Dimmu Borgir 2004

Another find from the archives is Dan's interview with Silenoz at Ozzfest 2004.

9/4/20047 min read

Conducted 9/3/2004 by Dan Barkasi

I recently caught up with Silenoz of the mighty Dimmu Borgir on August 28th at their Ozzfest date in Pittsburgh. Silenoz was great as always, and had plenty to say about being on Ozzfest. Enjoy!

Dan: How much have you enjoyed being on Ozzfest?

Silenoz (Dimmu Borgir): It’s cool! It’s a really great opportunity for us. Especially here in the states. We don’t play big places really, so playing the main stage is a great accomplishment.

Dan: How did you guys get on the tour?

Silenoz: I’m sure it had something to do with Sharon and Ozzy. But yeah, I think our agent over here in the States has been working on it for a couple years already, and this year he came through.

Dan: What bands have you enjoyed watching throughout the tour?

Silenoz: I would say Judas Priest more than anyone else. Black Sabbath is always good to watch. Slayer, too, for that matter. I haven’t been able to watch that many other bands. Seeing Zakk Wylde all the time. When he plays, we start to get ready and all that.

Dan: What are your plans for after this tour is completed?

Silenoz: Just gonna go home and take it easy for maybe a few months, and maybe start the next new album.

Dan: You guys sure have been touring like crazy.

Silenoz: Yeah, this is going to be it for this album, I’m sure. We haven’t been to Japan or Australia yet for this album, but maybe next year. It all depends on the promoters over there if they want to pay for the flight tickets!

Dan: How have the crowd reactions been so far?

Silenoz: I think it’s been better than I expected it to be. There’s probably like 4 or 5 percent in the crowd that knows us, and the Dimmu fans that come to our headlining shows as well. Of course, it’s cool to see how they support us. Some places it’s been really bad. Like, if you’re in a redneck town and some older people don’t really comprehend the music.

Dan: I’d imagine that would be a bit frustrating.

Silenoz: Nah, I mean, you go on stage and you expect it to be like that. So, that’s alright. You can’t expect that everyone knows what you’re doing.

Dan: What has been your favorite city to play so far on this tour?

Silenoz: I think L.A. was good. Seattle and San Francisco was really good. So, the west coast has probably been better for us than the east coast. But all in all, it’s been a pretty good thing for us.

Dan: It’s nice for you guys to get some big exposure like this.

Silenoz: Yeah! We work really hard, and even if you work really hard, this is something that just comes by once in a lifetime. So you just have to take it for what it is.

Dan: Has your set list stayed pretty consistent throughout the tour?

Silenoz: Yeah, pretty much. We’ve been shifting a couple of songs. But the set lists for the Ozzfest show pretty much sets itself. We only have a half an hour, so we just play the songs that we know that our fans expect us to play, and those are usually the songs that go the best over with the crowd.

Dan: What’s it like sharing the stage with Judas Priest?

Silenoz: Incredible! Even to hang out with them and talk to them! They’re really cool guys. We haven’t been interacting too much with the bands of the main stage. Everyone keeps to themselves. But I’m sure now with the last few shows coming up, it’s going to be a bit more loose.

Dan: Death Cult Armageddon has been a big success. Has it exceeded your expectations?

Silenoz: Yeah, if you look back, you don’t really have any expectations more than to satisfy yourself. So, yeah, I would say it has. If you want to talk about record sales, of course, it’s great. That’s the good thing about doing Ozzfest and having the signing sessions everyday for FYE, because you sell 2,000 to 3,000 copies a week, so that has helped a lot. There’s still a long way to go if you want to become a rich person! laughs

Dan: How popular do you think your style of metal can become in the U.S.?

Silenoz: It’s hard to say, because we only see from our point of view, and we don’t have that great of expectations for that. But I’m sure Ozzfest this year is probably going to be an eye opener for a lot of people because it’s concentrating on more metal.

Dan: It’s a lot more metal than it’s ever been.

