OLD MAN'S CHILD Interview with Galder
04.03.00 via phone
Infernal Dominion: I read that you don't like doing interviews much, so I will thank you for taking the time to do this one...
Galder: It's no problem. It all comes with the job.
ID: Yeah, that's true. Well, first of all, let me ask where the name Old Man's Child came from? I think I read something that said it means 'Son of Satan'...
Galder: Yeah, that is like our meaning with it. It was actually Psuedo that came up with the name. i think he saw it in some Viking book or something. It doesn't mean 'Son of Satan' or something, it's just what we transferred it to. We wanted an original name, you know, and it's been our name. That is the main reason for picking that name.
ID: I remember when I first heard about you guys, I remember thinking, "What? What kind of name is that?"
Galder: Yeah, that is some of the reason. We wanted to have a strange name.
ID: Yeah, it gets people's attention. You were still in the military when you formed Old Man's Child. How did you meet and form the band?
Galder: We were always together before that time.
ID: So you grew up together, basically.
Galder: Yeah. We didn't meet anyone in the band in the military. He (Girard) was in the military, actually, a year before me. The next year I went there, so there was a lot of complication at that time, you know? You can see that on Born of the Flickering, we used five days for the recording because I had to go, like, in the military at that time.
ID: That had to be pretty difficult, trying to work around that. How long were you in the military?
Galder: I had to go out like every year, so I was spending like six months, you know? I have to do it every year for a couple of weeks, so...
ID: Really? Why is that?
Galder: It's like a Norweigen system, you know. It's called "The Homefront" or something, so that we're available all the time. I live next to the airport so that I can be ready to defend the airport, or something strange like that, in like a half hour. So we keep weapons at home and stuff like that. I think it's a Scandinavian thing, you know?
ID: Oh, really? That's news to me. What do you think about the whole military thing over there? I mean, over here there's like corruption and shit like that...
Galder: Yeah, it's a little bullshit, because it's a small country, you know? And we can't defend anything. I think we should just have NATO, you know? We don't need a military because we're so small a country anyway. We depend on the Americans. [Laughs]
ID: I thought that all up in the Scandinavian area it's neutral. Like up in Sweden; isn't Sweden neutral?
Galder: Yeah, Sweden is neutral, but not Denmark and Norway.
ID: Okay, shows you what I know...
ID: You used to share rehearsal space with Dimmu Borgir. I understand there was once a police raid and the cops took most everything related to what they considered Satanism...
Galder: Yeah, that was actually me and Shagrath?, we were in the same class and there was this kid in the class, he was a little strange, you know? Somewhat of a retard, you know? And the police accused him of burning a church and we were stopped for influencing him or something like that. We lost the rehearsing room and we had to go to court and stuff like that.
ID: Were you still in high school or college or what?
Galder: No, it's not college, it's like after the ninth grade...
ID: Yeah, like what we consider high school...
ID: How well do you think bands in Norway tend to get along with each other?
Galder: I think they get along fine. They all meet up on the weekends and stuff like that and drink beer. They all seem to be pretty good friends. There's not a lot of wars and stuff going on. The Norweigen scene is not like a mafia movement or something. [Laughs] They're all good friends.
ID: So there's a lot of bands supporting other bands, like there is here...
Galder: Yeah. I think everyone is mainly friends, so, ya know...
ID: What is the scene like in your area for unsigned bands or bands that are just starting out?
Galder: I think there is so many bands in Norway, so like three years ago or so there was a very good opportunity to go somewhere and get a deal. But it's like there's thousands of black metal bands in Norway right now, I really don't have names for all of them, you know? I think the bands that started like five years ago, six years ago, those are still around and those are the ones that people know about and stuff. I don't know if it's very easy if you start to play black metal now, you know? There's still a lot of underground in Norway.
ID: Yeah, I was gonna say that it has to be hard to get shows over there.
Galder: Actually, there's quite many shows here.
ID: Well, yeah. It's the same thing here only with death metal bands. What inspired you musically when you first set out to start a band?
