Interview: Anders Odden (Cadaver)
Anders Odden is here with us from the band Cadaver, inc. He was an original member of Cadaver by its release schedule, and was with them on their two most popularly-known works on Earache records. He has now launched with others Cadaver, inc., which is an entirely different type of music within the same genre.
When did Cadaver form and what bands inspired the members at the time?
The first Cadaver was formed when a Black metal band called Baphomet split in 1988. We then got the bassplayer from Decay Lust and recorded the first album in 1989/90. The bands who inspired us at the time were Voivod, Slayer, Carcass, Celtic Frost and Morbid Angel.
Do any of you have strong political, religious, or philosophical beliefs, and what are they?
I’m a public enemy. I doubt that anything created by man ever will bring us to a higher level. I deny the church and all its powersymbols. Why is it that all the main religions come out of the middle east?! Religon and politics are there to oppress people. I feel the life we have today is basically without any goals and I’d like to own a little stuff as possible. I tend to get lots of shit piled up anyway, but I’m a fan of throwing stuff away. I dont know, maybe I’m full of BS…
If a drunken man falls down the stairs, he does not feel what would be painful for me. Some say the same applies to youthful indifference to death. How do you feel this influenced, if at all, your music?
I don’t think it had anything to do with what our music was. We just wanted to be able to play as good as our favorite bands, nothing more.
Did you have any favorites in the Swedish death metal genre? What did you think of God Macabre, Demigod, Dismember and Therion?
Not really. Of the bands you mention I’ve only heard Dismember and Therion. I like Black metal more than death metal.
Now that you’ve come back with Cadaver, inc., are people responding to the older material as well as the newer? Are you going to repress the first two albums?
We have played Innominate and Corrosive Delirium from Hallucinating and Mr. Tumour’s Misery from In pains… live. Those songs go down really well, but Earache has no plans for reissuing yet. It will be done some day with lots of extrastuff on it I guess. I have tons of live, demos and unreleased shit around my house, so it will be done.
It seems to me that …In Pains is from the same era as the first Darkthrone album, where metal experimented with mood and mellower textures in the death metal style. What inspired this album’s genesis?
This is easy to say now looking back. It’s never in your thought when you make stuff what the historic aspect of things will be. In Pains was released around the same time as Blaze in the Northern sky, so I felt we were very different band then. In 1992 I turned into industrial music for some time and didn’t follow black metal until 95 again. I saw the death metal era end in 92/93 when black metal revitalized everything, but felt it was my past and didnt care that much. You got to remember that the difference between death/black wasnt that obvious before 91/92. Mobid Angel is the best example of a band in between the genres. I always wanted to gain that sort of independent ground for my stuff and this is where I feel Cadaver Inc. belong. Along towards the genres and trends.
The first album had a tuba player as a member of the band. While some called this a gimmick, it seemed a natural experiment at thetime, since the tuba provides a gnarly low-end sound that could complement higher guitars.
What do you think of this when looking back upon it, and for what reason was this choice made?
It was trombone. You have to remember that Celtic Frost inspired us very much in the experimenting with things such as this. Into the Pandemonium and To Megatherion have lots of “brass” sections and weird things in it. It is still our intro when we play live, so it’s a trademark I guess.
Who are your personal musical idols?
In metal it’s forever Slayer, Celtic Frost, Voivod and Morbid Angel. These bands offer their own personal twist that you can hear on all their records. Apart from this I’m a big fan of classical composers such as Grieg and Mozart. They are true genius.
If you recorded another album in the worldview of the original Cadaver, what do you think it would be?
It will never happen.
What’s next for Cadaver, inc? Are you planning to evolve further in the direction that seems to be current, or taking a different step?
We have started working on the next album and I can reveal that it’s going to be much darker than this one. If Discipline is a agressive record the next will be more insane. I have left some of the writing to our drummer Czral this time, and his ideas are very sick. It’s very inspiring to have a band with such a high level of musicalityflowing. We are sure the next record will bring us a long step forward and that’s our focus all the time.
You mention that you like throwing things away. This touches a part of all of us I think that wishes to be unencumbered by material things. I’ve noticed many of the more intelligent people I know choose to live light given the unstable nature of the times and the tedious requirements of having stuff. It also resembles the destruction of memories and irrelevant or enslaving alliances, metaphorically and in dreams (from the relation of others). Do you think that removal or consolidation of stuffs, let’s call it garbage removal, is philosophically significant at this time in history?
You are probably right that this is something lots of people now are turning to. I think it’s a reaction towards the main-religion now, which is consumerism. Some people feel very attached to their stuff, and I think it’s a disturbing thing to be this way. We think what we have is important to us, but it’s all tools or necessities for living. The last time I moved me and my wife gave away 5 (!) big plastic bags of clothing. It’s ridiculous to have so much to wear, and we said farewell to a time in our life by throwing it away. It made me think, how the hell did I get so much stuff. I could not remember buying it all or anything. It’s more important to gain selfrespect by doing something rather than buying yourself status. Money alone makes no-one happy, and that’s the bottom line in anyones life. Happiness.
What do you think are the similarities between black metal and industrial music?
I don’t know how anyone see the similarities. It all depends on your perspective about what you think is black metal or industrial. Industrial to me is Skinny Puppy and Front 242. They are not very close to BM.
It seems to me that both have a similar approach to rhythm, relative to death or heavy or speed metal, and that both also focus on atmosphere and originate in a classically-influenced genre. Do you like the music of Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream and Einsturzende Neubauten?
I enjoy Kraftwerk yes. I just have one Einstrutzene album which is great, but I’ve never sat down to listen to Tangerine Dream.
