Upon realizing a common creative
ground and like-minded artistic approach back in 2000, Borknagar’s main
songwriter Øystein G. Brun and Swedish multi-instrumentalist Mr. V
(a.k.a. Vintersorg, prior to even joining Borknagar) decided to get
together one day to create a band-project with musical output that
slightly differs from the style of their main bands.
Having pinpointed each other’s wishes
and ideas back and forth for some years, while also working on releases
with Borknagar, CRONIAN (in its first incarnation still referred
to as Ion), didn’t come into material existence until 2005, when the
proper work of the final musical expression for the debut album “Terra”
Sharing a passion and interest for
movie soundtracks, Øystein and Mr. V decided to go into a the unexplored
atmospheric vibe of such soundtracks to combine it with their metallic
roots. Anybody that has been witness to the musical evolution of
Borknagar throughout the years but also understands the variety shown by
Mr. V with his main band Vintersorg but also in projects like Otyg or
Fission, will now too appreciate the more avant-garde appeal of
CRONIAN that never loses its catchy songwriting. Being lyrically
inspired by human near-death experiences and emotional extremities, one
could picture desolate arctic landscapes, “Terra” carries a through and
through cold feeling and attitude to it. As atmospheric and gloomy as
the frostbitten visual presentation of the release might first appear,
it also carries a pure and majestic note to it, which easily relates to
the music as well.
“Terra” is a challenging personal
journey of the soul as well as an authentic Winter-Manifesto (recorded
in snowy times with minus 20 degrees Celsius), spanning elements from
‘70s art-rock to current Nordic Black Metal with supreme melodies and
experimental soundscapes. A soundtrack for our current arctic times…
First of all, I want to
congratulate you with Terra. I really like the album. It really makes me
Can you tell us a little about the history of
the band? Terra was certainly worth waiting for, but why did it take so
long for you guys to start writing the material?
Thanks for the kind words mate! Well,
Mr. V. and I have been playing around with ideas for a band, separate
from our respective bands Vintersorg and Borknagar, almost since the day
we first met. We early on in our friendship realized that we shared much
the same interest, or should I say passion for making music. We are both
musicians that love to progress and evolve our musical horizon into
something new and unexplored. That's something we wanted to do with
It took us some time to finally
release the first CRONIAN album.
The reasons are simply due to two reasons. First off we have been quite
busy with BORKNAGAR/VINTERSORG the last years and last but not least we
wanted to spend some time to shape and establish the musical expression.
We didn't want to hurry; we felt no need to rush it.........quite
How did you launch into writing the
material for 'Terra'? Where did the inspiration/ideas come from?
To actually write the songs didn't
really take too much time. We used most of the years since "the start"
to mentally prepare the whole thing. We kind of knew what musical
elements we wanted to bring forth in the music, but to find the formula
of balancing everything was the big challenge for us. Inspirations-
everything and nothing I guess......... I don't really have a clue, I
just make my music.
Did you have a certain idea of what
you wanted to do on 'Terra'? Any elements you definitely wanted to have
on the album? Who was responsible for writing the songs on the new
From my point of view I always wanted
to do something that had a very distinct "movie- soundtrack vibe" to it.
I have been fascinated by soundtracks for many, many years. With CRONIAN
I wanted to make music that had a very visual and atmospheric approach
and I really think we succeed in that......... I wrote most of the songs
actually but Mr. V contributed allots being a wizard with sounds and
Could you please describe the
implications the title 'Terra' has for you? What does it stand for and
is there a special meaning behind it?
“Terra" was simply the best word being
the literal spearhead for the lyrical content. It's as easy as that. We
just felt that everything fitted together very good: the music- the
lyrics- the layout and then the title...........
Who wrote the lyrics for this album and can you
tell us something about them? I read they are inspired by near-death
experiences and emotional extremities. Why the fascination with
near-death experiences? Ever had one yourself?
With CRONIAN we wanted to have sort of
an ethereal approach and that also go for the lyrics. Therefore we used
this arctic landscape as the scenery for the lyrical content. The arctic
landscape somehow represents the very last pristine parts of the globe.
The environment is utterly beautiful, yet so fierce and deadly for the
humans. I have always been very fascinated by this. Some of the ideas
behind the lyrics are the close encounter between Nature and mankind in
such environments. What mechanisms in the human brain make us risk our
life to explore these wastelands? I mean, this basically breach with our
strong instinct to survive and protect the life of yourself and your
offspring. You might say that the album is a small honor to the pioneer-
spirit" of our forefathers.
This is your first record for
Century Media Records. Why did you sign with them and how did you get in
contact with them?
Century Media Records came up with the
best package for us. The deal they offered was good and they were
willing to work with CRONIAN on our principles. Since I have been
working with CMR for about 10 years with my other band BORKNAGAR I know
them quite well and we trust that they do a good job for us. Naturally I
got in contact with them since I already knew the label...
You recorded this album in the
Unisound Studio and in an authentic Winter-Manifesto (recorded in snowy
times with minus 20 degrees Celsius).Was this a conscious choice and
That's half the story....hehe...
