While most black metal guys spend hours staring at themselves in the mirror, brewing wine, parasitizing on their girlfriends, and buying make-up at H&M- others actually work. Probably one of the most ambitious guys you´ll find is Sturt, aka. Jens Johansen, also former perpetrator and creative designer behind the Let The Streets Burn club, and current collaborator with 1023438 dudes in the Norwegian metal scene.
You designed the classic LTSB posters back in the day. Is design work what pays the bills, or do you make a living with your music?
I used to make a living as a designer, but I’m currently between jobs. My options are to find a new job as a graphic designer, find work in more music related parts of life, or simply get filthy rich on the music I make.
Who are you currently working with?
I’m working with a bunch of great guys and gals. Amongst others Kai / Mister Fister (Enthral, Virus), Kikken / Hellkikk (Livstid, Hell Hell Hell), Charlie (Anti Cimex), Nagash (the Kovenant), Vicotnik (DHG, ex-Ved Buens Ende (which album Written in Waters should be checked out by anyone who haven’t heard it)), Kvalvaag (Mök, Astaroth), Joddski (Tungtvann), Ida Maria (Ida Maria), Apollyon (Aura Noir, Immortal) and Aggressor (Virus, Aura Noir). So at the end of this year, I will have recorded four albums with four different bands.
Which bands are those?
I play guitar and sing in Whip, and we have recorded an album that is to be mixed and mastered shortly. It is a mad display of extreme metal. The band also consists of Mister Fister on bass and vocals, and Hellkikk on drums.
A spin-off band of Whip named Blindfisted, just recorded drums, bass and guitars for an album that will have different guest vocalists on every track. Mister Fister and I have switched instruments in this band, so it’s him on guitar, me on bass, and Charlie on drums.
Attentat is recording a killer full length album this summer. The band consists of Kvalvaag on guitar and vocals, me on bass and backing vocals, and Telal (Astaroth) on drums.
Troll is currently making the preprod for the next album. We are Nagash on guitar and vocals, Tlaloc and guitar and backing vocals, Ygg on drums, Exilis on keys and me on bass and backing vocals.
I’m also in a band named Throat Violence with Offender (Morbo, VII Arcano) on vocals, Überfranz (ex-Maesoleum) on guitars, Nagash on drums, and me on bass. But we are NOT planning any releases.
What possesses a man to embark upon such a gigantic project?
It was not planned. People have just been booking studios, so we have entered and recorded as we do best. When you’re in several bands, you just have to be ready to embark upon gigantic projects from time to time.
Why should we listen to yr stuff?
If someone told me they were making four albums simultaneously I sure as hell would be curious. So I guess curiosity, initially, then hopefully keep listening because you love it so much. I would like that.
Your LTSB comps are known for their diversity, from country to epic 70’s ballads– does this influence your song creation?
I listen to a lot of different music, and everything I listen to inspire me in terms of songwriting. I can get inspired by a Madonna song to make a Sodom-like song. It’s in a way just a form of translating moods into your own expressions. Take what moves you and move it onto others.
When are these albums scheduled for release and on what label?
If things go as planned, this fall and on labels to be announced. We have been in contact with some interested labels, but we’re waiting until we have transferred the albums to a mixing studio, and gotten a good mix of the songs. Then we’ll take a round with the labels, and find the most suitable one(s). Everything will be on CD, LP and as digital download. That’s the only thing we’re sure of. And hopefully available at your local record store or favorite download site.
How are you coping with this shitty summer weather?
This rainy thing called summer is very wet … I have a slight feeling of drowning, but I’m still breathing. But it suits me pretty good, as I spend so much time inside damp rehearsal places and in dark studios.