SATYRICON’s SATYR Discusses Winemaking journalist, sommelier, and black metal music fan Steven Grubbs recently spoke with SATYRICON founder, frontman, and winemaker Sigurd "Satyr" Wongraven and asked whether the musician's friends in the metal scene think it's odd that he makes wine, which is sold under the Wongraven family name. "I think the majority think it's pretty cool, actually," he said. "For them, wine is this thing that is kind of mysterious and unapproachable." When it comes to wine, Satyr is quick to describe himself as a traditionalist, preferring the old Piemonte style (wines of medium weight and stern tannins and acidity). "I like wines that are representative of their places," he said. Satyr has been making and selling a Burgandy Barolo from Castiglione Falletto since 2010. He sources fruit from a monopole cru owned by the Roagna family, a venerable bastion of Piemontese winemaking tradition. Luca Roagna handles the vinification and Satyr assembles the final product. Read the feature in its entirety at this location.

SATYRICON Frontman On Making Of Self-Titled Album

eter Hodgson of recently conducted an interview with Sigurd "Satyr" Wongraven of Norwegian black metallers SATYRICON. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. What do you think would be the perfect place to listen to [SATYRICON's new, self-titled] album for the first time? Satyr: Well… I know it's not possible for all writers and journalists to do this, because the way these things are being distributed is through computer streams, but it's analog production with an awful lot of emphasis on getting an authentic, organic sound with a great dynamic range where the performance of the musician comes across in terms of actually breathing life into the song through the lows coming down really low and quiet, and the really explosive epic parts really coming across as powerful and huge. And to me, it just means to play this record repeatedly on a good stereo without coloring the sound with your own EQ. Just leave everything in neutral so you can actually hear what the record sounds like the way that it was made. I also think that due to the fact that it has so many tiny little details here and there — whether it's the mellotron or the harmonium or the piano or the acoustic guitars or the theremin, all these little instruments that have their small features here and there that are introduced in a subtle way — to me, it's more that than where you find yourself physically. It's how you listen to it. Even just listening to the stream over the headphones, there's so much depth to everything, and the sounds aren't harsh and aggressive — they're more rich and inviting and that makes you want to listen closer. Satyr: Well, to me, that's a fantastic compliment. What you try to do as a musician is you try to make the listener hear what you're hearing and what you're trying to achieve. And that was just one of those things that I decided to do for this record. I was going to get rid of all distortion pedals. For rock music, that's pretty normal, to just crank the amplifier and go with that sound, and then maybe they use a wah pedal or something like that. But for metal, you typically have some pedal that's gonna turbo-charge your sound. And for me, I really believe in the amplifiers that I use and I like the microphones we were using for the guitar recording, and I wanted to bring out my style of playing, the sound of my amplifier, the sound of the old tube microphones that we were using, and I didn't want a modern-day pedal to kill the dynamics of my playing. So a lot of it was like that, and other things we did with the drums that typically, for a metal drummer playing like Frost does, he uses smaller-sized drums for more attack definition and in order for it to be more comfortable to play for the drummer. And I kept saying to him, "I love the drum sound on the things that we've done, but nothing sounds like our old drum kit, and the last time we used that was on the 'Volcano' record. Why are we not using that anymore?" And he just said, "Because it's old and broken and fucking hard to play." And I said, "I'm not looking for any hyper-speed solutions anyway. I'm looking for a big fat tone with great sustain, and if it's broken, we'll just get some guy to fix it and get new parts, and it shouldn't be a problem." And then we set it up again, and when we were playing the new stuff, straight off the bat, I said, "Are you not hearing what I'm hearing? This sounds so much better, so much more musical to me." So there were many little things we did here and there, even in the production process, where there would be computer versions of some compressor or something like that, which to me didn't sound that great, and the engineer would typically claim that it's the same as the real thing, and I'd say, "I don't believe you because I know that this computer thing is a $250 item and if you try and buy the physical version of this from the Seventies on eBay, it's going to cost you two grand." And he says, "Well, there is a difference, but it's a small difference," and I said, "That's the small difference I'm looking for!" So that meant we did spend a little bit more time than we had planned for, but it was necessary to make this record come across the way we wanted. We felt we had atmospheric songs, we felt that we needed our tone to come across and go into the songwriting and become a part of the musical expression, and we felt that we needed the songs to be able to breathe. And pretty much the opposite of what most records sound like today, as the majority of records are quite digital and processed-sounding, and we were pursuing something completely different. We've always had these elements in our music, but never to such an uncompromising degree as on this record. It was necessary and it gave us the outcome we now have in our hands.