Galder: I dunno, I just grew up listening to old heavy metal, WASP and Ozzy Osbourne, and stuff like that. You buy a guitar and then you're hooked, you know? We started playing, and at that time we just played for fun. Rehearsing was really fun and stuff like that. So that was definitely the inspiration at that time. Now, it's more like work, and you feel like you're under this pressure. You have to do it, and you have to do as they told you. But this is like my life and this is what I want to do. You have to do it everyday, and take all the things that come with it.
ID: Right, exactly. What inspires you now to keep going? Just the love of the music?
Galder: Yeah, I mean, I don't know. It's hard to say. I think the thing that inspires me most is that people buy the album and really appreciate what I do. I don't think there's much inspiration in my life. I just sit and stare at the wall, so... [Laughs] I think that has to be the thing; when I get good reactions and people like the music.
ID: So, who were your influences? What bands were you listening to when you grew up?
Galder: I listen to everything, you know. Mainly death metal, American death metal, stuff like that. I like Cannibal Corpse, Morbid Angel and Deicide. And, of course, a lot of the Norweigen black metal bands like Emperor and Immortal. I listen to a lot of classical music and old heavy metal. I listen to all sorts of crazy stuff.
ID: That's good. I think that makes for better music-writing.
Galder: Yep, for sure.
ID: Is there any myths about Old Man's Child that you'd like to dispel?
Galder: Nah, I don't think so. We are pretty boring people. [Laughs] There's not much to tell.
ID: [Laughs] Alright. What do you feel makes you different from all other black metal bands?
Galder: I think that we don't compromise; we just do whatever we want to do. Many people have said that we are like a fake black metal band and not very supportive of the underground scene and stuff like that, but that's just bullshit. I think, actually, we've grown to be more extreme persons now than what we were at the Born of the Flickering time. Everyone in the band knows what they are doing and are into what they are doing. We just make the music that we feel like doing. Never compromise.
ID: I think you guys have a unique sound. I don't think you sound much like every other band that's out there.
Galder: No, you know? We try to mix with a lot of different stuff. That's perhaps because I listen to all this different music. I think there's a lot of classical stuff in the music, and also a lot of old heavy metal, and there's also the most extreme, so you know?
ID: How old were you when you started the band?
Galder: I think I was like 15. I was 16 when I did In the Shades of Life.
ID: You guys start out YOUNG over there! [Laughs]
Galder: [Laughs] Yep. I think most of the guys are like 25 and 26 now. I think every band started off pretty young.
ID: I think it's just so strange. I've talked to a lot of the bands from Norway who're like "Yeah, we started when we were like 14, 15 years old"...I'm like, "My God, and here you are signed to Century Media!" It's pretty inspiring considering I manage two local bands here. They work really hard, and they're young, so...
Galder: Yeah, you just have to work and work and work, you know?
ID: How important do you think image or theatrics, like corpse paint, is in certain bands?
Galder: Image is very important in black metal. I don't think for the bands, necessarily; I think it's more of an image thing for them, it's more for the fans. They expect that when you play black metal you have a certain look, you know? That has always been in black metal from the first time. I think it's very important for black metal. It's really the only thing nowadays that sets black from death metal [apart] I think. So yes, it's of course important.
ID: What do you think of bands that have decided to just drop the whole image thing and just play their music?
Galder: I think it's cool as long as they play extreme music and have extreme lyrics. If they just dropped the corpse paint, it's totally cool.
ID: As long as they stay true to themselves...
Galder: Yeah, of course! They can't change the music, but if they still have the same feel that's the best thing.
ID: Does it play a certain role for what Old Man's Child is trying to accomplish?
Galder: It's definitely for the live thing, you know? It's always cooler if you see some theatrical stuff. It's always cool for us because we get this certain appearance; we want to look like something evil. Sometimes that's not easy if you're a bald guy with a mustache. It's very important for the shows and stuff like that.
ID: Do you use any other stage props or anything like that when you play live?
Galder: Nah, just the usual things, you know...
