I have to congratulate you with your album first, it has become a real success after a year. It must have opened a lot of doors for you? It sure has, we have the opportunity now to spread our work through a label with which we can reach a large audience. It opened door to ourselves as well as for the band in a musical sense. We have grown and we’re proud of it. We’re more than ready for the future!
Metalcamp Chat Hi Gur: Nice name :-) Sorry for the delay, there’s too much to answer ;-) Where from Norway are you from?About our origin: PsychoTroll + Per Spelemann: Tønsberg, Mr. Seidel; Kopervik, Trollmannen: Sveio, Trollbank: Lørenskog, Manskow, Oslo, DrekkaDag: Wahahaaaay up North in the cold where the sun don’t …Continue reading →
The Music of Battlelore has evolved during the past few years, from somewhat more danceable songs to much heavier epic Metal. Folk-metal.nl had to learn more about this and spoke to Jyri Vahvanen, guitar player and text writer of this Finnish band. The Music evolves in a group process, most of the songs develop from a rough plan on guitar. Drums and bass are added to this, and after that keyboards and vocals are added. The song, created in this process, is refined until everyone is happy about it.
The trend towards a more epical approach is something which wasn’t a thoughttrough plan, but something which grew out of this developing system. ‘It’s a natural cause, and we don’t have big plans or a vision to develop our music in a certain direction’. Each and every album is a compact piece of Battlelorian art and to be honest, it’s a mystery to all of us how the final product will sound when where in the studio finally at last.’ ‘Doombound’ is a concept album about J.R.R.Tolkien’s ‘Túrin Turambar’, and the tracks follow up in a logical order. In this way they form a complete story. It came to us the album can be listened to as if you’re watching a movie. The First song ‘Bloodstained’ is an intro to the story and the album ends with the instrumental track ‘Kielo’, when you can almost see the credits scroll down the film screen. According to Jyri this is what was meant with the album and fortunately they seem to have succeeded in this with their first concept album. The band experienced it as very challenging to make a concept album with an ongoing storyline. It appeared to be rather difficult to get the lyrics in a satisfying result, but with the help of the other members this also ended well. It’s to early to speculate about coming albums, but working on a concept album like this was interesting to do and now we have some experience with this. It’s not unlikely they’ll do it again.
Track like we know them from the ‘past’ like ‘Sons of the Riddermark’ and ‘Buccaneer’s inn’ for instance could not be heard on the last 2 albums. Has the band left the style of more catchy swinging song? Not necessarily, according to Jyri, like said before the songs are a result of a groupprocess and evolve in a natural way. When we would like to try to make a song with the feel of “Sons of the Riddermark” it would probably don’t work out. We don’t have a recipe for hits and that’s why we write from our feelings, and not with the intention it has to sound ‘catchy’. Finally we were also curious if we could see the band in the near future, so it was time to talk about this subject. Jyri, why is it, we don’t get to see you guys very much? ‘We all have our daily work and family in Finland en besides that we’re also playing in Battlelore, they why we always have to put things in perspective. From a Financial point of view we don’t benefit from being on tour a lot. These are by al means choices of live we’ve made and our choice was to keep Battlelore a serious hobby, and not make it our employer.’ Fortunately the band can make the announcement they’re going to play at a few festivals in Europe. But, unfortunately to our fans, there’s no confirmed tour at this moment. About which songs will be on the playlist in upcoming gigs there band has no secret. Gigs and albums are completely different; gigs have to stay energetic and heavy. This leaves not much space for quiet songs or ballads. Some songs like ‘doombound’ can’t be played live because of their massive structure. The band has to think things carefully through when they’re making a playlist for upcoming gigs. Let’s hope we’ll see them soon.
After a fantastic show, we meet all ‘ugly people’ (see review concert) of Chain of Dogs in the dressing room. That is, I get Olaf, Arne, Tom, Jelle and Willem. Rafke a treat to the eye on stage, but who’s giving the band a lot of extra dimension with her fine voice, had to keep the merchandise-stand open.
