A new Metal race seems to have arisen; many bands have left technique and
melodicism behind to focus its sound in hellish, droning and somewhat
amorphous atmospheres… In this front, the Norwegian band Vonn have became,
in short time, one of the rawest exponent of this style, their debut demo
“Victim One: Agony” is a one-way-ticket to hell… a place where all melodies
are gone and only suffering left…
First I would like to thank you for giving us this
interview… Can you tell us about the band history? I couldn’t find much info
in the net…
There is not much information on the Internet at the moment, that’s correct.
That may change quite soon.
Vonn was started from an all-consuming impulse to create something that
would represent what Doom Metal should be, and that is something that is
absolutely horrific. There weren’t too many like-minded individuals around,
for as soon as you mention Doom people want to play something like
Candlemass or Cathedral. These are great bands, just not the type of music
we wanted to put out. So eventually the time came when personalities met and
had the same desire to create a totally doomed musical experience.
Why you choose the name Vonn for your band? …It
sounds quite similar with the Black Metal band Von…
Yes, that is quite true. In fact, we only realised the similarity when
someone who got the CD asked, “Vonn, with two Ns?” Immediately we realised,
“Oh yeah, there’s a Von with one N.” But the name has nothing to do with the
Black Metal band. Vonn – the name – came about after waking up one night
from having an incredibly horrifying dream that was totally fucked up and
disturbing. It was very graphic, like nothing you would ever wish to
witness: there was a house; there was a family; there was blood; eternal
tortured screams; people crying; people begging for their lives; it was true
carnage. And as I was waking I had the name Vonn in my head for some reason;
the one thing that really stood out above all else from the dream, while
everything else was a haze of blurred images and torture. I knew immediately
that Vonn was the name to represent this band.
How you define your music?
I have heard Vonn described as everything from Funeral Doom to Drone to
Sludge and various things in between. But it is simply Doom Metal as we feel
it should really sound. But to categorise the band I guess people need to
know exactly what they’re getting. I think you sum it up pretty well in your
review actually: “…messy, blurry, tortuous, dense, obscure and disturbing
Extreme Funeral Drone/Noise.” Yes, that sums up Vonn quite perfectly indeed!
You told me you remove the drums for the original
record, due the “human” sound that provided… I guess it must be a pretty
difficult decision, considering the time and effort that have required
recording a 76 minutes piece… How you get to this decision?
Well, it was quite an easy decision to make when listening to the finished
recording. It does sound quite cool with the drums and that, I suppose, is
the main reason why we took them out. We didn’t want something that sounds
‘cool’. With drums it still sounded quite horrific but what the drums did
was add this certain sense of structure to the recording that went against
what we were striving for. ‘Victim One : Agony’ is exactly what this
recording is all about, and that is depicting the final moments of a human
life, stripping all structure of humanity from a living soul, the agony of
that process. In that respect there was no place for drums, where they
simply added this structure and a sense of ‘humanity’ while it was being
stripped away in reality.
Let’s talk about the vocal work… This is one of the
most shocking elements of the entire disc. Who’s that poor woman? I suppose
you did not torture anybody during the record session… jejeje.
Well, I suppose the best way to answer this is for people to listen to the
CD and ask themselves, ‘Does she sound as though she is really being
tortured?’ We leave this to the listener to interpret and decide.
The concept behind your music seems to be torture and
related atrocities… Am I right? Can you tell us about this?
It isn’t really a concept, but more the idea of wanting to record something
that truly represents doom – not represent Doom Metal as such, because there
is so much Doom Metal out there that all sounds entirely different – but if
you look in the dictionary you will find that the definition of the word
‘doom’ is ‘death, destruction or another terrible fate’. Therefore what
truly represents the musical interpretation of doom? It can only be to
listen to someone meet this ‘terrible fate’.
