THE WORLD OV ZYKLON

Updated: 12/24/03

Zyklon has returned with Aeon, an all new album of extreme metal that is even heavier than the their previous release World Ov Worms. As you know, Zyklon features Zamoth and Trym, former members of the much revered Emperor. It was a big honor to speak with Zamoth once again, so Iíll cut all intros short and start the interview nowÖ

How does this new album compare to your debut? There is definitely a change.
Yes, there is definitely a change. I think you could say that this album is definitely way more heavy than the first one. Weíve been focusing a little bit more on creating a depth and some heaviness in the sound rather than just pure speed as they say. Also, thereís been a big difference in the production. We decided to take the recording somewhere else and mix it in Sweden, this time at Fredman Studios and that had a big impact on the final sound. I think overall, it sounds more organic and has a much better flow in general.

People who thought it couldnít get any heavier than the first album are in for a big surprise.
Yeah! Well I think maybe the new album is not as extreme as in terms of speed as the first album, but itís definitely way more heavy.

Did Faust write the lyrics again?
Yeah, Faust did all the lyrics. Thatís been a cooperation between Faust and us and itís working really well. Heís pretty much like the permanent lyricist for the band.

Is he out of jail yet?
Heís out. He was released on parole in December of last year.

So is he actually getting together with you guys now and helping out with the band?
No not really. The lyrics for this album were written before he was released anyway. I think heís pretty much on his own while doing the lyrics. He announced the basis of the concept, so heís just working within the concept.

Who is handling the vocals now for Zyklon?
Thatís a guy called Sactomon and heís handling the bass and the vocals. Heís actually the drummer from Myrkskog, just to complicate things a little bit more. But itís working out really good. Heís the guy who came along for the American tour with Deicide and Morbid Angel. That tour went really well with him and we decided to keep him as a permanent member. Heís a very dedicated guy and heís put a lot of time and effort into the band. He also contributed with writing material for the new album. I feel like this was the line-up that we were looking for when we first started the band. A good working unit.

Why didnít the first vocalist work out?
Daemon Ė he did a good job for the first album, but he really didnít like all of the touring, so he decided he wanted to leave the band because he couldnít fulfill his duties with all of the live shows. And that was fine by us, because we really wanted to find somebody who could handle both vocals and bass. So it was kind of perfect for us that we found Sactomon. We knew Sactomon for a long time, but we really wanted to try him out before the American tour.

Daemon actually appears on this album though.
Yeah, he does some backing vocals on three tracks but itís pretty minor stuff Ė nothing huge. We thought it would be cool to bring him along for a couple of things, because he did the vocals for the album and heís still like a good friend and everything.

The first time I saw you guys was at the Milwaukee Metalfest. How did you feel that show went?
I was just doing an interview with somebody before I called you now, and I told her that it was the worst show we ever did. It was a good experience. We had an excellent weekend. We had a blast hanging out in Milwaukee, but the show itself was just crap in my opinion.

I was there and I thought it was pretty great!
It must have been pretty extreme for sure, but I just had the feeling that everything was completely chaotic. We had big sound problems onstage like my guitar was totally fucked up and we had the monitor guy from hell. So it wasnít that good, but anyway, aside from that we had a good time and it was a cool experience.

How did the tour with Morbid Angel and Deicide go?
Oh that was like a dream come true. That was a killer package and we had an excellent time. It went really good and we are eager to come back. It looks as if we are going to be touring at the beginning of next year, hopefully, in the States.

Who is that going to be with?
Thatís not confirmed yet, but we are talking to several people. It looks like we have some good options next year.

When you were here in the States, what was the best and worst part of being on the road?
The worst part was definitely traveling in a van. We traveled in a small van for four weeks and there were pretty long drives. Itís more comfortable being in the bus, we like usually do in Europe Ė we can sleep on the bus. So long drives in the van. And our best experience is just to travel and play and meet people.

What do you think about the Emperor two CD set that just came out?
The two CD thing? I think itís a pretty good package for people who are either getting into Emperor or to bring out some of the own classic songs. It also has some bonus material on it Ė like some B-sides and re-mixes and stuff like that. I think itís a pretty good package for the fans.

These days, would you want to get back together with Emperor for a reunion show?
No. Itís not really an issue that weíve spoken about at all. Weíve had several offers for this summer. We had good offers for playing festivals down in Germany, but itís nothing that weíd consider at all. So itís not really an issue.

Do you keep in touch with the other guys in Emperor?
Well, Trym is playing in Zyklon and Ihsahn Ė I talk to him a lot on a regular basis on the phone. And sometimes I run into him in town. But Iíve actually moved away from where he lives now, so we donít hang out very often anymore. But we are definitely on good terms, no problem at all.

Do you still talk to Mortiis at all?
Yeah, I talk to him a lot. I mean, he use to be my neighbor for four years. We use to party every weekend and had lots of fun.

