Published on Sunday, 30 November 2014 15:36
Interview with: Anders Odden
Conducted by: T.V.
How many of you know the Norwegian band Magenta? One of the most overlooked and underrated electro/industrial/alternative/goth acts out there.... ok, let me start with Magenta's founder Anders Odden. Anders is a well known name to all those who follow the extreme metal scene, he's one of those persons who were involved in the first unholy wave of Scandinavian black/death metal. Multiinstrumentalist Anders took part of the scene since 1985 (!) and I believe that there's no death metal fan out there who doesn't know the name Cadaver; a band which was formed by him in 1988 and then splited up in 1993, then again reformed for a short time in 1999. But most of you should know him as the studio and live bass player for masters of Norwegian black metal - Satyricon. And that's far from everything, the Norwegian guy, born in Oslo on 20th December 1972, was recruited by Celtic Frost as a live guitarist in 2006 and toured with them all over the world on their Monotheist Tour. There are still other great bands in the extreme metal sector that could be associated with him, like Mayhem, Thy Abhorrent, Cadaver Inc., Baphomet, Braindead, and much more. But it was somewhere in 1992 when the way lead Anders into more electro-industrial waters as he joined one of the most popular Norwegian electro-rockers Apoptygma Berzerk, where he played bass and guitar until 1999 and from 2003 to 2006. For a short time in 2008 he even joined his friend Al Jourgensen and his mighty band Ministry as a live guitarist. But my interest this time goes to Magenta, a band creating as they describe it, "melodic lush music for people into the dark side and other freaks". Magenta was formed in the summer of 1995, Anders's wife Vilde Lockert joined him that autumn, and already with their first self-titled EP and the song "Secret Sky" they entered the charts in Norway. Since then Magenta released four albums and is about to release a new one, Songs For the Dead, for which they have returned to their roots of dismal dark and misty music with enchanting vocals. They started a crowdfounding campaign to make it happen and you can take a part over HERE. There was a lot of bad luck that happened to them and I can't imagine what Magenta could become without it, but of course, there's still time. Anders recently also started another band named Order to satisfy his need for playing and composing old-school doom/death/black metal. He was joined by his friends: Manheim (Mayhem), Messiah (Mayhem) and Rene Jansen (Cadaver). Order's debut is also expected in the near future. But why not leave a word to Anders Odden himself as he kindly answered to many curious questions that I needed to ask him.
T.V.: Hi Anders! There was a lot of silence about Magenta lately, but a couple of days ago you talked something about the new album on Facebook. Can you give me some further details?
T.V.: Thank you! Will there be also a video for any of the songs from new album?Anders
Anders: The album was written in january 2013, but I have been too busy with Satyricon to complete it. It needs some new guitartakes and mix and it's done. It's dedicated to all the friends we have who have died and it's called Songs For The Dead.
T.V.: You mentioned that it will be much darker album than anything you've released so far with Magenta. Tell me where are the main diferences if compared with previous works?
Anders: I went back to the roots somehow. I do not use synths much this time. It's heavy guitars, doomy drums, lush vocals and the aim is to sound like a soundtrack to a movie. We never really had a direction or belong to a scene somehow. I think we do not fit in either the metal, goth or synth genre. We do not belong anywhere and that's cool. The only bad thing is that we never get intivted to play many places. We are most of all a studio project, but we do have a good live band if we want.
T.V.: I know that and it's true that the one can't simply put Magenta's music in one drawer. Still I find it amusing that only few people know about this band, at least those who I know. You never really worked much on a huge promotion of this band, weren't you?
Anders: Back in the 90s we had a huge hit in Norway with "Secret Sky", then in 2003 "All Over" went to number 2 in the Greek charts. We had a deal with CocaCola company worth 100.000,00€ to promote the song, but then a Greek publisher stole all our money and the band went cold for 5 years. We lost all we had worked for and had to start from the bottom again. Since then the record business disapeared and we had no one to work for us. Right now I do not care about the PR anymore as it doesn't interest me. I hate to seek attention for my music. I had an offer to sign away all the rights to this album to a well known label for 1000$ now. That's an insult and a joke to me. It cost me a lot of my time and private money to do Magenta, but I do not wanna just give it all away. We have no promotion, but I am still doing this interview. We have to relay on the word of mouth if people like what we do. I will never press up CDs or LPs - so our future will be digital albums I guess.