In really short time your music has become pretty
well-known in underground circles… Are you satisfied with the reception of
Yes, both very
satisfied and surprised. It has been
quite difficult to keep up with demand
since we didn’t anticipate so much
interest. Feedback and reviews so far
have been very positive, and from what
we hear it seems that we have succeeded
in what we wanted to do.
How was the recording process of “Victim One: Agony”?
Was the music improvised?
Most of recording was made in a rundown building that was literally in the
middle of nowhere, apart from the effects that were added later. The drums
were also recorded later, but obviously weren’t used. One technical aspect
of note is that we faded a ‘lead’ part in later also but did it in a way
that is only really evident when listening to the album through headphones.
I say ‘lead’ but that can’t be farther from the truth. It is not a lead, but
a higher, erratic guitar part that really adds to the terror in the
atmosphere. The area where we recorded is actually the album cover photo. It
was raining and absolutely freezing in there, and only one bare light bulb
lit the room where everything took place. It really added to the atmosphere
and very quickly it became almost like a trance state for us; a ritual
almost. That was the atmosphere we wanted.
The music was written already for the most part, but the atmosphere in there
was so intense that the subconscious – maybe even instinct – took over at
some points, so the music quite developed on its own in places during the
recording. I think sometimes you can hear that when listening to the album.
If I had to compare your music with some well known album… I would mention
Abuptum and its “Obscuritatem Advoco Amplectére Me”. Does this Swedish band
influence the sound or concept of Vonn in some way?
To be honest I’ve never even heard of that album until you mentioned it now.
But it sounds like something that I’m going to go and check out. So, I guess
they have no influence on either.
We are used to hear about the Norwegian Black Metal
and Ambient scene, but what about the Doom Metal? Is there any Norwegian
underground Doom Metal band you can recommend us?
You know, I’m not actually aware of any Norwegian underground Doom Metal
bands, so I’m not really the right person to ask about them. The guys from
Gorgoroth and Manngard formed a Doom Band called Sahg, and that’s all I know
of…although it’s not really Doom that they play though. And it’s certainly
You told me that you have friends in some established
Norwegian bands. What’s your connection with Black Metal? If there is a
The thing about Norway is that the scene is quite close, where everybody in
bands knows everybody else in bands. This ranges from the smallest unsigned
to the largest big sellers. That’s just the way it is, same as most places I
guess. For example, Red Harvest people know Aura Noir people, who know
Aeternus people, who know Mayhem people…the list is probably endless.
Everyone knows everyone. Vonn also has very strong links in Ireland, and I
think that is something that isn’t really known about this band.
What bands are the most influential for you actual
No one, actually. I hope that doesn’t sound arrogant, but that is really the
truth. It’s funny, because most of the bands that Vonn has already been
compared to, we don’t even listen to. We got described as ‘Sunn o))) versus
Monarch’ recently. I haven’t heard either of them. We also got compared to
Bunkur, Moss and Khanate. I’ve heard them for sure, and they are great bands
but I don’t think Vonn sounds like any of them. Maybe they have had some
influence though, but I really don’t know.
What kind of music are you listening nowadays?
Right now it’s Evoken and an amazing Doom band from Russia called Autumnia.
I’d really recommend those guys to any of your readers. And Zero Kama. That
is ritualistic eeriness at its finest.
Can you tell us about the demo title? It seems to
implicate a “second victim” in the future…
Yes, that’s exactly the implication being made!
When can we expect new material from Vonn?
As soon as we track down Victim Two!
Can you give us some info for those who want to get
your demo “Victim One: Agony”?
The CD is available by mailorder and can be ordered for now by sending email
Also feel free to visit
www.myspace.com/torturedbyvonn and leave
your messages of doom!
Many thanks for your time and answers, these last
lines are all yours…
Thank you for the interview. It is inspiring to see ‘zines like Burning
Black out there who are clearly doing their piece for Metal out of
dedication and commitment to the scene. Keeping the old spirit alive!!! Keep
up the good work and we’ll hopefully speak again when we have Victim Two in
the bag. Darkest hails comrade!