Summon: How did the band get started?
Stein: I’m active in other bands, but I saw that I needed a different kind of outlet, something more close to the heart. I wanted to go back to square one and build something entirely from scratch, and let it shape and evolve with time, without trying to impose limitations on myself. In a way, I needed to rediscover the fire inside and nurture the right kind of creativity. I first started working on what was to become Minneriket very early 2014. Actually, the first actual recordings were made January 1st 2014, but a lot of the ideas were a much older than that.
Summon: What kind of music do you play?
Stein: I tend to see it as a very introvert and romantic form of Black Metal. There’s a gothic and ambient aspect to it, while still being quite raw in nature. But you can safely place it in the True Norwegian Black Metal-genre, I guess.
Summon: How has the fan response been?
Stein: The debut album was released last year, and is now completely sold out. There’s been some demand from the fans that I re-release it, so I’m pleased with the response.
Summon: Where did the band name come from?
Stein: It’s a name that’s been with me for many years now. I first released a book with the same name, containing some early versions of lyrics for Minneriket. The meaning is, literally, «The realm/kingdom of memories». I relate it to something more transcendent and esoteric, hence the romantic approach. Memories… Something that’s always with you and always shapes you. It was important to me to bring some spirituality into the music. I see it, among other things, as a metaphor for the Mímisbrunnr, this source of visions and wisdom that nurtures Yggdrasill. A state of mind that you can tap into.
Summon: Introduce the band members and what they do in the band. Who writes the music? Lyrics?
Stein: That shouldn’t take long… This is a one-man band, I’m the only member. I compose the music, write the lyrics, record and produce everything.
Summon: And where do the lyric ideas come from?
Stein: I’ve kind of tapped into that already. There’s a lot of introvert existentialism in Minneriket. I like to combine the contemplative, soul-searching, activities with the more pagan imagery. That’s partly why half the album is in English and half the album is in Norwegian: the Norwegian lyrics are a lot closer to heart, and use a more norse pagan imagery, but the English lyrics are more accessible, with more occult subtext. It’s a way to differentiate the language to the right listener. Most off all though, the lyrics in Minneriket are up-close and personal, and I use it as a catharsis for the personal darkness I carry.
Summon: What is your view in Satanism and Occultism?
Stein: I’m a big fan…
Summon: How many albums/CD’s have you released?
Stein: I released «Vargtimen» at Summer Solstice last year, and will release «Stjerner, speil og svartebøker…», the sophomore album, at Samhain this year. The releases need to coincide with the ritualistic dates. There was also a single release a little while back, with the track «Jærtegn» taken from the upcoming album. So, soon there’s two full-length albums under the banner of Minneriket.
Summon: Tell me about some the songs on the latest CD?
Stein: «Jærtegn» is available as a free digital single on BandCamp and is streaming on Spotify. «…Of Storms and Sorrows» is available as instant download when you pre-order the new album at BandCamp, and is also streaming with a special lyric video at YouTube.
Summon: Do you have any side projects?
Stein: Besides Minneriket, I’m still active with the purely ambient project V0id&Khaos, and done released with both Blodsgard and Vakslen.
Summon: Who are some of your musical influences?
Stein: Burzum, Vond, Seigmen and Trelldom has meant a lot to me. Burzum in particular has inspired me more than anyone.
Summon: Which current bands?
Stein: Unfortunately, I’m not good at discovering new music or new bands. There’s some that I listen to from time to time, but I can’t say that I get inspired by any new acts. Wardruna, perhaps.
Summon: What is the band like when you play live?
Stein: Minneriket does not play live.
Summon: What do you think of the US Black Metal/Death Metal scene?
Stein: I try not to.
Summon: What do you think of the Overseas scenes?
Stein: I don’t care for extreme metal music in general, with some very few exceptions, and absolutely not any kind of «scene». I have no idea what goes on with anyone else than myself, really. Barely even that…
Summon: What are some of new favorite black metal/death metal bands?
Stein: Death Metal I’ve never cared about, so I don’t know. Regarding Black Metal… Is there any new bands? I don’t know. I’ve enjoyed releases by both Thantifaxath and Batushka, but I wouldn’t really label it Black Metal.
Summon: When do you guys plan on writing any new material?
Summon: What does the future hold for the band??
Stein: First of all there’s the release of «Stjerner, speil og svartebøker…» in a few weeks. That’s what I’m focusing on right now. It will have a digital distribution on Spotify and iTunes, and be available as both CD and cassette tape through the Minneriket-page on BandCamp.
I’m taking a time off from music after this release. It’s a hard and challenging process, and I’ll continue on next year.
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