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Satyricon’s Satyr Is a Grumpy Black Metal Gatekeeper: “If You Were There, I Would Have Known”


Right now, heavy metal gatekeeping is under fire. Once upon a time, it was considered charming and genre-appropriate to be a frowny jerk to kids who knew less about metal than you, but alas, no more! However, if there’s one subgenre within metal that will always have gatekeepers — and, honestly, that will always celebrate them — it’s black metal, which prides itself on requiring sacrifice and humorless devotion of its fans. Case in point, Satyricon frontman Satyr recently did an interview in which he claimed that if he didn’t know about your band during the genre’s heyday, you have no right saying you were an early black metal fan.

Speaking to Revolver, Satyr made it clear that he finds it frustrating that anyone would dare to question his black metal knowledge, given that he was there during the Norwegian second wave — and that some of the bands who claim ownership of early black metal are full of shit, because he wasn’t aware of them:

“I grew up in what we refer to as the original Norwegian black metal scene. I am one of the persons that was a part of the both musical and social circle that set the stage for what [it] is. Now, it’s been around for 30 years or so I guess – time flies.

“And I guess what’s the most frustrating part to me is that there are a lot of people that [are] very opinionated about the definition of black metal – while at the same time, not [having been] there, because we were so few. And, without mentioning names, there are so many bands out of this country that say ‘Yeah, we started in [year] so and so and build from there, and then we released’ – and I think to myself, ‘No, you didn’t.’ Because if you were there, as you claim in your press release, I would have known.’

“And then, even worse, now having people that are from a different country, from a different culture and different age group to try and educate Satyricon on the definition of black metal.”

Could it be possible, perhaps, that there were bands doing black metal outside of Norway, or outside of Satyr’s purview? Probably. Then again, asking an artsy black metal dude to be open-minded and just let everyone enjoy the music is kind of antithetical to the genre. Is it even really black metal if the people behind it aren’t ultra-grouchy elitists?

Check out the interview below:

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