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Borknagar Unveils “Fall”: An Interview with Øystein Brun by Josh Phillips

The air crackles with anticipation. Norwegian black metal legends Borknagar are poised to unveil their twelfth studio album, “Fall,” and at the helm stands the enigmatic Øystein Brun. Renowned for his genre-defying vision and intricate compositions, Øystein has carved a unique path in the metal landscape, blending progressive melodies with raw aggression to create a sound that is both captivating and challenging.

In this in-depth interview, we step beyond the veil and into the creative maelstrom behind “Fall.” Øystein pulls back the curtain, revealing the inspirations and stories woven into the album’s fabric. We explore the evolution of Borknagar‘s sound, their unwavering commitment to artistic exploration, and what fans can expect from this highly anticipated release.

Whether you’re a die-hard Borknagar devotee or a curious newcomer drawn to the allure of black metal, this interview offers a rare glimpse into the mind of a true musical visionary. So, prepare to immerse yourself in the world of “Fall,” as Øystein guides us through its sonic landscapes, unveils its hidden depths, and ignites our anticipation for the album’s explosive arrival.

Are you ready to fall… in love with Borknagar all over again?

Video and Transcript of the interview below:

Josh: Hello.

Øystein: Hey buddy. I’m sorry about the delays and everything.

Josh: It’s really my fault. I think so. My apologies for wasting your time. ’cause I thought that the link that I had was working, but it turns out that that was not the case. So I apologize. 

Øystein: Yeah. Because I tried to log in several times. I just got this, like I have to, you know, punch the password or something and then I tried a different way.

Josh: Yeah

Øystein: But that seems like

Josh: Technology, huh? <Laugh>. 

Øystein: Yeah. Sometimes it’s a pain in the ass, but sometimes it’s good as well.

Josh: Yeah, that’s true. A double-edged sword. Like everything, huh?

Øystein: It is, it is true.

Josh: Well, thank you so much for taking the time to join me here. I wanted to just start off by saying that I’ve been a fan for a long time, over 20 years now. I wanted to show you, first of all, my backdrop here, <laugh>.

Øystein: It’s insane, buddy

Josh: <Laugh>. So I’ve got all of the records on vinyl, the CDs you know, merch going a long time. So thank you. I can remember me and my best friend, sitting in the accounting class that we took while in sophomore or junior year, and sharing the earbuds, you know, one in mine, one in his, and listening to Empiricism, which was the most recent record that had come out at the time. And I’ve been a fan ever since then. So I just wanted to thank you for your music.

Øystein: Thank you, man. And so, I’ve just done another interview and the feedback it’s amazing. Thank you guys. I thank you. It’s fantastic to hear that you enjoy what we are doing.

Josh: Yeah, definitely. Does it feel sort of strange sometimes? ’cause I mean, I consider you guys legends of the scene of this form of art and to hear 20 years, and all the records that have come out and what they’ve meant to people. Does it seem strange to you sometimes to hear those descriptions of you and your music?

Øystein: You know, on one side of it, the whole thing? I’m kind of used to that, I’ve been doing this my whole life since I was 16 and 17 years old. I started tracking guitars and playing guitars and making songs. But then on the other side of it, I’m not sure if I’m able to really grasp it, you know, the magnitude, the reach of the music and all those things. You know, your feedback is just, wow. It’s, it’s, I don’t know. Sometimes I get a little bit unsure what to say on that stuff, to be honest, because it’s so amazing. You know, it’s kind of almost sometimes emotional, but I try to deal with this the best I can, of course. I would say I’m a quite down to earth country boy from the west coast of Norway. And I’m not that social. I’m usually in my studio in the forest here and, and doing my stuff. And so it’s the contrast between my day here in the studio doing my stuff, and the world out there is quite huge, I would say sometimes. And especially traveling around doing huge, huge festivals, meeting people, meeting fans, and that stuff, that’s mind blowing. It’s humbling. It’s, of course, great and very satisfying to get that kind of feedback. And I kind of also feel a little bit privileged being in a situation where I can do this for my living and travel around the world and see people and try nice food and all that. So it’s indeed an adventure. It is.

