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Interview

Watain – “Lavey’s followers worship the ego, which in my world is the lowest of all entities”

After the legendary “Casus Luciferi” Swedish blackest Watain are back with the splendid “Sworn To The Dark”. The album definitely reached my personal expectations. Soon the band will hit the stage joining the old school hordes of Kreator and Celtic Forst. Here’s vocalist Erik Danielsson providing the answers. (FilipD)

It took you four years to write “Sworn To The Dark”. When do you consider this album successful?
It was successful already after the first tone that was written.

When Seasons Of Mist put the track “Sworn To The Dark” online, immediately people were talking shit on several boards. No, I don’t want to talk about whether they’re right or not. But how come, do you think, the underground scene reacts furious when a band has got a good sound and a professional approach?
If the underground scene is a bunch of people on a message board I prefer to not give them any space in a Watain interview. I’ll save that for the real underground, which burns far below the safety of their computer screens.

On MTV.com you stated some things like, let me quote a part from the interview: “Danielsson claims he tried to “simplify things a bit” with his lyrics on this LP, because “before, I was using a lot of very obscure metaphors, while now, I try to take it to a level where even a kid, at parts, could understand what we’re about. The lyrics on this album are, in a way, a lot more banal. It’s a strange word to use, but you don’t need a master’s degree in philosophy to figure out what we’re about.” Why do you need to make it all easier? I mean, people who are interested in the background of your lyrics will do some research themselves. When it’s too easy the flock of followers only grows in mediocrity.
That was taken out of context; I guess I was focusing a bit too much on who I was being interviewed by. Anyway, all people have to do is to buy the album and read the lyrics, and they will stop whining. The lyrics on Sworn to the Dark are some of the most brilliant lyrics ever written in the history of metal.

Four different labels (Seasons Of Mist, Pulverised, Somber, Ajna) are involved releasing “Sworn To The Dark”. On the album there’s the NOEVDIA mark. Why?
Because Norma Evangelium Diaboli is standing behind the album, it is the label that owns the rights etc. The others are just licensees. Anyway, people care far too much about labels, in the end they have nothing and again nothing to do with the darkness of Watain.

I consider myself as a fundamentalist atheist. Though I’m into spiritual subjects and I do believe in energy fields through some experience I had. But for me there’s absolutely no higher entity – Such as God or Satan. For me it’s all rubbish. Satanism has always been a great part of Watain. Do you praise a higher entity or do you define LaVey’s laws as commercial bullshit? Most of the world shares your “beliefs”, that is nothing new. Satanism is the iron path of the elect, a temple into which very few men will ever enter. If we “praise a higher entity OR define Lavey’s teachings as shit”? Lavey’s followers worship the ego, which in my world is the lowest of all entities. It is the excrement of the human being, which must be entirely discarded in order to transcend into the realms of the true Adversary, who is present in all sinister god forms of this world and beyond.

You express your satanic thoughts through music. But through music you reach a lot of people not solely into the lyrical content. Have you ever considered writing a book or some kind of pamphlets, which obvious would reach more people?
I have never felt an urge to do so, what I share through Watain is what I allow people to know of my belief. The reason I am a Satanist is not because I want to enlighten people. I have my goals and the ways in which they are achieved are many. Watain is one.

Last year I interviewed MkM (Antaeus) and I respect the honest way they are into self-mutilation, pain, Satanism, drugs excesses, etc. I can’t be very sure what to think of Shining’s somehow related ideology. Despite the fact they make great music, sometimes I feel it’s more about self-adoration than the real ideology. You’re from Sweden, just as them. Enlighten me.
If you want to know what Shining are about I suggest you interview them. Hopefully they’d know, although I doubt it at times.

You’re about hitting the road with Celtic Frost, Kreator and Legion Of The Damned (ex-Occult). That’s quite a different line up than the legendary Watain – Antaeus – Secrets Of The Moon bill some years ago. Do you expect a lot of underground people to show up for this one? After all; Watain is rather strange on that bill, and I don’t think the obscure black metal scene will show up for this one.
Touring with Celtic Frost who have been one of our main inspirations from when we were kids is something that I could easily put a “legendary” to. Even more legendary than a tour line-up that never even existed, like the one you mentioned in your question. Those whose hearts hunger for real, burning black metal magic will come. For the rest, I could not care less. What the fuck is the “obscure black metal scene”? Haha… Fuck you all!

Who will assist the band live? Again Set Teitan and A.?
Yes.

You’re also about to invade the USA somewhere around April this year (what bill?). How do you think the Americans will react on a band like Watain? You know, in the States fundamental Christianity is getting bigger every day and is already terribly huge.
We are touring the states with Angelcorpse in May, yes. I don’t know how the American audience will react; I am more concerned of how we will react when they come in their baggy pants and deicide shirts. But anyway, it will be a great fucking tour and we really look forward to share the stage with such a great band as Angelcorpse. About Christianity in the states, it is not like we are scared by our enemies. Let them come! Bring your daughters too.

Success with the tour dates, crush them. Unfortunately I can’t come to the Belgian date. And leave that terrible smell at home this time.
Hail Satan!