: We are what a lot of black metal think it is... HONEST :
        : Interview done to Joyless :
: Written by Skelos & el dios perezoso :        
We have to admit that we consider Joyless one of the most incomparable and different acts from the actual scene. So when they recently released his new work, "Without Support", after more than a decade from the previous one, we had to try interviewing them to talk about their music and other aspects in a more depressive vein... We did it... And if you follow reading this lines you'll discover that these Norwegian guys are nice and humble people.
Hey gang. Here some depressive creatures from Spain. We hope you find this interview interesting. Let's talk directly about your recent new album "Without Support". Well, the question is inevitable. What has happened all this time since your last full-length album, "Wisdom and Arrogance", (without mention that type of compilation, "Wild Signs of the Endtimes"), edited in 2000, more than 11 years ago?
Nylon: In short words; Time went by. Work and family have taken lots of time for all of us. Besides Eidyllion, Joyless was "dead" for quite some time until we managed to set up our studio/rehearsal area. After completing the studio we did the RoC album and started working on some of the lost tunes, ending up with WS containing some old tracks dating back to the very beginning of Joyless and completely new tracks.
Ok, during this time you have recorded 4 split EPs. Is there any special reason for it? I find this fact at least curious. Do you choose the bands for those splits?
Nylon: Just pushing out the new songs as they were recorded to celebrate the resurrection.
Olav: Yes we choose the bands. We would never cooperate with something we don't like.
By the way, some of the tracks in the splits such as "Have A Nice Fight", "The Adorn Japetus" or "Shadow Spree", can also be found in your latest work. Are they the same recordings from the same sessions etc., or did you changed them somehow?
Nylon: These are all previews. Same recording, but final album version are slightly altered and of course mastered.
Well, I must admit that I waited a music very similar than I found it in "Without Support". Of course your songs always surprise me in some way, but I hoped a similar "mood" and vein. A sound more mature (not as simple as in "Wisdom And Arrogance") and diverse, with other influences far away from metal, but that typical bittersweet feeling and the same nonconformist attitude are still present. Do you agree? Please tell us a bit more.
Ida: When you say it is in the same vain. You are right. We are still the same souls. Yet older. We carry our baggage, but it has become lighter during these years. This will of course reflect in the music. Youths frustrations are gone. If you compare "Wisdom and arrogance" with "Without support", the latest release has a light in the tunnel or at least a hope for the future. Change is a good thing. That is the message, if you want to peel the layers of "Without support".
Difficult to describe your music in "Without Support". Please, do it in your own words...
Nylon: Honest simplified reality.
Olav: We went back to basic more than ever this time. We wanted essence and to reveal it to the listeners.
Following the line, how do you think last ten years affected-infected you when you actually write songs. I find in a way that "Wisdom And Arrogance" is the perfect soundtrack for people around 20-25 with existential troubles, a bit freak, that can't find their place in this strange and nonsense world. "Without Support" could be the music for the same people with a few more years that still can't find their place. The innocence disappeared now and turns into a bit of anger. What do you think about that?
Nylon: In general we make music for our self. Not for other people. As we age, the music ages along. I think any band will find it hard to make honest music for anybody in a different mental state than themselves. Unless the people listening to Joyless 10 years got stuck in their own youth they will still be able to identify themselves in Joyless.
I feel interest how the band compose music. For example, my favourite song from your new album is probably "Have A Nice Fight". How did you write the music, the lyrics, etc., in this track?
Olav: As in most of our songs it started with a guitar riff that i really liked. This riff then led to the rest of the song. First we record drums and the basic guitar. We listen to it and get the ideas for bass and melody lines. As you know we are a "small" band and can't rehearse all instruments together.
Ida: Olav and Nylon likes to work together, having a nice time and a beer. When they are finished, I go down to the studio with my lyrics and try to find out what fits the most. I like mostly to work alone, but I have Olav as guidance when I am unsure.
I would like to talk about the song "Velvet Willow" as well. If I'm not wrong, it's a little tribute to one of the bands who have most influenced you, The Velvet Underground. The riffs and the melodies are really very similar to the ones from the classic tracks from the New York city band leaded by Lou Reed, like "Heroin" or "Sweet Jane". What can you tell us about all this?
Olav: It's natural. Being our first and biggest influence in this genre.
Ida: I had in mind "Velvet Underground", when I wrote the title of"Velvet Willow". The name is of course in the honor of the velvets. Yes it is very much as a tribute to them. And I hope that any fans of The Velvet Underground would recognize this in some way.
