Hello Ihsahn, I’m Keith, how are you today?
Hey Keith, doing well, how are you.
Pharos is set to be released on 11th September, can you tell me about the writing and production behind it?
What can I say its close to heart and close to home and its kinda focused on my musical roots, my geographical roots, telegraphically many ways and don’t know if I did the right music in my life, rock bands, rock guitars, screaming vocals, as far as I know, everything is kinda opposite musically, even the cover songs point to something about trouble and in other way Telemark focus on the extreme elements symbolize on me on the mellow progressive and more poppy that I guess you could say.
Is Telemark and Pharos connected with each other, why did you chose to put them as two EP rather than a single full length album?
No its kinda planned as two EPS, they follow the same pattern, 3 original songs, two cover songs, kinda influenced the writing of the original songs, Telemark is collaborated with David Thierree, made all the drawings. And made paintings for each track.
You have made two amazing covers one Roads by Portishead and another Manhattan Skyline by A-Ha, can you tell me a bit about it?
First of all I love both bands way back, A-ha since my childhood and Portishead more of my grown life haha, I can pick more from those kind of genres, these songs in particular, together they represent what can I say a wide range of the musical texture and that I wanted to explore, it goes from the Portishead Roads song, all the songs has so much texture and there is quit and a fragile thing in her voice, Instruments are played very quite and fragile, all this songs are directed to the totem, in that experience it juxtaposition of soft performances of sounds that are really not edgy, they are not aggressive, its like at the verge of bursting, that’s something you know the quality that I want to explore and continuing on from that I would say the A-ha song has three particular layers and by todays standards very pop songs compared to todays music, it has this ambiguous hot melancholy verse goes into very, its steers from a ¾ beat to a 4/4 beat straight forward and the guitar keep rocking and close to this huge larger than life. These two songs explore into four dimensions of electronic and pop releated musis, A lot of things to learn from them.
Manhattan Skyline is amazingly done, I felt the A-ha in it, how do you feel about it?
I’m very happy with it, you know there is always a risk in doing covers to start with and then you try to make it entirely different or you can try to approach the qualities that are into the song. So I guess this is such a learning experience to me I approach close to the sounds with the intentions of kind of trying to recreate the details and raw of something, its just a register of my voice, as a man and I transpose the same register, I just got more closer to the covers. As for A-ha its such a well crafted song and the arrangement are done so cleverly, for me its like a vintage orchestra performed. You know every time different players makes the strength of the composition and its very happy how it came out and lucky to have Einar on the vocals and I think he did a perfect job on that. I’m really happy how it came out.
Being one of the biggest name in the metal world, a pioneer to the black metal music, how do you feel about it?
Well those are quite big words I would say metal Yes, but not in Black Metal, Well talking about the journey, Yes recently I was going through some of the pictures from back in the days, I think its from 1995, it’s a picture of me in front of keyboards and guitars in my home, I look around me and I look around it’s the same, its almost 30 years, doing this not much has changed, im doing what I love continually trying to explore and expand all my musical journey and I’ve been immensely privileged to be able to do this and doing music in my way, I never really had any other plans other than music and there was never a plan B. I was very fortunate to do the music exactly the way I wanted to. With no quarter cuts or any compromises and I’ve been able to tour the world and most importantly I could keep it in the level where I could be in a very private life and I have a very beautiful family to spend most of my days with
What are the next plans?
There was huge plans lined up with my old band Emperor and I was supposed to premiere the Telemark show, I was putting together a set list based around the contents of my previous EP and more on extreme and I had he Paris tour and some European tour, and shows based around the Aesthetics of this EP and focusing more mellow side of my catalog so both these EP’s are intended to extent in the live arena, but you know this took us a toll because of the Corona thing, Luckily it opened up some new possibilities for me and Matt Heafy from Trivium were communicating me producing his solo album this is something we pictured back in 10 years and finally we have some time on our hands, So I’m glad to say we finished 98% of that record right now as soon as that is finished, I will work on my next full length album, so by end of the year I will focus on my writing for the next full length album.
There was a plan for a concert in Mexico later this year with your band Emperor, Is it still going to happen?
Unfortunately not, as everything has been postponed to mid 2021, I’m not going to cancel any tour, everything will be rescheduled next year, so we all have to get out of this situation hopefully.
What would be some of the greatest moments?
Well there are so many, Its very hard to pin point because its so abstract. You know those moments when you are struggling with a piece of music and waiting and suddenly your speakers in your studio or wherever you are play back something that i’m really excited about and I feel I have no idea how I wrote it but I can take credits for it and those seconds, those moments will feel like a great achievement and great moment. Usually it doesn’t last long, it goes in faces. I thrive on those moments, Like a lucky strike you come across.
What would you like to say to your fans?
I would just say thank you for being supportive and for being music enthusiast you know and make things possible for me and so many other musicians to be able to play shows and make albums and have our jobs, have our life instead of having what can I say all those have to work hahaha and go back something normal that we can again travel around the world and meet people and play shows and enjoy our passion for music
Thank You Ihsahn, for you your wonderful time today, It’s a great pleasure to speak to you my friend, Take care
The pleasure is all mine, take care and stay safe, meet you soon.