An Interview with Rimfrost and Son of Sam

In these parts, it isn’t news that my love for Rimfrost might be greater than my love for my children. I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing their 2016 self-titled record and 2019’s monstrous Expedition: Darkness. I loved the latter album so much it took my top spot and received my only 4.5/5.0 to date. But, before 2019 was a wrap, tragedy struck. I was literally listening to the Expedition: Darkness at the gym when I heard Rimfrost called it quits. I’ve never returned to the gym.

But, as Covid was out dry-humping every person on the planet, Rimfrost’s Throllv and Khratos were in the studio. Putting Rimfrost behind them, the duo cranked out eleven songs under the moniker Son of Sam. As part of their independent campaign to release their full-length And the Monster Awakes…, Throllv reached out in hopes of an exclusive interview with AMG’s Dr. Nice Guy. While putting together the interview, Throllv informed me that he and Khratos reunited with their Rimfrost compatriot Hravn. Hravn will now be playing guitars for Son of Sam. The way Throllv describes it, Hravn and him have had a longer friendship than I’ve ever had in my life. My grumpy heart elated, I stepped into the gym once more.1

Below I’ve tried to compile the highlights of the amazing hour-and-a-half conversation I had with the guys back in June. Though I tried to keep it focused, professional, and kid-friendly, I’ve failed. I know what you’re going to say, Steel, but it wasn’t my fault. After getting the video and mics situated, I found myself in the guy’s long-time studio space. In front of floor-to-ceiling posters, banners, and other paraphernalia sat three of the ugliest dudes I’ve ever met. Then my wifi caught up, and I realized they looked like normal human beings after all. In this ninety-minute chat, we covered everything from the new Son of Sam record, the success of Rimfrost, doo-wop, horror movies, Hravn’s dream to live with Rob Halford, and what happens when Throllv drops his trousers. 

Like all great chats, we covered a LOT. And laughed even more. This is definitely one of those “I wish you had been there moments.” But, being the greedy cunt that I am, I’m glad I got to share it with the band, and no one else. But, as a result of our killer conversation, I couldn’t compile everything we talked about. But I hope you all enjoy what I did put into print. I don’t wanna spoil anything but be ready for some news…

This is the first virtual interview I’ve ever done with a band.

Throllv: Yeah, I suggested this because I hate to… (Long pause.)

Hravn: Type.

Throllv: Yeah, type. I hate to type answers. It’s so… boring.

Grier: You know when we are done here, I gotta type this all out, right?

Hravn: I feel sorry for you. (All laugh at me.)

Why did you choose the band name Son of Sam?

Khratos: I’ve had that name in the back of my mind for 8 years. I just think it sounds fucking cool.

Throllv: It is fucking cool. Once we took that name, we realized there were a lot of bands with that name. (Laughs)

Khratos: Many rappers.

Throllv: The biggest one was that band with the Danzig members.

Hravn: Oooooo… don’t mess with the Danzig.

Throllv: Danzig was also in a band called Samhain (like the Rimfrost song). So, it looks like we take everything from Danzig.

Hravn: I chose the song title for “Samhain” because I love horror movies, and Michael Myers is my favorite. If you read the lyrics, the song’s about the opening scene of Halloween. But, yeah, do you think Danzig is pissed off, perhaps? (All laugh.)

Throllv: I don’t think he knows about Rimfrost. I don’t think he cares. But, if we could start a feud with Danzig, that would be… really good. (All laugh.)

What was the writing process like on And the Monster Awoke…?

Throllv: I wrote a couple of songs but Khratos wrote the rest.

Khratos: We mostly worked together though, combining the pieces and arrangements.

Do you feel Son of Sam’s And the Monster Awoke… is a continuation of Rimfrost or is it a completely different mindset?

Khratos: I think it was a completely different mindset. We didn’t know what to do after Rimfrost was put down. I took my ideas from the last 15 years and started putting them together.

Throllv: You can say it was a continuation in the way we wanted it to sound.

Khratos: The variety.

Throllv: Right. We recorded the foundation of Expedition: Darkness live in the studio. What you hear is exactly what we did. We didn’t record And the Monster Awoke… live but we still wanted to achieve that same sound. We chose recorded takes more on how they felt—much like we did with Expedition: Darkness.

Throllv, what’s it like going from the drummer to doing vocals with Son of Sam?

Throllv: When I record stuff on my own, I like to put vocals to it. But, I guess when Rimfrost was put down, I just had to do it. We haven’t done any live shows, so I don’t know how it feels to be the frontman or anything.

