Posts Tagged “Rihanna”

High Flying Birds frontman reveals his disgust at the US star’s entourage and exploiting celebrity status.

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Niclas Müller-Hansen of Sweden’s Metalshrine recently conducted an interview with vocalist Sigurd “Satyr” Wongraven of Norwegian black metallers SATYRICON. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Metalshrine: The [new, self-titled] album [from SATYRICON] was recorded using analog equipment. A lot of bands seem to be doing this now. What’s your thoughts about it? I get the feeling that it’s kinda coming back.

Satyr: Well, I’m actually under the impression that it’s not coming back. I might be wrong, but my impression is that music throughout the last three or four years is disgustingly processed. I have talked to people that have worked with some of the true superstars. There’s this Norwegian production bureau called Stargate and they do a lot of stuff for Rihanna and so on and they are obviously very good at what they do, but I’ve talked to them as a musician and about sound and some of the things that I intensely hate about modern-day music productions and they explained to me that it’s what the artists want, management wants, record company wants, radio wants. They don’t want it to sound real, they want it to sound super processed and as a producer, that’s what you cater to, of course. I guess that’s the shocking part of it. I drove around once in a car with one of the instrument endorsers of SATYRICON and he played me some record from a very famous metal band, that was heavily processed. Everything sounded very powerful and ultra-tight, but to me, it was lifeless and dead. He was very enthusiastic and he was blasting it in the car. It was impressive, but I still hated it. I just said, “OK, fine,” but I thought to myself, “How can you not hear that this sounds so fake, so manufactured?” I was hoping that this SATYRICON record, working they way that we worked, not only would it communicate the emotions within the songs, the atmosphere, but also perhaps somehow contribute to what I’m hoping will become more of a trend, because that would be one of those good trends. For bands to do things more organic. That’s not something new to SATYRICON, but the difference is that it’s been so much hardcore and uncompromising on this record, compared to previous records, and that’s perhaps because we felt these songs needed it more than what we’ve done previously. But it was also because I’ve never felt so strongly about these things as I do now. When I had discussions about the record with A&R legend Monte Conner, and he’s a music nerd like me, and I said to him, “I think a lot of the sounds you’ve been hearing from metal bands in the last few years are gonna be tomorrow’s embarrassments, just like when people look at photos of themselves from the ’80s.” I think a lot of people a few years down the road, when they listen to their records from like 2012, are gonna go. “What were we thinking?” Then Monte said “I think you’re right. I actually think a few years down the road, a lot of the records that are popular today, are gonna be remastered to make them sound more analog,” which is the complete fuckup of some of the classic analog records that are being remastered in a way to make them sound more digital and sterile. I think the purist approach on the record helped create the record that it is. We thought that if we were gonna get this to come across the right way, and to have these songs provide that kinda authentic language, like we feel when we play them, we had to make the record, to a large degree, like it feels that you’re in the room with SATYRICON when you hear the record. That’s what we tried to do and I think we succeded. There’s a reason why it’s self-titled, because we really feel it defines the mentality and the musical philosophy of the band in terms of song writing and it shows what SATYRICON is about and it also points at the future. A part of what defines SATYRICON is a progressive attitude.

Metalshrine: You worked on it in a very isolated place for a long time. What do you draw inspiration from? Do you read a lot?

Satyr: I never stay in such a way that I stay there all the time. What I did was that I talked to an engineer friend of mine, where I know that he was using this old cabin lodge on his private property and it’s actually dated from 1550, because you can see it in the wood and from the building techniques. He had almost like an antique garage in there where he would set up his music and being in there is so cool. I said, “I love the atmosphere in here and to have something like this and do the SATYRICON record in,” and he said, “You can do that!” I was, like, “No, we can’t do a record in here.” But he just answered, “I think you could.” I started going through the process of myself, since having done this for so long and being used to be working in some of the best studios in the world, and then all of a sudden try to move into something that was actually made to either store food in or to keep goats or pigs in. We actually did most of the album in there. We were in the studio for about six months and five months were in there and we did six to eight months of pre-production and rehearsals in there as well, to get used to the place and feed off of the vibein the song writing and get acquainted and just feel at home. I’m very glad that I did that and I think a part of how I convinced myself into taking that chance, was based on experiences like the “Now, Diabolical” record, which I’m very pleased with, but there are things on the record that I would’ve wanted differently and I think part of why certain things didn’t come out they way I wanted them to was that I wasn’t where I needed to be mentally because I hated the place where I was working so much. In hindsight, I realized that it affected me more negatively than I understood at the time.

Metalshrine: So hadn’t you stayed in this cabin, it might have been a different-sounding album?

Satyr: Yes, definitely. Even the fact that everything was so primitive. There’s not much to do outside of recording, and I guess that it is actually quite nice to be at a place where there’s a sense of comfort and a possibility to have a little bit of variation during the day, but again, if you have something which is very rustic and primitive, it becomes very intense. You never have breaks, you just go, go, go, because there’s nothing else to do. That creates a bubble, and you find yourself living in a world within the world. To disconnect from reality when working with music is something I have great experiences with and I think that’s why a lot of people, whether they’re in music or journalism or whatever, find it constructive to do work during the night. I don’t think it’s the fact that it’s dark outside or some dark force connecting with your inner self, I just think it’s because the phone doesn’t ring, there aren’t as many new e-mails, there’s no spouse telling you to do things. It’s more quiet and you enjoy being in that state of mind where you undistracted can move on with your stuff and stay in that mind frame.