Actually everything is recorded in my studio and Mr. V's studios. We
both have quite descent equipment to do such things. We basically did
everything ourselves, including the recording and mixing. We only
mastered the album in Unisound Studio. The album was mixed in late
December 2005 in the Northern part of Sweden. And yes it was bastard
cold! When we did the band photos (a break form the mixing) we went to a
mountain nearby and it was freezing cold. You can almost see on my beard
that it's about to freeze. Made a nice touch to the whole atmosphere
while mixing the album!
How did the recording process
proceed and how much time did you spend in the studio?
We worked sporadically during about
one and a half year I think. I recorded and programmed my stuff in my
studio and the same did Mr. V. We spend samples to each other via the
internet, talked on the phone and so on. A really interesting process-
to see how far you can push things without going to an expensive studio.
new album was produced by Dan Swanö. Are you satisfied with the result
of the album and how was it to work with him?
Not totally correct. Dan only mastered
the album in Unisound. He is a mastermind when it comes to such things
so that really helped us to complete the overall sound of production.
Great working with him, easy to communicate with and really
I must say that the Cronian logo is
beautiful. Who created that? Is there a thought behind the logo?
The logo is done by a guy named Robert
L. Smith. Mark his name as he is a brilliant drawing artist. We just
wanted a cool and classic logo and that is what he made for us........
Listening to Terra makes me think a
bit about Borknagar, but then in a more relaxed way. Can you understand
that feeling and why?
Yeah, sure I can understand that! The
reason is simply that I make most of the music and Mr. V does the vocals
and so on......... So whatever we do together, peoples will always tell
us that we reminds of BORK or VINTERSORG, even if it is just mentally.
That doesn't bother me at all. I am quite proud to have established a
musical identity that marks out somehow. I see the link between CRONIAN
and BORKNAGAR but to me those bands have a totally different character.
As you say on your website Cronian
shares a passion and interest in movie soundtracks. You can really hear
that on the album. I think Terra is a metal soundtrack itself. What do
you have with movies? Were you in any way influenced by certain movies?
Which soundtracks do you love yourself?
Thanks for the kind words! Well, I
have always been very fascinated by movie soundtracks and how they
empower movies. What would "Lord of the Rings" be without the music?
Movie soundtracks have a very important role when it comes to creating
atmospheres, feelings and so on. With CRONIAN I tried to use these
"principles" and blend it into our music..........Movie soundtracks that
I love is many, everything from STAR WARS (John Williams is THE
mastermind) to SVIDD NEGER (Norwegian movie where Trixter G.Made the
Have you already received any
feedback on the new album and what do you personally think about this
album - are you satisfied with the outcome or would you liked to have
changed anything in retrospective?
Yeah, we have got loads of feedback.
Most of them have been positive (more positive that expected) and some
has been negative. With CRONIAN we expected very diverse feedback due to
the fact that we do some musical "side jumps" on TERRA that evidentially
have provoked some fans around the globe.........But do we care? NO!
Can we expect some live shows? If yes, where
and will you come to the Netherlands?
Nope! CRONIAN will not appear live. We
never intended to that with CRONIAN and I thing the music not would suit
a live stage. CRONIAN is not the ultimate head banger music....hehe........
What can we expect from Cronian in
A new album coming up. We are
currently working on the new material (the music is already written) for
the next album. We hope to finish the album by the end of the year and
most likely it will be released early next year............musically it
will be massive and atmospheric. Maybe a little bit darker that
Ok, now some questions to enable our
readers to get to know you a little bit better:
How did you get involved in the
I started out with distributing
flyers, tape-trading and reading underground fanzines back in 1989 or
so.... I got in contact with peoples around the globe and through the
years everything evolved to where I am now. Have been a long but
What songs and bands do you listen
to yourself these days?
Has to admit that I don't really
listen so much to metal anymore, at least on daily basis. I am for
example a big fan of David Sylvian, his new project Nine Horses, is
really great. I am really into the last David Gilmour album and so
on........ As you may notice, I like atmospheric music quite allot.
Is there still something you like
to do besides Cronian and all your other bands. Do you have jobs or can
you live from the music you love to make?
I guess much the same as everybody
else. Being together with my family and friends, watching movies, take a
walk on the mountain and so on. Yes, I have a regular job beside the
music. Even though I from time to time could have lived from music only,
that was or is not in my interest. I don't want to be a slave by the
music industry in any way. I want to make my music without concerning
about the sales of the next album in order to get money to pay my
bills.... That's elementary for me!
What is your opinion about the
Nordic black metal scene these days, do you miss something?
Yes, I miss burning passion for the
music back in those days. Nowadays, I think it is too much about
everything around and beside.............metal has become a fashion for
the masses..........thousands of goth- clones with make-up and crap like
Is there anything you want to tell
us after these questions?
Yeah, I really have to take a
leak...............take care folks and thanks for your support!
Thanks very much for your time. I am
looking forward to receive your answers.
Answered by Øystein G. Brun, July 2006
Mr. V: Zang, Bass & Programming
Øystein G. Brun: Gitaar & Programming
2006 - Terra