> INTERVIEW WITH SKITLIV FRONTMAN SVEN ERIK “MANIAC” KRISTIANSEN By Bruce Moore (Pure Grain Audio)
Skitliv is the brainchild of Maniac, the infamous frontman of the influential groundbreaking Norwegian Black Metal Band Mayhem. His latest offering comes to us via Seasons Of Mist Recordings and was released in stores in the US back in November. As one would expect from a veteran of the genre, Skandinavisk Misantropi has everything the extreme Metal fan could possibly want. It serves as a testament to Maniac’s staying power in the industry; he can still grind out serious Black Metal that is noteworthy. Sven Erik “Maniac” Kristiansen took some time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions about Skitliv and the new disc, Skandinavisk Misantropi.
Bruce Moore: Where did the name Skitliv originate from and is there a special meaning to it?
Maniac: I took the name because it was very appropriate at the time. I think this word says a lot about life in general. To observe, that is.
Bruce Moore: Your brand new CD titled, Skandinavisk Misantropi, was released in November here in the States. Now that it is complete, how do you feel about it? Are you satisfied with the outcome?
Maniac: I am satisfied with it. It turned out the way I wanted it to. It is an image of what I was going through in the last years. I could not release the same album again; therefore I am very content with it.
Bruce Moore: Give us some insight into Skandinavisk Misantropi and the meaning behind its title?
Maniac: It’s both a title that for me holds contempt towards other people’s lives and how they waste them, but it also depicts parts of my own life and certain stages I just had to go through. It was hard to write and record this album. Human life is so often just a waste of time and a waste of space.
Bruce Moore: Give us some insight into the album lyrically?
Maniac: I do not like to explain my lyrics. People will have to read them and find their own meaning or mine in them. These lyrics are highly personal on certain levels and highly fictional on other levels.
Bruce Moore: Different groups have unique ways of writing their songs. How do you guys go about writing your music? Is it a collective effort or is it more the efforts of one particular member of the band?
Maniac: It is mainly me who writes the main riffs then Kvarforth and Ingvar develops them. In the end, I decide whether it will be used or not. I write all the lyrics.
Bruce Moore: Every band has its musical influences. What are some of the other bands and artists that have greatly influenced you guys and your music?
Maniac: Personally the bands that have inspired me most are: Black Sabbath (forever and ever), Velvet Underground, Burzum, Kraftwerk, Current 93, Universe Zero, Hellhammer/Celtic Frost and loads of others of course.
Bruce Moore: Skandinavisk Misantropi comes to us by way of Season Of Mist. Are you happy the way they handled the record, regarding distribution, marketing and promotion? How has the label been accommodating the band’s needs?
Maniac: It’s a bit early to say I guess, but I am in general satisfied with the way Seasons Of Mist has treated me. I guess it is not the labels job to accommodate any particular needs of my band. SoM is a good label.
Bruce Moore: Many of your songs are so intense that I am sure they translate well into a live setting taking on a whole new life in front of an audience. How does it make you feel when the emotion and power that you envisioned in the recording studio, comes to life while playing in front of a crowd?
Maniac: It is a relentless rush of energy and a total feeling of being alive. It’s a most rewarding feeling, most of the time.
Bruce Moore: When you are on the road for a while I am sure you see and experience many different things you might not even have known existed. Are there any stories that stand out in your mind as being exceptionally strange or odd?
Maniac: Too many maybe. People never stop to surprise me. Like the Navajo Indians who walked for miles on end to see Mayhem in Albuquerque.
Bruce Moore: Are there any European gigs already lined up in support of Skandinavisk Misantropi?
Maniac: Unfortunately not yet. But there will be soon I hope.
Bruce Moore: How much roadwork do you expect to be doing this 2010?
Maniac: As of today, I do not know. I have a lot on my schedule for this year. Like getting married and writing more albums.
Bruce Moore: Any plans to hit North America?
Maniac: I would love to. It has been way too long since I was in the States. I enjoy driving long hauls and playing loads of shows in the USA.
Bruce Moore: What is next for Skitliv?
Maniac: I am writing new material and hopefully we will play live soon.