Draugûl have returned once again with their special blend of cold blackened metal with their 3rd album in 3 years. Following some recent changes, their newest album “Chronicles Untold” takes them in a direction which should garner them more attention. Primary member Vargblod was able to answer a few questions for us regarding the new album, the recent changes and a few other items….check it out….
Congratulations are in order for your epic new album “Chronicles Untold”…have you received any reviews yet for it?
“Thanks first and foremost for the opportunity to be interviewed here! The album was just out this week and the first review was actually done by folk-metal.nl and I am very glad that it was a very positive review! It is a good way to start! Looking forward for more feedback from webzines, fans, etc!”
Stylistically I think of you as possibly black metal….do you feel this is accurate? Is there another style/genre that feels more appropriate?
“It has of course black metal influences although the style is more oriented into the Pagan/Folk/Viking Metal as well. This new album though has less black metal influences than the previous ones.”
What made you gravitate toward this style of music growing up in Malta (island nation in the Mediterranean Sea)? Is there a metal scene there?
“I was always intrigued by mythology and folklore … especially in the Scandinavian countries. Hence it got natural for me to start writing material in those themes. Yeah there is a quite healthy metal scene in Malta, though I guess I am the only “band” in that style. There are other black metal bands in Malta, namely Martyrium (my previous band, before I started out with Draugûl and Khaospath) and Sahhar.”
Musically or otherwise, what are your biggest influences?
“My biggest influence ever is Slayer! But I must also admit the inspiration to actually start Draugûl were Bathory and Burzum. Two one man bands… two legends… and two personal idols.”
You recently relocated to Sweden….what are the pros and cons of the move for you? Was it necessary for the music to progress?
“I did not actually move for the music. I had other personal reasons to move to Sweden, mainly as I am fonder of colder climates, and since also I am a kind of geek about Scandinavian folklore and history it felt natural to come here! For some reason here, the surrounding areas inspired me even more to write music and delve deeper in the folklore of the country, hence the themes of the songs in “Chronicles Untold”, which all deal with folk and old-wives-tales from olden times that were told up here in the North. A Progress in the music was unconsciously developed it seems.”
The new album has you now collaborating with Enslig on this latest release…. What is he bringing to the material that makes it different than previous releases?
“Yes, Enslig is guesting in this album on the Swedish Nyckelharpa, which is a local traditional instrument that resembles a violin in a way and it felt right to include this sound in the songs… and of course gave the songs a more unique sound! One must also mention Enslig’s band Utmarken that also includes the Nyckelharpa in their songs, but the style is maybe a bit softer than Draugûl one must say, but of course very interesting to listen to nonetheless! I am a big fan of Utmarken’s music!”
How does your writing/recording process work? Having released three albums in three years makes it seem that you must have a lot of material ready to record?
“I am constantly writing new material as days go by. Sometimes new music comes naturally in my mind and I start composing new songs… Other times inspiration seems to fly away.. so I just take a walk into the forests nearby.. get in touch with nature… and there comes the inspiration once more! It is not the first time that I actually sat down in the forest and started writing new material there as well!”
Do you write music specifically for Draugûl or do you write in other styles that may materialize as another project at some point?
“As mentioned before, apart from Draugûl, I have another band – Khaospath. We are a 4 piece band and we play Black Metal, straight, raw, ungodly black metal…. As it should sound!”
.. I never plan anything..
The sound of Draugûl has changed over the last three albums….was this a natural progression or something that you had premeditated ahead of time?
“The sound as production goes… evolved in the sense that I learned how to use the recording software more ( I record all my songs at home). Hence from the first album one can clearly see that mixing and mastering skills where developed. Still I have more to learn in this area! One never stops learning! As music goes.. I never plan anything.. I just start composing what I feel at that particular time!”
What are your feelings on your music being accessible via the internet and whether you are compensated for it? Does it matter if you make money or are you OK with just getting your music out there?
“I never made Draugûl as a means to get money. I compose music just because I love it.. though of course earning money out of music is a bonus! Having my music accessible on the internet of course has its advantages as it reaches a higher amount of people. The main disadvantage is .. well.. it lessens the chance of people actually buying the CDs.”
How do you prioritize your personal life/work with Draugûl?
“It is a constant challenge! I mean I have a wife and kid, and another kid on the way, a job of course, my motorcycle hehe… so I always run on a tight schedule! Up till now I always found the appropriate time to focus on the music as well fortunately!”
Is there ever a possibility of Draugûl performing live or touring? Is that something you feel you need to do at some point?
“I was thinking about it at one point, but I never actually found the right members to play my music for Draugûl. For lives and tours then I have Khaospath and we are actually writing our second CD at the moment and we are planning gigs and tours!”
Favorite albums from 2015 so far?
“Hmmm I actually have to say it is Venom – From the Very Depths which is my favourite so far! Although I really enjoyed the new Moonspell album – Extinct, and at the moment listening very closely to the new Iron Maiden and Ghost albums!”
“Whilst thanking you again for the opportunity for this interview, I also thank everyone who has helped Draugûl in the past years to become what it has become now! Getting positive feedback and constructive criticism from friends, fans, and well written reviews … it helped me to develop a more mature and unique style that is Draugûl today!”