INTERVIEW WITH PROFANE BURIAL (SYMPHONIC BLACK METAL)

Answered by Kjetil (orchestration) and Jostein (guitars)

1. How would you describe your music?
Kjetil: Greetings Ancient Visionz! Profane Burial is an atmospheric, dismal and grim journey through unsanctified cinematic black metal, or as the masses perhaps would like to state it short: “Symphonic Black Metal”. 


We got this comment which I am quite proud of, and might also answer your question further:


“The Rosewater Park Legend delivers a sumptuous and classy result, rarely seen in the genre. 


For fans of Limbonic Art, Emperor, Anorexia Nervosa, Carach Angren... “

2. What gave you the idea for the single title?

Jostein: For this we did some online brainstorming, putting out suggestions and discuss the different options. At the time I can’t really remember much of the other suggestions, but the chosen sounds cool, and fitting ;)

Kjetil: As Jostein mentions, it was brainstorming, but we also “voted” and thought about what would represent Profane Burial in the best possible way from the chosen tracks. The few we selected contains quite different material, and hopefully made people curios to check out the rest.


Looking back we are extremely happy with our choices, because people did really check out the other tracks as well and gave us very positive feedback!


3. Do you work together with others in the writing process?

Jostein: For the guitar parts and the drums, it was mostly a collaboration between me and Bjørn sending parts and ideas back and forth building a common interpretation on the orchestration given.

Kjetil: The orchestration is a collaboration between me (Kjetil) and André Aaslie.
The main composer in Profane Burial is me, I send finished orchestral themes to André, and then he makes interpretations of the themes and re-arrangements. Sometimes stripped down to just the chords, and then he orchestrates it the way he feels. The result is an album extremely rich in ideas around the same themes. The funny thing here is that Jostein, our guitarist, seldom knows which parts are André's and which are mine, which really is the same part in the basic chords. So he actually adds new ideas to each theme, instead of just playing the identical riff on the two themes. This way of working can perhaps make the songs too chaotic for a listener who is not willing to make an effort to go deep within the material, but we try to have some repeating substantial chorus themes in the songs that will bind it all together.


When it comes to the guitar (Jostein Thomassen), drums (Bjørn Dugstad Rønnow) and vocals (Ronny Thorsen) they all have artistic freedom, as far as they do it within Profane Burials boundaries. We want the same quality and sound on every song, so there has been put a lot of effort and work from all the members in order to get the result we strive for.


We always want to create a musical orchestral piece which also could be played without the metal part and be enjoyed, hence prominent but not to dominant orchestra since we after all are an extreme metal band. All the orchestral arrangements first, then we add the metal!

4. How much time to do you take record songs?

Jostein: Well that varies loads depending on the complexity the feel and how loose or tight the different sections sound best. The guitars were recorded over the course of a few months. The bass took about two days to record fully after the guitars were done.

Kjetil: Orchestration on one track may take from 3-6 weeks before 100% finished. All the drums was recorded on 3-4 days, and vocals 5-6 days as far as I remember. Of course they were well prepared before entering the studio...


5. Does this release differ from past music releases? How?

Jostein: From other releases with other band, yes, absolutely. They all differs in many ways. This release is personally the first story/concept album I’ve be contributing to.

Kjetil: Some of the first thing me and Andre agreed about when we started Profane Burial was that the band had to differ from Andres other bands he is involved in (Gromth, Images at Twilight, Abyssic, Funeral). The first step was to drop the incorporation of Mellotron and Moog, and other 70's approaches. We have astonishingly similar music taste!  Andre was also comfortable with the composing method, as he could rather strip down parties, usually down to the chord progression, and create his “footprint” with it as a starting point. That way, it did not come across a pure conflict with composing for the other bands. Because of our similar music taste, Andre nevertheless felt a hundred percent of artistic freedom, dedication and ownership of the songs. It is not strange the difference in mindset between us when it comes to chord progressions. 


However, pure orchestration, we have a different approach, which has given the songs a very rich and divergent expression. Another element is the pace of the songs. We agreed on a more normal pace in around 80-90 and not 110-130 as in Images At Twilight.

6. Do you like to change it up for each release with lyrical themes?

Kjetil: The author of “The Rosewater Park Legend” lyrics is Bjørn Nørsterud. This is actually a concept album. The story itself is mainly about a witch and her revenge on those who killed her (through her granddaughter) and it follows different persons through the ages. It has it's twists and turns, and things may not be as straight forward as one may think. “The Stench of The dying Roses” for instance takes place after the witch is dead, and there is peace in the village. The children mock the witch in their little nursery rhyme, and everything is fine. Until ... 


