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Torstein Parelius (NO)

Publicat in: 14.08.2017, 14:41PM
Autor: Richard Constantinidi
Comentarii: 0
Vizualizari: 2245
Etichete: Black Metal, Blackhearts, Dark Bombastic Evening, Dbe, Dbe 7, Gammaglimt As, Norwegian Black Metal, Ryma, Torstein Parelius
Torstein Parelius (NO)

Blackhearts had its Romanian premiere August 19, 2016 at the Dark Bombastic Evening (DBE) festival in Alba Iulia. The very special outdoor screening at was also attended by the filmmakers.


The award-winning documentary examines the global reach of Norwegian black metal, but is not a traditional “music documentary” and is aimed at a wide audience exploring themes like expectations, identity and ambition. Blackhearts takes its audience deep into the minds, hearts and private lives of its characters. It explores how a music scene develops across religious, cultural and political lines, following three fans of Norwegian black metal from Iran, Colombia and Greece. For many foreigners, Norway still has a dark and mysterious aura because of the headlines spawned by church burnings, murders and grave desecrations 25 years ago, but in Norway the artists of this genre have left this criminal past behind, and black metal has become as benign as any other genre, guesting the talk shows and topping the charts.

I met producer Torstein Parelius, from Gammaglimt AS at DBE7; we talked about the movie and the Black Metal music scene.


ABOUT Blackhearts

CZB: How did you do the casting / find the people who featured in the documentary?

Torstein Parelius: We had many that we talked to, visited and did some test-shooting with, but we are really happy with how things turned out and that we ended up with Sina from Iran, Hector from Colombia and Kaiadas from Greece – alongside Vegar and Arnt from Norway. Actually, we shot a lot of footage for another Colombian character that didn’t really fit into the final film. We have edited his story as a standalone segment that will be a part of the DVD bonus material. This is a pastor of a “white metal” ministry in Bogotá. This whole church community consists of ex-black metal fans that has been “saved”, but still dress the same, still like the same kind of music etc. This is an interesting character, thus why we wanted to make it a part of the DVD bonus.


CZB: How long did it take to gather all the film footage for the movie / filmed on location on 3 different continents?

Torstein Parelius: This whole documentary project has taken around five years in total, from initial idea to premiere. A big chunk of that time was spent developing the project, doing research and finding the ideal characters for the film. Since this is an observational documentary where we follow the main characters in a portion of their lives, and not a “talking heads” interview-based documentary, we had to film over an extended period of time to be able to follow the development in the characters’ lives. 


CZB: Why did Blackhearts have its debut screening (outside of Norway) in Chicago (April 2016)?

Torstein Parelius: There is no real interesting reason for this. The film was finished in mid-March just in time to host the world premiere, the very first public screening, at the Kosmorama International Film Festival here in our hometown, Trondheim. We were contacted by CIMMfest in Chicago, that also wanted Blackhearts for their festival in April, so it was just about timing. CIMMfest, short for Chicago International Movies and Music Festival, has both a good film program focusing on both fiction and documentary films with music as their theme, as well as a really good music program.


CZB: Who came up with the different sponsorship package offers promoted online to support production of the movie (Soul Shareholder, Luciferian prays for you in the name of Satan, Blastfest VIP, etc)?

Torstein Parelius: That was me, mostly. As part of the final financing for the postproduction of Blackhearts, we chose to do a crowdfunding campaign via IndieGoGo, a platform similar to Kickstarter. Apart from this being something that could help us cover the costs of the final stages of the film, we also saw it as a way to get the word out and get people interested. Since the film is made for a wide more-or-less mainstream audience, which basically means that you don’t have to be a die hard metalhead to enjoy the film, we planned to aim the crowdfunding campaign solely on the black metal community. We gathered some rare one-of-a-kind relics and buried treasures from some of the biggest names in Norwegian black metal, like members from Satyricon, Mayhem, Darkthrone, Emperor, Thorns, Immortal etc., and offered these as perks to those who supported our campaign.


ABOUT Torstein Parelius

CZB: When did you learn to play the guitar?

Torstein Parelius: I really can’t say… I still do, I think. With the guitar, I never really try to learn much. I just play. I started playing in bands in the mid-90s – just jamming, drinking beer and having fun. Later on, in 1999 I think, I started in the first band that got a little more “serious”, playing gigs and recording stuff etc.


CZB: When did you learn to play the bass guitar?

