During their tour with Suffocation and Belphegor, we had the chance to ask Thor about personal things, about the right way how to learn a Morbid Angel solo, and he shared some news about Nordjevel and also Myrkskog and Odium.
You are in the middle of a tour now, how tired you guys are?
This can give more energy than anything else. The only thing makes me tired is running around all day and not doing anything but when we are on stage now, it gives all our energy. I love this life, this is what I’m built for. I never get tired like people who come home and they’re crashing when tired. I just want to go on, I just want to keep it moving and for me it’s just a thrill.
Your last album ‘Necrogenesis’ came out roughly two months ago. How happy you with the feedback are?
I know the feedback have been really-really good. Really top reviews, privilege all time, and we are really happy ourselves with our album. It was pretty hard to make it, we had a lot of struggles with the studio thing because personal stuff. But it came out really good, and then we are really-really happy with album. We think it’s a really strong album with good dynamics, and in the end, the responses have been overwhelming I have to say.
How you started playing guitar?
Since I was a little kid, I was always really fascinate about the metal. And when I saw a guitarist, I always had an attraction to it, and at a certain point I was just calling my father and saying I want a guitar for Christmas. I always… always had this fascination for the guitar. Also as a little kid, I made my own wooden guitars before I got my real one. It was just always in my blood I guess, I just always find it so exciting.
Any kind of other instruments?
I can put basses and synthesizers, but it was always the guitar, so I always spent time on that. I have done a few things on bass, just recording on something, never live, but it was always the guitar.
Do you have any kind of musical education or you just managed to grab the guitar and simply started to play?
I never had any lessons or anything in my life… I just started learning by myself.
So what’s the right way how to learn say a Morbid Angel solo?
How to learn it…? For me, it’s just to sit down and… of course, you need patience. To be honest, when I was a kid, I didn’t spend a lot of time out, and when everyone else were partying or anything like that, I was sitting at home playing the guitar, I was just rehearsing. I just felt it naturally coming, just rehearse with patience, and I’d work on it, and I was just there.
So while playing with Morbid Angel, you just managed to sit down and you played everything, I mean the solos and everything, after ear?
When I have started with Morbid Angel, I played guitar for many years. I just plucked the songs, and then I went down there and went through them properly with the guys. And I did only Illud Divinum Insanus with Morbid Angel and not the old ones. I had the option I would rather do my own lead since it’s kind of a personal thing, and I thought I’m cool enough to do.
What’s the way with Nordjevel, how you are writing the songs?
Usually I’m sitting down, and the others can have some inputs, or maybe Nils (Nils Fjellström, ex-Dark Funeral) had some drum inputs. Actually it was a kind of fun because in the studio, we made some riffs and… what happened in the studio this time, was that actually when the guitarist (Nord, Jørn Øyhus) has left the band, we just took away all his riffs and we just wrote new songs in the studio there. That’s the first time I’ve been working like that, not on all the songs, but it came out really great. But usually it’s like sitting at home and starting with an idea. In Nordjevel, it’s very democratic, we all have inputs and ideas, I write the riffs, we all have ideas, like drum ideas, so yeah, it’s just band thing. Let’s start with the very first idea, and all the people can input something.
Where your inspiration is coming from while composing?
It’s a kind of funny question… probably the best answer is to say it’s just all about metal music. Just metal in general that made me inspired over the years. I’ve always been into the real extreme music… I guess it’s just all different extreme bands I’m listening to through the years, and their feelings of course, and aggression.
Is there any kind of non metal music what you like to listen to?
Yeah, for example music like Dead Can Dance, and even some techno like Astral Projection. Also classical music as well, that’s nice. So some rock and stuff, and I like really melancholic music… a really melancholic classical music for example, or a band like Dead Can Dance. But it’s mostly metal I go around with.
Just let me ask a private question: do you have a family?
I’m a single guy and no kids. So right now no, I have no own family.
At the moment you are with Nordjevel, and I think Myrkskog is still going. What about Odium, probably that’s also still active?
That’s my main projects at this time. I’ve been hired a little bit here and there, but I’m kind of trying to focus on those three bands now. Nordjevel, that’s going really well now, Myrkskog will also come out with a new record, and Odium is doing stuff again at many years. So I think this is more than enough.
My question is pointing that: which one is the main project, and what it depends what you are doing?
Actually all of these projects mean a lot to me. I came in Nordjevel just last summer and it has really gotten into my heart. Myrkskog is my child from when I was a kid, and Odium is with my good buddy from Myrkskog, so actually I’m dealing with all those three bands. I really go for that, they’re all really in my heart and they are in my focus, all of them.
So just let me ask a little bit off topic question. What’s going on with Myrkskog at the moment because I just checked that Facebook profile yesterday, and I only found a post in every second year about one gig, and that was everything.
Yeah it has been quiet for a while, we have just done one show here and one there, and we gonna do Steelfest with Odium and Myrkskog in Finland in May. It’s not been that much more than that few gigs in Norway. We want to wait till the album comes out because we haven’t put out album for 16 years or something. So we want to put the album out, and then we’re ready to take it a little bit more out. I though it has something new to come with, and we also have Nils on drums.
When can we expect the new album to came out?
I really hope we can make it to the record in the studio maybe late this year or early next year. So then we try to find a way to put out the album pretty fast. We only got a couple of songs left. It should be possible, but I can’t promise anything. We really have to do that, I’m not getting any younger (laughing).
And what it depends which bands are in the focus?
All of them actually. But right now, there is a lot happening with Nordjevel, and Nordjevel is also a little more touring band which I like. So right now it has been a lot with Nordjevel because of the album, we have been doing video shoots in Poland and stuff like that, but of course they will come back, Odium and Myrkskog. Nordjevel would probably be a band that tours a little bit more, and Myrkskog and Odium probably gonna be a bit more festival based. Probably there gonna be some touring too, but right now it’s very busy with Nordjevel and I’m very happy with that.
Do you have any kind of civil occupation behind, or music is your main job?
I need it… I’m trying to stay away from normal job as much as I can, but I have it of course. It’s very expensive in Norway and there is not a lot of money in this business so I need to have temporary jobs here and there, and just get it for a few weeks but nothing permanent. Yeah, I do need a second income like that.
None of your bands can be called a white metal band. So what’s the problem with the religion and what’s the problem with Christianity?
I don’t know… I’m kind of anti-religious so I think religion just takes away the nature in man. I’m not saying all the people and all the religions are bad, not at all, but like the religion in its wholeness, it just takes away the nature kind of things as it moves people away from a natural way of thinking and from a natural way of behaving. My religion is the universe, the nature, everything you can see, the animals and everything… even the smallest plant and a person should be respected equally in my opinion.
What the music, and what the metal means to you as a musician?
Well… just say… it’s life. It is my whole life I would say. Without the music, it would take away pretty much everything in my life. So yeah, it means so much… I mean the art is so powerful and it’s my whole soul… yeah, it means everything.
Written by Á