DIMMU BORGIR (Silenoz, Shagrath)

Interview date

March 2007


Yann G

Questions by

All the reviewers

Official Website



Hi Silenoz and Shagrath, thanks a lot for accepting this interview for the french metal webzine http://www.auxportesdumetal.com/
Your new album "In Sorte Diaboli" will be released on April, 27th. You start promotion quite soon. Is it a will of the label or are you afraid of some competition this year with the new releases of Marduk, Mayhem, Behemoth, Nagflar ?

(Silenoz) No, only because we go on tour in United States in two weeks so we won't able to do any european promotion. I didn't know that all those albums came out at the same time.

What judgement do you have today on your career ? Do you think you'll be able to continue composing and recording new albums during again 13 years ?

(Silenoz) I hope so. If we can continue this with the same kind of motivation, we'll see...

"In Sorte Diaboli" will be a concept album. What are the differences between recording a traditional album and a concept album ?

(Silenoz) Not so much, there's no difference at all I think because we've written this album the same way, the lyrical content is more or less the same. Musicwise we did the songs the same way we did in the past. I guess people expect a difference because that's a story album but there's not. Musically we've done the same way we've already done before. Our formula is "Just go with whatever we think it sounds good".

Could you please explain us in detail the story of this concept album (all the steps of the evolution of the priest) ? How does the priest finish his life ?

(Silenoz) Obviously he finishes his earthly life on the stake, he gets burnt, just like the fuckin' witch fires in the old times. But the main idea behind the story was that this person works in a church and after several weeks he gets sorts of revelations which makes him realise his direct devotion to the devil. So, when he continues working in the church, he starts exploring his true identity, his true destiny. After a while, people start to believe that he is the devil himself incarnated on earth and he uses that to his advantage because, as we all know, people always fear what they don't know. All the unknown is something negative. He uses this to his advantage and the story just explains his transformation into this being and at the end he gets burnt on the stake because he's burnt by the local people. They understand what he's doing, he's recruiting people for his cult, for his black cult. That's the main idea behind the story. People looked upon the priest as the second coming of the antichrist.

You said in some interviews that the new album will be more complex than the great "Death Cult Armageddon". Could you please expand on this ?

(Silenoz) Even if it's a more straightforward album, less orchestral than "Death Cult", it's a more complex album because the songs include more intensity, the songs are a little bit shorter (all of them). It means that the intensity is higher I think. There are a lot of details in the lyrics and in the music of course, this album has a lot of modern elements that you won't probably notice during the first few listens. They will come to you later one and more and more. It's like a kind of discovery album. You'll discover things the more you listen to.

Cradle Of Filth covered a pop song : Temptation. Children Of Bodom covered a Britney Spears song. What do you think of this ? Is there a plan for Dimmu Borgir to cover ABBA or The Bee Gees ?

(Silenoz) We would kill covering ABBA or Bee Gees with death vocals, that would be awesome :-)

(Shagrath) I didn't know that Children Of Bodom covered a Britney Spears song.

(Silenoz) Yes, I heard it actually, it's not seriously obviously. It's cool that they don't give a fuck and they've expected people to take it seriously, they just had a laugh, that's cool.

In France, the subject of religion is quite sensible. In the beginning of 90s, with the burnt churches, it was also an issue in Norway. How do you think people will react with this new title "In Sorte Diaboli" ?

(Shagrath) We have never been involved in the criminal aspect of the black-metal scene. We focus more on the musical aspects. The pen is mightier than the sword :-))

(Silenoz) It's good to be controversial. It creates reactions, and whether it's good or bad reaction, it's still reaction. We don't expect less from people. We know that we are loved by a lot of people but we are hated by a lot of other people.

Do you really believe in satanism ?

(Silenoz) It depends on what do you mean by satanism ?

Let's talk about Anton Lavey's theory.

(Silenoz) That's one way. He had a lot of common sense on things he wrote and on a lot of things based on real life. That's something that we do too. But we are all very different as individuals in the band. Basically we share the same thought and the same basic fundations but we're different from each other of course. Each member has his own view on satanism. Some of them don't really pay attention to it, to me it's based on individualism. We don't follow the doctrines. Satanism to me is an alien reality to how christians and muslims think and behave. The way we think is totally different. They'll never understand where we come from. Basically people are afraid to dive into it and to check it out and to learn it because they consider satanism as a negative thing. But we consider it as a very creative thing, giving feeling.

On the japanese edition, you do a cover of a Venom song. Would you like a band in 20 years to cover "The Great Apocalypse" or "Mourning Palace" ?

(Silenoz) A brazilian band already exists and it's a totally cover band. They play only Dimmu covers. I don't know if they're doing it good or right. It' cool to know that you influence people to do that stuff.

What is your strategy or the strategy of your label to conquer the US market ?

(Silenoz) For us, USA is like a never-ending market. It's still growing a lot with extreme music. It's now time for people to realise that this type of new extreme music exists. I think that death metal has been the big undergound thing in the States, but that's now time for bands like us and other extreme music. In Europe, we've been playing in pretty big places in the latest years. In the US, for our next tour, the places where we'll play will be usually bigger than the ones in Europe. It's a mixture of different things : we're going to play with different extreme bands. That makes the kids feel they get value for the money when they go to the show. We could probably play with black metal or death metal bands all the time but that wouldn't really increase our fan base. We're gonna do the same in the Europe too in September/October.

Will you play in Paris ?

(Silenoz) Yes, 2 dates in Elysee-Montmartre !

What do you think of the problems in the musical industry and more specifically, the question of P2P ? We already can find your new album on emule. Do you think you lose sales because of P2P ?

(Silenoz) It's frustrating in sense anyone can take it as easy.

(Shagrath) Our incomes decrease because of this. That's a negative thing for us.

(Silenoz) The guy who put "In Sorte Diaboli" on the Net was stupid to not cover it up, so we have his name, we know where he lives so ... We're gonna go to Italy tomorrow so if he has the balls to show up, we'll see. But I think that our real fans will download the album first, then go to buy it anyway. And the sound of CDs is better than MP3.

If I'd ask, each of you, to choose 3 CDs (from all times), which ones would you choose ?

(Silenoz)WASP : The Last Command
Judas Priest : Screaming For Vengeance
Darkthrone : A Blaze In The Northern Sky

(Shagrath)The first Bathory album
Sabbat : History Of A Time To Come
Kiss : Creatures Of The Night

Thanks a lot.