The people from Willemeen are good caretakers of their special guests, we were confronted with this when a employee of Willemeen was a little bit suspicious about our intentions. After an explanation we soon could enjoy a nice cold drink, which was very welcome due the very high temperatures today.
We were very curious about CODs experiences regarding their latest CD. The band told me they were very happy with it. It was fun to make another CD. And the band is very content with their label ‘Witches Brew’, which gives the band total freedom to make whatever they like. The band took care of the recordings to lower the costs. The mastering of the album was done by member Willem himself. Besides the fact it lower the costs tremendously, it gives freedom to the band to create something they like. Something that gives them the feeling they created something of their own. The band is planning to record something with others, the label gives the band the freedom to do something like this.
Remarkable with Chain of Dogs is the fact they have a mix of English and Limburgish songs. We were curious why they choose to do this. We think Limburgish fits seamless to the happy willful songs. Olaf: ‘I like English a lot and I studied it also. I love to read English books en watch English movies. A lot of lyrics are based on stories I read in all kind of English literature. It’s for me quite difficult to translate this into Limburgish. My thinking pattern is in English when I’ve read this.’ Arne adds to this, he as a pagan metal and folk-metal fan likes it to express yourself in your own language. The roots of this guys go deep into the Limburgish soil. Singing in Limburgish is a fine way to express their pride of their ‘being a Limburger’, it’s a way tot act against the feeling they’re are somewhat less civilians in the eyes of the people of the western part of the Netherlands. This is a feeling well known with the people form the eastern half of the Netherlands. But with folk-metal, bands from the Easter part hit back very hard, Chain of Dogs from Limburg, Heidevolk from Arnhem, and Baldrs Draumar from Friesland dominate the folk-metal in the Netherlands.
High on their list of wishes are partners for two band-members, some others note they should probably be coughed then. We won’t reveal the members who regard this, we think in the end everything will work out fine them too.
Another one the valid wish to become big with their own Music. A nice tour of a few nice gigs throughout the country should of course be very helpful with this. In the Netherlands the bands star is rising, recently the band had a couple of gigs in Friesland. But their still parts of the Netherlands which were never exposed to the contagious music of Chain of Dogs. The band thinks Germany limits their lust to expand, because it’s very difficult to get some gigs on the other side of the so near border. Germany is together with Finland the cradle of folk-metal and it’s much easier for a German or Finnish band to reach the venues than it is for a Dutch band. Up-till now only Heidevolk has made it to Germany. This is why the band pulls together with the Finsterforst. In this way it’s somewhat easier to get gigs in Germany. But on the other hand is simply very nice to operate next to these guys. A nice thing about Finsterforst is their in complete control of their own gigs. The Dogs learned form other bands who have signed with a ‘nice label’ or booking-agency, they have sometimes less gigs, because of the higher pricetag they have. A band like Gernotshagen attracts not many more people than a band like Finsterforst, but they cost a lot more. Together with Finsterforst they can give venues a nice deal and make it attractive for the smaller venues to book them.
Some other good news, is the fact the band is busy with the first preparations for another EP. There should be 3 of 4 tracks on it, and it should be released in 2012. They’re very busy writing and refining songs for this, there are meant to be new songs on this album.
Before we say goodbye to enjoy some Finsterforst, I’ll ask the guys if there’s anything they want to say to us. Finally they made a clean breast “Viking-metal from Italië can’t be taken seriously”. With a statement like this I grab my seat again: What do you mean by that?
Olaf likes to explain this statement. Folk-metal and related music, also because of the internet, become a genre which draws attention all over the world. In the wake of this everywhere in the World band bands are born which are involved is this music. But instead of being busy with their own roots and mixing their own folk with metal, you see more and more bands form exotic places playing Viking-metal. That is without rhyme or reason. Viking-metal from Italy…
Create something of your own. And with their true ‘Limburgish’ sound the band has a say in this matter. You can’t speak of Chain of Dogs as a band that goes along with the stream, they’re obviously doing something of their own….
And we’re proud of them!