Silenoz: Yeah! So I think that’s going to help.

Dan: Being on a big festival tour like this has to be a unique experience. Have you guys seen this as different from your usual tours?

Silenoz: Yeah, especially because we’re used to playing big festivals in Europe. Even bigger festivals. But, not like a touring one. That’s the big difference. But, especially here in the states, we’re looking at ourselves as the underdog. That’s where we like to be. To be in a challenging position.

Dan: Considering there is probably a lot of off time during this tour, how have you guys keep occupied?

Silenoz: That’s a good question. Well, it’s a tough question! laughs Partying, watching movies. Just trying to kill time as much as possible. We didn’t have as many off-date shows as we first planned. So when you play every second, every third day, and only play for a half an hour, it’s hard to keep your stamina up. So, we’ve been suffering a bit from that. Other than that, it’s been really good.

Dan: What kind of music have you been listening to lately?

Silenoz: A lot of stuff. Everything from the usual 80’s stuff we always bring on the bus. Soundtracks. Everything, really. It all depends on what kind of mood you’re in. If you put AC/DC in or something, then it’s bound to be a long night! laughs

Dan: Ozzfest is obviously a big step for your band. What do you think the next big leap is going to be?

Silenoz: It’s hard to say. First, it’s a big thing to always record a new album, because that’s where the challenge is for us as a band. So, writing the new material is going to be inspiring, I’m sure. We’re just going to take it as it comes and not put any pressure on ourselves or take any pressure from outside. We’ve never done that, and as long as we work at our tempo, I’m sure it’s going to be good.

Dan: Are you guys going to be working on some new material in the near future?

Silenoz: Yeah, I’m sure before Christmas we’re gonna start putting ideas together. We have some ideas already. We’re a band who doesn’t write stuff on tour, so we have to be in a relaxed environment. It’s gonna be nice to come home to the dark and cold.

Dan: Are you guys going to be looking for a permanent drummer anytime soon?

Silenoz: No, I don’t think so. Getting a new permanent member of the band would just be really stupid. Everyone sees how it goes. So we’re probably going to try and hire whoever that’s capable.

Dan: If you guys got offered to do Ozzfest another year in the future, would you guys do it again?

Silenoz: I’m sure, if the timing is right and if it’s right for us to do, yeah!

Dan: Were you guys excited to hear that your video for "Progenies of the Great Apocalypse" was nominated on Headbanger’s Ball for one of the Best Metal Videos of the New Millennium?

Silenoz: Yeah, I heard that! That was pretty cool. But there was tons of other videos, too, that was nominated. Even if ours is probably one of the best songs there even, without seeing any others, I wouldn’t expect it to win, because the contents and the music is not commercial. So people wouldn’t recognize us.

Dan: I know you guys filmed some footage from your show in Las Vegas. Do you guys plan on using that for a DVD in the future?

Silenoz: That’s a good question! Our director was there, and he filmed some stuff. He wasn’t allowed to film on Ozzfest, so we filmed that show and we used 4 or 5 cameras. So if the footage is good, and the crowd was killer, so that’s of course a good thing. So we’ll see if the footage is good enough to be used.

Dan: What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen a fan do so far on the tour?

Silenoz: There’s been a few mosh pits that went totally our of hand. People with broken noses, fucked up glasses, blood all over. There’s been a few wild nights! You know, you’ve gotta be fucking careful with this heat. I mean, here it’s nice compared to Texas. That was awful. We don’t compromise anything when it comes to the live show. When you start to compromise, it’s going to start hurting you. So you can’t do that.

Dan: Is there anything you’d like to add?

Silenoz: No, not really. Just to thank all the fans that always support us, and also the new fans that we seem to be getting on the tour!

Dan: Thank you very much, and have a great show today!

Silenoz: Thanks! You're welcome!

Note: I'd like to thank Silenoz for doing this interview with me. I'd also like to thank Yvette the tour manager for being really nice and helpful, and Hannah Raymond for setting everything up for me.