Josh: Yeah. Well, that’s great. I wanted to ask you also what it’s like when you finish recording an album and you get to hold that physical release of that item in your hand, because I saw you there today. Yeah, I saw your picture this morning. You know, with the CD and the LP. So that’s kind of what made me think about this. ’cause I’m an historian. I’m a professor at a university here. And I’ve written my first book, my dissertation, and I’m trying to get it published now. I’m gonna do some revisions and publish it. And I’ve always thought about that day that for the first time, I’m gonna hold the book that I wrote in my hands physically, you know, and know what that feels like. So I was wondering what your perspective is as an artist. You’ve recorded an album, and now you get to physically hold it in your hands. What is that like?

Øystein: I’ve done it a couple of times before, but each and every time it kind of marks, you know, it kind of is the physical confirmation that it’s done. It’s ready, it’s ready to fly out in the world, in a sense. It’s not mine anymore. It’s not just mine anymore, if you get my point. So it’s exciting. It’s, of course, satisfying because there’s a lot of work behind it and all that stuff. So it always feels very good to get the copies and open up the first time and check it out. Then my wife and the kids check it out as well, and, you know, maybe put it on a shelf or on a wall or something like that. It’s kind of like yeah, I mean, I’m that old, you know, that I like physical things, <laugh>.

Josh: Yeah, me too.

Øystein: I prefer to have things that I treasure in my life. I want to have a copy or a physical. Yeah. Bit of, bit of it or whatever it is, so yeah, it’s a really good feeling. 

Josh: Yeah. So to kind of turn to the music I think that there’s sort of a perception I picked up on, I think, in the fan base that definitely with Winter Thrice and True North, maybe going back to Urd, that the band has entered kind of a new peak era, that these albums are regarded really, really highly, comparable to the earliest albums. And I think Fall really much is in line with that continuing streak. And so I was wondering how you perceive that? Do you feel like that’s kind of the feedback that you’re getting? And do you feel like you guys are as strong as ever?

Øystein: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. And I think it’s something to do with some things in life getting more difficult when aging and getting older and all stuff. I’m not as strong as I used to be back when I was in my twenties. But on the other hand, when doing this for such a long time and, and pushing, yeah, 48 now, pushing 50 soon, it’s something with which you get some kind of relaxed attitude towards things, maybe in a different way, in a good way, I would say. Because I don’t stress out or freak out because of details anymore. I don’t get fixation on things that don’t really matter at the end of the day in a big scope of things. So it’s, at least for speaking for myself, I find it easier now to focus on when I’m writing music, I find it easier to focus on actually doing that without any pressure or anything, you know? I have my routine in that regard and stuff. So I don’t know, it’s just the whole thing feels to me at least much more relaxed and much more on the creative side of things, I can spend more energy on being creative rather than spending a lot of energy on things that, you know, troublesome equipment or traveling to a different country to record the album, or, you know, things like kind of stress you up a little bit and cost quite a lot. So, yeah, And of course, something with maturity and those things. But also, I would like to say that I’ve spent the 10 last years, because I remember in the early days, some of my frustration at times was that I felt that kind of distance to the fans in a way that I had a musical goal, a wishing. But back in the first albums, we always had this barrier of what kind of studio did we have? How much money do we have to record this? What equipment do the studio have, and do the studio guy have a good or bad day at work? You know, you depend on so many things in order to kind of meet the fans musically speaking. So, for many, many years, or 10 years at least, I’ve spent quite a lot of time and money to build my own studio and also try to marry a little bit this producer’s perspective into the fold that I’m not only a guitarist and, and writing lyrics and all that stuff, but I also try to bring in the producer’s perspective. And I try to do that more and more over, so, for example, for the new album, as well as with True North and the albums before I spent shitloads of hours, you know, one thing is writing the songs and all that, but also you spent a lot of time testing stuff in my studio, guitar sounds, FX, whatever it is. I’m trying things out in order to shape the sound and try to produce it way more. That being said, of course, Jens Bogren who mixed the album did a fantastic job. So, of course, together with him though but, all credits to him for the amazing sound, we deliver pretty well, good demos for him so that he have some guidelines, I hope we have a quite clear idea what we want with each and every album. So yeah, I’ve been spending a lot of time and efforts to get the more firm grip on the productions for the last four or five albums, I guess.