T.V.: Yes, I'm honored that you take some time for this interview, but man, holy fuck! Have you at least sued that Greek man who stole your money? Have you got anything back?
Anders: Thank you. No, all our money was stolen. Our manager went to a Greek court etc, but it's all just fucked up.
T.V.: That's just,... I don't know what to say. It's shit and I can imagine the anger and disappointment you went trough. But let us return to your new album. You started a crowdfunding campaign and I wonder if you've already had any success with it?
Anders: Hehehe, so far no. I think it's because no one knows about this band. It's funny how we have fans like Al Jourgensen, Niklas Kvarfort, Nattefrost and Maniac, but absolutely no Ministry, Shining, Carpathian Forest or Mayhem fans knows us. We do not belong anywhere. I guess that's why our fans are just the most out there people there is. Our previous release (Magenta aus Norwegen) was mixed by Tim Skold (Marilyn Manson, KMFDM, etc), but it had 0% PR and it's super underground. My conclusion is that we will just mix it ourself and release it digitally. Namedropping does not sell music is what I have learned.
T.V.: Huh, it seems so. When can we expect the first song/single to be revealed?
Anders: I am working on a mix of a song named "Descending" right now. It is one of the darkest songs on the album and could work as a teaser to what it's to come. I feel it need some more touch ups and then we will do a "release" on reverbnation/FB and see if people like it.
T.V.: Can't wait to hear that. One of my favorite Magenta's songs is a catchy/poppy "Unthouchable" from Arts And Accidents. Will there be anything like that on the new album?
Anders: Thank you for that! When that song failed to become a hit I lost interest in making very melodic stuff. It was mixed with way too low guitars to fit radio. However, we have one song named "The Pentagram" (incl Crowley samples from his poem, Pentagram) which is in that direction. I do not have any illusions of radioplay this time, so our album will be without poppy elements.
T.V.: Why did you make a decision to record the album in 13th Planet studios in El Paso TX (USA)? How it was working there?
Anders: We didn't record it there, just parts of it. We were invited to stay with the Jourgensens over Xmas and went there on vacation. When Mike Scaccia died 2 days after we arrived we became very close with the whole situation and I began working on ideas for songs as soon as we got home. The album was meant to be done there later and released on 13th Planet Records, but then Angie and Al divorced and that was the end of it for that. Just another bad thing happening for Magenta. We are cursed. That's why I never send proposals to work with us to agents, labels etc. I just remind myself that this project will never see any success other than the fact that people I respect like it. It's enough for me. I can live with that.
T.V.: Ok, I see. So, are you and your wife Vilde the only two involved in the compositional process, or are also the other two guys somehow?
Anders: Vilde and I are the only real memebers of Magenta. It's how Magenta works best. We have a bassplayer and a drummer for liveshows. Our last show was opening for Fields Of The Nephilim in Oslo back in april 2013. I wish we did more gigs, but we are too unknown and expensive at the same time hahaha.
T.V.: Will album be released as a self release or through any label?
Anders: We have released everything since 2003 ourself. I know too much about the record industry to even bother sending music to labels. I know they would have provided PR and maybe sell 100 CDs or something, but my motivation to do music is not success anymore. I just release music online, do interview like with you who show interest and that's it.
T.V.: That's understood, as you are in the music since late 80's if I'm not mistaken. Tell me, beside Magenta and being a bass player in Satyricon, do you have any other projects, side bands, etc...?
Anders: I have an old school black/death/doom band named Order. Check it out HERE.
T.V.: I will for sure check it out! You had on each Magenta release until now some special guest musicians, will there be anybody guesting on Songs For The Dead?
Anders: Yes. We always had guests on our albums. This time we have Cathrine Paulsen (ex-Trail Of Tears) on one of the songs. There might be others too, but she is on it for sure.
