Interview conducted in person with Hellbutcher and Tyrant for MTA by Sean F...
Tell us when Nifelheim formed and who were the original members?
Hellbutcher: We started in 1990 and it was me and Tyrant and Demon who was in the band at the time and they are still in the band. Also we had a guitarist but he joined us a bit later and then he was kicked out abit later.
Tyrant: He never recorded anything because he was too bad. He didn't play on the demo.
The rumor was that he was kicked out because he had a girlfriend.
Tyrant: Yeah, of course. We can't accept such wimpy things, but it is very hard to find members that don't have girlfriends so we have made it a bit more simple to play in the band now but we have the same opinions. We can tolerate a little more now a days. That's too sad.
You have had a lot of problems with finding guitarists to play with Nifelheim...
Tyrant: Yeah, there is no one that is good enough.
HellButcher: We have actually found two guitarists so we have a full line-up to play live if we want. One of them is John Zwetsloot who has been playing with us for many years since the Spring of 1994 when he quit Dissection.
Why don't you have John as a permanent member?
Hellbutcher: You can say he is a permanent member because he has always rehearsed with us but he is not writing songs. He is only playing in the band. That is why we don't call him a 'real' member, but if he did some tracks it would be different.
Jon Nodveidt played guitar on 'Devils Force.' Did you ever consider having him as a permanent member?
Hellbutcher: Yeah, we have but it is a bit difficult right now. He is perfect for us. He is the best death metal guitarist I have ever heard.
Tyrant: He is the perfect man for the job but we can see in about 10 years what happens.
Nifelheim has been in existence since 1990. How do you think the Black Metal scene has changed since then?
Tyrant: It has changed a lot since that time. I can't really call the scene of today black metal. You can only mention two or three bands today and we are one of the few survivors.
Hellbutcher: In the beginning of the 1990's it was totally untrendy to play black metal. When we started no one really cared about bands like Bathory and Venom. Every one was into Entombed or something, but we were totally into black metal. Many bands that are playing black metal today sounded like Entombed or something silly like that. We were more similar to Torr. We played the same style as now; some kind of speed metal, black metal stuff. So we really haven't changed.
Tyrant: We haven't changed at all. You see all the Norwegian bands look like silly clowns nowadays. They think they have grown up. They never really stood for anything. The longer you wait then you see who the true people are.
Do you feel that you have anything in common with any bands that exist today?
Tyrant: Yeah, Sabbat from Japan are very good.
Hellbutcher: They are still existing but they have been together since 1984 so they are not a new band. I can say that I don't like any 'new' bands. The latest stuff that I can tolerate came out in 1992 but nothing later than that I think. I haven't heard anything good from a 'new' band, so the 90's scene can fuck off!
So you haven't made any plans to change your sound?
Tyrant: We want to sound like Michael Jackson or Hanson.
Hellbutcher: We have no plans to change our style seriously. Of course not, why should we? I cannot find any good reason to do that.
Are you satisfied with both of your albums?
Hellbutcher: Yes, but I think that the new tracks that we have done are better than the earlier ones. They are more primitive, but they are more effective because there are not as many riffs in every song, but the best riffs you have ever heard. They are always fucking speed and very brutal; worse than ever.
Tyrant: I think the next album should be the best we have done anyway.
What should Nifelheim fans expect from the new songs?
Tyrant: It's like a mixture of old Bathory and the first Master's Hammer demo and some Vulcano. Just the normal stuff you know, but even rawer than before.
Hellbutcher: I think the production will be a bit more raw also. I don't know where we will record it, but we have thought of recording it in a real small studio to get a real rotten sound that fits the music. You can't go in and record a disco sound on a brutal album, it sounds really strange.
You are not interested in having a clean sound?
Tyrant: No, never!
Hellbutcher: We want it to be the worst. We think it is better anyway. We don't want normal people to like it because if they don't understand it then they shouldn't listen to it.
Tyrant: We don't want to have any Dimmu Borgir fans or anyone like that. We want fans that are into black metal.
Have you been satisfied with Necropolis Records?
Hellbutcher: No, it is very hard to keep in contact with them and we haven't received any statements from them. We are very happy that we can choose a new label now.
What labels are you interested in signing to?
Hellbutcher: We were talking about Head Not Found but Metalion was bankrupt and he had no money left so that is impossible, but we are looking for something else. We really don't know which one, but I don't care. I just want to play.
Why do you think Iron Maiden is the best band?
Hellbutcher and Tyrant: Because they are! That is an easy question.
Hellbutcher: You just have to listen to their records and if you don't understand that they are the best band in the world then you must be stupid. They are simply the best band in the world.
Tyrant: We will kill you if you don't like Iron Maiden because then you are a fucking wimp.
