Dødheimsgard have recently released their new album A Umbra Omega (you can see our review of it here). We caught up with Vicotnik for a chat, see what happened below…
Thanks for the interview – can you introduce yourself and tell me a little about the band?
Hey, I am Vicotnik, the guitarist and songwriter for Dødheimsgard. The band has been around for 20 years, but we have been cheap on releasing stuff over the years, so we are maybe not that well known despite our long tenure. We are currently on the verge of releasing or fifth record called A Umbra Omega. Since the late 90s, we have been known to push the black metal genre and defining it on our own terms. Love us or hate us, I think most people would agree that our particular brand of music has a personal signature. A Umbra Omega is no exception, as the album is challenging in both content and in structure.
A Umbra Omega is your first full length album since 2007’s Supervillain Outcast. Did you do anything different this time with regards to the writing and recording process?
The biggest difference in regards to the writing process was that this time around I got to present more or less finished songs to the band. Due to studio-gear becoming very affordable, I had the opportunity to sit at home and write, arrange and record demos of whole songs. Whereas on the previous album, I brought riffs to the rehearsal place and had to convey my thoughts verbally. This time around I also recorded, produced and mixed the album myself. In other words we didn’t rent a studio and an engineer. The writing process was also different in the sense that I searching for a specific feeling this time around, rather than a specific genre. Which means that I did write a lot of material that I was satisfied with that I ultimately scrapped because it didn’t have the feeling/atmosphere I was searching for.
Were there any tracks that were more of a challenge to get down in the studio or did everything go to plan?
I guess The Unlocking was quite the challenge, since the song was finished quite late in the process and it was the last song I wrote for this album. We had a run-through once or twice, so the song was never properly rehearsed before we started recording it. There were many challenges with this album, the mixing process in particular. I really underestimated the time I would spend mixing an album with this level of complexity.
Funnily enough, that’s one of my personal favourites!
I remember Sekeran and I working out the anatomy of the drum-patterns on our laps just few minutes before hitting the record-button. So a late bloomer indeed. Aldrahn wrote the words for this song, so unfortunately I cannot really say much about this particular lyric but for the song itself, there is a lot going on, and it is laced with an introspective melancholy.
Which song would you say you’re most proud of?
It is a hard question to answer, as all the songs have their moments, and all the songs serves the journey that is A Umbra Omega. The lyric closest to my heart is Architect of Darkness, so it something about the personal level conveyed in the song that strikes a nerve in me every time I listen to it.
I would rather answer the question differently though, I would say that my favorite way of utilizing the album is to listen to the whole thing from A to Z. That is how the record makes the most sense to me.
What can fans expect from A Umbra Omega?
Madness, sheer and utter madness. The album reflects us as individuals. The album has personality because we let who we are rub off on the product, as opposed to rendering a product that just reflects what kind of music we like. It is not a niche album, and if there are any unwritten rules in music, we probable broke them all.
Are there any plans in the works for any live shows?
Yes, we will play live as much as we possibly can. Hopefully, we will get the the opportunity to display our music on a live stage wherever it is wanted. Listen up, if we do not manage to come to a stage near you, I will come visit you in your nightmares. I promise.
What would you say your most memorable show, or the strangest/weirdest has been?
Ah shit, all our shows through the 90s were weird. When we released 666 International, people just weren’t ready for it and I remember a few shows where we had fist-fights with ex-fans that felt betrayed by the fact that we changed our style. People are passionate in our brand of music, which ultimately is a good thing. You also have to remember that there are several shows that is just a big blur for reasons I wont go into here. Besides, the most crazy stuff happens in between the shows. We played a show in Thessaloniki in 2007 where I was rushed off to hospital in an ambulance just hours before the show. The fear was that I had contracted rabies. Fights, trashing hotel-rooms, thinking the wall is the toilet, substance abuse, incarceration, you name it, we´we done it.
And finally, if Dødheimsgard could put their name to a product, what would it be?
Well, Dødheimsgard is a product isn’t it? And is there really any product in the whole wide world that is cooler than music? To go along with your question, but not necessarily focusing on products, perhaps a mental illness, an interstellar spaceship or a newly discovered celestial body would be fitting. Thank you for time and your support.