Read the entire interview at Metalshrine.

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I’d already heard quite a bit about Roskilde before I got the chance to actually rock up and check it out for myself. Denmark’s (and, in fact, Northern Europe’s) premier mega-fest is renown for consistently providing one of the most impressive and diverse lineups in the world, and it is this year that has perhaps rammed that particular point home further than any other.

From Slipknot, Anaal Nathrakh and Kvelertak to Rihanna and Chase and Status via Sigur Rós and Kris Kirstofferson, this really is one of the few events going where you can legitimately say that there’s something for everyone, and the non-profit, environmentally friendly and arts-fuelled approach to the manner in which the festival is put together means it has as much in common with Glastonbury as it does Download. Although there are admittedly a lot less stinky hippies running about than at the former.

Still, it’s hard to know exactly what to expect as I arrive on site early Friday morning (annoyingly, mag deadlines mean I had to miss Slipknot, BOOOOOOOOOO). With the sun already breaking out and bearing down on my pasty neck and a 3.30am start to catch my flight earlier, I’m feeling about as fresh as a poo in a sock, and the tent I’ve got pitched and reserved for me in hospitality camping, complete with blow-up mattress and lovely pillow and duvet (what do you know about glamping, though?!), is a helluva tempting sight right now. Also, there are tonnes of bikes everywhere. Like literally hundreds and hundreds parked up all over the place. It’s mad.

Of course, there’s no rest for the wicked or, in my case, whiny music journalists, so rather than trying to sneak in a cheeky nap I’m whisked off to the fucking massive backstage guest area, where I’m introduced to an absolute humdinger of a press area that’s situated outside over a huge pond and looks like something out of a Famous Five book.

There’s no time for ginger beer and dicking about solving mysteries, obviously, so I’m ushered round the corner and plonked in front of an audience for a panel discussion debating the current state of festivals in Europe, what sets Roskilde aside and what the future may hold for its unique approach. Given that I haven’t actually gone out and explored the festival yet, I feel like a bit of a wally at first, but the discussion is a genuinely interesting one and a lot of great points are raised and debated. Those who listen to the Metal Hammer Podcast know my stance on festival lineups and music genre divides in general, and the general outcome of the debate can pretty much be surmised as Roskilde Is Awesome And More Festivals Should Definitely Book Slipknot And Rihanna.

Looking right at the camera, what a wally

Finally, I get the chance to walk out into the festival itself, where many of the punters tearing around the site have been here for the best part of a week already. The stages look awesome and come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and it’s instantly obvious how much effort has gone into Roskilde being much more than just a music festival. Almost every single bar, tent and even shop has been done up in a specific style to give it its own identity, many of them graffiti’d up or sat next to weird sculptures and imposing works of art. Dotted all over the place are individual performers doing a variety of acts from juggling to trombone playing, with hosts of fans dressed in particularly OTT costumes and attires to add to the friendly mayhem. Clearly, this is a place where all types of art can flourish, and it’s heartening to see how people enjoy being able to express their own creativity in such a maddening environment.

Eventually, I’m taken to the main campsite, and it’s here where the real heart of Roskilde truly lies. Camps filled with metalheads bouncing around to Slayer sit side-by-side with ones brimming with bucket hat-wearing ravers and flower-haired indie girls. One moment you feel like you’re at Bloodstock, the next Creamfields. It’s fucking nuts. As it happens, upon arriving to the site I find out I’ve been entered into a sort of campsite heavy metal pub quiz at this place:

Definitely not scared at all. Apparently the Build-Your-Own-Soundsystem thing is a big part of campsite life here, but I’m not going to get the chance to find that out right now, because there’s the small matter of our newly-created team of music journos and industry types having to go head-to-head with this:

…We won 10-8. They didn’t know when Slipknot’s self-titled album was released. The fools! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Luckily, they’re all total dudes despite having a penchant for shouting “SA-TAN! SA-TAN” quite a lot, so our grand prize of a ton of beer is happily shared out and we get the chance to chat to some of the people who make the pilgrimage here every year. It’s maddening to think that these guys are sat here, right now, having an awesome time talking about how much Goatwhore are going to rule tomorrow, when the headliner for tonight’s main event is Rihanna. Despite everything I’ve seen so far, it’s this realisation that rams home what an incredible creation Roskilde is. There’s no tension between different music fans here. Sure, not every guy in a Blind Guardian t-shirt is looking forward to throwing down to Only Girl In The World, but there’s an awesome sense of coexistence going on that’s quite unlike anything I’ve really seen before. This is a festival that people come to because it’s a fucking amazing festival. It really is that simple.