Josh: Yeah, I think it shows. I wanted to ask you about when you’re composing, you know, as a longtime fan, and I hear a new record, like Fall, and there are moments where I think, you know, I pick up a little bit of Epic here, a little bit of The Archaic Course here. Do you have moments like that when you’re composing, where it’s like, I wanna bring a little bit of what we had going on there in, or that sounds too much like so and so, you know?

Øystein: Oh, yeah. I never kind of do that with other bands, you know if you ask me what that whatever band influenced me, I couldn’t probably say one single band name. But I always had this idea about kind of, there should be a red line through everything we do, there should be some entanglements and some kickbacks and stuff, whether, you know, I mean, for just an exact example, with the Winter Thrice album, if you see closely on that one, you’ll actually find The Olden Domain cover, you know, within as a small detail. And that’s just an example though. But also lyrically, but musically, I love to, you know, to bring some of the elements, some of the qualities, you know, from past albums into the new music. Not by copying and pasting, but by trying to capture some of the notion, some of the vibe to it, you know? Whatever that is. And for me that is important that we always want to take a step, at least I want take a step further and broaden your rise and then climb another mountain and all that stuff, like forward leaning in terms of musical progression. But I also want to carry with me this backsack of music that we have back behind us, so to speak. So, I always try to find the balance between, because my nightmare would be finding myself, repeating myself, doing the same thing over and over again. Then, you know, this to me wouldn’t make sense. Then I would probably just quit to do something else. Because for me, music should be something that lives and evolves basically just like a human being – alive.

Josh: Yeah, that makes sense. I wanted to ask specifically about Nordic Anthem. It seems to me like maybe a little bit of an outlier in the Borknagar catalog. It’s a little bit different musically with sort of almost a tribal rhythm to it. And lyrically it gets maybe a little bit more social than the nature and science topics that are more typical. So I was wondering who wrote the song, the music, the lyrics, and then after that, I’d like to talk a little bit about sort of the message in it as well.

Øystein: Yeah, the song is written by Lars, actually. And he also wrote the lyrics. But I also did, me and Bjørn, of course, the drummer, but we did some heavy production on that one. So as a starting point, that song was pretty much, a little bit along the line of Voices from True North. But when Voices was on volume one, I would say that Nordic Anthem is like volume 10. It’s, you know, it’s kind of much more saturated in production wise, I would say. But when it comes to the lyrics of that song it’s a bit more kind of connected to the real world, to the real situation, to things we see around wars and suppression and oppression and things that are happening in this world. But to me it’s kind of, and I’ve talked about this with Lars as well, and it is basically by default, this is a kind of freedom song. You know, there’s rejecting all kinds of, old whatever it is, political or religious or whatever it is that it’s kind of along the lines. And that’s has always been a very important aspect of the band lyrically for me to have this free thinking standing in it kind of thing, that you should find your own thoughts, you know, use your kind of <laugh>, I mean, don’t mean it negatively, but we have a huge brain, so use brain, use your potential, the mental and all that stuff. It’s, but be free, you know, find your own way and that stuff. So, to me, it kind of sounds a little bit cheesy maybe, but it’s about, you know, kind of freedom in a sense, to loosen yourself from these shackles to this whatever it is, conservatives, more religious thoughts or political whatever, you know. So it doesn’t really matter. It doesn’t really matter if it is Nordic or not. It’s not kind of geographical, kind of limited or anything like that. I would say it’s quite universally applicable, but yeah, but also with the music and lyrics, we have always also kind of left the door open a little bit, because I would love to invite the fans, the audience, whoever listened to the album into the music. I feel more like a musical adventurer rather than a musical entertainer, if you get my point. If there is a scale, some scale like that, I’m more on the adventurer kind of side of this scale. And that basically comes from my ideas as a music lover myself. I prefer music that I can kind of dive into, right. That I can fly away with that gives me some food for the soul somehow, you know, emotional or thought wise, or whatever. Really. So, we never in any way conclude in our music or shut the door or, you know, profess a special agenda or anything like that. But it’s, of course, the foundation of the band, is kind of a very kind of freethinking spirit. That, you know, we are all free human beings and life is an adventure and go out, do whatever you want. So that’s the basics behind it, I would say.

