Rune Eriksen (Aura Noir): Being in Aura Noir it’s like a time capsuleBANDS : Aura Noir, Ava Inferi, Mayhem, Twilight of the Gods
From the mightiness and total darkness expressed in the songwriting of some Mayhem albums, to the goddam harsh and genuine riffs in Aura Noir’s blackened thrash and the awe-inspiring melodies revealed through the medium of Ava Inferi’s releases, Rune Eriksen, who goes under the stage name Blasphemer proved to be one of the most visioned guitarists of this age. That is why I could not help being a “fanboy” while I was questioning him for the below interview. At one point, I’ve asked him about his favorite musicians in the 80’s, just because that era is still something special for me, and I was curious to learn about the views of one of my preferred artists out there. But his mood led the things to a different path somehow, which is indeed, an absolute one. Anyways, you’ll see more in the lines below that center mostly the factors which gravitate around the Aura Noir dimension. Besides this, Aura Noir will hit the stage in Bucharest on Saturday, May 28, so don’t miss your chance to get the wickedest music you can have nowadays!
Metalfan: Hey, there! How do you feel today, Mister Blasphemer?
Rune Eriksen (Blasphemer): Hey, I am good, thanks. Just busy finalizing the pre-productions for an upcoming project I have… Exciting times…
Metalfan: And what about Aura Noir? I see that time flies like devil around. There have been four years already since the band’s latest release, but there are clues in the Media regarding a new album, which is in the making. Do you want to tell us something about this fact and about your input in the writing process of the new music?
Rune Eriksen (Blasphemer): Yes, well, I believe we are about midway in the process. Last year we rented a house in Southern Portugal where we lived and rehearsed for about a week, and that’s where we came up with most of the material for the next album. As of now, I believe we have three fully completed songs, at least the instrumental parts are done, and we have song skeletons for about five-six more songs. So I believe once we get around to jam again, next time in Norway later in the summer, the songs will unfold quite easily. At least I hope so. As for the song credits, we all have put in ideas in this album this time. Even Tank has been able to contribute with a riff or two, so that’s cool. It should be a pretty intense album, as expected.
Metalfan: You know, one might say that the times in which an artist manifests his skills, views and expressive power have a certain influence upon his creations. How are these days perceived by one of those who create the wickedest blackened thrash? How does this moment reflect in the music you write?
Rune Eriksen (Blasphemer): For every band a different take and a different vision. But for Aura Noir it is like it has always been; an old grumpy villains’ view upon how the world has unfolded since the glory days… The days when the Metal music had its magic and everyone seemed to be more uncompromising… The time when things were fresh, vicious and inspiring… Then add a case of beer to that vision. [Ed. Note. laughs] Regarding the moments, I guess it’s all to be heard in the music. That’s the beauty of music, that it can hold an endless amount of information that (for the most part) can’t be transformed into words.
Metalfan: If someone asks me, I’ll say that albums like “Grand Declaration of War”, “Chimera”, “Ordo Ad Chao”, then “Black Thrash Attack”, “The Merciless”, “Out to Die” and all the Ava Inferi’s releases represent some of the most valuable creations in the contemporary music in general, but for a musician, any sequence of the music he wrote means something precisely, or this is what I believe. I have always wondered, how do great artists feel their music over the course time? If someone tells you that you are not allowed to use any words, but in order to say something you must choose some music that you made in the past, which riffs, songs or albums will you choose?
Rune Eriksen (Blasphemer): Good one, and thank you for the compliments. Whenever I hear my own music, I hear work in progress, sort of. I hear my path, I hear fragments of the same vision as I bear today. I hear striving, hope and will to channel or create something greater than myself, but in an initial phase. I also hear complications and throwbacks naturally... It is probably similar to looking at pictures of oneself from different eras in life, wondering „man, why did I wear those sneakers and why the fuck is my hair all sprayed up like MacGyver?” You know, the moments we all kind of regret but accept as a part of our lifeline. Regarding my albums, they all represent different eras for me, so that would be a very, very difficult task to choose from.
Metalfan: There are 20 years since you hang around with these wonderful musicians, namely Carl-Michael Eide and Ole Jørgen Moe, making the ugliest music out there. Tell me something about the evolution of this group. Of course, things change in time, it’s a natural transformation somehow, but which are the most important aspects that became different during all these years?