Hellbutcher: They have existed for a very long time without wimping out at all, so that is really great.
Static Age is going to release your demo on a 7".
Hellbutcher: It will be only two tracks. One track is from the "Unholy Death" demo, it is the song "Unholy Death." On the Bside will be the demo version of "The Devastation" which has never been released. We will have something really special cover and will be printed in 666 copies.
How did you get to be on the "Headbangers Against Disco" 7"?
Tyrant: We refused to be on it because I don't like comic stuff like that. Paulo Staver gave us the first 7" of SILVER MOUNTAIN if we were on it. We wanted that 7" so he forced us to do it with that bribe. We couldn't refuse that. We wanted the EP so we had to be on the "Headbangers Against Disco."
It seems that you don't want to be affiliated with all the retrothrash bands.
Tyrant: Yeah exactly. I don't care anything about these fucking retro posers. They are kids who don't know anything about the old scene at all.
Hellbutcher: Some good bands were on "Headbangers Against Disco" like Japanese SABBAT. There were some other good bands on it but I don't remember right now.
Tyrant: We are the best anyway.
Hellbutcher: Exactly. We were really satisfied with the sound on it also. It sounds like the live version of it from the first VULCANO album.
It is produced by ourselves.
Hellbutcher: Yeah, we rented the studio without any people. We didn't know what we were doing but we tried and it came out very well anyway, so we are very pleased with the sound of it.
Why did you choose to record a song by VULCANO?
Tyrant: They are one of the best bands ever in death/black metal and I really think they deserve some honor.
Hellbutcher: Some more attention I think. No one knows them. That is good because I don't want all the stupid kids to listen to it. Their "Bloody Vengeance" LP is one of the best albums I have ever heard.
What other covers have you played?
Tyrant: We have done 2 BATHORY covers "Die in Fire" and "Reaper" and we have played MOTORHEAD "Mean Machine."
Hellbutcher: Also we have done "Killed by Death" and RUNNING WILD "Black Demon" and also SATANIZED. We have played a lot of covers in rehearsals through the years.
You seem to like a lot of obscure bands from Brazil and Eastern European countries.
Tyrant: Those are the best countries for metal I think. I prefer obscure stuff and Eastern European bands are very dark while the Brazilians are very hysterical and aggressive. A mixture of that is very perfect to play.
What are some of your favorite bands?
Tyrant: IRON MAIDEN is the best and JUDAS PRIEST. I love NWOBHM and I also like bands like SARCOFAGO, VULCANO, GENOCDIO, and HOLOCAUSTO.
TORMENTOR from Hungary is one of the best bands, along with MASTER'S HAMMER, ROOT and TORR. Also the classic album like "Seven Churches" from POSSESSED and EXODUS "Bonded by Blood" but I think most people listen to those. Or maybe not anymore.
Tyrant: SODOM and all the old German bands like POISON and DARKNESS. The Russian band ARIA is very good. Also Italian horror metal like DEATH SS, BLACK HOLE and THE BLACK.
Have you thought about rerecording "Dawn of the Dark Millenium" ?
Hellbutcher: I don't know what he is thinking, but I think it is a good idea because next year is our 10 year anniversary and it is a new millennium. Maybe we should record it for a 7" because I think it is a really good track and we could record it with a better sound. I think we will do that.
Tyrant: I don't think so.
Do you plan to have Necrolord design the cover for your next LP?
Tyrant: We have found a new guy who is mentally ill and living in a mental hospital. I have seen it and it looks very good. We are very satisfied with that so watch out!
I hear that you are also playing bass in PAGAN RITES, Tyrant.
Tyrant: Yeah I am playing bass in PAGAN RITES nowadays. It is really great primitive black metal.
Hellbutcher: Their album will be only on vinyl in 666 copies and I think it is one of the best recordings from the 1990's.
Tyrant: I guess I can mention that. It is one of the best bands around today.
Nifelheim has a reputation for being the craziest band from Sweden. How have you earned this?
Tyrant: Well, we fucked the king and little children in the ass and we had goat penises in my ass. We like to dig up graves and eat children's corpses. We like to kill everyone in the world.
Hellbutcher: I don't know. We have maybe done some stupid things. It is not too good to mention these in an interview, but maybe you have seen it sometime.
Tyrant: We won't tell you why, you just have to imagine.
Don't you have any stories you can share?
Tyrant: One time I shouted very loud. And now you know!
What do you do in your spare time when you are not playing in Nifelheim?
Tyrant: Usually we play golf and drink some whiskey and beer and have a nice time. We fix our car and rape some children and stuff like that. That's about it.
Any last words?
Tyrant: We will kill you!
Hellbutcher: FUCK OFF!
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