’re surrounded by so many greats of a similar ilk?

We don’t think about that at all. We are not making this music to achieve anything, we just compose the music we want to listen to ourselves, and if it sounds like anyone else, it’s great for us who like the music.


With such a new direction being taken for this fourth album compared to a similar running on the previous three, can we expect to hear more of the same in the near future or will a fresh direction be explored once again?

I guess it’s easiest for me to answer this question in a year or maybe two. Right now it would have felt natural to continue composing songs that will sound like on this album, but I don’t have any material left, and I have used every little idea and riff for this one, so there won’t simply be any more Iskald music for at least another year. But I guess we will continue down this path we now have started walking, so I’m about as curious as you are.


Finally, what are your touring plans as we head through winter and ultimately towards festival season this summer?

We have now announced a European tour with Kampfar and Hate, and we’re really looking forward to that tour. It will be around 15-20 shows, and the venues looks really cool. No festivals are booked yet, but hopefully there will be some shows during this year and if everything goes as planned, there will even be more tours.


Nedom Og Nord is available now on Indie Recordings and can be purchased here. For the latest news and touring schedules, be sure to follow Iskald on Facebook.

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    Nick's posts By Nick Malone
    @BandsPlayedOn


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