Fortunate they are back in the metal scene, with some new band members and a new album which will be released this year. I’m talking about the legendary Norwegian unblack metal band Antestor. I had the pleasure to do an interview with frontman Ronny Hansen aka Vrede. Ronny speaks about the new Antestor line up, their performance at the fifth edition of Brainstorm Festival [early November] and of course the upcoming album, the follow up to The Forsaken .
TMR: Hello Ronny this is´The Metal Resource’ from Holland, how are things going there in Norway ?
Quite nice after a full year of studiowork
TMR: First of all, welcome back, It is great to have the legendary metal band ‘Antestor’ back in the scene. Will you Introduce the new line up please ? [name and instrument].Jo Henning Børven – drums (also known from Morgenroede and the pop-band Spinning Foundation)
Erik Normann Aanonsen – bass and weird instruments (Monograf, Moddi)
Robert Bordevik – guitars (Vardøger, )
Nicholas Henriksen – synth (Aspera/Above Symmetry, Atle Pettersen)
Lars Stokstad – guitars
Ronny Hansen . vox
and on the album… Thor Georg Buer – guitars (Grave Declaration)
I was getting sick of not having any musical plans when Morgenroede went for a pause.. Antestor was kinda dead too.. though Lars and Alexander Nygård (Vaakevandring, Vanishing Void) were jamming together and probably did the foundations on some of the songs that will be on our new album… anyway.. i contacted Jo Henning, with plans to revitalize the “old lady”.. and then we gathered the guys one by one. Alex had left the project by then, due to Vanishing Void.. and everybody we asked wanted to play, and joined. no such thing as drama there. we wanted the best, and we got the best!.
TMR: What is the major difference between the ‘Antestor’ from the early years and ‘Antestor’ of today ?
A lot of things are different.. we have become better musicians, and the times are a-changing… so i think it is a natural progression. musically the biggest difference is probably the speed.. antestor started as a doom/death metal band.. to black metal, and now extreme metal. but even though the genres have changed, you can still hear and feel that it is Antestor. lyrically the biggest difference is that the old stuff had mostly “turn or burn” lyrics.. you know.. The lyrics back then where inspired directly by the bible.. and now.. the lyrics are mostly based
on experiences within the christian life..
TMR: Are you a full time musician ? If not what kind of job or school do you do beside the band ?
I wish!!!.. although i love my job.. i am sort of a plumber which travel around fixing peoples problems with their pipes.. camera inspection and such… it is a dirty job.. but i help people in need.. and there is something very soothing when the people are desperate when i arrive… and 20 min later they are happy.. it is like a reward
TMR: What is your marital status [in love / engaged / married / kids] ? And what do they think of your activities in the band ?
I am single, no kids.. but a cat that takes all my attention at times hehe.. alas.. my cat don’t mind .. but some of the members are married, and with kids.. and the great 3 month touring plans will never become a reality.
TMR: What is your musical background ?
I have not studied music, or gone to any courses.. i am self taught..my musical influences in the olden days were my dying bride, emperor, sepultura, .. and a-ha …
TMR: For the people that dont know anything about ‘Antestor’. Why the name ‘Antestor’? Is there a story behind it ?
The name Antestor means “witness” in Latin. and since we have christian lyrics, the band name origins to what we are. .
Lars, Robert, Thor and Erik have written the music for our new album. since we have not had a lot of band rehearsals, one by one has come up with a whole song by themselves.. then recorded it, so the rest could review it….
me, Thor and Erik have made the lyrics.. i can speak only for myself with my lyrics.. and i have had a very troublesome year.. and that reflects my lyrics.
TMR: How does ‘Antestor’ stands in life till events in the world, religion and politics and in which proportion stands that till your music and lyrics ?
We are not a political band due to the fact that within the band we have different views.. we are christian, of course, but we try not to step on each other toes.
TMR: For a lot of bands the lyrics are just a accidental circumstance, but for some bands they use them to communicate ! ..can you tell us how that is for ‘Antestor’?
I try my best to make my lyrics communicate. and by communication i do not mean ONLY to the fellow christian… i have a bigger focus towards the secular scene.. a lot of christian bands have lyrics that are meant for the christian scene.. and therefore pushes the secular reader/listener further away. this is of course individual, but my experiences in this field tells me that it is not a walk in the park when you become a christian.. as a christian we have the same problems as before… there are topics as for example depression even though we are saved. as i have written before.. most of my lyrics have been written during hard, depressing times. (but of course they will always include hope)..
TMR: Do you have an highlight what you will never forget. From the moment you joined the band in 2000 ?
Cornerstone 2000.. we had a little tour in the us with Extol… as an almost unknown underground band we struggled a bit just to get a soundcheck, and synth.. (we got told that keyboards and synths will be ready at every event.. this was not exactly true) There was one concert in St. Louis where Morten had to play on a 10$ casio keyboard haha..
TMR: And the worst thing were ? [if there is one].
TMR: Name some of your favorite bands to play with live [past and future] and tell us why ?
