The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Erik Danielsson Watain - Interview
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Watain's brand of black metal mixed with an element of thrash not far removed from the pioneering influences of early Venom is something that is not always easily digestible for the common mainstream fan. While Watain's music is far from accessible, there is a catch in their music that can be infectious and dare I say, a gateway to black metal in general. The band are set to return to Australia as part of a tour with extreme metal legends Behemoth and Swiss black/death metal band Bolzer so in anticipation of the tour, we got vocalist Erik Danielsson to answer 10 questions for The Rockpit.



Interested in an interview for your band? Want to suggest someone we should be talking to? E-mail digg[at] The Rockpit prefers to interview live or via skype or phone but will consider e-mail interviews.

1. You have previously played both Soundwave Festival and club shows in Australia before, so how does the two types of shows differ for Watain?

Erik: The Soundwave festival run was very strange, they had us going on between I think Black label Society and another one of these mall rock bands, maybe In Flames or whatever. The good thing was that they gave us big enough a budget to bring most of our stage props and pyro. Which is also frustrating since that is of course what we'd want to do when performing in front of our real crowd, at club shows. But anyway, both runs had their merits for sure, and both of them made us very keen on going back to do more Australian tours. There is something in the Australian blood and soil, some old and noble form of primal savagery maybe, that resonates very well with what we do.

2. Last time you toured with Mayhem, this time it's with Behemoth. Who has had more of an influence on your music?

Erik: Mayhem, without a doubt. Mayhem were one of the most important bands when we started out. Besides their completely unique sound on Mysteriis, all the mystery, terrorism, satanic allegations, rumours of necrophilia and cannibalism, and everything else that was a part of the old and true Mayhem cult...It all fit our view of Black Metal perfectly, and still does. We have always been inspired by bands with an aura that a normal person would hate or run away from in panic, bands like Blasphemy, Sadistik Exekution, Mortuary Drape, Dissection, Svaty Vincent, Whitehouse, GG Allin, wild and insane stuff that breaks boundaries and stabs the face of sanity...

3. What can Australian fans expect on this tour this time around?

Erik: As far as Watain goes; Total Black Metal Annihilation without a fucking compromise; venom, wildfire, loud and rampant deathnoise setting souls aflame....

4. What is the craziest or most interesting thing you have seen at a live show?

Erik: I've got quite a few memories that would fall under that category by now, I guess. Maybe someday we'll share them in one way or another. But what I can say is that most of them involve people that in one way or another have been so strongly affected by the live experience that "mad" and "mental" things happen, which is about the greatest compliment or reward you can get as an artist as far as your relation with the crowd goes.

5. Which do you think is the song that best represents Watain?

Erik: Very hard to say. Maybe the song "Watain" by VON.

6. Who is your biggest influence musically?

Erik: The Devil, and all his children.

7. Favorite moment in Watain's career so far?

Erik: Quite hard to pin point one single moment out of an almost 17 year long ride through the nethermost abyss, but touring alongside great bands such as Dissection, Celtic Frost, Angelcorpse etc has certainly etched itself into our collective memory. Being put on the cover of the final issue of Slayer Magazine was truly one of the proudest moments in our bands career as far as I am concerned, since it is perhaps the only surviving magazine from the old days that mattered all the way until the end.

8. What is your view on the current black metal scene compared to what is was when it first started?

Erik: Digitalization and general internet-hysteria has blunted the knives and dulled the minds of many, but the few bands that matter today are as important and relevant as the masters of old, and will continue to uphold their legacy. It does not matter how commercialized or misunderstood Black Metal becomes, it's spine and essence will always be vile, dangerous and harsh, like a treacherous abomination lying in wait in the darkness.

9. Can metal get anymore extreme than it already has?

Erik: Who cares? Metal has never survived on being "extreme". The question is can its original glory and strength be upheld by the newer generations? Venom had a few bits of red and black leather on their flesh, and still looked a thousand times harsher and meaner than any American jumpsuit patrole in clown masks. It's not about being extreme, it's about putting your money where the mouth is and do something that bashes the world in it's face so hard that there will be rings on the water of every ocean.

10. Any last words for the Australian fans before the tour?

Erik: We can't wait to join forces with all real black metal heads and maniacs in October and let pounding madness and mania reign supreme amidst the fires of Satan! See you soon, fuckers!

BEHEMOTH with Watain and Bolzer Australian Tour:

September 29th - Capitol, Perth 18+
October 1st - Max Watts, Brisbane 18+
October 2nd - Fowler's Live, Adelaide ALL AGES
October 3rd - The Metro Theatre, Sydney 18+
October 4th - 170 Russell, Melbourne 18+

Tickets and tour details can be found at Soundworks Touring

Interview by Andrew "Schizodeluxe" Massie in August 2015