Interviews: Minneriket

Welcome to this interview with Minneriket, a one-man Black Metal project hailing from Norway. With its atmospheric soundscapes and haunting melodies, Minneriket has been carving its own niche in the Norwegian Black Metal scene. For more updates on the project's music and upcoming releases, be sure to follow Minneriket on Facebook.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that?

The meaning of «Minneriket» is, literally, «the realm of memories», which describes the romantic approach to the music, partly living in some kind of esoteric, transcendent past. I consider the name as an image for the Mímisbrunnr, the well located under the root of Yggdrasill in Jötunheimr where Óðinn sacrificed his eye to grow in knowledge. A timeless source of wisdom and visions. Several years ago, I released a book with the same title, a limited print-on-demand feature including translations and commentary of an Old Norse poem, and other artistic endeavors such as poetry and photography. One of the texts there written almost ten years ago is a poem in nine parts called «Minneriket», which gave name to the book, and now the band.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

Black metal flows in my veins, so having that as the root of the music is inevitable. But black metal has grown stale. I love putting on the old classics, but you’ve got to move further – there’s no point in sounding like Darkthrone anno 1994 just because Transilvanian Hunger is a killer album. It’s not the specific ingredients that made albums like that what they are. Just like it’s not the headset-microphones that made Filosofem. What made these records into what they are is the agenda, the drive, and the fuel behind them. Uncompromising creativity. A deep burning flame ignited by the endless possibilities. Bands doing the same thing today as a tribute to this is just sad. So, I needed to take things further and created my own genre which I call romantic black metal. The Romantic era was an artistic and intellectual movement in Europe in the early 19th century focusing on the individual, nature, on feelings above all. I relate to this approach, the mystery of our surroundings, the yearning for something without a name, the focus on yourself, your experiences, your growth, and your relation to that which surrounds you. It’s the only thing that makes sense to me if I am to stay artistic.

3. Which is your favorite band?

Minneriket is a one-man band, but I guess my answer would range somewhere between The Offspring, Burzum, and Bruce Dickinson.

4. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

Today I don’t really know. I try to find inspiration in almost anything. I’m of course inspired by Burzum, not just has that music been genre-defining, but the simplicity of it, the minimalistic and extremely emotional approach has been important for me. There’s no unnecessary information in those songs, no bricks in the wall just for show. That’s been important to me, carving out the music, removing the excess. Other than that, inspiration is all around you if you choose to listen. Inspiration comes from the wind, from the rain, from the unheard sound of the sunrays, from the guy you see on TV, from the note before the commercial on the radio. Inspiration is words, beats, meanings, images, paintings, and people, it’s everywhere. You just need to tune in and listen with more than just your ears.

5. What bands have inspired you the most?

I always credit the ambient albums by Burzum and Mortiis/Vond with being my initial inspiration to start making music myself. This extreme minimalistic synth atmosphere was something unlike anything I’d ever heard when I first experienced it, and I instantly knew that I would be able to convey emotions in a similar manner. The “Stormblåst” album by Dimmu Borgir (the original one of course, not the re-recording) meant a lot to me with how it balances harmonies with rhythms, and “Pentagram” by Gorgoroth has some of the best rock’n’roll drums you’ll ever hear within black metal, that was a bold choice and really lifted that album to a new bar. Lyric-wise I don’t look so much to other bands, as I honestly believe most of the lyrics – especially in the metal genre – are complete and utter crap. There are a few exceptions, but they are few and far between. I rather look to older poets, like Ulven, Jonsson, Crowley, Ibsen, etc., to see how it’s possible to say a lot with few words. To really grasp just how minimalistic you can be and still present a mountain of meaning.

6. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

Most of the fans are pretty cool people, not as weird as you might think. They’re enthusiastic, invested, and vocal, but mostly chill people. There are a few oddballs of course, some guy wanted me as a prophet in his own religion and one lady wanted to marry me off to her daughter, but luckily those are few and far between. 

7. What do you think of your fans?

As I said, they’re mostly good people. I separate my music life and my personal life, so I don’t know many of my fans personally, but I have grown to keep in touch with a few, and I always enjoy sharing music tips and discovering new cultures. Interacting with the fans gives me a lot of insight into the state of the world, and that is something I appreciate. All in all, I’m grateful to each and every one of them. Without the fans, I’d have no listeners, and that would be some very lonely releases. There are a few of them I could do without though, and I have no respect for people who try to portray themselves as something they are not.

8. What do you think of our site?

I’m not familiar with it, sorry.

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