Blistering.com recently conducted an interview with rhythm guitarist/songwriter Ivar Bjørnson of the progressive/psychedelic Norwegian black metallers ENSLAVED. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
“Blistering.com: “Vertebrae” was so well received, so how did you not only adapt to its success, but prepare for the next one?
Ivar Bjørnson: It was a little surprising, I guess, not because I didn’t think it was a good album, I just don’t have much expectations when we release an album. Music and especially the stuff we’re working on, is such a personal thing. Also, I’m quite content when I finish an album. I knew he had done the best we could with that album, but I was a little taken aback as to how dignified the positive responses were. We went in a mellow direction with“Vertebrae” and a lot of times that can be a red flag for part of the extreme metal scene, but we seem to get away with it. Now I’m curious about how it’s going to work when we go the other way, when get a little harder again with the new album.
Blistering.com: “Axioma Ethica Odini”’s harder and more aggressive, so did you use the same process where you secluded yourself for months at a time in order to compose the album?
Bjørnson: Yes. Even more so this time. I’d started to get ideas in the first half of 2009 while we were touring and doing festivals. The pressure started building up inside of my head for these ideas for riffs and the whole album, so at some point in August or September of last year I had to go to an empty house and get it all out on paper and onto my computer. It was an eruption, so to speak…it was really cool. It’s like food — if you have a main course of something and you get fulfilled, you want to go onto something else. So with “Vertebrae”, it was melodic and mellow, that’s when we asked if we were really ready for something else, so that’s when we decided to go in this harder direction.
Read the entire interview from Blistering.com.