Metal Mark of recently conducted an interview with vocalist Erik Danielsson of Swedish black metallers WATAIN. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. I’ve said this many times to people, there’s a haunting beauty to WATAIN Whether you believe what you believe, it’s an admirable thing to see a band put so much energy and heart into every detail as you guys do. In your genre, success is a weird word, but you’ve achieved a lot more than most. From the beginning, was there a certain band or influence that you saw, where you knew you could that and more, and have continued that to this day?

Erik: That’s interesting to think about. Honestly, I think from watching the bands we grew up on, we knew we couldn’t do anything less, because that would be unworthy. It would be blasphemous to go out there and not mean it. If you’re going to contribute to black metal, you’d better fucking contribute to black metal. It’s not something that you can casually become a part of, you know. Cleary we’ve had something to contribute and still do. We always knew that if we did this, we would do it and hold nothing back. We wanted to create something extremely significant, and we have. It has to be more than what we are used to ourselves. You can’t recreate something, you must create something. Throughout my career and life, that’s how I approach things. Either you do it all the way or you don’t do it at all. I think what we’ve accomplished is something rare and special, but it’s nowhere near being done. We have a lot more to say, a lot more to do, and as long as we have the power behind us, we will conquer whatever is in front of us. That’s WATAIN. You’ve been leading the WATAIN charge for many, many years now, and have talked about your growth, both spiritually and musically before, so how do you see yourself now in 2015?

Erik: Honestly, there is still a big feeling of being quite overwhelmed. That feeling has been with me for many years now, and it comes with the territory of what we do. We’ve seen many things come and go, both positively and negatively, but we are still here, you know. The feeling of being overwhelmed, as I said, is very central to us, because I still feel quite small to what we’ve been building with WATAIN. It’s completely taking over, and that’s a very good thing. I hate when people are eager to say, “I’m stronger every day,” and stuff like that. If you deal with the stuff we do, you can’t afford to have that approach. You have to acknowledge that you aren’t in charge and remain focused at all times. Pride is the last emotion we focus on, because there’s a much bigger picture out there, and much stronger forces out there.

Read the entire interview at