Yes, it has elements of a ghost story, witch-hunt and religion, and the last song is written in Norwegian. Why, you might say? Well, Profane Burial is a Norwegian band, and we felt it suited the album. This song deals with a letter that was written by an old Norwegian Witch, and it was a nice way to end the story. 


Our vocalist, Ronny Thorsen, will write lyrics for our next album. I have actually no idea what kind of madness he will serve the audience on album #2… but I am really looking forward to it, because he is a very talented writer and of course gifted vocalist as well!  


7. Where do you draw your influences and inspirations from?

Kjetil: When it comes to writing music I can be inspired from almost everything. It does not necessarily has to be directly music related to come up with an idea; experiences and sensations are quite as important. When I lack words, music is a great way to express feelings. 


As an example, the music on track #2 "The Stench Of Dying Roses" was inspired as a result of a great trip with my family… not the lyrics, he he.
I guess the music I compose really reflects my present state of mind at that precise moment(s).


...but of course I am also very influenced by music. Since I started quite late composing music, I had the advantage of being a fan/listener for many years and have discovered tremendous fantastic bands which must have inspired me one way or the other!


I started to listen to metal music when I was quite young around 1980 with bands like Kiss, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and other NWOBHM. In 1987/88 I discovered harder music (Thrash/Death and Black-Metal) and has followed that scene ever since. In addition to metal I really enjoy classical music and also movie themes and compositions from games. "Subconsciously" I have combined my passions for these genres into Profane Burial which I started to work on only a few years ago.


Some of my favorite bands are actually Burzum, Darkthrone, Satyricon, Kvist, Ulver and Slagmaur where I find none references to Profane Burial. I have of course my fear share of listening to bands like Limbonic Art, Bal-Sagoth, Septic Flesh, Dimmu Borgir and Carach Angren where more inspiration and links might be natural to compare.

8. What has been the most enjoyable thing you have done as a musician/singer?
Kjetil: “The Rosewater Park Legend” is Profane Burials debut album and as you might not know I started just a few years ago making music, hence this is also my debut as an artist and my first album ever at the age of now 43 years young. Therefor I must say; being able to release the album and play live is truly a dream come true!


All the hours with preparation, rehearsal, blood, sweat and tears are just so worth it. The feeling when on stage and perform your own material is just priceless, and when the crowd seems to enjoy it as well – that is a truly valuable and actually quite moving moment!

9. What do you feel is the biggest challenge going forward with your career?
Jostein: So far in my musical career, the interpretation and creating of guitar parts to this album was a quite challenging, and pushed some boundaries. If it’s the most challenging, I’m not sure, but right now, but it’s at least one of.

Kjetil: The biggest challenge was to get skilled and steady members who both liked and understood the music. We had many years with almost no activity even though all the songs were nearly finished. In that time I was highly productive and wrote tons of material which will be used on album #2 and maybe some other bands as well. 


We “just waited” for the perfect guys to show up, I am glad we did because now Profane Burial have the best musicians Norway can offer, he he!
Forward we just have to wait and see… We have of course some goals to work towards which are quite realistic. With some effort (hard work!) we will reach them! Hard work will always pay off at the end, and since you do not get rich by playing in a metal band, our salary is happiness and gratitude for being able to do what we do!

10. What do you enjoy outside of music?
Jostein: Well… Originating from the more landly place in the heart of Telemark, there’s no big surprises there. But family, training, whiskey and doing absolutely nothing comes high on that list.

Kjetil: I guess we all live what might be characterized as quite normal lives. We all have work and/or studies, some of us kids as well, but speaking for my self “the unholy trinity” in my life is family, work and music! The only extra hobby I have time for these days is gaming on PS4. I have always loved computer games and find it to be a good relaxation from reality. 


Thank you very much for the opportunity and your interest in Profane Burial.


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About Ancient Visionz

Gaz Visionz is a writer and Internet Radio DJ with the punk/metal show 'The Wastelands'. He is also a YouTube podcaster/creator, host of Ancient Visionz Talk Radio, co-host of Paradigm Radio with Planet X Films, and a passionate fan of hardcore punk, metal, underground hip hop, movies, science-fiction, comics, and indie film.
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