IHSAHN Explains Why There Won’t Be Another EMPEROR Album


In an interview with Loud TV, Ihsahn has once again dismissed the idea of EMPEROR writing and recording a comeback album. The band’s last studio album, Prometheus – The Discipline Of Fire & Demise, was released in 2001 and was written entirely by Ihsahn.

“As you know, EMPEROR developed, at some point, I ended up making more and more of the music and eventually, I did all the music,” Ihsahn said. “We’d rather stop at the level where we were all creatively involved, rather than doing it for keeping the logo or for any of those reasons. At this point, there’s so much nostalgia attached to what we do, and we’ve been in the privileged position that people have developed similar relationships to these old songs that we did, as we are fans, to other bands. It’s a very humbling position to be in.

“If you turned it around, what kind of EMPEROR could we possibly do? What kind of EMPEROR could we possibly do? We should make something that sounds like old EMPEROR? Or should we do something like EMPEROR would sound today? If it was up to me, EMPEROR would sound like my solo records because that’s how I write metal. It’s kind of a lose-lose thing. The whole point of black metal, people want something that is real and has integrity of what it is.

“At this point, none of us can see any reason to do that beyond what we already do. Just speaking for myself, I get to play all these old songs to people who have this strong relationship to it, in a similar way as I as a fan, have. But I also get to do my solo albums and continue that musical journey, and I see no reason to change that. We are at a very fine position now that we all just get to do what all of us wants.

“If there’s some kind of festival or some kind of show that doesn’t fit into our schedule, that’s fine. We do just the stuff that is cool for us to do.”

Ihsahn was asked for his thoughts on the “Lords Of Chaos” movie, which depicts the early-’90s Norwegian black metal scene and includes the criminal activity of two EMPEROR members: co-founder Samoth and drummer Faust, both of whom served jail time.

“No. I never read the book; I never watched the movie,” he responded. “I can understand people are fascinated by the story or the phenomenon, but on a personal level, no. I guess it’s that kind of peeking mentality. People also watched ‘The Dirt’ for MÖTLEY CRÜE. It’s just not my genre; I don’t care. [Laughs] I’ve heard every possible version of all those things. I get confused myself.

“I’ve been called stuff and people have attributed me to these ideas or these ideas; I’ve been called so many things, and I’m sure it’s the same thing. I’ve taken a lot of sh*t for the old EMPEROR [albums] and by the same magazines have later have praised them as important. It’s gone up and down.”