Profane Burial interview

Answered by Kjetil Ytterhus

  • Good day Profane Burial! What’s the meaning of your band’s title? What’s the origin of that name? Have you changed the band’s name before?

Greetings Metalmilitia! The band name is inspired from both lyrics and titles from albums I enjoy very much. Actually, I was quite surprised when I checked metal-archives.com that the band name was not taken by any others. There is no deeper meaning to be explained behind the name; a bit personal influenced touch with words that I really found suited our music and style well.

Profane Burial has always been the name of the band. The only changes we have had during the years are band members and logo.

  • What genre of music do you consider your work to be? Who are your major influences within Symphonic Black metal?

Profane Burial is an atmospheric, dismal and grim journey through unsanctified cinematic black metal, or as the masses perhaps would like to state it short: “Symphonic Black Metal”.

We got this comment which I am quite proud of, and might answer your question:

“The Rosewater Park Legend delivers a sumptuous and classy result, rarely seen in the genre.
For fans of Limbonic Art, Emperor, Anorexia Nervosa, Carach Angren… “

Some of my favorite bands are actually Burzum, Darkthrone, Satyricon, Kvist, Faustcoven, Ulver and Slagmaur where I find none references to Profane Burial. I have of course my fear share of listening to bands like Limbonic Art, Bal-Sagoth, Septic Flesh, Dimmu Borgir and Carach Angren where more inspiration and links might be natural to compare.

  • How long have you all known each other? How did you meet?

Me and André have known each other for many many years. We met at a party and regularly after that hooked up for drinks and music listening.

The other guys are quite new acquaintances for me, but they have known each other for many years since they have played together in various bands and met at concerts/festivals. I think we really hit it off both on stage as well as back stage and have become really good buddies, he he.

  • When did you form your band? What inspired you to make music together?

Profane Burial was founded in 2013 by me (Kjetil Ytterhus) and André Aaslie known from such acts as Images At Twilight, Funeral, Abyssic. It all started in 2012 for my part when I was supposed to help out with editing on Images At Twilight’s mighty “Kings” record. I started to learn Cubase and orchestration, and I thought the quickest/best way to learn that was to compose something. One thing lead to another, and suddenly I had enough material to an album which André then worked further with.

In 2016 all tracks had been finished for some time as a “pre-prod”, but we were lacking band members and Profane Burial was also booked for a gig! We got in touch with the highly skilled drummer; Bjørn Dugstad Rønnow (Viper Solfa, Trollfest) and he recommended Jostein Thomassen on guitar (Fracture, Viper Solfa) and Ronny Thorsen on vocal (x-Trail of tears, x-Blood Red Throne, Viper Solfa) to have a listen at our music. They really liked it, and we started right away composing new guitars, drums and adding vocal to the music.

  • Are you a member of any music organizations?

Speaking for my self (but I reckon the other guys are as well) I am a personal member of TONO.

TONO is the Norwegian collection society/performing rights organization, founded in 1928, and is owned and governed by its members: composers, songwriters, lyricists and music publishers.

TONO manages performance rights for musical works in Norway and collects fees for their public performance. TONO currently represents approximately 30 000 Norwegian composers, lyricists and music publishers. Through reciprocal representation agreements with similar societies in other countries, TONO in practice manages the world repertoire in the Norwegian territory. TONO is a non-profit society, all revenues are passed on to members for the performance of their works.

  • What can you tell me about your instruments? (i.e., Are you subject to brand loyalty or will you play with whatever’s available? What made you choose the instruments you have now? Was it cost or was it a style/model/brand/color preference?

I use a Nord Electro 5D live. The reason is simply because it is the best keyboard for my use/purpose. Earlier I used a laptop with MIDI keyboard(s), Cubase, Eastwest Choir and Grand Piano, external soundcard etc, but I felt it was too many factors that could fail so I was quite nervous before shows. Now it is 230 power cable and left/right signal to sound guy; easy, very good sound quality (and you can even download your own sounds), presets on many settings and NordKeyboards are known for making extremely reliable equipment!

  • Where have you performed? What are your favorite and least favorite venues? Do you have any upcoming shows?

We played our first show on a festival called Hard & Heavy Metal Meeting on Gran Canaria in December 2016. After that we focused on the album, which we mixed & mastered in the summer of 2017. Last Autumn we began to rehearse again and played two concerts in November and December. Then we had a release concert in Oslo in March 2018. Previous gig was September 8. 2018 on Southern Discomfort festival (Kristiansand in Norway) where we played together with Carach Angren, Myrksog, Communic, Horizon Ablaze, and Candlemass to name a few! We are now eagerly trying to book more concerts/festivals as well, and might have some very big/interesting coming up…!

  • Which songs do you perform most frequently? Do you ever play any covers? Do you have a set play list?

Since we only have one album out so far, naturally we play songs from the debut. Normally we play all of the songs except one or two due to time limitations onstage. Cover tunes are out of the question, that will never happen as long as I play in Profane Burial.

We always have a set list so that everybody knows what song to play next. Due to some orchestrated backtracks this is mandatory for us.

  • Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs? Do you think these topics will change over time?