Torstein Parelius: Hmm. I’ve always loved to play bass, but I do believe I’m just a guitarist happy to have two strings less to think about. I still try to play bass as I feel bass should be, but I’m really very casual and unconcerned about the do’s and don’ts in music generally. They say practice makes perfect, but I feel passion plays a bigger role than practice. The first album I play bass on is Vilosophe by Manes from 2003, so let’s say that I’ve played bass “officially” since then.


CZB: When did you discover your passion for Black Metal?

Torstein Parelius: I had an intense passion for black metal from around 1991 to around 1995, I think. I still have a deep rooted passion for many of the groundbreaking releases from around that time, and I still find a few new releases somewhere between interesting and really great, but nowadays my taste is more diverse and eclectic. I have found that I prefer my music dark in some form, but I find my fix of darkness more often than not in other genres than Metal. I’ve had a period now when I’ve been listening a lot to Gillian Welch, some Townes Van Zandt and stuff like that. I’ve also been listening to a bit of electro stuff like Austra, Salem and Zola Jesus and more maybe mainstream stuff like Woodkid and Die Antwoord


CZB: Are you a co-founder at Gammaglimt AS (from 2003)?

Torstein Parelius: No, I’m not. I’ve know the main producer and founder Christian Falch for ages, and I’ve freelanced a little bit on some productions here and there, before I was employed full time, sometime like two years ago.


CZB: How did you get invited for the premier screening of "Blackhearts" at DBE7 in Alba Iulia?

Torstein Parelius: I played with two bands, Manes and Drontheim, at Dark Bombastic Evening 6 in 2015, and really got to like the festival. The hospitality was amazing, as well as the vibe and the crowd in general. Really a special festival! So, I knew the festival from before, but the actual idea to host the Romanian premiere of Blackhearts at DBE came from a mutual friend of Christian and me, Andrea Shifulescu; a concert photographer from Romania that lives in Norway. So yeah, that was a no-brainer for me, at least. It was great to come back!


ABOUT Mentalities

CZB: Can you explain why there was such a popular cultural uprising against Christianity in your country during the early '90s - and what is your opinion to why this hasn't happened earlier in other parts of the world?

Torstein Parelius: This is not easy to explain, as there wasn’t one singular event that led to this, and I can only speculate as to how these things came to be. I think the main driving factor was the small community that had formed at Helvete, a small record store in Oslo and home of the record label Deathlike Silence Productions. This was a meeting point for most of the core artists and fans of this Norwegian wave of black metal in the early 90s. There were over 50 arson attacks on churches in just a few years then, and many of those were carried out by people connected to this small community, or people wanting to impress this community. I could say things about the Norwegian Viking heritage, youthful revolutionary spirit or whatever, but I do think this shop and the people in it was essential to the outbreak of antichristian behavior right there and then.


CZB: Do you know of the tragic fire in Club Colectiv/Bucharest - Romania from Oct.30th, 2015? Do you know that our Government and Church took a united stance against the urban culture of LIVE Rock music gigs at that time, popularly supported by Romanian Mass Media?

Torstein Parelius: Yes, I know about this. Many of the cool people I met at DBE6 were hurt or in some way affected by this tragedy, so it’s really sad. Organized religion, in any shape or form, has stopped surprising me with its stupidity, but I did not know that your government was so fucked up. I honestly believe that everyone needs rock gigs now and again to lead a happy and fruitful life.


CZB: Why do you think these attitudes persist around the world 60 years after the beginning of the Rock'n'Roll cultural movement?

Torstein Parelius: I don’t know. All kinds of attitudes persist around us in one form or another, and trends come and go etc. However, to speak out and try to ban live music and rock gigs just seems medieval and rather unintelligent. I hope they meet the resistance they deserve.


CZB: How was your Transylvanian experience? Did you feel any kind of culture shock coming to Romania?

Torstein Parelius: As I’ve been here before, I knew a little about what to expect. I love Alba Iulia and the Dark Bombastic Evening festival, and I’m sorry to say I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing much more of Transylvania than that. And, of course, all the people I have met and had the pleasure to get to know a little, have been brilliant! I would love to come back. If not with another film, maybe I get the chance to come back and play with Manes or Drontheim?


Torstein Parelius

Producer, Gammaglimt AS

September 2016

Orkanger (Trondheim), Norway


Interview conceiced by: RiCo







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