NORSK THRASH RE-ANIMATORS
Roi et Mort! Vive le Roi!!! - sad as it may seem but this cynical principle has long ago become one of the cornerstones of the human existence inside a socium. Oh how willingly do we throw the yesterdays idols into the mighty oblivion, and with what a disgusting obsequiousness do we worm at the foot of the throne of the new master, clandestinely foretasting his inevitable decline. Panem et circenses! To hell with spirituality and eternal values, to hell with arts, give us gods for a day and put jokers on the thrones! But all is not that bad in the Danish Kingdome, and fortunately we still have idealists in this world who believe in the power of art, and who have not substituted honesty with mercenariness. There are madmen among us who are ready to fight to regain the lost ideals. One of these idealists are certainly the guys from a Norwegian act called Griffin who formed back in 1998 to reanimate the seemingly long-dead genre that Thrash Metal is. Our Questions were answered by Kai Nergard - the band's guitarist…
MetalKings.com: The story of your band is well documented on your official site,. So will not really ask too many questions about that, what interests me however is how you ended up forming a thrash metal act in 1998 when the style was as good as dead sales-wise, and all too undeservingly left out of the spotlight on the metal scene?
Griffin: As you said yourself in the question; It was out of the spotlight and we wanted to bring it back. This is the music which is in my heart.
MetalKings.com: Your first demo if my memory serves me right contained two basses - which is rather avant-garde, although not altogether nouvelle - and a sax, which in itself is extremely strange for a heavy metal band. How did that idea come around and are their any plans on remaking that 4-song demo in any near future?
Griffin: The thing with the basses was a stupid idea, and so was the saxophone. Although it seemed great at that time, they were just put there because we had two guys who played bass and knew another one who played sax. The guy who played sax, also played flute on our second demo. The flute song was REALLY avant-garde. It was a song called "bliss" and sounds really "spaced out" because we were so wasted when we mixed it. "Darkhelmet" as we call him, has also put synth on both our albums.
MetalKings.com: The second demo 'Conquers the World' has not really been officially released, as I understand, at least it is not listed in your official discography - what songs did that one contain, did they come out on any later release and if not - is there a chance of seeing it published?
Griffin: None of the demos were meant for official releases, they were meant for labels and magazines, but 3 or 4 songs from them ended up on "Wasteland Serenades", the first album.
MetalKings.com: Your two albums have enjoyed a great response from fans and critics alike and the interest in your band seems to be growing persistently, what do you think are the chances of Griffin really hitting it big and getting a contract with a major?
Griffin: We'll just have to see. Playing in Griffin is really expensive and demands a lot of attention. We got to have jobs to afford it, but then we don't have as much time as we like. It's a vicious circle and it's hard to find time to play and tour.
MetalKings.com: Talking of live performance your website mentions something about a great pyro-show - what is that al about?
Griffin: I believe that a heavy metal show is incomplete without pyros and lights. It's 50/50 with music and visual effects, and we want the audience to feel that their money was well spent.
MetalKings.com: And to continue the subject - how did your tour with Mayhem go, what was the response from their crowd (as I see it should have been entirely different in tastes), how did you relation with Mayhem and their crew go and just overall impressions of those episodes?
Griffin: At that tour we couldn't do all the things we wanted to with lights and pyros, and sometimes we even had to start playing before they opened the doors. This is something every band has to go through, and I don't care if the crowd is into black metal or jazz, I will always give 100%. We were also working as a road crew on that tour, but the Mayhem guys were treating us nice. They have been in the business a long time and don't have to expose themselves by treating others like shit.
MetalKings.com: The website again quotes you as saying that the superior musician for you is Jeff Waters from Annihilator - care to elaborate? Was he a big inspiration? Did you ever meet in person or did you ever play together and would the idea of touring together sound cool to you?
Griffin: The first Annihilator album blew me away. I had never before heard such a sound and Jeff has a very unique way of putting tight riffs together. I wouldn't even dare to compare myself to him. We speak occasionally, and we might end up on a tour together.
MetalKings.com: As I understand you are a big fan of sci-fi - who are the writers/film-makers in the genre in your opinion and does that hobby of yours in any way connect to making the music?
Griffin: No, I'm not such a big fan. I have enough sci-fi going on in my own head for musical inspiration. My thoughts can sometimes take me beyond the stars, but I think that Blade Runner asks a lot of important, ethical questions on life and death. I like most of Ridley Scott's films.
MetalKings.com: You mention that if you were not to become a musician you would most likely be an English Language teacher - how come? And do you think you could handle the kids in class :)
Griffin: I have to be honest and say no. My temper is way to high, and I have difficulties in handling any other children besides my own. When I went to school I learned languages really easy, and I might pick up on Russian one day, he, he.
MetalKings.com: Just two days ago a very reliable internet news source cam with the news of all former Megadeth members plus Marty Friedman looking for a singer to start a new project - what do you think this is all about and do you have any expectations regarding the matter?
Griffin: No, sorry this is new to me.
MetalKings.com: OK, normally at MetalKings.com we would reserve the second part of the intie for some stupido off-the-well questions that do not require a serious answer by any means, so if you please… Imagine that you start Griffin not in 1998 but in 1982 - together with Metallica - develop your strategy for becoming more popular than the Californian four? What would you need to do to outrun James, Lars, Cliff and Kirk?
Griffin: I would probably be killed for this, but I think that if we released "The Sideshow back" in 82, Metallica would be playing support for us, and so would a lot of big bands.
MetalKings.com: Jackson Guitars offers to make a signature series for Kai Nergard - please describe the shape of the guitar to be, color/custom painting, special features and stuff like that?
Griffin: It would have to be blood red with a custom made refridgerator for beer, and a pop-up cigarette ligther. A machine gun in the neck would also be nice.
MetalKings.com: It is the dawn of man, God is creating the Earth, but you can pretty much fuck up one out of any of his creations - what would it be (it can be any natural element, or creature, or subject of environment, or anything else that you want)
Griffin: I would fuck up the ocean so that my parents couldn't force me to eat fish.
MetalKings.com: Jeff Waters approaches you with a very strange proposal - his most precious dream has always been forming a pop-rock band in the vein of Hanson, Brian Adams and such like - please give us a name for your pop duo, what your first ever hit will be called, and what it will be about?
Griffin: We would play acoustic, German folk songs backwards in slow motion and they would all be hits, because we would let us photograph naked with only big, leather hats.
MetalKings.com: It is a live gig and you arrive at the venue only to find out that all of your guitars have been stolen and replaced with this Russian traditional three-string acoustic instrument called "balalaika". Yes, you have to play the show and no you cannot borrow guitars from other bans (cuz they are all assholes and wouldn't give you one :) - but what kind of music would you play and what it should sound like, and in general how would you deal with the situation?
Griffin: I would perform the Waters/ Nergaard pop thing, only with Russian songs, and I would finish the show by setting the balalaika on fire and smashing it over my own head. Now, wouldn't you like to pay money to see that?
MetalKings.com: Alrgith thanks very much for the interview and hope to hear from you soon. And now you final comment…
Griffin: I just want to express my deepest gratitude to Troll and the ones reading this who bought our album.
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