There is something extrordinary going on here. First of all, you're playing guitar for one of the most re-knowned black metal bands in the world Mayhem. Two, your own band Nidingr is simply AMAZING. It has such a unique sound.
** Why do people call you Teloch?
It´s Enochian for death. I needed a black metal name back in the days. My brother Dirge Rep suggested Teloch, and I just kept on using it since. My close friends do not use that name though. Mostly scene whores that do that ;)
** You were a session guitarist for Gorgoroth, live member of Godseed, and touring member of 1349. Were you intended for live temporary purposes only for these bands right from the start? Had you been asked to be a permanent member of any of these bands?
Yes that's right. There was some talk about it with God Seed, but luckily Mayhem snatched me up. I really didn't plan on being a member in a band, I was fine with touring, recording demos with Nidingr and having no responsibility back then.
** In 2007 you appeared on a Gorgoroth album recorded live in the studio called True Norwegian Black Metal--- Live in Greighallen. Did Erik Hundvin produce the album? Distribution of the album was halted for various reasons. Can you give us some of those reasons and has the album been able to be distributed yet?
Yes, he recorded it, no idea if he produced it or not, in Grieghallen yes. My first and last (probably) Grieghallen experience. There was some argument between the member in the band. Don't remember exactly, probably some stupid shit.
** Were you on the US tour with Celtic Frost in 2006-07 with 1349?
** You joined Mayhem in 2011 replacing French touring guitarist Silmaeth then left in 2012. How were you approached for this and what was the reason for your departure then? When and why did you permanently come back to the band? What sealed your permanent status with Mayhem?
We started talking about me joining Mayhem in 2009, but I had some touring do finish with God Seed first. Hence me joining in 2011 instead. The perm status comes from writing and recording the Esoteric Warfare album. That's what sealed the deal. But its also a two way thing, we had to feel each other a bit before both parts where good to continue and taking the next step.
** Youre fairly new to Mayhem? What's it been like being with the guys in Mayhem? Did you know any of them outside of and before you joined the band?
They are awful to hang around of course. Tired of the blood stench and pig heads everywhere. Horrible violent people. Yes, knew everyone from before joining.
** Besides your own band Nidingr, you've never stayed in a band very long, but you've stayed in Mayhem for six years now. What is it about that band that keeps you going?
It's the first band besides Nidingr I have joined other than a live/session guitarist. But Mayhem is keeping me busy indeed. We are in a process to clean up old deals and make everything more streamlined. Not done in a heartbeat. Takes a minute. Plus Mayhem is the band I played in closest to my heart. They are just as screwed up in their heads as I am, perfect match.
** Esoteric Warfare, an amazing, beautifully strange, chaotic album, MILAB being my favorite song, is the last studio album made by Mayhem in 2014 and is the album you appear on. Is there a new album in the works?
Thanks, think Milab is my favorite as well actually. I like the atmosphere in it. We are trying out some stuff these days, but very far from an actual album. We are trying something new here on the next one, that everyone is contributing with something, instead of like Esoteric where I wrote everything myself (besides the lyrics). So that's a challenge with all these chefs of course, could be healthy or could be a total disaster... we´ll see.
** Any Mayhem tours, shows coming up?
Australia and New Zealand coming up now this January. A quick run in North America again in March, 4-5 shows only I think. Plus we are working on two more tours that will happen this year.
** WOW..NIDINGR is AMAZING...Dark, heavy, solid, spiritual...technical as well...sounds different than your typical black metal sound. Am I correct in saying this band is your primary one? I know Mayhem is of course a big thing , but I'm really hearing ownership in this band.
Yes, we have never classified it ourself as black metal, to many black metal elements missing to do so. Plus Norwegian Black Metal died back in the 90s IMO.
Wouldn't say its my main band, but its my baby in a way. Mayhem takes up so much time these days so there is no point of treating Nidingr as my main band. Nidingr is a no-income band and totally under the radar for most people. It limits itself how much time one can actually spend on it.
** Audr (1992) - That is the name you started your solo project under. When you say solo project what do you mean by that? Was it you on all the intstruments at one point in time? What was the meaning of Audr and why the name change to Nidingr?
