Rock-A-Rolla recently conducted an interview with the members of OKKULTOKRATI.
Can you fill us in on the background of Okkultokrati – how, when and where did the band start?
Tarblack: Back in 2008 Erik Svarte wanted to put together a bl’asting thrash metal band with some hardcore punk energy with Night Jerk on drums and Virgintaker on bass (RIP). And they were talking to some other guy to maybe do some vocals, but then I talked my way into the band and we made some 10 songs in a few weeks and recorded and releases a demo for our first show a few months later. But it immediately turned into something else than trash metal. More punk, more dirty and crushing.
Night Jerk: The early Okkultokrati stuff (the demo tape + the Knarkskog 7″) is some of my favorite material to listen to. Purely a result of Erik Svarte and I going together without having a distinct plan for the band and just ending up with some heavy, crazy sounding punk tunes. Then Tarblack came and took us all of guard with some great vocals and lyrics that really defined the band from those very first recordings.
Erik Svarte: I would never start a trash metal band.
The band shares members with other bands from the Norwegian underground. Can you fill us in on the band members and which other bands they are involved in?
Tarblack: Snake is also in Haust, Night, Blackest Woods and a few more not so active bands. Night Jerk is also in Problems and Night and a few other unnamed bands. Boris is in Hombre Malo and I am also in Night alongside Woody from Haust and Blackest Woods. then you have friends and affiliated projects like Sumar, Necrolust, Dark Times, Drugged SS etc etc. We need to keep busy or else we’ll climb the walls!
Your Facebook page states your current location is “Ugly Fucking Oslo”. What’s that all about?
Tarblack: “Ugly Fucking Oslo” is a hit song by Haust on their first album ride The Relapse. It is a song about coming into the big city, being alienated and being content with being a freak, a misfit and a failure.
What was your initial intention behind Okkultokrati? Are you making any kind of political/social/etc statement, or is it music for the sake of music?
Tarblack: There is no political agenda with anything Okkultokrati does. That does not mean that we are oblivious to politics or have no views on social matters. I just feel that a band is a poor vehicle for social change and justice, and preaching to the choir is boring as hell. I’d rather fuck with your mind and rip out your soul with some well crafted rock songs!
Which bands made you want to start Okkultokrati?
Tarblack: From early on I would have to say local maniac bands in my home town like Skarnspage and Smorgasboard. Just fucked up obscure experimental punk with all the wrong solutions. Like early Am-Rep noisy punk rock mixed with a solid sense of DIY ethics and youthful hubris. Later I’d say Black Flag and Black Sabbath.
Erik Svarte: Rudimentary Peni, Poison Idea and Sleep.
How has the Norwegian scene changed since the early black metal days, in your opinion? Where is it headed these days?
Tarblack: Black metal has turned into two things it seems. Tourism, museums, nostalgia and rehashing the glory days in a embarrassing way. And the other part has gone underground again and are content releasing tapes and playing close knitted festivals. Must say i prefer the second solution. I don’t really care what happens to black metal. This isn’t 1993 anymore.
What can you tell us about your choice of band name?
Tarblack: Okkultokrati is a made up word. But in essence is means occult rule, or occult upper class. Which is as good a name as any if you are to conquer the world with some classy, furious punk rock!
What can you tell us about your second album, Snakereigns?
Snakereigns as a whole is about everything coming to a bleak end. End of all life in every aspect. Severing the ties to the world, to people, to the past/present/future of history, to thought, space and time. With no possibility of reincarnation or rebirth. No ouroboros. Just null, void, blank and emptiness. Blow everything up and get rid of it all!
As far as the musical content is concerned, how would you compare it to your debut?
Erik Svarte: It`s just much better played and with a lot more feel to it. And a hell of a lot more angry.
How did the writing and recording process of Snakereigns compare to the experience of putting together the debut album?
Night Jerk: I’d say the process was more focus in the way that (contrary to the debut) we knew what label was gonna put it out, when it was gonna be released and so on. We knew that these songs were gonna end up on this album. More importantly, Snake and Tarblack really focused their efforts as far as song writing goes, and worked hard on every single song.
Finally, what’s next for Okkultokrati?
Night Jerk: Still being a band. Touring, releasing records, doing what we know best.