This interview broadcasted by our official partner Wolfhound Metal Radio with band member Dolk at online by DjDjinnkaya Weathertimelord.
Hi Dolk! It as been 17 years since the creation of Kampfar and it slowly, but surely, did is way through the 90′ underground metal scene. After being absent for a time, you’ve came back stronger than ever with the album "Kvass". Can you tell us how it all began, what brought you to play music and to finally create Kampfar with Thomas?
Dolk : Ok that’ a long story of course …
For Resume It all started in 91 with my first band Mork, but I always had the idea to form Kampfar for longtime and it happened finally in 94 when Mork split up. I started Kampfar by myself. And one day I met Thomas by coincidence, and he became like my brother in life and for music and we were together for 17 years. Kampfar was always my first choice.
Can you explain to us the absence of Kampfar between 1999 and 2006? Were there specific reasons for the silence? Have you worked on other projects? What have motivated you to come back and work again on Kampfar?
The silence between 99 and 2006 is really really really personal… I haven’t told anyone about it till actually. Because Thomas and i, had personal problems that we had to solve, and we had to take the time because otherwise Kampfar would not exist as it exist today. If it was not from that time off, so it was a natural thing for us to just fix up of our lives basically and comeback again together and creates once again music. So that period was really like a necessary thing to do I won’t go into details, sorry because it’s too personal for me. ..But the main thing is that :
We back on track again, and working better than ever, the atmosphere inside band has never been better for all. There was a period that Kampfar, was more like a work than a feeling of joy about playing. But all that is gone now, because for me again this is something that I want to do always in my life. It’s something that I want to express and that’s a really good feeling, and that feeling has not always been there. And that period this feeling had disappear away, but right now it feels good to be back!
Since then, you have been releasing new albums on regular bases. Looks like you have been more productive than ever and explores various methods of composition which are each time more and more sophisticated while still staying fateful to Kampfar style and adapting to your time. From which place do you get your inspiration?
That’s easy, because the inspiration that’s always been for me what my grand-ma told me… (little laugh) When I was 6 years old, she would tell me stories about the nature. In Norway, nature is like a religion. Even some peoples try to deny that, there always been one religion in Norway, and that’s nature. And for me it still is, because for me, that’s where I get everything from. Even now when we made the “mare” album, we went to my family’s cabin up in the mountains. We stay there, and we create almost the all album there, because there is nothing negatives there, and nothing is about deceptions and bad feelings, there is only just pure mountains, beautiful things. There you can go out to seven and eleven and be at peace, It’s like you have to stay there and you have to focus what you want to do , and you are really close to the nature and that’s all the inspiration’s force for me. And that has always been like that. For me this is my inspiration source number one and it was always been like that.
Kampfar always had two protagonists that sailed the knor, you and Thomas. It seem that Thomas is absent from your latest expedition. Can you tell us why so? As he stop is collaboration to your raids or will we see him back on future release?
That’s a hard question because I can’t answer that. The only thing that I can say is like we had been playing together for 17 years, and we re still blood brother in the way of life I am still really close to each other we talk a lot , the thing is that, he was more or less done with the will of expressing himself through to black metal , I just have to accept that. So we are now at this state, it’s impossible for us to go and continue this road and to work together. But, the place is open for him, as always been it’s less up to him, to be honest. If he comes back or not, I cannot tell, because he doesn’t know that himself.
It depends on what happens in life, you never know…
Exactly! So the door is not shut for Thomas, that’s all I can say!
I have your debut album and since then, I always had the impression that Kampfar is the issue of you and Thomas, and also the result of your own association in music. But now, there is some other musicians with you. Can you tell us what have been their contribution and their importance in the band? Have they brought something new to the way the songs have been written?
Yeah definitively, we all worked together now and we recorded with Peter Tagtgren’s studio in Sweden, the abyss studio, we recorded there the new album ‘’Mare’’, and all of the band’s members contributed on the compositions. And this new album expresses all the four of us really feel. This is the first album, where all the members of the band contributed equally to the composition of the album. Our new guitarist ‘’Ole Hartvigsen’’ hasn’t have a chance to compose with us yet.