Hravn: It feels fucking great. You’ll get to see how challenging it is to do vocals and play guitar at the same time.

Throllv: I knew it’d be physical to play the drums. But, it’s almost as physical to sing and play the guitar at the same time.

Grier: So, you don’t wanna play drums and sing at the same time?

Throllv: No, I’ll play guitar and sing.

Grier: So, is Hravn going to play drums?

Throllv: What? No. He plays the guitar. (Everyone laughs but Throllv.)

You’re all multi-instrumentalists, but what’s your favorite instrument to play? Vocals included.

Throllv: Well… he can’t play the drums. (Points at Hravn.)

Hravn: No, I can only play guitar, but I love playing guitar.

Khratos: When I’m at home, I usually play the guitar. But I love playing the bass. I guess the only singing I do is in the shower. (Hravn appears pleased with this response.)

Throllv: I’ve played guitar almost as long as the drums. But I’d say drums are my instrument. 

Grier: Drummers always impress me. I’m physically incapable of playing drums.

Throllv: I can get all four of my limbs to do different things at the same time. You have to have a smart brain. Which you don’t have. (All laugh at me.) 

Hravn: If you’re so smart, why can’t you get the fifth limb to do what you want? (This is the point in the interview where Grier realizes Steel‘s gonna be mad.)

Hravn: Now you’re going to get to know the behind-the-scenes of Rimfrost in the old days. Throllv would run around the studio naked, putting his dick on everything. He’d go around, how do you say it in English? Mark everything. 

Throllv: Remember that time I played the high-hat with my dick?

Hravn: Oh god. I think it’s a condition that only affects drummers. My drummer in Omnicidal does the same thing.

Throllv: That was twenty years ago. I don’t do that anymore.

Hravn: Yeah, you’re too old now.

Khratos: We haven’t seen your dick in years.

Hravn: That’s not true. I saw it last week.

Throllv: How do we always get to this? (All laugh. Grier can’t help but think of Bonehunter.)

I think the thing fans will love most about Son of Sam’s And the Monster Awoke… is that it retains the dynamics and quality of the last two Rimfrost albums. Fans went nuts for the quality of the Rimfrost record.

Throllv: That’s cool to hear. I remember reading on Angry Metal Guy that it was one of your top albums of the year.

Grier: Indeed it was.

Hravn: I think it was also rated one the best-sounding albums of the year.2

Grier: I love that album. I have to say I love the Expedition: Darkness even more.

Throllv: I like that album the most, too.

Hravn: There’s so much variety. It doesn’t sound like the music stands still. It constantly moves and takes turns. Sometimes it comes back around, other times it gets chuggier, and other times it has ’80s heavy metal vibes.

Throllv: It was also the funnest album to write and record.

What genres of music inspire you the most?

Hravn: I think we all love ’80 heavy metal. I love the way music was written back then. We (motions to Khratos) also love ’50s music. The doo-wop style of music. We share a lot in common with music. When one of us has an idea, we’re always like, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we tried this?” Like turning a riff into an ’80s speed metal kind of thing. Or, give it a death metal sound. It’s a freedom we can use.

Khratos: (To Hravn) Like the upcoming Rimfrost single. You gave it that classic ’50s guitar sound.

Hravn: Yeah, I think it’s an arpeggio. Is that an arpeggio?

Khratos: …You tell me.

Throllv: I think an arpeggio is when you play the individual notes of a chord.

Hravn: That’s what I’m doing. Yep, I’m gonna go with an arpeggio.

Are you saying Rimfrost is back??

Throllv: We plan to track the drums this week and hopefully release a new album by the end of the year. (Grier literally shits his pants.)

Because you brought up Rimfrost, who’s the main writer for that band?

Throllv: Rimfrost was started in 2002 and I did all the writing at the beginning. Then I got this guy (slaps Hravn on the shoulder), who couldn’t play any instruments.

Hravn: (Laughs) That’s right, I couldn’t.

Throllv: I taught him how to play guitar and then we started writing 50/50. When Khratos joined the band, we quickly realized he was a good songwriter. So, we used that.

Hravn: That’s the magic of Rimfrost. When one of us comes with an idea, we can build off of it. That’s where the magic is and that’s what makes it so fun.

Khratos: LIke “Samhain.” The riff was an idea I had on Instagram. Hravn heard it and thought it would be fucking awesome on Expedition: Darkness. I had only heard Rimfrost’s self-titled release at the time and I didn’t think it would fit. But it did, and that song is my favorite off Expedition: Darkness.

