Skálmöld: “Metal and classical music are not that unrelated after all.”
The story about six men with a mission: to play in Iceland’s biggest concert hall supported by Iceland’s biggest orchestra en choirs. If you reckon that metal and classical music don’t go hand in hand, Skálmöld just proved you otherwise! What began with joking and dreaming about this, became reality.
Skálmöld tells Folk-metal.nl their story behind the shows.
Skálmöld did 3 shows together with the Iceland symphony orchestra. How did you came up with the idea of this collaboration?
We have been joking about this since we were just finishing recording our first album, Baldur. It was just a „tounge in cheek“ talk about how great it will be when we will perform our songs with a full orchestra and a huge male choir. But that was all just for laughs. But then at some point just after we had recorded Börn Loka it became a little more serious. Gunnar (keyboards) has a background in classical music and he started planting this idea amongst his friends in the orchestra. Then this just started to grow wings among the good people at the orchestra and they gave us a call and asked us if we were interested in this collaboration. And if the orchestra approaches you, you just don´t say no.
How did it feel to play your own songs together with so many musicians?
This whole experience was just surreal. Everybody in Iceland were, and are still, talking about this event. The cd/dvd was an instant best-seller and the critics were just out of this world. But for me, I still haven´t fully realized that we just did this, it kinda feels like it didn´t happen. And the concert hall, Eldborg, is so big and so grand. So playing three completely sold-out shows there with a full-blown orchestra, a male choir, a mixed choir and a children´s choir was unbelievable. One of the best experiences of our career so far.
We would love to see you performing this way as well. Is there any chance that you will be doing more of these shows in, for example, the Netherlands or other parts of Europe?
And we would love to perform this way in Europe as well. That would be truly amazing. I mean we have the orchestra parts already and they can be performed with orchestras around Europe for sure. The downside are the choir parts. We sing in Icelandic and there are not that many people outside of Iceland that speak Icelandic so we would have to travel with our own choir. And to completely honest it is expensive enough for just the six of us to travel around Europe doing shows, let alone throwing in choir as well. But never say never. This idea has already come up and we have promised ourselves to take a serious look into this.
Was it the first time for the orchestra, working together with a metal band? How did they react to
your music, which is probably a bit different than what they usually play?
Yeah, this was the first time with a metal band. The orchestra has over the years performed with several pop and rock artists, but never a metal band. Most of them were really positive from the very beginning, but of course there were some not so keen on doing this. But as we got more and more time together you could see the smiles grow bigger on everybody. And I can honestly say that a large majority of everyone involved were having a real good time. And as for the music itself, most of them really liked it. Metal and classical music are not that unrelated after all.
How did the fans react to the shows?
The fans reactions were very positive. And we got ourselves a lot of new fans with this project. It was just so good for us and the fans to be able to play and attend a show in a whole new surroundings. This was not just a another venue/club filled with sweat and beer. And don´t get me wrong, I love playing small venues as they tend to get more intense and I like my music intense and aggressive. But this was new to all of us and gladly I think everybody went home afterwards with the biggest smile on their faces.
So you’ve played these amazing sold-out shows. Is there anything left to wish for? (Playing at a
specific festival or venue for example?)
I guess not.
No, seriously we have a lot to do. We have been very succesful in Iceland and have a huge fan base here. We just received a gold record for Börn Loka in Iceland in December and our other two albums, Baldur and the orchestra record, are just reaching a gold sale as well. But we want to be able to do more abroad. The tours and festivals we´ve played so far have been great and we want to continue down that road. It is such a privilege to be able to travel around, seeing new places, meeting new people and introduce your music to a whole new crowd. So hopefully we will see a lot more of Europe this year. That´s what we want to be the next step of our career.
Do you have any plans for making an album with new songs?
Yes, we do. We have already started writing some music already. We have a lot of ideas already and some of them are really good, and some of the ideas are the most aggressive we´ve ever written. We are planning to go into the studio in late May and record songs for a new album. We still haven´t deceided when it will be released, but hopefully before we see the end of 2014.
Big thanks to you folk-metal.nl
I hope we´ll see you guys in the Netherlands this year. It´s been too long since the last time.
We hope to see you soon as well, Skálmöld! Thank you for your time and good luck with the new album.