Brymir of Finland have been in the business for quite a while. Having released only two albums to date, theirs is a small yet solid discography. And as you probably know already, they are currently working on their third record. Although not many details have been released yet regarding the new album, just the preview track “Chasing the Skyline” gives one a cause for celebration and excitement! Since the signs of a strong comeback are there, we felt like it’d be good to have a chat. Please enjoy.
Hi, let me first ask you about the new album. How is it coming along? When will we get to hear the whole thing?
“Hi and thanks for the invitation! We are currently in the final stages of pre-production ahead of the drum recordings which are due in a month. Our initial schedule is to have the record ready for mastering by the end of October. There is no release date set yet but hopefully you will get to hear the whole thing by early 2019.”
Have you settled on a title for the album? And who will you be working with for the artwork?
“The album title has not yet been chosen but currently just goes under the working name “III”. Details about the artwork will emerge closer to the release!”
Your first single off the album, “Chasing the Skyline” is a beautiful, powerful song. How did you decide to release that song as the first single from your upcoming album? And how does it compare with rest of the album in your opinion?
“The song contains a wide palette of styles and shows a quite new side of the band. It does not, however, give you a picture of the album as a whole at all. The songs have quite an extreme variation in style and “Chasing The Skyline” is just one of those extremes.”
Are you planning on releasing other singles before the album comes out?
“One or two more singles will be released before the album and they will further show the versatility of the record. There will probably be something out there for you before the end of the year!”
Does the album have a concept that all the songs deal with or is it a collection of songs with different subjects?
“There is no general concept per se but most songs are separate odes, lamentations and stories from my personal life. The past few years have been very stormy and all my ups and downs have provided a very raw and honest source of inspiration. This album is pretty much the fruit of that.”
What are your plans for after the album is released?
“Hopefully plenty of touring! We really hope to finally get out there and play across the globe more extensively than previously possible. And, of course, writing new music for a fourth album.”
Creating and Fun Facts
I’d like to ask you about your creation process. How are the writing duties shared among you? Is there a method that you follow or do you just go with the flow?
“The process has been constantly evolving since we started but is now starting to take a quite solid form. The aim is to be able to make release-ready sound already in the early phases of songwriting and we are getting there. In other words, we want to do songwriting and final production in parallel.
For the past few years the process has been based on my songwriting and programming in Pro Tools, further arrangement and production with guitarist Joona Björkroth and lyrical collaboration with bassist Jarkko Niemi. I generally work alone in dark studio rooms on initial compositions but songs usually improve greatly when we get to sit down with Joona; we have an extremely synergetic creative relationship and he is a Grand Magus of Guitar Wizardry.
Because of the personal nature of the lyrics most of the text is from my pen this time around but Jarkko’s deep knowledge of language is of invaluable aid.
Fun fact: Due to Joona being busy touring with Battle Beast I have in recent times picked up playing guitar myself! I suck at playing but my work as a record producer has granted me enough technical knowledge of guitars to actually play, edit and produce guitar parts which are almost indistinguishable from The Real Thing. This has greatly improved the impact and coherence of songs and helped to speed up the process unbelievably much.”
What inspires you when writing lyrics and music? To what extent are you influenced by art forms other than music? Who are some of your favourite writers, poets or painters?
“Speaking for myself the inspiration comes from raw emotion combined with my love for high intensity and lush, detailed art. I especially enjoy intricate and ambitious, brutal but sophisticated expression in all forms of art.
One of my biggest sources of inspiration is sci-fi literature, though. Not necessarily the themes themselves but the utterly insane scale of the distances, timespans and technologies described fill me with awe.
On the other hand, contrast is key. I also love a minimalist aesthetic but often when it comes to music size does matter, for me.”
Let’s go back to the early days of the band, because Brymir is one of the very first folk/pagan metal bands I got into when I started listening to the genre. What was the spark that lit the flame of Brymir? With what in mind did you start the band? And what is it that keeps it going?
“Brymir came into existence by chance when we met each other at a music summer course in our mid-teens. We connected very strongly because of a shared taste in metal. We we´re young, ambitious and wanted to play fast, epic extreme metal… so we did and still do!
I feel that the genre of music we make is exceptionally difficult to master because of the high level of technical skill required; just to understand and unlock the creative possibilities and to see the true limitations. We have arrived at a level where we are finally scratching a bit deeper than the surface and one big motivator is the dream to eventually just be able to easily express ourselves through this form of music. Once you pull it off it is very rewarding. The struggle is real but so is our fighting spirit.”
What does Brymir mean? How did you come up with it?
“Brymir” is the combination of two concepts from Norse mythology which together symbolize Alpha and Omega .
“Ymir” is the giant out of whose flesh the world was created at the dawn of time; Brimir is a beer-hall where the souls of the brave feast after Ragnarök… the final apocalypse.”
Lastly, is there anything you’d like to add?
“Thanks so much for the interview! Follow our progress on social media and expect some quite heavy s**t coming your way sooner than later. Hold the line!”