Interview with Antestor
September 10 - 2003

I had the great honour to interview Ronny Hanson, the vocalist of Antestor and ex-vocalist of Vaakevandring. Antestor had just finished recording 2 cd's before this interview.

JesusMetal: How do you get in the mood for writing songs?

Ronny: I can only give you an answer for the lyrics, and my way of getting the lyrics done is quite simple...
I need to be alone, some background music, preferably metal, or relaxing music, such as Enya for example. Then I must have a topic to work on... Before all else..
I never use more than one day on one song.

JesusMetal: You told me you recorded an EP and a full-length, is one of these releases the long expected final Vaakevandring release?

Ronny: Well... No.. But Vaakevandring has a goal to reunite soon, with its original members to produce a full-lenght. But per now, it's just little more than a wish, since we're not playing together yet.
So the EP and the full-lenght is all Antestor... Also I must say that we're not 100% sure that it will be an EP, but I think so, and we hope.

JesusMetal: Why did you choose to record 2 Antestor releases at one time?

Ronny: Economical issues, and the fact that we had Jan Axel doing the drums for us... Also that Antestor has a lot of unreleased tracks which cannot be fed into just one cd.

JesusMetal: About the new releases. What will the releases sound like? In the vein of Martyrium, The Return of the Black Death or completely different?

Ronny: Somewhat completely different... Martyrium was a release that was almost pure underground both in style and in music. The Return of the Black Death is more of an old school original "Black metal" with more folklore traditional songs.
1) The new material has surprised even ourselves. I have not got a copy of a "Raw mix" yet, but Antestor is finally getting good sound... And that, for a start is almost new to Antestor.
2) The music is more catchy, with more melodic lines than before, with a touch of more synth than before too.
3) It's just me and Vemod (Lars) which finance its release, together with Endtime Productions, and we have done a few changes with the line-up... (The drummer is replaced by a session drummer who is quite famous really... At least in the metal circus... (Jan Axel Blomberg... aka Hellhammer...) And do you remember Bjørn Leren? He played a solo on Antestor's first demo... He's back and has done quite some awesome solos and parts on guitar that are outstanding.
We also have a female singer (Ann Mari Edvardsen, JesusMetal) who has done some singing, and that's marvelous.. She has sung in the Norwegian Metal/Goth band The Third and the Mortal.
4) It will be a very variable release in forms of tempo, we try to combine the slow, with the more fast, and some in the middle...

JesusMetal: Tell me more about both the releases, when will they be released, what will be the titles, tracktitles and so on?

Ronny: We have not come as far as discussing the dates yet, nor the titles... Hopefully we'll have one release before the end of this year. That is as far as I can go... You'll have to wait for further information on those questions.

JesusMetal: Only one original Antestor member is still in Antestor, Lars. Why didn't you change the name?

Ronny: That's not true... Gard (Vegard) is still with us... Bjørn Leren has also come back, and the essence of Antestor has always been Lars. The sound and feeling on this new one, will still be felt like Antestor as you know it... We have just grew musically....

JesusMetal: Before you recorded the new songs, the line-up was: Morten - synths, Ronny - vocals (both ex-Vaakevandring) and Lars - guitars. Who are the other members on the records?

Ronny: Me - vocals
Morten - synths
Bjørn - guitars
Lars - guitars, backing vocals
Jan Axel - drums
Vegard - bass
Ann Mari Edvardsen - female vocals

JesusMetal: Even though Antestor is one of the most popular and influental metalbands in the Christian metalscene, Antestor never had some killer label like Mortification or Extol. How come?

Ronny: (Are we really popular??? I have always seen Antestor as the most hated band in the Christian scene) he he..
Well, we are on the exact same label as Extol, before this last release of them... Endtime...
The reason is that Antestor has had a lot of troubles internally, with members and so on.... So our live - possibilities is not exactly great... Antestor has a bad rumour in the secular scene, since our lyrics are bold, and that Antestor has been somewhat known in the Black metal scene... Who hate Christianity much much more than the scene whose Mortification and Extol serves.

JesusMetal: Well, in the Christian Black metal scene Antestor is quite popular. Some bands believe that you shouldn't have too bold lyrics, so you can tell non-christians indirect about Christ. What are your thoughts on this??

Ronny: We're far more indirect on this album... Both because the "Too boldness thing" and to invite more people to listen to us...

JesusMetal: The 2 Antestor demos, The Defeat of Satan and Despair were re-released this year. What are your thoughts on it? Will the Vaakevandring demo also be re-released someday?

Ronny: We are pleased by the release of the Antestor demos. We're also pleased with its sound. It's old stuff, but you can hear that we're the same band somehow I think. About the Vaakevandring demo... It will not be re-released, I can't see why it should either... It's still available, I think, through Nordic Mission. (Isn't it???)

JesusMetal: No, the demo has gone out of print and since most of the owners like it and don't want to sell it, it's very hard to get.

Ronny: I don't know about a re-print anyway... Ask Nordic Mission...