Have people worked out that you’re not just a typical Norwegian black metal band yet?
**Ivar Bjørnson [guitars]: **“There’s this misconception that we’re another screechy Norwegian black metal band getting their nuts in a vice and recording it on a tape recorder. That’s all well and good, but there are bands that do that stuff better, and we have our own thing.”
Touring with Grand Magus, is there the temptation to roll out your most metal songs?
“Not really. How can you out-metal a band like Grand Magus? It’s not possible. It would make you look silly. We just have to do metal our way. If you see metal music as a community, you need someone to take care of history and our roots, to have a preservative role. Then you have to have people who explore and experiment. I think these two bands are examples of how to balance each side of it.”
You’re one of the few bands who’ve been around over 20 years with fans who don’t always clamour for old stuff. Does that make it harder to pick setlists?
“It adds excitement to building a catalogue. It gives a challenge; if people can give us a weighty argument why we should do a song live, we will do it.”
These will be your biggest UK headline shows to date. How does it feel to still be growing after 24 years?
“Yeah, we should have broken up a few times and done a few comeback tours that never end! We try and do all our ill-advised stuff in our private time and keep the band on track. Maybe it’s because we started out young, or maybe because the band started from scratch. We basically learned everything within the band, from playing our instruments to running the business side of the band. So I guess, starting off with that nature, it makes sense that we keep on growing for such a long time.”