Interview by Mike Coles - 2/1999
JB, David and the Dark Arts, Mark Riddick, and Brad Moore, just a few of the artists in the underground that have a reputation to capture people痴 attention with their excellent art work. Here's a little chat with the man that has done some work for me in the past two issues, including the cover for issues #3/#4; JB.
The Outcast: First of all, how long have you been doing your art, and more specifically, for the underground?
JB: I've been drawing since I was a kid, but more seriously in the last four years. I started doing art work for 想ines and bands since 1991. In 1992 I started doing art work for some great Norwegian underground scene when Euronymous, Burzum, and bands like Mayhem, Immortal, and Emperor, were just starting up, and the flames were starting to do their nice job against the Christian Churches. It was really satisfying and I felt involved with the beginning of a new black metal era, and I feel proud of what I produced. I had the chance of seeing some of my old drawings on a tape that I got from a friend of mine that he recorded from the Norwegian TV and TV news. It was a thing about the church burnings and Satanism. Between all the sequences about music, the Burzum trial, interviews with Emperor, Ulver, Immortal, and burning churches. There is a part on the tape where they show the record shop (Elvete), pubs, and places where the black metal crowds used to hang out. I also saw 想ines which were supposed to influence and spread the word of black metal, and I saw many of my drawings of that time, it was a nice flash back!
The Outcast: What do you like working with the best; pencil, paint, other?
JB: I enjoy all kinds of media. I'm probably more into pencil and ink, where dark visions and cold landscapes are better expressed. To complete the piece, I use acrylic colors to give all the graduate fading tones and shadows. All is accomplished with the help of some brushes and a good airbrush.
The Outcast: What goes through your mind when you are doing a piece? Do you have to be in a specific mood to do specific work?
JB: I try not to think of nothing, I listen to music and relax. I take a break from the surrounding world. I am not in a particular mood, I'm usually depressed most of the time, and it痴 just the nature of my self. I try not to get affected by ups and downs.
The Outcast: What went through your mind when you drew the picture of the angel for me?
JB: Of doing it. I think of the way it's supposed to come out.
The Outcast: Have you ever rejected a picture that someone has asked you to draw, if so, what was it and why?
JB: It happened twice, but because I was too busy with other works, but it can happen anytime. Some individuals don't deserve to approach art, or to even contract artists, because putting a piece of art work in a 想ine is not a way to fill it like putting an ad or just to get more attention. I think everything has to fit in the right place. It doesn't make sense to me having a shitty graphic and layout and then try to compensate with a nice piece of work and vise-versa. Not to talk about what you write. I think if you do a good job on every aspect of the 想ine, both the publisher and the reader will take pleasure from all the work that has been done. I don't think it's a matter of filling pages, it's a matter of quality, tastes, and appreciation of getting a 想ine nice to read, look at, and enjoy it's every detail.
The Outcast: What companies, bands, and 想ines have you done work for? Or is that too much to ask?
JB: Many 想ines, many bands, but not that many companies yet.
The Outcast: Is there one specific piece of work that you have done that stands out as your favorite piece, or do you have many favorites?
JB: There are a few that are my favorites, but there is always some new limit to reach soat the end you are never completely satisfied.
The Outcast: Do you or have you ever gone to art school?
The Outcast: What type of drawings do you like to draw the most? Horror, nature, etc...
JB: I like many kinds, it varies, lately demons or elves. Gothic evil subjects and obscure and grim landscapes and graveyards. Whenever I have the right feeling I want to transmit.
The Outcast: What do you want written on your epitaph?
JB: I don't know something like "JB is god" or something.
The Outcast: How do you want to die and why?
JB: I don't think it's something I really think of. I think of other's deaths. I think about killing everyday. I think what difference does it make if I kill somebody from somebody who doesn't. I want to plague and deviate minds a bit more, all the rest is sidetracking.
The Outcast: What do you think would be the worst way to die?
JB: Doesn't matter how you die really. Just leave this place and do it soon. We are already too many on this planet and we should go for quality, not quantity, don't you think?
The Outcast: Yeah, I guess in a way, yes, I could do with less jerks, serial killers, molesters, so yeah, maybe you're right! Do you think that because of movies like "Faces of Death", "Traces of Death", TV programs, stories, etc... about death and the graphic violence in the movies/TV, that people don't really look at death as a big thing and perhaps has made humanity not value life?
JB: I don't watch too much TV, and never those trashy b-movies that you mentioned. It's true though that if you experience death, life has a different meaning then. Perhaps, I don't know, I think we all should fear death, because we are all living much like we own ourselves, and other things. I think it's a bad approach.
The Outcast: What do you hope to find after death?
JB: I don't have "hopes." I have few certainties.
The Outcast: What is one thing you wish to accomplish before you die?
JB: I don't feel like I have to accomplish anything; that is not for me. People are obsessed of having attention and to have their own, even few seconds of celebrity, just to appear and feel alive. "Can't you stay on your place and do what you have to do without annoying us?"
The Outcast: Who are some of your favorite artists musically and artistically?
JB: Musically - Marduk, Dark Funeral, Mayhem, Setherial, Emperor, Burzum., but also dark ambient stuff like Mortiis, Arcan, Endura, Aghast, and many others. Artistically: Howe and Necrolord.
The Outcast: Who are some of your influences? What influences you to draw, paint, etc...?
JB: Graphically, many. What influences me is the will to see on paper what I don't find in other artists, or that I would like to see represented from my imagination. Someinspiration comes from my dreams.
The Outcast: Have you ever drawn anything while you were under the influence?
JB: When I take drugs or drink, I usually do other things.
The Outcast: Any closing words?
JB: "Rock n' Roll!"