IHSAHN On New EMPEROR Music: "It's Kind Of A Lose-Lose Thing"
Emperor broke up in 2001 after four highly-influential full-length albums, but have been doing reunion shows here and there ever since 2005. The band has made it pretty clear in the past that they've moved on and have no interest in making new music, which is a sentiment that vocalist and guitarist Ihsahn still very much agrees with.
In a new interview with Loud TV, Ihsahn says the new music would be a "lose-lose situation" for the band and for fans. He also points out that he wrote the entirety of Emperor's final album Prometheus – The Discipline of Fire & Demise, and that his solo career is essentially a continuation of the band anyway.
"As you know, Emperor developed, at some point, I ended up making more and more of the music and eventually, I did all the music. We'd rather stop at the level where we were all creatively involved, rather than doing it for keeping the logo or for any of those reasons. At this point, there's so much nostalgia attached to what we do, and we've been in the privileged position that people have developed similar relationships to these old songs that we did, as we are fans, to other bands. It's a very humbling position to be in. If you turned it around, what kind of Emperor could we possibly do? What kind of Emperor could we possibly do? We should make something that sounds like old Emperor? Or should we do something like Emperor would sound today? If it was up to me, Emperor would sound like my solo records because that's how I write metal. It's kind of a lose-lose thing. The whole point of black metal, people want something that is real and has integrity of what it is. At this point, none of us can see any reason to do that beyond what we already do. Just speaking for myself, I get to play all these old songs to people who have this strong relationship to it, in a similar way as I as a fan, have. But I also get to do my solo albums and continue that musical journey, and I see no reason to change that. We are at a very fine position now that we all just get to do what all of us wants. If there's some kind of festival or some kind of show that doesn't fit into our schedule, that's fine. We do just the stuff that is cool for us to do."
Personally, I think it would be a little weird for Emperor to try and conjure up the magic of their old material. The band has moved on and those four albums perfectly sum up their career. Why ruin it?