metal talk
metal talk
  1st March 2010

FORMER EMPEROR FRONTMAN TALKS IN DETAIL ABOUT HIS LATEST RELEASE 'AFTER' caught up with former Emperor frontman Ihsahn to discuss his latest album 'After', including some new effects in the music such as the saxophone and eight-string guitars. Here's an excerpt from the interview: Have you made any progression as a songwriter and musician from 'The Adversary' to 'After'?

Ihsahn: It's definitely improved my production skills, I think. The previous two albums I mixed myself. All albums were like that, especially when I recorded them in my own studio and put on all the hats of being a guitar and bass player, keyboardist, vocalist, songwriter, producer, engineer, and mixer. I'm very interested in all those areas. So in that sense, I think I've learned quite a bit. It's not like I've made myself an extremely much better guitar player obviously, but it's more spread over a wide area. Where did the idea come from to incorporate a saxophone into the music?

Ihsahn: I've always loved the sound of the saxophone. In general, the texture of the saxophone has always for me had a strong, personal tension to it. For many years, I've wanted to implement the saxophone into my music. The complete idea for this album was because I had guests on the previous two albums. Garm from Ulver did guest vocals on the first album and Mikael from Opeth did guest vocals on the second album, so I wanted to continue the tradition.

Given the concept of this album, it is quite different from the previous two. There is no sign of life in any lyrics or anything. I wanted something more abstract. I wanted something that was still a very personal and distinctive sound. Was it difficult to balance it amongst the chaotic black metal sections?

Ihsahn: It was a bit of a challenge. I don't have any direct experience recording saxophone. There was always the risk of not being able to blend it in. I had to find a careful way to pick lines that I wanted him to play and which parts I wanted him to improvise over. I think with a combination of good/lucky choices, Jorgen Munkeby's playing style and his ability to come back towards the musical expression and also the final touch with Jens Bogren's mix made it flow in there seamlessly. I never intended it to be on the record for shock factor, like 'Ok, let's give this crazy part saxophone.' I wanted it to add layers.

For more of Ihsahn's thoughts on "After" as well as the concept of singles versus the album and illegal downloading, as well as his plans to tour the United States, check out the full interview by clicking here.



Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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