2015 has been very productive for the forest dwellers of Selvans. With an EP from earlier this year (“Clangores Plenilunio”) to the dark and black epicness of their new first album “Lupercalia”, this Italian duo have created an amazing legacy in a short amount of time thus far. We sent some questions over and are honored to have had Selvans Haruspex answer on behalf of himself and Selvans Fulguriator (the other half of Selvans) regarding the EP, the new album and a few other items of note, check it out…
Congratulations on your amazing debut album “Lupercalia”. How have the reviews been so far?
“Thank you, until now the tone of the reviews of our debut album was enthusiastic; we’re proud of that.”
Could you explain the concept or ideas behind “Lupercalia” if there is/are one?
“No concept: there is a wide gulf between the time of each story, there are no protagonists and the point of view is changing from song to song. The atmosphere in which we want to surrender the listener could be the only common element in every song of “Lupercalia”.”
My immediate reaction is that this is a black metal album….. Is this a fair assessment or do you feel more comfortable calling it something else?
“I’m not attracted to these classifications. Yes, it’s black metal for sure, but it’s not a Mayhem album you know? It’s atmospheric but it’s not a WITTR album, it’s folk but it’s not a Finntroll album etc etc…”
Having a two piece line-up may present challenges like live performances, writing, etc., what are the pros and cons if any of being a two piece outfit?
“With a two piece line-up every decision is immediate, the composition proceeds fast and you don’t have to deal with the frustrations and the bullshit of five, six or more people… There are no cons.”
You released an EP earlier this year entitled “Clangores Plenilunio”, is there a connection at all between the EP and the album and if so what is it?
“Yes, the songs were written in the same period by me, there is a wood atmosphere and the releases are both ritualistic and – in a certain way – very introspective.. ‘Clangores Plenilunio’ is “the night” when we lose ourselves after a bad experience; in that night we thought about life, about our past experiences, about the example of our brother Jonny and we found our way. ‘Lupercalia’ is that way, “the day”: our reborn.”
Fear, pride, mystique, anger, despair…
Was there a concept behind the album from the beginning and songs were written to fulfil that concept or were songs adapted or changed from original versions to work with the new album?
“There was a set of sensations: fear, pride, mystique, anger, despair… I started from there to write this album and the songs followed me.”
Being multi-instrumentalists allows for incredible song writing possibilities, do you both bring ideas or does one of you bring the basic songs structure/direction for the other to add to and augment? How do you divide music and lyrics/concepts?
“I write the concepts first and then the lyrics. About the music: we both record some riffs and musical ideas and then I make the structure of the song; later we arrange the guitar parts and then the other instruments.”
How are you able to record/practice with busy personal lives outside of Selvans?
“If you love something, it’s easy to find time and energy to dedicate to this.”
You have performed live with guest artists filling in some of the open instrument needs, is this the optimal situation to have “role players” as opposed to full time members?
“Absolutely yes, we knew and estimated these guys as human beings before they joined Selvans live line-up and this is the optimal situation.”
The tracks average 10 minutes in length on “Lupercalia”, was this the way they were written or were they simpler/shorter tracks that became longer with additional ideas/riffs/lyrics added on?
“No, they were written this way, no later addition.”
Italy has bands in numerous genres of metal, who/what are some that Selvans may have in common with and/or played with? Are there bands outside of Italy that you feel you have more in common with?
“Inchiuvatu is our artistic father, I have never met Agghiastru but I think it is the only Italian project that have something in common with Selvans. Before being contacted to support Moonsorrow Italian gigs last spring, our live debut would have to be with Shores of Null: our music has nothing in common but there’s a mutual respect and friendship. We feel the same towards our label buddies from Progenie Terrestre Pura, Downfall of Nur and The Clearing Path, but there are many good realities in the Italian metal scene. In Europe we feel close to Kawir from Greece and every ethno ‘folk’ black metal experimentation from the East (Drudkh, Khors, Kroda, Nokturnal Mortum and Negura Bunget).”
What are the near future plans now that the album is out? Will there be extensive promotion and touring?
“Yes we have scheduled an Italian tour of ten shows, the first three supporting Shining (SWE), and for the first time we will overcome the Italian borders for some European shows in Austria, France and other countries. We are also working on new material for other releases but it’s too soon to talk about that.”
Music can readily be downloaded or found on the web without artist compensation, is this a concern for Selvans or not at all? How do you feel about the state of the music “business”?
“Download is promotion. The real music listener (or ‘fan’ if you want) is surely a music buyer; obviously, to see some record store empty or closed is a blow to the heart but, in my opinion, it’s not the downloading advent’s fault! The two things can coexist.
Jeff (folk-metal.nl): What are you favourite albums of 2015?
“Drudkh – Борозна обірвалася, Dødheimsgard – A Umbra Omega, Midnight Odissey – Shards of Silver Fade”.
“We have worked for a whole year on “Lupercalia”, now it’s up to you. I am sure we will play in Netherlands one day, thank you Jeff!”