I’m going to rip off a line from Wrath of Averse Sefira (who could name songs from Hallucinating Anxiety in detail when queried at random, not having heard the album in seven years) who said that Celtic Crost in many ways were the first to unify visual aspect, and presentation, of their band with the content of their music and its raw, gnarly aesthetic. in many ways, they birthed grandeur in metal also. Is this something you feel?
Well, they had it all for themself for a long time and came up with very original concepts for album covers, lyrix and musical experimentation. They took metal places it had not been before with their avant garde style of composing. I admire their original style very much and they are the only band I really want to see on a reunion tour.
I agree that Grieg and Mozart are genius. How much of the effect of classical music do you feel is a result of its form, or the abstraction of artistic form in general (in view of jazz, Hendrix and progressive derivations of classical in modern popular music), where form is defined as the method of artistic presentation itself relative to the content, or unique expression within, each work?
Classical music from the 18th century (Grieg, Wagner etc. ) was a result of anti-darwinism and used to show that humans were special and not animals. I think the extreme metal has many of the same thoughts behind it as it’s normally very strict and concrete when it’s performed. The kind of metal we play has no room for improvisation in the way of music with blues/jazz roots. Form and content belong together to produce the music we make. I dont know what you are compearing jazz and hendrix to this for, but maybe I didnt understand your question..(?)
Do you compose with emphasis on rhythmic expectancy, or write riffs for conclusive melodic phrasing?
It’s too abstract to say it this way. I just play what sounds good and experiment alot with strange chords and melodic lines. I’m a riffmaker who needs a great drummer to complete my ideas. I view the overall sound first and foremost.
I asked earlier: if you recorded another album in the worldview of the original Cadaver, what do you think it would be? and you said: “It will never happen.” If we created a temporary reality somewhere where someone like you and the original members of the band somehow came together now, independent of this reality entirely, what would the next Cadaver album sound like? Imagine outside influences of tedium like job, mortality, items, etc.
What was will never be again. I have so different views on music to the rest of the original members that it’s nothing I would even like to do for fun. We have no plans for this and I’m pretty sure it’s never gonna happen…
You mentioned that Czral was writing more of the material on this round. Are you still influenced by black metal and industrial, or reaching toward a different sound?
We have written 3 new songs now. Czral has one song which is entirely with his riffs, and the other 2 have 1 riff from him and 1 riff from LJ in it. It sounds very exiting to us right now, but we dont know where it’s taking us yet. It’s more midpaced tempos now, but the blastbeats are still there too. I dont know what kind of industrial you’re taking about, but it’s got some more black metal to it than “discipline” so far.
How do you write songs as a band? Have you taken advantage of virtual songwriting (sending MP3s, tapes, WAVs, CDRs, to each other)?
We have 1 rehearsal a week were we try to complete 1 song each time. It’s a very ambitious project, but it’s forcing us to work on ideas all the rest of the week. We just meet now and then to check out riff and ideas with each other at home. We all live pretty close so that’s why it works.
I saw a little of your Milwaukee Metalfest performance last year (I think – I was wasted, and never visited the bar – it may have been a couple years ago) and it seemed like the music acquired a very linear quality with the tunneling dynamics of the hall. What would it be like to write music if you practiced in a huge thunderous concert hall?
That would have been useless. We play with volume down to hear all details and work towards recording in a studio, so the less noisy the better. I’m not 15 years old anymore…
I like the idea of practicing softly for better discernment. Do you play any acoustic instruments? By the same principle, they must also strengthen musicianship.
I play the piano and acoustic guitar too yes.
Do any of the members of Cadaver, inc endorse any lifestyles including drugs, cannibalism, sodomy, genocide, war, polygamy, polyamory or Judeo-Christian homegrown goodness?
We are so different people privately that I really don’t know that much about the rest of the guys in those terms. I don’t like bands that assure people they are normal all of the time. What is normal? I’m a creative person that seeks oppertunities for myself, and I work in the music-business fulltime. It’s lifestyle bound together by the music, all of the above is for people that needs a hobby. . .
very interesting. as a professional musician, you are here for musical reasons only. this explains the musical contributions of your works. what do you think are your largest contributions, as a musician, to the musical lexicon of death and black metal?
I dont know really. I find that the people who really remember what Cadaver did are mostly musicians themselves. It’s not easy for me to see what my contribution might be. Maybe it’s almost nothing so far, and that my real contribution will be in the future.
Anything else you’d like to talk about?
Another thing, I feel very much more in relation to the Black metal scene than the death metal scene of today. If you file Cadaver Inc. under anything, it should be black metal.
Thank you. Keep on buying CD’s so we can release as many as we can write!
This eternal accusation against Christianity I shall write upon all walls, wherever walls are to be found—I have letters that even the blind will be able to see. . . . I call Christianity the one great curse, the one great intrinsic depravity, the one great instinct of revenge, for which no means are venomous enough, or secret, subterranean and small enough,—I call it the one immortal blemish upon the human race. . . . And mankind reckons time from the dies nefastus when this fatality befell—from the first day of Christianity!—Why not rather from its last?—From today?—The transvaluation of all values! . . .
– F.W. Nietzsche, The Antichrist
Monotheistic religions alone furnish the spectacle of religious wars, religious persecutions, heretical tribunals, that breaking of idols and destruction of images of the gods, that razing of Indian temples and Egyptian colossi, which had looked on the sun 3,000 years: just because a jealous god had said, “Thou shalt make no graven image.”
– Arthur Schopenhauer, Religion: a Dialogue (1851)