In a time where Norwegian Black Metal is slowly dying, Taake manage to maintain the spirit of the old days while evolving and creating a sound of their own. Høst, the mastermind behind Taake, is one of the most amazing Black Metal artists to emerge from Norway, so I just had to know what would follow for him now that he has completed his Taake trilogy. If you're as anxious to know, as I was, keep reading. Enjoy.

Hails Høst!

First of all let me tell you that your latest album Hordaland Doedskvad has won album of the month at Metal Reviews and it is a very strong contender for album of the year. Congratulations!!

Could you please give a short explanation of the concept of each album of the “trilogy” (Nattestid...Bjoergvin...Doedskvad)? (In other interviews they ask the overall concept of Taake, but not really a specific answer of each album.)

All 3 albums are connected by the topics death, Norway & the Devil in man.
In many interviews you mention spectral phenomena as one of the main elements of Taake lyrically (and I suppose that influences the music as well). Also in a previous interview (Negura Webzine) you mention that you aren’t really interested in reading about fantasy (“Usualy fictive literature has never fascinated me much.”). So with this I can infer that the aspects relating spectral phenomena are considered from a realistic point of view. I find all of this very interesting, could you elaborate a little about spectral phenomena and why is it so important for you and for Taake? What led you to believe (if you actually do believe) in it?
Yeah I have reasons to believe in such phenomena. This aspect of Taake was strongest on the "...Bjoergvin..." album though.
Could you tell us in which way do the albums of the trilogy complement each other? How do they conform a trilogy together?
They are similar in expression, both music-& lyricwise, as most of the material was made during the same period of time (mid 90's).
If you could change anything from your last three albums, what would it be? (Please don’t tell me that the production in Nattestid because I love it).
I am not satisfied with the production of any of the albums actually. If I could have changed anything, it would have to be bigger recording budgets on all 3 albums.
Musically speaking Taake has a very keen sense of dynamics, thing that is lacking nowadays a lot in music. By this I mean that you manage to combine elements in a way that they enhance each other and at the same time they become more effective individually. For example: let’s take Nattestid part VII; there’s this slow and dark interlude in the song which sounds very powerful and engulfing due to the fact that before it came in, the music was very chaotic; and at the same time this makes the following part of the song sound more powerful and epic; it’s kind of like leaving time and space for the music to breath. Achieving that in such an effective way is something quite complex, so I would really like to know how does Høst write his compositions? Do you begin with a solid idea of variation and dynamics on the song or you just go kind of where the music leads you?
I basically go where the music leads me when I feel the urge to express certain strong emotions. Anyway, I try to keep it "fresh" with a mix of several elements, tempo variation & mood changes. I'm interested in unpredictable music.
I truly believe that art is a combination of conscious and unconscious elements. You have said that when you create music it’s sort of a way to “materialize” feelings and emotions into music, so this must be quite unconscious, yet I feel that there are elements that you consciously want to impregnate in your music. But which could be considered the concious, always present and deliberate aspects/elements of your compositions? What is that you want to achieve with Taake’s sound? What is that that you always have in mind while creating music?
I always try to balance early Norwegian Black Metal elements together with 80's black thrash & nordic folk music. Of course this balance differs a lot from song to song, but it is at least my intention that these aspects shine through on each album. It is also important for me to show a bit of my own unique progressive ideas (without stepping too much out of traditional BM frames) to give Taake extra identity.
Your last album features some guest appearances (among them Nattefrost). What made motivated you to do it? A sort of camaraderie among true Black Metalers?
Yes. I respect those individuals both personally & talent-wise. They are some of the few people I can identify with in today's scene & it felt natural to ask themfor contributions on a recording.
It is known that there are many non-Black Metal bands that have influenced you and your art. What does Høst draw from bands like The Cure? What have those bands taught you? How have other genres affected your music?
I have always been strongly receptive to the powers of music. Elements of other genres can indeed inspire & influence me from time to time. Like for example a few of the late 70's/early 80's British (true) goth bands have some sincere interesting atmospheres & lyrics I can surely identify with. Melancholy, misanthropy-elements, etc.
Probably the most important question for many: What lies ahead for Taake? Word has it that Taake will be put on stand by for a moment. If so, why? When can we expect to see Taake live or a new album?
We have no plans at the moment, except one exclusive gig at the Hole in the Sky festival in our hometown Bergen this summer. I have also recorded some exclusive tracks which will be used on different split-EP's with a few fellow Norwegian bands. I prefer isolation at the moment. Distance from a ridiculous scene I don't feel at home in.
What lies ahead for Høst, maybe Ofryskje, Vendigeit? A new album with Ragnarok perhaps? Or maybe something new?
Funny you should mention Ofryskje, as the vocalist actually told me some weeks ago that he has started making lyrics & music again & that we should reform the band. I'm really curious to hear what he has made! Ragnarok are currently rehearsing for a new album. I will never work with Vendigeit again, as far as I know it hasn't even existed for years. It was Keridwen's project. I only did one lyric + vocals for 4 songs on a demo in 2000. Anyway, I'm considering a couple of other Norwegian projects which are too early to talk about. But I'm still making music & lyrics, it is just not certain at the moment as to which medium my work will be channeled through..
It is well known that true Norwegian Black Metal is in a quite decadent state at the moment. Probably due to a misconception of what Black Metal really is. What is Black Metal for Hoest? And where does Taake fit in it?
For me, black metal is basically intense negative energy channeled through destructive music & lyrics. But as you know, the nationalistic aspect is important to me as well in my interpretation of how Norwegian Black Metal should be. Anyway, only a few bands truly master the "true" style: Darkthrone, Carpathian Forest, Orcustus, Urgehal, Aura Noir, Maanelyst, Daudur, Tsjuder & a couple of others. Black Metal outside Norway has never impressed me much.
Why did you decide to express yourself and your feelings through Black Metal and not Folk Music for example? What drew your attention to Black Metal?
Folk music is limited & not necessarily based on negativity. I choose rather to include just certain elements of folk music in my work, as the range of all I want to express is certainly only releaseable through Black Metal.
If any truth could be revealed to you, what would you ask?
When the Hell is Armageddon coming?! It's about time..
If you could witness any event past or future, which one would you choose and why?
Armageddon. As much as I'm fed up with most of this world, I would still like to see development of certain of the few things that interest me. I'd rather die at the same time as everything else dies.
The last words are yours Høst.
I appreciate your support Sir! I saw your review, finally someone who's got the point..

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