Mayhem Guitarist Teloch: “Touring the USA Is Always the Icing on the Cake”

Spring is almost upon us, and you know what that means for us on the east coast! No, no, not birds and flowers and all that nonsense — I mean Decibel Magazine Metal and Beer Fest, on April 3-4 at the Fillmore in Philadelphia. As always, the lineup is stacked with extreme metal royalty, and the Norwegian black metal masters in Mayhem are no exception. This year will see them play the fest for the second time, as the show will comprise the Philadelphia stop of their trek on the ninth annual Decibel Magazine Tour alongside Abbath, Gatecreeper and Idle Hands.

It’s an exciting time for the band, as it sees them ready to bring new material live from their latest album, Daemon. To help share this excitement, we took a moment to chat with one of the band’s guitarists, Teloch. Teloch has been with the band since 2011 and contributed a great deal to the songwriting on the latest album. As you can read below, he’s thrilled to bring the songs to the U.S., but is already setting his mind to the future:

Congrats on being selected for the Decibel Magazine Tour and Metal & Beer Fest this year! Do you look forward to coming back to the U.S. for this tour?

Thanks! Yeah, it is cool to be selected for this task indeed. Decibel is an institution over there so this is a cool thing to do indeed. Touring the USA is always the icing on the cake for us, it’s the highlight of every world tour we do. Even though it’s a hassle and insanely costly, this is the tour we always look forward to!

Do you have a favorite city to play in the United States, or a favorite part of the country that you like coming back to (the cherry on top of the icing you might say)?

Probably very un-Norwegian of me, but I personally dig L.A. for some reason. Always good attendance, good venues and good crowd. As the last two or three times we played in Hollywood, we are playing at the Fonda on this tour, I dig that venue. Big stage and old theatre look. Amazing. Of course there are other cities and venues on this run that are stellar and that I look forward to playing, like Fillmore in Philly, Observatory in Santa Ana, the Metro in Chicago, Webster Hall in N.Y etc. etc. So many damn good venues on this run! But there is something special with the Fonda I must say.

You guys did a lot of touring for De Mysteriis Dom Santhanas a few years back. Has it felt good to bring some new material to the live stage and mix the set back up again?

Yeah, hopefully we are done with that album now. Don’t get me wrong, it’s my favorite ’90s black metal album of all time, but doing the same album night after night gets kinda weird after some time. That said, I never get bored playing those songs live, but I feel that we have to do something else after a while, our fans deserve that. And yeah, it is very refreshing playing some new tunes live, we have been grinding on the same songs live for many years now. Was about time to change up the setlist indeed [Laughs].

Now that Deamon has been out for awhile, how do you feel about the album? Are you pleased with how well it’s been received by fans?

Turned out great, I must say. Seems we did the right thing and slowed down a bit and simplified things, all this technical stuff gets kinda boring very fast, at least to me. As far as I know, there have been 99% good reviews and feedback, and I hear that is very unusual in the Mayhem world — can’t get any better than that.

Can audiences expect to hear a lot of the Deamon material on this tour? It would be great to hear “Bad Blood” and “The Dying False King” live. Do you have a favorite song to play from the record?

We play four songs from the album. We plan on trying all the songs out live at some point. So, let’s see, we are the worst when it comes to making plans and seeing them through. The Mayhem curse takes over all the time.

I know that it’s a little soon to ask, but do you already have riffs and song ideas coming together for the future?

Actually, we are discussing the next album these days and will start trying out ideas on the U.S. tour. We are already brainstorming the lyrical concept, etc. But as I said, us and plans…

What lyrical concepts would you be interested in bringing to a future Mayhem album?

Hard to say, if I could decide we would make an album about oil. I suggested it the past, but the others don’t get it. Maybe one day…

Decibel Magazine Tour Tickets: