Viatora’s Journey

By: Dorien
Photography: Dorien

I must admit I had never heard of Viatora. After searching on Google I found out why. They live in Maastricht and that’s quite a distance.
I took the opportunity to listen to their songs and they turned out to sound very nice. Which is good news, because they’ve almost finished the recordings of their first EP. It’s time speaks to them.
First we want to know is where they got the name Viatora. It turns out to come from the Latin word for traveler, la Viatorie. Only they were of the opinion la Viatorie sounded not metal enough and they changed it into Viatora. There’s no big philosophy attached to it. Of course they have to travel a lot and on stage they make a kind of journey through time, it’s their goal to get us listeners out of the 21st century. They enjoying the use of Scandinavian and Celtic influences. So there’s a more practical instead of philosophical idea behind it.
I noticed immediately heard they were coming from Limburg. Do they experience their living there as an opportunity, because of the fact Belgium and Germany are also nearby, or is Maastricht a disadvantage because of the distance to the rest of the Netherlands.
‘There are two sides on this issue. Even if you’re well known in Maastricht, it’s very difficult to achieve this in the rest of the Netherlands. Which is well known in Maastricht mostly doesn’t leave the town. Limburg doesn’t have a real metalvenue and other venues are far away. Having Belgium nearby is nice on the other hand. It opens up opportunities to get to play there. ‘
Folk-metal is a fast growing style and there are a lot of starting bands. What makes Viatora different from the rest?
‘We’re trying to make a different kind of folk-metal from the start. We’re looking for other combinations of folk and metal.’ It isn’t very clear to me what they mean by that, but they’re can tal very enthusiastic about it. ‘No idea, how we do it, but it is different. We give the music an other twist. Sometimes you expect you’re going to get clean vocals, but we try to do something different then. Something unexpected.’
The EP which will be released soon will be entitled ‘ Mede, Kruid en Mensenvleesch’. I must say I thought this sounds like a cooking book. What should we expect from this debut?
‘It’s an excerpt of things we did in the last couple of years. From the oldest to the newest song there’s a timespan of about 2.5 years. The first songs is somewhat less complicated. And further on in time the more variation and speed alternations can be found in the music. You can listen to Viatora growing. ‘ ‘It wouldn’t be in Dutch entirely, there’s also a small part in English. And a small part in a language we do not really know ourselves. Maybe we will do some trips to Latin, Norsk of Finnish in the future but this is easier said than done. ‘
With their first EP not released, the members are already talking about their next one. Isn’t this a little bit early? ‘During the recording of our EP we had a lot of ideas which we’re eager to work out. The only thing which has to be done for the EP is the recording of the clean vocals. So we’re thinking out loud about a next album.’
The band consists of 7 members. This is a lot when they’re on stage, but also with the writing of songs you have to consider everybody. ‘Most of the times Thijs works out some ideas in Guitar Pro and the rest of the band looks at this and adds his own ideas. It’s very important everybody likes it and is content with the final product.’ Ideas are nice, but it has to it nicely. For this they have a keyboardplayer. He has experience on classic piano for eleven years and as good view on music and he judging them if they’re catchy enough and if they’re good in a technical point of view. When something doesn’t add up of doesn’t sound good, he looks at it and makes it sound right.
An EP of you own is a very large step toward getting to be known. What are you dreaming about for the future? ‘Wacken!” (is there a band who doesn’t mention this?)
‘But we have to start with drawing more attention in the Netherlands by performing a lot. The next months we have quit a few gigs planned, for instance one in 013 and on Drakkarfest. But we would like to play sometimes with Finntroll of Alestorm. This is a dream we have.
Is there something you would like to say to the fans/viewers?
‘We won’t stop ‘till the beer is op!’
‘Come to our gigs as much as you can and you have to buy our demo, because it will be milestone in folk-metal!’
‘And thank you all for being here tonight. We enjoyed our performance en the enthusiasm of the audience. ’