Photos by: Peter Hesseloe, ravenrocksite.dk
It is my honor today to have an interview with the Danish Folk Metal Newcomers “Vansind” out of Denmark. For all our readers, which are not that familiar with your band, could you please introduce yourself to our Folk-Metal.nl community?
“Gustav Solberg(Guitarist): It’s our pleasure! Vansind started in 2019 with members from bands like Svartsot, Mindmare and Eciton, to name a few. We are seven people in the band, including both a male and a female vocalist. Our music is inspired by the past of the Danes, mainly the viking age and it’s myths and legends.”
I already had the pleasure the review and pre-listen your upcoming EP “MXIII” and I really need to state that I was really surprised about the great production of this release. As your band was founded just in 2019 the sound comes very mature with a lot attention into the detail of each song. Please tell us a little bit more about your foundation and the creation process of “MXIII”?
“Both writing and recording this EP was quite the challenge during this pandemic. We had our rehearsal space shut down multiple times, and studio dates cancelled. The drums were recorded first by Tue Madsen, whom you might know for his work with bands like: Babymetal, Meshuggah, Behemoth and Moonspell. Guitars, bass, keyboards and flutes were recorded at Mayonaise studio. Everything was then mixed and mastered by Kristian Emil Øgir, who was taught by Tue Madsen, and he did an amazing job.
This might be the first Vansind EP, but most of us have been playing in bands on the Danish stage for many many years, so there is a lot of experience here. I, as one of the youngest members, am truly humbled by the level of musicianship in the band. Everyone has a great eye for detail in their own instrument, that it really elevates the songs.”
What are your main influences when composing new songs?
“Mostly people have come in with a melody, and then we write the songs around these. We all like different bands, but a band like Iron Maiden is something we all like. You might say Iron Maiden is not a folk metal band, and you would be right, but go and listen to the song Dance of Death, that track is very folky! I personally also like bands as Eluveitie, Tyr and Primordial. Especially Primordial was a huge influence on me, when composing Gæstebudet even though the song doesn’t really sound that much like Primordial.”
You decided to present your songs in Danish language. As far as I understood your lyrical topics are all around the Viking era and Danish history. Can you please give us a little bit insight into your lyrics and why you especially picked that themes for your songs?
“This EP in particular is about the danish king Svend Forkbeard’s conquest of England in 1013 and the events there after. It’s a great tale of betrayal, revenge and bravery. I might be a bit biased when it comes to the themes we write music about, as I’m in the process of writing my masters thesis in history at the university of Copenhagen, which is actually about the viking age. But it’s a great subject and serves as a great backdrop for the music.”
In Denmark you have a quite active Folk-Metal scene with bands as Svartsot, Vanir, Trold, Huldre, Heidra or Wuthering Heights. Can you please tell us a little bit more about your local scene in Denmark?
“I’m very grateful for the folk-metal scene we have in Denmark. These bands like Svartsot, Vanir and Heidra were my introduction to folk-metal, and the reason I gained a passion for this genre of music. Our drummer Danni has played drums most of those bands you name there actually. The scene has been great but in the last few years it has not been what it used to be.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Huldre has sadly disbanded. This was a huge upset for the scene, as they were one of the ones doing the most interesting take on Folk-metal in my opinion. Former members from Huldre has now started a band called Ættir, whom we played our debut show with. It’s not Huldre, but still great music!
With the disbanding of Huldre, Heidra turning to Power Metal and Vanir to melodic death metal there weren’t really that many folk metal bands left in Denmark, but it’s beginning to look like a second wave is inbound. Vansind, Trold and Idaslet are all new folk metal bands who released their debuts last year. I think bright times are ahead for danish folk metal!”
As I also mention in my review for me the EP “MXIII” is coming with three tracks and a running time of 16 minutes quite short. I was pre-listening your songs over and over again and it always was leaving a taste for more? Why you decided to release those three songs as EP “MXIII” and not as singles. Was there a strong wish for a first official release? Will the EP only be released digitally or are you planning as well a physical release?
“If the listener is hungry for more, then we see that as a victory. One of the reasons behind going for the EP instead of 3 singles, is that the songs are connected. They’re all about the same events and go really well together, thus it would be a shame to release them as singles. The EP format also gives us the freedom to try different things, both in the music but also in the production. Thus, the next release will hopefully be similar in the aspects that work, and different in the aspects that don’t. And hopefully, you won’t have to wait long. The release will be digital at first, but we are not saying that there won’t be a physical release at some point.”
As your band is quite young you can’t really find a lot of information about you in the web. Basically I only found your Facebook side, with nearly no information about yourself available? In these days the presence in the Social Media plays a very big role. How do you see this development?
“Social media plays a big part in music now, you can’t deny it. It’s a good way for people to stay up to date on releases, concert dates and so one. But the music has always been the most important part for me. I like to concentrate on the music and stuff related to it. Making facebook updates that don’t have anything to do with the music, seems pointless to me, even though it might be helpful to the statistics. It’s a complex issue.”
Did you already had the chance to present some of your songs live? I saw on your FB side, that actually some gigs had been scheduled in the past, but I believe due the pandemic they had been canceled. Actually there are gigs schedule for the Udgardsfest, Raise your Horns Festival, Mono goes Metal Festival and Bhaal Fest XII in Denmark. As I assume all of you have already some live experience. So how much you miss the stage?
“We were lucky enough to play one show back in September of last year with Ættir and Vanir. This show was in front of a sitting audience limited to about 70 people I think it was. The good thing about the pandemic is that people are supporting the Danish scene like never before. A lot more shows are sold out now, also due to the fact there can’t be as many people there, but in general people are attending more local shows, than they used to. The first show during the pandemic I attended was outside, you had to sit down, and I waited in line for 3 hours to see the death metal band Undergang. This would have never happened a year and half ago. We still have shows in our calendar, and we’re going to be preparing to play them, until we get told otherwise. At this moment you cannot have concerts in Denmark, these restrictions are in place till the 28th, what happens after this, we don’t know.”
What bands you are listening privately to and which concerts after this pandemic you are looking forward to?
“I’ve been enjoying the new releases from Finntroll and Korpiklaani, both of which I wished I could see live again. Kind of related to folk metal, then i’ve been quite into Æther Realm. The “Redneck Viking from Hell” album was alright, but it’s been primarily Tarot that has been getting airtime here. This record really amazes me by how many different things they can do, with it all sounding like them. From The Sun The Moon The Stars epic nature, to the King of Cups featuring Christopher Bowes from Alestorm and Gloryhammer. These songs are so different, but they both work so well on the same album.”
Any last shout out to our readers?
“Thank you to everyone who has listened to our music! We hope this virus fucks off soon, so we can come out and play our music for you all. Cheers!”
Thanks for the interview and really looking forward to hear more from you in the future!
By: Juergen Marass