EARTH ELECTRIC are the new exciting brainchild of Rune "Blasphemer" Eriksen. The Norwegian mastermind is known and praised for his stylistically diverse output within a mostly metal framework, which includes highly acclaimed compositions for MAYHEM, AURA NOIR, AVA INFERI, and TWILIGHT OF THE GODS.
BRZ – Hello Rune and thank you to answer some questions for Black Reich Zine. This site
specializes in Norwegian black metal but since you are such an important figure of the genre, I have to ask you some questions about your new band, EARTH ELECTRIC. For start I want to know the meaning of the band's name?
Rune - Thanks man. The band name is connected to the all-giving energies that is a part of Earth and the abundance and the creative, healing, regenerating forces she offers us. Be it the crushing waves, the winds, the harvest on the fields or the fire to cleanse and all that is
connected to these elementary forces. We came up with this name as it reflects our worldview
in many ways; living more in tune with nature and listen to it in order to grow and be in sync
with something the modern day man seems to have forgotten.
BRZ – The title of the album is “Vol. 1: Solar” and the aura on the three tracks that are available for streaming is very out of this world. What’s the meaning of this name?
Rune - One of the oldest tracks we wrote we nicknamed “Solar” due to Carmen´s vocal improv on an early sketch of it (she always does vocal improvisations before we come up with the lyrics in order to hear what fits the best). In my head it sounded like she sang “Solar” over and over again, although she was mumbling a similar sound. So, we nicknamed the song this title, and it sort of became the template for the rest of the album. Vol 1 is simply my passion for Sabbath, and I figured it made sense to kick things off this way. Another thing which can relate to the Solar title is the positive energies related to it. The goal with the album was to strive for something more outgoing, something that permeated everything in a more harmonious way.
BRZ – The description of the band at Season of Mist page is Hard Rock genre but I think that perhaps Prog Rock is more accurate for the band, don’t you agree, even the genre of the music that you made is not important for you.
Rune - Well, Prog or Stoner, Alternative or Hard, it's all Rock. I'm not here to make it complicated, just going with the groove and the flow of the music. Honestly, I think people in general are too obsessed with putting everything in boxes. I gave up on that, it kills the initial pure idea and emotion with the music for me. From a marketing point of view, I understand its useful, but its so much sub genre´s now it almost doesn't make any sense anymore. But to be a bit more clear, I understand your point of view. There are some passages that are a bit different or intricate, but I see that as personality more than anything else.
BRZ – I think that the three songs that are available for streaming are a little different from each other. Is the rest of the album also varied?
Rune - Yes, it's quite a diverse album, actually. But there are hints and bits all over that ties it all together, at least in my opinion. We are a diverse bunch to begin with, you know, as we all
have our backgrounds in different styles of executing music. But the common factor is the love for good and strong, interesting melodies and also cool grooves. Is this kind of music that translates very well in a live setting, so getting out and to promote this will be a fun activity. I believe the 2nd album will be a bit more direct though, but with this album we feel we have planted the right seeds for continuation. It's a fun album, with some interesting twists and turns as well as some really straight in your face tunes.
BRZ – The artwork of the album was created by Costin Chioreanu that already create the albums artworks of many bands and some of the biggest names of Norwegian black metal such as Mayhem, Darkthrone and your other band Aura Noir, among others. How is it important to work with an artist like him to create the design of your band’s album?
Rune - Well, Costin is my brother from another mother so to speak. We have been close friends for many years now and we have a deep understanding of things and how we´d like things to be done. I trust him 110% in whatever he comes up with if we are working on a joint album. So this was a very natural decision for me. I think, on the basis of our conversations and ideas over the years, that it makes the album shine deeper than having an visual artist that I don't know or haven't met firsthand. Besides, Costin is really at the top of his game, leading way for a new path of artists with his unique take on illustrations, so yeah, it was a no-brainer.
BRZ – One of the bands where you played, Mayhem, had come to Portugal to play at the festival SWR Barroselas. Will you went there to talk with them and assist their concert?
Rune - Well, they played here some week or so ago, but I was busy working in the foreign myself so I didn't go to see them. I have several ongoing projects, so I don't really have that much spare time to go see shows anyway, no matter the band. Besides, it is utmost seldom I am present at any festival to begin with, unless I play myself of course. Mostly due to lack of time. However, I get to see some cool bands when I travel abroad to perform with Aura Noir etc. I get my fix right there.
BRZ – Since that you are living in Portugal for so many years, are you follow the Norwegian black metal scene, nowadays? What bands do you recommend to listen besides Aura Noir and Mezzerschmitt, of course.
Rune - I'm not following the scene that much no, but when there is some new releases by any band that I know of, I definitely check it out. I am still somewhat in touch with the “scene” (because of Aura Noir) but on a different level than what I was when I played in Mayhem. I am not so informed about new bands though, and that is something that I know i'm missing out on. But for the bands I have seen or are friends with and that I do know make a difference, I suggest Nekromantheon and Obliteration. There is also cool stuff from Reptilian and Mork, the latter being a more traditional Norwegian Black Metal done with conviction. And then there´s Order featuring Messiah and Manheim from the old Mayhem days. Heard a few clips from the demo and I believe their debut album coming this year should be a cool affair.
BRZ – What are the big differences between Norway and Portugal and what your opinion about the Portuguese people?
Rune - Well, leaving the obvious economic, climatic and cultural part out and move on to music, I feel there is much more support and opportunities in Norway for musicians in general. There are all sorts of privileges and funds you can get a hold of, even as an unknown band. You just have to have a plan and present it thoroughly. These opportunities makes it much easier to get out and on the stages and to promote your stuff properly. In Portugal, its quite the opposite, and kinda rough to get both proper conditions and a platform to stand on, leaving a sense of struggle in the air. Shame really, as there is talent around, more so now than ever. I have been living in Portugal for more than 10 years now, and this has literally become my home. I love the people here, they possess a different warmth, openness and passion than Scandinavians, and I have made a handful amount of good trustworthy friends whom I can count on. So yeah, things are pretty good at the moment. Differences aside, we are all pretty much the same. The love for good music, good food and good company is universal.
BRZ – The last question is about to know when Aura Noir will release a new album?
Rune - The album is being finalized at this moment, just have some vocals left. Then of course its mixing and mastering etc. Sounds amazing though, and it turned a very strong album in my book. Release will be around November or so through Indie Records.