Summon: How did the band get started?
Bent Arne Mathisen: The band was started as a duo by Torgeir Nordahl and Tor Arne Fallingen in 2001. At the end of 2002 Rainer Røreng joined to do the drums and Bent Arne Mathisen joined January 2003 to do the vocals. Per Valla Joined Shortly after to do the bass. In 2005 Tor Arne moved to the US and Per Valla took over the lead guitars. Chris Rudi Lind joined shortly after to do the bass. Per Valla left the band in 2011. Chris Rudi Lind then took over the lead guitars and Thomas Aspen then took over the bass in early 2013.
Summon: What kind of music do you play?
Bent Arne Mathisen: We started out as a pure black metal band. Now we like to say we play Metal. It has evolved from raw BM to technical BM to more melodic down tempo extreme whatever. I guess the audience has to be the judge of that.
Summon: How has the fan response been?
Bent Arne Mathisen: It has mostly been very good. Our fans are the greatest, they always give us good response.
Summon: Where did the band name come from?
Bent Arne Mathisen: We had a list of several band names. And we settled for Elite, to put us above everyone else. He he!
Summon: Introduce the band members and what they do in the band.
Bent Arne Mathisen: Torgeir Nordahl (guitar), Rainer Røreng (Drums), Bent- Arne Mathisen (vocals), Chris Rudi Lind (lead guitar) and Thomas Aspen (bass)
Summon: Who writes the music? Lyrics?
Bent Arne Mathisen: The music is mostly done by the whole band at rehearsals. Bent Arne Mathisen mostly writes the lyrics, but is open for ideas from other members. The last album will be the first that is 100% written by Bent.
Summon: And where do the lyric ideas come from?
Bent Arne Mathisen: It used to be inspired by Norse mythology mixed with my personal interpretations of the ancient history of Norway mixed fiction and altered states of reality. I wanted to reflect the loss of a culture and the realities of the victims who fell for the eastern religions. And also the importance of knowing where we came from and who our ancestors was. I feel as thou a lot of us walk around with no sense of identity or cultural belonging. I hope at least someone got the message.
The new album will be set to a much closer time and the Norse mythology part is completely gone. We live in a town which is pretty young. Most of the people who live here has been around for about 60 year. It is an industrial town with Norway’s biggest steel mill. It was started in 1955. A lot of settlers moved here then from near and far. I can only imagine the conditions of which many of the workers lived in this harsh environment right below the arctic circle.
So I mixed that with a serial killer, religious cult and so on. The story will be revealed with the album. And is purely fictional.
Summon: What is your view in Satanism and Occultism?
Bent Arne Mathisen: I’m an Atheist so i really don´t care. But i am open for altered states of reality, other dimensions and parallel universes. I´m also a follower of Aleister Crowley´s views. I like to think that we make our own faith and that life is a celebration of the flesh and mind.
Summon: How many albums/CD’s have you released?
Bent Arne Mathisen: When our latest album is released, this will be our fourth full length album. We have also released two singles in the early days.
Summon: Tell me about some the songs on the latest CD?
Bent Arne Mathisen: I can tell you that the theme is set to a fictional industrial town in the head of a cult leader of a religious group. Much like some of the tragical cults that ended in mass suicide or mass murder of innocent naive people. I guess you can compare it to the cult of Jonestown etc… But everything is viewed from the mind of the leader of this cult. I guess this is my way of showing how easy it is for normal people to follow a religious modern cause. Event thou most of us think its ridiculous, a lot of the same people follow the same principals in other bigger religions and is just as ridiculous. If you see what i mean?
Summon: Do you have any side projects?
Bent Arne Mathisen: At the moment i am trying to make time for vocals in a local band named Craft. Thomas Aspen has a project called Bytting and got a video on youtube called Svart Depresjon made by Stjernen productions. The same guy who made our Bifrost video.
Summon: Who are some of your musical influences?
Bent Arne Mathisen: Personally Dan Svano and Mikael Åkerfeldt inspired me to become a singer. When it comes to metal generally i always fall back on Ministry and Motorhead. And of course most of the Norwegian black metal scene and all of the standard bands such as Metallica, Slayer, Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and so on…
Summon: Which current bands?
Bent Arne Mathisen: HA HA HA! I’m on a musical journey at the moment, trying to broaden my horizon. I like much of the stuff Karin Drejer has come with. Such as Fever Ray and The knife, more or less an elecro-pop/ techno band. I also like Trentemøller, Shpongle and Infected Mushroom so I guess I better shut up before I make a complete ass of myself, he he!
Summon: What is the band like when you play live?
Bent Arne Mathisen: Intense and happy violent.
Summon: Have you guys ever played in another country?
Bent Arne Mathisen: Yes, mostly other countries. I think we are up in 13 different countries. But only European ones.
Summon: How big of crowd shows up at shows usually?
Bent Arne Mathisen: Oh, it has been from the area between 5 to 2-300 i guess. But we also played for bigger crowds at festivals.
Summon: How is the crowd response when you play?
Bent Arne Mathisen: The usual. Headbangers in the front and more lay back people in the back. But at a couple of occasions there have been total mayhem.
Summon: What do you think of the US Black Metal/Death Metal scene?
Bent Arne Mathisen: I like the US Death metal scene. Those early bands where the first I listened to. Especially Cannibal Corpse and Suffocation.
Summon: What do you think of the Overseas scenes?
Bent Arne Mathisen: What are some of new favorite black metal/death metal bands?
Favorite death metal band must be Cannibal Corpse and Edge of Sanity. My favorite BM album is Satyricon`s Nemesis Divina, but my favorite BM band must be Drudkh.
Summon: When do you guys plan on writing any new material?
Bent Arne Mathisen: We are on it!
Summon: What does the future hold for the band??
Bent Arne Mathisen: More touring, beer, booze and destruction. HA HA!
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