Josh: Yeah. I think that’s a great sort of broad understanding of the topic there. I think that there will be people that might just kind of read the bare surface of it as maybe speaking specifically about like uncritical acceptance of religion, which is part of the song, you know, but it seems like it goes beyond that, because Gods can be anything, it can be political authorities, institutions, ideologies, whatever. And so I really like that explanation because that’s something that everybody, like you said, can identify with right to some kind of degree.

Øystein: Yeah. I think it was one of the songs on Urd, I think we had the opening vocals on one of the songs. <Laugh>, I should remember this, but I don’t at the moment. But we kind of opened the songs with the lyrical phrase that, the Gods are great. I’m the greatest.

Josh: Yeah, that’s in Empiricism.

Øystein: That kind of boils down to the essence of the attitude we hold, you know, I’m, people you should believe or think or, you know, whatever they want. We don’t want to conclude anything or profess anything in specific. And we don’t, you know, I firmly believe, and I always try to be very clear on this, that, at least for me, and for the band, music is above and beyond all this mundane, religious, politics, wherever it is really. I think that that’s some of the quality with music, at least the music I’m doing, that this gives you the chance to travel above and beyond and all that stuff that we have to deal with daily. We can dream away or we can fly away. We can dive into, you know, the depth of something, I don’t know. But it’s more like we have this more open door philosophies, so to speak, in our music that I’d rather want to do, you know, bring people into this musical adventure and let experience what it is and find their own values and reasons for doing that, rather than being, some kind of monarch on a big whatever. And, “hey, you guys, my slaves”, come on. You know, that is not our approach, that’s the way of saying it. 

Josh: That’s what makes music transcendent. I like it when artists keep things more open to where people from all different backgrounds can find something in it, rather than they just preach at you, you know? And that’s what you guys keep it open. So I appreciate that. I wanted to ask, while listening to the new album, I was really blown away by Vortex’s vocal performance, and I thought, man, this has gotta rank up there, if not the best he’s done, very close, but I feel like this could be the best performance that he’s had. So I was wondering how you felt, you know, maybe in the studio or listening to the demos and stuff, hearing his performance on this record. What was your perception of that?

Øystein: Yeah, I agree. I mean, I think he has outdone himself, and he has been daring, and he has been pushing himself, and he has been, I would say, so dedicated. I mean, it’s not that he has not been dedicated before, but this time around, he was so into the groove of the process, so to speak. And I remember we did most of the vocals here in my studio with a microphone in the corner there. And we kind of, you know for as just an example, we did vocals for The Wild Lingers, the second to last song on the album. And you know, we know what people kind of expect from Simen, you know, this typical Simen ICS Vortex vocals. But, on that song, we kind of decided, hmm, let’s not take the safe route back home. Maybe let’s try to do something a little bit more challenging. We risk something. There is a chance, you know, something people won’t like and all that stuff. But we did it kind of, so he did some vocal lines on that song in specific, that is, he had never done anything like that before. And I think, you know, that is kind of it’s just cool that he’s kind of on the experimental side of things that is willing to push himself, even though, you know, we perfectly know what works when Simen is doing vocal. We could then, you know, do it easy for yourself in that regard. But, it’s not our way of doing it. We sometimes need to take a little bit of a risk and challenge ourselves and the listeners a little bit, and do stuff a little bit outside the box. So, I think, again, that is kind of the mentality of the band. And I think that is the sole reason why I still do this to be honest. I mean, the day I find myself going in circles or repeating myself, I would just quit. There is no reason for me to (continue), you know, life is not static and music should not be static either. So, I need to move forward and with some risks sometimes, that is life, you have to take some chances sometimes.