I bid my newly made chums farewell and take a stroll around the immensely huge campsite area, where yet more bizarre creations and freshly created communities spring up all over the place. All great festivals have great campsites with their own atmosphere, of course, and Download in particular is a fine example of a festival that has gone to lengths to give its campsite a real sense of identity in recent years, but here this really is a culture unto itself. Dozens upon dozens of “mini-cities” are spread across a landscape that looks like a cross between a Utopian dream and something out of Mad Max, and it’s not hard to imagine coming here for the week and forgetting completely about the small matter of, you know, going to watch some bands and stuff.

I later find out that the campsite is actually opened up 100 days before the festival even starts to let people come in and work on their creations, which take on forms as varied as pop-up clubs and bars to mini-radio stations, bike shops (yes, really) and even extra stages. It’s so vast and multilayered that it becomes quite easy to get lost in, so I decide to not risk getting stranded in the Dream City camp until next year and head back to the arena.

The next two days are effectively spent either staring bug-eyed at the endless menagerie of cool stages, lovely people and mad onsite activity or losing my shit to the many awesome and extremely varied bands and artists playing across the weekend. Friday night’s fun include predictably chaotic sets from Devin Townsend and Turbonegro as well as an admittedly fun-as-hell turn from Rihanna and a triumphant closer from Danish superstars Volbeat. On Saturday, there’s a host of awesome stuff going on, including a typically boisterous Henry Rollins spoken-word set, great showings from Hatebreed and Goatwhore and, perhaps most stunningly, an incredible set from Kvelertak, who play to a packed-out Arena tent of 16,000 people. To put that into perspective, that’s a crowd about halfway between Wembley Arena and the O2. Like I said, it’s batshit out here.

Hatebreed throw down

Goatwhore: Metal as FVCK

The evening climaxes with a maddening double header of a Metallica in fine form as the main stage’s headliners and Chase and Status turning the place into a gigantic club-friendly mosh pit soon after. Obviously, Download quite successfully booked Chase and Status last year, so to see these two sharing a bill is nothing new, but to have a band of that ilk come on after Metallica have played? It’s nuts, it works and it’s awesome. Oh, and there was also time to trundle off to one of the smaller stages at around 3.30am to watch Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats before stumbling out half an hour later into daylight. Not weird at all.

Metallica: Danish famileeeh

Uncle Acid: far out, man

With my flight due out on Sunday (which means I miss Kraftwerk doing a show in 3D, DOUBLE BOOOOOO), there’s just about time that morning to go and sit in on a press conference with some of the people who put Roskilde together each year. Many subjects are covered, from the festival’s non-profit set-up (any profit made each year goes straight to charity) to their continuing mission to become more eco-friendly (many Green Schemes got tested in Denmark for the first time this very weekend).

One ultimate message rings out over the next hour of chatter and Q+A sessions, however, and it’s a thought that sticks with me as I pick up my bags and am sent on my merry way home: In their own words, this is a Progressive Festival for Progressive People. If you can’t bear the idea of a festival catering to all corners of music, regardless of background or creed, then Roskilde is definitely not for you. If you’re not interested in getting stuck in with everyone else and becoming part of the festival, rather than simply an attendee, then Roskilde is probably not for you. If, however, you want to try something a little different and risk finding some awesome new music from the unlikeliest of sources in the process… If you fancy spending a week in the heart of a brilliant mini-city surrounded by people that want to be there because it’s fucking awesome… If you just like the idea of getting wasted and watching great bands until 4am every night… Give Roskilde a go. I’ll be back next year for sure, and I won’t make the mistake of only doing two days next time. Maiden, The Prodigy, Jimmy Cliff and Lady Gaga for the wishlist please…

“Slipknot fans love Rihanna”

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Roskilde will be back next year. Head to http://roskilde-festival.dk for more info on this year’s event.

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German hard rock veterans SCORPIONS opened the ski season this past Saturday (December 1) at Ischgl in the Austrian Tirol by taking part in the legendary “Top Of The Mountain Concert” following in the footsteps of the likes of global super stars such as Elton John, Katy Perry and Rihanna.

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German hard rock veterans SCORPIONS opened the ski season earlier today (Saturday, December 1) at Ischgl in the Austrian Tirol by taking part in the legendary “Top Of The Mountain Concert” following in the footsteps of the likes of global super stars such as Elton John, Katy Perry and Rihanna.

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Italian metalcore act Erase has posted a new music video online covering the Rihanna song “We Found Love.” Check out the cover tune in the player below. To hear more music from Erase and find additional info on the band, head over to Facebook.

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Three years after viciously assaulting his then-girlfriend Rihanna on the eve of their appearances on the Grammys, controversial R&B singer Chris Brown returned to the awards show to perform the song “Turn Up the Music” from his upcoming album and “Beautiful People” from 2011’s “F.A.M.E.

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Rihanna has sampled METALLICA on her new album, “Talk That Talk”, which is scheduled for release on November 21.

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Rihanna has reportedly sampled METALLICA on her new album, “Talk That Talk”, which is scheduled for release on November 21.

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Coldplay’s Chris Martin has opened up about the band’s recent collaboration with Rihanna on track “Princess Of China”.

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