“‘Where do we go from here?’ That’s a very daunting question. Coming out of Wrath we all weren’t sure that we could do another record. Not physically, obviously we’re not getting any younger, but it felt like we had really achieved what we wanted to achieve as a band. So, how do we beat that? How do we get the hunger –the edge – to stay relevant? It’s obviously at a point where we could just kind of rest and just do what everybody expects us to do. But that’s the last thing I want to do. There is no way we could leave the legacy of the band at the last album being all weird. We can’t do that shit. We have to stay true to it or let it go and that’s a hard thing for a band – or anybody with a career – to really stomach.”
Having built a steadily growing fan base, it was always going to be a matter of time before LOG stopped being that band with the new sound and took their place as influential to the scene. However, with easier access to home recording gear there are more bands around than ever before. With new blood constantly entering the music world, how can an established group hope to remain relevant without knowing their place?
“It’s brutal you know, but the music industry is very cut throat. Especially in metal, there is a new band every four minutes and they write the stuff the kids want to hear much better than the old guys do so we know where we are at, we know the place we kind of created in the scene, we know the impact that we have had on a lot of young bands. But we don’t want to stop – our evolution is continuing. There will never be another Metallica. In this age with the technology and the attention spans, it’s just not possible. Bands like ourselves, Machine Head, Slipknot, we’ve kind of created this second tier level behind them that makes sense with the technology of today and how far you can get. We embrace and appreciate that and realise how far we’ve come to be able to be a part of that, but also it makes us very much a target. We’re not that underground cool band anymore. It’s hard to root for us you know, we really have to fucking prove it. Especially now putting out our seventh record, we’re very easily dismissed by the new heavy metal fan of being the good old guys. ‘Ah you know, they’ve made their money and let’s support this unheard-of Norwegian Black Metal band’. We know that and it adds to the pressure of: How do we continue to prove our relevancy and our credibility in the scene?”
It seems that LOG have reached a point where they aren’t on the same level as big acts like Slayer or Metallica, but also not still on the rise to power like Trivium or Mastodon. This is a point in a career that sometimes spawns nostalgic acts, but one listen to Resolution – and I have been as fortunate to have more than just one – underlines LOG’s intent. Vastly different to any previous record, it still retains the distinct LOG characteristics. It is the sound of a band pushing their limits, and Chris is adamant to keep pushing for as long as is necessary.
“I think every album has somewhat been a reaction to the album before it. With Ashes, we felt like it was a great album but it was missing some production quality, so we beefed up production quality for Sacrament. Then after Sacrament we felt like we beefed them up too much so we stripped it back for Wrath and tried to make this nasty and raw sounding album. We all felt like we had accomplished what we wanted to accomplish, so now we can really spread our wings a little bit and maybe improve upon things that we had introduced prior but not been able to really fully expand because we were so focused on the overall goal of heavy or fast or something like that. Now we felt a bit more free. But again, in the back of our heads, you can feel as free as you want but it’s got to fucking kick the last album’s ass or else you have to stop because you can’t put out something that is any less in anyway to the last record or we start to become a nostalgia act.”
After both hearing the album and talking with Chris, it is obvious LOG have a goal to surpass what has come before. “Name one band that you can say their seventh record is your favourite. None. There’s none. So for us that was in the back of our head the whole time, like, ‘How do we make this record as important as our first or second or third record?’ Everybody loves a certain band because of their first record or second record, nobody is ever talking about a band’s seventh record if they are ever lucky enough to do it. We’re not in this for money, it’s never been about money. We love the music that we make, we love being a part of this scene, we love contributing to the future of music and heavy music and it’s an honour to be in the spot that we are and we don’t take it for granted.”
BY OSCAR SCHIESSER