Metal Wani’s Carl O’Rourke sat down with Grutle Kjellson of the mighty Enslaved ahead of the bands show in Dublin Ireland’s Tivoli Theatre. The two spoke about the bands latest album, ‘E’, incorporating philosophical and mythological concepts into their lyrical themes, the musical shift from their extreme metal roots to more progressive pastures, what is next for the band and much more!
Speaking on the new album ‘E’ and how it not only captures the bands progressive style masterfully, but also marks a special time in their career, Grutle was asked if he agreed.
“I totally agree. It feels like a new starting point, like a new milestone with new members and the new band dynamic. It feels a lot fresher than our previous releases to be honest. So it was really enjoyable to write and record the stuff. It was amazing.”
On incorporating philosophical and mythological elements into their music, Grutle expressed his thoughts on the challenges and rewards tackling these concepts brings.
“It’s natural and of course interesting. Norse mythology and the interaction between man and the Gods, and the giants and order, unconscious versus the conscious, dreams versus reality. They’re all intertwined. It’s both easy and complex at the same time. It was really interesting. And the horse [referring to the bands song, “Sacred Horse”], Oden’s horse, is the offspring of Loki’s half brother. The horse comes from the world of order and chaos. It’s a bridge between two worlds, or between order and chaos. The state of dreams and the state of being awake.”
Acknowledging the bands shift from extreme black metal to experimenting with more progressive styles, Grutle was asked if the band ever experienced any backlash from purists.
“To be an Enslaved fan, to follow Enslaved, you have to expect something like that. Keep in mind, we have never done this for any other reason than trying to develop ourselves. Trying to make our own favourite music at the time being. I think that’s the only logical approach to make music. You have to do this for yourself. Otherwise you’re just copying yourself in order to please a certain audience, and that become really artificial as opposed to making real music. It’s gotta be, to use the cliche, it’s gotta be heartfelt. Otherwise it’s just assembly music There’s enough bands that do that, and I never really understood why they did that. I mean why try to be AC/DC? We already have AC/DC!”
Speaking about the bands member changes over the last year, Grutle shared,
“It’s good to bring in some fresh blood and new ways of thinking. We just got a new drummer, and I like those changes. We’ve got two really, really different musicians. They’re very skilled at another level. Not to say anything bad about those who they replaced, but they are different people. They fit perfectly into the band in 2018. It’s just what we’re looking for.” Grutle concluded, “The thing is you don’t know. You just have to deal with things like that or you can just stop, of course, but that was never an option. You just have to find the best solutions available and I think we did.”