T.V.: Oh really, I love her voice! I was just searching any video clip of Magenta and couldn't find much... Have you ever filmed any?
Anders: She is on "Descending". Pretty rad. We have made a few videos yes. For the tracks "One Mind", "Darkest Dream part 2", plus some fan made videos.
: We have some ideas. We plan to make a photo shoot for it and do a video or two as well.T.V.: Can you tell me few words about the lyrics of Magenta?Anders
: The lyrics are written 50/50 by me and Vilde. I write about death - she writes about life. Sort of. I think I wrote most of the new stuff.T.V.: Are all of the new lyrics written in memory of Mike Scaccia?Anders
: No, just the song named "Die Young".T.V.: It's a great song! And like you said much darker. Now I'm interested who are artists or musicians that influenced you the most as the author?Anders
: My biggest inspiration is David Lynch. He creates his own world where he just drag you in and nothing else that you know exists. That is a feeling I want to create with Magenta
s music.T.V.: Now that you've said so I can almost feel it that way! Now, let me ask you a couple of questions outside Magenta. What's your position right now in Satyricon? Are you involved just as a live member or are you also in any way involved in the compositional process?Anders
: Cool. It's meant to feel strange and addictive. I try to make music from the heart and not care about trends. Satyricon
is more than just the live gig for me as I co-manage the band too. I do all tour production work and online stuff. I do not compose music for them. They are a creative duo, just like Magenta but
in a different way, and it's how they like it. I am too busy composing for Magenta
which is truly my stuff in a different way anyway.T.V.: Have you ever tried to invite Satyr or Frost to be guests on any of Magenta's song?Anders
: Maybe... Never thought about it before actually.T.V.: Maybe an idea for your next album, haha. I really enjoyed in Satyricon's song "Phoenix" and I'm really curious how it was performing that track with Sivert Høyem (Madrugada) and the whole choir behind you?Anders
: The whole gig at the Opera was massive! We are working on releasing it next year as a DVD/CD/4LP - box. It will be the releaese I am most proud to be a part of so far in my career. It was magical.T.V.: That release should be really a huge thing, I'm looking forward for it! Now if I go further in the past. One of my first CD's that I bought was Cadaver's Hallucinating Anxiety (that double split with Carnage). Are Cadaver dead now or do you intend someday to make this legendary band alive again?Anders
: I have planned to release the old Cadaver
tapes for a while now, so some day it will be out there. I have written a full new album too, but I have no memebers (or time) to do it now. We will see what future brings.T.V.: And what can you tell me about the period when you were in Celtic Frost and Apoptygma Berzerk?
Anders: Huh, there's too much stuff to talk about, but I wrote a book about my past in all these bands that came out in 2011. After I have forgot a lot.T.V.: Ok, do you consider that short period when you played live with legends such are the Celtic Frost in any way kind of a peak of your career? And another thing,... have you ever played live one of my absolute favorite metal songs "Circle Of The Tyrants"?Anders
: I played 66 shows with Celtic Frost
and "Circle Of The Tyrants" was always in the set! Yes. It was a magical year where I got to do what I dreamt of, to live from playing music 100% and tour all of Europe, America and Japan. I would never have been without it.T.V.: I'm also interested in that book of yours. I think it must be some kind of a "must read" for every metal fan. Can you give me some more details about it? Where it can be bought?Anders
: Unfortunately it's only in Norwegian so far, but I have plans to make an English version of it one day. The book is called Piratliv (musikkbransjen backstage). You can check it out here: https://www.tanum.no/_kunst-kultur-og-arkitektur/musikk/piratliv-anders-odden-9788282051880T.V.: I think that many of us will be interested in an English version of it. Can you tell me what was the reason or better said the turning point that you've sailed in the electronic/industrial/goth waters?Anders
: I got into bands like Skinny Puppy
as everybody turned to Norwegian black metal around me. I was into Darkthrone
, but felt that industrial had more agression. It was hard in a different way. I didn't find extreme metal in the early 90s like Deicide
, Cannibal Corpse
