QUICKIE OF THE WEEK: A short interview with Lord Ahriman (Dark Funeral)

written by Marko Jakob | 19.01.2022 |

Pix666: Hello and thanks for your time. How are you doing these days, are you alive and well? How are the other guys from Dark Funeral?

Lord Ahriman: At the moment I’m doing fairly well, but I’ve had a long and tough period with stomach issues, a small surgery and shit, which totally drained me. I’ve just started to feel better, but I have a long road ahead of me to get back in the shape I were before all of this shit started, but I’m on it! It’s not as serious as it may sound, but for me who’s hardly ever sick, it’s been a test no doubt. The other guys are doing ok too I guess, but this pandemic and all the restrictions, have surly been a test for all of us on many levels.

Pix666: Oh, then I wish you a quick recovery, of course. Please introduce your band to the readers in a few short sentences. What kind of music do you make?

 Lord Ahriman: We’re a Swedish Black Metal band, formed in 1993.

Pix666: Recently your new single ‘Let the Devil In’ was released. How have the reactions been so far?

Lord Ahriman: The overall response to the song have been absolutely amazing, but I’ve also heard that some people are disappointed that its slow, different and what not, but you know what. I’m not here to please everyone. I’m an artist and a songwriter. And just like every other artist, I simply have to follow my own inner demons when I write music, same with Heljarmadr, when he writes lyrics. If someone doesn’t understand it, or doesn’t like it, so what!? It’s not the end of the world.

Art & music should create emotions, if it doesn’t, then you have failed. This track do however stand out compared to the rest of the material, which I also made very clear in the press statement that went out with it. At the same time I simply can’t understand some of this whining. I mean, it’s not like it’s our first mid-tempo song we have written. We have that on most of our albums, including “We Are The Apocalypse”. Anyway, on this album I wanted to explore a few new territories.

And “Let The Devil In” is one result of that. Personally it turned out exactly as I wanted it to be, maybe even better. The tribal drums in the beginning, the rhythm, the mix with the  open chord playing with my regular style if you will, the epic atmosphere, something we’ve never done before in that extent, awesome and very inspiring! Mission accomplished! With that said, for us it was obvious to do the unexpected, and premiere such a “different” song from us. And some of these reactions were naturally expected, it was part of the strategy if you will. However, as I know what’s coming your way soon, I can also with most certainty say, buckle up! We are Dark Funeral afterall! 

Pix666: There is also a fantastic video for the new song. How long does the planning and preparation for such a clip take? Where did you shoot the clip and how long did the shooting take?

Lord Ahriman: Thanks. This video is based on the lyric so it´s a few month planning and preparation course. We filmed the video in Wraclow, Poland with Groupa13. Before we flew over, they had planned everything extremely well & professional so even if it was cold and really long shooting days, it went really really smooth. Yes, that means that we filmed more than one video while in Wraclow, but that’s all I canto reveal at this point of time. Stay tuned…

Pix666: Your new album will be released in March 2022. What can fans expect? Is it already possible to pre-order the album somewhere and will there be any special editions/bundles?

Lord Ahriman:  “We Are The Apocalypse” are our most immersive and unrepenting journey to date. And at the same time also our most varied and cinematic album ever. If we go from the previous album, where Heljarmadr and I managed to get lyrics & vocals in more symbiosis with the music than ever, the new songs are a big step ahead of that too. You are not only drawn into a dark musical journey, but also the songs open up a whole new world that gives you a visual experience, as well as the feeling of becoming one with a dark and horror-filled book.

You can already now pre-order the album in various formats, some LTD editions arebalready sold-out though, but check here asap before all the LTD editions are gone: https://darkfuneral.lnk.to/WeAreTheApocalypse This link will also take you to various streaming platforms incl YouTube where you can watch our first single”/video “Let The Devil In”. Enjoy!

Pix666: How do you create your songs and what are your lyrics about?

Lord Ahriman: As for the lyrics, you better ask Heljarmadr. He have written them for this album while I have written the music. However, already after the last album was finished, I had a pretty good idea of where I musically wanted to go with the next album (read this album), what elements I wanted to develop and work more with, etc.

I have my own home-studio so I normally write while I’m home alone, but sometimes an idea to a riff or melody can pop up at any time, wherever I am, even in my dreams. And when it does, I try to work on it and also record that, usually, very rough idea as soon as possible. And than work on it when time allows.

