Interview with Alphayn
Dear Folk Metal community my name is Juergen and it is my pleasure to introduce myself to you as a new interviewer for Folk-Metal.nl. I am based in the city of Vienna in Austria and will focus in the future on the Folk Metal scene in Central and Central Eastern Europe and hope that I can introduce to you some interesting news and interviews of bands which are active in our area.
Today I would like to introduce to you to one of the most well known Folk Metal band of Austria, namely Alphayn. Please find the interview below:
It is my pleasure to meet you and thanks a lot for your time. First of all I would kindly like to ask you to introduce yourself to our readers.
Cari: “Hi to everybody, we are Alphayn, a Folk/Viking Metal band from Vienna and we are active as band since 2012. We already released two full studio albums namely “Heimkehr” in 2014 and “Wanderschaft” in 2018.”
May I ask you what Alphayn stands for? What is the meaning behind the name.
Alena: “It is good that you are mentioning this, because you are pronouncing our name in the wrong way. Our name is pronounced “Alp – hayn”. This name is coming from the german word “Alpen Hain”, which means in English “Grove in the Alps”.”
Oh, sorry for that. Of course now this makes total sense for me. You are as well singing in your mother tongue German. Was this clear from the beginning or did you ever considered in having your lyrics in English in order to reach a wider audience?
Chiara: “I think this was very clear from the beginning. It is a kind of trademark of Alphayn and we express ourselves much better in our mother tongue, even that I am originally from Italy (laughing). Our former singer Robert wrote the lyrics for our first two albums, but now as new singer I overtook this part.”
So what are your main influences when you are writing the lyrics for new song?
Chiara: “Well, there are a lot of influences. I take my inspiration from the Nordic and Celtic Mythology, but as well from nature and local sagas. Basically all of us are very interested in those topics and the main motivation for us is to bring those old tales to our audience.”
I would like to stick to the creation process of a new song. Are you writing the lyrics first and then the music or how is this working in your band?
Hias: “Before Chiara is writing the lyrics I compose the basic construction of the music. Thereafter when we meet together in the rehearsal room or the studio we decide together how to fine tune the composition. The theme with lyrics is added later by Chiara.”
So what are your main inspirations when you are composing a new song?
Hias: “This is not easy to say, because there a so many. I would say that the main influence is music itself. I am listening to a lot of music of different genres and at a certain point I get a vision for a new harmony or composition and try to realize the same.”
In my personal view I could see a lot of development from your first album “Heimkehr”, which was more a straight forward Viking Metal record compared to your second release “Wanderschaft”, which has for me a much more folky touch, of course also mainly because it is the first release where Alena is playing the hurdy gurdy.
Hias: “Well, “Heimkehr” was our first release and of course you are improving with the time in getting more experienced and open in trying new harmonies and experiment with different tempo changes. Of course with adding Alena with the hurdy gurdy to our team, our music received a total new touch.”
You recorded your first two releases still with your old singer Robert, but in the meanwhile you have re-recorded your song “Alarich” with Chiara as singer and Alena on the hurdy gurdy and your song “Heute Nacht” with Chiara on the microphone. Are you planning a total re-release of your two albums with the new line-up? And why you have chosen especially these two songs?
Chiara: “There is no intention to re-release the first two albums in full. We will still re-record the one or other song and put it on youtube or any other digital platform. After that we would like to focus on new songs. The songs “Alarich” and “Heute Nacht” had been chosen because we could really show on them the full diversity of our band. For me especially as singer the full variety between clear vocals and growls.”
Lots of Shows
When I was looking at your tour plan for 2019 you were already doing a lot of shows. Was there any highlight for you this year?
Andrea: “Indeed we played a lot of shows and the first time we played a lot of gigs outside of Austria. For example we performed at the Nordic Metal Night in Budapest and the Slowianska Noc Folk Metalowa in Brenna Poland. It was really a great year as we had the opportunity to share the stages with bands such as Bucovina, Lagerstein, Radogost and many more.”
Cari: “Furthermore we played the first time at the Metalheads against Racism on the Donauinselfest 2019 in Vienna and still we will have a headliner show coming up in October. I think the personal highlight for all of us this year so far had been the gig in Brenna. We had a very good interaction with the audience and the response had been fantastic. We are using paint in reference to celtic warrior paint when perfoming live and after the show a lot of fans wanted to take photos with us. We felt very blessed to do the same.”
Sounds like an exciting year for you. Looking into the future. What can we await from Alphayn in the year 2020?
Hias: “We are already working on new songs and expect that we can finish the recording of the new album in 2020. So if all goes well we will release next year.”
Andrea: “We had a fantastic year 2019 so far and are targeting to play again on festivals or shows outside of Vienna in 2020. In Vienna we are blessed with a fantastic fan base and would like now to expand as well to other areas.”
Thanks so much for your time and the interview.