Metal Mofos’ Isaac Sauers chatted with Hravn of Swedish black metal band Rimfrost about their history, 2016 self titled album, and black metal in general.
Metal Mofos: Tell me about when you first decided you wanted to be a musician. Who were some of the artists who inspired you?
Hravn: I think I was around 8 or 9 years old when the thought crossed my mind of becoming an artist, or rather being in a band. I couldn’t play by myself. I was one of the kids who needed to be shown and taught, at least in the beginning. Now I always look at musicians I admire who were self taught by their skills. The first time I heard a guitar player and realized I wanted to play the guitar was when I heard Vito Bratta from White Lion. Still when I listen to his playing, I just dream away. His playing is pure magic in my ears. Almost the same time I discovered Wolf Hoffmann from Accept. Shit, his influences from classical music opened new doors for me.
MM: How did Rimfrost first get started?
Hravn: Me and Throllv met in school when we were about fourteen years old. Cut classes and listened to heavy metal music. Throllv was playing guitar and drums, and had a demo band. The following summer we hung, checking Iron Maiden’s Live After Death VHS. In the end of that summer we decided to do a small project together with death metal influences. The plan was to record a demo just for fun. But as the weeks went by, the project started to take form into more sinister music, and rawer. The black metal style fitted our composing and vocals better. If I sum it up, the band is about a strong friendship. That’s our drive. I know it sounds corny, and maybe gay. But we like to be gay. Hahaha!
Hravn: We decided to actually do something, after all these years of silence after Veraldar Nagli. We did the big mistake of waiting for a label to push some money into the record. The business doesn’t look the same as it did ten years ago, sadly. So we financed it ourselves, and hired a local studio guy named Mikael Andersson. He kicked the ass out of everyone who we sent for a test sample (his work was at the same level as a really expensive and skilled guy, so why pay more?). We recorded the album partially in his studio and all of the guitars, bass and vocals in our own studio.The music is more back to the first album, still technical but way more peeled off than VN. I would say “Rimfrost” is more “songs with heart” and every track has its own life. That is what I want as a listener. That every song has an own character, like heavy metal music. I sat the other day, listening to some popular black metal stuff. I forwarded in to the song. “Boring shit” I thought, took another song, listened a bit and then forwarded it. Same fucking riff again it sounds like. What the hell! Again, same. So I made it into a sport and did it to the entire album. Even the tempo was the same! Something is then terribly wrong, why doesn’t the music live anymore?! That is what I Think this album shows an excellent example on, it’s fucking alive and breathes on your neck like a ravenous fucking wolf!
MM: Can you tell me about your song writing process? What are your typical lyrical themes? Who is the main music composer?
Hravn: Basicly like this; me and Throllv (drums) do everything together. He can have some riffs, and I can have some. We meet in rehearsal and jam together. We twist and turn and arrange the riffs how we think sounds hard and heavy as hell. When you grin and bang your head, then you know you’ve got it! I am the main lyric composer though. I cover all from daily stuff to horror movies. Everything can inspire. No fucking ridicilous religion shit here, or political stuff. This is raw heavy metal power that needs to come out, I go with the feeling the riff is giving me. I am very inspired by the occult and the “strange”. The things that makes the human being think, or be scared. It is my world that reflects in the lyrics, stuff I may have been sitting out in the forests thinking off. Because Rimfrost is actually a band that is still “true” to the whole nature phenomena that circulates in the black metal scene. That is what is important to me, for real. To have my solitude and freedom. I want it for myself and I don’t want to share it with anyone. Ask my girlfriend.. Hahaha!
MM: I think Rimfrost has a pretty unique sound. You mix black metal with other styles. What do you think sets Rimfrost apart from other artists?
Hravn: Variety. That is what makes us stick out from the rest. Everyone is still trapped in their box and follow each other around. It’s obvious that we got a lot of inspiration from Immortal, yes. But they actually did something interesting to their music. Thrashy guitars, cool drum arrangements etc. It’s a hard band. We have Emperor who kicked ass with their quite complex and technical music as well. But hey, that’s just me saying it. Of course I can enjoy the filthy stuff as well, it’s just that new BM bands unfortunately fail with the whole copying the legends. Already from the start we have been tired and fed up with all the extreme metal acts loss for variation and drive. I’m sorry to say but a lot of them can’t keep the music alive. That’s really important to us. We create something we would love to hear, and it’s a big, big bonus if our listeners enjoy it as well. We only do what we think is the right way. And, we consider us as an extreme metal act, but the ground we stand on is Black Metal. What makes us different from the other bands is that we don’t run around and believe we’re evil. We are three grown men, with a desire to play fucking heavy music. Let the music talk I say.
MM: Can you tell me about the current black metal scene? How does it different from the black metal of the 1990s?
Hravn: Well, I still had diapers on when the scene were progressing into the Norwegian era, so I can’t really compare. I do prefer the more “grown up” version with Bathory and Venom though. The scene took extreme forms and it feels like everyone were competing with who could be the grimmest. That’s how it was, and I really do understand that it was somewhat of a life and culture. But if you ask a lot of the persons which were involved back then I think you’d get a lot of answers similar to “we were young and stupid” kind of. It’s a classic, a lot of them grow out of it and keep the important part, the music. And, honestly, how many 40 year old men/women can you take seriously when screaming about killing christians and burning churches (I understand the ones who actually HAVE done it though)? It could be compared to the heavy metal life style I guess, with the need of leather and spikes. It just has to be there! Even if it’s taken from the gay culture back in the days by Halford. Hehe. The black metal scene nowadays is just so…forced. Everyone tries to be so special and it seems like “dark jazz” is the new cool thing. Hahahahaha!
MM: Most Metal Mofos readers are in North and South America. Can you tell us a bit about Sweden? What makes Sweden a special country? What are some favorite Swedish foods and drinks? What’s an important part of Swedish culture?
Hravn: It’s a cold place. Hahaha. The people are very quiet and reserved and of course we eat Swedish meatballs! Haha! Hmmm…tricky question… I guess the queues. If you break a queue and a Swede is the one you cut in front off, run! Hahaha! Swedes are very strict with the queue system!
MM: Who came up with the Rimfrost logo? It’s nice to have a black metal logo that can be read!
Hravn: It was me and Throllv, when we were 15 years old. It obviously flirts with Bathory’s logo. Hahaha! Thank you, I agree with you!
MM: What’s your favorite part about playing in Rimfrost?
Hravn: The friendship in it. The “brotherhood” and all the laughs we get and the crazy stuff we do when we’re together. I sound incredible gay now, don’t I? Hahaha!
MM: Any touring plans for 2017?
Hravn: Keep watching the skies…. I mean our official Facebook for info. A small tour in Europe was just announced! Come see us if you’re in Europe!!!!
MM: Thanks for the interview!
Hravn: Thank you for having us!
Like Rimfrost on Facebook HERE