ID: Like smoke machines, and things like that?
Galder: Yeah, yeah, all of that.
ID: What do you think about US black metal?
Galder: I haven't heard too much of them actually. [Sheepishly] Is there many of them in the States?
ID: There's quite a few...
Galder: I think I've heard of Absu, actually.
ID: Yeah, they're pretty popular...You don't have an opinion either way? I know a lot of people say, "If you're not from Norway, you're not true black metal."
Galder: I don't mean that, but it seems that I haven't heard too much from it, you know? I think it's mainly because there's tons of black metal from Norway. I think it just takes a little longer time for American bands to get approved there or something. I haven't heard it, so I can't say anything about it.
ID: What are your thoughts on bands like Cradle of Filth who are accused of being trendy or sellouts or something by music fans because of their popularity?
Galder: I don't think it's right to judge them because of their popularity. If you look at bands like Morbid Angel and Deicide, you know, I don't think they are commercial. They sell lots of albums, they play brutal as hell and they've always done it. We did a tour with Cradle of Filth and they were like really, really into what they were doing and getting totally drunk every night, and just being very metal. IF they did it because of making money, of course, it would be totally fake. I don't know them, so I can't say anything about it, but as long as they're into what they're doing then I don't have any problem with it.
ID: What is your favorite medium of promoting metal besides CDs or the music itself?
Galder: Is there too many other opportunities?
ID: I mean, do you like playing live best, or would you prefer to just do interviews?
ID: I think I know your answer on that, but...
Galder: Live is, of course, the best thing because you get to play in front of a new audience. If they haven't heard you, it's a good chance. If you're a talented black metal band, playing live is really cool, you know? I mean, the music on the CDs is the main thing.
ID: Give your fans some insight into your personal life. Like what interests you outside of music?
Galder: [Sighs] Beer...I actually don't do too much else. I just do the music and watch TV. I live a very boring life. It's not very interesting to listen to, I think.
ID: Okay then, what's your favorite thing to watch on TV?
Galder: Ricki Lake and Jerry Springer...
ID: [Laughs] That's been a popular answer. It really has...Why the name change after Born of the Flickering in '95?
Galder: Can I ask you a question first?
Galder: The Jerry Springer Show...Is it for real or is it just fake?
ID: Ummm, well, I have mixed opinions on that. I think that when he first started out, like maybe the first couple years into the show it was more "real," and now I think it's all for ratings. I quit watching it like three years ago when it started becoming so repetitive. Every other show was like "I'm a transsexual hemaphrodite who's in love with your brother," you know?
Galder: [Laughs] It's not like for real, it's just like actors...
ID: Yeah, it has to be! I watched one show where it was supposed to be the midget KKK or something...I mean, you know they're doing this for ratings. It was like all of a sudden in the middle of the show, after this one guy sat there and said "White power this and white power that," he denounces his KKK order or whatever and tells everyone, "Oh I"m in love with a black woman!" It was just so fake!
Galder: I think I actually saw it, with this old guy who was "White power!"
ID: No, it was a different one, but I know which one you're talking about!
Galder: Okay, moving on...
ID: Okay, why the name change after Born of the Flickering in '95?
Galder: I dunno, the reason was like...It was a nickname that Psuedo used to call me. It was nothing serious; it was just like for a joke. It just sort of stuck. I saw the new name in a book, was like 'Huh, I'll have to call myself that.'
ID: Yeah, I read things like Gruesome was fun and you hate fun. But you can't hate fun too much if you're watching Jerry Springer...
Galder: [Laughs] No...
ID: Purely out of curiosity, seeing how you have a Satanic "overtone," I guess you could say, why did you choose to entitle the '97 release, The Pagan Prosperity?
Galder: We want to write about everything that is negative. We are not claiming to be biblical Satanists. We have our views on different things you know, we are very misanthropic persons and everything that comes along with that. We write about everything that is negative towards humanity.
ID: You did everything except drums on Ill-Natured...; what happened with that?
