An interview about the man behind the music.
First of all, I’d like to thank you very much for taking your time to answer this interview. I am aware that it’s a big generosity from you as you are a very busy person involved with many works/ projects and still have to find time for your personal life. I’d like to start by asking you to, please, introduce yourself to our readers/ listeners.
My name is Daniel Vrangsinn. I am a professional musician, audio & video producer. I am also an part of the Heathen society, an international antireligious liberation movement. I am the president of Misantrof ANTIRecords, an anti-label founded in 2007 as a protest against the music industry and how they threat musicians and the fans.
This is not going to be an all Carpathian Forest interview. As I mentioned to you on a message, I’d like to ask about many of your views on life, society and related matters, but Carpathian Forest is a also a must on an interview. How are things with the band? I’ve read you’re working on a new album and, for us, we expect it with highly anticipation. Musically speaking, what can tell us about it so far?
We are working on a new album. We are starting to get some really great material we want to record in studio. I can’t really say too much about the album, but expect classic Carpathian Forest and as always some unexpected surprises.
You are the president of Misantrof ANTIRecords, described as a non profit independent ANTILabel which allows bands to keep the rights to their own music. Why did you decide to start this Antilabel and how does Misantrof survive? Is it already self-sustainable?
In January 2007 I decided to give the commercial music industry a fuck off for starting a war with the so called music pirates, who also happen to be our fans. I see these things in a very different way than the labels, and I could no longer be a part of that dirty industry. Therefore I declined to sign my music to a traditional record label. I uploaded the music to a simple webpage where I issued a short statement about my views on this.
Reality is nothing like the labels would like you to believe, a traditional label actually restricts you in regard of how many people you can potentially reach with your music. They restrict your art to the minorities who are still buying CD’s as they want to make money.
Small and medium sized bands hardly ever saw any money from CD sales anyway. Their money usually came from selling merchandise and doing concerts. This is basically simple math; the more people a band are able to reach the more money they can potentially make. The new breed of independent musicians don’t want restrictions on how to distribute their own music to their audience. They know that they can reach far more people without hiring a label to steal both their rights and their money, while limiting their possibility to reach YOU. It’s just not a good deal in the modern world
Misantrof makes no money whatsoever so it is dependent on us volunteers to pay the bills. People don’t really appreciate anything anymore and we hardly ever get donations.
What about the MISANTROF AntiPublishing, do you have a date set for the publishing? How can an artist, be a writer or a musician get in touch with Misantrof? By the way, is there a certain type of material that you look for? Be it about the musical style or the writings?
I am not sure what is going on there. I think that section of Misantrof will have to wait. I rather wanna update the webpage to 2014 standards. It’s starting to look really outdated. And we want to give the bands more tools they can use to promote their music to their fans.
Not only you’re involved with a non profit independent label, but you are also a member of the Pirate Party. Could you tells us a bit more about it, how much are you involved, are you also interested in politics as well as how have other professional musicians reacted to your decision?
How involved am I? The pirate ideology and the Misantrof ideology are very similar so I think it is natural for me to also be there so I can speak the cause of the artists and also the reality of the digital world we all live in today. We need to find ways to co-exist with the pirates. We need to find new ways to make money on the music if we want to survive. Simple as that. No one become rock stars anymore. I am on the board of this region of Norway. I don’t see myself going further though. Politics are very boring stuff.
You are also a member of the Heathen Society in Norway. First of all, how do you find the time for all of this? I know, when it’s important you make time, but you are involved in so many subjects… Well, continuing with the question, please, for those who aren’t familiar with this organization, could you care to explain what is it about and your role on the Heathen Society?
I am on their board and I’m also their liaison officer in Atheist Alliance International. I work with the internationalization of the organization. The Heathen society is an old proud antireligious organization that was founded in 1974. It is opposing the power religion has on the states, societies and on people’s lives. It’s very important to fight the church, Islam, Judaism and other destructive religions poisoning this planet and the minds of the week.
I always ask this question (and some others) when interviewing a musician, unless I’ve interviewed the band before. Music is powerful, it can change so many views, open new visions, but I’d like to ask about one small (or maybe not small) aspect of music, when it really touches people. And I find it interesting, since, as I’m typing this interview, it just popped on your Facebook the question: “are you happy?”. Music helps us to go through hard times, sometimes it simply helps us to go on. I believe you’ve heard this from fans before, so, how do you feel when you get to know that your music has helped and still helps people to forget about their problems, to go through a tough phase or to simply live one more day?
