Recently I had a chance to sit down with vocalist Erik Danielsson of the popular and controversial Swedish black metal band Watain. The band is unique in the sense that despite the fact that they have maintained their extreme sound throughout their career, their appeal continues to widen.
The band has also expressed the idea that their music and outlandish live performances (which have often included severed animal heads -- yes, real ones) are a very specific form of artistic expression, occupying a space outside of a world that they view as a shallow place.
Their latest album "The Wild Hunt" is the band's most diverse album to date, and has received widespread acclaim from critics and fans alike. The inclusion of a moody gothic ballad on the record has been a point of discussion on the web and in many publications. That being said the album is no more melodic or accessible than their previous releases, so I thought it would be a good idea to speak to Danielsson about their strange cross-over success, and I delve deeper into the in-between place where the music and philosophy of Watain dwells.