What do you think of Mortiisís new stuff?
I like it. Itís more like rock influenced and more catchy compared to what he did before Ė his pure underground keyboard thing that he use to do. Heís in the studio working on some new stuff, which is supposedly going to be more heavy.

Are you still keeping up with your record label right now? (Nocturnal Arts Productions)
Yeah, for sure. Weíre still pretty active. We did a couple of new releases this year. It was Aeternus, then a Darker Moment. We did the new CD of a band called Void from England. And we did a seven-inch split with Red Harvest and Zyklon.

When your looking for bands to sign, what is it that you personally look for?
Hmmm. I just have to find something in the band that attracts me. It has to be good music. I think that should be the basis of any label thatís looking for a band. And preferably they should have a strong package Ė with good music and lyrics and everything.

What other projects are you involved with at the moment?
Iím not really involved with any other project at the moment.

Are you kidding? People over there are usually in like three or four different bands.
Yeah, well thatís the Norwegian scene for you. Everybody thinks of the Norwegian scene as something huge Ė and itís a strong scene, but we have a very small population over here, so pretty much everybody is playing in everybodyís band. Itís an inbreed thing and thatís just the way it is.

Hereís the Lords Of Chaos question. What do you think of how everything was portrayed in that book regarding the Norwegian Black Metal scene?
Oh, I love that question! No. (Laughs) Itís been ages since I read the book. I think the book is probably one of the better books on the subject anyway, but these kinds of books and articles and documentaries about the Black Metal scene and the media Ė it doesnít excite me at all. For me, itís just yesterdayís news, and Iím above it to be honest. But I think that book was okay. It had the usual bring out all the dirt and that type of shit. I think the author focused a little bit too much on the Black Metal scene being political in some way, which I think is wrong.

Why do think people are still fascinated with that time period?
Death and art and murder, extremity, blood. Well the whole story. Itís pretty understandable why people are fascinated by it and I totally understand that if I were like a kid who all of sudden gets into kind of theme and the story is like ďOkay, in Norway thereís a whole bunch of crazy mother fuckers who are killing each other and burn churches.Ē Obviously that is going to be fascinating for people. I remember when I first got into metal, and got into WASP and stuff and all the blood and skulls and stuff Ė itís attractive. But for me personally, Iím bored with it cuz itís like ten years ago and whatever and itís yesterday news.

So what do you think about the Black Metal scene today?
Is there a Black Metal scene today? I think today, itís more about metal and extreme metal in general. Thereís hardly any new Black Metal bands who still have that pure spirit of the old days. I still enjoy Black Metal a lot, like the older bands. But thatís very rare to find a new band that captures that old feeling. I think in general, Black Metal today is not so exciting. And I think also the scenes are more blending today Ė Black Metal, Death Metal, its all one strong scene Ė itís more extreme metal, which is good I think. If people are more united, that makes us stronger.

What do you think of certain factions of metal who mix racism and nationalism in with their music?
Each to his own. Itís not my business. If somebody wants to deal with that shit, then itís up to them. Thatís not a big problem here in Norway anyways.

What do you think of Rob Halford going back with Judas Priest?
Thatís great! It was bound to happen. I think he did really good with his two Halford albums, so Iím having big expectations for the new Judas Priest. It should definitely be something to look out for.

That would be an interesting bill Ė Judas Priest and Zyklon!
Sure, weíd be there! Halford is definitely into that kind of shit as well. He played in Norway with Halford and he was dedicating a song to Emperor and Dimmu Borgir and Immortal and that was pretty cool.

I had read somewhere that he said Emperor was one of his favorite bands.
Yeah. He even called Ihsahn and he was talking to him about doing a project together, so heís definitely into the stuff.

What are the future plans for Zyklon, now that the album is out?
Weíre preparing now to do live shows, so the focus is getting out on to tour. Weíre hoping to confirm a European tour. Weíre doing some smaller shows in Norway in the next month and weíre looking to go to Finland for a mini-tour. And then hopefully do America at the beginning of next year. And we also have a video coming out. We did a music video for the track Zyklomea.

What is the concept for the video?
Itís a pretty heavy metal video. Itís pretty much like band stuff Ė the band out in the forest ó kicking ass! (Laughter)

When youíre in between albums, do you have a normal day job?
I didnít have a normal day job since 12 years. My day job IS heavy metal and it canít be any better.

Do you have any messages for Zyklon fans here in the States?
First buy the new album and hopefully weíll catch you guys on tour soon.

Aeon by Zyklon is now available from Candlelight Records!


ZYKLON LINKS

ZYKLON: The official home page!
CANDLELIGHT RECORDS: The record label for Zyklon!
AN EARLIER INTERVIEW WITH ZYKLON: With Zamoth for the World Ov Worms release!
THE HIGHWIRE DAZE HOME PAGE: Return to the Main Page!

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