1. For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the musical project?
Inflabitan started as an one-man band back in the early nineties, at the time when the Norwegian Black Metal scene was still young. The musical expression back then, was anger, hatred and melancholy. Burzum’s two first releases was the biggest source of inspiration. It resulted in two demos recorded at my four track Fostex home studio. The first one in 1993, and the second in 1994. In 1995 I recorded two tracks at Stovner Rockefabrikk that Ancient Lore Creations were supposed to release, but the record company disappeared, so unfortunately it never materialized. That was the end of Inflabitan’s first chapter. After being out of business for 25 years, a great number of new riffs piled up. So, in 2019 I decided to structure them into new tracks and record them to avoid that the ideas would be forgotten. During 2020 rest of the pieces fell in to place, and luckily I got a deal with Soulseller Records for a full album release.
2. In February you have a new album coming out, musically how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
I was deeply into Black Metal when starting up Inflabitan. The sound was pure and raw. On the first demo, there were only guitars, drum machine and vocals. On the second I added synthesizer, and after that real drums and bass. In the beginning it was very underground, like the rest of the scene. At that time there were more demo cassettes in circulation rather than cds and vinyl, regarding that genre. I am glad I was old enough to experience that period, and looking back, it is easy to get nostalgic. Nowadays the music is influenced by several genres, and it can be explained by following the development of different Metal styles. For me, it was Heavy Metal in the early eighties, Thrash Metal in the mid eighties and Death Metal in the late eighties. These genres escalated into Black Metal. Despite being obsessed of Black Metal, I never stopped listening to the other genres, so that might give an answer to the present musical expression, that basically is a mix between Black, Death and Thrash. I guess I missed playing the attacking Thrash Metal riffs, but at the same time wanted to keep the dark voice of Death Metal and the atmospheric melodies of Black Metal. I think these genres complements each other in an energetic way on the forthcoming album 'Intrinsic'.
3. The project was broken up for more than 25 years, what was the cause of the split and also the decision to reform?
The split came naturally. You know, when you are a teenager, you have all the time in the world to concentrate on your hobbies. But sooner or later a boy becomes a man and responsible for taking care of many things. I was occupied by a lot of work for years and also got a son, but now I’m settled and my son is more or less independent. I feel that the time is right to continue Inflabitan’s story, as I have some goals to accomplish. On 'Intrinsic' you can hear riffs made during the last two decades.
4. The music on the new album sounds a lot more different from the demo's you have released in 90's, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical change?
The change is intentionally, because I see no reason to recreate what I have done before. Someone says that music are feelings, or expressions of feelings. If so, I was in a different mood during Inflabitan’s first chapter, than I am now. Besides that, I also need to see some development, or it will get boring. The main intention for the new album 'Intrinsic', was to make it sound intense. I want to attack the listeners with aggressive riffs. There are not many repetitive sections in each track. This is on purpose, because I want the listeners to get the feeling that new things happens all the time through the whole record, giving the listeners no rest. Instead of having many repetitive parts, it’s better to play the whole album again. Regarding the musical change, the synth is gone again, and Inflabitan appears like a traditional band set up with guitars, bass and drums. There are almost none effects used on 'Intrinsic', except a little bit reverb on the vocals here and there.
5. The lyrics on the album are written by Aldrahn of 'Dødheimsgard' and 'Urarv', can you tell us a little bit more about his lyrics?
I got to know Aldrahn when joining Dødheimsgard for the European tour with Dimmu Borgir, Dark Funeral and Evenfall in 1999. Aldrahn, or Totembjørn that he wants to be called now, has always been very productive when it comes to writing lyrics. In lack of having those skills myself, I am overwhelmed by his generous contribution to the 'Intrinsic' album. He is a great and well known lyricist in the Black Metal scene, so I am honored to perform some of his works. In his own words, the lyrics are interpretations of the inner universe. Not meaning his inner universe, but the universe surrounding us. For me it is important that the lyrics are open for interpretations, because that is what makes art interesting. In that way, the listeners can make their own journeys through the record.
6. Can you tell us a little bit more about the artwork that is presented on the new album cover?
All graphic design is made by Pia Isaksen, and I am very satisfied with her work. She chose a dramatic landscape due to the intensity of the music. The pictures are cut, to illustrate that things are not always what they seem to be. This is associated with the lyrics, that are interpretations of the inner universe and the world around us. It is made like this to give a hint that things can be seen in different ways.
7. Originally the project started out solo but over the years has expanded to a duo, what was the decision behind adding in another member?
On the two first demos I used a Boss drum machine, but I wanted the music to be organic. Even though the technology have come far, real drums sound better. On the two tracks from 1995, Aggressor played the drums. He is a very talented and creative musician, and did an amazing job. Unfortunately, because of an accident, he can not play drums anymore, so I had to get a new drummer when awakening up Inflabitan again. Luckily Anti-Christian willingly and eagerly lined up his kit in the studio, and recorded the drums in just two days. He said that the sessions were exhausting, because the music is much more progressive than he expected, so we joked about it and associated it with being in a tumble dryer for 35 minutes. I am very pleased with the skills he shows on all the ten tracks. His superb drumming have helped binding the tunes together. Anti-Christian immediately understood how I wanted the drums, and he executed his tasks perfectly.
8. On a worldwide level how has the reaction been to your music by fans of black, death and thrash metal?
Surprisingly many still remember Inflabitan despite the long period of inactive years. I have got very positive response on the new material all the way from Canada in the west to The Philippines in the east, but most of the feedback mainly comes from European countries, of course. It seems like the audience is ready for Inflabitan’s new musical expression. Hopefully, we will get even more reactions when the whole album is released.
9. Other then doing live shows with 'Dødheimsgard' and playing in 'Strid', you have for the most part been silent, can you tell us a little bit more about the last past 2 decades?
The tour with Dødheimsgard was an absolute highlight, and also playing with Strid at Nacht der Drohende Schatten in Germany in 2011. Besides that, Kyrck Productions & Armour released a compilation cd with all the old Inflabitan tracks in 2010, named 'Wanderer Of Grief'. Soulseller Records re-released those digitally last year.
10. What is going on with 'Strid' these days?
I do not have the full overview, since I am no longer part of Strid, but I do know they have a lot of material, so hopefully they will record and release some new stuff very soon.
11. Where do you see yourself heading into as a musician during the future?
I hope to release at least one more album in a couple of years. I am already working on new material, but do not have enough for a whole new album yet. I am not rushing this, because the inspiration must come naturally.
12. What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
It is not easy to say, because a lot of things are going on in our subconscious minds. The following bands might have had some shades of influence in the shaping of the forthcoming album: Iron Maiden, Slayer, Death, Pestilence, Deicide, Carcass, Old Man’s Child and Revocation. I also have to admit, that being with Dødheimsgard, even it was for a short period, had some impact too. The record that it is in my cd player right now, is 'Coma Of Souls' with Kreator.
13. Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
I hope, on the 26th of February, when Soulseller Records releases 'Intrinsic', that all the Metalheads out there take their time to listen through the whole album, so they can experience the variety it represents. Please enjoy, and keep on banging!