What’s a better opportunity to talk with the guys of Månegarm then when they’re out in the open, wild and free at their own festival in Sweden? I managed to slip into their busy schedule for a nice chat.
Månegarm Open Air
Why did you decide to start your own festival?
“We started to talk about it a couple of years ago but then it wasn’t that serious. Around two years ago we talked it over again and then we just decided to do it. We have been playing for many years now and on many many festivals and this is a cool thing to do. Something different than what we’re use to. And now, afterwards, I can honestly say that this is the best thing we’ve ever done together as a band! Hard work of course but so much fun!”
Was it a deliberate decision to have only Swedish bands on the lineup?
“Yes it was. We picked bands that we have toured and played gigs with and who have become our friends so it was easy to ask them first. That they happen to be among the best bands in the genre was just a bonus ;) I think that we had a very strong line-up. Hard to beat that one :)”
Ideas and Wishes
If you were to do the festival again next year, for example, would you be open to bands from abroad?
“Sure, that would be cool!”
Do you have any bands in mind for the future, Swedish or otherwise?
“We have talked about it and we have some ideas/wishes… we’ll see what happens.”
If you hold the festival again would it be at the same venue or would you consider perhaps scaling down to a mini tour instead taking in a few major towns or cities?
“We are really happy and satisfied with everything and the venue and the enviroment at Pythagoras was really great. So we want to make another run there but nothing is decided yet so we’ll have to wait and see.
A mini-tour is also a cool idea. Maybe the next step to take but right now we’re focusing on the festival.”
Obviously as far as Folk Metal in Sweden goes, you guys are pioneers along with Thyrfing. Which bands were an influence on you when you started out and are there any up and coming bands that you can see taking the genre forwards?
“Bathory of course. Back then it was also plenty of death metal for me such as Entombed, Dismember, Carcass, Morbid Angel… After that good old shit like Motörhead mostly. And Running Wild of course, they are my favourites!
I’m sure there are plenty of new bands that will keep playing this kind of music in a really good way and take the genre forward but I don’t listen that much at all to Viking/folk metal actually. I have my old favourite bands and that enough for me, it doesn’t get any better than that anyway so…”
The Folk Metal scene has become relatively large with thousands of bands worldwide. Did you ever imagine that it would take off in that way?
“No, not at all. When we started to play we just wanted to do something cool and something we really liked ourselves. We wanted to play fast, raw and primitive black metal with folk music influences and we also wanted to sing in Swedish and about Vikings…. back home, with all the hair-metal bands a shit, people thought we were idiots haha! But I’m really glad that people enjoy this music and of course I hope that they will keep on doing so.”
I saw you opening for Grimner at their album release party in Linköping last year. How did that come about?
“They asked us if we wanted to play at their party and we thought that it was a cool idea. They wanted us to play as head-liner but we refused… It was their release party and of course they would play last and close down the party!! They were the stars that night :)”