Five long years we heard nothing form the German rockband Tanzwut and suddenly they were back in 2011 with two new albums. The first more medieval and the other more rock oriented. The last one is where the Weisse Nächte tour is about. 28 December they were in the Netherlands. Folk-metal.nl spoke with Teufel, Martin (guitar) and Stefan, the bass-player which acts as a translator here.
At first the question how is is to play in the Netherlands as a German. Fortunatelly they have no problems with that and they like it to be in the Netherlands. Why did it take so long to release a new album? The band has worked a long time at their medieval project. Besides Tanzwut Teufel has a solo project. At a certain moment they started recording again and two album evolved. It wasn’t they planned for this splitting it up in two ways, it just happened. Besides this the band itself is also split in tow. There always was a second, medieval project (Corvus Corax) which is on it’s own nowadays. But the band decided to create it’s own Medieval project besides the rockband. With the rockband they will play in venues and festivals and with the Medieval band at markets and festivals like the Elf Fantasy Fair. You must be quite busy with al these projects? But they don’t see it this way. ‘Tanzwut is not work, it’s a hobby, something in which we have a lot of fun. And with these three projects we do very different things, each project has it’s own ideas, costumes and setting. In this way it keeps varied and makes it possible to combine this many projects.’
Despite the fact it seems there’s a whole philosophy behind Weisse N臘hte, it’s really very simple. The biggest inspiration are parties and drinking. Besides this they’ve been in Russia for a long time and this brought a lot of ideas to the surface for a new album. The lyrics are inspired by other things as well, a lot of songs are about the things which happened to them the past years, the album has become a kind of autobiography. Without paying a lot attention to the lyrics, Weisse Nächte occurred to me a kind of book with fairy-tales. And I’m not talking about merry, happy-ending, Disney-like fairytales but about the dark Hans Christiaan Andersen tales (a writer who, by the way, disliked children a lot) is this right? ‘The music is indeed somewhat darker and heavier but when you listen to the lyrics you notice it’s about a new beginning and about moving ahead. Of course the lyrics are somewhat darker but this is because they’re inspired on old medieval tales. And these tales weren’t always happy.‘ And there is this song la filha la laudre. This one really jumps out on this album, because it isn’t written in Germen. It turns out to be a old French tale about a girl who has a disease so is being forced to live in an isolated place, where all ill people live. She meets a Knight who want to marry her, but because of her illness this is an impossible love. So it turns out to be a rather sad story.
In 2010 there was a change in the line-up, was this of any influence on the new album? Yes of course. It was like a fresh wind with lots of new ideas and a different musical background..It has been very good to the band.’ How does the writing proces work with you? Is this a groupprocess? Most of the writing is done by Teufel and Patrick. When there are ideas they are presented and everybody can give it a twist of its own. The style played by Tanzwut, Medieval Rock, isn’t very popular in the Netherlands. There are a lot of fans but there almost no bands in this genre. Should you try to do something about this, by playing a lot in the Netherlands for instance? ‘The big difference is the bagpipes are a tradition in Germany, it’s part of the culture. This isn’t the case in The Netherlands. The music has evolved in Germany is a way which was inevitable.’
In The Neterlands Tanzwut isn’t very well known. This in contrast to Germany where they are extremely popular and everybody knows them. ‘We would like to play more often in The Netherlands, because we like it a lot. That’s why we need fans, to help us getting known in The Netherlands.’
Despite the fact we sometimes thought the Germans were a bit crazy every now and then, we Dutch seemed to have made a lot impression on Tanzwut. They found out you should never sit on a Dixie toilet in Holland when your friends are around. Despite the fact all Dutch know this, it was a big surprise to Teufel, and he had fun, watching a guy being pushed over when he was on such a toilet at a festival. Crawled out of this and went back in the audience. We warned them never to sit in such a toilet when they’re in the Netherlands.
We can expect a lot of nice thing by Tanzwut the next years. We want to tour, make records and make our shows even more awesoem. ‘We like to call on to all our Dutch fans to write to festivals and ask if they will invite us. And we want to thank them as well!’