I think your attitude with your music contains an important load of irony. Something like: "this world sucks, it's absurd, they betrayed me... but I will not kick them... better I don't care about anything else, no more...". As well as a depressive feeling, something like "at the end, all of us are alone" (I have to admit that one of the parts I have sung more times are the lines "people surround me but I feel a deep loneliness" from your fantastic ols Joyless song "Inherent Emptiness". Maybe this is a path to find to the individual and personal identity... Ok, and what do you think about all this?
Olav: Of course the world sucks, but so does humanity. I'm not a religious man but I like to sitate the bible. I'm created in Gods image. I am what God wants me to be and so are the rest of you. Some kind of God...."Inherited Emptiness", the lyrics, is by the way written by my lost Spanish friend Raul Jimenez.
Mmh... I really want to ask you about that... The lyrics of your new song "Better" says "every day is better than the next" with that bittersweet and a bit funny melody... Fuck, that is a feeling I share plenty and I think a lot of people do as well. Being honest that is one of the thoughts that causes me more depression, to grow old and lose the vitality of youth, etc. (Peter Pan complex I suppose, hehe). To see as well as the years pass in the people and things of our usual life. The memories of good moments of the past hurt too, moments that will never return. Well, how do you face the passing years?
Nylon: Life is bitter-sweet with a funny melody. If you feel like you for once are having a good day it's probably just your brain suppressing the amazing day you had yesterday. We are all dying. Some slower than other. Growing old is just a side effect of this.
Olav: I pass them with no worries. Happy that I got a year. It,s natural for me. Can't regret.
Ida: Well, these days the time is flying faster every moment. So enjoy it while you can. For bitter and for Sweet. Make the best of it.
Changing the topic, I have always liked the covers of your releases, a mix between originality and simplicity. For example, the covers of your split with Dekadent Aesthetix or the compilation "Wild Signs Of The Endtimes" are surprisingly great. Is the visual aspect of your work important? What do you try to transmit with your covers?
Olav: The same as in the music. Something special.
Ida: Something that fits to the music and the lyrics- that ties it all together. Hopefully!
Ok, for finishing the interview I would like to talk about the past of the band, hehe... If I am not wrong, when you started Joyless you wanted to separate it from the true black metal scene. Well, the fact that I find more ironic and funny is that you have received a lot of appreciation from this same true and closer scene with works as distant from the black metal paramethers as "Wisdom And Arrogance"... I have not really read many negative reviews from that dark and true circle about Joyless. What do you think about it? And what do you think that is the key of it?
Nylon: I believe if Lady Gaga started playing BM it would not be fair to her fans that expect pop or whatever it's called. The object was not so separate from the black metal scene, but to play other kinds of music. I believe there are few (none) people in the world listening only to BM or any other genre alone. Thus, if you like a band why would you not like their inspiration source? As we all have our non BM favorites in the 60/70's the result is joyless.
Olav: I think it's because we are what a lot of black metal think it is... HONEST.
Ida: I think Joyless is... after a blackmettaler has went to a psychologist and came back with the answers. He he. And that is why, nobody is protesting.
Talking about that. Forgotten Woods "returned" some years ago (we have already an interview with R. from the time of "The Race Of Cain"). In your point of view, which are the most significant differences between Joyless and Forgotten Woods? When you start to write a song, how do you know in which band it will fit better?
Olav: I feel it's pretty much the same. But you can hear the difference. One more extreme than the other. I know before I make a tune what band it's for. When we made Race of Cain it was only Forgotten Woods in my mind. The same goes for Joyless.
To close this interview, how would you classify the musical style of Joyless? In which genre? Metal, indie-rock with influences from the 60´s pop-rock, depressive music or simply like you said once "Misanthropic Music for Misanthropic People? Anyway, does this matter?
Nylon: Unpopular pop for unpopular people. Does it matter? No.
Olav: Really hard to say, but influenced from the 60`s.
Ok, thanks a lot for taking the time to answer these questions and for sharing some deep personal thoughts about this fucking life, etc. Hope you find it cool. The last words are yours dudes...
Nylon: Peace and Love.
Olav: Thanks for the interview. I think we had one in your mag 10 years ago as well!? (N.: nope man, possible you did it with that old Italian mag with the same name than us).
Ida: Most of our lyrics are about the turning points in life. The point where you reach a dead end, and have to find a new way. Even if it feels like shit - Change is good at the end, remember that!
Thanks to Akane Hayashi and S.G. for helping us with the translations...
: Band's website: :
: Origin: Norway :
: Publishing date: 29.04.2011 :