Having decimated the main stage at Bloodstock last year with Emperor, the black metal pioneer Ihsahn is back for another round… but this time he’s going it alone!
This is your third time at Bloodstock. Why do you like playing there? “It may sound odd to say this about a metal festival, but it is just so calm. Although there are thousands of people there, everyone is very relaxed. Not just the fans, but also the bands. That makes it so different to most festivals I play at.”
You played Bloodstock on your own in 2012 and with Emperor last year. What are your memories of those performances? “I feel that Emperor’s show in 2014 was one of the best we did. It was a very special moment for us, and that makes me very happy about coming back now. But I have to be honest, I don’t remember much about 2012; it was three years ago, and memories do fade. Although I have to say that all my recollections of Bloodstock are positive.”
What sort of set will you be doing this year? “Well, I will be introducing some new material, which I’m currently working on with my new band. And, of course, there will also be songs from my past. But I can tell fans I shan’t be doing the old stuff in the way they might be expecting. All too often in metal people demand that an artist plays songs live the way they sound on album, and that can be a little boring. Why should you just repeat a formula? I’m now inspired by other genres of music, where every time you play a song it sounds a little different. Therefore, people will be getting material they might know, but not being played in the way they’ll expect. You could say, this will be a unique performance, because I might never play these songs the same way again.”
**Will you have the chance to check out any other bands? **“I certainly hope so. I’m playing quite early in the day, so should be able to catch up with the Trivium guys, and also Enslaved. That’s what I like about Bloodstock. You do get the chance to meet up with people you don’t see at any other time in the year.”
**What would you say to someone who’s never seen you, to persuade them to check out your set? **“Well, this is not going to be a typical metal set.”