THE DEMO CORNER
Dimmu Borgirís guitarist, Galder, recently took the time out to sit with me and discuss the new album Abrahadabra, the state of black metal, and a possible show in May with the Norwegian Orchestra and Schola Cantorum Choir.
Lynora: Since releasing your new album Abrahadabra last month, how have the songs been received at your live shows?
Galder: Very good, I mean, the album hasnít been out for so long, but the crowd seems to be singing along with some the lyrics and stuff. Thatís been very good; we play 5 songs off of it.
Lynora: Which ones have been the best received out of the five that you play?
Galder: Maybe ďDimmu BorgirĒ and ďGateways.Ē Maybe ďGatewaysĒ because thatís the video song, so maybe people have seen it on Youtube.
Lynora: As you continue to write and release albums and have a larger pool of songs to draw from, how do you choose what to play for your live shows?
Galder: Yes, itís getting hard, but most of it the people pick. We just rotate a little bit, and try to not use the same songs all the time. You get tired of playing the same songs all of the time.
Lynora: When youíre writing an album that you know will involve so many outside musicians, do you feel like your writing two versions of the same song because the studio version and the live version have to be played in two different ways?
Galder: No, I donít think so, because on this tour we have a lot of the playback from the orchestra, so it sounds pretty similar to the album. Itís hard to reproduce everything thatís on the album anyway. It will always, of course, be a little bit different. Maybe if we did everything on the keyboards instead of having the orchestra-- but itís five of us, so I donít know, itís hard to say.
Lynora: Who are the other live musicians playing on this tour and how did you hook up with them?
Galder: We have a bass session guy named Cyrus, heís also from a Norwegian band called Susperia. Heís an old friend of ours, and very talented musician. We use him and we use Daray on drums. He also played on the album. Gerlioz on the keyboards and he also did keyboards on the album.
Lynora: Oh so youíre at least familiar with them.
Galder: Yea! Of course.
Lynora: With 100 contributing musicians, I hear you were interested in trying to possibly have them do a live performance in Norway. What can you tell us about that, and if the group were slightly downsized, would you be interested in doing a tour that way?
Galder: Of course that would be awesome to tour with an orchestra, but I mean itíd have to be downsized to like what, 5 people, then itís hardly an orchestra. We have this thing in May, which is not like 100% certain yet, but we think it will happen with the Norwegian Orchestra and the Choir. Itís going to be the biggest production weíve done live. It will be awesome, so hopefully people from around the world will come and see how it goes. It will only be a one time thing. It will also be filmed for the national television station.
Lynora: Would you possibly release it as a DVD?
Lynora: The recent lineup changes seem to have agitated a lot of fans and the sound seems to have shifted. Overall what is harder to cope with: when you receive criticism from your fans or criticism from critics and media?
Galder: The fans I would guess. But, I mean this album has been very well received, I think, overall. All Dimmu albums have been very up and down, where they hate it or love it. Thatís always been the case. I think overall once we started using clean vocals back in the day, the fans were complaining about that. Itís really hard to satisfy everyone, you know? Some people like using clean vocals and some people donít like it. Of course, itís hard to get used to when you split up with members, the fans will react to it. But also thatís what happens when you play in a band for many, many years, and I donít think weíre in the only band in history that has changed members. Thereís been a lot of lineup changes, but thatís unfortunately those are things that happen in a band.
Lynora: Did you find that it was easier to be creative and record music when you were more of a smaller band as opposed to being bigger band and having to answer to more people?
Galder: I mean of course the pressure is bigger, because there are more people to please, but then again we donít make music to please anyone. We want to make the music that we feel is true to us, and that we are comfortable with the music and we hope the fans will be too. Or we just make the music that we want to make, and if the people donít like it, then that is too bad. But I mean, I think that we share the same taste as many of our fans do. We do what we want to do anyway. We have to be proud of what weíre doing. Weíre not going release an album and not be proud of it.
Lynora: How do you feel about the progression of black metal over the years, and how do you feel that evolutions in your own music impacted it?
Galder: I always think that Dimmu Borgir were always on its on path regardless, even in the beginning in the early 1990ís Dimmu Borgir were kind of different from the rest of the black metal scene. Black metal in general I think has evolved into being more, how do you call itÖ house clean? Or like, more acceptable for more people. Back in the day, it was more for a certain type of group, you canít find the music in all the stores, and you have to go look for it. It was also a bit more dramatic with regarding the church burnings and the murders and stuff like that. Itís a bit more calmed down and bit bigger now than what it used to be. I mean the black metal sells a lot more albums now then in the past, in a way itís a bit bigger but itís also less dramatic than what it used to be. But for us, weíve done now as we have done for forever. So things havenít really changed for us, you know?
Lynora: But, do you feel like the evolutions that you have made in your music can be seen reflected in any other music that is coming out now?
Galder: I mean of course there are a lot of black metal bands using keyboards, so maybe theyíve listened to Dimmu Borgir. Or maybe there are more bands using clean vocals now, I donít know itís hard to say. I think weíve probably inspired a few people though.
Lynora: Going back to the new album, what do you want fans to come away with?
Galder: I want them to go on a journey. Itís not just one style, that they can hear different elements and different moods during the albums. So itís not just aggressive, but itís like all the elements, like kind of sad to aggressive to all different elements of metal. Itís a very varied album. It incorporated a lot of different styles of metal. Itís a mixture of heavy metal, to black metal, a little bit thrash metal and everything else. And then a big epic orchestra pops in; I think itís a very original album that is different from a lot of metal albums out there. Also, itís what we want to do, so great.
Lynora: Personally, what are some of your favorite tracks?
Galder: I like ďGatewaysĒ cause itís representing Dimmu Borgir in the year 2010 but this album has a lot of fast songs and a lot slow songs. The song ďDimmu BorgirĒ is pretty cool, a bit different though, itís kind of mellow in the first half and aggressive in the last half. And that song is also about the band. But itís hard to pick your favorite out of your own songs.
Lynora: What was the hardest one to record?
Galder: To record playing the guitar on? We donít make songs that we think are hard to play. But maybe there were songs were hard to mix, there was a lot going on there, maybe it was hard with levels. Itís hard to say.
Lynora: After working with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and the Schola Cantorum Choir for the album would you enjoy working with them again on future albums and projects?
Galder: Yea definitely. The choir is something that when we think about it now we were like: why didnít we use that before? A choir is just such a good thing for us to use. So we will definitely use a lot more choir, and we use choir now for all the clean parts now and it sounds pretty cool and we will try to work with that more in the future and an orchestra too. I mean, we might go back and just use keyboards and stuff like that, but we will always incorporate orchestra in one way or another. Maybe not on the next one but then again maybe on the one after that. You never know. We will see. Itís too soon; cause the album is just out we need to adjust it a little bit and see where we want to go with the next one. But definitely choir is something that we want to use more, at least now.
Dimmu Borgir's Galder
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Genre: Melodic Symphonic
Guitar, Vocals & Bass
For All Tid (1994)
Inn I Evighetens MÝrke EP (1994)
Devil's Path EP (1996)
Godless Savage Garden EP (1998)
Spiritual Black Dimensions (1999)
Alive in Torment EP (2002)
World Misanthropy EP/DVD (2002
Death Cult Armageddon
Death Cult Armageddon (2003)
Stormblast MMV (2005)
In Sorte Diaboli (2007)
The Invaluable Darkness DVD (2008)
Behind the Player:
Dimmu Borgir DVD (2010)
(Click on Photo to Enlarge)
November 28, 2010
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