2015-05-24 Keep Of Kalessin

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KEEP OF KALESSIN proved with the release of "Epistemology" their desire to carry on with their vision of black metal, even though they had undergo changes in the line-up. How much this changes affected the songwriting of the album and what's going on in Norway has been answered by base player Wizziac. While traveling Europe as part of the co-headliner tour with Melechesh, he found the time to sit down and send over his answers. Interview

"Epistemology" has been released recently - how's the feedback from fans and media so far?


The feedback has been very good, actually even better than anticipated especially considering the line-up change since "Reptilian".

We were of course excited to hear what people would say about the sound of the band now since OC took over the main vocals and it seems like both media and fans agree that we still have our identity intact.


How much do you care about reviews, comments, and opinions about your work at all?


Well we do read alot of the reviews of every album and appreciate all the feedback, even if it’s good or bad. Some reviews are short and straight to the point while others go more in depth of indiviual tracks and composition. These are of course more interesting for us read as it proves the person writing the review actually has listened before making up their minds about the album.


KEEP OF KALESSIN became a three-piece in 2010 - why did you decide to go on without a new singer?


This was to a point the only option we had because replacing the lead singer with a new member would mean introducing not him just on the album, but also on stage meaning we kind of would have to build the band again with a new personality and that would probably be more difficult than just to go on as a three piece. OC has always been the main man in the band even when Thebon was doing the vocals so it was a natural choice for us.


How much did the smaller line-up change the songwriting for "Intropection" and later "Epistemology"?


I wouldn’t say the songwriting in general has changed at all since Reptilian. We have always focused on the music and compositions first and then the vocal arrangements.

The recipe stays the same we just had to experiment more with the vocals on this album than the previous ones.


How do you write and compose new songs? Does it happen during rehearsals or do you (and maybe everyone else) work on new songs at home?


On "Epistemology" we didn’t make any of the songs in the rehearsal room. The main structure was build by OC at his studio while me and Vyl came out frequently to give inputs and opinions about the songs and how we should proceed. It might be a strange way to work like this, but for us this is the most effective way to get ideas down on tape. The real work starts when are ready for the vocal arrangements and the lyrical theme of the album.


How long did you need to finish songwriting for "Epistemology"?


Well the first few song ideas was already in the making in late 2012, but then we had the departure of Thebon and that made things complicated until we decided to just go on as a three piece.

All the songs were actually finished over a year ago, but not finding the right artwork for the album made us delay it until we launched the facebook competition and finally found a worthy artwork for the album.


What does influence you when you're writing new music?


I would have to say, as OC has said so many times before, and it is something we all have in common. Epic movies, fantasy and science fiction.

Epistemology has a lyrical theme which we haven’t really touched before and that in itself was an inspiration when creating some of the songs.


"Repitilian" has been a major success - do you expect to be able to continue it with "Epistemology"? How much do both albums differ and how much do they have in common?


Comparing albums is always difficult for members of the band, but I do think that we have a more refined sound now on "Epistemology" than ever before.

"Reptilian" was a thrashy, black, death metal album and so is "Epistemology", but the main difference is clearly the vocals and how defined the different types of vocals have become.

The growling parts are just more harsh and raw than before and the clear vocals are more clear than on any of the previous albums.


What are your touring plans for 2015?


We do have a European Co-headlining tour coming up with Melechesh in May where you can also see Tribulation and Embryo sharing the stage.

We are working on getting to north and south america also, but there is nothing to confirm yet.


How much time do you commit to KEEP OF KALESSIN? How important is the band for you personally?


Personally I live for playing music and KEEP OF KALESSIN. It is the definition of me and my personality.

We work very hard in periods focusing only on the band and our goals while sometimes we can have a break for months doing other business related things.


Do you hang out with the other two members regularly?


Yes we do hang out doing other things than music, getting drunk is probaly the most common.


How much did being active in KEEP OF KALESSIN and working with other bands and musicians for 20+ years change your view on the music industry and metal scene?


For me getting to this point where we are now has been a learning experience both positive and negative.

The metal scene is not that big as I used to think it was. Getting to know other bands across different continents has really made the world smaller in every sense.

The music industry is another story, the whole concept of artists signing with recordlabels are soon history. Physical formats are dissapearing for the more convenient streaming options and let me just say that, even if services like Spotify has made pirating plummit the last few years, it doesn’t even come close to replacing the loss of income for the artists compared to the CD. The industry is changing and let us just hope that it will iron itself out with time.


Do you follow the international metal scene?


Yes and no, I do pay attention to what’s happening in the scene, but the time when I was looking for new exciting albums stopped some years ago. There are so many bands, so many new bands that I can’t keep up with them all.


What are you doing besides being in KEEP OF KALESSIN?


I have a part ime job at an event company which manages conferences and parties for students in Trondheim. I also do alot of graphic design for the band, in example making t-shirt prints, posters or graphics for online use.


The last words are yours...


Thank you for reading, check out "Epistemology" and catch us live in Germany in May!