About Me

Interview with Lice

The always controversial Niklas Kvarforth has a new Avantgarde Black Metal project named Lice. The band's debut "Woe Betide You" was released on the 10th May and drummer, J, had an intense conversation with Metal Imperium...

M.I. - How did this collective come together?

Niklas and myself know each other for almost 20 years now, so this was in the talks forever, once Kirill joined about 6 years ago we started doing music and recording it.

M.I. - How did the idea of naming the band Lice come up? Why Lice?

It´s a name I had in mind for ages, it´s simple and effective and its symbolism is just perfect. 

M.I. - The press release states that “Lice delivers exactly what is needed in the current metal scene: Painful honesty”. Do you think the metal scene lacks honesty? In what sense?

I don´t care much about such things as press releases but yes, the metal scene is mainly built upon fake conviction, fake faith, fake patrons, fake practitioners, fake performers, fake sounds, hipsters, posers, impostors and outsiders. It´s not even funny anymore.

M.I. - Niklas has said that “Lice can be linked to old Norwegian Black Metal, but other parts rather to Joy Division or Tom Petty. It’s kind of fucked up”… how did the idea of mixing such different musical genres come up?

The music we make is never preconceived, it comes together naturally and organically, we use all of our knowledge to convey certain messages, feelings and incantations from certain forces unto the recipients in search.

M.I. - Lyric wise one can say that Lice deal with the same issues as Shining. Why do you feel the need to address your feelings through a different project? What message are you trying to convey with Lice that you haven’t done with other bands?

Then according to your reasoning all of Black Metal should be deemed unnecessary as the lyrics deal with the same core fundamentals. I don´t think Lice has much in common with any of our other bands. The message is very clear, you have the lyrics, you have the visuals and you have the music, use your brain, don’t be lazy and get your own conclusions.

M.I. - What’s the relation between the cover artwork and the album “Woe betide you”?

I don´t understand this type of question, the artwork isn´t just a random piece, every little detail is there for as reason, just the way I wanted it to be. If the relation between the title and the image is not clear to you, well… Maybe that’s the problem, nowadays people need everything to be spoon fed to them instead of investigating and getting their own conclusions…

M.I. - The recording was done in 4 different studios. Why?

We live far away from each other so it was a matter of convenience to use all those studios/sessions.

M.I. - Does having Niklas on vocals in a new band like Lice bring more attention to the project? How complicated is it dealing with all the attention?

Niklas doesn´t interest me as an icon, we have common goals and he´s an outstanding artist with a very wide vocal range and that quality of his was required in order to deliver the message in an appropriate way. We don´t care about such things as attention or the lack of it.

M.I. - Are you more creative sober or when you’re under the effect of alcohol or drugs?

My creativity is not linked to substance abuse or the lack of it.

M.I. - Did you ever write something when you were under the influence and you realized you had created an awesome gem / absolute shit when you sobered up?


M.I. - Do you think most bands sing about stuff they aren’t capable of actually doing, that the scene is basically based on bullshit?

Correct in the 95% of the cases.

M.I. - Niklas said in an interview that he “created music which would make people commit suicide and other acts of violence”. Are you aware if it ever happened? If someone actually committed suicide while listening to your music, wouldn’t you feel guilty somehow? 

I am not aware of that. No, I wouldn´t feel any guilt in that respect, people should take ownership of their actions/lives.

M.I. - Do you think suicide is an act of courage of an act of cowardice? Have you ever considered doing it?

It depends on the reasons behind the act itself. 

M.I. - You’ve always been self-destructive and the darkness inside eats everything and everyone around you. Were you ever in therapy of some sort in order to deal with it? Has the situation got worse or better with time? 

I guess you refer to Niklas when making such statements as I am a very private individual who doesn´t have any desire to share my whereabouts. That´s uncool and not shocking enough I guess, but I try to avoid any kind of drama to the best of my capabilities.

M.I. - How’s your relationship with your fans, even though I know you’re not a people’s person? Do you feed on their energy and passion for your music? 

I don´t have any fans because no one knows me, don’t want to be part of the circus, an ego boost is not something I am after. People should focus on the work they are presented with and forget about all the rest.

M.I. - If you weren’t a musician living off music, what would you be? 

I am not living off my music. I don’t want to compromise certain things in my life, therefore I do whatever is needed to be done to keep things the way I want them to be.

M.I. - Will Lice play live? When will the Portuguese fans have the opportunity to see you play live here?

It depends if there is enough interest to justify all the effort to make it happen. We are open to such possibility.

M.I. - Please share a message with your Portuguese fans and readers of Metal Imperium. All the best!

Thank you for having us and we hope to see you soon.

For Portuguese version, click here

Questions by Sónia Fonseca