How to piss off the entire retarded metal scene. An interview with Obsidian from KEEP OF KALESSIN
by Gabriel Szünder
The members of KEEP OF KALESSIN most certainly are rock stars these days. If not in Norway, in their own imaginations. The band will be playing the OST Mountain Fest in Romania this year, a good occasion for a seemingly hung over Obsidian tot explain to us why he hates everybody and everything, hobbits included.
Are you rock stars in Norway these days?
Well, good for you. But what would you tell people who consider KEEP OF KALESSIN a sellout since the participation at the Eurovision contest?
“That they are fucking stupid, because they don’t see that we are the ones who dare to do something to risk our entire career, while bands like WATAIN are the real sellouts, bands that take on a finished image created by others, that they know will sell albums, even though their music sucks.”
OK, but what were you hoping for when you decided to participate at the Eurovision show?
“To piss off the entire retarded metal scene.”
Then again, your participation might be an indication that mainstream media is now more open towards metal music than in the last fifteen-twenty years.
“The mainstream is definitely more open today, but we too are better than other metal bands, who look like idiots when they perform or are interviewed on TV.”
I find it interesting that you chose a name inspired by an Ursula K. Le Guin novel, when the whole metal scene seems to be fascinated by Tolkien.
“We like Tolkien, but Ursula K. Le Guin doesn’t have the stupid Hobbits.”
Why do you think Norwegian bands played such an important role in the development of black metal?
“Because Norwegian bands are smarter, better and not afraid of breaking new ground. The rest are followers.”
And what do you say about the criminal past of the Norwegian black metal scene?
“I don’t give a fuck.”
Let me ask you about your own past then. What memories do you have about your collaboration with Attila Csihar? Do you still keep in touch?
“Yes, we keep in touch. We had a special chemistry and a great time when we recorded the Reclaim EP. It’s going to be re-released now in June.”
Reptilian is almost a year old now. You must have written some material for the next album. What will it sound like?
“It will sound ten times better, even though people think it’s impossible. It will definitely not sound like black metal, because these days black metal is for people who can’t play their instruments.”
What does reptilian symbolism mean to you?
“Strength, power and epicness!”
You said in an interview that Norwegian bands can get a lot of money from the government. How does that work exactly?
“You apply to get a fund for a tour or an album and if you’re good enough, you get money. If you suck, you get nothing.”
Which means that Norwegian authorities have a really good taste in music. You, on the other hand, will be playing the OSTMountain Fest in Romania this summer, along with acts like FEN. Are you usually curious about the bands you play with at these festivals? Are you following the evolution of today’s metal scene?
“Nope. I haven’t heard a really good band in over ten years. Never heard of FEN either. You see, metal bands today don’t know how to write songs with a good song structure and they for sure don’t know how to write melodies or how to make guitar-riffs. They all move power chords or play some stupid one-string riffs. I hate today’s metal. The metal scene is about to destroy itself from within.”
This interview is for the Romanian webzine Cartea de Nisip. Is this the first interview you are doing for Romania?
“I think I did some Romanian interviews a couple of years back, but I’m not sure. So yeah, you might be the first.”
Any last words?