WATAIN Frontman: ‘I Like To Think Of Our Live Shows As Being A Mystical Experience’

Toby Cook of The Quietus recently conducted an interview with Erik Danielsson of Swedish black metallers WATAIN. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. The Quietus: So the new album is due out next month. To say that it's a radical departure is perhaps overstating it, but certainly even compared to "Lawless Darkness", there is certainly, I think, a marked progression. Was it always the intention to create something that was so much more expansive and what were some of the challenges? Erik Danielsson: I never really compare album to album like that — we never have — and I think that one of the most common things that people say when we release a new album is, "Oh yeah, it sounds very different." So with that being said, progression has always been an inevitable part of this band. The whole idea of WATAIN and our artistic journey, so to speak, has been to go into the unknown, to explore the unknown within yourself, to go deeper and deeper into yourself, and that is something that we are getting better and better at and it's happening perhaps more radically the older we get and the more we progress as artists. So that's why I assume that the leaps between the albums are maybe getting bigger somehow, y'know? I mean, it's really not something that we think a lot about when we are composing, but now I have to try to analyze it a bit when I'm doing interviews about and I'm doing it interview-to-interview so you'll have to excuse me if I sound a bit abstract sometimes — but it's a very interesting journey, going deeper and deeper. The

WATAIN Frontman: Being In A Black Metal Band ‘Has To Go Beyond Just Playing Songs’

David E. Gehlke of recently conducted an interview with WATAIN mainman Erik Danielsson. A few excerpts from the chat follow below. It seems like everything you've done of late has been on a bigger scale. I think a lot of us can remember you coming up with "Casus Luciferi" and "Sworn To The Dark", but leading up to "The Wild Hunt", things are of greater scale. Erik Danielsson: It's the way it goes, I guess. We've been doing this for 15 years and people have come to understand that we're a force to be reckoned with and you have to let the fans do that, and business people, too. To be honest, things have changed very literally in the world in WATAIN. To us, it's very much the same thing, the same purpose in our lives. From where we stand, nothing has really changed, but at the same time, we have more and more people working, we have tour agencies and management and whatever that are taken care of this and this. So I suppose it's a reflection of how people relate to the band. It's rather something that matters more for other people than us. What's your take on people who think bands have to stay within certain parameters to be black metal? Danielsson: I very much agree with them. To the extent of that to me, it's not a matter of staying true to a musical spine; that spine is one rather of atmosphere and ideology rather than a musical one. And that's what defines WATAIN. Black metal music is music that, in essence, is diabolical and has diabolical energies and that is where the definition lies to me. Incorporating elements like keyboards… it only takes away from the diabolical aspect of it, because we're talking about the wild, the untamed, ferocious, predatory aspect of it, the tribe within this music. You cannot really get into that permutation with those things if you have a sound that opposes those things. In North America, we have a lot of what is called "Cascadian" or post-black metal bands who don't look the part whatsoever. Have you caught wind of them?