The Fryslâns Viking Horde that is Baldrs Draumar is making their triumphant return with their brand new album “Aldgillissoan” being released on April 18th. With a heavier sound than previous releases, Baldrs Draumar is poised to conquer with this new album. I was able to speak to the band regarding the new album, change in lineup as well as sound and the upcoming release show……
Huge congratulations are in order for your return with “Aldgillissoan”, have you heard any early reviews of it so far prior to its release?
“Thank you very much. We do have some reviews already, all of which are very praiseful!”
For those of us that do not speak your native language, is there a simple definition to the album’s title “Aldgillissoan”?
“Of course there is, the title can be split up in two different words (Aldgillis and soan). The album is about Rêdbâd, who is the son of Aldgillis. Since we didn’t want to give the album the same name as the main character we referred to him as “son of Aldgillis – Aldgillissoan.”
Your previous album “Forfedres Fortellinger” seemed to be more of a “concept” or theme album….Is there a central theme or concept to “Aldgillissoan”? Baldrs Draumar: Yes there is, the album tells about the life and death of Fryslâns most important, heathen king, Rêdbâd. So it is also a concept album, just like “Forfedres Fortellinger.”
My interpretation is that the new album is even heavier than your previous releases….is that something you did intentionally or just happened naturally? Do you perceive that you have a heavier sound now than before?
“The album indeed is much heavier than everything we did before and we did this on purpose. We synchronized our music with the storyline and this resulted in a heavier structure of the songs. Furthermore, we down tuned our guitars to emphasize the heavier sound.”
It seems that a lot (if not the whole album) is sung in Frisian as opposed to English on the last album…..was there a specific reason for the change? Are there ideas or concepts in the songs that just would not translate if sung in English?
“We think that folk metal is about one’s own history and culture and therefore it is much more genuine when brought in the native tongue. A lot of bands deliberately bring their music in English because they think they will be easier to listen to and therefore more likely to become successful. We think however those minority languages like Frisian are far more interesting than the overused English. Beside that we are very proud of our Frisian tongue and we want to show it to the world!”
How does the song writing process work for Baldrs Draumar? Are there ideas and lyrics first that you write music or the other way around? Do you all write as a band together or are individual pieces crafted into songs?
“It is a combination of factors, most of the time we start with a vague idea about the theme of the future album. Then we come up with riffs and glue them together in our rehearsal studio in a way we think fits best with the theme of the song.”
Do you feel that with a name like Baldrs Draumar that you have to remain in touch on some level with being a “Viking” metal band? What genre of metal do you consider yourself if any?
“We do feel related to Viking metal (and to the Vikings, who are called “Wytsingers” in Frisian), and to be quite frank we really don’t know what kind of music we’re making, and we don’t care a lot too. It is folk metal because our lyrical themes are about our Frisian folklore whilst musically it could also be described as Viking metal. We make the music we like without immediately assigning it to a certain genre.”
The album cover is absolutely killer….who did the work and how did this become the cover to “Aldgillissoan”? How does it relate to what the album is about?
“All the art is made by an East-Frisian (German) tattoo artist and friend Christian Gronewold. We contacted him after we saw a piece of his work at another friend of ours. The cover depicts the skull of Rêdbâd, fully armored as a sign that even though he is long gone, his spirit endures. Kees Jan Glashouwer (of Glashouwer Design) then used the artwork to do all the designing. We added some blood to illustrate the blood spilled whilst defending our land and culture and we used an ancient map of Fryslân as background.”
There have been some lineup changes recently in Baldrs Draumar….any reasons for the change(s) you are able to share with us and why?
“Our keyboard player indeed left the band in mutual agreement due to musical and personal differences. We are still in touch and thank him for everything he did for us!”
You have some shows coming up with the mighty Welicoruss including the official release show at Dokkum in April. What can fans expect at the shows?
“First of all they can expect to get very very drunk (also on our official after party!!). Beside that a lot of good music: with Welicoruss we have an awesome band to support the Viking/folk vibe, our friends of death metal war machine Braincasket will make sure the night stays brutal and we will of course provide them with a brand new show! Also we have some (tattoo) artists around who will stick some ink in their virgin skin, also in the traditional way, hand-poked! Last but not least we have hot dog legends the Food Brothers providing all the hungry warriors with barbarian sausages! (THE VIKING DOG!!)”
How do you feel about playing live? Is it necessary to do it? Are there any international or other tour plans in the near future?
“It is one of the most important things to do as a band we guess. Playing shows, meeting fans and other interesting persons is also one of the coolest things in the world! We have a lot of plans and also some really awesome confirmed shows (which we can’t say anything about right now unfortunately; we will reveal some on our release show though!) The 16th of April we will play Paris, so we are very siked about that, and we really hope to return to Germany this year, we have some really cool experiences with the German audience!!! Also a future plan is to expand our acoustic repertory and do some acoustic shows as well!”
I have asked many artists recently how they feel about their music being downloaded for free online…. what is Baldrs Draumar’s feeling on this? Are you OK with it since you are getting the music out there?
“We think people should be free to do what they want and if they want our music but they can’t afford a cd, please download it and enjoy it. Or perhaps people don’t know us jet and they first want to hear our music, then please download our albums and spread the word! Our income however depends on our sales so we definitely need people to buy our merch so we can record a future album. A big ‘’thank you’’ goes out to everyone who did, you made Aldgillissoan happen!”
“We are very happy with the result of “Aldgillissoan” and the way it is received internationally. We are most curious about the reactions of the fans and the audience so we can’t wait to see you all the 16th or the 18th of April (or on one of our future gigs) and we’d love to drink some beers with you!”
Let’s end with a quote of one of my favourite writers Robert Jordan: “The wheel weaves as the wheel wills” and I’d then like to add “but whatever the wheel weaves, Baldrs Draumar will be woven into it and you will hear from us again!”