PANTHEON I guitarist, John Espen Sagstad, recently caught up with ANTENNA and talked about the future of the band:
Antenna: Your new album has already been recorded, and it will be out in April on Candlelight Records. What's it called, and what can we expect from this record?
Sagstad: Our next album is called "The Wanderer and His Shadow" and consists of 7 brand new songs, plus a re-recorded version of "Where Angels Burn" from the 4 track promo we recorded early 2006. Our first album kind of sounds likes a big mixture of different musical styles, but this time around we have perfected the music of Pantheon I. We have evolved a lot as musicians since our previous record, something that really shines through on the new album, and I would be so bold to say that it does not even sound like the same band. The new songs have stronger compositions and are more thought through. The sound has also improved a lot since "Atrocity Divine". Over all it's an album packed with attitude, aggression, and hate! It's also worth mentioning that there are guest appearances by Lars "Lazare" Nedland [SOLEFALD/BORKNAGAR], Nachtgarm [NEGATOR] and Gunhild [ex-violinist in PANTHEON-I] on the album!
Antenna: In May this year, Pantheon I will embark on a lengthy European tour, alongside a bunch of other big names on the scene. Give us some details about this arrangement.
Sagstad: MARDUK, ENSLAVED, KEEP OF KALESSIN, MELECHESH, GOATWHORE, and PANTHEON I will team up for "The Excess of Evil European Tour". 6 bands, 18 dates, it's going to be a hell of a great tour, and an event you simply can not miss!
Antenna:It might come as a surprise that your line-up is completed by a violinist as well as a cellist. Tell us the story about these two members.
Sagstad: Well, there is no violinist in Pantheon I anymore. Gunhild decided to leave the band early 2006 to focus on here studies. It later came clear to us that the new sound and musical vision of Pantheon I sounds better without the violin. Live Julianne [cello] has done one hell of a job on the new album and made some really impressive compositions. The idea of having violin/cello arrangements in Pantheon I came after we had done our first demo back in 2003. We felt that these instruments would enhance the musical expression we where looking for. Sareeta from RAM-ZET helped us out on the demo and our 7" vinyl, but in 2004 Live and Gunhild joined the band on a permanent basis. One more than the other, it would turn out.
Antenna: You've recorded a cover of Emperor's "Thus Spake the Nightspirit". What's great about this track?
Sagstad: When we where recording the promo we had some time left over, so we decided to do an EMPEROR cover, since we are all huge Emperor fans. I can't really remember why we chose "Thus Spake the Nightspirit".
Antenna:What other activities are you involved in besides Pantheon I?
Sagstad: I have a lot of activities besides Pantheon I, and one of the bands worth mentioning is SARKOM. We have played a lot of concerts lately and are now preparing our next full length album. I also play in TROLLFEST; no barriers, just pure fun!
PANTHEON I will be releasing "The Wanderer And His Shadow" on April 2nd through CANDLELIGHT RECORDS.