Interview with Trollfest
A Friend in Mead is a Friend indeed
Folk-metal.nl wants to know everything, but how do you interview a bunch of drunken trolls? We’ll come straight to the poitn at once, with the question which is circulating on the internet for a while now: Are you guys this good because you’re drunk or despite of the fact you’re drunk? The Troll put it another way: Is alcohol to TrollfesT what spinach’s to Popeye? This is a tricky question…. Psychotroll is of the opinion they’re probably good in being drunk in TrllfesT, but if this an advantage to the band of the opposite, can easily be contradicted. ‘With a very heavey heart I have to confess not all ideas we had when we were completely drunk were of thehigh quality we’re after at this point. But on the other hand I notice that very good ideas to add things or strengthen some aspects in existing material, grow late in the evening… let’s say at ‘less focussed moments’. However it’s not the case soberness is our kryptonite. We have done a lot of good stuff when we were sober, but the funny stuff happens a lot when our sentences have some lubrication.
We’re under the impression Psychotroll is benevolent towards us and means no harm. Despite the fact this isn’t really necessary we try to please him and we make our compliment to the fantastic cover of the latest album ‘En kvest for den hellige gral’. In our opinion the cover says it all, it’s got Troll, aggression and absurd humor. We’re curious about the way these things grow, is this a group-process as well? ‘TrollfesT is very proud of the corporation with the man behind this artwork, Jonas Darnell’. This cartoon-like way of thinking began when the band made a cartoon for the tale which formed the concept of the second albu. ‘Brakebein’. This cartoon was drawn by Mr. Seidel, the troll usually in charge of the guitar. But this cartoon-concept was something which we would like to come back with the third album ‘Villanden’. But this time we would like to take it a step further and the band decided to corporate with a real cartoonist. After a few request to artist the band could approve, the trolls come in contact with Jonas Darnell, the man who drew the famous fire-spitting duck, the one which is the famous cover from ‘Villanden’. And when “En Kvest for den Hellige Gral” began to become a decent story, we realized we wanted to build out the cartoon approach, and we even wanted to get more from the world of cartoons in the cover of the album. The biggest inspiration for this design came from the way the covers of comics are telling a complete story in one picture. We wanted to do the same and portret our five trolls in one picture, searching for the Holy Grail. Yes, we at Folk-metal.nl were of the opinion you all knew the Norwegian language enough to understand the title of the new TrollfesT album. As result of this you see five trolls going through the woods on their quest. Just out of their sight, but clearly to the viewer is an important artefact from the story: ‘Den Hellige Gral’. Unfortunately there’s no ‘Where’s Wally’ question to discover the grail. We don’t give away a price for the one who finds it, not yet at least. But maybe we will, because it turns out it’s not that easy to find.
We’re under the impression TrollfesT takes their humor very seriously. How do the trolls keep themselves in control? TrollfesT can’t make music without humor of the other way around. Our perspective is the added serious and not serious humor give us the freedom to do exactly that what we want to do with our music. Taking the humor out of our Music, would be the same as taking ‘fest’, meaning the party-part, out of TrollfesT. It might work, but it wouldn’t be the same. Being serious of the opposite should never be taken light. For us it is one of the main-ingredients to keep us in a happy, cheerfully, folk and black-metal influenced symbiosis, which we happily call “True Norwegian Balkan Metal”.
When we look closer to the album a lot of Balkan melodies and atmospheres can be heard. How do you manage this. The Balkans aren’t quite in the neighbourhood of Norway?
Psychotroll: Within the band we have a lot of influences en experiences to guide us. We have some experience in Balkan Music, especially in the mixing of traditional Balkan with Black Metal. We’re not always fully experienced at what we do, but we adopt easily thing we like in the black metal ‘construction’ of TrollfesT. Balkan is one of the themes which inspire us, because of the tremendous fun you see with the people who make this music, or listen to it. That’s why this element stuck on us and became a essential feature of our music. This story was actually also the foundation for the description of our genre “True Norwegian Balkan Metal”.
’n kvest ….’ sounds louder than ‘Villanden’, without losing the typical TrollfesT sound. Was this a intentional adjustment searching for the Grail? The TrollfesT sound is more than the sum of the kind of amplifiers and the count of toms in the drumkit. The album should sound bigger, because of the larger amount of trolls on it. This was our first album since we’re a septet and it was a tremendous experience. An other significant difference compared to our previous albums is the fact we went to the ‘Strand Studio’ for the metal part of our band. With the Balkan instruments we went ‘TrollskogeN Recording Facilities’ aka IYF Studio, aka my appartment (PsychoTroll’s apartment) in stead. Were we recorded the choirs, extra rhythms, extra strings, accordion, sax etc. e.d. Marius Strand got the whole package after this and the fearful taste to mix it all together, and to make it sound like it used to. He made it a very loud package, we would like to present to our fellow-trolls on 22th April when “En Kvest for Den Hellige Gral” will be released. The sound maintained recognisable, and this is mainly due to the instruments who are mostly the same and the fact we’re still using acoustic Balkan instruments for our recordings.
Isn’t it very hard to make Music with this kind of humor on CD, isn’t it much easier to play this kind of music live for an audience? The story of TrollfesT started with the recording of albums, we didn’t expect we ever got to play our Music for an audience. This changed in 2—8, en the thirst for playing for an audience has only become bigger since. Probably by this history we see CD’s and playing live as two completely different worlds. Live the emphasis on energy and exchanging emotions with our audience, but this is of course the most satisfactory part. We look at recording CD’s as a completely different playground, ideas can be born with this and worked out later. Besides is also fantastic to listen to our own TrollfesT Music. Especially when we can take some friends (Jameson, Captain Morgan, Jack Daniels, Jägermeister to name a few).
We’re happy we’ll see you guys at Heidenfest. But you’re on stage there with other trolls (Finntroll) and there’s also a great funpart (with Alestorm), is this of any influence to your playlist, or do you follow your own path? We think playing with very experienced musicians like Finntroll and Alestorm will inspire us to show how different we are from all the other bands on this tour. Which doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate their Music, on the contrary. We believe the audience will appreciate a varied show, a show TrollfesT shall not just try to do what others do. One of the emphasis of the show will be the “True Norwegian Balkan Metal” songs in the heidenfest tour. And don’t be surprised when we add something of our special weirdness!
See them at Leeuwarden, Tilburg (or Oberhausen, or Antwerpen) or all four, but make sure you’ll see them.
Psychotroll: A friend in mead is a friend indeed!