An Officer and a Gentleman
An Interview with Niden Div. 187
by: Drew Snow
A hyperspeed sonic assault of pummeling drums, explosive guitars, and tortured vocals, Niden Div. 187 is one of the most violent and hatefully aggressive bands ever to emerge from Sweden -- or anywhere else in the world, for that matter. Their debut full-length album _Impergium_, unleashed in September, is 26 minutes of total adrenaline-pumping mayhem. Here are some of vocalist Henke's thoughts.

CoC: What exactly is the name "Niden Div. 187" symbolic of? Is there any specific meaning?

Henke: Well, it's like "187" is the American police term for murder, and that's a lot of what we write about. We write about murder, homicide, genocide, and suicides....whatever. The band name is like a big reflection of our lyrics and the way we think.

CoC: Yeah, but what about the Niden part?

Henke: No, that's just a name, like my name or your name. So that part is going to be like erased from the name. Yeah, we're going to take that out.

CoC: What made you guys bring Jonas Albrekston [bass player, also in Thy Primordial] into the band?

Henke: We needed a bass player and a songwriter. We were a couple of songs short for the _Impergium_ album, so we decided to take Jonas in. Also, he's a great friend and a great bass player.

CoC: Besides ND187, what's been keeping you busy lately? I know there's a new Dawn album coming out fairly soon.

Henke: Yeah, that's basically it. We don't do much. We don't rehearse much with Dawn, because our drummer is working in Sunlight Studio now, and one of the guitarists moved to Stockholm as we're kind of shattered right now. So I'm not doing that much right now. I'm working, going to the gym and stuff like that, working out.

CoC: The band is portrayed as so anti-political, anti-social, anti-moral... I'm wondering, what personal values do you hold? What things do you believe in, as far as morals are concerned?

Henke: Well, hmm...that's a hard question. Like you said, Niden is not a political band at all. We loathe all kinds of politics and morals, law, and such. Of course, we have to obey them so we won't end up in jail. We get by everyday; we're really sick of morals, laws, stuff like that. Sweden is a country where you can live, but you can't really grow as a person.

CoC: What about society -don't- you mind? Do you see any positive things about our world?

Henke: What's good about society? Ummm... well, uhh... society, like, to fit into society, you have to be a normal person. People into black metal and death ain't that normal. Yeah, we appear like normal people [no comment -- Drew], but we have lots of views and opinions that don't fit in. So, I don't think the world, and Sweden, and Swedish society, and stuff like that -- it ain't too good. I wouldn't mind if it all blew away.

CoC: What other bands do you see as having the same outlook as Niden? I mean, besides Zyklon-B...

Henke: Well, I don't know -- there aren't too many bands [like Niden]. There's a Swedish band called In Battle; they're really good. They have like lyrics and stuff that go in the same vein as Niden. But they also have lyrics about Scandinavian gods like Odin and stuff like that, and I don't approve of that. I can't really say that In Battle is a band like Niden and Zyklon-B. I don't think that lyrics about Odin and stuff, they don't fit it.

CoC: What do you look for in music? Is it purely musical to you, or do you care about ideology, if a band is, for example, Christian, or maybe really pop sounding?

Henke: Yeah it's all music to me. That's why I don't -- I've always had a problem writing lyrics in the past, because I'm oriented towards the music. I always thought that lyrics came in second place. That's why it always took so long for me to write lyrics. My lyrics aren't just put together, if you know what I mean. They all mean something to me. They all were special when I wrote them, so that they aren't just some piece of trash.

CoC: Niden's songs are so short and seemingly unstructured. How long does it take the band to write the songs?

Henke: We took two weeks to write and record the _Impergium_ album. We're going to record a new album in December I think. It's going to be kind of hard when the drummer is up at Sunlight Studio. We have to fix it somehow.

CoC: Will it be in the same general style as _Impergium_?

Henke: Yeah, more harsh...faster.