, etc to be any interesting. When Euronymous got killed by Varg I lost my metal mentor and moved on.T.V.: I remember when I was doing my first fanzine I had at the same time an interview with Euronymous and Varg, and how Euronymous was enthusiastic about Burzum,.... then one year later those things happened. Tell me what you meant by saying that Euronymous was your metal mentor? And do you miss in any way those early years of the unholy black/death Scandinavian metal?Anders
: The feeling of being outsiders and listening to this music was unique. That will never come back. Euronymous tought me what was cool and not cool from when I was 13.T.V.: So also about his political visions? I remember he was pretty much in the communism and all those leaders like Stalin, Mao, Tito,...Anders
: Yes, he was very much into that stuff just to be different and extreme. He had a vision of black metal that was unique. Anti-commercial was his motto.T.V.: Yeah, he hated those metal kids who were wearing jogging-suits and bermudas and moshed. But ok, now with Messiah and Manheim from Mayhem you formed the band Order. Is this band made of pure nostalgia? When can we expect to hear the first sonic outputs?Anders
: We started the band to bring back the old feeling we all had back in the day. We have written many new songs now so we will record something and release it next year. We will release it out on cassette and vinyl.T.V.: Is Order kind of a substitute for Cadaver?Anders
: Not at all. It's a new band with its own mission and sound. It is very different from Cadaver
. It's more dark and occult in its whole outlet. Cadaver
was more progressive and intricate. Order
is much heavier and will not have much blast beats etc.T.V.: Ah, I see... But your musical taste is more oriented towards metal, electro, industrial or maybe something else?Anders
: My main interest were always heavy riffs. I do not listen to electro much. I like industrial like Ministry
and Skinny Puppy
, but not dance music. That part of Magenta
linger from 80s new wave that I liked as a kid. I also like the Prodigy
and other dark UK electro bands, but I do not listen much to it anymore.T.V.: And I know that the fans are always eager to know what are the musical suggestions of their fave musicians. So, is there any album that you came across lately that you would like to mention?Anders
: I have no current "wow" band that is very new I listen too. I am going back to my early stuff all the time. A very underrated band in my view is Possessed
. They had a haunting sound and will always mean a lot to me. Not very exciting but, still.T.V.: Yes, Possessed are pretty much unique band. Their album Seven Churches is a real cult. Ok, let's go back to Magenta. Can you reveal us when the album will be released?Anders
: Sometime in early 2015. I will try to get the mixes done in december.T.V.: Can we expect any live dates after that?Anders
: We will see. If there is any festival out there that takes notice.T.V.: Do you prefer to play on big festivals or in small clubs?Anders
: I prefer to play where people come to see us. Magenta
is a small band that do not get much gigs so I have no high hopes for us to tour anywhere. It's too much work and money out of the window. I would love to get the music out on films or other media more than to play Magenta
live, really.T.V.: Now I wonder which song you ever done under the name Magenta is your favorite one?Anders
: I do not know. Something from the coming album right now.T.V.: Haha, ok I see... Almost each band that you were ever involved in, and also Magenta, has kind of a mystical or even occultistic aura around it. So, how much are you personally interested in occultism?Anders
: I like to play with that as an outsider in society and have read a lot of stuff regarding the mystical perspective. I do not hold any membership in a cult or stuff like this, but find it fascinating.T.V.: Have to ask you also about Vilde. She took as well part in a couple of bands/projects so far and I wonder if is she active in any other stuff beside Magenta?Anders
: She has worked with Arcturus
, Apoptygma Berzerk
, etc too. Right now Magenta
is her only band.T.V.: Beside music what are other interests in life of you two?Anders
: Wine, history and food.T.V.: Ok Anders, there could be thousands of other questions asked but I think that would be all for now. Thank you for taking your time to answer my questions and of course, is there anything you would like to add at the end of this interview?Anders
: Thank you for the interview. It took a while! I hope you can promote the new album from Magenta
and other things I do in your webmagazine!
Support Magenta in their crowdfunding campaign over at Kickstarter!
Magenta links: Facebook, Reverbnation, Wikipedia
Cadaver Links: Wikipedia