Seventh angel… Ian is a really cool guy
TMR: What is your favorite food and drink? for everyone personal [no idea why people always want to know that]
Home made pizza, made completely from the bottom is the very first thing i thought of.
TMR: First record you bought ?
Twisted sister – come out and play.. together with Madonna – like a virgin.. and in 87.. i listened to both equally much hahaha
TMR: What makes you laugh ?
Can be all kinds of stuff.. to see humor in everything makes my wheels turn
right now i am enjoying the discworld series by Terry Pratchett
TMR: How do you promote your band and shows ?
Per now only via our Facebook page
TMR: How do you prepare for a show?
We usually pray before each gig backstage.. for my part that is the only preparation.. ehh.. alongside reading my lyrics over and over again.. just to remember exactly half of it during the gig hehe
TMR: Describe your show, visual and musically ? And tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
Since i am on stage when we play it is hard for me to answer this question… but.. before i joined the band, i went to a few Antestor gigs, and the atmosphear was amazing.. you could really feel Gods presence. I really hope that we still got that same atmosphere, even though most of the band has left since then
TMR: Favorite movie(s)?
Series: game of thrones.. movies: lotr, avengers,
TMR: What is the dumbest question you have ever been asked?
There are only stupid answers
TMR: What is your favorite ‘Antestor’ song ?
One of the tracks that are going to be on our new full length. “Remnants”. of the older stuff then it has to be Rites of Death
TMR: Do you have a life philosophy / favorite quote ?
Omnia in moderatio
TMR: Are you visiting many gigs, and what do you listen to these days?
I don’t go to many gigs.. my fav band these days are Fleshgod Apocalypse, and Devin Townsend project.
TMR: How is it that people from the Nordic countries are so full of musical talent? Do you have an explanation for that ?
I think it is more the style of music than talent.. but it is the same with for example: why are there so many great football players from brazil… if something gets popular, there becomes a lot more students no matter what the genre is. in Norway black metal became very popular
although underground.. and a lot of people related to it.. and from there it all exploded.. together with the economy of course.
TMR: Tell us about the hardrock/metal scene in your area please?
I live on the country… close to Jessheim where Dimmu Borgir origins.. i have no real relations to the scene.. but i don’t think the local scene here is as big as it once were.
TMR: How do you think about downloading music from the Internet ?
I don’t like it.. and i like it.. weird actually… it is good for the up and coming bands.. and not as good for the bands that have evolved through the underground. it is impossible for a band like Antestor to make money, or even make ends economical due to the fact that most people download it for free… but there is also the fact that a lot of people would not have known (for example) Antestor if it had not been for those kinds of sites.. which makes them come to see us live..
TMR: For the very first time in history, ‘Antestor’ will play in Holland at ‘Brainstorm Festival’. What are your expectations about that show ? And what can the crowd expect from ‘Antestor’ ?
I have never been to Brainstorm myself. so i don’t know what to expect.. i don’t even know how big the venue is… i hope that the crowd will enjoy our show, and that we don’t make fools of ourselves hehe.. we will do songs from the last 17 years.. some old, and some new.
if we are lucky.. Brainstorm Festival will be our release gig for our new album.. but i cannot say this for sure, since we have not got it yet.. (but i hope)
TMR: ‘Antestor’ will present its long awaited CD during their show in The Netherlands. The first album since “The Forsaken” . What can you tell us about the upcoming album ? [recording proces / album title / artwork / Record Label etc]. Will it be like the older material ?
Like i said before.. i really don’t know if we have the album ready by then.. and therefore i should not be writing too much about it just yet. all i can say is that almost all the recording (except drums) have been done at my house.. in an improvised studio called isolation room hehe
the music we play is different than before, but it is clearly an Antestor album. more brutal stuff, some more experimental, something completely new.. and something Norwegian.. our record company is Bombwork Records in the usa. artwork and album title will be done official a bit later
TMR: What advice would you give to fellow bands?
Be more than just having an image!
TMR: What are the biggest obstacles for bands ?
To make something original
TMR: And what about the [near] future, any plans ?
Right now (september) we are mixing the album (done by Erik Thordsson (Crimson Moonlight, End of September)) and when we finish that he will also do the mastering, before we send it to Bombworks.. so our future plans except that is rehearsals
TMR: Ronny thanks for your time and the interview, we wish ‘Antestor’ all the best ……Is there anything you wanna say at last? [any final statement ?]
I am bad at final statements… but i hope to see a lot of people at our concerts in the Netherlands and Germany. see you there!
Lars Stokstad – Guitars/Synth/Clean Vocals
Ronny Hansen – Vocals
Erik Normann Aanonsen – Bass/acc instr
Jo Henning Børven – Drums
Robert Bordevik – Guitars/Back Voc
Nickolas Main Henriksen – Synths
The Defeat of Satan [demo, 1991]
Despair [demo, 1993]
Kongsblod [promo, 1998]
The Return of the Black Death 
The Defeat of Satan [compilation, 2003]
Det Tapte Liv [EP, 2004]
The Forsaken 
Jan. 2013, Brazil [dates and locations will come later]