CoC: It would be kind of hard to be any faster than _Impergium_, wouldn't you say? Without using a drum machine, that is.

Henke: Oh, it can -sound- faster; it doesn't have to be faster. We had a lot of problems when we mixed the album, because it doesn't sound as fast as it is. It could sound a lot faster though if it weren't.

CoC: Is Necropolis a good label for you? Don't you think they have too many bands?

Henke: Yeah, they have a bit too many bands. But since Niden is only a side-project band, we think Necropolis is a really good label for that type of band. [Dawn is on Necropolis too -- Drew.] They do a lot of promotion and stuff like that, so that's good. We don't care about money and stuff like that, because if we did, we wouldn't be on Necropolis. <laughs> No offense to Necropolis, but you don't see a lot of money, which we don't care about anyway. You know, we could make like a big legal thing out of all this, and get a lot of money, but who cares?

CoC: Do you really care if anyone likes the album, or is it strictly personal to you? Is it just an outlet?

Henke: We like the music we make, since we always do black metal, and we think "Why should we be the only ones liking this music?" And we probably aren't [definitely aren't -- Drew]. We hope that other people like it. It's cool, you know, hearing people talk about us and stuff like that. That's a great response.

CoC: How have the responses to _Impergium_ been so far?

Henke: I haven't seen that much, except for when we released _Towards Judgment_. Terrorizer thought it was really good. I don't know, we don't get a lot of those reviews sent to us, unfortunately. I think Necropolis is working on that as well.

CoC: So what bands are you currently into?

Henke: I don't know, In Battle is a great band. I don't listen much to black metal anymore. I've grown sick of it. I listen to a lot of alternative music like Tool, bands that can express a lot of anger, even though they don't play angry music. I don't like bands like Biohazard who are really angry; that's not cool at all. They express it so graphically. They're just trying to be hard, like big and muscular. But a band like Tool, they hide their anger in their lyrics, makes you figure out what they want. And they seem kind of hateful to me.

CoC: What do you think of all the trends going on? First it was just black metal, now there are trends popping up within the genre itself. What's your take on this?

Henke: <laughs> Like, what kind of bands would want to play music that was popular like ten years ago? I don't understand that, bands playing like Venom and stuff like that. Of course, there are bands that are kind of cool, like Gehennah, but playing music that was made in the early 80s? That's not cool. Not for me.

CoC: Yep, I thought one of the goals of music was to progress and move forward, not to go back and rehash the same old thing.

Henke: Exactly.

CoC: What do you think of bands that just totally switch gears and change styles ? For example, Entombed.

Henke: I hate Entombed, actually. I can't stand their kind of rock'n'roll attitude. They went from like really hard death metal guys, really cool music, and they released the _Clandestine_ album, and from there it went downhill. _Clandestine_ sucked. The the following album [_Wolverine Blues_] sucked. I saw them this summer at a festival in Denmark, and it sucked.

CoC: How about bands like Emperor, who start off very obscure and "true", and now they're making videos and are on labels like Century Media, are breaking the top 10 in certain countries, etc. Is that a -good- thing in your view?

Henke: Yeah, that's a good thing. They can't really help it: they're great, excellent musicians. The new album really kills. Actually, I think they progressed in the wrong type of way from the _In the Nightside Eclipse_ album. _ItNE_ was really Emperor -- lots of double bass, the vocals were more tormented -- and now it's more grind, there's more screams and stuff like that. I think Emperor is a great band, but they progressed kind of wrong.

CoC: I think that's about it. Was there anything else you wanted to talk about or mention at all?

Henke: I think it's been a great interview. It's not often you get interviews that are really thought through. Most of the time you get interviews that really suck. Great interviews are really rare, so that's cool.

(article submitted 17/11/1997)

11/17/1997 D Schinzel 9 Niden Div. 187 - Impergium
1/2/1997 D Schinzel 8 Niden Div. 187 - Towards Judgement
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