The main composer is me (please see next question for more and detailed information), and the author of “The Rosewater Park Legend” lyrics is Bjørn Nørsterud. It is easier to describe the full album as one, because together all the tracks make up an entire story, so yes, this is actually a concept album. The story itself is mainly about a witch and her revenge on those who killed her (through her granddaughter) and it follows different persons through the ages. It has it’s twists and turns, and things may not be as straight forward as one may think. “The Stench of The dying Roses” for instance takes place after the witch is dead, and there is peace in the village. The children mock the witch in their little nursery rhyme, and everything is fine. Until …

Yes, it has elements of a ghost story, witch-hunt and religion, and the last song is written in Norwegian. Why, you might say? Well, Profane Burial is a Norwegian band, and we felt it suited the album. This song deals with a letter that was written by an old Norwegian Witch, and it was a nice way to end the story.

Our vocalist, Ronny Thorsen, will write lyrics for our next album. I have actually no idea what kind of madness he will serve the audience on album #2… but I am really looking forward to it, because he is a very talented writer and of course gifted vocalist as well!

  • Could you briefly describe the music-making process?

The orchestration is a collaboration between me (Kjetil) and André Aaslie.

The main composer in Profane Burial is me, I send finished orchestral themes to André, and then he makes interpretations of the themes and re-arrangements. Sometimes stripped down to just the chords, and then he orchestrates it the way he feels. The result is an album extremely rich in ideas around the same themes. The funny thing here is that Jostein, our guitarist, seldom knows which parts are André’s and which are mine, which really is the same part in the basic chords. So he actually adds new ideas to each theme, instead of just playing the identical riff on the two themes. This way of working can perhaps make the songs too chaotic for a listener who is not willing to make an effort to go deep within the material, but we try to have some repeating substantial chorus themes in the songs that will bind it all together.

  • What are your rehearsals generally like? Do you have a set time each week in which you practice or are rehearsals more spontaneous?

Since I started to play an instrument just a few years ago, it was essential for me to practice often. Me and Andrè rehearsed on a regularly basis once a week at the time when the two of us were the only members in Profane Burial. Now when the band has a steady crew, we rehearse together before gigs. Of course we do a lot of practice on our own as well, since we have some distance between us. The other guys have lots of (live) experience and have played their instruments for many years, they are extremely skilled so that is an advantage when on stage.

  • How has your music evolved since you first began playing music together?

Well, since “The Rosewater Park Legend” is Profane Burials debut album and I started just a few years ago making music it’s not easy to answer this question. This is also my debut as an artist and my first album ever at the age of now 43 years young.

We are currently in the making of album #2, so time will tell how this will differ from our debut. I have of course some ideas regarding the sound, almost all the orchestration is done so good times with a lot of frustration is ahead of us, ha ha!!!

  • What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?

The biggest challenge was to get skilled and steady members who both liked and understood the music. We had many years with almost no activity even though all the songs were nearly finished. In that time I was highly productive and wrote tons of material which will be used on album #2 and maybe some other bands as well.

We “just waited” for the perfect guys to show up, I am glad we did because now Profane Burial have the best musicians Norway can offer, he he!

Even though there are some distance between some of us (Oslo area, Notodden and Kristiansand), messenger keeps us connected and it’s easy to chat and bring up ideas on a regularly basis.

  • What’s your ultimate direction for your band? Are you seeking fame and fortune?

Hard work will always pay off at the end, and since you do not get rich by playing in a metal band, our salary is happiness and gratitude for being able to do what we do, ha ha!

Let me quote what André once said: “I can’t see that more commercial success will give me much more happiness, BUT, a second album will nevertheless give me an idea about the bands development. It’s nice to reach more people with your music, of course, but nothing can compare to the feeling I get when I create new music in my studio. I feel very privileged as it is. Good record deals in all bands let me focus on making and perform music. Don’t strive for commercial success, judge your “success” on your happiness, not on monthly listeners on Spotify. THEN I’m sure more commercial success will come naturally.”

  • What advice do you have for people who want to form their own bands?

It takes time to build a new band. Be patient! Rehearse, practice and believe in yourself and your music. If someone tells you that you suck, go into the rehearsal room and do it all over again. Don`t compromise on things that are important to you and whatever you do, do it out of passion!

  • How can fans-to-be gain access to your music?

If you are not into physical releases and buys albums (CD or LP), we are on Bandcamp, Spotify, Deezer, Youtube and I reckon several torrent pages as well for illegal download, ha ha. Should not be too hard to find us on the web!

  • Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge for offering financial or emotional support?

Since we have financed the album ourselves, and in fear of forgetting someone I will use the cliché: “You know who you are”.

…but of course Apathia Records and Jehan deserves all the credit I can possible give them. They have fulfilled a dream come true for me and Profane Burial, and have done a tremendous job with the release/album and in general for Profane Burial!

  • Any last words?

We have already started on album # 2. I have not been lying on the lazy side, and actually have 5 songs ready, as well as 2-3 songs with only minor tasks left from my side to finish. Jostein has done some pretty nice guitar (ideas) for one track, and it is simply great modestly speaking, ha ha.

I reckon we will use the Autumn/Winter/Spring wisely and have a pre-prod finished hopefully sometime next year. It is a quite time-consuming process since the material is a bit complex and the other members has to create/compose based on my orchestra ideas which André rearranges and also composes upon.

We are eagerly trying to book more concerts/festivals as well!

Thank you very much for the opportunity and your interest in Profane Burial.