Hravn: Yeah, mine too. I remember you wrote the main riff (points to Khratos) and I wrote the verse. You (points to Throllv) wrote the pre-chorus and chorus. Then we put it all together and it was like a… magic soup. It’s really fun.

Is one band member more responsible for a sound in Rimfrost than another?

Throllv: I usually write most of the epic, atmospheric sounds in songs. Like, with the keyboards and everything.

Hravn: Khratos and I focus on the riffs. I like to write the fast riffs and Khratos writes the… good riffs. (All laugh.)

Because of the horror theme of Expedition: Darkness, what are your favorite horror movies?

Hravn: (Rubs hands together) Ooooo… let’s get started. (Laughs maniacally.) It depends on my mood. I really love ’70s zombie movies, but if I had to pick one movie, it would be Halloween. That movie changed my life. I fucking love Michael Myers. I have Myers’ face on my guitar picks. I have Michael Myers wherever I go. I have a knife in my back pocket. (All laugh. Grier shits his pants again.)

Throllv: I thought you were going to say you had a tramp stamp of Michael Myers. (Grier, Throllv, and Khratos laugh at Hravn.)

Hravn: No, I have a knife! I could go on all evening talking about horror movies.

Throllv: Maybe you should just name five.

Hravn: Five! OK… Halloween, City of the Living Dead, The Exorcist, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and, I know I’m one of the few that likes this movie, but I fucking love The Babadook. I was shit-scared when I saw that movie. It’s the only movie that I almost turned off and I never do that. It’s so fucking intense and psychological.

(Grier and Hravn take this moment to drop their mighty wisdom on how much more horror movies like that affect us as parents.)

Hravn: I actually watched The Babadook a couple of days ago. It was dark and I was still up. Then I hear a sound and it’s a doll in my daughter’s room saying, “I love you, daddy.” Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

Throllv: Are you done? I said five.

Hravn: Fine, I’ll shut up. Ok, your turn (points at Khratos.)

Khratos: Ummmm… Sinister, Conjuring 1 and 2, Friday the 13th and Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and… (Long pause.)

Throllv: It’s hard. I don’t think I could pick.

Hravn: Frozen.

Throllv: Frozen?

Hravn: Toy Story 2. (All laughing but Throllv.)

Throllv: Toy Story Halloween would be… scary.

Khratos: My last one is Grave Encounters. I was pleasantly surprised by that one.

Throllv: I’ve got one. That Norwegian movie about trolls.

Hravn: Trolljeger (Trollhunter). That’s not a horror movie.

Khratos: It is to him. (All laugh at Throllv.)

Hravn: This could be one we both share (motions to Throllv): Pet Cemetery.

Throllv: Yeah, that’s a good fucking movie. IT, the original.

Hravn: Oh yeah, IT. You see! (Points at me.) We could keep doing this all night.

What’s it like being a musician during Covid?

Khratos: It allowed Throllv and me to write and record the Son of Sam album. We wouldn’t have been able to do that otherwise.

Throllv: We’ve had a lot of time sitting in the studio. Covid gave us a chance to do the new Son of Sam quickly, and do it the right way.

Hravn: The biggest thing is how much we’re missing out on meeting the fans. But, in hindsight, it was a good thing we took a break from Rimfrost at the end of 2019. It was perfect timing to take a break, recharge, and come back. It gave us a lot of time to write new stuff. I think that was quite good.

Going forward, do you plan on keeping both Rimfrost and Son of Sam?

Throllv: Definitely. There’s also a third band.

Hravn: Yeah, when these two started Son of Sam, I started a death metal band called Omnicidal. It’s still under development but we play Gothenburg and classic Swedish death metal.

Throllv: Isn’t that called “skank beat”? Have you heard this, Grier?

Grier: I’m looking it up right now.

Hravn: He’s probably going to find a porno site. (All laugh at me again.)

(Grier removes the cassette tape from the player. “What the fuck just happened?” he thinks. “This tape sounds like a recording from an Ed and Lorraine Warren exorcism.” He thinks deeply, mulling over everything. “Did this just happen? Did Rimfrost really get back together? I’m being trolled,” he thinks. Then, standing behind him, Fredrik, Sebastian, and Tobias scream out: “Dude, we’re back!” Grier slowly turns around. “Welcome back, boys. Welcome back.” he says. Then, he immediately shits his pants. Again.)

Show 2 footnotes

  1. They chased me around a bit but finally kicked me out because I didn’t have a membership.
  2. Indeed it was.
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