Ved Buens Ende interview from Qvadrivivm #5 (2008)

Fairytale Bass Lines, Etc.

Interview: Kuronen

Remember. One of the most thankful aspects of persistent compulsiveness concerning music is rediscovery. You know, a drip-drop calmness of yesterday unwittingly becoming the storm of today. For 1980s metal inspectors, Voïvod may bend time much in the same sense Ved Buens Ende does for 1990s connoisseurs. They ought to be last week’s news but aren’t.

Much as Written in Waters should by all means be lauded as a then-pioneering gem by fearless Norwegian black metal youngsters testing their strength at jazzy crookedness, it wasn’t quite the jelly. Unlike the studio album, 1994’s Those Who Caress the Pale demo felt from the very first listen like the appropriate crux to perfectly unite black metal and eloquent avant-garde music. It has the verve, the style, the rawness. Plus some of the most fiercely gloomy riffage in “A Mask in the Mirror”. A third-generation dubbed copy lay in the cassette hell untouched for years, simply for the reason that I felt like no one to intrude upon its feverish excellence. When, eventually, it was time to upgrade to CD, Kyrck Productions from Hellas offered a pleasant opportunity to peak at some of the material in progress. The Kyrck re-release of Those Who Caress the Pale included the 1993 Pro-Gnosis-Diabolis vignettes by Manes—not to be confused with the more famous Manes from Trondheim—as a bonus. There came the revelation of the sluggish, crouching early rendition of “Remembrance of Things Past” as a ditty called “His Masters Voice”. The bulk of the Manes material sounds Mysticum-esque in its aloofness, but the Thorns influence is there with venomous, spiralling melodies aplenty. A worthwhile addition for the relic hunters.

Ved Buens Ende was a total collaboration of and on chance, as was proven by the band’s waddling, haphazard existence from 1994 to 1997 and 2006 to 2007. Their songs, ephemeral creations that came out of their makers’ minds in what was apparently an effortless and magical manner, also stand as testament to this unpredictable nature. One gets the feeling it’s the people, instead of their capability of pulling out ravishing musical trickery, that stand in the way of more Ved Buens Ende diamonds.

“After Written in Waters, we made some new tracks,” Hugh Steven James Mingay, known as Skoll the bass artiste in VBE, recalls modestly. “We put together five to six tracks but started working in a different way—we started making the tracks together. I didn’t have so much say in making the guitar riffs. It turned out different in a way. It turned out a lot less inspiring to all of us in respect. We suddenly had different interests. Vicotnik wanted to go a bit more metal in a way, I wanted to go a bit less metal. It all turned out very avant-garde and different just to be different, without me quite managing to find the sort of fairytale bass lines. All of a sudden, we felt unable to express ourselves in the way we had. Due to lack of inspiration we just called it quits.

“Ved Buens Ende never turned into anything very popular; it didn’t get any big fan base that I know of. Very few people actually know the band but when I meet someone who knows of the band now, to my interest and surprise they are very enthusiastic about it. ‘Oh that was about the coolest shit fucking ever’, haha. That’s a bit how I felt about it myself, heh. We’ve had this one guy on our backs about it; ‘you are fucking going to restart that band’. But it’s basically lack of time and I suppose other things that have been at least as interesting to me. We just haven’t got round to it. You’re probably aware of the fact that Carl (Michael Eide, the founder of the band) was very badly injured during Easter. I don’t know how he’s doing right now but this I’m afraid makes it not possible for Ved Buens Ende to get together for another couple of years anyway. We’ve been toying with the thought for years and years, though.

“That demo totally explains what I was telling you a little earlier about the bass lines already being there. I just joined the band at the perfect time. They presented the tracks to me and it all fell in place. You get the guitar tracks ready and I’ll just do the bass lines just like that. I really wish that situation could come back. That was ultimately cool.”

The crock of shit at the end of the rainbow was, of course, their irredeemable difficulties in putting so much of it in effect. Anyone known to have a copy of the July 2006 rehearsal recording is strongly encouraged to drop a line.

Fortunately, there is Virus.

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