Yeah it started out with Audr and me recorded a demo by myself. That's where the flame was sparked to do some more black metal. I came from Death Metal before that. So this was something new for me. I thought Audr was a dick name so I traded the rights to use the Nidingr name and the logo with my vinyl collection at the time with a friend of mine who had started this Nidingr project but didn't know how to play. I thought it was a cool name and wanted to continue it after being asked to join.
** The High Heat Licks Against Heaven, what a great name! How did you come up with that?
I don't mess with the lyrical aspect in Nidingr. That is all Estrella Grasa´s "job". He is an expert on coming up with themes and lyrics that sounds metal as fuck.
** What had you been doing before you formed Nidingr in 1996?
Played in some local Death Metal acts where I grew up. Legions Est 1983, Morbidity Est. 91? and also a hardcore act called Dødsdømt.
** I'd like to know your influences. When listening to Sorrow and Infinite Darkness I'm hearing something other than black metal in there. Also in Wolf Father (more structured?). I am hearing a powerful ominous dark solid sound, not a chaotic black metal sound.
That's probably what you get from listening to Blarghs songs on the album, he wrote the more catchy stuff on it. That said, I don't think there is many riffs on that album that would classify what everyone call "black metal" these days. Its mostly other stuff from every metal genre. We never been any big fans of putting tags on what we are doing. Whatever genre things are is not important at all. Is it good or bad, that's more important.
** Are you or were you, an active member of any of these bands: NunFuck Ritual, Teeth and Thorns, The Consortium, Umoral. If so, which one of them is still active or not active?
Founding member of NFR and Umoral. NFR is on a break, the Umoral debut album is being mixed now, and consisting of songs I wrote in 2005-2006. Next Konsortium album is finished and is being released this year, degraded myself to recording bass only on this one instead of both guitars and bass as on the last one. Im a sucker for playing bass.
** Interesting that you composed music for the Norwegian stage play Mor Courage Og Barna Hennar. Set in the days of World War One, it tells a tale of weapons, warlords, soldiers, and survival in those war torn years. Some black metal music only seems fitting! How were you approached to compose the music and what made you decide to do it?
I was recommended to the team of directors that came from Germany to setup the play in Norway. I took a meeting with them, liked what I heard about the whole thing and said yes to do it. A very cool experience. Interesting to see how the theatre world works, very inspiring and everyone involved where very professional.
** What would you say makes black metal...black?
The name of the colour of course.
GUITAR TALK I always like to challenge the artists I interview with questions about the instrument they play.
** Is there any particular equipment in your opinion that is especially good for playing black metal music?
** What type of pedal would you recommend as a starter pedal for beginners: Loop, Wah, or Delay?
A distortion pedal.
** What is your Mayhem set up when out on the road playing shows/tours? Is your live show rig different than one you would use in the studio?
Depends on what we are doing. For the Mysteriis stuff I use Marshall 800s and a Metal Zone to recreate the Mysteriis album sound. At rehearsal Im using a ENGL powerball, but getting a Peavey 8505+ these days. For studio I use whatever fits the sound we are after. For live we have been using
whatever is available. Not too picky about that. Ah yeah, and we only use distortion pedal for Mysteriis live. For the other shows we plug straight into the amp, no effects.
** What is your preferred brand of guitar , amps, pickups, and strings?
ESP, PEAVEY,EMG, DUNLOP. That's what I'm using now at least, trying not to be a gear whore and change shit up all the time.
** What kind of switch do you use on your guitar - toggle switches, strat-style lever switch, les paul skeleton switch, rotary switch or other?
I only have 1 pickup and a volume knob on my guitars.
** Can the output level of pickups be adjusted?
** In 2004 you joined with Orcustus and contributed to a track on the Wrathrash ep, track 2 called Grin of Deceit , but left the band in 2006. Were you on the 2009 album Orcustus? If so, had you come back to the band at the time of that album? Or did you just record the album with them? Why was the Wrathrash ep released on vinyl only?
No, I only did the 7 inch in 2006. Don't know why they did vinyl only, probably because its so much cooler than this digital things going on these days.
** Do you have any hobbies, favorite foods, books, movies?
Cant say I do!
** What does 2018 and beyond hold for Teloch?
Start doing hard drugs and smoke shitloads of more cigarettes.
Thank you Teloch for this amazing interview. It was very nice learning about you and your work.
Thanks for your undying support!