Throughout the album, even though there are some fierce, fast paced songs, there are also some very groove-based songs as well [especially with the title track]. You’ve said in the past that you make music for yourself, but considering that metal fans can be picky or very critical, did you at any point think “Oh wow, what are fans going think of this” when creating songs like “They Rode On” or even the title track?
No [laughs]. Maybe I should say yes, but no. We didn’t. I think we’ve always worked hard, especially in the studio when writing, and we’ve always worked hard to detach ourselves from any expectations or what people might think. “They Rode On” was actually the first song that we wrote for the album, and when that was done, we were like… ‘oops.’ But then it all went to hell anyway and became a full black metal album. But we don’t really think so much about that to be honest. I mean, that’s what I like with most of my favorite bands. They are bands that don’t really give a fuck because it just comes from their heart. They ripped it out, and just put it on the table. That’s when things become quite fucking interesting.
I know I’m probably asking you to choose your favorite child with this, but is there one particular song on this album that made you go “yes, this is what I’ve been building up to.”
“They Rode On” was actually very much like that. But…shit, that’s hard to say. I like the title track a lot because it sums up a lot of very important things in that past that I’ve had quite a hard time putting my finger on.
Like this feeling of constantly being chased through the wilderness, and being on a sort of pilgrimage with the twilight being the constant state in time. There’s always a sense of twilight around everything we do, and around the journey that we make. It’s kind of an abstract idea, but that’s also why we choose to make it into a song because that’s what songs do. I mean, it’s the translation of those emotions, really. I can’t really put it into words, but the title track is very special to me. Absolutely.
I want to talk about Century Media Records for a second. What made you guys feel confident about signing to Century Media?
I think it was the fact that they were not that stuck in the regular, traditional way of doing a label. They’re very creative in their way of working. They like to come up with new ideas, and they’re open. I think a band like Watain that is quite all-over the place needs a lot of doors open because all of a sudden we feel like doing this, and all of a sudden we want to do that. So Century Media’s approach to work in general rhymes very well with ours. As weird as it may sound, because Watain is a dirty mean fucking band, and it always has been. Century Media has a very polished face.
Well, I also think a reason why fans were shocked was because about a month before, they had signed Buckcherry. And you guys are completely different, which is okay for the label, but some black metal bands would be like “I don’t want to be on the same label as Buckcherry.”
That part never really concerned me with any label. Most of the labels we’ve been on have had shit bands too, so that’s never a concern of mine. We just clicked with the people. They’re genuinely interested in music and art. They seem to love their jobs, which is admirable when working in the music industry nowadays. We just had a very good feeling. And also very important, they agreed that we’d release it through our label, His Masters Noise, and they would just do the label work. So it’s like a His Masters Noise release that we’re doing via Century Media.
So it’s really more so a partnership than you signing with a label?