But He Is getting into it, a lot more on the album yet, he is also a great musician, he knows what kampfar is all about,and he is coming into the band has been going well since we pick him for the job in the band. I really think he is going to work very well, the most important thing is, he understand what kampfar is all about. To be in Kampfar don’t need to have high skills , Kampfar it’s more about to do music from the heart wich we create . For me, i’m looking forward to working with him in the future and the other guys are really into it. So with all that , with this last album and how it was created, we are all satisfied with the final result.
You have visited different musical concept throughout your career. Tell us about the different themes you’ve talked about and why it was important for you to present them to us and put them in a musical aspect? Is the lyrics are as important for you than the music itself? Or is it a whole? Few people here understand Norwegian and since you’re lyrics are in that language, can you tell us what they are about and the message or story you want to send out?
It’s of course different themes, but basically I want to express deeper things or feelings behind it all. For me, the lyrics, the music and the feelings that comes from life in general, are the most important thing and that’s what I like to express with Kampfar. You can take for instance a song like "Ravenheart", that is all about taking your own way, your own path in life and not following what’s normal or not normal, forcing you to put your own thought into life. That’s what Kampfar is really about. Of course, there’s always a pagan root in what we do, from where I come from and the roots are the history of my people. Kampfar as always been about our nordic roots, nature and mankind. If I have to put it down in one sentence, I guess it’s about following your own way and never forget where you’re coming from.
The new album ”Mare” was released three months ago, this album is somewhat the cornerstone of your career, a concecration of your career. You are now internationally oriented, Peter Tatgren had produce this album and that you are with Napalm Records for sometime now.
What led you to work with Peter Tagtgren? Tell us about this new album and its creation: any anecdotes? and especially the idea and concept behind it? Is there any highlight about it you want to tell us? What is the direction you want to give it? What’s new about it?
What’s really great with "Mare" it’s that I’ve focused on what the album meant to me personally. Besides that, "Mare" is a maelstrom because, after one week we’ve already sold more albums than we did with the two previous ones in two years. And we also did some chart’s list and all that stuff, so that’s a good thing, of course, for a band. What’s even more important it’s that we’ve decided to work with Peter Tagtgren. I’ve talk to him in several festivals and when you’re a band, like us, you meet a lot of people and I’ve met Peter many times. We started to talk a little bit about it each time we saw each other and the rest is history. But the most important thing for me wasn’t to go to that studio and work with Peter Tagtgren just because he’s famous or anything. It was more because Peter wanted to do this album. He had these specific ideas for it and I also had specific ideas too, so we put them together as a whole unit. I think, in a way, we almost did our vision of it at a 100%. That, for me, it’s the best part of the album, because he understood where we were heading and he wanted to produce this album. I, also, wanted to work with a guy that really wanted to do this and Peter was that guy.
When it comes to the creation of the album, I already mentioned that we almost made it all up in the mountains in norway, just in total solitude. We had to do that to create the right atmosphere for ourselves. But the thing with "Mare", it’s more connected to the witchery and the witch history than the pagan or the heathen mess. It’s more about what an high priest thought and decided what was witchery at that time in Europe, but more specifically in Norway. They called everything witchery and devilish everything they didn’t understand. The "Mare" album is really dealing more about all the historical events that really happened in Norway. I really put some strong question marks about it. If you even look at the cover of the album, it’s the three witches that is also a thing in Norway’s history.
Have you already started working on a new album? What’s next for Kampfar?
Like I told you already we are going to start on creating new songs when we come back again and after the tour in Norway in November. It depends of how fast we work you know, we’re not a really fast working band to be honest (laught) but I hope we can be able to create and realize and an album within the next two years. That’s what I hope for. It’s looking really good because we have some demos already made so I hope for the best. It’s about inspiration and it has to come. It comes from the heart and it’s impossible to create a formula for that you know… it just comes from the heart and you have to follow that.
My last question, Can you give me your vision about black metal? It’s past, present and future.
That’s a really hard question and we can talk about this for like… ages. I’m starting to write a book right know. I have about three years to do that and I’ll do it. It’s about my story overall or the back door in you know ? It’s more about that. But it’s a too heavy question to answer here to be honest.