From Iceland — Knife Play And DIY

Knife Play And DIY

Published May 26, 2023

Knife Play And DIY
Photo by
Einar Jarl Björgvinsson

Meet the Esoteric Queens from Svartþoka

For the third edition of the Filthy Interview series, we are joined by two members of occult-inspired metal band Svartþoka: Ólöf, who supplies the band with vocals, theremin and synths; and Dia, who serves as the Svartþoka’s screaming guitarist and has fun using objects – like knives – to hit the strings.

How did Svartþoka come to be?

Ó: The band was born out of a drunken conversation in 2020 in the Hard Rock Café basement here in Reykjavík, where we decided that it was time to start this journey through darkness. It took us a year to get our act together, but once we did, things took off quickly. We are very DIY and do everything ourselves, from recording and mixing our music to making our own merchandise.

D: Svartþoka has basically become an entity in and of itself, a triple-headed beast that works through us.

What is the inspiration behind your music?

D: Svartþoka – the densest, blackest fog – represents the concept of complete darkness and almost sticky obscurity. We draw inspiration from occultism and esoteric practices and incorporate rituals and folk beliefs into our performances.

Ó: We draw heavily from Icelandic folk tales, particularly those that deal with darkness and the unknown. We seek to embody these themes through our performances and create a mood that transports the audience.

You conduct rituals during your performances; can you tell us more about that?

D: The rituals on stage are about particular events and our inner voice. We feel that going on stage and expressing ourselves in front of people is a ritual in itself. We let out the ghosts from the past and embody their memory.

How does DIY and art factor into your process?

Ó: We’re both visual artists and we incorporate that into our performances and merchandise. We’ve been hand-painting our merch and Dia designed the band’s logo.

D: Art is an important part of the process for us. We’re planning to make costumes for the shows. I am also a tattoo artist, so perhaps a matching tattoo soon?

You’re playing the Ascension festival soon; who are you looking forward to seeing?

Ó: I’m really excited to see Hekla, Kælan Mikla, Múr and Misþyrming. Our performance at Ascension festival will be very special as well. We will perform a new song that we’ve never played before. It will be a lot more dramatic than the previous ones.

Catch Svartþoka’s Summer Solstice show at Gaukurinn on June 21. Post-performance crawling fog assured!

Read more from the Filthy Interviews series right here.

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