It has now been four years since I started trying out ideas for this record. Obviously, in between, and due to a lot of touring, it took a while before I had the time and inspiration to really dig deeper into the whole writing process, but once I was there, in the nightmare-like darkness I wanted to be, and where I could feel total creative freedom, it went pretty smoothly. The creative challenges I had set up for this new album can be divided into a few key elements: to create new ground, create a larger soundscape, use more rhythmic techniques and more drum work.

Pix666: Did the Corona Pandemic influence your way of working and were you allowed to play concerts during the pandemic? 

Lord Ahriman: Heljarmadr and I worked pretty much the same way writing this record as we did on its precursor. Each one of us being creative in our own home-studios, sending files back and forth, discussing and mailing back and forth and so on. So in that sense the pandemic haven’t really had any impact on us I think. But as the music I/we write reflect an era of time in my/our life when it’s written, it may have caused some unintentional and unconscious influence of course.

As for touring. Due to the pandemic we have only been able to do one single show during all this time. It’s quite frustrating and also quite tough financially as well, but we do our best to stay above the surface. And since this situation is clearly beyond our control, we can unfortunately not do more than wait until it all blows over so we can start touring again.

Pix666: Let’s stay on the topic of touring and live concerts. Are there already plans for concerts in 2022?

Lord Ahriman: Yes, we have some tours and festivals set already, while others in plans or under discussion. So once things roll again, we’re ready to hit the road! I’d suggest that you subscribe to our BandsInTown at; bnds.us/iexs8t. This way you will stay up to date whenever we announce new shows and tours.

Pix666: You have already played on many of the big stages and festivals. Are there any dreams or wishes for the future, where you would like to play – maybe not a big venue, but a very special or unusual one?

Lord Ahriman: There’s too many to mention really, but just to give you one venue that I’d love to play one day, it’s Dalhalla. It’s an outdoor arena for theater, concert and opera performances, inaugurated in 1993 in the disused limestone quarry, quite impressive place to say the least. https://www.dalhalla.se/en

Pix666: You have been in the music business for a long time and have experienced the different facets. Social media and music streaming can be both a blessing and a curse for bands. From your point of view, what are the advantages and disadvantages of this development for your band. How much do Dark Funeral use social media and where are you represented?

Lord Ahriman: The scene, the business, new techniques and so on will keep on develop whether you like it or not. And since music is my passion. And also what I do, and want to keep doing, I would just shoot myself in the back if I didn’t try to adjust to everything as it develop.

Therefore I’ve always done my best to try and stay up to date but also to learn how all these new stuff work and so forth, even if much of it really isn’t “my thing” so to speak. But it’s just like life itself. Sometimes you simply have to do some shitty things to be able to keep doing what you want, or to reach your goal. Refusing to keep up with developments in the future, to throw in my towel that easy, is simply not in my DNA!

Pix666: As a musician, you surely spend most of your time creating music – but what else do you do in your free time when you want to distract yourself – are there any interesting hobbies you pursue?

Lord Ahriman: Well, to be bandleader, in a band on this level, means you have to take care of a lot of business as well, both fun, but also some boring, yet so important stuff that simply needs to be dealt with. Other than that I like to take a walk in the nature, run, HIIT training, watch movies or just do nothing. Normally the tour life I/we live is in many aspects quite demanding, so once you’re finally home, it’s quite nice to just close the door and do nothing. For now, things are very different and quite boring to be honest.

Well, that was until just recently, as now we’re quite busy launching the new album. But anyway, to keep busy until touring can resume, and also to try and make at least some extra money to help pay the bills, I have started a signature brand which keeps me busy too. I’ve always preferred to run my own business, and work with things I choose myself, which I’ve basically done since 1994. And as I’ve always liked to work with various form of design, it was quite an obvious move for me to make once the world closed down. So far I’ve designed four occult jewelries, a signature guitar strap etc and more is in the works.

However, I cant wait for the world to open up again so we can resume to live our lives as we like it, busy and on the move! Still, I’ll keep developing this side business of mine as I like working with design afterall. Check out what I have to offfer here: www.lordahriman.com

Pix666: Do you have any other news about Dark Funeral, that you would like to share with the fans?

Lord Ahriman: Well, make sure to follow us on social media. With the new album ready and scheduled for release on March 18, a lot of things will happen from now on. And you dont wanna miss any of that. Other than that, hope to see you all on tour as soon as possible!

Pix666: Thank you very much for the interesting answers – Good luck with the new album and stay healthy!

Lord Ahriman:  Thank You!

Lord Ahriman – Guitars
Heljarmadr – Vocals
Chaq Mol – Guitars
Adra-Melek – Bass
Jalomaah – Drums


photos © by Bartosz Szydlowski