Josh: Right. I wanted to ask you, ’cause I still have maybe five or so questions, do we need to keep this tight at the 25 minutes, or do you think…

Øystein: No, no, no. This is the last one from tonight, so as long as I have a voice, we can continue.

Josh: Okay. Excellent. All right. So I wanted to mention, I think there are multiple elements that make Borknagar have this unique sound. And kind of building off of what I said about Vortex’s vocal performance. I think one of those elements is that the band has just been blessed to have to work with probably the greatest array of vocal talents. I think any metal band has ever had. Maybe Black Sabbath, you know, is the competition, right? But, you know, Garm and Vortex and Vintersorg and Lars, you know just an incredible array of vocalists. And I kind of wanted to get your thoughts on, you know, it seems, I don’t know if that’s just a serendipitous thing. I mean, I’m sure you go out and try to get the best vocalist every time about it, but it seems like it’s almost a serendipitous thing that every time you’ve just knocked it out of the park and got the best guy available. Right. So how do you think that worked out?

Øystein: You know, that’s a hard question, I mean, what can I say? It’s been so many crossroads and so many decisions, so many discussions, and so many this and that, you know, that have led to actually this. But yeah, I don’t have a really good answer to it. But, yes, it kind of has been coming naturally in a sense. It just happened. I don’t know. I mean, we started out with Garm back in the days, with the first two albums. And that kind of led to that. I remember when we actually mixed the second album, The Olden Domain, in Germany, we were sitting in a hotel room one evening and he was like, yeah, I think this is it for me. I’m done with metal and stuff like that. I’m like sure. Cool, cool. And we kind of in a very friendly manner kind of decided that, and by the way, I know one guy that maybe can jump in and do this for us, and that was Simen, you know? And then, you know, the story is kind of known. I don’t know, I really don’t know why, but it had just been the way things have progressed and evolved. Maybe the people I know, maybe, the music I make, I mean, I think that maybe some of the explanation is that I think maybe that the way we make music, how we think music and all that kind of gives, sparks the vocalists in a sense. You know, there is a lot of interesting stuff going on musically wise that is not easy, but it’s inspiring to lay vocals on stuff. It’s kind of, I don’t know, maybe give some resonance for paving the way in regards to vocals. So I don’t know, to be quite honest, I don’t know. I’m kind of sitting here myself and like, wow. It’s amazing because I fully agree, I think, you know, Simen and Lars is one of my top, absolute top vocalists in this world. I actually prefer Simen’s vocals above Ozzy. I’m totally honest about that. I mean, I don’t want to be cocky or anything like that. Ozzy is a legend definitely. But so is Simen.

Josh: Yeah.

Øystein: So, I feel privileged as it has been awesome, and I feel very kind of musically satisfied, you know, with all this, the whole story of it, so to speak. But yeah, it has been a long and sometimes bumpy road, but here we are.

Josh: Right. Also about, I think another thing that makes your music unique is the melodies and both guitar and synth, you know, keyboard. And so I was wondering where do you think that comes from? I noticed some sort of proggy sounding elements here and there, some things that even on a couple of songs on this record kind of vaguely reminded me of Vintersorg’s project Waterclime, which also has that same kind of proggy influence, not, you know, in any great degree, like on his project. But I was wondering if that’s where you think, you know, maybe some of the melodies that set Borknagar apart, do you think those come from your background? You’ve mentioned listening to your father’s progressive music. Do you think that’s maybe where that comes from that sets your melodies apart?

