Raymond Westland of Ghost Cult magazine recently conducted an interview with Erik Danielsson of Swedish black metallers WATAIN. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Ghost Cult: “The Wild Hunt” should be seen as a standalone release and not so much as a continuation from the previous works. Can you clarify this, please?
Erik: I do not know how you drew that conclusion but no, that is not correct. Every WATAIN album is a “continuation” of our journey, and although that journey always takes us to new places that may appear different from those we have visited in the past, it is still very much a living continuum. Every WATAIN album should be seen as a monument erected at a specific point in time and space, but still transcending that point by reaching beyond the tangible and the defined.
Ghost Cult: “The Wild Hunt” is a very rich and diverse record and it far exceeds the traditional black metal aesthetics. To which extent was this the thing you set out do?
Erik: We set out to make another WATAIN album, and as always we let the currents of our Temple lead the way. As these currents are and have always been strongly rooted in the black metal cult, that obviously reflects on the album as well. But WATAIN is first and foremost a world on its own, a place in which we can do whatever we feel the need to do, unbound by musical genre. We do not answer to any expectations of anyone else but those of our own. WATAIN is a mouthpiece of Satan, and as such we can not limit our ways of expression, we must always be open to learn new languages in order to express that which needs to be expressed.
Ghost Cult: Can you take us through the motions of writing and recording the album? What did you really set out to achieve?
Erik: The album was written over a period of three years, starting after “Lawless Darkness”. Many of the lyrics were written on the road, in Australia, Japan, USA and Transylvania. The recording itself was four months long and took place in different places in Scandinavia which altogether made for the diversity that you mentioned earlier. The nomadic impulse of WATAIN, and the ever on going pilgrimage we find ourselves on, were things that became quite central in the album. We took the time to look back on past experiences and the evolution of the band, and eventually framed it inside a spiritual, even mythological, context. “The Wild Hunt” is the long, hard and yet incredible rewarding road which we have walked upon for the past 15 years.
Read the entire interview at Ghost Cult magazine.