Galder: There was just so many fuck-ups in the band at that time. One of the guys tried to kill himself, stuff like that. I had this really big problem with the drums. I did it on the demo at first with a drum computer, and there was no drummers that I know of that could do it. It was actually a lot faster on that demo, you know? I sent it to Century Media and they said, "Let's ask Gene Holligan." Of course, that was cool for me! Then I decided, what the hell, I'll do it on my own because I'm fully capable of doing it on my own.
ID: But Gene did end up doing the drum tracks on that album, right?
ID: You had to record in Sunlight Studios for that album. I know you got to use Abyss once again with Revelation... How would you compare the two experiences?
Galder: I wasn't too happy with Sunlight, it's a really old-fashioned studio. If you listen to bands like Dismember and Entombed, it has a very special sound. I don't think that sound is very suitable for black metal, so we had to work really hard just to get the sound that we had. In Abyss, it's more up-to-date, they have very good equipment, it's better for black metal. The sound suits our music. Peter is a great producer, so...
ID: Yeah, I read that when you went into Sunlight, you had to change almost every setting and all that before you were happy with the sound. I understand; I mean, there are studios that produce bands with a specific sound...
Galder: Yeah, Thomas...He was really good and a really cool person, but the studio is just a little too old, you know? It's really not up-to-date; it's too bad, because he's really talented.
ID: Is there any kind of meaning or concept behind Revelation 666? You probably hate that question...
Galder: [Laughs] Yeah! Our subject is always to write about judgemental and misanthropic things. That is what we always do. We don't try to be very deep or political or anything like that, you know? We just want to have a very easy message.
ID: On this album you used two drummers--to me that's really weird! What was the reason?
Galder: Grimar, he was the first choice; but black metal is like his first experience, and it's a brutal form of music. He's really a first-class drummer, but he had some problems with the bass drums, you know, the fast stuff, and if I wanted to use him on the whole album I'd have to have changed some songs. Tjodalv wasn't doing anything at that time, so I asked him if he could do some stuff. He's really fast. That is the only reason because I wanted to have the album as good as possible. When you play so complex then you have to have the best musicians and the fastest drummers.
ID: I've read that you'll use Trym from Emperor on drums for the European tour...Is that still a possibility?
Galder: Yeah, we are still rehearsing with him. That was also because Grimar had some problems, and Trym is a really fast drummer.
ID: Will you be using him on the US tour?
Galder: Yeah, yeah.
ID: Have you found a keyboardist yet?
Galder: Actually, right now we are checking with the keyboardist from Emperor. We haven't gotten a response yet, so we're not sure. We will have a keyboardist for the tour or else we won't do it.
ID: I've heard that you are touring the US after the new album comes out here in May; this will be your first time, right?
Galder: No, we're not going.
ID: You're not!?!
Galder: No, we were supposed to go with Immortal and Satyricon, but we didn't have a keyboard player.
ID: NO! I'm so disappointed! You have no idea...
Galder: Yeah, that would be a cool, cool gig. But we are definitely coming over; we talked to Century Media about it and tried to get some co-headlining jobs over there or something. So we are definitely coming, but I don't know when. Probably later this year or something.
ID: Oh, okay...Good! That's what I wanted to make sure of, is that you guys are definitely coming over here.
Galder: Yeah, it's a priority, you know. But in going over to the States, we want to have everything in order. We want to have a keyboardist, the best drummer, stuff like that.
ID: So it will be your first time over here, right?
ID: Well see, when you guys get here, you can play Chicago and then take a day off between the Chicago show and the next gig and go see the Jerry Springer show...
Galder: Yeah! And Oprah Winfrey! Isn't she from there?
ID: Yep, she's from there. Ricki Lake's in New York, I think. See, you can hit all your talk shows, just make sure you have time in between gigs.
Galder: [Laughs] Yep!
ID: Well, I guess that's about it...So leave me with some of your famous evil last words.
Galder: No, you know, those words are always planned well ahead...I just want to say that we are coming to the States, and that's our first priority.