Am I happy? Before I answer that I want to talk a little about happiness…. If you think that happiness is the normal state of the mind and keep searching for it you will always be miserable. You see – Happiness is a reward mechanism in our brains. Every time we do something that increase our own chances of survival or to spread our genes or we accomplish something we are rewarded by a tiny moment of happiness. If humanity were constantly happy our entire species would stagnate and we would never get any further. It is this reward mechanism that keep on pushing us to break new limits, to always be more, to get further, to learn more. This is the mechanism that pushes some people to climb mountains and others to land on the moon. Without it we would still climb the trees.
I am moderate happy at times, sometimes I am just ok and other times I am miserable. Life is pretty good right now. It has been worse and it has been better. If you believe in happiness then you must truly be mad.
You have been under some gratuitous and vicious attacks on the internet because of your relationship with an Egyptian lady. Those attacks, as you’ve posted, have been made by Arabic people and I believe you handled them quite well. Have the attacks slowed down or they are still “bugging” you (maybe these attackers are masochists and need some beating). Anyways, I’d like to ask you if you have also experienced some, I wouldn’t say attacks, but rather disapproval from Europeans?
It come and goes in circles in a way. Right now it’s silent. But if she does any new protests or we do something public together it will start again. It’s kinda both annoying and inspiring at once. The fact that we are hated so much is the best proof we are doing something important in this world.
It happens now and then that very politically correct people attack us too. It’s getting difficult to use our freedom of speech in Europe unless you are politically correct and non offensive. It’s silly and I simply ignore them and keep on going. I am extremely stubborn. It’s all as expected when my girlfriend is the most hated woman in Egypt. She’s a hero you know. Amazing woman.
Besides being a professional musician, you are also a poet. Could you tell us what inspires you to write (or to create art in general, if you prefer). Also, please, tell us some of your favorite authors and how they have influenced your work, if so.
My poetry is inspired by reality mostly and not other poets or authors. I find a lot of inspiration in both happiness, sadness, depression, anger and most of all – The endless stupidity of mankind. My poetry is usually existential stuff. About me or humanity. All the things we did wrong, all regrets, time, death, life, love, hate. I get inspired by real life events. Sometimes I can write a sentence in a debate and find it poetic and then I start working further on it. Some of my poetry is so very cold and logical. It’s very scary now and then and the weak minded often freak out from it.
One more question that in a way is related to you personally. During the many years of musical life, are there any regrets (musically speaking) or something that you’d change as well as what are your proudest moments with it?
No regrets. Finish the albums, move on to next. I don’t have time for regrets and I honestly like everything I ever did musically. As a musician I just keep on getting better as I grow older, aging like fine wine. Proud moments….. The Carpathian Forest albums, Hatepulse, Nattefrost, Secht, Vrangsinn, A Waste of Talent, hell….. Even The small penis syndromes and all the other stuff I did. I love it all and I am very proud of it in all it’s weirdness and various musical styles.
You’ve shared on your Facebook account the very powerful documentary “Earthlings”. Are you a vegetarian/ vegan? I’ve read that the big agricultural companies have started a secret smear campaign against meat, but this could only be another conspiracy theory. What is your instance on this matter?
I am a meat eater and an animal welfare activist at once. I love animals but I can’t suppress the beast, the beautiful predator living and breathing inside of me. It’s my nature to eat just like it’s the nature of all the predators here on earth. The law of earth, life, death… I love animals a lot actually. A lot more than I like people. But I will keep on eating them anyway.
Daniel, tell us what do you do to relax when you go back home as well as how it could be a perfect way to end your day after a stressful day?
Relax is a word I don’t understand very well. But a good movie can be a good way to at least try.
Daniel, what can we expect from you for 2014? Do you believe that Carpathian Forest will be able to tour this year?
I can’t imagine there will be more Carpathian Forest concerts in 2014. We need to focus on the new album. I also have a lot of music and video to complete with the Vrangsinn project. My TABOO movie/album. But I think 2015 is more realistic for that one. Besides from that I will keep on working with all the other studio projects I do with my friends for fun. I am extremely chaotic you know.. I work very much on random so you never know what will happen here in studio.
And we’ve reached the end of this interview. Again, I’d like to thank you very much for this and to ask you to keep on swimming against the tide, with a passion to change some rules here and there, we have few people that have the guts to try so (no ass-kissing here), that’s how I see your works; Any last words for our readers/ listeners?
Support the music underground. Support Misantrof. Support me and most of all – Fucking support and love yourself a lotMay 3, 2014