SATYRICON Frontman: ‘Music Throughout The Last Three Or Four Years Is Disgustingly Processed’

Niclas Müller-Hansen of Sweden's Metalshrine recently conducted an interview with vocalist Sigurd "Satyr" Wongraven of Norwegian black metallers SATYRICON. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. Metalshrine: The [new, self-titled] album [from SATYRICON] was recorded using analog equipment. A lot of bands seem to be doing this now. What's your thoughts about it? I get the feeling that it's kinda coming back. Satyr: Well, I'm actually under the impression that it's not coming back. I might be wrong, but my impression is that music throughout the last three or four years is disgustingly processed. I have talked to people that have worked with some of the true superstars. There's this Norwegian production bureau called Stargate and they do a lot of stuff for Rihanna and so on and they are obviously very good at what they do, but I've talked to them as a musician and about sound and some of the things that I intensely hate about modern-day music productions and they explained to me that it's what the artists want, management wants, record company wants, radio wants. They don't want it to sound real, they want it to sound super processed and as a producer, that's what you cater to, of course. I guess that's the shocking part of it. I drove around once in a car with one of the instrument endorsers of SATYRICON and he played me some record from a very famous metal band, that was heavily processed. Everything sounded very powerful and ultra-tight, but to me, it was lifeless and dead. He was very enthusiastic and he was blasting it in the car. It was impressive, but I still hated it. I just said, "OK, fine," but I thought to myself, "How can you not hear that this sounds so fake, so manufactured?" I was hoping that this SATYRICON record, working they way that we worked, not only would it communicate the emotions within the songs, the atmosphere, but also perhaps somehow contribute to what I'm hoping will become more of a trend, because that would be one of those good trends. For bands to do things more organic. That's not something new to SATYRICON, but the difference is that it's been so much hardcore and uncompromising on this record, compared to previous records, and that's perhaps because we felt these songs needed it more than what we've done previously. But it was also because I've never felt so strongly about these things as I do now. When I had discussions about the record with A&R legend Monte Conner, and he's a music nerd like me, and I said to him, "I think a lot of the sounds you've been hearing from metal bands in the last few years are gonna be tomorrow's embarrassments, just like when people look at photos of themselves from the '80s." I think a lot of people a few years down the road, when they listen to their records from like 2012, are gonna go. "What were we thinking?" Then Monte said "I think you're right. I actually think a few years down the road, a lot of the records that are popular today, are gonna be remastered to make them sound more analog," which is the complete fuckup of some of the classic analog records that are being remastered in a way to make them sound more digital and sterile. I think the purist approach on the record helped create the record that it is. We thought that if we were gonna get this to come across the right way, and to have these songs provide that kinda authentic language, like we feel when we play them, we had to make the record, to a large degree, like it feels that you're in the room with SATYRICON when you hear the record. That's what we tried to do and I think we succeded. There's a reason why it's self-titled, because we really feel it defines the mentality and the musical philosophy of the band in terms of song writing and it shows what SATYRICON is about and it also points at the future. A part of what defines SATYRICON is a progressive attitude.

SATYRICON Frontman On New Album: ‘Today The Record Will Be Complete’

Norwegian black metallers SATYRICON are putting the finishing touches on their ninth, self-titled studio album for a September release. Comments SATYRICON frontman Sigurd "Satyr" Wongraven: "I'm about to start my last day in the studio! I had my first February 2nd, so it has been a while, you could say. "I know I might have to a day of recalls (minor adjustments) and there is mastering too, but this is pretty much it. "Today the record will be complete. "Throughout the mix, I have redone a couple of vocal things that needed it and I had some keyboard and piano ideas that I have added. "It is funny how it takes longer when you try and balance a mix without doing much to the sound.