The new Gwydion album ‘Veteran’ is out now. This release came after a period in which a lot of things changed for the band. About time for Folk-metal.nl to talk with these guys and ask them about all these changes.
‘Yes you are right, we’ve made a lot of changes since Horn Triskelion, from our Music to all “administrative” method that we were used to work previously.
First of all, we tried to get another contract with Trollzorn, our previous label for a deal on this new album, but unfortunately it was not possible for them, due to the crisis installed on the Music market, and also because Gwydion´s distance from the main, Fests and venues all over Europe. That brings a lot of expenses to the cost of the band, so…. after contacting other labels and getting some very bad deals back, we decided to go on our own.’
‘Fundraising well, I personally found at first it was real strange, but then I started to investigate other bands that use this new platforms, so we thought hell why not man, let’s try and do this, and after all this it makes us very proud to get support from our fans all over the world, it was completely unreal all the support and good feedback we’ve got in all this process.
I tell you man This Album Veteran is not only our work, its birth and creation is from all who supported us and helped us!
So you asked me if Fundraising is worth it, by Odin it is!’
This was something completely different for you guys, are there things you would do different the next time?
‘Well, you know I think all Musicians or artists are never happy with the final work, we all have this self-criticism in all that we do, we’ve learn a lot in this process, so for the next album we will correct some things for sure, it’s a continuous learning process.
For this Album Veteran, finally it’s done and sincerely we did the best we could, with all the heart on it, lots of work and dedication, and all is worthwhile thanks to our Fans!
We at Folk-metal.nl followed the fundraising project closely, it seemed to us Gwydion got a lot of support during this fundraising, how did this feel?
‘We felt great because we got the perception that our fans really wanted a new album and that we continue doing what we like to do, to play music. It´s overwhelming to receive support from all the World and see that people care about us, it´s the best review you can get, from your own fans.’
Doesn’t it give some pressure too, when fans give their money in advance, before they have heard the new work?
‘The pressure is always on, even more after the success of the Horn Triskelion album, expectations were very high, and adding the fundraiser component we couldn’t let our fans and music industry in general down. So, we always got told that hard work always gets thing well done, and once more we think we fulfilled our goals with Veteran.’
Gwydion is not connected with a label anymore, does this feel it’s the right way, or would you accept an offer from a label when it’s a proper deal?
Yes, we definitely think that’s the way to go right now, at least for us. Things are hard in the music industry and labels are having trouble dealing with it. We had a proposals from a few labels for this album, but none of them were very favorable to Gwydion so we had to take the chance of self-releasing running the risk of simply not being able to release the album. Up until now, things are working pretty well and with all the help from our fans we think we were able to pull this off!
The previous album was released quite a long time ago, why did it take so long before a sequel of Horn Triskelion was release?
‘This album is a little more complex in structure than its predecessors, it all has a theme that made things a little more difficult and time consuming in order to get it just right! We’ve striven really hard to make sure that Horn Triskelion was not a fluke and to prove that we do have a word to say in the Metal scene. This whole process (we think) shows in a better quality of this work, whether be more powerful riffs and lyrics or the overall sound quality, everything is a much better than the last album, so we are very happy with it and think that the wait was well worth it.’
Folk-metal.nl wrote a review on Horn Triskelion back then, one of the things we mentioned in our review was, we thought the album was too much a mix of all kind of things, was this something you heard more often and was this one of the reasons to make a more coherent album with Veteran?
‘We got several kind of different reviews and points of view regarding Horn Triskelion, and we had our own one. We don´t think it was a mix of all kind of things, but yes it was a little more heterogenic than Veteran. Maybe that´s why people look at this album as a more mature one, but I think the band experience acquired along these years made that. The concept of the album and its story since the birth of a warrior till he become a Veteran is also another thing that keeps the songs more coherent and on track I think.’
Of course at Folk-metal.nl we were hoping it would be more consistent with more folk, but you have choosen to focus on the epic elements, was this something which was done by choice. Or was this something which just developed?
‘Gwydion was Always, since our demos, epic oriented, Horn Triskelion was the album that we used more folk elements than any other previous release or even Veteran.
So we can have different perspectives, we developed a new epic sound or we just got a little back on our origins, we will leave that to the media and our fans to judge that. But to finalize this question, based on the concept of the album we wanted to do this the more epic possible, because we were talking about a story from our country.’
Will Gwydion follow this path further on in the future, or is it possible major changes are made in the next album?
‘Well we never now, maybe take the best from every experience so far, folk, heavy, epic, and so on and decide later… right now is very premature to talk about that because first we have to decide what will be the next album about.’
Hopefully it won’t take another 3 years for a new album to be released.
‘We hope not to take so much time on the next albums. In this one we had to do everything ourselves and that took a large amount of time and dedication to finish this work the way we wanted. Although, now we are struggling with another member of the band, because he moved to Norway to live there and that can be a little difficult with rehearsals and the recording of new songs. For now, we will try to enjoy what will come from this new album.
Now we’re talking about this subject, Gwydion isn’t very productive where albums are concerned. Especially in the early years of the band there wasn’t a release of a real album, why was this? Was the frequently changing of bass player one of the reasons for this?
We believe that the main reason was the lack of means to produce a real album. Everything costs money and in the beginning of the band we did not had help from labels who could believe in us and could help the band with their objectives. Even we did not had sufficient band members to record a album, nowadays working in studio became more easier and we just could had a friend or a invited musician to record the songs.
Why is Gwydion taking Vikings etc. as a theme at not the rich culture of the Portugal?
‘Our second album has a strong appealing for Viking and Nordic myths because we like the theme and we wanted to do a album about Nordic Mythology. Nevertheless, we used some of our culture in one of our songs. We wrote part of the lyrics in Portuguese as well. In Veteran we speak about a warrior, from birth until he becomes a veteran. This concept is to be understood as our warrior had come from any part of the world and is like a comparison between our own birth and the struggles and joys in our life. But in this album we used more of our culture. Throughout the life and adventures of our warrior we had in the lyrics aspects of Portuguese culture and maybe not everyone is aware that we speak about our own history.’
It has been a while ago since we got to see Gwydion live. Is there any chance Gwydion will do a tour through Europe in the near future?
‘Few things are more rewarding to us than going on tour and have the opportunity to share our music with as many people as possible, either in Portugal or throughout Europe. But unfortunately, the last couple of years were not easy for both promoters and labels, so the opportunities and invitations to play around were scarcer, and being in one corner of Europe, with expensive flights towards other countries didn’t help at all.
Anyway, we fell that we’re going through a turning point, and with the release of “Veteran” we have great expectations for 2014!’
Well, thanks guys for this nice conversation, it surely cleared up a lot of things, is there anything else you like to say to our readers?
‘First, we would like to thanks for all the support that we have been receiving from ours fans with support messages, and especially to those who contributed directly to the fundraising campaign, without them the “Veteran” would arrive the field a lot later in time.
This album is dedicated to all that, metaphorically speaking, are in a middle of a battle, or going through difficult challenges. We hope that “Veteran” will bring the right mood for new conquests and victories. If by some reason no battles are being fought at present, well, just grab a cold mug of ale, listen to the album, savour the yeast fermentations, and rejoice the years of peace!!’