Øystein: Yeah, I think part of the reason, speaking about myself, yes I think that, I grew up with prog rock, Pink Floyd, Uriah Heep, and you know, all that stuff. He (his father) had a huge collection back in the day when I was a kid. And I still remember walking in all this LP and tapes and everything and listening to music, and he had a catalog of all the music, the whole collection and stuff. So yeah, definitely I think at least a love for music. And I remember even, even back then, I remember this very kind of, I just love, like Pink Floyd for example, that gives you this room that’s a band with a door open. I would say, you can dive into it, you can dream away, you can, you know, whatever it is, you can kind of feel, find your place in this music more than just entertainment or the bliss in the moment or, you know, that kind of thing. So I think that kind of has shaped me, definitely. But also I think, again, speaking about myself, when I entered the whole thing about being an active musician, I remember I had a guitar teacher for two evenings or something like that. He called my mom some days after, this is hopeless. I’m, there is no point in me trying to learn how  to play guitar or something along those lines. And sure, guess so. I guess I had a little bit of an untraditional way into becoming a guitarist. To be honest, I’ve never really seen myself as a guitarist. I don’t, I’m not, you know, I’m making music as my craft rather than being a guitarist, if you get my point, I use guitar as the means to get there and I use guitar as my tools and all that stuff. But I couldn’t bother less, to be quite honest about what brand and what kind of microphones or whatnot, you know, those things. I don’t really care as long as it sounds good and I can make the sounds I want to make. And I remember actually, I got an acoustic guitar at some point when I was young, and I remember, this sounds weird maybe, but I was just listening to this acoustic guitar with my ear to the guitar to the woodwork, and listening to the resonance. There is something about this acoustic, this organic, this wooden sound that just, I don’t know, feels so home to me in a sense, you know, it feels like my, when it comes to sound, that is my foundation in a way. So maybe a blend of all these things have, you know, have made it what it is. I guess I have a little bit of an untraditional way into music as a guitarist. I have a quite special guitar style because I’ve never learned to play guitar, in a school or the chords. And my music theory is not, you know, I have no clue whatsoever. Of course, by now, I will learn the basic E and, you know, minor and all that stuff. But, back when I started, I was chasing the sound. I wasn’t chasing the guitar or the role of being a guitarist if you get my point. And I think that maybe in the long run has made a little bit of a difference, maybe, I don’t know. But, you know, maybe at some point in my life, when I retire, maybe I need to sit down and really find out what happened <laugh>. But, it’s my way of doing stuff. I also had my father, but maybe it’s something in the family DNA or whatever. But my father was an architect and I lost him quite some years ago now. But it’s so kind of cool because he had been drawing a lot of houses in the area and schools and stuff like that. And he has a very clear signature, quite a special signature as well. I can see it from a mile away. My father had drawn this house. Mm-Hmm. I don’t know, maybe we have something special. I don’t know, maybe.

Josh: That’s a great introspective answer. I mentioned Vintersorg. I was wondering if you have any plans to work with him again in the future on Cronian or on a cameo in Borknagar, or anything like that in mind?

Øystein: Yeah, you know,  we don’t have any concrete plans at this moment, but yes, Cronian is very much alive as an idea, at least. We haven’t been working on it for a while. But, that’s also the idea behind this band. I think that is free, that’s a thing we do whenever we want to do it, and we do it the way we want to do it. There is no kind of commercial shackles on that one. And that was kind of the purpose of it. It is our musical playground. So we have been talking about doing another album, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be at some point, but when and how, I don’t know at this point. But we have some stuff going, so at some point, and yeah, we have been talking about him coming to my studio to master some of his material and stuff. So we are still very good friends and brothers in music, I would say.

Josh: Good. I also have his discography, they just reissued all of his albums on vinyl, so I’ve got all of those back there too. So I’ve been kicking myself because when you guys came to the United States a couple of years ago, I was about four to five hours drive through the mountains away, and it was February in Colorado and I couldn’t get there. And so I was wondering if there are any plans in the relatively near future to come to the United States again?

