1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?
SM : I am always writing music in some form so I have been writing a great deal of new songs and still working on creating new stuff. As of today Skygge is back to being a one man band. There are different reasons for this,but that is all i can say for now at least.
2.In January you had released a new album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
SM : Music wise it is pretty much a wall of sound with more focus on the details. And more focused on the dark and hard hitting feel of the musical vibrations. I wanted to do something different and new(for myself), and it worked for me and the direction of the band. Now i am more focused on sharpening the tools that i already have within skygge. From "knokkelkraft" it has evolved a big deal. From experience,musicianship and my own views on things. That off course shapes the outcome,music and lyric wise. So it is a step in the right direction for me and not stagnating on what has been.
3.This is the first album to be released in 3 years, can you tell us a little bit more about what has been going on during that time frame?
SM : I did not want to rush the album so i used alot of time and energy to find the inspiration and writing when the moment struck me. Since i do everything myself i like to take my time and try out different things and not settle for something that`s half finished or just dosen`t "sit right".
4. Your lyrics cover a good amount of Occult and Left hand path topics, can you tell us a little bit more about your interest in the black arts?
SM : It is not easy to put into words. For me it`s something very deep,powerful and personal. It`s all about self explored and gained experience. But the dark/unknown aspects of life have always inspired me more and driven me further. I do have a varied interest in the occult and even though there are alot of similarities in skygge with the left hand path i really don`t use those terms much myself. A quote from earlier when knokkelkraft was released explains it pretty good. "Standing out as a true individual and making the choices thereafter are vital things for skygge. Not being a slave to society,others opinions,beliefs and so forth. But holding on to your true self. The eternal inner flame. Power to wield it and becoming a God."
5.While a lot of people associate Norway with black metal I have felt that a lot of newer releases from that country are more geared towards the mainstream and the Satan and Occult is done mostly for shock value, but when i listen to your music it is very dark and raw and more in depth with the Left hand Path, do you feel you stand apart from the majority of the bands in your home country?
SM : The way i see it is that being true to one self and creating something honest goes hand in hand with music. I am not interested in selling anything for a "trend" or just because someone thinks it`s cool. I think it all has been watered down and lost most of it`s true essence. The raw,individualistic and untamed aspect of it. I have my personal favorites from the nineties and so forth. But i do not compare or associate skygge with other bands so it is my own journey through the dark tunnels. Nowadays It has almost become a catch phrase and instant seller to use the term "TNBM" or "Norwegian black metal".
6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Skygge'?
SM : Skygge is my own interpretation for for night-side,darkness or the dark side of things. And all the imagery and myth/folklore that follows the darkness or the unknown fro my point of view. Coming from within and from my own mind most of the time. But it is also the path of change and evolving into something more.
7.Currently there are only 2 members in the band, are you planning on expanding the line up in the future or do you chose to remain a duo?
SM : As the band as of today only consists of skyggemester there will be no more members for the time being.
8.The new album was released on Immortal Frost Productions, how did you get in contact with this label and also how would you compare working with to them to your old label Naturmacht Productions.
SM : It went pretty smooth. Skygge were offered a good deal from Immortal Frost and i spoke to the label manager and the deal was made from there. I think both labels have their good and bad qualities. But i leave it to that. My experience has been good in both cases and i respect the people behind the labels.
9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to the newer music by fans of black metal?
SM : The feedback is and has been very good and is constantly expanding so i am very thankful for all who support skygge in every way. It is still beyond my "expectations". To me it`s quite strange,because i make music for myself that i like and therefore never think about what others may think about it.
10.Are any of the band members involved with any other bands or musical projects these days?
SM : I have have another project called NordKraft.
11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
SM : Honestly i do not know where the next crooked path takes me. But I see skygge as ever growing and expanding to where ever my inspiration and creativity takes me. I will always strive and fight to go further and deeper.
12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
SM : I listen to alot of different music. So it is hard to pin point specific bands that have influenced me more. It all depends. For me it is more about the feel of the song, the unique type of sound it has, or it could be something like a specific riff or drum fill. I am more enthusiastic about the "soul of the song".
13.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Thank you very much for taking time to do this interview and hail the nocturnal empire.