Rune Eriksen (Blasphemer): Funny thing as I don’t think that much has changed really. I know, in our separate lives things have changed immensely, especially for Aggressor due to the accident, and I also feel I have evolved for the better over the course of time. But, whenever we meet and gather under the banner of Aura Noir, it feels like the same bunch as it was in mid 90s. It’s really like a time capsule being in Aura Noir, like time stood still. And for us, in this collective I can’t think of any better way of existing.
Metalfan: Since you guys don’t live in the same country, usually you get to meet all together when you arrive in the city where the next show is. How much time passed since you were all together in the same place?
Rune Eriksen (Blasphemer): Well, I am in Norway every now and then visiting family or team up for a show or whatever, but this year has been particularly busy with South American tours and a lot of one off shows around. But to be specific, the last time all four of us saw each other was at Glasgow International Airport, back in late March. Will be good to meet up all together in Bucharest…
Metalfan: Speaking of which, the next show is in Bucharest, Romania. It will be the second show of Aura Noir there, but you visited this country for many times already. You played with Twilight of the Gods last year in Craiova and also with Ava Inferi a few years ago in different cities. Some say that Romania has great things to offer, others say that is a pretty insane place, while nowadays the Media made a hype out of Bucharest, which is presented as a cool destination. How did you feel playing there? And what are your feelings regarding the fact that you’ll return to Bucharest?
Rune Eriksen (Blasphemer): I love Romania, it is a beautiful country and it’s always a blast going back. I have been in Bucharest now for about five-six times or so, or even more, not sure, and every time I travel home (to Portugal), I come with the sensation that I had a good time. I’ve always been treated well with whatever band I’ve played with, so I can’t wait to come back now again. A little piece of my heart lies in Bucharest, Romania, I guess...
Metalfan: Which was the greatest Aura Noir show in your opinion and why is that?
Rune Eriksen (Blasphemer): Tough one, but in recent memory I feel that our show at Fall Of Summer in 2014, in France was a really great one. Perfect sized stage, big crowd and we played just before Venom. Other than that, somewhere in Sweden surely... It’s always a good gig for Aura Noir in Sweden, they got the right fever it seems. [Ed. Note. Laughs] Also, of course entire South America was great!
Metalfan: One night before the show in Bucharest, you will be the host of a metal party at Private Hell, a local bar. It would be stupid to ask you what music will you play and things like that… But I would love to know what does a metal party means for you today. What do you think about the crowds and the way in which they have fun?
Rune Eriksen (Blasphemer): Starting to get older so I kind of prefer the parties to be more like „we know what we are doing” instead of the outcome being a lunatic raving party. But yeah, it’s always fun playing your favorite music to crowds. It’s about giving a bit of you to the ones popping by. Ultimately, I expect it to be smooth, with a few cold beers in hand in the company of likeminded music lovers.
Metalfan: Which are your favorite bands from the 80’s and what is so huge about them in your view?
Rune Eriksen (Blasphemer): From the 80s... Hmm… Must be Metallica, for the metal section at least… I have a tendency to go into the 70’s with music these days. My week is not 100% complete without Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, or Rainbow. What makes these bands great is probably rooted in the fact that they were some sort of pioneers. I mean, Tony Iommi most probably co-wrote (as in „inspired heavily”) all of today’s Doom metal riffs you know. [Ed. Note. Laughs] Well, I’m stretching it a bit of course, but yeah, for me they (Black Sabbath) emphasize genuine artistry as well as capsule the idea of occultism in music. They come from a period where things were more real, more pure and untouched, and in that sense carry with them that revolutionary and unearthly idea that will continue to inspire us all.
Metalfan: What is your opinion about the black metal written nowadays?
Rune Eriksen (Blasphemer): Honestly, I don’t know that many Black Metal bands today as I don’t follow the genre too closely. But I am certain there are torchbearers all around the globe. But I do know that the new Absu album will slay!
Metalfan: Let’s stop here for now. Thank you very much for your time and words. Feel free to write anything you want in the end, for you, for us, for Aura Noir fans in Romania. We are totally looking forward for the ugliest Aura Noir show!
Rune Eriksen (Blasphemer): Thank you so much for the interview… Looking forward to the show and to hang around with friends and colleagues downtown Bucharest! Come say „hi”!
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