Øystein: Oh, yeah. 2024 I guess will be basically European dates. We have a bunch of festivals and we have a co-headline tour in Europe with a band. But it’s not official yet. So I can’t say much more about it, but it seems like it’s all good and will be announced soon. So 2024 is pretty much packed for us, but 2025 we are looking into, we are, I know our manager over there is already talking with some people and things are happening as we speak, but I don’t know when, but, hopefully in 2025 we will get back over to the US. And we are also trying to get back to South America, Latin America and stuff. So there should be hopefully because we love touring in the US and also South America and Latin America. It’s always really been great for us. So, I really hope we can get back.

Josh: Well, that’s great to hear that. It hopefully won’t be a long time. I’m in Texas now for my new job, so hopefully there’ll be a Texas date in there somewhere. We’ve got a few big cities, you know, so hopefully that works out. Here’s a couple of questions that you don’t have to answer or put on record if you don’t want to. But I noticed that, and I know you’ve been asked about this before, that the lyrics for the Self-Titled have never been released. I would just, I don’t want you to have to tell me any specific details that you don’t want to, but I was wondering if you would reveal the themes of the record, if there’s anything in general that it talks about. ’cause I’ve always wondered, is it, does it avoid, you know, sort of the cliche Black Metal lyrics, you know, that you guys have kind of always avoided, even back then, were you talking about nature and stuff back then, or what were the themes?

Øystein: Yeah, I’ve always done that. Even my first band Molested the lyrical themes, there was nature and forces of nature in a different, different kind of angle maybe or different approach. But yes, the debut album and actually it’s not really true, entirely true because of the new version of the album, the new Deluxe version of the album, you will find the lyrics there. It’s well hidden though, but if you kind of check it out properly, you will see that it’s vaguely written on the LP sleeves or something like that.

Josh: I’m gonna get my magnifying glass out then <laugh>. Yeah.

Øystein: But it’s handwritten and stuff because I remember at that time I wrote all the lyrics with handwriting, you know, with ink pen and stuff like that. But, back to the lyrics, yeah, it’s kind of old school a bit like in the way of the Ulver album let’s say. But I remember I wrote them in my native language, which is not the official Norwegian language, but more like this old school, a little bit reminiscent of the Viking language. Have a little bit of the same tonality to it at least when talking. So, it’s pretty much the same. There’s not, you know, absolutely nothing bad in those lyrics or anything like that. That’s not the reason why I’m holding it back. There is a reason why we shifted it over to English on the second album, and I just didn’t feel, -to be quite honest-, comfortable with the Norwegian language in lyrical because it was somehow limited, I felt in a sense. So again, I have to be honest about myself and, you know, English has a broader spectrum. It has more words, there is more of an artistic way of using the English language than my old native dialect, so to speak. So that is, that is the reason why we shifted. But the lyrics are pretty much the same kind of, what can I say? The song Dauden for example, this one of the songs is, I remember that’s basically dealing about the black plague all over Europe in 1349 or whatever it was. So it’s kind of dealing with a little bit of this quite typical forest black metal back in the nineties, kind of lyrics.

Josh: Thank you again so much for joining me and wish you guys the best with the new album and everything going forward.

Øystein: Thank you man. And thank you for the support and everything. 

Josh: Right, thank Alright. Take care. Take care man.

Pre- order your copy here:

Borknagar album cover


Summits 7:59
Nordic Anthem 5:15
Afar 6:55
Moon 5:52
Stars Ablaze 8:27
Unraveling 4:34
The Wild Lingers 5:34
Northward 9:54

Band members:

Øystein G. Brun (guitars)
Simen “ICS Vortex” Hestnæs (vocals/bass)
Lars A. Nedland (vocals/keyboards)
Bjørn Dugstad Rønnow (drums)
Jostein Thomassen (guitars)

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